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Itchy skin is a very uncomfortable condition and causes physical and mental irritation to those who have it. It is a very common problem especially among those who have dry skin.
Pruritus is a skin condition where it gets very itchy. The level of itchiness differs among individuals and also varies according to the cause of the condition as well. Due to constant scratching of the affected area, this condition can become worse and can even cause infections.
Pruritus is most commonly caused because of dry skin and that is why it is more common in adults because the skin gets drier as the age of the person increases. When the skin is affected by pruritus, it might get red or it might appear just as normal. When it gets a bit severe, chances of developing bumps and blisters are also high. The mind reacts very quickly when it itches, that is why most of the people end up scratching the itchy area which proves to be harmful in the end. Repeated scratching causes the affected area to thicken, after which it can also start bleeding.
Generally, itchiness is caused only in some small or specific areas of the body. If there is itching on the whole body, then probably it is because of an allergic reaction. It is important to note that pruritus can happen without any visible changes on the skin but there could be following symptoms as well:
- Redness of the skin. The area will also feel warmer.
- Blisters or bumps. There could be a presence of spots in different areas.
- Dry skin which causes it to crack, giving it a leathery kind of texture.
Pruritus can also last for a long time with more severity. Itching and its severity are dependent on each other. When people feel itchy, they cannot resist scratching and when they scratch, itching and skin condition gets worse. Coming out of this loop is very hard but sometimes, trying to divert the attention somewhere else might help. In many situations, only medications are helpful.
When these conditions last for a period of weeks and do not show any signs of improving, it is best to visit the doctor. It is wise to seek medical attention in the following situations as well:
- When the person is not able to concentrate on their routine activities and cannot help thinking about it.
- When they abruptly feel itchy on any body part.
- When pruritus happens in the whole body instead of a specific part.
- In case there are other symptoms present in the body like drowsiness, weight-loss or weakness, digestion issues or fever.
Skin is vital, as well as delicate. It acts as a shield to protect the inside parts of the body. It can save the body from harmful elements like bacteria, viruses etc. with the help of some cells which are part of the human body’s immune system. Those cells detect the occurrence of an unwanted condition or a presence of a substance which might harm the body. Those cells are very reactive and act when some harmful substance touches the body, or when the body is having some infection or a disease. When those cells detect such a thing, they cause the affected area to develop inflammation which is what is known by the popular term rash or dermatitis. This inflammation triggers the itching. The severity of the rash varies from one person to the other. Some people have very sensitive skin. They can have rashes which are very painful and red, but some can have just the visibility of rashes but no or very less itching.
Following are some of the popularly known reasons for pruritus:
- The most common cause of pruritus is having a dry skin. This can be found out by checking the affected area carefully. If there are no blisters or bumps or no other change on that part, then probably the reason is dry skin. Dry skin which causes pruritus is also known as xerosis. Most people have dry skin by birth and it gets even drier when they grow up. Other reasons why the skin can become dry could be the exposure to an air-conditioned environment, staying in a heated room for a long time or washing the hands/body too often with soaps and chemical based washes.
- Pruritus can also be a result of other skin conditions. Those can be psoriasis, chickenpox, hives, scabies or dermatitis. Dermatitis is also known as eczema. These kinds of conditions generally have an impact on certain specific areas of the body and also cause other issues like redness, bumps or blisters.
- When the skin is itchy, it could be a signal that something is wrong in the body and there could be a presence of an illness. The illness could be related to the liver, kidney or any other organ. Diseases like kidney malfunction, deficiency of iron, cancer, leukaemia, thyroid and lymphoma could be the reasons. In such cases, not a specific part but the whole body becomes itchy. It is advisable not to go by the physical appearance because the skin might appear to be normal but still, there could be repeated itching on some parts or the whole body.
- It has been seen that diseases related to the nervous system also causes itching. Some examples of issues related to the nervous system are shingles, pinched nerves, diabetes mellitus, sclerosis etc.
- Another major cause of pruritus is an allergic reaction to some object. The range of objects is quite wide. It could be hard chemical based soaps like body wash, hand wash or even dishwashers. Some people also find wool as allergic and causes itching to them. Other objects could be some cosmetics, metals like nickel, or plants like poison ivy. There are certain foods like peanuts which also causes pruritus.
- There are certain medicinal drugs which can have their side effects like some antibiotics, narcotic pain related medicines, antifungal drugs. Reactions from these drugs mostly spread to the whole body and cause the rashes all over.
- Other general causes of itching are fungal infections or things like bedbugs, lice or other worms. An example of a fungal infection is athlete’s foot in which the area between the toes or the area around it gets affects and starts to itch.
- In females, during pregnancy, the skin can get itchy. Especially the abdominal area gets very itchy but even thighs can become like that. If a female who already has dermatitis becomes pregnant, the chances of dermatitis getting worse are very high.
How is it diagnosed?
To diagnose the presence of pruritus is straightforward because it simply means itching in the body. But to detect the cause of the itching can be a bit tricky. It can be a time-consuming process and requires a physical examination by the doctor or a skin specialist. The doctor would also ask about the medical history of the patient to check if the person is allergic to some specific substances or drugs. The doctor might also ask for one or few of the following tests:
- Blood tests: Lot of information can be gathered from a blood sample. The blood count can point in the right direction to detect the underlying cause of pruritus. It could be deficiency or iron or some other internal issue.
- Kidney function test: They are important to verify how well the kidneys are doing their work. Any disorders can immediately be detected with the help of kidney function. If there is a chronic kidney disease, it damages the kidneys very severely and disables them from filtering the toxins. This condition is also known as Uremia. When a person has Uremia, their itching increases in the night time and mostly affects the back, abdominal area and the arms.
- Thyroid test: It is used to find out if the person has got hyperthyroidism or any other thyroid abnormalities.
- Liver tests: They are helpful in checking the health of the liver.
- Chest X-rays: This test is useful in recognising the presence of any lung related diseases or issues like enlarged lymph nodes.
To avoid getting pruritus, it is important to keep the skin healthy and keep it away from risky substances. Following suggestions will help in the prevention of pruritus:
- Keeping the skin moisturized always is very crucial. Avoiding it from getting dry will improve its overall health as well. Use of moisturizing lotions and creams is highly advisable.
- When there is sunshine, use of sunscreen is also highly worthwhile. It does not matter whether the person is inside or outside. The rays of the sun reach indoors as well which is why sunscreen is beneficial.
- If the skin is sensitive or prone to pruritus, then soaps should be avoided. There are soap free options available in the market. If the soaps must be used, then using mild ones is advisable.
- Showering with hot water should be avoided and using warm water instead is suggested. Hot water makes the skin drier.
- Whenever possible, use cotton instead of synthetic clothes. Woolen clothes might not have many alternatives, but a cotton cloth can be worn inside them to avoid their direct contact with the skin.
- When the person is spending much time in the heated or air-conditioned room, then using a dehumidifier or keeping a bowl of water might help a little bit.
- When the skin is irritated, it might be very difficult to resist itching, but keeping a washcloth soaked in cold water can help in giving some relief. It will bring the inflammation down and prevent the person from scratching the already sensitive area.
- When the person is going outside where the presence of insects or mosquitoes could be there, then keeping themselves covered is wise. Using a mosquito repellent indoors will also be very helpful.
- If the person is allergic to substances like nickel, then use of artificial jewellery should be strictly avoided. Instead, they should use alternatives like pure gold or pure silver.
The treatment of pruritus depends on the underlying cause of this problem. If the reason is simply dry skin, then moisturizing alone will solve the issue. For other causes, the treatments are as follows:
- Skin conditions like eczema or hives can be treated with the help of corticosteroids, but these should be used only if the skin specialists approve of them. Sometimes, doctors also prescribe antihistamines.
- If the itching is caused because of some allergy, then anti-allergy drugs like Benadryl, Allegra etc. can help as well.
- Fungal infections are mostly treated with drugs that are available over-the-counter. There are a few anti-fungal creams available with the pharmacies that can be used. For that, the person should be sure that the infection is fungal which only the doctor can confirm. They might also prescribe oral drugs like Lamisil or Terbinafine.
- A popular drug that doctors prescribe is hydrocortisone. Since it is a low potency steroid, it should only be used if it is prescribed by the doctor.
- In case the cause of pruritus is an internal body condition, then treatment will be provided to heal that, and the treatments could vary.
- Light or phototherapies are also used to control the itching.
Apart from mental discomfort, pruritus can also cause infections in case people cannot help scratching their skin. If pruritus is left untreated, it might not get healed and remain there.
People often believe that the presence of pruritus is only because of some allergy. It is not always the case. Allergies are just one reason for having this condition. There could be internal body condition as well which might lead to pruritus. Also, when the skin becomes red and hives are developed, many people relate those scenarios with superstitions which are scientifically and medically not valid.
Tachycardia is also known as tachyarrhythmia. It is a common type of heart rhythm disorder. For adults, the normal resting heart rate is between 60 - 100 beats per minute. In tachyarrhythmia, the heart rate is greater than 100 beats per minute. The heart rate generally rises during exercise or when you take a lot of stress. But in case of tachycardia, the heartbeats are faster than normal in the upper or lower chambers or both while at rest. Various treatment options are available including medications and surgery to treat the heart disorder of tachycardia. Sometimes, people are not able to recognise the symptoms of tachycardia. Tachycardia can lead to serious heart problems or complications if not treated properly on time or left untreated. Heart failure, stroke, sudden cardiac arrest, or death can be some of the serious complications of tachycardia. So, if you find out that you are suffering from the symptoms of tachycardia then should visit the doctor at the earliest for a diagnosis.
Due to the fast heartbeat rate, your heart is not able to pump the blood properly to your body. This can lead to various symptoms or signs of tachycardia:
- Pain in the chest
- Rapid pulse rate
- Heart palpitations
- Sudden weakness
Sometimes, people do not experience the symptoms at all. They get to know about it from their doctor after the physical examination or electrocardiogram test.
Tachycardia happens when something disrupts the normal electrical impulses that control the rate of pumping action of your heart. Many things can cause the problem of tachycardia. Sometimes, it becomes hard to recognise the exact cause of tachycardia. Check out the various causes of tachycardia:
- Drinking too much alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine can lead to the problem of tachycardia.
- Many heart diseases including heart valve disease, heart failure, heart muscle disease, coronary artery disease, tumours, or infections can lead to the tachycardia.
- Congenital heart conditions which are present at the time of birth can lead to tachycardia.
- Sudden stress or hypertension can cause tachycardia.
- Tachycardia can also happen due to smoking, the consumption of cocaine and some other recreational drugs.
- Side effects can happen due to the intake of certain medicines which can result in tachycardia.
- Electrolytes are the mineral-related substances required for conducting electrical impulses. The imbalance of electrolytes can lead to tachycardia.
- Overactive thyroid, high or low blood pressure, fever, anaemia, certain lung diseases and more are some of the other causes of tachycardia.
How is it diagnosed?
As soon as you experience any or some of the symptoms of tachycardia, you should visit the doctor. The doctor will conduct a physical examination in order to diagnose the problem. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history and health habits. You may be asked to get some tests done including:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or ECK): It is a painless test done to diagnose tachycardia. The small sensors (electrodes) are attached to your chest or arms in order to record the electrical activity of your heart. This test helps your doctor to know what type of tachycardia you have and how problems in your heart leading to a fast heart rate. This test provides the information for a limited time period. If your doctor wants more information then he may ask you to use portable ECG devices.
- Holter Monitor: It is a portable ECG device. This device helps to record your heart's activity for around 24 hours. You can easily carry this device in your pocket. It can also be worn on a belt or shoulder strap. If your doctor wants to check the record of your heart activity for a longer period then he may ask you to use this device.
- Event Monitor: It is also a portable electrocardiogram device helps to monitor your heart activity for a few months or weeks. You wear this device for the whole day but it allows you to record the heart activity at the certain times. Whenever you experience the symptoms of fast heart rate, you have to push a button on the device in order to record. There are some monitors that automatically sense your abnormal heart rhythms and start recording your heart's activity. By the help of this, your doctor is able to see the activity of your heart at the time of your symptoms.
- Electrophysiological test: This non-surgical test is done to confirm the diagnosis and to pinpoint the location where the problem is. In this test, a doctor inserts electrodes tipped catheters into your arm, groin or neck and guided through blood vessels to various spots in your heart. Electrophysiologist does this test in the EP lab.
- Stress test: In the stress test, extra stress is given to you in order to check how your heart functions when it works hard. During this test, your doctor may ask you to do exercise may be on a treadmill or stationary bicycle and at the same time, your heart activity would be monitored.
- Tilt-table test: If the electrocardiogram and Holter monitor fail to diagnose the problem then your doctor may perform a tilt-table test. This test helps to monitor the rhythm of the heart, blood pressure, and heart rate.
- Blood tests: Blood tests help to know if thyroid problem or other substances leading to tachycardia.
- Chest X-ray: Chest X-ray is done to check if your heart is enlarged. By the help of this test, the still images of your heart and lungs are taken to check their condition.
A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of tachycardia. The problem of tachycardia can be prevented by making some changes in health habits including:
- You should quit smoking.
- The intake of beverages that contain caffeine should be reduced.
- You should reduce the consumption of alcohol.
- Exercise and weight loss can also reduce the risk of tachycardia.
- Avoid the situations that give you stress.
- Avoid having spicy and fatty food and stick to a healthy diet.
The treatment depends on the cause of your tachycardia. It also depends on your age and health record. In tachycardia, the treatment is given to slow down the fast heart rate and minimize the complications that can arise in the future. The following treatment options are available for the people suffering from tachycardia:
Ways to slow down a fast heartbeat:
- Vagal manoeuvres: It is an action performed to slow down your heart rate. Your doctor may ask you to perform this action during an episode of a fast heartbeat. The vagal nerve regulates your heartbeat and vagal manoeuvres affect this nerve. Manoeuvres include coughing, heaving as if you are having a bowel movement and putting an ice pack on the face.
- Medications: If vagal manoeuvres do not show any result then your doctor may give you an injection of an anti-arrhythmic medication for restoring the normal heart rate. Your doctor may also recommend you pill version of an anti-arrhythmic drug.
- Cardioversion: In this, an electric current is given to your heart through electrodes placed on your chest. This helps to restore a normal heart rhythm. This treatment method is used when there is an emergency or vagal manoeuvres and medications do not work with your type of tachycardia.
Ways to prevent episodes of a fast heart rate:
- Catheter ablation: In this, doctor inserts catheters tipped with electrodes into your arm, neck or groin and guide them through the blood vessels to your heart. This method is used when an extra electrical pathway is the cause of increased heart rate.
- Medications: Your doctor may ask you to have anti-arrhythmic medications in pills version regularly to prevent a fast heart rate. Calcium channel blockers and beta blockers are the other types of drugs that may be prescribed by your doctor as an alternative to or in combination with anti-arrhythmic medications.
- Pacemaker: Pacemaker helps in treating some types of tachycardias. A pacemaker is a small device that is implanted under your skin through a surgery. An electrical pulse is emitted by this device whenever it senses an abnormal heartbeat. The electrical pulse helps your heart to resume a normal beat.
- Implantable cardioverter: In this, a device of pager size named implantable cardioverter-defibrillator is implanted in your chest through a surgery. This device helps continuously to monitor your heartbeat, detect an increase in heart rate and deliver calibrated electrical shocks, if required, in order to restore a normal rhythm of the heart. This treatment is recommended if you are having a life-threatening tachycardia.
- Surgery: Doctors recommend surgery when all the other options do not work or when surgery is required to treat another heart disorder. Open-heart surgery is generally done to damage an extra electrical pathway leading to tachycardia. The maze procedure is another type of surgery in which a surgeon makes small cuts in heart tissue.
- Ways to prevent blood clots:
- Blood-thinning medication: Those people who suffer from the heart disorder of tachycardia have a great risk of developing a blood clot. A blood clot can cause a heart attack or stroke. For this purpose, your doctor may prescribe you blood thinners to reduce the risk of developing a blood clot.
The various complications that are associated with tachycardia are:
- Blood clots: This is one of the common complications of tachycardia. Due to tachycardia, the risk of developing blood clots increase. Blood clots formation can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
- Heart failure: If your condition of tachycardia is not controlled on time then it can make your heart weak. Weak heart increases the chance of heart failure. In heart failure, the heart does not pump the blood properly to all the organs of the body. Due to this, the body of the person can be affected from the left side, right side or both the sides.
- Sudden death: Sometimes, ventricular tachycardia can lead to sudden death.
- Other complications: The other complications of tachycardia are fainting, dizziness, tiredness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Myth #1: If your heart rate is higher than the normal resting heart rate then it means you are stressed out.
In tachycardia, the heart rate is greater than the normal resting rate. It is true that stress can spike your heart rate. But heart rate can also rise due to other causes including fever, anemia, thyroid disease, consumption of alcohol and beverages containing caffeine, smoking and more.
Tachycardia is a heart disorder in which the heart rate is higher than the normal resting heart rate. The normal resting heart rate is between 60 - 100 beats per minute for adults. People who suffer from tachycardia experience the heart rate of greater than 100 beats per minute. Sometimes, people are not able to recognize tachycardia as they do not experience the symptoms at all. Your doctor can help you to diagnose tachycardia through the physical examination and various tests. As soon as you experience any or some of the symptoms of tachycardia, you should reach out to the best doctor. Fever, high or low blood pressure, lung diseases, anemia, consuming alcohol, smoking, drinking beverages having caffeine, thyroid disease and various heart diseases can lead to tachycardia.
The normal rate of heart beats for humans is from 60 to 100 beats per minute. This is when the person is in a normal situation or at rest. The rate goes higher in conditions like exercising, stress etc. However, when the person is at rest and still gets the beat count less than 60, then it could be due to the condition of Bradycardia. This does not mean that it is an alarming situation whenever the count goes below 60, but it could be just a sign that something is not right with the electrical system related to the heart function.
There are three major types of Bradycardia, described as follows:
- Sinus Bradycardia: The sinus node is the natural pacemaker for the heart. Its normal function is to generate the electrical signals for 60-100 times in a minute. When this node fails to function or gets delayed in generating the signals, then it is the condition of Sinus Bradycardia. This kind of Bradycardia is more prominent among children and athletes. It could be very slightly present that many times it goes unnoticed. Most of the causes that are listed below apply to this kind of bradycardia.
- Sick Sinus Syndrome: This category of bradycardia leads to the irregular or abnormal rhythm of the heart. When the person has irregular heart rates or when they feel a sudden rise and fall (or slow and fast) heart rates, they might be suffering from sick sinus syndrome. This category of bradycardia is not as prevalent as sinus bradycardia. People with existing heart diseases, or who have gone through heart surgeries are a bit susceptible to sick sinus syndrome since their sinus node might have got damaged or affected. Even though when people face usual wear and tear of heart tissues, it can lead to this disease.
- Heart block: The electrical signals in the heart need to flow to the chambers so that the oxygen-rich blood can flow properly. In case of heart block, the signals are not properly transferred among cells. In fact, the flow of the signal can completely stop in case of heart block. The medical term for this condition is Atrioventricular block. It depends on what degree it is present in. there is a mild degree or first degree which can cause no issues and is considered as closed to normal. Then, there is a third degree which is the most critical stage and is also referred to as “complete heart block”. In such a situation, the patient should be treated immediately. Generally, doctors don’t let the patients reach this stage provided patients take precautions and reports to the doctor timely. Though this disease can be by birth as well and it could also be caused by a heart attack. Other causes include inflammation of muscle in the heart, narrow arteries or coronary diseases and rheumatic fever. The rheumatic fever is very common in those children who don’t get proper treatment for strep throat.
Because of Bradycardia, the oxygen supply is not properly managed by the body, because of which some organs might not get enough of oxygen. Following are the symptoms of Bradycardia:
- Fainting: Lack of oxygen can cause people to faint or feel the near-faint feeling.
- Dizziness or light-headed feeling
- Shortness of breath: Even when the physical work is done is not much, people with Bradycardia experience shortness of breath. This can also be accompanied by pain in the chest in some cases.
- Misperceptions or difficulty in concentrating: The mind cannot focus well when the oxygen supply is not proper which leads to confusions and a non-alert mind.
- Loss of memory: People can face a hard time remembering things.
- Tiredness: Though some people get tired easily because of other reasons as well and one of the reasons could be Bradycardia.
- Ageing can cause heart tissues to damage which can lead to Bradycardia
- The heart tissues can also get damaged because of some current/past heart disease or even heart attack.
- It could also be by birth that the heart has this disorder.
- The tissues in the heart can catch some infection-causing disorders of this kind. This is also known as Myocarditis.
- If the person has gone through any heart surgery, then it might have left the heart vulnerable to Bradycardia.
- Thyroid glands which do not produce enough hormones can also be a cause. This condition is called hypothyroidism.
- Disturbances in breathing while sleeping over a long time.
- Fevers like rheumatic fevers or any such inflammatory condition can also cause Bradycardia.
- Any drugs which can have an impact on blood pressure, heart rhythm or used to treat psychosis can affect the heartbeat leading to Bradycardia.
All the above factors can have some impact on the electrical signals which are generated by the sinus node. The sinus node is basically a pacemaker (which is biologically present in the heart) and generates signals which in turn makes the heart to beat. So, if the sinus node acts slower than usual, or fails to perform its action, then it causes abnormal heartbeats.
Another cause of Bradycardia is the blockage of electrical signals in the pathway to and from the heart. To understand or visualise the meaning of ‘pathway’, it is important to understand how the heart works. The heart consists of four chambers which are divided into lower and upper ones. The upper ones are also known as atria. This is where the sinus node is situated. When this node generates the electrical signals, it causes the atria to contract which pumps the blood into the lower chambers of the heart. Those electric impulses reach the AV, which is the atrioventricular node. This further transfers the signal to some cells which in turn sends them to right and left ventricle. The right ventricle is responsible for sending blood which does not have much oxygen in it to the lungs and left ventricle is responsible for sending blood full of oxygen to the body. This is how the signals play a vital role in the body and those signals can be affected by multiple factors stated above.
How Bradycardia is Diagnosed?
Bradycardia can be a bit tricky to diagnose because the symptoms might not be present all the time. They could come and go. The testing used to diagnose Bradycardia is an electrocardiogram. This testing, also known by the name EKG, helps in measuring the electrical signals generated in the heart.
The symptoms might or might not appear while testing. If they do appear, then the diagnose because apparent, otherwise, the doctors need to observe and investigate more. For that purpose, they sometimes recommend wearing a monitor which monitors the heart beats for 24 hours. Other ways by which doctors diagnose is closely examining the symptoms in different situations and asking about the family history of the patient. It is important for the patient to be able to provide all the information to the doctor to avoid any misdiagnosis.
Prevention methods of Bradycardia are same as those of heart diseases. Take the necessary measures to avoid any kind of heart diseases. If you already have a heart disease of any kind, then you might need to monitor your heart beats during the day and even in the night. If there are any discrepancies found, you should consult the doctor immediately before Bradycardia takes over. Early detection can reduce the risk of having this disease. Following are the generic ways to keep your heart healthy and avoid any kind of heart diseases:
- Adopt a diet which has low sodium content in it.
- Maintain the body weight as per the BMI index. Being overweight is a very common reason for heart diseases. Keeping the weight under control will not ensure that you are safe from heart diseases, but greatly reduces the chances of catching them.
- Stay active- do some form of physical activity every day for at least 30 minutes.
- Quit smoking if you are a smoker.
- Avoid processed sugars at all costs. Things like cakes, chocolates, brownies, cookies, candies etc. should be avoided. These things can be replaced by natural sugars like fruits or dried fruits like figs etc.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables which aids a low-fat diet. Fruits are rich in vitamins and have good fibre which aids digestion and keeps the body hydrated.
- Keep an eye on cholesterol and sugar levels and keep them under control always. Differentiate between good and bad cholesterol and get yourself checked timely to notice any changes and progress in your controlled diet. The cholesterol levels can be maintained by eating nuts and avoiding fried food like fries etc. Junk food of all kinds mostly have a good amount of bad cholesterol and should certainly be avoided.
- Use of alcohol also needs to be monitored. If you must drink at all, the allowed dosage is one drink per day for women. It could be two drinks for men, but that applies to very healthy individuals and varies greatly from the condition of one individual to other. Based on your health condition, your doctor can advise the allowed limits of alcohol consumption.
- Taking drugs (recreational) is strictly not recommended, irrespective of how small their quantity is or how less often they are taken.
- Try to stay stress-free. Stress has a direct impact on heart and it also affects your gastrointestinal system.
Even while you practice all the above steps, going for regular check-ups and reporting any noticeable irregularities will be an ideal thing to do.
For people having a mechanical pacemaker, immediate consultation with the doctor is advisable since it could be the pacemaker which is not performing as expected.
Also, for people who already have any kind of heart disease, they should take their treatment plan very seriously and report to the doctor about any changes or unexpected events for further diagnoses. Neglecting the abnormalities by considering them a result of heart disease is not advisable.
Treatments for Bradycardia
The treatment plan is only devised by the doctors after careful examination. They base their decision on the original cause of Bradycardia. Treating the cause or the ‘underlying condition’ can heal this disease. This is like eliminating the disease from its roots. Also note that if there are no symptoms found but heartbeat is at times lower than 60, then the doctor might not take any action at all, also depending upon the person’s health history. But for most cases, the doctors will advise you to keep an eye on the heart rates in case if changes drastically or needs attention later.
If there are any medications which are causing the heart to slow down, the doctor might reduce the dosage to see if that positively impacts the heart. Doctors can also use a pacemaker, which keeps the heart rate in control.
Complications in Bradycardia
Below complications can be caused if the patient had symptoms of Bradycardia:
- Fainting quite often.
- Issues with heart when it tries to pump the required amount of blood- which can eventually lead to heart failures.
- Sudden heart attack or even demise.
Myth #1: It is often believed that if the heart rate is slow, it implies that the heart is weak. It is not always the case. There are certain reasons why people get this disease which is not related to the heart. For example, calcium content or disorders with Thyroid gland are also reasons for Bradycardia but they don’t imply a weak heart. When the heart tissues catch the infection, in those cases it can be said that heart is weak, but chances are that it is a temporary condition and can be fixed with the help of treatments.
Definition of Molluscum contagiosum:
Molluscum contagiosum is the infection of the skin caused by the Molluscum contagiosum virus, which belongs to the same family as the pox. It is a common infection but is contagious. It causes raised nodules on the epidermal layer of the skin. This condition is also commonly known as the molluscipoxvirus. It is classified as a chronic infection and can be resolved in anywhere between six to nine months, generally.
Molluscum contagiosum is known to be more prevalent in the humid and warmer regions of the world, though it can occur anywhere. Being a contagious infection, it can spread from person to person by means of physical contact, sexual contact or sharing of contaminated articles of personal use. The mode of transfer is usually autoinoculation, meaning self-transfer by the virus from one area of the epidermal surface to another. More often than not, the incubation time for the virus in anywhere between two and seven weeks. For some people, the symptoms may show up even up to six months later.
After the healing process is complete, scars or marks are not left behind on the skin. They heal with time. In severe cases, the infection can take up to four years to be resolved completely.
Symptoms of Molluscum contagiosum:
- The most common areas of the body where Molluscum contagiosum generally appear are the epidermal surfaces of limbs, face, chest and trunk. In children, the symptoms of Molluscum contagiosum are often seen occurring on the limbs. In adults, the same symptoms can be found specifically on the inner thighs, abdomen and genital areas.
- The lesions or raised nodes can be itchy but do not pain in general cases. The lesions or nodes are small in size, with a diameter of 2 – 5 millimetre each. The unique character of this infection is that the lesions and nodes have a dimple lie resemblance in the central area.
- In the initial stages of the infection, the lesions or nodes have a dome-shaped structure and are the colour of flesh, but during the course of time, change in appearance to become more soft with a light or white shade at the centre, with the presence of a waxy, almost semi-solid material.
- For people who have normal to healthy immune systems, this infection can disappear naturally in the span of a few months. People who have other chronic diseases may face problems in resolving the issue naturally and spontaneously. This infection also further deteriorates their immune systems. The lesions may spread slowly or rapidly and become extensive in nature.
Causes of Molluscum contagiosum:
- Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus of the same name. This virus belongs to the pox family. The infection can spread by means of physical contact such as scratches, rubbing or touch. It can also spread by mode of sexual contact. Usage of personal articles or objects touched by an already infected individual can be a mode in which this auto inoculating virus spreads from person to person.
- People with weakened immune systems are more prone to not only Molluscum contagiosum, but any other infection, communicable or non-communicable. The idea is that the virus can survive and thrive in surfaces that have been in contact with the human skin which is infected by the same virus. So articles of personal use and public articles and objects are literally a breeding ground for the virus.
- The virus can survive only for a limited period of time on the epidermal surface of the human body, the skin. The presence of lesions or nodes on the skin surface indicates the activity of the virus. During the healing process, the lesions and nodes disappear, leaving no scars behind. This is an indication that the virus is no longer active and has left the body of the host.
Diagnosis of Molluscum contagiosum:
- Usually, the diagnosis of this viral infection is relatively easy because of its unique appearance of a dome-shaped node or lesion, which is between 2 and 5 millimetres in diameter. With due course, the appearance of the lesion changes from flesh coloured and dome-shaped to flattened and pale or white appearance with the presence of a semi-solid like waxy material.
- At the beginning of the infection, the eruptions are small and almost flat. In the next stage, the lesions become dome-shaped and are filled with a whitish, cheesy, wax-like substance that when punctured, can spread the virus. The semi-solid filled dome has a small navel-like depression in the centre. Towards the later stages, the nodules dry out or break on their own and the liquid is washed off. The skin takes time to heal the aberrations. In most cases, scars are not left behind. As new skin grows, there may be white patches of skin in the area affected by the viral infection. This eventually disappears and the lesions go away completely, leaving the skin fresh and without scars.
- Scars are left behind in very rare cases due to complicated infection or treatment of the viral infection by means of a surgical method.
- However, the doctor can confirm the presence of Molluscum contagiosum with a simple skin biopsy. In this method of diagnosis, the skin surface is scraped for a sample for testing. A pathologist can then easily determine the presence of the viral infection. This diagnosis is definitive and helps the doctor to distinguish from other conditions such as rashes, herpes, dermatitis, folliculitis or other common infections of the skin.
Treatment of Molluscum contagiosum:
In most cases of a Molluscum contagiosum infection, the infection will take a few months to heal on its own. The lesions or nodules completely disappear from the epidermal surface. People with a healthy immune system do not require a medical intervention unless it is a complicated or very advanced stage of the infection.
The cases where medical assistance and treatment is required is when the lesions are large, i.e. more than 15 millimetres in diameter and if the nodes have affected the face or neck region.
Patients who are already suffering from any other skin related issue of any kind do need the medical intervention of a doctor to prevent complications of the infection.
There are various treatment options to choose from:
- Curettage: In this method, a local anaesthetic is administered and the lesions filled with the cheese like waxy substance are scooped out with a sterilized spoon like an instrument. The anaesthetic is administered because the instrument has a sharp edge and the process might be a little painful.
- Cryotherapy: Used as a treatment option for many skin infections, skin tags, warts, etc., this is a process used to treat Molluscum contagiosum as well. In this treatment, a frozen liquid under high pressure is sprayed over the affected area to freeze the nodule. The nodules take around 10 seconds to get frozen completely. This is indicated by a layer of ice that forms over the raised lesion and its immediate surroundings. If it is a large lesion, more than one session is required.
- Diathermy: The exact opposite of cryotherapy, this method uses high heat from an electrical device to burn off the extra growth or raised nodule. A local anaesthetic is used to reduce the pain.
- Laser therapy: An intense beam of the laser is used to kill the infected cells and the immediate cells around it. This prevents the infection from spreading to other areas around the infected skin.
- Chemical Treatment: Though it is one of the methods of treatment, it is generally not recommended because of the pain and scarring that it causes. In this method, the doctor dips a sharp, sterilized instrument into a phenol or podophyllin compound and then pricks each of the lesions, releasing the cheese like waxy liquid in them. They burst and their contents are emptied and cleaned and sterilized. In some cases, a secondary infection may develop around the punctured lesion, leading to complications. Usually, for such cases, a hydrocortisone based cream is recommended. It helps to relieve the discomfort and itches. This is strictly not applied on the lesion, but only on the area of secondary infection or eczema.
Other than these, the doctor may prescribe medication to hasten the healing process and to prevent the occurrence of secondary infections. This includes trichloroacetic acid compounds, imiquimod, cantharidin based medicine or podophyllotoxin creams.
Whether the patient is pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding is an important factor that the doctor considers before the treatment. In case the patient is affected by HIV, then antiretroviral therapy is used exclusively. Rather than directly treating the Molluscum contagiosum, it strengthens the immune system of the body to help it fight the virus naturally. This is considered safe because it prevents the occurrence of secondary infections along with the pre-existing condition.
There are home remedies for Molluscum contagiosum that have been tried by patients, but there is no documented evidence of the same. Some of the effective home remedies as claimed by patients are iodine, alcohol, tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, elderberry extract, hydrogen peroxide, etc.
It is known that once the Molluscum contagiosum is cured, it does not recur. Even after a long time, the virus is unlikely to appear again unless there is a new, complicated infection.
Some common treatment options involve the prescription of medicines such as salicylic acid, Valtrex, tretinoin, Tagamet, cimetidine, Aldara, Retin A, Avita, Atralin, Altinac, Renova, Corticosteroid creams, etc.
Prevention of Molluscum contagiosum:
Some of the best ways to prevent the infection of Molluscum contagiosum are:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
- Children who are more prone to this infection must be instructed to wash hands with antiseptic soap especially before eating.
- Avoid sharing articles of personal use such as towels, comb, soap bars, clothes, etc.
- If you are using public objects such as gym equipment or objects in the parks, you are at a higher risk of contracting this contagious infection. Make sure to wash up after use.
- Do not indulge in physical or sexual contact with an individual who is likely to be suffering from this viral infection.
- Avoid shared sports gear or contact sports if you are not taking proper preventive measures.
- Keep the nodules clean and do not scratch or pick at them. Do not shave the affected area until the infection is completely gone.
- If your abdomen or genitals are affected, avoid sexual contact until the healing process is complete.
Complications due to Molluscum contagiosum:
Though this viral infection is not fatal or painful, sometimes there are chances of secondary infection. Eczema might develop in and around the lesions on the affected epidermal layer. This can cause discomfort, swelling, itching and more often than not, leads to the spread of infection due to scratching of the affected area. This breaks the papules on the skin due to viral infection and the issue could amplify.
Puncturing or scratching the nodules or lesions may leave the wound open and this could lead to multiple other infections. If the site of the viral infection is in the area surrounding the eyes, there is a high chance of contracting conjunctivitis through contact with the waxy substance in the nodule.
Myths relating to Molluscum contagiosum:
Myth #1: Molluscum contagiosum is fatal.
No, Molluscum contagiosum is not fatal. More often than not, it doesn’t require treatment if the affected individual has a normal to the healthy immune system.
Myth #2: Once the infection is gone, it may recur.
No, once healed completely, the infection does not recur in the individual. The immune system of the body will have the required antibodies to fight the infection after the occurrence of the first bout.
Myth #3: Even after the lesions are gone, the person can transmit the viral disease to others.
No, once the infection has healed completely, the virus is no longer present in the body and the person cannot transmit the viral infection to other people.
BENEFITS OF AYURVEDIC MASSAGE (ABHYANGA) BY MEDICATED OILS
1)Nourishes the entire body—decreases the effects of aging
2)Imparts muscle tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body
3)Imparts a firmness to the limbs
4)Lubricates the joints
6)Stimulates the internal organs of the body
7)Assists in elimination of impurities from the body
8)Moves the lymph, aiding in detoxification
10)Calms the nerves
11)Benefits sleep—better, deeper sleep
13)Makes hair (scalp) grow luxuriantly, thick, soft and glossy
14)Softens and smoothens skin; wrinkles are reduced and disappear
15)Pacifies Vata and Pitta and stimulates Kapha
Marma massage and Kerala foot massage which were traditionally used to heal injured warriors were carefully guarded secrets. Now they are being taught openly as well
TYPE OF AYURVEDIC MASSAGE :-
6)Pre-Natal female massage
7)Postnatal Ayurvedic massage
8)Ayurvedic Newborn Massage
9)Aged person body Massage
Sebaceous cyst - superficail skin lumps
Sebaceous cysts are noncancerous small bumps beneath the skin. They can appear anywhere on the skin, but are most common on the face, neck and trunk.
Epidermoid cysts are slow growing and often painless, so they rarely cause problems or need treatment.
True sebaceous cysts are less common. They arise from the glands that secrete oily matter that lubricates hair and skin (sebaceous glands).
Epidermoid cyst signs and symptoms include:
- A small, round bump under the skin, usually on the face, neck or trunk
- A tiny blackhead plugging the central opening of the cyst
- A thick, yellow, smelly material that sometimes drains from the cyst
- Redness, swelling and tenderness in the area, if inflamed or infected
Potential complications of epidermoid cysts include:
- Inflammation. An epidermoid cyst can become tender and swollen, even if it's not infected. An inflamed cyst is difficult to remove. Your doctor is likely to postpone removing it until the inflammation subsides.
- Rupture. A ruptured cyst often leads to a boil-like infection that requires prompt treatment.
- Infection. Cysts can become infected and painful (abscessed).
- Skin cancer. In very rare cases, epidermoid cysts can lead to skin cancer.
When to see a doctor
Most epidermoid cysts don't cause problems or need treatment. See your doctor if you have one or more that:
- Grows rapidly
- Ruptures or becomes painful or infected
- Occurs in a spot that's constantly irritated
- Bothers you for cosmetic reasons
- Is in an unusual location, such as a finger and toe
Photo and natural aging occur through many mechanisms. Skin tone, color and texture are compromised by exposure to sun and tanning beds. Time induced volume and bone loss occurs, resulting in sunken in cheeks, eyes, mouth corners, etc with sagging skin and deep wrinkles as a result. Overactive muscle activity leads to upper face wrinkles.
Natural Aging Changes
- Loss of Elasticity
- Loss of Muscle Tone
Photo Aging Changes
- Pigment changes
- Keratoses (rough growths)
- Loss of elastic fibers and collagen
- Accentuation of natural aging
- Fine wrinkles
- Skin texture change (roughness)
- Thinning skin
- Visible vessels
Consider non-invasive treatments to slow down the aging process.
You will look and feel great!
Treatment Options for Anti-Aging
- Chemical Peel
- Dermasweep Crystal Free Microdermabrasion
- Laser Skin Peels
- BBL Photo Rejuvenation
- ND:Yag Laser
- Rejuvapen Collagen Induction Therapy
- Anti-Aging Products
The body needs time to repair itself. Lack of sleep can upset the body's metabolism and possibly hasten the onset of age-related conditions.
What is Bronchitis?
A cold or the flu runs its course in a couple weeks if you’re lucky. After that, you’re back to normal. But sometimes you may get bronchitis, too.
That’s when your bronchial tubes, which carry air to your lungs, get infected and swollen. You end up with a nagging cough and a lot more mucus.
-Acute bronchitis: This is the more common one. Symptoms last for a few weeks, but it doesn’t usually cause any problems past that.
-Chronic bronchitis: This one is more serious, in that it keeps coming back or doesn’t go away at all. It’s one of the conditions that make up what's called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Most often, the same viruses that give you a cold or the flu also cause bronchitis. Sometimes, though, bacteria are to blame.
In both cases, as your body fights off the germs, your bronchial tubes swell and make more mucus. That means you have smaller openings for air to flow, which can make it harder to breathe.
If any of these things describe your situation, you have a bigger chance of getting bronchitis:
You have a weaker immune system. This is sometimes the case for older adults and people with ongoing diseases, as well as for babies and young children. Even a cold can make it more likely since your body’s already busy fighting off those germs.
You smoke or live with a smoker.
You work around substances that bother your lungs, such as chemical fumes or dust. (Examples: coal mining, working around farm animals).
You live in or travel to a place with poor air quality or lots of pollution.