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Hives, also called urticaria are swollen welts or bumps that appear on your skin suddenly.
They itch, burn and sting and can happen anywhere on your body. You can get them on your face, lips, tongue, ears or chest. And in size, they can be as small as an eraser to as large as a plate. They also form plaques and can last for hours or up to several days.
- Acute urticaria - These type of hives last less than six weeks. The most common causes are allergies due to certain foods and medications, or infections. These hives can also happen due to diseases or insect bites.
- Chronic urticaria - Hives lasting more than six weeks come under this category. What causes them is usually more difficult to identify than what causes acute urticaria. In some cases, chronic hives are caused due to thyroid disease, hepatitis or even cancer. This type can affect your internal organs like lungs, muscles, and the gut. Thus, symptoms include muscle soreness, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
- Physical urticaria - These types are caused due to direct physical stimulation of the skin due to cold, heat, sun exposure, vibration, pressure, sweating, and exercise.
What causes hives?
Hives happen mostly due to allergies. Some of the common hive triggers are-
Certain foods, especially peanuts, eggs, nuts and shellfish- Fresh foods are more likely to cause hives as compared to cooked foods. Certain food additives and preservatives can also play culprits. Medicines like penicillin and sulfa- based antibiotics, aspirin and ibuprofen which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, high blood pressure drugs like ACE inhibitors, and painkillers such as codeine can also trigger hives. Other things that may cause it are:
- Insect bites
- Transfusion of blood
- Bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections and infected throat
- Viral infections- common cold and hepatitis
- Pollen grains
- Plants like poison oak and poison ivy
- Cold weather
- Pet dander
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.
Allergic reactions are the body’s way of responding to foreign substances. The body recognizes these substances (be it food, pollens, insect bites, etc.) as antigens and produces antibodies. These antibodies can cause various reactions depending on the severity of the allergen, be it skin rash, hives, or angioedema. In severe cases, there could be swelling of the tongue and the respiratory tract, leading to choking of the airways.
Literally, angioedema means swelling of the blood vessels. These are located in the underlying layers of the skin and their swelling can lead to formation of giant hives, which can be extremely itchy, reddish, and oval or circular in shape. The affected area I usually warm and painful to touch.
Angioedema is caused due to the following:
Food allergies including eggs, peanuts, shellfish, milk, tree nuts, chocolates, etc.
Insect bites or stings
Pollen, latex, animal dander, poison ivy, and other common allergens
Medications like aspirin, penicillin, ibuprofen, and some blood pressure medicines
In response to blood transfusions
Auto-immune disorders like lupus
Conditions like leukemia and thyroid disorders
Infections like hepatitis, cytomegalovirus infections, Epstein-Barr infections, etc.
Weather conditions like extremes of cold, heat, or pressure
Extreme emotional stress
Genetic angioedema, passed on from parents to children, which could last forever
While hives usually develop without any warning, the following condition puts a person at risk of developing angioedema.
Predisposition to allergic reactions (highly active immune system)
Previous history of allergies
Genetic history of allergies or angioedema
Most angioedema cases are limited to the skin and hives, but there could be severe cases leading to respiratory distress.
If it is the first instance of hives, the doctor would ask detailed questions about similar occurrence in the past. They would also check if there are similar hives on other parts of the body like the back, which you may have missed. If required, this examination is followed by allergy testing and blood testing. The allergy testing will help identify if you are allergic to some of the common things which cause allergy. The blood test will look for your eosinophil count, which is usually high in people prone to allergies. C1 esterase inhibitor test and complement particles also can be checked, if there is suspicion of genetic angioedema.
This would depend on the severity of symptoms
- In case of angioedema, admission in hospital may be needed.
- Tracheostomy may also become essential to save patients life.
- Vigorous therapy with intravenous medications like steroid, antihistamines and others may be needed.
- Under medical treatment, antihistamines like cetirizine and loratadine are prescribed. However, severe cases may require steroids like prednisolone.
Once you know what caused it, avoid exposure to these substances and further attacks can be prevented. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
How to stop the hereditary baldness? I am losing my hair more even I had keraglo-men for two months.
Psoriasis is well known term now a days. There is lot of talk about it in all segment of medicine -modern (allopathic medicine), alternative medicine, naturoveda etc.
Let me clear one thing first that'psoriasis is not skin deep. It's a disease that affect multiple systems of the body.
But leaving all the health issues, problem starts when someone ask
'What is this on your arm'
After that lot of whispering. Close friend is also avoiding that person!
That's the tragedy of psoriasis. It's not a contagious one but people start avoiding due to some deep rooted wrong beliefs.
Let me tell about psoriasis in brief.
Skin cell are called 'keratinocytes'. These cells gradually sheds from skin &amp; it is invisible. But in psoriasis rate of shading increases that's why whitish scales are seen over skin surface. Sometimes it itches. It may affect whole body skin, scalp, nails even internal organs. All the chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, arthritis are aggravated.
But patients become psychological very ill as he/she looses self esteem.
A patient with cardiac disease may also cope up with others by just not saying them that he is ill but a patient psoriasis fells embarrassed with others as it's visible on skin surface!
Though i'm discussing the problems yet there is lot of hope in the therapy of psoriasis. Recent advance in therapy can almost cure the disease 'biologics' therapy is really magic game changer.
Friends don't loose hope just consult your dermatologist.
Vitiligo is one of the ancient disease that regarded as a social problem many a times. Patient of vitiligo faces social segregation due to many deep rooted false perceptions.
It is commonly known as'sweti'dhawal kustha' etc.
First of all I should mention this is not an infection, so it doesn't spread by touching or by social interaction.
To explain the disease we need to know a bit about skin colour. Within the skin layers there is a specialized cell called'melanocyte, responsible for skin colour. Melanocyte produces black pigment (melanin) & spread it to the other skin cells. Thus skin of individual looks whitish to brownish.
I must mention that there is no good or bad skin colour, all are having same cell'melanocyte. Interesting to know that melanin (pigment produced by melanocyte that give the skin colour) protects the skin cells from the adverse effects of ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. So darker skin is a bit protected from skin cancer!
Coming to the disease, vitiligo is not a an infectious disease then what is this? this is now regarded as autoimmune disease'autoimmune' means our body defence system is unable to recognise our own body cells & fight against it. Here, in vitiligo the cell is melanocyte. So when melanocyte get destroyed melanin production stops. The affected part of skin become white.
In vitiligo skin becomes white in some parts that may spread & may affect the whole body.
Treatment of this disease was difficult before but now with the help of many new dermatosurgical procedure it can be treated effectively. Mini punch grafting, split skin grafting, suction blister grafting, non cultured melanocyte transfer, cultured melanocyte transfer are few procedures that can be done for vitiligo.
Though the term is a bit furious but I will try to explain the condition in simple words.
This is a skin condition that really irritates patients. Don't worry, it has very nice management with modern medicine.
Itching is very annoying to all of us, when it become a habit causes problem. In any body part when we itch regularly that part of the skin become thickened. It's actually body response to protect your skin from your nail or scratching objects. That thickened skin become bit pigmented & skin markings over that part become prominent. Means in chronic (long term) itchy condition affected skin become thick, pigmented with prominent skin markings. In medical terms this simple condition called as lsc (lichen simplex chronicus).
If you think something like this is present in your body then please contact a dermatologist to protect your tender skin.