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Impetigo is a type of skin infection commonly seen in children and rarely in adults. It is contagious in nature; bacteria like staphylococcus aureus and at times, streptococcus pyogenes, are responsible for the occurrence of this infection. Generally, the face, hand and neck regions of the children get affected. Impetigo can be classified into two kinds: non-bullous impetigo or impetigo contagiosa and bullous impetigo.
Non-bullous impetigo appears like red sores, which burst rapidly, leaving behind a brownish yellow crust and is more contagious in nature. Bullous impetigo, on the other hand, is generally painless and the blisters are fluid-filled.
The causes of impetigo are as follows
1. Warm and humid climate may trigger impetigo
2. Contact with an infected child can spread the infection to a healthy child.
3. Cuts or injuries can be responsible for impetigo
4. Sports like football and wrestling can also sometimes lead to impetigo.
5. Insect bite and skin rashes
6. Prolonged use of diapers
7. Skin problems like eczema or burns
8. Skin inflammation may also result in impetigo.
9. At times, animal bites may also result in impetigo.
Impetigo is generally noticed in children belonging to the age group of two-five years. Some of the most common symptoms of impetigo are mentioned below
1. Blisters that are filled with fluid
2. Red colored sores can pop out on the infected region
4. Lymph nodes may become swollen
5. Pus may come out from the sores
6. Sometimes the sores may look like pimples
Impetigo, though easily curable, must not be ignored as it can spread rapidly to the other parts of your body. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Gluten is a protein which is present in wheat and rye. People who have allergy to gluten are said to be suffering from Celiac disease. Dermatitis Herpetiformis, in turn, occurs in people who suffer from Celiac disease. An antibody called immunoglobulin, made to combat with gluten proteins reacts with gluten causing violent eruptions of rashes and subsequent bouts of itching.
There are various, perceptible symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis. Some of them are:
Sensation of Burning: Before visible rashes appear on the body, your skin may suffer from a constant sensation of burning. The area where it does take place is where the rashes erupt later on.
Outbreak of Rash: One of the most common conditions symptomatic of dermatitis herpetiformis is an outbreak of rashes in the elbows, shoulders and scalp. These rashes are an extreme cause of discomfort as they itch continuously. If you notice rashes on these parts of the body that recover themselves only to erupt again later, chances are high that you are suffering from dermatitis herpetiformis.
Bumps: Along with rashes, another important symptom of dermatitis herpetiformis is the eruption of even sized bumps all over the body. They are filled with liquids which have the ability to heal themselves but they quickly re-appear, leaving behind a purple color mark on the body.
Though various treatments have developed to treat dermatitis herpetiformis, there are many medical complications that this disease entails. Some of them are:
Intestinal Cancer: Celiac disease causes damage of the intestines. Therefore if you are suffering from it for a long time, the continuous inflammation of the intestine causes intestinal cancer.
Anemia: If you are suffering from dermatitis herpetiformis, the intestines refuse to absorb nutrients. If such a condition persists, chances are you may suffer from anemia and deficiencies of certain vitamins.
Acne can be triggered by a number of factors. Here are some of the common triggers for acne:
1. Genetics: If one or both parents have acne, their children have high chances of suffering from it as well. Genes influence the sensitivity of your skin towards hormones such as androgens and progesterone that trigger acne. They also influence the production of anti inflammatory chemicals in the skin and skin's response to bacteria.
2. Stress: The severity of acne can be correlated to the levels of stress a person is facing. While scientists are yet to figure the exact relationship between stress and acne; it is known that the cells that produce sebum or oil also act as stress receptors. Studies suggest that when a person is under stress, these cells produce excessive sebum that clogs pores on the skin leading to pimples.
3. Hormones: Hormones play an important role in skin health especially when it comes to women. Androgens or the male hormones present in both men and women, trigger acne by over stimulating the oil glands. Women may also see an increase in pimples during menstruation. This is due to the fluctuating levels of progesterone that stimulate the production of sebum.
4. Medication: Acne is one of the side effects to a few types of medication such as corticosteroids and anticonvulsants. However, this is not seen very often. On the other hand, drugs that contain hormones such as androgenic steroids almost always cause an acne breakout. Treatment for acne depends on the severity of the condition and its persistence. Mild cases can be easily treated with over the counter medication, but if your acne is severe and not affected by these medications, it best to consult a dermatologist.
The causes of this very common problem can be:
- Having dry skin can also cause dandruff to develop, which are less oily and smaller in nature.
- Even irritated oily skin, more commonly known as seborrheic dermatitis can cause you to suffer from these white skin flakes. The problem can be easily identified by its distinguishing yellow or white flakes over the red greasy skin surface.
- Not shampooing your hair regularly can cause skin cells and oils to build up in the scalp leading to the outbreak of dandruff.
- Sensitivity to certain hair care products and the presence of Malassezia (a type of fungus) are other causes that can lead to dandruff problems.
Oiling your hair is the most effective measure that you can take against this scalp problem. While the ideal time to do this is at night so that you can wash it off the next morning, one should also remember that hair oil shouldn't be left on the hair for over 24 hours. Additionally, dry scalp makes it very easy for dandruff to develop as the oil-secreting glands found in the scalp's epidermal layers produce low or no natural oil. Application of oil helps in keeping the scalp nourished as well as enables glands to produce oil. But leaving it on for more than the recommended hours can intensify your dandruff problem and further accelerate the hair fall process.
It is important to take care of oily skin to prevent breakouts.
Mentioned below are tips to assist you in your skincare regimen:
1. Diet: Diet plays an important role in the health of your skin, so consuming too many oily and fried foods can increase the chances of getting acne and pimples on your skin. Eat more vegetables and fruits to keep your skin healthy.
2. Stay hydrated: Drinking water regularly helps in replenishing the lost fluids from your body and it also improves overall body health.
3. Use warm water to clean your skin: Cleaning your face with warm water opens up the pores and clears the dirt from; thus removing the layer of oil from the face more effectively than cold water.
4. Face masks: You may use face mask, such as sandalwood or fuller earth to get rid of the excessive oil on the skin. In addition to removing oil, it also cleans and removes impurities from the skin.
5. Limit scrubbing: You should restrict exfoliating your face 2 to 3 times a week as too much exfoliation may result in excessive oil production. Over scrubbing may cause the skin to lose its natural oils and turn dry.
6. Use medicated pads: To freshen up your face, use wet tissues or medicated pads to soak up the oil, which shall help in freshening up your face.
7. Choose makeup wisely: It is not recommended to use heavy makeup if you have an oily skin. Instead use water based makeup that is light and oily skin friendly.
Occurrence: The onset is usually in the first decade of life, continues to grow in number in teenagers (80%), and slowly subsides as they grow older (40% of adults). People with dry skin are more likely to have these bumps than people with oily skin. The most commonly affected areas include upper arms, thighs, buttocks and very rarely on the face.
Cause: This is a genetic disorder, and the bumps are due to excessive formation and buildup of keratin due to faulty genes. There could be surplus skin formation under these follicles or hair follicles trapped under these bumps. There could be a small area of inflammation and redness around the bumps.
Weather Correlation: Keratosis pilaris is more common and evident during the winter months when the skin is normally drier than in summer months. Some people could have this condition lifelong, with only manifestation seen in winters and complete absence of bumps in the summer months.
Symptoms: The condition is usually asymptomatic, except for the dryness, and does not cause itching or medical harm. The esthetic concern, especially if in upper arms, is the only concern. Some people could be affected by the hard, bumpy feeling of the skin. There are no long-term medical symptoms or harmful effects of this condition though.
Treatment: No treatment is required; however, moisturizers may be required to prevent the bumps from drying up. In very severe cases, creams may be used to remove dead skin cells and to prevent plugged follicles. Alpha hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid containing creams can be used to remove the dead skin cells. These also help moisturize the skin and reduce dryness. Vitamin A containing creams can be used to unplug the hair follicles.
A word of caution though: These creams can cause itching and redness. Since this condition is prevalent in children, these creams need to be used only if absolutely essential and with medical prescriptions. The condition is harmless and self-limiting, so no treatment is mandatory. Patient education is of utmost importance in these cases.
The Staphylococcus aureus bacteria is responsible for causing the infection, which leads to this commonly occurring condition. In some cases, folliculitis can be also caused by viruses and fungi which had perhaps penetrated the ingrown hairs causing subsequent inflammation. This condition is categorized and diagnosed as a superficial or deep infection depending on the amount of hair follicles involved.
- Friction caused by shaving or tight - fitting clothes
- Heat and sweat, due to prolonged exposure to the sun
- Skin conditions like acne
- Tightly wrapped bandages or dressings on the skin
- Clusters of tiny red or white bumps in and around the hair follicles
- Reddened and inflamed skin
- Itchy skin and rashes
- Pus-filled blisters that may crust and later break
- Swelling on the skin
Anyone, whether young or old, may develop folliculitis. But, there are certain factors that increase the risks of the condition. The following are some of them:
- Conditions like HIV or AIDS that reduces the immunity in your body
- A pre-existing condition of acne or dermatitis
- Being obese
- Medications and ointments with side effects
- Improper shaving
Many a times, people ignore this condition, presuming that it will heal with time. But if left untreated, complications such as large itchy patches of skin, increased swelling and heightened inflammation of hair follicles may occur. If the condition persists for too long, it is advisable that you consult a doctor.
2. Problems in your circulatory system
4. Artificial nails
5. Swimming in public pools
6. Nail injuries
7. Skin injuries surrounding the nail
8. Fingers or toes, which have been moist for an extended period of time
9. Immune system problems
10. Wearing shoes which have enclosed toes
It is also worth noting that fungal infections happen much more frequently in your toenail as compared to your fingernails, this is because of two main reasons. Firstly, that the fungi can grow very easily on your toenails because of the position as your shoes are dark, warm and moist and therefore, perfect for the growth of fungi.
The second reason for more fungal infections on your toenails as compared to your fingernails is because toes have less blood flow than fingers, thus making it harder for the immune system to fight off the infection.
Fungal infections in your nails are one of the easier infections to diagnose. This is because there are several symptoms which indicate you have this condition.
Here are some of those symptoms:
1. Scaling underneath your skin
2. White or yellow streaks on your nails
3. Corners of the nail may crumble
4. Flaky surface of the nail
5. Yellow spots at the bottom of the nails
6. Loss of nail
7. A nail breaking off from the rest of the nail
8. An odor from the nail
9. Brittle or thick nails
I am losing hair and I tried every home remedy for dandruff. I even wash my hair with shampoo every alternate day. But it doesn't go. What should I do?
What causes plantar warts and palmer warts?
Plantar warts and palmer warts are caused by a viral infection in the top layer of the skin. The virus strain here is called human papillomavirus or hpv. (take note that while many strains of the virus exist, those that cause genital warts are different from the ones that cause plantar warts). The resulting warts are non-cancerous growths but are often mistaken to be malignant. In fact, most warts go away in a year or two if you leave them alone without treatment. However, depending on the location they may cause minor pain or irritation. For a self-conscious person, the wart may cause people to shy away from clothes and situations that require their exposure.
How do you identify a plantar wart?
Think of any yesteryear movies where the villains had a distinct look to make them look malicious. Such villains were often planted with a plantar wart! both plantar and palmer warts are generally small to the size of a small thermocol ball, although some tend to grow bigger. Sometimes, the warts appear in clusters called mosaic warts. Sometimes, a seed like dot appears on the wart as a result of a blood vessel growing into it. Such warts are also called seed warts. Because of the constant pressure from walking and standing, planter warts don't tend to stick about the skin as much as palmer or other warts.
Here are 3 ways to get rid of plantar warts
Try some home remedies: home remedies described here are quite effective but may take a while before the effects are visible. Also the warts may be painful during the treatment period making it difficult for you to walk. Start by soaking your feet in warm water to soften the wart. Use an isolated nail file or pumice stone to remove the top layer of dead skin. (make sure you don't reuse the tool for anything else). Next, go for a salicylic acid treatment in the form of liquid, gel or patches. You can also follow this up with a duct tape treatment for 7 days and then remove the duct tape. You can also try freezing the wart with an over the counter medicine like compound w freeze off and Dr. Scholl's freeze away. During any home remedy, if the wart starts bleeding, oozes blood or pus or becomes painful you may need an intervention from a medical specialist.
Prevent plantar warts: you get infected with plantar warts through exposure to skin scales that are infected by the virus. Watch for contagious spreading in closed rooms with skin exposures like changing lockers and common showers.
Consult a doctor to try a strong salicylic acid treatment, laser treatment immunotherapy or even surgical options to remove the wart.
Here are some of the rare skin conditions that you must know of:
This skin condition is characterized by blue or gray skin and develops due to ingestion or exposure to a large quantity of silver for a long period of time. This is a permanent skin problem without any known cure as of now. Causes for it can range from working in a sliver mine, developing photographs to consumption of silver supplements for curing a range of health problems such as diabetes, arthritis and so on. Apart from the toxicity caused by the exposure or ingestion of the element, a very common side effect of silver is a change in the color of your skin.
A rare skin condition, a person suffering from this tends to have skin that is exceedingly sensitive to light scratches and minor injuries. This happens due to the hypersensitivity of the body's immune system, which reveals itself in the skin. As a consequence it brings about the release of huge quantity of histamine, leading to the dilation of capillaries and formation of swellings when the surface of the skin gets scratched.
Affecting newborns the most, the skin condition sees babies being born with hard and thick plates of skin all over their body. The condition renders newborns with the inability to control fluid and water loss, causing instances of severe dehydration. Newborns with this condition also experience trouble breathing, moving, controlling their body temperature as well as warding off infections. Many experts consider it to be a genetic disorder brought on by the mutation of the abca12 gene, leading to the improper development of the epidermis (outer layers of skin cells).
Over here, the individual is said to be sensitive to uv light, which makes him or her avoid sunlight whether direct or indirect and even florescent illumination. In addition to blisters on the skin and sunburn, symptoms of the condition also include dark and light skin patches. It can also cause your skin to become thin, resulting in the appearance of blood vessels and spots. Development of skin cancer is the final outcome of this skin condition.
This skin condition brings about the shedding and falling off of not only your skin but even the lining of your internal organs. The skin problem is closely associated with another form of skin disease called toxic epidermal necrolysis (ten). It is usually identified through blisters and painful rashes that develop on the skin surface.
Hair thinning and loss of hair is very common in today's lifestyle. Excessive stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, a poor diet can be listed as the major environmental culprits but genetics too plays an important role in premature hair loss. There are plenty of hair growth products that promise results but very few work. Here are some effective hair re-growth treatments that have been proven to be successful.
Finasteride (Propecia)- Finasteride is an umbrella term for the Propecia and Proscar. If you are affected by DHT (dihydrotestosterone), it will cause your hair follicles to become smaller until they have shrunk to the point they can't grow any hair. Finasteride reduces the effects of DHT up to 70% and even causes hair to grow back.
It can take from 3 months up to a year for it to show any results. This has been often referred as the best hair loss treatment available with little to no side effects.
Minoxidil- Minoxidil was originally a remedy to treat high blood pressure, but several users reported its hair growth effects, it was then manufactured as a topical medication for hair loss. Minoxidil works by stimulating the hair follicles by enlarging the blood vessels which causes more nutrients and oxygen to flow into the follicle leading to hair growth. Users can notice significant growth from 2 to 3 months of using Minoxidil.
Prostaglandin analogs- These are relatively new options which are currently being examined of their hair growth potentials. These are mainly used as eyelash enhancements now but scientists are hopeful that they soon can be treated for hair loss.
Rashes are common skin problems but shouldn't be taken casually at all. Although most rashes are mild and do not create much problem, some might turn grow to become life-threatening.
1. Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)
This skin rash is the result of a severe allergic reaction to medication. The condition affects the skin and mucous membranes. Various medicines, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticonvulsants, penicillin, and sulphonamides might trigger this type of rash. It is characterized by painful lesions emerging in clusters.
2. Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS)
Mostly affecting babies and young children under the age of five, this skin disease brings on extensive blisters with red skin that looks burnt or scalded. This syndrome is caused by infection with strains of Staphylococcus bacteria.
3. Pemphigus Vulgaris (PV)
This unusual autoimmune skin condition gives rise to excruciating blisters on the skin, which often go on to the mouth, throat, nose and even genitals. The open sores from this disease often lead to infections and acute cases can even cause lung infections and lesions. This rash has no cure but is often treated with corticosteroids, antibiotics or immunosuppressants. If untreated, it can even cause death.
4. Toxic shock syndrome (TSS)
TSS is often caused by an overgrowth of Staphylococcus bacteria with the infection spreading throughout the body. Besides these bacteria, infections from surgical wounds contaminated nasal packing after nasal surgery and infections after baby birth are probable causes. This life-threatening rash generally affects teens and young adults, most of them being women. It can affect mucus membranes of mouth and eyes although there are no blisters or skin bumps. One can experience slight dizziness and high fever as well as swelling of the joints and eyelids. This skin condition often affects the liver, kidneys, the heart, and the brain.
Apart from these, there are several other types of skin infections, which can be equally discomforting and critical. Toxic epidermal necrolysis, dermatitis herpetiformis, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis and several other nasty skin diseases are cases in point.
What is hypertrichosis?
Hypertrichosis is the excessive growth of hair, which is abnormal given for the person's age, sex, body area or race. This is different from Hirsutism in which women experience hair growth in areas that generally fall under the male pattern of hair distribution.
The commonest symptom of hypertrichosis is the development of excess hair in small isolated patches (localised hypertrichosis) or all over the body (generalised hypertrichosis). Some with this disorder may exhibit enlarged gums and defects of the teeth as well.
Types of hypertrichosis
Hypertrichosis may be congenital (present during birth) or acquired.
Congenital hypertrichosis is generally caused by genetic mutations. It may affect men and women differently, and may even impact the whole body, covering one totally in hair or just in isolated areas such as the upper part of the body, face, elbows etc.
Acquired hypertrichosis occurs post birth. Causes of it may include side effects of certain drugs, certain types of cancer and metabolic abnormalities. It may also occur due to trauma. This generally causes hair growth around or in the facial region such as the upper lip, chin and cheeks that may follow a certain pattern.
Causes of Hypertrichosis:
Genetic mutations has been seen to affect the development of hypertrichosis.
It may develop in those suffering from cancers of some forms. This form of hair growth is also known as malignant down and generally affects the face.
Eating disorders affect the metabolism of a person, which might lead to the development of hypertrichosis.
Certain drugs have been found to cause hormonal imbalances, which can induce excessive hair growth.
Trauma such as head or cerebral injuries or exposure to certain chemicals may also cause hypertrichosis. Porphyrias, which are disorders affecting the skin and or nerves, may also lead to its development.
With summer right around the corner, it is tremendously important to stress upon the importance of using sunscreen. The right sunscreen provides protection from the spectrum of harmful rays of the sun that are known as uva and UVB, which not only create the threat of skin cancer but also fasten the process of skin aging. Taking adequate measures against these hazards is thus of prime importance.
No sunscreen provides absolute protection from the harmful rays of the sun but using the right product in the right way will take you far in shielding yourself from their harshness. These are the do's and don'ts you need to follow before you apply sunscreen the next time.
Do: choose a sunscreen that is, at least, spf 30+
That is the minimum protection that your skin requires. And if you must stay outdoors for an extended period of time, opt for a product with a higher SPF rating.
Do: apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outdoors
For the product to be most effective, it needs to be fully absorbed by the skin before exposure to the sun; the reason why applying approximately 30 minutes before you step out of home is a must.
Do: test a small amount of the product on yourself before application
Apply a small amount of sunscreen on your wrist first and check for allergic reactions if you're trying it for the first time or are switching over to a new brand. In case it causes an allergic reaction, discontinue use at once and consult a dermatologist regarding, which sunscreen you should use.
Do: use sunscreen every day of the year
The sun's harmful rays persist in all seasons, whether it's summer or winter. Even on cloudy days, it's advisable to apply sunscreen to protect the skin as UV rays are still able to penetrate through thick covers of cloud, thereby harming your skin.
Don't: apply sunscreen only on the face
Make sure you apply it to every part of your body, especially the hands, forearms, thighs and ears, which are commonly exposed to the sun. Not only are these more prone to skin ageing, but the risk of melanoma (skin cancer) is also tremendously high in these portions of the body.
Don't: forget to reapply
Sunscreens rub off quite easily due to sweating or contact with water. Reapply as often as you can, ideally every 2 hours.
Keep in mind that apart from the application of sunscreen, it is also necessary to keep the skin covered as much as possible to protect yourself against skin ailments caused by exposure to the sun.
If you would like to consult with me privately, please click on 'consult'.
Related Tip: 4 Sunscreen Beliefs You Would Be Surprised to Know are False!
The most important part of skincare is keeping your skin cleansed and fresh. But before that, it is imperative to find the right product for the same. Skin type varies from person to person, and hence finding skincare goods most suited to your skin makes all the difference.
Bathing habits directly affect the quality of your skin, which involves picking the appropriate cleanse; i. E. Choosing between a body soap and body wash. Each has a different set of characteristics and comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let's find out which one is better for your skin.
Why you should choose bathing soap bar:
it is more effective in removing dirt through deep cleansing
it is suited to skin that is excessively oily in nature as it contains ingredients that are highly effective in stripping off excess oil from the skin
Why you should not choose bathing soap bar:
it tends to strip the skin of its natural oils and moisture, making it dry and flaky
it is unhygienic in case of sharing between individuals as soaps tend to accumulate the dirt from your skin due to direct body contact
Reasons to pick a body wash:
it has a very mild and gentle effect on the skin in comparison to soaps
it keeps the skin moisturized by preserving natural oils
it is more hygienic than bar soaps in case of interpersonal sharing
it is the most suitable option for dry skin
Reasons to ditch a body wash:
it contains a large amount of artificial additives and preservatives that can do more harm to your skin than good, giving rise to allergic reactions in some cases
So, who's the winner of the two?
You must certainly base the choice on what's best for your skin type. Body soap is more compatible with oily skin while dry skin is better suited for body wash. A body wash, however, is much more gentle on your skin.
If you would like to consult with me privately, please click on 'consult'.
Related Tip: Soap Vs Hand Wash - What Should You Wash Your Hands with?