Doctor in Dr. Deepti Shrivastava
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Almost every person salivates over desserts and sweets. One does not need a special occasion to get their sweet tooth going. While the lip smacking sugary delight might impress the taste buds, it is sure to affect the health in a big way. If you thought that sugar was only bad for your waistline and general health, then you need to know that it is equally harmful for your skin. In fact, it can lead to serious dermatological conditions.
Harmful effects of sugar on the skin
A lot of what we eat reflects on our body externally. A number of internal changes can influence the external appearance of the body. Excessive intake of carbohydrates, starch and sugar can have an adverse effect on the skin. It can also accelerate the ageing process. But what triggers these complications needs to be understood and discussed in detail.
Carbohydrates can be simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates (cake, bread; to name a few) break down and convert to glucose rapidly. Increased glucose level implies increased insulin level, and causes inflammation, which affects the whole body. The enzymes produced during inflammation breaks down important proteins, namely elastin and collagen, leading to wrinkles and saggy skin.
Acne problems mainly arise from Glycation (the process through which digested sugar attaches permanently to the collagen). Glycation plays a significant role in accelerating the ageing process.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, is good for health. When ingested, complex carbohydrates break down at a much slower rate. As a result, there is no abnormal increase in the insulin level.
With a little care and preventive measures, the deleterious effects of sugar on the skin can be minimised.
1. Supplement your diet with foods rich in antioxidants. Lean proteins, fibrous foods and diets rich in good fats are highly recommended. Include beans and nuts that have low glycemic value in your diet. Drink plenty of water.
2. Food items containing high amount of saturated fats (cheese, ice creams, fried foods; to name a few), and with high glycemic value should be strictly avoided.
3. Do not compromise with your sleep. A sound sleep and a stress-free life is the mantra to a glowing and youthful skin.
5. Do not skip your meals or indulge in overeating. Have small servings at regular intervals.
Aging of the skin is a natural process that affects all individuals with increasing age. It manifests itself in the form of skin wrinkling, sagging, discoloration and other visible effects. Such changes become more apparent as soon as one reaches late thirties or early forties but early onsets are now very common too, which can be caused by a number of factors.
Damage due to sun exposure is the primary cause of skin aging. It especially affects those who have lighter or fairer skin as the low melanin content in their skin makes it more prone to damage and aging.
Although skin aging cannot be entirely stopped or reversed, the process can be slowed down to prevent its early onset.
There are many ways of doing so through some simple lifestyle modifications such as the following:
1. Avoid sun exposure
This is the most basic way of reducing the rate of skin aging and slowing down the process. While going out in the day cannot always be avoided, it is important to keep the skin covered with clothing, hats and sunglasses.
2. Always wear sunscreen
This provides protection from the harmful rays of the sun (known as UVA and UVB). Making a habit of constantly applying sunscreen on all exposed parts of skin plays an important role in preventing skin aging. It is also necessary to use the right products, which should have an SPF rating or 30 or more.
3. Eat healthy
Having a nutritious balanced diet can make a tremendous positive impact on your skin. Consumption of food items that are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is essential. It is also important to drink lots of water and fluids to stay hydrated. Junk food and sugary drinks should be avoided as it negatively affects skin health.
4. Exercise regularly
Keeping fit through regular workouts and exercise improves the circulation of blood in the body and consequently, the supply of blood and oxygen to the skin. This keeps the skin healthy and young and prevents the early onset of wrinkling and aging.
There are several other ways of preventing skin aging such as not smoking, avoiding using too many products and cosmetics, getting enough sleep, and always keeping skin cleansed and moisturized. Following these simple ways can effectively make your skin look and feel younger and slow down the aging process.
Oily skin is a result of overactive sebaceous glands that produce excessive oil, thus giving the skin its characteristic greasy look. Oily skin is usually caused by a number of factors such as stress, food, genetics and hormonal changes in the body. Blackheads, whiteheads and acne are some complications that can result from skin.
1. 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 on the face more effectively than cold water.
2. Face masks
You may use face masks 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.
3. Limit scrubbing
You should restrict exfoliating your face 2-3 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.
4. Use a toner
You may apply toner on the skin regularly for its astringent properties that help in cooling and soothing the skin. It also reduces pore size which thus decreases oil production.
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.
6. Stay hydrated
Drinking water regularly helps in replenishing the lost fluids from your body and it also improves overall body health.
7. 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.
8. 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.
Skin cancer is a condition with abnormal and cancerous skin growths. This often develops due to the over exposure of skin to the rays of the sun. The three main types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Skin cancer affects those areas of skin which remains sun-exposed including ears, neck, chest, scalp, lips, face, hands, arm and legs. It can also develop on those areas of skin that are not exposed to sunlight like beneath toenails or fingernails, on palms and on genital area.
Risk factors associated with skin cancer
1. Fair complexion: Low levels of the pigment melanin in skin causes fair complexion. Fair- skinned individuals who have a history of hazel or blue eyes, repeated sunburns and people who have red or blond hair are highly susceptible to developing this form of cancer. Less pigment in skin makes an individual more vulnerable to skin damage from harmful UV radiation.
2. Excessive sun exposure: Exposure to the sun may lead to the development of skin cancer, if you don't protect your skin by sunscreen and clothing. Tanning beds and lamps may also increase the risk of developing this type of skin cancer.
3. High-altitude places: The exposure to sunlight is more intense in areas of high altitude and near the equator. Living at higher elevation also makes you more vulnerable to radiation because the sunlight is strongest there.
4. Moles: People with abnormal moles are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. These moles are irregular in shape and are larger than normal moles.
5. Precancerous skin lesions: Your risk of developing skin cancer increases if you have skin lesion. These are scaly and rough patches that range from brown to dark pink in color. The most commonly affected areas are head, hands and face of fair-skinned people.
6. Weak immune system: Weak immune system caused by HIV or AIDS and immunosuppressant drugs that you take after an organ transplant may increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Dry skin is a condition caused by the lack of moisture in the skin. Fine lines and wrinkles are just some of the conditions which may be caused due to dry skin. Dry skin can also be very uncomfortable. The condition is mostly caused by environmental factors such as exposure to harsh weather conditions or getting soaked in hot water.
Factors that put you at risk -
1. Age: People who are older than 40 years tend to be more at risk of dry skin than people who are younger than 40.
2. Climate: As mentioned earlier, weather conditions play a pivotal role in causing dry skin. Therefore, people who live in areas where the climate is either very hot or very cold tend to get dry skin more often than people who live in temperate climates. Low humidity is another factor which causes dry skin.
3. Profession: Some professions, such as nursing or hairstyling, require frequent usage of hot water all through the day.
4. Swimming: Swimming is one of the major causes of dry skin. This is especially true in pools which have chlorine. This is because chlorine increases the itchiness of your skin.
1. Lifestyle changes: Usually, lifestyle changes such as avoiding long, hot showers and putting moisturizers are good enough to make sure that dry skin goes away.
2. Lactic acid: Creams with lactic acid and urea can be prescribed by your doctor if the dryness of your skin does not go away with just moisturizers. These creams usually tend to be over-the-counter medications.
4. Wet dressing: Wet dressings are given only when dermatitis has set in. These are mostly to help prevent infection.
5. Oils: Oiling your body, especially with fish or flaxseed oil, is especially crucial in making sure that your body does not succumb to dry skin.
6. Hand sanitizer: Normal hand sanitizers create a drying feeling on your hand. However, dermatologist-recommended hydrating hand sanitizers allow your hands to keep their moisture. Therefore, when you are using hand sanitizers, it is advisable to try to use hydrating ones.
The word surgery has always been associated with the use of scalpel. However a new form of surgery called the laser surgery has developed, which instead of using the orthodox method uses laser to cure the infirmity. In this form of surgery, laser tuned to specific wavelengths, is emitted on the concerned area with the purpose of vaporizing the tissues that have high water content for the purpose of rectification. It is commonly used in
1. Dermatology and plastic surgery
2. Eye Surgery
3. Endovascular surgery
4. Foot and ankle surgery
5. Oral and Dental Surgery
Though the technique involves risks, it has over the years gained immense popularity due to multiple reasons. Few among them are
1. Provides immediate results.
This is one of the main reasons why laser surgery is preferred to conventional methods. Commonly used in the eye, laser surgeries result in significant improvement in vision, allowing the concerned person to do away with the dependence on spectacles.
2. Precision involved.
Using the laser instead of the scalpel allows the method to be more precise and effective than the traditional method. Minimum damage is done to the tissue as there are smaller cuts involved.
3. Less time.
Due to the technique used, the time involved in laser surgeries is reasonably less, providing more time for recuperation than what is generally allowed in the traditional methods.
4. Provides more career options and opportunities
The laser surgery, owing to its technique, offers corrective measures which the traditional method does not. This aspect of the surgery allows the patients to consider and explore other professions which were previously not possible. Professions like air force and the army have stringent rules regarding the vision of the candidates. Laser surgery which provides an individual the freedom to operate without glasses and contact lenses also allows him or her to consider such professions.
Pityriasis rosea is a rash that appears on your skin most commonly between the ages of 10 and 35. It is usually harmless and a pretty common condition. It is also worth noting that pityriasis rosea does not spread from person to person.
The exact causes of pityriasis rosea have not been identified yet. Some doctors claim that it is caused by a virus, bacteria or fungus while others claim that it is caused by an allergic reaction.
There is a fair number of warning signs of the pityriasis rosea rash. The symptoms may differ depending on the patient's general health condition, the climate and the season.
1. Size and appearance at first
When the rash first appears, it will have a raised border.It will be scaly and have pink patch which will either be round or oval. 2 to 10 cm is the usual size of the patch.
2. Few days or weeks later
1 or 2 cm is the size of many patches on the abdomen, back, chest, legs and arms which now appear. They sometimes spread to the neck but rarely spread to the face.
3. Back patches
The patches on the back are slightly different from the rest. They tend to be angled and look somewhat like a Christmas tree. Sometimes it is itchy but it goes away within 6 to 8 weeks.
1. Apply anti-allergic powder or wash the body with cold water to prevent the rash and itching from worsening
2. Eat a lot of oatmeal and try bath products which have oatmeal in them
3. Hydrocortisone cream is very good for the itchy areas on your body. However, do not use these on the face or pubic areas.
4. Use antihistamines but do not give it to your child without checking with the doctor first.
5. Apply moisturizer regularly
6. Use gentle soaps and avoid deodorant soaps as these worsen the rash and the itching
Folliculitis is an ordinary dermatological condition which causes the hair follicles of the skin to be inflamed. This condition, which occurs due to both bacterial and fungal infection, causes small red or white pimples to form around the hair follicles. The infection, if left untreated, can spread and turn into rough, coarse sores which may take a long time to heal.
The Staphylococcus aureus bacteria responsible for causing the infection leads to this commonplace 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
- Swellings on the skin
Anyone, whether young or old, may develop folliculitis. But, there are certain factors that increases the risks of the condition. The following are some of them:
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 the hair follicles may occur. If the condition persists for too long, it is advisable that you consult a doctor.
A head louse is an insect that lives on the human scalp and feeds on human blood. The female louse lays eggs in the head and makes sure the eggs are attached to the hair shaft. It takes around eight days for the egg to hatch. The louse takes another 11 days to mature into an adult louse.
The primary cause of head louse is poor personal hygiene. Other methods by which a person becomes infected by lice are-
1. Using combs and towels that are infested
2. Coming in contact with another person who has this condition
3. Sharing the bed with a person who is affected by lice
When a person is affected by this condition then the following symptoms are seen,
The saliva of the lice causes an allergic reaction in the scalp which leads to constant itching. It can occur in various places such as ears, scalp and the neck. It may not occur initially, but it tends to occur after a few weeks.
2. Small red bumps
Constant scratching can lead to red bumps on the skin. A bacterial infection usually occurs from constant itching.
3. It may lead to symptoms of dandruff in the scalp.
4. Presence of various insects in the scalp.
Lice can be prevented by using medicated shampoos and conditioners to wash the hair. The shampoos are usually based on a chemical called pyrethrin. This compound is toxic for lice and helps in getting rid of it.
You can opt for the following lifestyle changes to prevent lice-
1. You should avoid sharing your hairbrush with others
2. In case you have long hair, tie it in buns or ponytails
3. Add tea tree oil to your shampoo before using it
4. Keep the scalp clean to prevent infestations
5. Avoid sharing pillows and clothes
Freckles are not always unwanted. While some people can't stand them, a few people find them cute. However, everybody loves clear skin and to achieve that it is essential to bid farewell to freckles. Freckles are tiny brown spots that are caused by an increased production of melanin in the skin cells. People with sensitive skin are more prone to freckles than others. If you're looking for a way to get clearer skin, here are a few remedies to help you deal with freckles.
The first step to fighting freckles is to prevent them. Freckles are a result of exposure to the sun and hence using a good sunscreen everyday is a must. Choose a sunscreen that fights both UVA and UVB rays. The more your exposure to the sun, the higher the amount of SPF needed.
Bleach them with lemon juice
Lemon juice is the best form of natural bleach. Apply freshly squeezed juice or bottled lime juice onto the skin and leave for 15-20 minutes. Do this twice a day to see your freckles fade. Along with bleaching the skin, the citric acid also helps tighten the skin and makes you look younger.
Increase your intake of vitamin C
Vitamin C helps lighten the skin. Apart from limes and lemons, kiwis, tomatoes, bell peppers and papaya are good sources of vitamin C.
Use sour milk and sour cream
Sour milk and sour cream contain lactic acid that inhibit melanin production and lighten the skin. Wash your face with sour milk three to four times a day. You may rinse your face with water a little while after each sour milk wash. Apply the sour cream on your face as a mask and leave on for 15-20 minutes. This will help your skin absorb the lactic acid.
Mask them with honey
Apply a mixture of honey and warm water over the freckles. Let it sit for awhile and then rinse with lukewarm water. Follow this by rinsing your face with cold water. Alternatively, you could try a mask of honey and yogurt. Leave this mask on for at least half an hour.
Try a fruit peel
Along with eating them, you could also put fruit directly on your skin to fight freckles. Blend fruits like strawberries, papaya, pineapple and cucumber and apply it on your face. As it dries the top layer of skin sticks to the frit and is peeled off. With repeated use, you will notice your freckles fade away.