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Dark patches on the skin are a common cause for concern. These patches may not be very harmful but they can affect a person’s self-confidence and emotional health. Patchiness is usually the result of excessive sun exposure. Hyperpigmentation is usually used as an umbrella term for all such skin conditions. However, not all dark patches are the same.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation refers to the presence of dark patches of damaged skin triggered by external stressors. Of these, sun exposure is the most common trigger. This triggers the overproduction of melanin in the lower layers of the skin that travels upwards and results in dark patches or spots. The deeper the melanin, the harder it is to treat hyperpigmentation. These patches can be seen in all skin types and tones. They can be big or small and be present in varying densities. Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by cuts in the skin or scars left behind by acne. Using a good sunscreen can help prevent hyperpigmentation. Chemical peels and laser therapy could also help.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is also characterized by dark patches on the skin. However, these are not caused by external factors but are the result of a hormonal imbalance. Women between the age of 20 to 50 years are most susceptible to melasma as an increase in estrogen levels causes this condition. Darker skin tones are more susceptible to this condition than lighter skin tones. It is often seen during pregnancy and may also be a side effect of certain types of birth control pills. Certain types of contraception could also trigger this condition. This condition can be aggravated by sun exposure. For this reason, in some cases, it is aggravated in the summers and reduces in the winter. Another difference between hyperpigmentation and melisma is that the dark patches seen in the latter condition tend to be symmetrical and concentrated around the forehead, cheeks, upper lip, arms and shoulders.
Unlike hyperpigmentation, melasma can be difficult to treat. This is because genetics play a large role in hormone-related conditions. As with hyperpigmentation, the use of a sunscreen is crucial to controlling this condition. This should be applied every two hours even if one is indoors. Some types of skin peels have been known to be beneficial for this condition. Phytic acid peels not only help lighten dark patches but also deactivate enzymes responsible for them.
Superficial melasma is light brown in colour. As the depth is increased it becomes dark brown to Coca-Cola and grayish in colour and becomes difficult to treat. Medicine are having good results in superficial melasma. For deeper once Iontophoresis and lasers gives better results. Deep melasma is difficult to treat.
Pimples or acne is the skin problem that is seen due to the excessive oil clogged in the skin pores. Acne on the face is very common, but it is not restricted to just your face. Acne can appear on your back, your chest area and in some rare cases on the scalp as well. Yes, Scalp acne or scalp pimples are not something uncommon.
Scalp pimples are formed in the same way as the face. It is due to the excessive oil clogged in the skin pores on the scalp. It can be hard to notice scalp pimples at the early stage as your hair cover them up. Presence of hair can often make it hard to treat them properly. But once diagnosed, they can be effectually treated. Therefore know the causes of the same is of great importance.
Here are some of the common reasons that cause scalp acne:
- Not washing hair for long: Usually, when you leave your hair unwashed for a long time, it gets oily and resulting in clogged pores due to excess oil. When bacteria enter into those clogged pores, you get scalp pimples. You should make sure to wash your hair frequently. Especially, if you have oily hair, then make sure to wash it hair every single day with a mild cleanser to get rid of the excess oil produced.
- Stress: Stress is another important factor that is responsible for scalp pimples. You must be aware that stress causes facial pimples and it is the same with scalp pimples as well. The pimples caused due to stress can be really painful. So, avoid taking too much stress. You can relieve the stress by practising yoga and meditation.
- Too many hair products: Many people use hair products like hair gel or hair spray that make the hair really oily. When used in excess, these hair products can clog the pores on the scalp and cause scalp pimples. So, in order to treat scalp acne, make sure to avoid hair styling products as much as possible. This is not just going to treat the pimples on your scalp, but will also prevent more pimples from coming up.
- Things around you: Usually, you miss some simple things around you that can cause scalp pimples like pillows and bed sheets. It may surprise you that using pillow covers and bedsheets for a long period of time can result in facial acne as well as scalp pimples. It is essential that your bedding is washed every week to avoid the problem of acne.
Talking to a specialist is essential in case of scalp pimples as they can be painful and spread Do not neglect them as they can get more painful. Medicine along with a little care can help you to get rid of scalp pimples.
Everyone dreams of having a flawless and smooth looking skin but it is not just the looks that are impacted if the skin rough and cracked, it is also your skin health. There are many skin issues which people suffer from, dry skin being the commonest of all. Read on to know more about the condition.
Ques 1 - What is dry skin?
Rough, dry, red patches on the skin which are usually itchy can be termed as dry skin. Dry skin is medically known as xeroderma.
Ques 2 - What are the causes of dry skin?
Though long hot showers and seasonal changes are the main causes of dry skin. There are other factors which may lead to dry skin such as indoor heating, frequent hand washing, lack of moisturizing, dehydration, licking your lips and unhealthy eating habits.
A hot shower with some harsh soap washes out the amino acids, salts and oils from your body that are responsible for your skin’s natural moisture protection barrier. This makes the skin lose its ability to hang on to water and stay hydrated.
Ques 3 - What are the main symptoms of dry skin?
Itching is the most annoying and noticeable symptom of dry skin. As your skin gets drier, the itching becomes worse. This leads to the ‘itch-scratch’ cycle where you constantly scratch to get rid of the itch and it just causes more itching. Scaling and cracking of the skin are the other common symptoms. The cracking may be severe in some cases leading to bleeding.
Ques 4 - How do you treat dry skin?
The best way to handle dry skin is to be nice to your skin. Here are some tips that can help manage dry skin effectually.
- Moisturise - Moisturizing is one of the best treatments for managing dry skin. No matter what the season is, you need to ensure that you use a proper moisturizer after a shower or after even washing your hands. Coconut oil is also a great substitute for a moisturizer.
- Use mild soaps - Most shower gels and soap now days are loaded with harsh chemicals. You should opt for milder soaps or go for the organic and natural shower gels to avoid the problem of dry skin. Excessive use of soaps and cleansers can also lead to dry skin.
- Avoid extreme weather conditions - Extreme hot or cold can both have an adverse effect on the skin resulting in acne breakouts, itchy skin, rashes, bumps and dry patches.
Ques 5 - What are the most common areas of dry skin?
Your legs are the first to get affected. Dry skin is commonly seen on the hands and forearms as well. Although all parts of the body can present with dry skin.
Dry skin is just a skin condition reminding you to care for your skin and pamper it. Cleanse and moisturize daily to have a smooth and healthy skin.
Healthy Skin! Happy You!
Pimples are a common complaint and tend to emerge just when you want your skin to look perfect. Acne breakouts can be triggered by many factors. The location of your acne can indicate what may be troubling your skin. The most typical location for pimples is the forehead and nose. However, it can affect other parts of your face as well. Pimples on the chin are typically caused by hormone fluctuations. This can affect men and women of all ages. However, it is more commonly seen amongst adult women.
Hormones stimulate the production of oil in the skin cells. This can clog pores and trap bacteria within it. The result of this is a cystic blemish. These can be described as pimples with roots deep in the skin. These cysts are larger than average pimples and can last for anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks. They are also more difficult to treat and do not respond well to traditional drying techniques. When they do subside, they may leave behind scars that are even more difficult to remove.
Resting your head by placing your chin in your palm can also be a cause for chin pimples. This is because the palms secrete oil and sweat. Resting your chin on your palm for extended periods of time can lead to a transfer of oil and sweat onto the chin. This may get trapped in open pores and result in pimples.
The good news is that there are ways to prevent pimples on your chin. Keeping the skin clean and not pricking pimples is of primary importance. Avoid touching your face intentionally or unintentionally. Along with washing your face, also wash your hands regularly. This minimizes the chances of transferring bacteria to your face. A non-drying cleanser with glycolic acids and salicylic acids is ideal. The salicylic acids prevent bacteria from entering the pores while the glycolic acids help smoothen skin. Also, keep your cell phone clean as it often comes in close contact with your face.
Eliminating milk and other such dairy products from your diet could also help. This is because milk builds up mucus that may be difficult to digest. Undigested mucus is excreted in the form of cystic acne. Growth hormones given to the cows can also influence the endogenous hormones. This, in turn, can trigger oil production in the skin and trigger acne breakouts on the chin and jawline.
If you love sunbathing or have a lot of sun exposure without proper precautions, it can severely damage the skin. No matter how enjoyable it is to sit in the sun during the winter months, overexposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause some irreparable damage to the skin. It can also result in the appearance of premature wrinkles, sunburn and freckles. Sun damaged skin also causes pigmentation disorders in the form of age spots or dark patches and also makes the skin look rough and dry. Fortunately, treatment options are available that improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin. Read the article for some simple tips to revitalize your sun damaged skin:
- Apply lotions and serums: The lotions and serums that contain glycerin help to treat the dark sunspots and skin dryness. The glycerin rehydrates the skin by adding the moisture to the deep layers of the skin making it look smooth, healthy and radiant.
- Exfoliate: Exfoliation is another way to treat the dry and dead skin that is caused by overexposure of the sun or use of self-tanning products. Exfoliation can be done simply with a mild cleanser and remember to moisturize your skin after exfoliating that helps to restore the moisture. Exfoliating the skin help to remove the dead skin cells, dirt and debris and leave the skin feeling smooth and revitalized.
- Apply bleaching creams: Bleaching creams can also be applied that treat the skin pigmentation (dark patches and age spots) caused by sun exposure. Make sure to buy a reliable bleaching cream or you can consult the dermatologist for further guidance.
- Use sunscreen: Applying sunscreen before a long-term sun exposure greatly helps in preventing the sun damage and makes the skin look radiant. Whenever you need to go out in the sun, apply sunscreen even for a short period of time and make sure to apply it on all the areas of the body that will be exposed to the sun. Wear sunscreen that has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher. Regular use of sunscreen not only helps to prevent the sun damage but also protects the already sun damaged skin from getting worse.
If you notice the result of sun damage on your skin, don’t give up because it’s too late to reverse the damages. Remember, it’s never too late to protect your skin and reverse the sun damage.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!