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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?
- 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.
- 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
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Are you noticing brown, scaly patches developing on your skin? Do you feel an itching sensation in the affected areas? These symptoms may indicate Erythrasma, a skin disease caused by the Gram-positive bacterium called Corynebacterium minutissimum. This type of skin disease is more common among diabetic patients and people suffering from obesity. This condition is likely to affect people living in warm climates. The border of an erythrasma infected area is very well defined. A sharp, contrasting border is present between the erythrasma affected area and the normal skin. The infection is most likely to develop in the folds of skin such as in the groin and inner thigh region, under the arms, in the crevice of buttocks, in the folds under breasts and also in between toes.
The common symptoms of erythrasma are as follows:
- The skin becomes dry and pink.
- Reddish brown scaly patches develop.
- Headaches, weight gain and fatigue are likely.
- Abdominal, chest and joint pain may accompany a urinary tract pain.
By closely observing the affected area, erythrasma can be detected or diagnosed by any physician. In some cases, a Wood’s lamp may be utilized. This device emits UV light on the skin, helping the doctor to examine the skin condition. Some areas are scraped with a tiny blade by the doctor to collect samples. These samples are then tested in the laboratory for a detailed diagnosis.
In adults, erythrasma can be cured by applying several methods and techniques. Some of them are listed below:
- Scrub the patches on your skin using an anti-bacterial soap. This willreduce the infection and help in curing the rash.
- Use gels and oral medication,as prescribed by yourdoctor.
- Apply topical antibiotic lotions to the affected area for quick and efficient healing.
- Use a solution of aluminum chloride, which will helpin the inhibition of moisture and sweat.
- A special ointment made of benzoic acidand salicylic acid is effective.
- Use of certain oral antibiotics are also considered efficacious.
The medicines aim at eliminating the infection and preventing the recurrence or development of more complications. Antibacterial products help in eliminating the bacteria.
Photodynamic therapyusing red light can also be used to cure erythrasma. This therapy also treats rashes.
For the prevention of erythrasma, you should:
- Maintain proper weight and proper hygiene
- Avoid excessive heat and moisture
- Use antibacterial soaps
- Use erythromycin gel
- Use antibiotics when the infection is severe
With proper treatment, erythrasma can be totally cured. It is recommended that you visit a doctor for the best diagnosis and for knowing about the most effective treatment methods.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Schnitzler’s syndrome is a very rare condition described by a reddish rash that looks like hives (urticaria) and lifted levels of a particular protein in the blood (monoclonal IgM gammopathy). Symptoms connected with the Schnitzler disorder may include increased levels of fever, joint inflammation, joint pain (arthralgia), bone agony, and different discoveries, for example, swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy). It also causes weight reduction, discomfort, exhaustion, and broadened spleen and liver. This condition should be treated in terms of taking care of the symptoms so that they do not become debilitating.
Some of the other symptoms include the following:
- Urticaria (hives) depicts red raised patches of the skin. These are once in a while irritated. They may last for about 12 hours to 3 days. This may become severely painful if not treated in time.
- 80% of such patients suffer from painful or swollen. A few patients experience bone pain as well.
- High fever might be there accompanied by chills and night sweating. This can give rise to further uneasiness and is usually caused when the immune system is attacked by the ailment.
- One of the main symptoms of the Schnitzler disorder is monoclonal gammopathy. This mostly means a raised level of immunoglobulin M (IgM)
Reasons behind it
The main cause behind the Schnitzler syndrome is unknown. Specialists believe that particular parts of the immune system may not work appropriately in the end because of the Schnitzler syndrome. Individuals with the Schnitzler disorder additionally have monoclonal IgM gammopathy, in which abnormal production of immunoglobins result in elevated levels of immunoglobulin M (IgM) in the body. Immunoglobulins are proteins delivered by the white blood cells. A few analysts believe that IgM antibodies accumulate in the skin (epidermis), setting off a reaction that causes the rash. At the time of diagnosis, IgM levels may just be somewhat raised and may stay stable for quite a long time.
The diagnosis of the Schnitzler disorder is based upon an intensive clinical assessment, patient history, rejection of different other disorders and proof of fever, joint pain or aggravation, bone pain, discernible lymph nodes, amplification of the liver or spleen, lifted quantities of white platelets (leukocytosis), raised red platelet (erythrocyte) or anomalies, which can uncover expanded bone thickness (osteosclerosis).
Anakinra is a successful treatment for Schnitzler syndrome. It is also very commonly used to treat rheumatoid joint inflammation. The following medicines and therapies have been proven to be successful for treating the Schnitzler disorder over a period of time. These are as follows:
- Nonsteroidal calming specialists
- Systemic steroids (prednisone)
- Immunosuppressive specialists (ciclosporin, methotrexate, cycloposphamide)
- Biologic specialists (tocilizumab, rituximab)
The Schnitzler disorder is a long-term infection, so stopping a promising treatment can tend to cause a relapse and may cause the disease to reappear. Also, the medicines mentioned above should not be taken without consulting a doctor as they can have sever side effects, if not administered under the guidance of a physician.
If you are observing an uneven skin tone in some specific areas, you are bound to get concerned. Uneven skin tone or hyperpigmentation usually occurs due to an excessive production of melanin. Excess melanin is produced by the body because of sun exposure, hormonal changes and due to scarring. Your appearance gets affected, if you develop uneven skin tone. There are several ways to correct uneven skin tone. They are as follows:
- Drink plenty of water: Drinking lots of water leads to a beautiful and healthy skin. The skin is made of 75% water and thus, drinking adequate amount of water leads to enhanced skin health and appearance. Water helps in cleaning the skin inside out and improves your skin tone drastically.
- Apply sunscreen daily: The damage from sun exposure and the harmful rays of the sun leads to uneven skin tone. Wear sunscreen before going out in the sun for preventing further damage due to sun exposure. After using it for some time, your uneven skin tone improves.
- Keep your skin hydrated: Uneven skin tone may result from oily skin and acne, and you should use a moisturizer regularly for its elimination. Keeping the skin well-moisturized and clean helps in the management of uneven skin tone. There are different types of moisturizers available, and you must choose one, which suits your skin the best. Certain moisturizers help in balancing your skin tone.
- Baking soda paste: Baking soda is effective in the treatment of several skin issues. It exfoliates the skin and does not affect it in any way. You can prepare a paste of baking soda by mixing it with water and applying it on your skin. This helps in fixing uneven skin tone, which has been caused due to scarring and sun damage.
- Yoghurt mask: Yoghurt contains natural bleaching agents, which improve the skin tone and exfoliate the skin effectively. It helps in lightening the effects of scars, suntan and uneven pigmentation. A yoghurt mask must be applied on your face several times a week for improved skin tone. You can prepare the paste by adding a small amount of water to fresh yoghurt.
- Milk powder paste: Milk, similar to yoghurt, is used for improving your skin’s health. The bleaching agents in milk help in making your skin tone even. You need to take some milk powder and add milk to prepare a thick paste. Apply this paste on your face for getting the much improved skin tone.
Other natural remedies which are used in the correction of uneven skin tone include sugar scrub, sandalwood masks, tomato pulps, papayas and several others, which work efficiently without any side effects.
Ringworm is something which is quite unpleasant to have, to say the very least. However, there are just so many myths about it and if a person is to avoid it, debunking of these myths is something which is quite critical!
It comes in all forms!
Ringworm can affect a person even when he or she thinks it is something else. As a matter of fact, a barber’s itch is not a form of lice, as many people believe it to be. In actuality, it is a beard ringworm! The effect of this sort of ringworm can be quite irritating as what happens is that there is swelling of the face and sometimes even the person’s neck. There are various parts of the body which can be affected by ringworm, apart from the face. These include the scalp, the feet and sometimes, even the groin area.
Anyone can get it!
Many people are of the opinion that it is only children who are at risk to get ringworm. While it is true that children seem to have the propensity to be diagnosed with it, it is something which can affect people across all age groups. As a result, it is very important for a person to be aware of ringworm and what it looks like regardless of his or her age.
It is not caused by worms!
No matter how misleading its name may be, there is actually no worm as such which leads to the problem known as ringworm. In fact, it is caused by dermatophytes, which are a sort of fungi. The reason why it is called ringworm is due to the effect it has on the skin; it red spots on the skin in the pattern of rings, usually. However, if a person happens to get ringworm of the scalp, then he or she may not develop the rings which are associated with ringworm. In its stead, he or she may see that the scalp is getting progressively flaky. A flaky scalp is often seen due to the effects of dandruff. In fact, both conditions are often confused.
Antibiotics don’t work!
When a person in a house has ringworm, it is generally thought that the problem is one which would go away as a result of following a course of treatment which involves some antibiotics. However, when it comes to ringworm, this is not the case. On account of the fact that it is a fungal infection, it is treated with anti-fungal medicines. Antibiotics kill bacteria. The fact that ringworm can be caught or given to a pet makes it something worth worrying about!
There are four types of protein contact dermatitis: animal, proteolytic enzymes, plant, and flour. The risk factors for this include protein allergens, atopy, and chronic dermatitis. There have been several theories proposed for protein contact dermatitis. Many Scientists are of the view that this occurs due to type 1 hypersensitivity.
Some are of the view that this results from type 1 and type 4 hypersensitivity reactions. Many also believe that this results due to a mediated immunoglobulin E hypersensitivity reaction. All the above three theories have been backed by enough proofs to support the model. No particular sexual or racial predilection is known for this infection. People can get affected with protein contact dermatitis at any age.
Proteins responsible for protein contact dermatitis:
There are four segments of proteins that can result in protein contact dermatitis.
- The first segment involves spices, fruits, plants, and vegetables. This is most commonly found in food vendors, gardeners, caterers etc. The source of protein comes from mugwort, asparagus, carrot, soy, peach, bean, apple and peanut.
- The second segment belongs to animal proteins and the possible victims are butchers, farmers, cooks and veterinarians. People who come in contact with the intestine of animals are more likely to get this disease. The source of protein comes from cow dander, blood, squid, worms, egg yolk, maggots, worms and meats.
- The third segment of protein contact dermatitis is very common among bakers. A form of dermatitis is observed. This being flour-associated proteins, the common culprits are rye and wheat. It is necessary to stay from the latter in order to avoid it.
- The fourth segment results from protein associated with a proteolytic enzyme. This form of protein contact dermatitis is mostly visible among workers of an enzyme factory, bakers, workers of a pharmaceutical company, soap factory workers etc. Patients mostly suffer from respiratory symptoms in this segment. Certain enzymes that are responsible for this segment of protein contact dermatitis include lactase, amylase, and glucoamylase.
Symptoms and diagnosis:
Protein contact dermatitis shows symptoms such as lichenification, erythematous papules, and dermatitis affecting the forearms. At times the fingertips get affected too. A doctor might prescribe a patch test followed by prick and scratch test. Other tests involve a fungal test, open application testing, radioallergosorbent testing, image studies, and biopsy.
The key to avoiding protein contact dermatitis is to stay away from the protein causing the disease. For short-term reliefs, a doctor can prescribe corticosteroids and antihistamines. A patient might have to get admitted to a hospital if the severity level of the disease is so much that the patient is suffering from gastrointestinal distress and angioedema. Medication involves oral dosage of antihistamines and clobetasol propionate.
In general, you lose about 50-100 strands of hair each day, but the loss is not visible as new hair grow in their place. However, if you lose more than a 100 strands in a day and more than 200 strands on the day you shampoo, you may be suffering from what is known as excessive hair fall.
Certain factors or reasons may cause you to lose hair at an alarming rate, which are,
1. Thyroid problems
Your thyroid is responsible for your body?s overall functioning. The hormones (primarily T4 and T3), which it produces help in regulating metabolic activities. Problems with your thyroid gland can cause your hormone levels to rise or fall to unhealthy levels, which can result in hair fall. You can improve the functioning of your thyroid gland through a diet rich in calcium, iodine, magnesium, protein and Vitamins A, B and C.
2. Scalp infections
Infections of the scalp can also be one of the factors that may cause your hair to fall at an alarming rate. Of the different scalp infections, the ringworm scalp infection is the most common. Although this fungal infection can occur in any part of your body, when it develops on your scalp, you end up losing clumps of hair. Alongside the use of anti-fungal medications, even anti-fungal shampoos and creams can provide you with respite from the problem.
3. Poor diet
Gorging on unhealthy foods or going on a crash diet can result in the lack of essential nutrients in your body, which are required to maintain healthy hair. Furthermore, since hair is made of protein, having a balanced diet consisting of proteins and vitamin- rich foods is a must.
Stress gives rise to certain conditions such as alopecia areata, telogen effluvium (hair loss caused post-pregnancy or surgery) and trichotillomania (an impulsive need to pull your hair out), which can cause you to lose significant amount of hair. To avert a hair loss crisis caused by stress, make it a point to do some simple stress-reducing exercises, such as meditation or breathing exercises.
5. Hair styling products
Using hair styling products like hair colours and straighteners can cause you to experience hair fall problems. Your hair not only becomes dull and dry due to their use, but also becomes weak and brittle, leading to a gradual loss of hair. Regular oiling and use of homemade hair masks are some of the ways you can try to counter the negative effects of these hair styling products.
6. Cancer treatment
The drugs that are used in the treatment of cancer not only destroy the fast-growing cancer cells, but also the healthy blood cells in your body. For this reason, consuming foods that possess cancer-fighting properties (like oatmeal, tomato, almonds, garlic etc) is a sure-shot way of fighting the disease as well as averting any side-effects that may arise because of the treatment.
7. Alopecia areata
Lastly, hair fall can also be caused by alopecia areata, which is a kind of hair loss that takes place when your body?s immune system erroneously attacks your hair follicles, and prevents growth of new hair.
The origin of your severe hair fall or baldness can be traced back to your ancestors. So, your genes can be a factor behind your hair fall problem. If this is the cause, your body then becomes unable to produce new hair.
Apart from the changes that you can make in your lifestyle to address the causes of your hair fall, there are also techniques out there that you can employ to permanently treat your problem, such as platelet rich plasma, mesotherapy, stem cell therapy, ozone activated platelet rich plasma & hair transplant. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.
Obesity is a serious complex medical condition in which the body acquires an excess amount of body fat due to lifestyle choices or dietary preferences. Besides being a cosmetic concern, obesity poses serious health complications like coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Read on more to find all about the symptoms, causes, risk factors, prevention and cure of obesity.
A person is generally considered to be obese if their BMI (Body Mass Index) is above 30. A person whose BMI is between the range of 30 to 35 is said to be type I obese. People under the range from 35 to 39 falls under the category of type II obesity. If the BMI of a person is above 40 they are generally considered to be extremely obese. BMI is usually a reliable method to find out if a person is obese, but in certain instances like that of a professional bodybuilders BMI could prove to be inaccurate.
Obesity generally occurs if the person consumes more calories than he or she burns through various activities throughout the day. Obesity can also be as a result of certain medical conditions, such as Cushing's syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome and other diseases. Hormonal disorders, genetics and such factors may also contribute to obesity. Besides these conditions, obesity also occur due to certain lifestyle choices such as high inactivity and consuming an excess amount of fast food such as high calorie beverages.
Risk Factors and Complications-
Obesity can lead to a number of very critical medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, infertility, gallbladder disease and erectile dysfunction to name a few. Obesity also impacts the overall quality of life. Depression, lower physical fitness, exhaustion and lower work achievement can occur due to obesity.
If the BMI of the person falls in the obese category, medical professionals will study the person's medical history, conduct certain physical exams and tests, based on which they will recommend a suitable course to undertake from that point onwards. In most cases this includes imposing certain dietary restrictions, exercising on a daily basis, taking certain weight loss medications and in extreme cases undergoing weight loss surgery. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.
Sweet's syndrome is when you suffer from fever as well as painful skin lesions. These skin lesions usually appear on your head, arms and neck. The cause of Sweet's syndrome is still not known. However, it is known that certain medications, illnesses and infections are a possible trigger for Sweet's syndrome. Sweet's syndrome is such a condition that the symptoms usually go away in a few days but it may come back later on. To know exactly what causes Sweet's syndrome and what the symptoms of it are, read on.
Causes and Risk Factors:
As mentioned earlier, the exact cause of Sweet's syndrome is not known. However, there are certain factors which put you more at risk of getting it than others. Here they are:
- Gender: It has been proven that women are much more likely to get Sweet's syndrome than men.
- Age: The young and the elderly are at a risk of getting Sweet's syndrome. However, if you are in between 30 and 60 years of age you are especially at risk.
- Illnesses: If you have an upper respiratory infection or inflammatory bowel disease then you are more likely to get Sweet's syndrome compared to others. Flu-like symptoms also put you more at a risk of getting Sweet's syndrome compared to others.
- Pregnancy: It has been seen that pregnancy increases your risk of getting Sweet's syndrome.
- Drugs: As mentioned earlier, certain antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as azathioprine are all linked to Sweet's syndrome.
- Small Red Bumps: As mentioned earlier, the main symptom of Sweet's syndrome is that you will develop small red bumps on your neck, arms or head. The size of the bumps tend to increase quickly and then they spread into painful clusters.
- Fever: A fever is also very symptomatic of Sweet's syndrome. The small red bumps usually appear abruptly after you get a fever.
- Upper Respiratory Infection: The small red bumps also appear abruptly after you have got an upper respiratory Infection.
It should be noted that Sweet's syndrome is often associated with cancer and has commonly been linked to leukemia. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.