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There would only be a handful of people who are happy with the way their skin looks. While acne and pimples are the concerns at a younger age, but with age the concerns shift to dark circles and pigmentation. Both light and dark pigments become worrisome, and one continuously looks for ways to manage them.
The skin has a pigment called melanin, which is responsible for the color; more the melanin component, darker the skin complexion. This can either decrease or increase and can affect people of any age or gender. Whether or not you will be a victim of pigmentation depends on genetics, sun exposure, skin care regime, hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy), stress levels and hormonal changes. While hyperpigmentation is very common with old age, hypopigmentation is not very normal and it is advisable to seek medical attention to rule out more serious underlying diseases. The most common types of hyperpigmentation include:
- Lentigo: It is also known as multiple freckles, if caused exclusively due to sun exposure, it is called solar lentigines or dark spots or age spots.
- Melasma: This is caused by hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy.
- Minimizing sun damage is the first and most important step in reducing onset and severity of pigmentation. Use a sunscreen that at least has an SPF of 15 regularly. It is not just on sunny days that the sun causes damage. If you are heading out (even cloudy days), it means the sun can damage you. Avoid sun exposure as much as possible if you know you are prone to pigmentation.
- Regular use of scrubs and exfoliators ensures the buildup of dead cells is removed, which itself leads to hyperpigmentation in many people. For dry or sensitive skin, exfoliate 1 to 2 times a week. For oily skin, exfoliate 2 to 3 times a week. Try to avoid scrubs on acne as the abrasive effect can worsen the condition.
Treatment for Hyperpigmentation:
Pigmentation issues run in the family and if your mother and grandmother had it, it is very likely you are prone for hyperpigmentation too. In these cases, aggressive skin care routine can help improve appearance. Ensure that the skin care products used contain at least an SPF of 15 and other active ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). The glycolic and lactic acids are examples of AHAs, which aid in removing dead cells that form on the skin. This produces a clearer skin with lesser discoloration. Vitamin C and E and kojic acid are also effective for treating hyperpigmentation. Other dermatological treatments-
- Chemical Peels: Chemical Peels are a more intensive treatment used in cases of more persistent pigmentation or to hasten the lightening effects of the topical prescription products. Peels work by exfoliating the upper-most layer of your skin and the dark area with it. There are many different types of peels and they are usually solutions that the dermatologist applies to the skin.
- Medication: Topical treatments such as hydroquinone, azelaic acid, corticosteroids, tretinoin cream, GA, and trichloroacetic acid. Skin whitening products are used for clinical treatment of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.
In addition to these, ensure you eat a healthy diet with loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated, reduce sun exposure, and you surely will have be able to deal with pigmentation.
The benefits of regular exercise in our constantly changing lifestyles cannot be over emphasized. Look at any of the lifestyle associated diseases and exercise is definitely one of the ways to beat it. Over the years, with stress and changed lifestyle, people are ageing faster than they should; the rate of ageing has also increased. Including exercise as a regimen can immensely help anti-ageing. Read on to know how exercise can help skin look younger and reverse some effects of ageing.
For those who are used to a moderate workout regularly, it is like an energy drink that fires up the brain and body, leaving you more alert and alive. While most people associate exercise with workout and fatigue, the truth is that it energizes and vitalizes the body like nothing else.
- With age, the outer layer of the skin thickens and the inner layer becomes thin. This results in freckles, dark circles under the eyes, reduced elasticity, etc. The thinning inner layer is not able to replace collagen and replace elasticity at the same rate as it is being lost. What exercise does is work up sweat, which cleans off the dead cells from the top layer. The skin pores open up, thereby allowing the skin to breathe which in turn allows more oxygen to reach the underlying thin layer, and lets it make collagen. This improves firmness and elasticity of the skin.
- Another way the skin is benefitted from exercise is the effect it has on the skin, which is almost equivalent to a facial. Sweating from an exercise opens up the pores, which removes all the dirt trapped in the immediate underlying layers. One should not forget to wash off the skin after a good workout; else the dirt can settle and cause damage.
- Another way exercise benefits the skin is by reducing general inflammation in the body. This helps regulate hormones that are essential for the skin and prevents free radical damage, which helps prevent ageing of the skin.
- Exercise also improves blood flow in the skin. A workout requires more blood flow to the various body parts and the tiny arteries under the skin open up, allowing more free flow of blood. This ensures the skin gets the essential nutrients that are essential for regular maintenance and growth and repair. It also reduces damage from sun and improves collagen production, which helps in controlling wrinkles.
As mentioned earlier, the underlying thinner layer has, what are called fibroblasts, which gradually reduce in number with age. The added nutrient supply can improve their number and function, adding elasticity to the skin. The overall health benefits, stress reduction, improved vitality and vigor add to these benefits, producing a younger-looking you!
As children, we all look forward to growing up, but once we reach in our 40s or 50s, we don't want to grow any older. Most of us fear the disabilities and diseases, ageing brings along. The biggest cause of anxiety is the change in the looks with skin losing its texture and elasticity. Read on to know some common techniques, when practiced during the early years can help in ageing gracefully, both by accepting the changes that come with ageing and by reducing the effect that ageing can have on the skin.
- Watch what you eat: As the saying goes, you are what you eat. So, whether you eat junk or healthy, your body will reflect accordingly. If you continue to give your body the required amount of vitamins and minerals, the effects will show on your skin. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which will provide your body the required nutrients and antioxidants. Nutrition also includes a good amount of hydration, about 2 to 3 liters of water per day. It also helps flush out toxins that lead to accelerated ageing and induce stress.
- Exercise: While exercise might make some people tired, it need not be the case for everyone. A moderate, regular routine of work out for 20 to 30 minutes in form of walking, cycling or swimming, will have significant benefits on the heart. The exercise routine will also aid in weight management, bone strengthening, prevent constipation, improve blood flow to the vital organs and alert functioning. Get your daily dose of sleep: A daily recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep can do wonders not just to your body, but also to your skin.
- Skin Care: Dark spots, wrinkles and dryness are common with ageing and these can be managed by reducing the exposure of skin to sun. Using a good sunscreen, wearing sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat will provide protection from the harmful UV rays. The idea is not to avoid sun completely; little sun exposure is essential to get the required dose of vitamin D, but overexposure can lead to various skin problems. Also develop a skin care regimen including moisturizer, anti-ageing products, scrubbing, under-eye care and use of lip balm that would best work for your skin type.
- Lifestyles changes: Drinking alcohol and smoking may seem the right thing to do in your 20s and 30s, but the effects they have on your body are not right. Following a negligent lifestyle, can lead to conditions like cancer and heart disease in early years and can be worsened by smoking and excessive alcohol. Quitting smoking and moderate use of alcohol can help manage these conditions better and in some cases, even prevent them completely.
And most importantly, accepting ageing as a natural inevitable aspect and not stressing about it will not help you enjoy your later years but also stay happy! If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Some women look atleast a decade younger than the age mentioned on their passports. For most of these women this is the result of anti-aging creams and serums. There are dozens of anti-aging products available today. The tough part is finding the right product for you.
Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice:
- Start with the Basics: Dehydrated skin and sun exposure are the primary triggers for wrinkles, sun spots and fine lines. To prevent this, start by picking a good sunscreen. When picking your sunscreen look for one that offers an SPF of 30 or more, water resistance and protection against both UVA and UVB rays. If you have sensitive skin, avoid sunscreens with fragrances, harsh chemicals, alcohol and preservatives.
- Understand your Primary Concern: No one product can address all signs of aging. At the same time, using multiple products can do more harm than good. Infact, it can make you look older. Hence, it is important to take an honest look at the mirror and identify your main concerns. Pick a single anti-aging product that addresses this issue.
- Pick a Retinoid Based Cream: Retinoids are the best way to fight signs of aging like fine lines, larger pores and dark spots. Choose between a retinol cream and serum depending on your skin. While creams are betters suited for dry skin, a serum works well to treat clogged pores and acne. Eliminate products that have artificial preserves or paraben.
- Read the Label: Take a close look at the label and pick a product that contains anti-oxidants or is hypoallergenic. Also look for vitamins and polypeptides. This can nourish your skin and keep it elastic for longer. Pick products that have the words 'non-comedogenic' on the label. Lastly, look for the consumer hotline number on the product.
- Patch Test: It is impossible to know how a product will react with your skin before using it. Anti-aging products are intended for use on the face but before using it on your face, you must first do a patch test. A patch test involves applying the product on a small patch of skin on the forearm and leaving it for 24 hours. If you do not notice any adverse reaction, only then use it on your face.
- Ask the Dermatologist: Self diagnosis is often not the best step to take. When it comes to skincare, it is always a good idea to consult a dermatologist before using a new product. Find a professional you trust and share your concerns with them so that they can advise you on the product that is most suited to you.
The quest to look and feel young is never ending. Almost everybody feels they could look a couple of years younger with a few wrinkles less and firmer skin. While this was within access of only celebrities who could afford the various plastic surgical procedures a few decades ago, times have changed now. Scientists and doctors are doing researches to find more affordable and non-surgical ways of getting to look younger.
Botox was one of the wonderful results of this search. Clostridium botulinum causes food poisoning and produces a toxin known as botulinum. In extremely minor amounts, this toxin can paralyze muscles and this property of it is used to treat facial wrinkles and fine lines.
How Botox works: The muscles react when they receive a message from the nerve through chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Acetylcholine is one such chemical, which is present in the face and sends messages to the facial skin from the nerves. What Botox does is prevent the release of acetylcholine and so the muscle does not receive any message, and so does not contract. This reduces the amount of wrinkles and fine lines.
Medical Indications: Botox is one of the most powerful toxins identified to date. About 2 kg of the toxin is sufficient to wipe out the entire human race from Earth. That being its potency, the dosage and administration should be done only under experienced medical supervision.
For cosmetic purposes, they are most frequently used to reduce wrinkles on face and fine lines under the eyes and on the forehead. The wrinkles appear softened after the use of Botox, producing a younger, firmer skin. Aside from its cosmetic use, there are various other conditions for which Botox is medically approved for a number of medical ailments like
- Chronic migraines
- Blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids)
- Chronic neck spasms
- Excessive sweating
- Overactive bladder (resulting in frequent urination)
- Spasticity resulting from stroke
- Crow's feet (outer corner of the eyes)
- Urinary incontinence
- Lazy eye (strabismus)
- Bruxism (tooth grinding)
- Esophageal motility disorders
The list is only set to get longer as more indications for Botox are identified. However, as mentioned, being an extremely toxic substance, it should be used only under complete medical supervision.
Side effects: Needless to say, there are side effects to this too, but when administered properly, it is an extremely safe procedure.
- Allergic reaction: Very few people might have an allergic reaction to the toxin
- Mild pain or redness at the injection site
- Temporary numbness
However, these are very transient and will subside in a couple of days, by which time the effect of Botox will be visible. Have a thorough discussion with your doctor before going for it.
Dermal or skin fillers are natural or synthetic substances that are used to make a particular area on the face look plump, in other words 'fill' the skin produce younger looking, firmer, plumper skin. Usually used as injections, they plump up the skin just enough to make the wrinkle or the fine lines disappear. While Botox is also used as an injection, its intended use and area of use is different from fillers. Botox is most often used in the outer corners of the eyes and around the forehead.
Fillers are used in other areas mentioned below:
- The laugh lines or the nasolabial folds, lines that run from the nose to the mouth. Fillers can help smooth out the creases and add volume to this area.
- It can make the cheeks look fuller and provide a youthful appearance. Especially in the lower cheek areas, the fat pads shift constantly giving a hollowed out appearance. Fillers can be used in this area to produce younger appearance with fuller cheeks
- The undereye area, where there are depressions or hollows can produce a sagging, elderly look. Fillers used here can improve the appearance markedly
- Even out scars resulting from chicken pox or chronic acne
- Even out irregularities due to shifting fat pads, especially in the temple area or the lower cheek areas.
- Adding volume to thin lips, which again can make one appear old and aged
- Smoothing out vertical lines around the lip edges, which again produce an elderly appearance
These are some uses of dermal fillers. As mentioned, they can be natural or synthetic substances.
Natural fillers usually has hyaluronic acid and is usually effective immediately, but last for about 6 months to a year. In some people, subsequent filler injections produce effective results and the interval between injections may continue to increase. If you are
Synthetic ones on the other hand contain collagen or other similar chemicals, but can produce more long-lasting results. They can be semi-permanent or permanent.
When to use fillers: A great skin care regime can help delay the onset of ageing changes and also reduce the severity. However, despite it, after a certain stage, there would definitely be changes arising out of muscle movement, fat loss, chronic sun damage, ageing skin, etc. When these begin to bother you, then dermal fillers are a good option to consider.
However, a detailed discussion with your dermatologist including aspects of both should ensue. From the doctor's end, check for his skills, experience, technique used, testimonials and expenses. Discuss your skin type, risk tolerance, and potential side effects before choosing a treatment option. Once you opt for dermal fillers, the routine skin care with well tested products needs to continue, including aggressive care against sun damage.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and the first to be affected by any condition, be it good or bad. As it is said, a close look at the skin can tell all about the overall health of the person.
Age spots are little, flat, brown spots that are an indication of serious underlying conditions. They are most common on the face, neck and hands. With regular metabolism, the free radical damage in the body produces lipofuscin. This accumulates, leading to gradual destruction of the body's cells including vital organs like liver, brain and heart. These brown age spots are therefore a cause of concern and should be attended to immediately.
The good news, however, is that there are ways to prevent and even reverse these age spots. It not only has cosmetic benefits, but improves overall health by reducing and eliminating wastes. Read on to know some common, effective ways to beat these spots. The treatment works on two levels that is general where the whole body is covered and topical where skin is worked upon.
- Diet: Eat a diet rich in fiber, containing fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds. This will provide various minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients for your body. Avoid animal based proteins, fried oily foods, excessive sugars and salt and processed foods. Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake.
- Exercise: A good workout helps to remove toxins, thereby reducing the likelihood of age spots appearing in the first place. It can also help reverse the effects of ageing that has already set in.
- Stay hydrated: While moisturizers do have a good role to play, it cannot hydrate the body from within. Plenty of water is required also to flush out toxins and wastes from the body, which can accelerate ageing.
- Topical: In addition to general measures, the following topical measures are useful in beating the age spots.
- Cleansing the skin: Skin is constantly exposed to dust and heat and pollution and frequent cleaning, even with plain water, will work wonders.
- Scrubbing the skin: A good scrub, be it from the shelves or made at home, is a good effective way to further clean the skin of dead cells and making way for fresh cells to emerge.
- Sun Protection: It is believed that 90% of the skin damage happens due to exposure to sun. Using a sunscreen goes a long way in preventing skin damage including spots, dark circles and even cancer.
- Moisturizing the skin: Using honey, glycerin, or any other product that hydrates the skin will have long-term benefits in reducing ageing.
- Antioxidant creams: There are proven creams and natural products that contain antioxidants and control ageing of the skin, thereby reducing age spots. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Acne or acne vulgaris is a medical condition characterized by the appearance of an ugly and vulgar scourge on the face. Acne can cause scars, which are lifelong and can affect the self esteem and self-image of a person. Acne is more common in adolescents, but grown-up men too can suffer from acne. Acne in case of men is less severe, but still they are enough to spoil one's facial appearance.
Acne is caused because of several reasons, such as:
1. Overactive sebaceous glands: The trapped oil in the pores of the skin or follicles may result in blockage or blemishes. The sebaceous glands are responsible for creating oil, which helps in lubrication of the skin surface. Over secretion or overproduction of sebum from these glands may cause acne in men. Excess of oil stays in the pores, which blocks the sebaceous duct creating a follicle blockage. This causes acne.
2. Shedding of skin cells: The epidermis or topmost layer of the skin sheds dead skin cells and is replaced by new cells. When this process is hampered, extra skin cells are produced and the presence of lamellar granules in the skin gets lessened. This makes the skin prone to acne. More dead skin cells are produced, which are not shed properly and the cells remain stuck inside the follicles, which lead to acne.
3. Bacteria proliferation: A type of bacteria known as propionibacterium acne is found on the surface of the skin. When the propionibacterium acne grows out of control, acne are caused. Due to blockage caused by dead cells and excess oil, an anaerobic environment gets created and oxygen cannot pass through the pores.
- Treatment of acne is done by keeping the pores open. This is done by using various skin cleansers for exfoliation of the skin and removing dead skin cells.
- Some medicines which are available over-the-counter stores can be used to treat acne. The peroxide and glycolic acid present in the medicines prevent the formation of blockages.
- Chemical Peels work by removing dead skin cells and encouraging new ones to grow, leading to a fresher, more glowing you. A chemical formula is applied to the skin that removes the top layer of skin and reveals the softer, smoother skin beneath.
- The procedure is used all over the world to treat skin problems such as wrinkles and lines, acne scars, hyper-pigmentation, and sun damage - the results can be life-transforming.
- Several gels, lotions, pads and creams may help in exfoliation and cleansing of the skin. These products contain benzoyl peroxide, which helps in destroying bacteria responsible for triggering infection. They also contain Salicylic acid, which helps in unclogging of blockages.
- Several antibiotics can be consumed or rubbed on the surface of the skin for controlling bacterial growth. Certain vitamin A derivatives called retinoids also help in unclogging of the follicles. Some anti-inflammatory medicines can also treat acne.
Acne is a condition which is not just confined to teens and may occur in grown ups and adult males. Acne is irritating and must be eliminated using the various methods advised by your physician. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
We all fear the changes that old age brings with it, especially in terms of how it changes our appearance. Skin starts to lose its elasticity, dark spots appear on the cheeks and forehead, circles under the eyes grow darker and what not. The battle against ageing is something all of us (especially women) have to prepare for, and the good news is that there are definitely things, which we can add to our armor. Started early on in life, there are skin care measures which can help you combat ageing skin later in life. They will prolong the onset of ageing and also reduce severity of the symptoms. Read on to know more.
- Moisturizer: The skin needs hydration and better hydration yields younger looking skin that is radiant, supple and glowing. Whatever product you use, ensure it has collagen, which can improve the skin tone and elasticity. Vitamin C and K are also essential. From plain petroleum jelly to olive oil to Moroccan oil, pick a moisturizer that works for you. The intention is to give your skin the required amount of hydration it requires to keep it looking young.
- Sun protection: 90% of skin problems arise out of exposure to sun. Be it blemishes, dark spots, tanning marks or even melanoma (cancer), the culprit is the sun. It is a myth that a sunscreen is to be used only when you are out in the beach or on a hike. Use a sunscreen with sun protection factor (abbreviated as SPF on the product) every single day to avoid damage from the sun. Continued use for a couple of months will make you realize its benefits.
- Exfoliation: Regular removal of dead skin cells can help keep the skin healthy and glowing. This removes the blemishes and also improves absorption of moisturizers and sunscreens, improving their efficacy.
- Cleansing: The skin is the most exposed part of the body, and needless to say, accumulates a lot of dust and toxins from the environment, how much ever you try. Washing the skin off with water is the best way to keep it clean. Make sure you wash your face at least 3 to 4 times a day. Using a cleanser like Cetaphil will help in deep cleaning.
- Face masks: Whether brought from a shelf or made at home using combinations like cucumber/curd, glycerin/rose water, papaya, or lime/honey, frequently pamper your skin with these masks. The results will leave you astonished.
- Cleaning makeup brushes regularly: While this is hardly noticed, using the same applicators and brushes can carry germs from one day to another, and so they are best cleaned regularly.
Take care of your skin from early years, it will show later!! If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
We all have a fear of changing appearance with age. We want to stop ageing right after the time when signs like sagging skin, dark spots and wrinkles start appearing, but ageing is an inevitable process and absolute law of nature. While this process cannot be stopped, there are simple home remedies that work wonders for your skin and help conceal your real age. Read on to know more.
- Honey and lemon juice: Lime, rich in vitamin C has bleaching effects, which helps in reducing freckles and dark spots. Honey moisturizes the skin and has a soothing action. Used as a combination, this is a great peel-off mask that can be used regularly at home.
- Glycerin and Rosewater: Glycerin is a great moisturizer and rose water is a great antioxidant. Mixed together, it helps revive skin by making it more elastic and retaining moisture, giving a younger look and glow.
- Papaya: Rich in vitamin A, papaya works wonders for eyes, skin and hair. It is rich in antioxidants and the enzyme papain works as a scrub by peeling off dead cells, making the skin more firm and elastic.
- Anti-ageing serums: Make your own at home using the following: 1 tsp aloe vera gel, 5 tbsp rose water, 2 vitamin C tablets, and 2 tbsp vitamin E oil.
- Potato to remove tans: Ideal for treating dark circles and lines under the eyes and for removing skin tans. Potato has the ideal cooling and soothing effect, leaving you fresh.
- Eggs: Egg supplies protein, essential for skin to remain healthy and young. It can be mixed with orange juice, which will increase collagen production, making the skin look elastic, firm, and radiant, improving complexion and lightening skin tone.
- Green tea and lemon: Make a toner with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and cup of green tea. This combination dabbed on the face with a cotton ball will repair dull skin, prevent spots, retain moisture and improve elasticity.
- Rice water: Whether raw or cooked, water that is removed from a bowl of rice is useful in rejuvenating the skin, improving skin tone and slowing the process of ageing.
- Coconut milk: A powerhouse of various vitamins and minerals, coconut milk moisturizes the skin and keeps it young, soft, supple and radiant. Best results obtained when a fresh coconut milk extract is used.
- Cucumber and Curd: Cucumber reduces dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. Cucumber's cooling action and rich water content also keeps the skin hydrated. The lactic acid in the curd acts as a scrub by exfoliating dead cells.
While these are just some ways, it is important that these are accompanied by a healthy lifestyle with a well balanced diet, moderate amount of exercise, good hydration, good sleep, and of course reduced stress. If you wish to discuss about any specific skin related problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.
Impetigo is an extremely contagious infection caused by bacteria that affects the skin. It occurs on the face, neck and hands of young children and infants. Diapers wearing infants tend to get it around the diaper area. It is highly contagious and causes red sores that can break open, ooze fluid and develop a yellow brown crust. Impetigo is a contagious disease and can spread to others through close contact. It can also spread by sharing towels, sheets, clothing, toys or other items. As the skin becomes quite itchy, scratching also spread the sores to other parts of the body.
Impetigo is caused by two bacteria namely streptococcus pyogenes and staphylococcus aureus. There are several different types of impetigo and their symptoms and causes set them apart from each other.
Impetigo contagiosa or nonbullous impetigo is highly contagious and begins with red sores around the nose and mouth. When these blisters burst they leave a weeping, red itchy rash that becomes crusted. It may also lead to swelling of lymph nodes.
Bullous impetigo is common in children below the age of two years. Initially clear blisters appear on the torso, arms and legs which later turn cloudy. The blisters caused by bullous impetigo last longer as compared to blisters caused by other types of impetigo.
Ecthyma is the most serious form of impetigo as it affects the second layer of the skin in addition to the outermost layer. It results in blisters, which are painful and these blisters turns into ulcers or open sores coupled with swelling of lymph nodes.
Symptoms of Impetigo are uncomfortable and embarrassing, especially when the blisters are present on the face. The symptoms of impetigo include red sores, which pop easily and results in formation of yellow crust, fluid-filled blisters, skin lesions, itchy rash and swollen lymph nodes.
Impetigo is highly contagious and spreads by skin-to-skin contact with an impetigo patient. It also spreads by touching things used by impetigo infected patient, such as towels, bedding, and toys. Any injury to skin, insect or animal bites also aggravates Impetigo.
If one is suffering from Impetigo, one can do the following things to prevent it from spreading to other areas of the body, as well as to other individuals. These include usage of antibacterial soap to wash hands, a clean towel or fresh paper towel to dry the body or hands, washing clothes in hot water, cleaning surface areas in the home with antibacterial products, keeping short fingernails, avoiding schools and childcare centres and not sharing personal hygiene items. Children between two to six years of age, regularly attending a daycare or school, participating in activities that involve skin-to-skin contact are at higher risk for contracting Impetigo.
Impetigo can be easily treated with antibiotics. For instances of mild Impetigo, an antibiotic ointment or cream to put on the sores will suffice whereas for more serious infection, one may have to take antibiotic pills. If you wish to discuss about any specific skin problem, you can consult a specilized dermatologist and ask a free question.
Are you fed up of tweezing, shaving or waxing the unwanted hair, then laser hair removal is the right option for you. Unwanted hair removal from different parts of the body is not only time consuming, but is also a very boring chore, which needs to be carried out on regular intervals. On top of it, the process is accompanied with the worry of bruising skin and often resulting in patches. With laser hair removal, the process has become easier and hassle free.
As per the laser hair removal process, a laser beam hits the individual hair follicle after passing through the skin. The intense heat of the laser damages the hair follicle, which inhibits future hair growth. Laser hair removal effectively slows hair growth and typically takes multiple laser hair removal sessions to completely get rid of the unwanted hair. The laser hair removal is most opted for areas such as female facial hair, bikini line hair and back hair for men. The process is most suited for people with light skin and dark hair.
Laser hair removal therapy has been classified in five methods. Although they are all different, but they function on one same principle of converting light to heat producing effect of laser. Lasers can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. The process does not require any recovery time which allows one to return to work immediately.
- Ruby Laser Hair Removal was the first cosmetic laser hair removal system. The wavelength of this laser is 694 nm. The laser damages the hair follicles keeping surrounding tissues and structures in the skin safe. It gives long term hair free results and any hair regrowth is thinner, finer and patchier than previous growth. The built-in cooling system continuously cools the skin and is least painful in comparisons with other laser hair removal systems. It can be used on small areas of skin and slow laser repetition rate resulting in better and long treatment times.
- Alexandrite Laser Hair Removal works in a similar manner as the Ruby Laser hair removal system. The wavelength used in this system is 755 nm, which is in the red infrared part of the light spectrum. It is the fastest available laser hair removal treatments. It has excellent penetration rate and can cover large areas of skin. It also work great on albino skin and freckled skin, on which many other laser hair removal systems are ineffective. It is effective on skin with white to olive tones with thinner hair types. It is not suitable for dark skin as the skin pigment can change.
- Diode Laser Hair Removal are made up of diodes or semiconductors operating at wavelength of 800 - 810nm. It can be used effectively darker skin coupled with thick, coarse hair making it popular with men due to its effectiveness on back and chest hair. It is the next most useful hair removal light source and the most promising laser for hair removal. The Diode laser features a longer wavelength and thus able to provide better results among dark-skinned people. This laser provides safer and deeper penetration into the skin layer. Large areas of the body tend to recover faster.
- Nd:YAG Laser Hair Removal is the most advanced type of laser hair removal system. It works at wavelengths of 1064 nm in a double frequency mode, which creates green light at 532nm wavelengths. It is effective on all skin types, including Asian and dark skin tones. It has a fast rate of repetition and can be used on larger areas of skin.
- IPL or Intense Pulse Light Hair Removal system is a non-coherent laser. It is flexible than laser hair removal, as there is no set laser wavelength. For this treatment parameters are set to suit one's individual needs, giving one a personalised treatment. It can cover large areas of skin and has smaller risk of damaging surrounding tissues.
If you wish to discuss about any specific skin or hair related problem, you can consult a specilized dermatologist and ask a free question.
Corns and calluses refer to the hardening of the skin to form a layer over an area where constant pressure and abrasion is experienced. This thickening of the skin is known as a corn or callus. One will usually experience pain and tenderness in the area where this thickening happens. While corns are thick and tender coatings, a callus is usually the flattened thick area on the skin (know more to make the skin healthy and glowing). As far as shape goes, corns are conical and sharpened while calluses are flat. They are most typically found on the hands and feet. There are various ways of treating this condition. Let us find out more.
What causes corns and calluses?
To understand how to treat these corns and calluses, it is important to first of all understand what causes the same. These corns and calluses are usually formed as a natural defence as the body tries to strengthen the skin when it meets too much friction or pressure. This condition may occur when the toes are pressed together constantly with an abnormal elevation. This can also happen when there is prolonged use of high heels as well as sports training footwear. Bone deformities in the toes and fingers can also be one of the causes of this condition. In many cases, the gait and movement of the patient can cause corns and calluses. Also, when a person plays musical instruments that require constant strumming like a guitar or other instruments, it may result in formation of corns and calluses in the fingers.
- Medical Intervention for Complications: If a patient is suffering from conditions like diabetes (know more about Diabetes) or peripheral arterial disease, it may lead to poor circulation and delicate skin. This can cause the development and growth of corns and calluses. It is important to see your doctor in such cases so that such symptoms may be treated at the onset before they become too painful and end up spreading.
- Medication: A patient will have to ingest salicylic acid based medicines and even resort to the use of sulphur in order to cure these corns and calluses. One must ensure that a skin specialist or dermatologist prescribes the medicines so that one can apply and administer as per the correct dosage.
- Home Remedies: Personal hygiene is one of the primary factors that can help in treating and curing this condition. Keeping the affected area clean can increase the chances of the growth to clear up soon. Also, one may have to avoid wearing high heels and constricting footwear for a while until the corns and calluses clear up or fall off. This will also ensure that there is less friction between the feet and the footwear for better recovery chances.
This contagious and highly itchy skin condition comes with symptoms like thin and irregular burrow like tracks containing blisters. These may be found on the affected areas of the skin. Mostly, these growths are found in the folds of one's skin and can occur for children and adults alike. The most common areas where these blisters, sores and bumps may be found include the genital areas, buttocks, the inner side of the elbows, soles of the feet, around the breasts, the waistline, the insides of the wrists and other areas. Let us have a look at the various causes of this condition.
- Mite: An eight legged mite is the most common cause of this skin disease (Know more about common skin disease). The female mites are known to burrow deep in the folds of the skin, where they leave their eggs to hatch and spread. These mites usually make a tunnel like burrow in which the eggs get deposited. The mite larvae then reach the surface the skin and cause a lot of itching once they begin to mature. This itching is mainly an allergic reaction to the larvae as well as the eggs and waste.
- Physical Contact with Infected Parties: This condition is mostly caused when there is contact with an infected person or animal. This happens due to the fact that contact with an infected party can lead to a deposit of the mites on to the skin, leading to the process of burrowing, egg laying and maturing of the larvae. There has to be close and prolonged contact with an infected person or animal for this to happen. Yet, it has been observed that the mites prefer to live on the host. They do not live for too long on someone inherits the disease with contact.
- Scratching: There are lots of complications that can lead to the breakout or worsening of the situation. Scratching the skin can often break the same which can lead to secondary bacterial skin infections. Superficial infections like impetigo can also lead to an accumulation of these mites, which can further spread the condition.
- High Risk Groups: There are many people who are more at risk of contracting this skin disease. Patients with chronic health conditions like HIV (Know more about HIV) and Leukaemia can contract a severe form of scabies known as Crusted scabies or Norwegian Scabies. Also, people who have spent long periods in hospitals and nursing facilities due to prolonged illness and treatment can contract this contagious ailment. Further, it has been found that older people living in nursing homes also often come down with this condition. The crusty and scaly patches caused by this disease can cover the entire body and may be very difficult to treat.
Our skin undergoes certain changes with age. A lifetime of exposure to the sun, habits such as diet and smoking leads to changes in our skin slowly, as we age. As we get older, the skin does not stay as smooth and firm like before. It may also become drier, thinner and more fragile. As we age, the skin also becomes more prone to bruises, which is a result of a smaller amount support around the walls of blood vessels.
Major changes that can be observed in the skin due to ageing are as follows:
- The skin turns rough
- The skin develops lesions like benign tumors
- The skin becomes slack due to the loss of elastic tissues like elastin and collagen and tends to hang loosely
- The skin gets more transparent with age, which is caused as a result of the epidermis thinning down
- The skin slowly turns fragile. This occurs due to flattening of the area where the epidermis and dermis meet
Photoaging: Over time, the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun cause damage to fibers in the skin known as elastin. Due to the breakdown of the elastin fibers, the skin tends to sag and stretch. The ability to snap back after stretching is lost. The skin gets bruised and tears up very easily and bruises require a longer time to heal. Sun damage shows itself with ageing.
These are the changes, which occur below the surface of the skin because of aging. They include the following:
- Fat is lost under the surface of the skin on the cheeks, chin, nose, eyes (know about to maintain eye health) and temples. This causes loosening of the skin, giving it a bony appearance with sunken eyes.
- Bone loss occurs after attaining the age of sixty, especially around the mouth and chin region. Puckering of the skin in the mouth is indicated.
- Cartilage loss may occur on the nose. This causes the nasal tip to droop down and the bony structure of the nose gets accentuated.
Other changes: Other factors such as gravity, sleeping position and facial movements also cause changes in our skin. When skin elasticity is lost, the eyebrows and eyelids may droop due to gravity. Loosening and fullness of skin is observed under the jaw, cheeks and earlobes. Facial movement lines become prominent with old age and lines appear on the forehead, temples, cheeks and at the root of the nose.
As we become old, several changes in the surface of our skin, as well as beneath the skin are likely. This is natural and occurs in every person. However, proper skin care should be taken, irrespective of your age.
A common mole is a form of growth on the surface of the skin. It occurs when the skin pigment cells or melanocytes grow in clusters. Moles are common in most adults and occur in places and areas, which are most exposed to the sun. Moles may be present from birth or may appear at a later stage. Moles develop until the age of forty.
Moles are generally round or oval in shape and their surface is smooth with distinct edges. They are dome shaped. Common moles are pink, tan or brown in color. People with dark skin complexion develop dark-colored moles.
Sometimes, moles may change in color and shape. This might be an indication of a skin cancer condition known as Melanoma.
Here are the indications that a mole is cancerous in nature:
- When the color of the mole changes
- When the mole becomes smaller or bigger in an uneven manner
- When the shape, texture or height of a mole changes
- When the skin around the mole turns dry and scaly
- When the mole starts itching
- When there is bleeding or oozing from the mole
Features of Melanoma:
Changes in the shape, size, color or feeling of an existing mole are an indication of Melanoma. The features of this condition can be observed by the changes that occur in the mole. The 'ABCDE' rule can be used to define the features:
- Asymmetry: This means that the shape of one half of the mole is not matching with the other half.
- Irregular border: The borders or edges are ragged, notched and the outline seems blurred. There are chances that the pigment might spread to the surrounding skin surface.
- Uneven color: This indicates that the mole may be of uneven colors. There might be shades of black, brown, tan and also areas of red, white, gray, pink or blue.
- Mole diameter: There is a change in the size and diameter of a mole in cases of Melanoma. Usually, the size increases. Some Melanoma moles may be tiny, but most are wider than six millimeters.
- Evolving: There is an evolution over weeks and months, where the changes in appearance occur. Moles that lead to Melanoma vary a lot. Some cases of Melanoma may have all the above mentioned features while other cases may indicate two or three of the features.
When moles change in color and size, it is because of Melanoma. Several tests have to be carried out to detect whether a mole is cancerous or not, and after that, medical measures must be taken. Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer and should be attended to immediately.
Ringworm is a skin condition that is caused by certain kinds of fungi. It causes severe itching and is mainly found around the scalp and feet. This contagious skin condition can also occur as athlete's foot. The symptoms include red, itchy and scaly patches on the affected areas. These patches may also develop blisters and develop crusted red edges, giving it the appearance of a ring. These patches are usually raised or defined. There are many myths and facts surrounding ringworm. Let us find out more about them.
- Causes: It is a common myth that this skin condition is caused by a worm. This is not true. This fungal skin infection is caused by fungi known as dermatophytes, which can cause a crusty and red patch on the skin. Ringworm is actually the name given to a class of skin ailments and infections caused on the scalp, feet and other parts of the body.
- Treatment: Another common myth is that this skin infection will clear up on its own. This is not true either. One will have to start treatment of the condition with the help of proper diagnosis, which can be done by a skin specialist or dermatologist. Not treating this condition on time with topical ointments can lead to a spread of the condition where it can affect other parts of the body. This condition can also lead to other symptoms like hair loss. It can also become a permanent issue if not treated on time and with proper medical intervention.
- Over the Counter Medication: Many people think that using over the counter antifungal creams can help in treating this condition effectively. This is part myth and part fact. One will have to visit the doctor in case the condition does not clear up on time with the use of such topical ointments. The creams should typically be prescribed by a skin specialist after due diagnosis of the problem so that it suits your individual symptoms and condition. Further, these creams should usually be prescribed for a period of at least four to six weeks so that the treatment is effective.
- Contagious: It is a myth that ringworm is not a contagious skin disease. The fact is that this skin ailment is a highly contagious one, that can happen even when there is contact with an infected animal. There are 50% chances of contracting this condition with mere touch that can happen with an infected animal or person.
- Barber's Itch: This is not a form of lice, as many people believe. This is a form of ringworm that can be found in the beard with symptoms like itching as well as swelling.
If you wish to discuss about any specific skin problem, you can consult a specilized dermatologist and ask a free question.
An eye stye develops when a specific oil gland at the edge of an eyelid gets infected. A stye looks like a pimple in appearance and may occur either outside or the inside of an eyelid.
Here are several facts you should know about eye styes:
- Pain, redness and tenderness are the first signs: After these symptoms are observed, a small pimple develops in the affected area and swells up the eyes. In some cases, only the immediate area is affected while in other cases, the entire eye gets swollen.
- Styes do not cause problems with vision: Vision is not affected by eye styes much and both near vision and far vision will remain unaffected.
- Staphylococcal bacteria causes an eye stye: This specific bacteria is usually found in the nose which makes it easy to transfer to the eyes when you rub your nose (read more about Allergic Issues of the Nose) and then the eyes.
- Styes are contagious: Every human contains this bacteria in their body, which cause styes and any person of any age can develop an eye stye. Eye styes are contagious in nature and can spread from person to person. You must keep your eyes and hands very clean and must not share pillows, bed sheets or towels.
- Most eye styes heal on their own: Most styes heal on their own within a few days. Applying hot compress for fifteen minutes, three to four times a day, can help you get relief from an eye stye. This process, continued over a long time will cause the stye to rupture, drain and heal on its own.
- Do not pop an eye stye: People have the habit of popping pimples (know more about the Home Remedies to Get Rid of Pimples) with their fingers, but it is advised not to do that in case of eye styes. You must allow the stye to heal on its own.
A stye occurring inside the eyelid is called an internal hordeolum and might not rupture or heal on its own. This type of stye is serious and requires medical attention, the doctor will surgically open it up and drain it. You will be prescribed antibiotic ointments in case of recurring styes. Pre moistened eyelid cleansing pads can also be used to maintain hygiene and avoid blepharitis.
Eye stye can occur due to other eye issues: Other conditions of the eyes can also cause eye styes. The affected area undergoes frequent watering, light sensitivity gets increased and the person may feel something is stuck in their eye. An eye stye causes infection of the eyelids and affects the entire eye. Although they are not very serious and in most cases heal on their own, proper care, and precautions should be taken for eye styes. If you wish to discuss about any specific eye problem, you can consult a specilized opthamologist and ask a free question.
Stretch marks cannot be treated easily. Though there are many treatments that can help in the removal of stretch marks, but you got to choose the right one that suits your preference and is affordable as well. These marks need to be thoroughly diagnosed in order to detect the mark type and then only the correct treatment procedure can be chosen without any confusion. Choose the safest treatment option that can help you to get success in a natural manner.
Treatments available for removing stretch marks:
- Topical options: These options are the most favourable ones as they gives you guaranteed results. It is advised to only choose verified topical solutions, which are also some of the most prominent ones which include moisturizers, Retin-A, glycolic acid, vitamin-E oil, egg oil and several others. These solutions are to be applied directly over the targeted areas in order to get desirable results. This should be followed for at least 6 months in order to get expected results.
- Supplemental options: You can also start taking organic supplements that are highly enriched with vitamin E. These supplements are now available in form of pills that have to be taken at least twice every day. If you use oral supplements together with topical applications, the stretch marks will slowly fade in a short span of time.
- Natural options: There are many home remedies that can offer you outstanding results in treating stretch marks. Essential oils are the most highlighting examples that can cater you greater benefits in this regard. Other probable remedies are sugar, potato juice, water, aloe vera, olive oil, lemon juice, castor oil, cocoa butter, alfalfa leaves, egg whites, apricots, lemon and glycerine.
- Laser options: These options are now treated as one of the most powerful solutions that can offer speedy results. In fact, the researchers have said that these options are the most reliable and convenient of all, and they can provide immediate effects. Old stretch-marks can be well treated by laser resurfacing while the new ones can be treated by vascular laser.
- Surgical options: These options can be chosen for extreme cases. If you fail to implement post-surgical caring tips, these options may have certain side-effects. But you will get highly customized effects as a result of the same. These options are chosen only by few people as they are comparatively expensive.
Microdermabrasion is a quick and painless treatment that accelerates the rate at which dead skin is exfoliated, and jump-starts the proliferation of new skin cells. Your dermatologist may recommend a series of microdermabrasion treatments, which can treat hyperpigmentation, sun-damaged spots, dryness, fine lines and wrinkles and even minor acne scars. Microdermabrasion can be coupled with just about any other type of skin treatment and is usually recommended to be done every few weeks to every two or three months.
Suitable for all but the most sensitive skins, microdermabrasion combines vacuum suction with tiny abrasive crystals to polish away the uppermost layer of skin, eliminating roughness as well as fine lines and wrinkles. It is a quick and virtually pain-free procedure that uses tiny, rough aluminum crystals to vigorously exfoliate the top layer of the skin, removing dead skin cells.
How is a microdermabrasion procedure performed?
Most often, your microdermabrasion treatment will be performed by a licensed skincare professional in your plastic surgeon's office or medical spa.
There are two general methods for microdermabrasion:
Crystal Microdermabrasion: For this type of microdermabrasion, a handpiece emits crystals onto the surface of the skin, resulting in a gentle abrasion or "polishing" process. Then the dead skin cells along with the crystals are suctioned off either instantaneously (in the same handpiece) or in a secondary process.
Diamond-Tip Microdermabrasion: This type of microdermabrasion works with a diamond-tip handpiece that gently abrades and exfoliates dead skin cells. Like the crystal microdermabrasion, the dead skin is either suctioned off right away in the same handpiece or in a secondary process. The diamond-tip microdermabrasion is safer to perform closer to the eyes and has more flexibility in sensitive areas or on more sensitive skin.?
Microdermabrasion works best for anyone looking to revitalize their skin. If you have any of these conditions, you are a candidate for microdermabrasion:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Hyperpigmentation or sun spots
- Dry skin
- Minor acne scars
- Blemishes or large pores
Acne is a skin condition that leads to the outbreak of pimples and sores as well as whiteheads and blackheads. These have a reddish appearance and make the skin look less than ideal. With the help of microdermabrasion, one can gradually reduce the appearance of light scarring and make the skin look even toned.
This is an inflammation-based skin condition which leads to the appearance of prominent blood vessels as well as other kinds of skin eruptions. Microdermabrasion can come to the rescue of the patient who is suffering from severe symptoms of this condition.
When to Avoid Microdermabrasion:
This procedure should be avoided by people who have sustained deep scars. Also, anyone who has active keloids and lesions that are yet to be diagnosed should avoid this treatment as it may lead to an aggravation. Further, anyone who is suffering from an immune system disorder or diabetes should also avoid this kind of treatment as it may lead to complications. If you have had a chemical peel recently, you should also steer clear of this kind of treatment as it may lead to inflammation, swelling and bleeding on the skin which is already tender from the previous treatment.