Doctor in Rama Skin Clinic
Patient Review Highlights
If you see continual and long-term white patches of depigmentation on your skin, it could be vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition that appears when melanocytes in your skin are no more alive. This bunch of cells is responsible for producing the melanin pigment that endows the skin with its colour as well as protects it from the harmful UV rays. The area which may be affected by this dermatological disease varies from person to person, and it can also affect the hair, mouth and eyes as well. In most cases, the vitiligo affected area stays discoloured for the rest of the patient’s life.
Various types of vitiligo and their symptoms
Scientists have classified vitiligo into two types: segmental and non-segmental. The non-segmental vitiligo is the most common variant and 90 percent of vitiligo affected patients suffer from this kind of disorder. In this disease, the patches take place with little symmetry on both sides of the body. It can be further broken down into 5 sub-divisions.
- Generalised vitiligo: It can occur at any part of the body without any rules, and this is by far the most common type.
- Acrofacial vitiligo: It is mostly seen on the toes and fingers.
- Mucosal vitiligo: In this condition, the discolouration normally takes place around the lips and mucous membranes.
- Universal vitiligo: This is the rarest type of vitiligo where the whole body is covered in white patches.
- Focal vitiligo: This is most commonly found in children. The children have white and scattered patches across the body.
Possible treatments for vitiligo
Though there are no treatments possible that will re-pigment your skin to its original colour, there are several remedies that aid in decreasing the visibility of white patches on the affected areas of the skin. Some of them include:
- Phototherapy with UVB radiation: This is a common form of treatment where the affected area is exposed to UVB radiation and can be performed at home too. If you have large white spots across the body, it is important to have the treatment performed by an expert at any healthcare centre.
- Phototherapy with UVA radiation: In this treatment, a drug is first administered for increasing skin’s sensitivity to this radiation. Then the affected area of the skin is exposed to high doses of UVA radiation.
- Skin camouflage: In mild cases of vitiligo, cosmetic creams and make-up can be used to camouflage the affected area. It can last for about 12- 18 hours when applied in proper techniques.
- Surgical treatment of vitiligo in the form of Melanocytes and Keratinocytes suspension grafting gives excellent cosmetic results in selected patients of Stable Vitiligo.
If the vitiligo is stable for two years, there is a possibility of surgical intervention. Consult a Skin Surgeon for the same. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Although hand sanitizers offer you the convenience to clean your hands sans soap and water, and help in killing germs, these convenient health tools also come with their share of negatives.
Here's why you should drop that bottle of hand sanitizer, every time you can avoid and go conventional with soap and water:
1. Creation of Superbugs and Destruction of Cells
Although the ingredient triclosans prevent the development of bacteria, it does more harm than good. Studies show that it aids creation of superbugs (different types of bacteria that are resistant to certain forms of antibiotics). Furthermore, according to a 2014 study, triclosans have also been found to spur the development of breast cancer cells, not to mention the destruction of brain cells, according to research conducted by the university of california.
2. Causes Disruption in Hormones
Excessive use of hand sanitizers has also been found to bring about abnormal hormonal problems. Studies reveal that the triclosan ingredient can alter the way hormones function in the body, enabling bacteria to be able to adapt and become more resistant to antibiotics.
3. Development of Life-Threatening Health Problems
Another ingredient in hand sanitizers that play a role in preventing the growth of bacteria is parabens. This ingredient has been found to be a potent contributing factor in many health problems such as cancer, skin irritation, endocrine problems, to name a few.
4. Causes Skin Damage in The Long Run
As an active ingredient in hand sanitizers, alcohol can have an adverse effect on your health. It breaks down the protective outermost layer of skin, rendering it easy for toxins like parabens or bpa (bisphenol a) that is found in plastics to penetrate your skin easily.
5. Makes You Resistant to Antibiotics
Using hand sanitizers can make you resistant to antibiotics, thereby lowering your resistance to diseases. They may affect your body's immunity by killing off good bacteria that are responsible for keeping you safe from disease-causing bad bacteria. A study conducted in 2011 found that health care workers who used hand sanitizers more than soap and water are 6 times more likely to fall prey to outbreaks of norovirus (a highly infectious virus that causes viral gastroenteritis).
Washing the hands with an antibacterial soap is not always necessary unless there is an infection of hands or some where on the skin. Washing two three times with a good brand soap is sufficient to remove all the dirt and microbes every time you wash the hands. After hand wash dry the hands with a clean and washed cotton cloth.Always keep the nails very short so that they could also be cleaned properly.
Good personal hygiene along with clean environment normally is sufficient to avoid cross infection.
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. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
With age, the skin begins to deteriorate and gradually lose its function and appearance. The underlying layers of collagen, which give it the firmness and elasticity begin to gradually break down, leading to sagging of the skin, dark spots and pigments, and dull, lusterless skin.
This causes cosmetic and psychological concerns, given that most people (especially women) become extremely conscious about these and want to avoid these ageing effects of skin. Over the past few decades, skin fillers and Botox have begun to play a major role in skin rejuvenation, especially from the various ageing effects.
Let us look at these two methods and how they have worked their magic around skin care.
Botox: The neurotoxin from botulinum A was actually used for treating muscular disorders to cause paralysis and prevent repeated twitching. However, it was later realised that the same effect could be used in skin to reduce ageing effects. Used commonly in the crow’s feet area, forehead and frown lines, the injected Botox causes paralysis of the underlying muscles.
This reduces the muscular activity and so the muscles relax and soften. This produces a younger looking appearance. In addition, these paralysed muscles also give some time for the elastin and collagen to recover.
The Botox injections are usually done in the outpatient setting and require about half an hour to an hour. The areas for injection are marked and after the procedure, the patient can go back to regular schedule, including working. It might require repeat injections, about 4 to 6 months later, depending on how well the skin responds and the expectations of the patients.
Fillers: Another routinely and commonly used way to manage wrinkles are the dermal fillers. The elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin are lost with age and these filler injections replace the lost substances in very quick time and thereby restore youthful skin quickly. Unlike Botox, the muscles are not touched. There is a loosening of the collagen and elastin, which produces loose skin and sagging. The fillers occupy the space left behind by the lost collagen and elastin and actually ‘fill’ up the extra available space. This gives a firmer, younger looking skin. The lines and creases are actually eliminated. They can also be used to produce thicker lips, lifting cheeks and plumping temples.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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!
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Eczema is not a disease per se, but is a name given collectively to a group of medical conditions, which can cause the skin to become inflamed and irritated. Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common types of eczema.
While the exact cause of eczema is not known, the most commonly attributed reason is an increasingly sensitive immune system. The overactive immune system produces antibodies, which cause these skin reactions. It is also noted that people with allergies including hay fever and asthma are more likely to develop eczema.
There is also a genetic predisposition, and children whose parents have had eczema are likely to develop eczema.
In most people, eczema is present in the form of small blisters, which are filled with fluid and can ooze. Gradually, there could be dryness, crusting, scaling and thickening of the skin with plaque formation. The most common symptom would be itching. The different types of eczema as noted above would have diagnostic features. For instance, when testing for irritant or contact dermatitis, there would be an irritant that is causing this. Stasis dermatitis would have circulatory issues and often affects the lower legs.
In fair-skinned people, these lesions begin as red and then turn brown. There also could be lightening of the affected skin area in people with slightly darker skin.
For a trained medical eye, diagnosis of eczema is not a tough task. A complete physical examination may be done to assess the extent of eczema spread. Blood tests may be done to test for allergies. In very rare cases, a biopsy may also be required.
The goal of treatment is to reduce itching and improve moisturization. Eczema, unless associated with an infection, is not contagious.
Using copious amounts of creams and lotions help in improving hydration and moisturization, as they are allowed to soak into the skin.
Associated infections like scalp infections and fungal infections should also be treated with suitable products.
Immunomodulator creams like Elidel are useful by suppressing the immune system and preventing flare up of the allergic reactions.
Cold compresses may be used to relieve itching.
Since there is a strong genetic component related to eczema, prevention is helpful.
Constantly keep the skin moist and hydrated by using moisturizers, especially during winters.
Avoid clothes and metals which can cause allergy- like wool, nickel, harsh soaps, detergents, etc.
Avoid or be careful about food items which are known to cause allergies.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Chemical peels can improve the skin's appearance. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which makes it "blister" and eventually peel off. The new skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
Chemical peels can be done on the face, neck, or hands.
After the chemical peel treatment, the face looks fresher and smoother because the new skin is exposed. Chemical peels for face range from light to deep, depending on the skin type
Chemical peel benefits are numerous. It improves the appearance of the following:
- Fine lines in the under-eye area and around the lips
- Loose skin due to aging and sun damage
- Light scars, if any exist on face
- Skin tone
- Dark patches on skin caused by pregnancy
- Sun-related freckles and spots
- Skin Redness
However, the changes are transient and subsidise within hours.
What Does a Chemical Peel Do?
A chemical peel gets rid of imperfections on the face and neck, and makes wrinkles and acne scars less noticeable. It is not a question of do chemical peels work, but how well. One chemical peel session will not make the skin perfectly smooth; it will require several sessions to get the best results.
Before deciding to go for the treatment, it would be best to take time to understand and see what the chemical peel results will look like.
If there is one thing for sure, chemical peel treatments are super effective at what they do.
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 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.
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.
Ageing is often the harshest foe to the skin. The years will take its toll on the skin’s tightness, resulting in loose saggy skin. However, there are many techniques which allow for the rejuvenation and tightening of the skin and help you get your youthful look back. Most of these are usually non-invasive or minimally-invasive and include creams, peels, dermabrasion and other such forms of treatment. One such method which has become quite popular is laser skin tightening.
What is Laser Skin Lightening?
As is evident from the name, this method uses a laser or an infrared light source of a specific wavelength to heat up the treated area. This method of treatment specifically heats up the collagen present under the skin and stimulates it to cause tightening. This treatment also encourages the growth of new collagen under the skin.
Benefits of Laser Skin Tightening:
Some of the benefits of laser skin tightening are mentioned below –
It works deep beneath the skin– While most other treatments make you look younger by treating the superficial layers of skin, laser skin tightening works by stimulating the collagen under the skin and thus works from way deeper, making it a more effective treatment. It can easily correct all forms of lines on your neck, forehead, eyes, wrinkles and blemishes.
Minimally invasive– There is no involvement of surgical tools and thus no incisions, stitches or even injections are used. Although the skin is heated up from beneath the surface with the help of a laser, it is still a minimally invasive procedure.
Less painful– Although the lower layers of the skin are heated up, the laser mechanism allows for the top-most layer of the skin to remain cool, thus lessening the pain and discomfort faced during the procedure.
Minimal downtime– Laser skin tightening is a minimally invasive process and is usually done on an outpatient basis. The total downtime is quite minimal and you can resume daily activities quite quickly after the procedure.
- Lasts for longer– As the new collagen develops under your skin, the effects start to show in full swing in about a couple of months. You may at best need a follow up treatment to ensure that the best results are achieved. However, once the treatment is completed and the skin tightens, the effects do stay for quite a while.
A tattoo has a strong emotional association with the person having it. Commonly it is the loved ones name, idols, quotes or just anything that a person feels connected to. However, over time, it may happen that the tattoo may not hold the same relevance as it used to once upon a time. It could also lose its aesthetic appeal it once held. Whatever the reason, the tattoo needs to go. While tattoos were considered something permanent, there are now ways to remove it.
While the earlier methods were crude including removing the tattooed skin and grafting new skin, sanding the area, or dermabrasion; but today with the use of laser, the process has become much simpler and convenient. Laser is now the most widely used method of removing the tattoo.
A thorough evaluation to see the extent of the tattoo, in terms of depth, size and colors, is done before planning its removal. The type, strength and sessions of lasers will depend on these factors.
During the removal, the tattooed area is focused with a handheld device that emits laser light of the desired frequency and strength. This removes the colored pigments of the tattoo without affecting the surrounding skin. Different wavelengths of light are used to remove different pigments, which get broken down. These pigments are then washed out from the body as wastes.
Depending on the size and colors used in the tattoo, more than one sitting may be required. For large ones, up to 6 to 8 months may be required for complete removal. A minimum of 4 weeks gap is required between two sittings, allowing sufficient time for the skin to heal.
Professional vs Amateur Tattoos
Professional applied tattoos penetrate deeper into the skin at uniform levels which can make it easier to treat, but not always, as the ink is usually more dense. Amateur tattoos are often applied with an uneven hand which can make the removal challenging but overall they are easier to remove.
Risks and Side Effects
There are a handful of symptoms you might see post-treatment. Among them are blisters, swelling, raising of the tattoo, pinpoint bleeding, redness, and/or temporary darkening. Not to worry, though. These are common and usually subside within one to two weeks. If they don't, talk to your doctor.
- The way getting tattoo caused some pain, the removal will also cause some pain. Topical or local anaesthesia is used to make it comfortable.
- Not just the tattoo pigment but also some of the natural skin pigment is lost, so the skin can become lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.
- In some cases, there could be some scarring. The scar will get better and can be treated after tattoo laser sessions.
So, if you thought a tattoo is forever, it is not so. Go ahead and plan for its removal, of course after understanding what it entails.