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Patient Review Highlights
Acne or pimples is most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults, just around the time the body is undergoing hormonal adjustments. Thus, acne is not simply just a skin problem, but often an indication of internal bodily disturbances. Of course, there are other combination of aggravating factors at play, like genetics, active sebaceous glands and bacterial organisms that reside within the sebaceous glands.
An otherwise easily treatable condition, acne can result in permanent scars if left untreated, often resulting in low self-esteem, social isolation, depression and even suicidal ideation.
The skin acts as a window to internal disorders and many individuals with acne are found to have internal hormonal problems like polycystic ovary syndromes or insulin resistance syndromes. Females can have associated excessive hair on the chin, hair loss on the scalp, weight gain, menstrual abnormality and infertility.
- Diet does not have a major role in causing acne but cutting down on foods with high sugar content and milk may be useful.
- Certain medications and creams containing steroids can precipitate an outbreak of acne.
- Heavy and greasy cosmetics will aggravate acne.
- Special soaps, face washes, lotions, and so-called unscientific blood purifiers are of little help.
- Acne scars are repaired with newer dermatological technologies and techniques.
Just like with any other medical condition, each individual is different and will require a unique investigation and treatment plan. This is based on many factors like other current medical conditions, climate, age, sex, skin type and variety of acne.
Antibacterial, medicated soaps and washes are majorly advertised to be the best for maintaining a healthy, bug-free skin. You might think anti-bacterial washes and soaps kill harmful bacteria and germs lurking on your skin. However, antibacterial hand and body washes containing certain chemicals have recently been banned by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). They may be causing more damage to your skin, body and the environment and are no better than ordinary non-medicated soaps and washes.
A few valid reasons why you shouldn't use antibacterial washes:
- Antibacterials may lead to the growth of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: Bacteria cannot be killed by the very low doses of antibacterials present in these so-called antibacterial products. Moreover, these products are typically washed off in less than 30 seconds, not enough time to kill any microbe. Remember, to kill any germ effectively, your physician normally administers antibiotics round the clock for at least 5-7 days! Bugs are smart and with exposure to small doses and short durations, learn and quickly adapt to become resistant to these antibacterials. Later, during actual infections, even high doses of antibiotics are unable to kill these bugs.
- Antibacterial washes have the potential to perturb the environment: The common use of these products by millions of individuals causes a huge amount of antibacterial products to flush down the drains. These reach natural waterbodies in lakes, rivers and groundwater. This disrupts not only other natural microbes, algae and fish but many other natural aquatic organisms, resulting in damage to many natural systems.
- Antibacterial washes disrupt normal body functions: In animal studies, some of these antibacterial chemicals are found to cause disturbances in hormones, heart muscle, sperm, brain, and bone. Though these changes have not been thoroughly studied in humans yet, they may still result in minute changes which may have a larger impact over time.
- Risk of allergy increases: Your skin contains many kinds of good microbes which not only protect your skin from other harmful microbes but are also good for your overall health balance. By altering the normal flora of human skin, antibacterial washes may alter the immunity levels of our bodies. This may result in development of allergies.
- Antibacterial Washes are no better than normal, non-medicated, regular washes and soaps: Plain regular soaps and washes are as effective in washing of germs and for maintaining personal cleanliness as any other specially formulated and expensive antibacterial soap or wash. Also keep in mind that products labelled, organic, or 'natural' are not necessarily safe. Simply use ordinary, inexpensive, non-medicated soaps or washes of your own choice. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
I think I have allergy problem 4 days in a week I am suffering from cold specially sneezing a lot I showed drs they told me its an allergy so there is no any treatment for allergy, it happens mostly when I am in front of fan or if I am in ac room. So please is there any suggestion for me? Is it real there is no treatment for allergy? Thanks for your reply.
I have acne on my shoulder which is there for more then 8 months. From the beginning the size of it is not increased or decreased I ll be pressing it so that it ll increase n break but it's not happening. So what is the solution for this?
Is QRA underarm lightning cream good for dark underarms? I have tried lemon, baking powder but couldn't find any result. Please suggest me.
Most research on skin care is focussed on white, Caucasian skin types who live in cold temperate environments. Our Indian skin types are darker and in mostly hot, humid climates. Our skin reacts and adapts differently to the environment. Here are some unusual, interesting, skin care myth busters, specifically for Indian skin.
1. Myth: Exfoliation is an essential part of skin care regime.
Fact: Exfoliation is not an essential part of skin care regime.
Your skin is living tissue, which begins growing from the lower layer and is gradually pushed and shed automatically over a period of a few weeks from the skin surface. Simple gentle soap water bath is normally enough for most individuals and there is simply no need for you to try and exfoliate your skin. Let your dermatologist decide whether you need any exfoliation procedures.
2. Myth: It is important to check the type of wash you use.
Fact: It does not matter too much as to which wash you use.
A bewildering variety of soaps, syndet bars, lotions, body washes are available to clean your skin. You don't need to be very choosy. Simply use any one that suits your skin. People with dry and allergic skin need to be more careful and require non irritating, milder products. Avoid using 'antibacterial' or so called 'medicated soaps', since all these 'medications' are going to be washed off anyway along with the rinsing action. Don't expect to kill any bugs in this fashion.
3. Myth: Oily skin needs to be moisturized every day.
Fact: Oily skin may not need moisturizing.
You may have active sebaceous glands on the central part of your face causing oiliness. However, the rest of your skin may be dry. Apply moisturizers after baths on the dry areas. On the oily parts of your skin, you can skip the moisturizer and simply wash gently to keep the oil away.
4. Myth: Natural medicines are safer because they do not contain chemicals.
Fact: Most natural medicines contain many unknown chemicals of unknown significance.
More than $1 billion and over 12.5 years of painstaking work by scores of scientists are typically required to evaluate just one potential new chemical for medicinal use. Only a few chemicals pass through these very stringent series of scientific tests before they are carefully released for human use. It is a common practice in India to use many other unscientific medications. These purportedly safe, harmless and natural medicines are often concoctions of unknown chemicals (yes, chemicals!) that do not pass through any such rigorous testing, leaving serious doubts about their efficacy and safety.
5. Myth: Acne is just skin deep.
Fact: Acne is often driven by hormones.
Obtaining a flawless skin over a few months is actually quite easy under the supervision of any good dermatologist. However, acne is driven by hormones and that is why seen mostly in teenagers and young adults. Some patients may have associated oily skin, weight gain, menstrual irregularities, hair loss and excessive hair on the chin. All this may point to internal hormonal issues which your dermatologist may detect and investigate.
6. Myth: Drinking lots of water results in beautiful skin.
Fact: Drinking excess water does not help.
Inadequate water consumption can severely affect the proper functioning of your internal organs and your body as a whole. It is extremely essential to drink sufficient water to facilitate the proper functioning of your body and to ensure a healthy glow in your skin. However, you should also remember that drinking excess water does nothing extra for your skin.
7. Myth: Skin Brightening Creams Give Fairer Skin.
Fact:Skin brightening creams can be harmful.
Fairness creams have long been accused of being discriminatory and racist, but what is a lesser known fact about the billion dollar industry is that they can land you with far more serious problems. Many of these creams contain harmful compounds, which can permanently damage your skin and also your internal organs.Prescription creams from your pharmacy are meant to be used only under medical supervision and misuse by self medication can land you in serious trouble. Don't use medicines on your own, even if you are a doctor!
8. Myth: Sunscreens are essential for everybody.
Fact: Sunscreens are recommended to prevent skin cancers.
Sunscreens were developed and are recommended internationally to prevent skin cancers. Chances are that you use your sunscreen for another less serious reason: you want to prevent a tan and want your skin to remain fairer. If this is the case, use a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB radiation and also probably against sweat. You need to apply at least an ounce (30 ml) every 2 hours on exposed areas of your skin. Applying this entire amount so frequently in a hot, muggy, climate may not be very comfortable and it will most likely pinch your pocket. You could consider using hats, umbrellas and sun-protective clothing instead.