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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.
Other conditions which can lead to eczema include allergic dermatitis, irritant dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, scabies, fungal infections, xerotic dermatitis, lichen planus and scalp infections.
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.
Topical steroids may be required if allergy is suspected. In most cases, hydrocortisone and corticosteroid creams are very effective.
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. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.
I am a 22 year female and I have wet dandruff due to which I am losing a lot of hair. I am also experiencing skin problems. Will Amway Nutrilite Hair, skin and nails improve my situation? Or will it be of any help for that matter?
Hi. I'm a 22 year old female. I am a student. I have white pustules on my scalp since past 6 months. My dermatologist gave me amoxicillin 500 mg initially. The pustules went away for a week's time and returned back. Then my dermatologist recommended me linox 600 along with vizylac, twice a day on 12 hourly basis for a week. The pustules went away for 15 days and came back again. Then she took my skin prick test and asked me to avoid the things I was allergic to. I even did that. But nothing helped. The pustules are still on my scalp. They are filled with yellowish/white puss and has redness around its boundaries. They pain when touched with the Brussels of the comb. Please suggest me some medicine to permanently get rid of them. As they are causing me lot of hair fall too. I'm scared since no remedy of my dermatologist worked .
Finding the perfect skin care routine for yourself is no easy task, it requires knowledge about your skin. It also requires you to go through various skincare products and a trial and error method to find suitable products. Maintaining a healthy skin is an indicator of your general health and hence cannot be taken lightly.
In order to determine the perfect skin care routine, you must first determine the type of skin you have. Usually the skin types are classified as dry skin, oily skin and combination skin (a mixture of both oily skin and dry skin). Dry skin is characterized by tightness and flakiness; it turns parched on washing and you need constant moisturizing. Oily skin is characterized by presence of large pores and oiliness in the skin. This skin type is also prone to acne and pimples. Combination skin type is characterized by an oily t-zone (nose, chin and forehead) with dry cheeks.
Based on identifying the skincare type, now your focus should be on putting together a skincare routine that keeps your skin fresh and healthy. Here are some tips to find the perfect skincare routine based on your skin type:
- Oily skin: Oily skin is characterized by excessive oiliness in the skin and thus you need to keep your face clean at all times. Use a mild cleanser to clean your face twice a day so as to keep those pores unclogged. If the pores get clogged with impurities then inflammation occurs resulting in acne. Focus on using water based moisturizers so that the skin remains oil free.
- Dry skin: Dry skin is characterized by parched skin that feels flaky at times, so restrict cleaning your face excessively as it will strip away the natural oils. Use oil based moisturizers to moisturize your skin after washing it. Eat a lot of protein based food to keep your skin healthy.
- Combination skin: Combination skin is a mixture of both oily and dry skin. The oily parts of the skin need attention similar to the oily skin routine. Wash your skin with a gentle cleanser and avoid using harsh soaps. Apply moisturizes only to dry areas of the skin as it may aggravate flare ups if applied to the oily parts.