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Vitiligo is a condition wherein the affected person starts losing the color of the skin, resulting in white patches. It can affect people of any age, sex, class, race, and ethnicity. Though Vitiligo is a lifelong condition, it can be managed with proper care and treatment.
Understanding the problem
Vitiligo is a skin disorder where certain areas of the skin start losing its normal pigment. The total area of the skin that can be affected by the disease may vary from one person to another. It may even affect the inner side of the mouth, eyes and in some cases, even the hair.
Vitiligo is a photosensitive skin disorder which means that the affected areas shall be more sensitive to the rays of the sun than the unaffected areas. It is very difficult to determine whether the patches will start spreading or not, and to what extent. It may take weeks to spread, or the patches may remain stable for months or even years together. The lighter patches become more visible in people with dark and sun-tanned skin.
The destruction of pigment-causing cells called the melanocytes cause Vitiligo. The exact cause of vitiligo remains unknown, some conditions that contribute to vitiligo are mentioned below:
- Albinism: It is a rare genetic disorder that lead to loss of color of the skin, hair, and the eyes.
- Alopecia Areata: It is an auto-immune disease that leads to hair loss in patches. It can also lead to vitiligo.
- Hashimoto’s thyroid: It is also an autoimmune disease that leads to discoloration of the skin. This also makes the skin more sensitive.
- Patchy loss of skin color
- Premature whitening or graying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard
- Loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of your mouth and nose (mucous membranes)
- Loss of or change in color of the inner layer of the eyeball (retina)
These white patches are more common in areas where the skin is exposed to the sun. The patches may be on the hands, feet, arms, face, and lips. Other common areas for white patches are:
- The armpits and groin (where the leg meets the body)
- Around the mouth
- Rectal areas
If leaft untreated, patient can have an increased risk of:
- Sunburn and skin cancer
- Social or psychological distress
- Hearing loss
- Eye problems, such as inflammation of the iris (iritis)
Vitiligo is described as more than a cosmetic problem; it is rather a health issue requiring clinical attention. Several remedies can aid in making the condition less visible, and some of them include:
- Using sunscreen regularly: Using sunscreen protects the lighter areas of the skin which are more sensitive to sun rays. Since there are several types of sunscreen available, consulting with a dermatologist is safe before choosing a sunscreen.
- Phototherapy using UVB light: Controlled exposure to UVB light is an effective treatment option for vitiligo. When this treatment is done at a clinic, you will need around 2 to 3 visits in a week, and the time required for the treatment will also be longer. UVB phototherapy can also be used when there are numerous white spots all over the body. Since this is a full-body treatment, it is performed in a hospital. This treatment, together with other treatments can have a substantial effect on vitiligo, but it is always necessary to have realistic expectations about the treatment.
- Skin camouflage: Those who are suffering from mild instances of vitiligo can greatly benefit from the camouflage treatment done with cosmetic creams or white patches.
- Laser therapy: People suffering from limited, stable patches of vitiligo can immensely benefit from vitiligo. Laser therapy is a safe and effective way to treat this condition. It may not be very cost effective, but the results are totally worth it, a patient may have to be treated twice a week and take 24-48 session to treat the localised lesions of vitiligo.
It is best to start the treatment of vitiligo as soon as possible to manage the condition to a substantial extent. So, visit a dermatologist today and understand which treatment option would work best for you. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease that most commonly affects children during their first year of life. This is also commonly noted in older children and occasionally in adults. This disease causes severe itching that many a times leads to skin infection. These rashes are commonly seen over the scalp, neck, cheeks and face. As the child grows older and also in adults, the rashes mainly appear in body creases and folds.
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is still under research but it is believed that people with the following are at risk of getting atopic dermatitis-
Dermatitis is not caused by food allergies but people with dermatitis are allergic to certain type of food like milk and other dairy products, shellfish and nuts.
- Dry itchy and scaly skin
- Redness and rashes
- Scratching and itching
- Appears bumpy and develop knots in thickened areas
If left untreated, atopic dermatitis may results in:
- Asthma and hay fever: More than half of the children with atopic dermatitis develop asthma and hay fever by age 13.
- Chronic itchy, scaly skin: Atopic dermatitis can cause the affected skin to become discolored, thick and leathery.
- Skin infections: Repeated scratching that breaks the skin can cause cracks and open sores. These increase the risk of infection.
- Irritant hand dermatitis: This especially affects people whose core work requires their hands to be wet and exposed to detergents, harsh soaps, and disinfectants.
- Sleep problems. The itch-scratch cycle can result in poor sleep quality.
It’s important to visit the dermatologist for treatment to control the disease and prevent it from worsening. Treatment includes medicines to control itching, reduce skin inflammation (redness and swelling) and clear infection.
The dermatologist will also suggest lifestyle modifications which are very important to manage the disease.
Tips for people with dermatitis-
Ways to ease discomfort :
- Make sure the humidity and temperature levels are comfortable.
- Apply moisturizer twice daily to make sure the skin does not get dry and cracks.
- Enquire your doctor about how to use wet wrap therapy and its effects.
- Make sure your child’s finger nails are cut short and smooth.
Bathing care -
- Bath your child with warm water not with hot water and make sure you complete the bath within 5-10 mins.
- Just pat the skin after bath with soft cotton towels and don’t make it dry completely.
- Apply the medicine if advised after bath. Make sure you apply the medicine before the skin gets completely dry.
- Apply moisturizer over the medicated skin.
- Avoid bubble bath and prefer bleach bath every two days if the skin gets infected.
Choosing right clothes-
- Uses limited amount of detergents to wash the clothes.
- Rinse the clothes with adequate amount of water and dry it completely under direct sunlight.
- Wash new clothes with plain water before wearing to your child to remove excess dyes and fragrances.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Around three percent of the world population is affected by the chronic skin disorder Psoriasis, which is triggered by an overactive immune system. Primarily affecting adults, the most common type of the condition is plaque psoriasis and is seen in people suffering from high blood sugar, heart disorders, and obesity.
The symptoms of the disease may vary from one individual to another, and the most common ones include red skin, scaling of the skin, and flakes coming out of areas such as knees, elbows, and scalp.
Understanding the condition
Psoriasis can be of various types, plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, and inverse psoriasis to mention a few. When the entire surface of the skin is affected by the condition, it is called erythrodermic psoriasis while palmoplantar psoriasis affects the palms and causes sores. Nail psoriasis causes yellow pitted nails which are often misdiagnosed with nail fungus.
In recent times, it has been found that people with psoriasis tend to have high blood sugar, high blood lipids, and different types of cardiovascular diseases. Around forty percent of the Psoriasis patients also experience symptoms of arthritis such as inflammation in the joints. In such cases, the disease is termed as psoriatic arthritis.
- Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease.
- Psoriasis is related to inherited genes in some cases.
- The most common form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis.
- Diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are common in people with psoriasis.
- Psoriasis is not contagious.
- Psoriasis can be initiated by certain environmental triggers.
- Psoriasis gets better and worse spontaneously and can have periodic remissions (clear skin).
- Psoriasis is controllable with medication.
Know the signs of psoriasis
Patients suffering from psoriasis may experience symptoms such as
- Itchy skin of knees, scalp, or whichever area is infected.
- White scales on the skin.
- In case the nails are affected, they will become discolored and separate easily from nail bed.
- In case of pustular psoriasis, the patient will have tint skin pustulates with cracked and scaly skin.
- Redness of skin.
What are the common types of psoriasis?
- Guttate Psoriasis - Commonly affects children and young adults, but the total rate is less than 2%. People affected by affected by it displays symptoms such as pink or red spots. It mostly affects the thighs, upper arms and scalp area.
- Inverse Psoriasis - This type of psoriasis showcases red but smooth and shiny scaleless skin. It mostly affects areas such as groin, armpits, skin folds and area under the breast.
- Plaque Psoriasis - The most common type of psoriasis is the plague type and displays symptoms such as red skin with silvery and white scales. Lower back, elbows, knees, and scalp are some of the areas affected by it.
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis - This is the least common type of psoriasis, however, is the most serious type. Severe itching of the skin along with peeling and burning sensation are some of the signs of this type of psoriasis
- Pustular Psoriasis - Again, a not so common type of psoriasis and mostly affects adults and is not infectious in nature. It can lead to a fast heartbeat, fever, chills, nausea along with muscle weakness.
What can cause Psoriasis?
The exact cause of psoriasis cannot be pinpointed. Various elements ranging from genetic predisposition to environmental factors can be involved in causing the disease. It is found that psoriasis affects individuals of the same family even though it is not contagious.
Psoriasis may also be caused when immune system regulation becomes defective, where the white blood cells known as T cells start targeting the healthy cells instead of attacking unwanted foreign substances. Even though so many factors have come to the fore, the precise cause of psoriasis is still not known.
Some effective treatment options are:
- Topical treatments that include salicylic acid ointment, steroid-based creams, and use of ointments containing Vitamin D and Vitamin A.
- Light therapy – Doctors may prescribe PUVA or PUVB which can help in treating Psoriasis. Also, the narrow-band UVB therapy is considered to be more effective.
- Oral and injectable drugs – Several medications that include Methotrexate, oral retinoids, and biologics that control immune response of the body are used to treat Psoriasis when other treatments fail to improve the condition.
Lifestyle and home remedies
Although self-help measures won't cure psoriasis, they may help improve the appearance and feel of damaged skin. These measures may benefit you:
- Take daily baths.
- Use moisturizer.
- Expose your skin to small amounts of sunlight.
- Avoid drinking alcohol.
Several treatments are available to manage the condition however, the disease is chronic, and the symptoms can be best managed with the assistance of a dermatologist. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Your skin is constantly exposed to harsh environmental factors. Over a course of time, the pollution and with the harmful effects of the UV rays of the sun can wreak havoc on the skin.
To combat such skin problems, several skin treatments are available. One such treatment option is microdermabrasion which helps in eliminating skin damages ranging from fine lines and wrinkles to acne scars to unwanted pigmentation.
Microdermabrasion is a common non-chemical and non-invasive treatment in which microcrystals are sprayed for removal of the outermost layer of dry and dead skin cells. The procedure aids in the production of the underlying layer of the skin cells with high levels of elastin and collagen so that the overall appearance of the skin is improved. Thus, your skin looks brighter and younger, brimming with health.
Skin problems that can be treated with Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion can effectively treat the following skin conditions
- Fine lines and wrinkles in the facial area
- Age Spots
- Sun damage
- Uneven pigmentation
- Issues with skin texture
- Minor scars
Also, the treatment is suggested for patients with acne or rosacea as the gentle spraying of microcrystals can help in dealing with the skin imperfections effectively. This is primarily achieved by removing the upper layer of the skin to allow the new and damage-free skin to manifest itself.
The process of microdermabrasion
During the microdermabrasion process, the expert dermatologist directs a fine stream of tiny aluminum oxide crystals with the help of a handpiece placed against the facial skin. The function of these crystals is to exfoliate the skin while the mild suction brought about by the microdermabrasion helps in removal of the crystals along with the debris of the skin.
How many sessions are required?
Numerous sessions of microdermabrasion may be required for the production of thicker and healthier layers of the skin with high levels of collagen as well as elastin. Both these crucial components of the skin are necessary for bringing out the healthy skin. One may need around 5 to 12 sessions of the treatment spaced at two or three weeks intervals in order to get the desired results.
Is it painful?
Microdermabrasion is a virtually painless procedure and takes only between 30 minutes or an hour an hour for each session which makes it one of the most convenient skin treatments.
Post-treatment care tips
After the treatment, the newly emerging layer of skin is typically more sensitive.
- Use sunscreen to protect from the sun.
- Apply moisturizer
Thus, if you are looking for an effective treatment to address skin problems due to pollution and aging, Microdermabrasion can be considered. With this treatment, it becomes effortless to reveal the younger-looking fresh skin that you have been longing for.
A skin condition that is quite common in adolescence is acne. The term acne refers to a skin condition where the hair follicles become clogged with oil from the skin and the dead skin cells, resulting in blackheads, whiteheads, and bumps that are commonly called pimples.
Often referred to as acne vulgaris, this skin condition is characterized by oily skin and scarring that the pimples left behind. Though usually common in young adults and teenagers, acne is a long-term skin disease that can affect anyone.
A number of reasons can be responsible for acne invasion. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Excessive oil production: The skin on the shoulders, face, and neck has the maximum oil glands present. Therefore, excessive oil production of these glands leads to pore clogging, increasing the chances of having acne.
- Skin irritation: Sometimes, skin irritation can also lead to acne invasion. From prolonged exposure to the sun to pressure on the skin, for example, holding a mobile against the face or wearing tight clothes, or applying makeups consisting harsh chemicals can trigger this skin problem.
- Hormonal imbalance: The sex hormones being responsible for the sebum production of the skin, disturbances of the same during due to puberty, pregnancy, menstruation or due to any other health conditions can also make the acne appear.
- Medications: Use of certain skin creams or oral medications containing lithium or corticosteroids can also lead to causing acne.
- Oral medications: Antibiotics, anti-androgen agents, oral contraceptives, and isotretinoin are some of the medication types that are used to prevent acne and to treat existing acne-prone skins.
- Topical medications: Topical medications are the most common form of treatment options for dealing with acne. After analyzing the skin condition, skin creams or ointments are prescribed that helps in reducing plugging of the hair follicles which leads to acne.
- Skin therapies: Depending on the skin type and the severity of acne, there are various therapies available that can cure acne. From chemical peels to steroid injections, photodynamic and laser therapies and extraction of whiteheads and blackheads are there to be used alone or in a combination with other treatment methods. When the hormonal imbalances are responsible for acne, hormone therapy may be used as a reliable acne treatment.
- Self-care: A few good practices such as protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure and avoiding picking or touching the acne-prone skin area can help in managing and controlling the condition.
Acne can affect facial skin, skin on the back, chest, and the shoulders, and can result in white or dark spots and scars on the affected area. Often causing embarrassment and irritation, the condition, however, can be well-managed with help from your dermatologist.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A highly contagious skin condition that is caused by the infestations of tiny burrowing mites but is treatable with medication is Scabies. When the skin comes in direct contact with infested bedding or clothing, microscopic human mites, known as Sarcoptes Scabiei, are transmitted into the skin, burrowing into the epidermis. Once the mites reach the epidermis, it lays eggs there and continues to live, causing scabies which results in skin rashes and itchy bumps.
Scabies is caused by the microscopic human itch mite when it burrows inside the epidermis. And there are two ways that a person can be infected with scabies, which are:
- Contact with objects infested: Sometimes, when the mite is present on an object, such as the bed sheet or the upholstered furniture, the towel or the bedding, and the skin comes in contact with these objects, scabies may spread. However, one must know that without human skin contact, the mite can survive only for 48 to 72 hours and this makes the risk of causing scabies through contact with infected objects less common.
- Direct skin to skin contact: Scabies is contagious but not highly contagious. Skin contact for a small period of time can not infect a person. Close physical with the infected person can lead to the spread of mites.
It is to be noted here that getting scabies from animals is not possible even if the animal has mites as this kind of scabies infest the human skin only.
Scabies is often confused with other skin issues like eczema and psoriasis. Therefore, every person with severe itching should be tested for scabies. Once diagnosed, the treatment is relatively simple. Listed below are some of the treatment options:
- Antibiotics: Patients who are suffering from excessive skin rash, itching and infections are usually treated with antibiotics to ease the itchy sensation.
- Decontamination: The decontamination involves washing the clothes of the infected person in hot water and keeping the objects that cannot be washed in a bag for around 2 to 3 days to kill mites and their eggs.
- Scabicides: Depending on the severity, overall health and age, the patient may be prescribed oral medication and creams.
- Antihistamine: Antihistamine refers to over-the-counter anti-allergy drugs that can also be of help in managing the itching and rashes.
Things to remember:
- In case of infected adults, scabicide cream or lotion needs to be applied all over infected person’s body, starting from the neck down to the toes.
- If a child is infected with scabies, the scabicide cream or lotion needs to be applied from head to toe.
- In case of an infant, it is advised that only sulfur ointment or permethrin may be used. It is essential that the medication is applied only over a clean body.
- All the people living with the infected person should also be treated simultaneously to avoid reinfestation.
As scabies spread moderately contagious, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent it from spreading further and causing any more trouble.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Hair fall is a part of the natural aging process. However, sometimes, excessive hair fall may be the result of a disease or any other poor health condition. Knowing the causes and the available treatment options can help in dealing with the hair fall problem. Read on to find what might be causing hair fall and the ways to treat the problem.
Causes of hair fall
Several factors can be responsible for causing hair fall, and a few of the most common causes are:
- Excessive hairstyling: Using products that are chemically harsh on the hair can trigger hair fall. Also, using styling products excessively such as straighteners, hair dryers, rollers, or bleach may result in inflaming and scaring the hair follicles leading to hair fall.
- Underlying illness or surgery: Suffering from an illness such as syphilis, thyroid, or autoimmune diseases, or experiencing tremendous stress after surgery can cease the hair production or trigger hair fall.
- Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances due to use of certain medications, childbirth or health conditions can also cause hair fall.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Hair fall can also be triggered by lack of nutrition or over dieting or eating disorders.
- Use of certain medications: Use of certain medications and drugs, such as chemotherapy drugs or medications that boosts Vitamin A level can also contribute to hair fall.
- Hereditary: Sometimes, hair fall can also be hereditary; and in that case, treating it becomes difficult. However, with the help of surgical treatments such as hair transplant, heredity induced hair fall can be treated.
How can hair fall be treated?
Several treatment options are available, and based on the cause of the hair fall, the present scalp condition, and the severity of hair fall among other factors, a dermatologist may offer the below-mentioned treatments:
- Medications: From topical lotions and creams to anti-inflammatory medications, depending upon the cause of hair fall, these medications can boost hair growth, while calming the inflamed and damaged hair follicles.
- Scalp reduction: When hair fall results in baldness, then this particular treatment may become helpful as, in it, the bald scalp area is replaced with scalp areas that have hair.
- Hair transplant surgery: Hair replacement through surgical techniques can also be great when people suffer from hair fall due to hereditary reasons and has developed bald spots as a result of rapidly increasing hair fall.
Experiencing hair fall for a long term can not only cause one to suffer from baldness, hair thinning, and bald patches, but also can result in permanent hair loss.
Are you experiencing skin itchiness and development of dry, scaly rashes on your skin? This indicates you have eczema, which is a group of skin diseases occurring due to the inflammation and irritation of skin. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema. The disease can be controlled if proper treatment is undertaken.
Itchy skin is the most common symptom of eczema. In some cases, the itching starts before the development of the rash. The rash appears most commonly on the back of the knees, face, hands, wrists and feet. The affected areas become dry and thickened and in people with a fair complexion, the areas may turn reddish initially and then become brown.
The specific cause of eczema is yet to be determined. However, the condition is associated with an overactive response by the immune system to an external irritant. This response leads to eczema. The condition is more common in people who have a family history of allergies or asthma.
- As the condition turns the skin dry and itchy, certain creams and lotions are recommended to be used in order to keep the skin moist. You should apply these products when your skin is damp, ideally after taking a shower. This helps the skin in retaining moisture. You can use a cold compress to ease the itching.
- Several creams such as hydrocortisone cream and ointments which contain corticosteroids are prescribed in order to reduce inflammation.
- In case the affected area becomes infected, antibiotics should be taken to eliminate the infection-causing bacteria.
- Antihistamines are used for reducing the severity of the itching.
Prevention of Eczema Flare-ups
- Moisturize your skin frequently
- Avoid sudden changes in humidity or temperature
- Abstain from overheating and sweating
- Try to reduce stress
- Avoid starchy material
- Avoid soaps, detergents and solvents, which are harsh
- Be aware of food items which trigger eczema flare-ups
It is recommended for you to consult a dermatologist if you experience any symptom of eczema. This will help you with a quick diagnosis so that you can start the treatment without further worsening of the symptoms. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!