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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.
The following are the treatment options available for treating acne problem.
- 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.
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.
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.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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!