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Benefits of Tea Tree Oil And Its Side Effects Tips

Know About Aromatherapy And Its Benefits!

MD - Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Nagpur
Know About Aromatherapy And Its Benefits!

Aromatherapy is an ancient practice that dates back to ancient times across many cultures. This is a practice where concentrated oils are used to treat many imbalances and disorders within the body. The oils emit a fragrance or aroma, through which many important molecules enter your blood stream which have a healing effect. The oils can be applied on the skin and the aroma is then absorbed directly into the body through it. They can also be used as an aromatic agent where you need to sniff them in order for the molecules to get inside the body and then be absorbed into your blood.

What kind of oils are generally used in aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy uses essential oils similar to the ones used for massage in many other forms of alternative medicine such as Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. These oils have the organic compounds within the plants or respective sources concentrated into a small dose so it can pass on the benefits of those compounds to you, healing your body. Some of the types of oils used in aromatherapy are –
1. Peppermint oil
2. Tee tree oil
3. Lavender oil
4. Frankincense oil
5. Lemon oils among many others

How are essential oils made?
Essential oils are made from natural ingredients such as herbs and resins of different plants. These can be extracted from the following sources of a plant, tree or herb:
1. Flowers
2. Seeds
3. Fruits
4. Leaves
5. Bark
6. Roots
7. Stems etc.

Aromatic oils tend to be powerful as a lot of ingredients go into the making of a small quantity of oil. It is estimated that it takes multiple kilos of an ingredient to make only a few milliliters of an essential oil. Due to the immense concentration of the powerful organic compounds created by this, organic oils are very effective and thus potent in curing ailments. The compounds are separated through a distillation process that separates the oils from the other components.

How and where are essential oils in aromatherapy effective?
Aromatherapy is very effective in dealing with lesser ailments and also as a supplementary form of treatment for other larger problems such as recovery form surgery and pain relief. Some of the more common areas where aromatherapy is very helpful are:
1. Relieving and reducing stress
2. Relief from joint pain
3. Resisting Cold and flu like infections
4. Building the immunity of the body
5. Improving the appearance and health of your skin by fighting wrinkles, skin infections and inflammation
6. Reduce pain from inflammation and other disorders
7. Corrects and properly regulates hormone production within the body
8. Helps with gastrointestinal problems as well as improving digestion among many other such benefits

Certain specific types of essential oils and their benefits in aromatherapy
1. Lavender oil: Helps heal burns and cuts quicker, relaxes your body and improves your mood
2. Peppermint oil: Helps with digestion, builds up immunity, and helps with the ability to focus among others
3. Rosemary oil: Helps build hair strength, improves memory and brain function in general
4. Sandalwood oil: Improves skin quality, fights inflammation and wrinkles and also acts a as a libido booster
5. Rose oil: Extremely effective for combatting skin problems as well as for natural glow of the skin
6. Tea tree oil: An excellent immunity booster, Tea tree oil also has antifungal and antimicrobial properties which can fight off infections and cure the ailments much quicker.

Facial Scrubs - How To Know If It Is Done Excessively?

Evolve Esthetique Clinics 88% (30 ratings)
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Lucknow
Facial Scrubs - How To Know If It Is Done Excessively?

The market is replete with various facial scrubs that are favoured by men and women of all ages. These are especially helpful if you are facing dust and pollution every day, or are exposed to the sun for prolonged hours. Using facial scrubs is a form of exfoliation that helps in rubbing the granules into the skin so as to remove dead cells and give the skin a more supple tone. Yet, too much use of facial scrubs can also lead to a variety of skin troubles. So, how can you tell if you are overdoing our facial scrubbing routine?

-  Redness and Peeling of the Skin: When you over exfoliate or use facial scrubs too often, you may find redness on your skin due to the constant abrasive action. Also, you may experience too much of skin peeling and flaking due to the same reason, instead of a mere clean up of the dead skin cells. In such cases, you will need to halt your process of constant buffing.

-  Products with Green Tea Extracts: Using tea tree oil or green extracts can help in better exfoliation with a gentle action on your skin. This can soothe the skin and even prevent skin cancer, as per a variety of scientific and medical studies. Licorice root extract as well as cucumber based scrubs can also help in making the skin softer. 

-  Inflammation: Inflammation is another sign that you may be overdoing your facial scrubbing routine. You can use a scrub with bisabobol which usually comes from Chamomile. This can help in reducing inflammation due to constant exfoliation and facial scrubbing. 

-  Scrubbing Gear: Using a washcloth to clear away those dead skin cells or a scrubber or brush can turn out to be too harsh for your soft facial skin to handle. You must restrict the use of these tools to about once a week so that your skin does not get too dehydrated or wear a scrubbed look which does not have a glow.

-  Testing a New Product: Test a new scrub over a small patch of your skin before using it to watch out for tell tale signs like rashes or other eruptions. Also, when you are using a seed or dry fruits based scrub, you must limit the use and not rub it around the delicate areas of the eyes and mouth so that the skin does not get rubbed too much, which can leave it loose.

Using facial scrubs should be limited and used only when you feel like there is too much build up of dirt and grime.
 

Pitted Keratolysis - Remedies That Can Really Help!

MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD), DDV, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Pune
Pitted Keratolysis - Remedies That Can Really Help!

Pitted keratolysis is a skin condition that affects the soles of your feet. As a result of this disease, the skin on the forefoot or heel turns white with pitted clusters. This is often accompanied by an offensive odor and is worse when the skin is wet. This odor is the main reason patients seek treatment for this skin condition. If left untreated, this can last for many years.

People who suffer from excessive sweating and those who wear closed shoes for extended durations have a high risk of suffering from this condition. Pitted Keratolysis is a bacterial infection where the bacteria multiply in moist conditions and release enzymes that destroy the horny cells of the foot soles. 

With time, this turns into characteristic crater like pits on the skin. They also produce sulphur compounds simultaneously that lead to the odor. Treatment for this skin condition can be categorized under medicinal treatments and home remedies.

Medicinal remedies:

  1. One of the ways to treat this disease is to treat the hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating that triggers it.
  2. Topical fusidic acid ointments or clotrimazole ointments can also provide some relief.
  3. Your doctor may also prescribe oral antibiotics to clear stubborn lesions.
  4. Other treatment options include anti-bacterial soap and injectable botulinum toxin. Using a strong antiperspirant with aluminum chloride can also resolve the issue.

Home remedies:

  1. The first thing you must do if you suffer from this condition is keep your feet dry. Wearing socks with your shoes is a good idea as this keeps your feet dry and ventilated. Thus, keeping the bacteria from multiplying. After having a bath, pay special attention to drying your feet. You could even use a hair dryer on your feet.
  2. Wash your feet with soap and water at least twice a day. You could also use an antiseptic cleanser or antibacterial soap.
  3. Try and reduce the number of hours you wear closed shoes. Whenever possible, wear open toed sandals. Do not wear the same shoes for two days in a row without giving them time to dry out.
  4. If possible, change your socks at least once in the day.
  5. Do not share footwear or towels with anyone else.
  6. Apply antiperspirants to the soles of your feet.
  7. Soak your feet in half a bucket of water with 15-20 drops of tea tree oil.

Acne Breakout - Know Why It Happens!

MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD), DDV, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Pune
Acne Breakout - Know Why It Happens!

Acne is very common nowadays, whether it be among teens or adults. It seems this tiny little thing disturbs many! Proper treatment of several months is needed to eradicate this problem. You have to maintain your daily skin regime to prevent it and get a healthy and glowing skin. Acne also called pimples is the cause of spots on the face, further leaving scars there. These scars are very difficult to get rid of. Many get acne in their teen years only and it get minimized as soon as the adult years hit. On the other hand, many people start to get pimples from their early adolescence and this problem prevails well into their middle age or old age. The root cause may vary from person to person. Both the genders are equally affected and suffer from the problem of acne. Acne and scars on the face make an unappealing personality which is of course not liked by many and it can really reduce your confidence level.

Reasons behind break out of acne

  1. It is quite natural to get acne in adolescent years as there are overall lots of changes in the body at that time.
  2. Acne occurs when the pores on our skin get clogged. The clog is due to excess oil secreted by the skin or the presence of dead cells.
  3. People adopt unhealthy lifestyles like consumption of junk food, excessive alcohol intake and smoking, irregular sleeping hours.
  4. People use skin products which may not be suitable for their skin type.
  5. Acne could be the result of an internal problem in your body and it may be the indicator or reflection on your face.
  6. You may be suffering from dandruff, resulting in acne.
  7. You just can’t stop picking the pimples which result in acne scars and further acne.

Treatment of Acne and Scars
You should take care of your face like you would care for a baby. A proper routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing should be done twice daily. If anyone has oily skin, then they should search for products that are specifically for oily skin. One should not touch one’s face unnecessarily as hands have minute impurities many times. Scars can be prevented by treating acne and not by touching them. Many natural ways of treatment are there which you can find among your kitchen ingredients. You can apply apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and honey mask, milk and honey mask, egg white mask, smashed papaya mask, orange peel paste, applying tea tree oil, aloe vera, baking soda and much more on your skin as a part of the natural treatment. But you should also consult a dermatologist or medical practitioner before taking any treatment to find the root cause of acne and eradicate them totally.

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Lice - Causes, Symptoms And Prevention Of It!

D.V.D, MBBS
Dermatologist, Delhi
Lice - Causes, Symptoms And Prevention Of It!

A head louse is an insect that lives on the human scalp and feeds on human blood. The female louse lays eggs in the head and makes sure the eggs are attached to the hair shaft. It takes around eight days for the egg to hatch. The louse takes another 11 days to mature into an adult louse.

Causes:
The primary cause of head louse is poor personal hygiene. Other causes due to which a person can be infected by lice are:

  1. Using combs and towels that are infested.
  2. Coming in contact with another person who has this condition.
  3. Sharing the bed with a person who is affected by lice.

Symptoms:

When a person is affected by this condition then the following symptoms are observed:

  1. The saliva of the lice causes an allergic reaction in the scalp which leads to constant itching. It can occur in various places such as ears, scalp and the neck. It may not occur initially, but it tends to occur after a few weeks.
  2. Constant scratching can lead to formation of small red bumps on the skin. A bacterial infection usually occurs from constant itching.
  3. It may lead to symptoms of dandruff in the scalp.
  4. Presence of various insects in the scalp.

Prevention of Lice:

Lice can be prevented by using medicated shampoos and conditioners to wash the hair. The shampoos are usually based on a chemical called pyrethrin. This compound is toxic for lice and helps in getting rid of it.

You can also opt for the following lifestyle changes to prevent lice:

  1. You should avoid sharing your hairbrush with others.
  2. In case you have long hair, tie it in buns or ponytails.
  3. Add tea tree oil to your shampoo before using it.
  4. Keep the scalp clean to prevent infestations.
  5. Avoid sharing pillows and clothes.
2486 people found this helpful

Rashes on Skin - How Ayurveda Can Help?

MD - Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Nagpur
Rashes on Skin - How Ayurveda Can Help?

Ayurveda believes health is managed by 3 components i.e. pitta, vata and kapha dosha. The type of skin that a person has also depends on which of these is predominant. Accordingly, in people where pitta is dominant, it is warm to the touch and more prone to breakouts and moles and freckles. In people where vata is dominant, the skin is thin and remains cool, gets dehydrated easily and is easily affected by dry weather. In people with kapha dominance, the skin is thick and greasy and is more tolerant to sun exposure.

Allergy is when the body responds adversely to a component which might have reached the system either through air, food or contact. Various substances cause allergies and with most allergies, skin rashes are common, can be of mainly 4 types:

  1. Contact dermatitis: When the skin comes in touch with an allergy-causing agent, the skin breaks out into a rash. The inducing agent could be rubber, chemicals, metals, pets, etc.
  2. Bites and stings: When insects such as bees or other insects sting or bite, the surrounding area develops a rash.
  3. Warm weather: When the weather is too warm, there is prickly heat effect, which produces a rash.
  4. Food induced: When certain food items like peanuts or eggs are consumed, some people develop a skin rash.

Whatever the reason, the mode of management would be to try to achieve a balance between the three components.

  1. Poppy seeds: A paste of poppy seeds powder mixed with lemon juice and water can help get rid of rashes.
  2. Buttermilk and baking soda: Use a cotton swab to apply a mixture of buttermilk and baking soda on the affected skin area and see the rashes disappear. The soothing effect and relief will be felt immediately.
  3. Basil leaves, garlic and olive oil: Crush some basil leaves and add some garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil to form a smooth paste. Apply over the skin rash for 1 to 2 days until the rashes disappear.
  4. Oatmeal bath: Adding a cup of uncooked oatmeal into the bath water and using this water for a bath after 5 minutes is a great way to get rid of rashes and their redness and itching.
  5. Essential oils: Almond oil, chamomile oil, and tea tree oil can be mixed in equal proportions to get relief from rashes of almost all causes.
  6. Cold tea bags: Using cold tea bags on the skin helps relief of the rashes through tannin contained in the tea, which has great healing properties.

Just as skin rash is very common, so is the treatment. These substances are readily available in the kitchen and so treating a skin rash is very easy.

Tinea Versicolor - Know More About It!

MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Tinea Versicolor - Know More About It!

Tinea Versicolor -
Tinea versicolor also called as pityriasis versicolor is an infection of the human body caused by the Malassezia fungus, which is normally found on the human skin. Normally, this fungus does not harm the body and even protect our skin from the infections or diseases. But at times, it grows rapidly and changes the skin colour, resulting in the tinea versicolor disease.

Tinea versicolor does not cause any kind of critical harm to the health or pain in your body. However, those are more of the cosmetic concerns for its patients. The disease causes small white or other coloured patches of light to dark shades in smaller to larger areas on the skin. It primarily takes place in the upper back, chest and shoulders of an individual.

However, it may impact almost any part of the body. So, if such marks are well visible on your body even on covering up with the getups, you may feel a little awkward to go out in public. This disease generally affects the young adults and teens. Other than that, the individuals residing in the humid and warm weather are more likely to suffer from tinea versicolor.

Symptoms of Tinea Versicolor:
Following are the various general symptoms of the tinea versicolor disease:

-  Light to dark skin discolouration patches mainly on the chest, back, neck, upper half areas of the arms, and other areas on the body

-  The patches may be of red, pink, brown, or tan colours

-  The short-period or continual growth of such patches for few months

-  Scaling

-  Mild to intense itching in the skin area on which such patches are seen

Normally, tinea versicolor does not cause any harm to your skin or body, just apart from the itchy temptation. Additionally, you may feel sensitivity, uneasiness and irritation in the impacted area at times. Rest than that, young and healthy people are more likely to have tinea versicolor on their skin as compare to the people of other age groups.

Note that once such marks appear on any part of the body of its patient, those may be disappeared in the cold season, and intensify again in the summer season. Those may also subside in case you shift to a cold place during the summer season also. So, it is more of a seasonal or climatic disease for its patients.

Causes of Tinea Versicolor:
As already mentioned, the primary cause of the tinea versicolor is the Malassezia class of fungus, found on the skin of a healthy person. However, the symptoms of tinea versicolor are seen only with their overgrowth. Following are the primary reasons that trigger the growth of the Malassezia fungus and consequently causes tinea versicolor:

-  Humid and hot weather, this fungus could not breed easily in the cold weather

-  Individuals with oily skin

-  Hormonal changes in the body of healthy people

-  Individuals with weaker immunity

-  Individuals who observe more sweating than usual

Prevention of Tinea Versicolor:
Since the Malassezia fungus is always there on the human skin, it is very difficult to completely prevent the occurrence of tinea versicolor. But in case you are once diagnosed with it and have got complete treatment, you may take several measures to prevent its recurrence in the future. 

Some of those are mentioned below:

-  Avoid exposure to excessive heat, which may cause you to sweat more

-  Refrain from direct exposure to the sunlight for several hours at a stretch

-  Prevent your body from tanning due to sunlight by applying sunscreen lotion on your body before going out

-  Avoid excessive sweating for any reason

-  Use a selenium-based antidandruff shampoo at least once in every few weeks

-  Avoid wearing tight clothes in the summer seasons

-  Try to wear cotton clothes for decreasing sweat

-  Adopt a well-balanced and healthy diet rich with vitamins, minerals and fibre, to keep your immune system intact

-  Avoid eating too much junk food

 

Take a note that there are several patients who tend to suffer from tinea versicolor during a specific set of months of every year, like from May to August. They may prevent its reoccurrence by adopting some skin strengthening treatment using the following medicines:

-  Selsun or selenium sulphide, 2.5% lotion

-  Ketoconazole, Ketoconazole or Nizoral gel or cream

-  Onmel and Sporanox (Itraconazole) capsules or tablets

-  Diflucan (Fluconazole) tablets

How is it diagnosed with Tinea Versicolor?
Normally, you are not required to worry about the treatment for tinea versicolor, being a lesser harmful disease. But, in case you see any of the symptoms associated with it on any part of your body, you may consult your doctor. Post a visual examination of the symptoms, the doctor may confirm the occurrence of tinea versicolor.

If required, the dermatologist may recommend performing a test in which some skin sample is extracted from the infected area and sent to the laboratory for the microscopic examination. A good amount of the Malassezia fungus in the skin sample confirms the tinea versicolor disease in the infected part of the body.

Treatment of Tinea Versicolor:
Post the diagnosis and confirmation of tinea versicolor, the dermatologist may recommend you the medical treatment for stopping the growth of the Malassezia fungus in your skin. This may be required only in the cases when the symptoms are severe. This treatment would also help you in avoiding the disease’s symptoms for long-term.

Some of the medicines that help in coping-up with the symptoms of this disease include the following types of antifungal shampoos or creams:

-  Clotrimazole - Lotrimin AF and Mycelex

-  Selenium Sulfide - Selsun Blue shampoo

-  Miconazole - Monistat and M-Zole

-  Terbinafine - Lamisil

The following creams or ointments may be applied locally on the skin area affected with tinea versicolor to kill the fungus:

-  Ketoconazole - Extina and Nizoral

-  Ciclopirox – Loprox and Penlac

Note: It is recommended to wash and dry the infected area before applying these creams or ointment over those. The doctor may prescribe to apply those as a thin layer at least twice a day for at least one to two weeks.

The dermatologist may also prescribe you the following pills or capsules for the treatment of tinea versicolor:

-  Itraconazole – Onmel and Sporanox

-  Fluconazole - Diflucan

-  Ketoconazole

Other than the dermatology treatment, there are certain home remedies that you may adopt for the treatment of this disease. Although all such home remedies are natural and hence safer to adopt, it is strongly recommended to discuss with your doctor before starting over those. There are certain conditions like pregnancy or other illnesses, in which these ingredients may cause harm to the body.

The doctor will diagnose your physical conditions and symptoms to ensure that any of those would not cause any harmful side impact on your body. Some of such home remedies may include consumption and/or application of the following substances on the impacted area of tinea versicolor:

-  Tea tree oil

-  Aloe vera

-  Garlic

-  Turmeric

-  Apple cider vinegar

-  Oregano oil

-  Indian lilac

-  Olive oil

-  Yoghurt

 

Complications:
There have not been found any cases where tinea versicolor would have caused severe complication on the skin or any other part of the body. For this reason, you may leave it untreated even for a long time from its diagnosis. The only bad part is that many of its patients do not like its appearance of their body.

The primary, but mild, a complication of this disease is the discolouration of the skin. This may persist for even several weeks after starting the treatment, since the skin colour producing cells (known as melanocytes) may take that much of time for complete recovery and pigmentation. Note that this disease never imposes any permanent complication on your skin.

The symptoms are even vanished or minimized in the winter season or at colder places. Since the infection or discolouration occurs only on the surface of the skin, there is no impact on the body organs or the immune system of the patient of this disease.

Other than the weird or different coloured appearance, few patients in some rare cases may observe the enlarged size of tineas on their body. It makes them face problems wearing fitted clothes, shoes and more.

Myths related to Tinea Versicolor:
Myth #1:
Tinea versicolor, if not treated on time, may become a cause of skin cancer

Although the symptoms may look little alike, tinea versicolor is different from that of a skin cancer. Tinea versicolor is the overgrowth of a specific type of fungus on the skin. However, skin cancer is an overgrowth of the skin tissues itself, which is unstoppable. In case the symptoms on your skins are worsening over the time, it would be good to see a dermatologist at the earliest. If the physicians suspect that the discolouration or patches on the patient’s skin are due to the skin cancer, they may advise getting a biopsy test done.

Myth #2: Sitting in the sunlight would help in reducing the size and growth of tinea versicolor

Sunlight would not reduce the existing impact or stop the growth of tinea versicolor. On the other hand, the sunlight would tan the affected area and highlight it. Other than that, the sunlight would give an ample amount of heat to the fungus, which would be ideal for them to breed. So, sunlight will ultimately worsen the symptoms of tinea versicolor.

Myth #3: Once after completion of the treatment, tinea versicolor would not reoccur

This is not true. A person once affected by tinea versicolor is, in fact, more prone to catch the infection again in the hotter climate conditions. It is therefore recommended for them to take most care and follow the precautions, especially during the summer season.

Myth #4: Only the individuals with a weaker immune system may be affected by tinea versicolor

It is true that the individuals with a weaker immune system are more likely to catch an infection of tinea versicolor. However, there are multiple other reasons that tend to increase the risk associated with this disease. For instance, the healthy people undergoing hormonal changes may also suffer from this disease easily.

Myth #5: Individuals with a fairer skin are more prone to get affected by tinea versicolor as compared to those with light skin

Individuals with any colour of skin are equally likely to develop this disease considering the other affecting conditions and factors. There is nothing specific for this disease related to the skin colour.

 

Conclusion:
Tinea versicolor is just the state of mild skin infection caused due to overgrowth of the Malassezia class of fungus on the patient’s skin. It does not have adverse symptoms on the skin, which also do not impose any direct health complication.

However, you must visit a dermatologist if the symptoms are not stopping over several months, for the confirmation that it is not skin cancer. Once diagnosed, you may get it treated by the doctor for the disappearance of the symptoms. You should also follow the precautions mentioned in this article to avoid this disease to take place.

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Definition Of Molluscum Contagiosum!

MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Definition Of Molluscum Contagiosum!

Definition of Molluscum contagiosum:
Molluscum contagiosum is the infection of the skin caused by the Molluscum contagiosum virus, which belongs to the same family as the pox. It is a common infection but is contagious. It causes raised nodules on the epidermal layer of the skin. This condition is also commonly known as the molluscipoxvirus. It is classified as a chronic infection and can be resolved in anywhere between six to nine months, generally.

Molluscum contagiosum is known to be more prevalent in the humid and warmer regions of the world, though it can occur anywhere. Being a contagious infection, it can spread from person to person by means of physical contact, sexual contact or sharing of contaminated articles of personal use. The mode of transfer is usually autoinoculation, meaning self-transfer by the virus from one area of the epidermal surface to another. More often than not, the incubation time for the virus in anywhere between two and seven weeks. For some people, the symptoms may show up even up to six months later.

After the healing process is complete, scars or marks are not left behind on the skin. They heal with time. In severe cases, the infection can take up to four years to be resolved completely. 

Symptoms of Molluscum contagiosum:

  • The most common areas of the body where Molluscum contagiosum generally appear are the epidermal surfaces of limbs, face, chest and trunk. In children, the symptoms of Molluscum contagiosum are often seen occurring on the limbs. In adults, the same symptoms can be found specifically on the inner thighs, abdomen and genital areas.
  • The lesions or raised nodes can be itchy but do not pain in general cases. The lesions or nodes are small in size, with a diameter of 2 – 5 millimetre each. The unique character of this infection is that the lesions and nodes have a dimple lie resemblance in the central area.
  • In the initial stages of the infection, the lesions or nodes have a dome-shaped structure and are the colour of flesh, but during the course of time, change in appearance to become more soft with a light or white shade at the centre, with the presence of a waxy, almost semi-solid material.
  • For people who have normal to healthy immune systems, this infection can disappear naturally in the span of a few months. People who have other chronic diseases may face problems in resolving the issue naturally and spontaneously. This infection also further deteriorates their immune systems. The lesions may spread slowly or rapidly and become extensive in nature.

Causes of Molluscum contagiosum:

  • Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus of the same name. This virus belongs to the pox family. The infection can spread by means of physical contact such as scratches, rubbing or touch. It can also spread by mode of sexual contact. Usage of personal articles or objects touched by an already infected individual can be a mode in which this auto inoculating virus spreads from person to person.
  • People with weakened immune systems are more prone to not only Molluscum contagiosum, but any other infection, communicable or non-communicable. The idea is that the virus can survive and thrive in surfaces that have been in contact with the human skin which is infected by the same virus. So articles of personal use and public articles and objects are literally a breeding ground for the virus.
  • The virus can survive only for a limited period of time on the epidermal surface of the human body, the skin. The presence of lesions or nodes on the skin surface indicates the activity of the virus. During the healing process, the lesions and nodes disappear, leaving no scars behind. This is an indication that the virus is no longer active and has left the body of the host.

Diagnosis of Molluscum contagiosum:

  • Usually, the diagnosis of this viral infection is relatively easy because of its unique appearance of a dome-shaped node or lesion, which is between 2 and 5 millimetres in diameter. With due course, the appearance of the lesion changes from flesh coloured and dome-shaped to flattened and pale or white appearance with the presence of a semi-solid like waxy material.
  • At the beginning of the infection, the eruptions are small and almost flat. In the next stage, the lesions become dome-shaped and are filled with a whitish, cheesy, wax-like substance that when punctured, can spread the virus. The semi-solid filled dome has a small navel-like depression in the centre. Towards the later stages, the nodules dry out or break on their own and the liquid is washed off. The skin takes time to heal the aberrations. In most cases, scars are not left behind. As new skin grows, there may be white patches of skin in the area affected by the viral infection. This eventually disappears and the lesions go away completely, leaving the skin fresh and without scars.
  • Scars are left behind in very rare cases due to complicated infection or treatment of the viral infection by means of a surgical method. 
  • However, the doctor can confirm the presence of Molluscum contagiosum with a simple skin biopsy. In this method of diagnosis, the skin surface is scraped for a sample for testing. A pathologist can then easily determine the presence of the viral infection. This diagnosis is definitive and helps the doctor to distinguish from other conditions such as rashes, herpes, dermatitis, folliculitis or other common infections of the skin.

Treatment of Molluscum contagiosum:
In most cases of a Molluscum contagiosum infection, the infection will take a few months to heal on its own. The lesions or nodules completely disappear from the epidermal surface. People with a healthy immune system do not require a medical intervention unless it is a complicated or very advanced stage of the infection.

The cases where medical assistance and treatment is required is when the lesions are large, i.e. more than 15 millimetres in diameter and if the nodes have affected the face or neck region.

Patients who are already suffering from any other skin related issue of any kind do need the medical intervention of a doctor to prevent complications of the infection.

There are various treatment options to choose from:
-  Curettage:
In this method, a local anaesthetic is administered and the lesions filled with the cheese like waxy substance are scooped out with a sterilized spoon like an instrument. The anaesthetic is administered because the instrument has a sharp edge and the process might be a little painful.

-  Cryotherapy: Used as a treatment option for many skin infections, skin tags, warts, etc., this is a process used to treat Molluscum contagiosum as well. In this treatment, a frozen liquid under high pressure is sprayed over the affected area to freeze the nodule. The nodules take around 10 seconds to get frozen completely. This is indicated by a layer of ice that forms over the raised lesion and its immediate surroundings. If it is a large lesion, more than one session is required.

-  Diathermy: The exact opposite of cryotherapy, this method uses high heat from an electrical device to burn off the extra growth or raised nodule. A local anaesthetic is used to reduce the pain.

-  Laser therapy: An intense beam of the laser is used to kill the infected cells and the immediate cells around it. This prevents the infection from spreading to other areas around the infected skin.

-  Chemical Treatment: Though it is one of the methods of treatment, it is generally not recommended because of the pain and scarring that it causes. In this method, the doctor dips a sharp, sterilized instrument into a phenol or podophyllin compound and then pricks each of the lesions, releasing the cheese like waxy liquid in them. They burst and their contents are emptied and cleaned and sterilized. In some cases, a secondary infection may develop around the punctured lesion, leading to complications. Usually, for such cases, a hydrocortisone based cream is recommended. It helps to relieve the discomfort and itches. This is strictly not applied on the lesion, but only on the area of secondary infection or eczema.

Other than these, the doctor may prescribe medication to hasten the healing process and to prevent the occurrence of secondary infections. This includes trichloroacetic acid compounds, imiquimod, cantharidin based medicine or podophyllotoxin creams.

Whether the patient is pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding is an important factor that the doctor considers before the treatment. In case the patient is affected by HIV, then antiretroviral therapy is used exclusively. Rather than directly treating the Molluscum contagiosum, it strengthens the immune system of the body to help it fight the virus naturally. This is considered safe because it prevents the occurrence of secondary infections along with the pre-existing condition.

There are home remedies for Molluscum contagiosum that have been tried by patients, but there is no documented evidence of the same. Some of the effective home remedies as claimed by patients are iodine, alcohol, tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, elderberry extract, hydrogen peroxide, etc.

It is known that once the Molluscum contagiosum is cured, it does not recur. Even after a long time, the virus is unlikely to appear again unless there is a new, complicated infection.

Some common treatment options involve the prescription of medicines such as salicylic acid, Valtrex, tretinoin, Tagamet, cimetidine, Aldara, Retin A, Avita, Atralin, Altinac, Renova, Corticosteroid creams, etc.

Prevention of Molluscum contagiosum:
Some of the best ways to prevent the infection of Molluscum contagiosum are:

-  Wash hands frequently with soap and water.

-  Children who are more prone to this infection must be instructed to wash hands with antiseptic soap especially before eating.

-  Avoid sharing articles of personal use such as towels, comb, soap bars, clothes, etc.

-  If you are using public objects such as gym equipment or objects in the parks, you are at a higher risk of contracting this contagious infection. Make sure to wash up after use.

-  Do not indulge in physical or sexual contact with an individual who is likely to be suffering from this viral infection.

-  Avoid shared sports gear or contact sports if you are not taking proper preventive measures.

-  Keep the nodules clean and do not scratch or pick at them. Do not shave the affected area until the infection is completely gone.

-  If your abdomen or genitals are affected, avoid sexual contact until the healing process is complete.

 

Complications due to Molluscum contagiosum:
Though this viral infection is not fatal or painful, sometimes there are chances of secondary infection. Eczema might develop in and around the lesions on the affected epidermal layer. This can cause discomfort, swelling, itching and more often than not, leads to the spread of infection due to scratching of the affected area. This breaks the papules on the skin due to viral infection and the issue could amplify.

Puncturing or scratching the nodules or lesions may leave the wound open and this could lead to multiple other infections. If the site of the viral infection is in the area surrounding the eyes, there is a high chance of contracting conjunctivitis through contact with the waxy substance in the nodule.   

 

Myths relating to Molluscum contagiosum:
Myth #1:
Molluscum contagiosum is fatal.

No, Molluscum contagiosum is not fatal. More often than not, it doesn’t require treatment if the affected individual has a normal to the healthy immune system.

Myth #2: Once the infection is gone, it may recur.

No, once healed completely, the infection does not recur in the individual. The immune system of the body will have the required antibodies to fight the infection after the occurrence of the first bout.

Myth #3: Even after the lesions are gone, the person can transmit the viral disease to others.

No, once the infection has healed completely, the virus is no longer present in the body and the person cannot transmit the viral infection to other people.

 

Athlete s Foot - Know More About Its Causes!

MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Athlete s Foot - Know More About Its Causes!

Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a commonly occurring infection of the skin which is caused by fungus. The medical name of this condition is known as tinea pedis. It is a fungal infection which primarily affects the skin on the feet. It is a contagious condition. It might also spread to the toenails and the hands. The disease is named as athlete’s foot because it mostly affects athletes. This is not a serious condition but sometimes it can be hard to cure.

Any condition that causes inflammation of the skin and affects the skin between the toes and the sole of the foot is generally referred to as athlete’s foot. The condition presents itself as scaly, red and raw looking eruptions and sometimes it might also be oozing with small blisters. It can affect both athletes and non-athletes alike. It is caused fungal infections but there might be other causes also which can be distinguished through proper testing.

There are different kinds of fungi that might be responsible for causing athlete’s foot. Exposure to these fungi can happen at many places which include swimming pools, gyms, communal showers, locker rooms, nail salons and from contaminated clothing from an affected person. It is a contagious disease and can spread from contact from affected individual to non-affected individual. Majority of the people contract this disease by walking barefoot at the place where someone suffering from athlete’s foot has also walked barefoot. Some people can be more at risk than others for the disease while others might be resistant to the condition. This condition is also known by the name ‘Jungle Rot’. This is usually used by the members of the armed services serving in tropical climates.

Infections caused by different fungi are spread by moisture and warmth. It is believed that the condition of athlete’s foot was less prevalent before the advent of enclosed shoes. It was thought to be a rare condition and became more prevalent in the 1900s as more and more health clubs and shoes became popular. If an individual contracts this disease once, it does not guarantee resistance from subsequently occurring infections.

Globally, this condition occurs in about 15% of the population. Males are more likely to develop this disease than females. Older children and younger adults are more often affected. This condition is treatable by the use of over the counter antifungal medicines. Prescription medicines are also available.

What does athlete’s foot look like?
Athlete’s foot caused by fungal infections leads to rashes on one or both the feet and can also affect the hands. Marks or rashes on two feet and one hand is a common characteristic of the presentation of athlete’s foot especially in men. Fungal athlete’s foot can also cause ringworm of the groin which is mostly seen in men or can cause ringworm on the hands. The fungal infections on the hands are known as tinea manuum. All areas affected by fungal infection should be treated simultaneously to decrease the risk of re-infection.

Risk factors of Athlete’s foot-
Some risk factors for developing athlete’s foot include walking barefoot in areas like communal showers, indoor swimming pools, locker rooms etc. which can lead to increased exposure to pathogenic fungi which are the cause of athlete’s foot. Individuals with the problem of excessive sweating or other sources of excessive moisture is also a common risk factor. Wearing occlusive footwear like trainers and socks can also prove to be a factor. People suffering from diabetes are also more prone to the disease. Pedicures when done in unhygienic environments can cause significant risk. Wearing the same socks and shoes for long periods can also lead to the development of athlete’s foot. Men are more at risk than women for this condition.

Athlete’s foot Symptoms-

  • Athlete’s foot can be demarcated into 4 categories namely, Plantar with plantar referring to the sole of the foot, interdigital athlete’s foot which means between the toes, acute ulcerative tinea pedis that leads to the development of lesions with scaly borders and vesiculobullous athlete’s foot which causes fluid filled lesions.
  • When interdigital athlete’s foot is caused by Trichophyton rubrum, the condition might be symptomless or may show signs such as itching, appearance of red or ulcerative skin between the toes which might or might not be itchy. An acute type of ulcerative interdigital athlete’s foot which is caused by T. mentagrophytes shows signs such as pain, erosion and fissures on skin, skin maceration, crusting of the skin and odor because of secondary bacterial infection.
  • Plantar’s athlete’s foot caused by T. rubrum shows signs such as appearance of redness on the sole of the foot which is often covered by fine, flaky scales. In case of vesiculobullous athlete’s foot is generally very rare and is caused by T. mentagrophytes and shows signs of itchy blisters on the soles of the foot.
  • General symptoms of the disease include itching, burning and stinging sensation between the toes, itchy blisters on the feet, dryness of the skin on the soles and the sides of the feet, discoloration of the toenails, raw skin on the feet, itching, stinging or burning sensation on the soles of the feet, pulling away of toenails from the nail bed, cracking and peeling of the skin generally between toes and on the soles of the feet, thick or crumby toenails etc.

Causes of Athlete’s foot-
Athlete’s foot is a form of dermatophytosis which refers to fungal infection of the skin which is generally caused by dermatophytes, fungus living in the layers of the skin and digesting keratin. These fungi which are parasitic in nature thrive in human hosts. The fungus that is related to the development of ring worm and jock itch is associated with causing athlete’s foot. Moisture providing places like damp socks and shoes provide a favorable condition for the fungi to grow. Exposure to the fungus is mostly through direct contact with a person infected by the disease or through coming in contact with places contaminated by the fungus. Showers, indoor swimming pool decks, locker rooms would be the most likely places to contract this disease.

Diagnosis of Athlete’s foot-
The most reliable and the best way to diagnose athlete’s foot is to recognize it’s causes and symptoms. Fungal athlete’s foot is very easy and straight forward to diagnose and treat. Getting the fungus removed from the foot is a very easy and cost-efficient process. The patient should immediately see a doctor if their rashes look infected and they have diabetes, the rash has changed into ulcers or sores that leak liquid or if the infection has spread to their groin or hands. If the rash just won’t go away or the symptoms get worse the doctors might suggest a biopsy. A skin lesion potassium hydroxide (KOH) exam is a very common test conducted by the doctors for athlete’s foot. A skin lesion is an unusual change on the skin’s surface. The doctors might order a KOH exam if they suspect fungus to be the reason for the skin lesion. The doctors will use a slide of glass or some other instrument to scrape off a bit of the skin from the patient’s lesion. The scraped skin is then mixed in with potassium hydroxide. Potassium hydroxide will destroy the healthy skin leaving behind only the fungus for the doctors to examine. The test is very simple and straightforward and has no risks to it.    

Athlete’s foot Treatment-
It is advised to get athlete’s foot treated as soon as a person notices any symptoms. Athlete’s foot can be treated by medications, home remedies or therapies. The treatment for the foot infection are as follows:

Over the counter medications
Many medications for the foot infection are available to treat fungal and non-fungal athlete’s foot. Medications such as miconazole (Desenex), clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF), terbinafine (Lamisil AT), tolnaftate (Tinactin), butenafine (Lotrimin Ultra) are available without any prescription of the doctor. Although, it is really hard to determine which one of these medications is the most effective. These medications are also available for purchase online over the internet.

Prescription medications-
Advanced or severe cases of athlete’s foot may require some oral anti-fungal pills such as prescription strength terbinafine. These medications are prescribed by consultation of doctors to restrict the spread of the infection. The drugs such as topical prescription strength miconazole and clotrimazole, oral anti-fungal medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan) and itraconazole (Sporanox) are also prescribed by the doctors. Lab tests to check for liver diseases will be done before the doctors prescribe these oral anti-fungal medications. Topical steroids are suggested for inflammatory infection to reduce the pain caused by the infection. Oral anti-biotics are suggested if raw skin and blisters are the reason for the bacterial infection. Topical steroids are not to be used in cases of fungal athlete’s foot as they help the fungus in spreading further by suppressing the immune system of the body. Topical steroid creams are more useful in treating non-fungal or non-infectious athlete’s foot. During pregnancy it is suggested that the patient should avoid anti-fungal pills because of possible harm to the fetus or other side effects that may take place.

Home Remedies-
Use of tea tree oil has been proven really helpful in treating athlete’s foot in recent years. But, it is suggested that the individual first confirms with their doctor that the use of tea tree oil won’t affect their skin as tea tree oil causes dermatitis in some cases. There are also other home remedies for treatment of athlete’s foot such as soaking your foot in dilute vinegar or use of dilute vinegar spray (four parts water and one-part household white vinegar), soaking the foot in diluted Clorox or taking a dilute Clorox bath (approximately one-fourth cup of Clorox household bleach in a tub of water). Other unconfirmed remedies also include use of Epsom salts and Vicks vapor rub.  

Complications Related to Athlete’s foot-
Athlete’s foot can cause complications in some cases. Minor complications include allergic infection due to fungus, blistering on the feet and hands. The fungal infection can also return even after being treated. More severe complications make take place in case of secondary bacterial infection. These complications include foot getting swollen, hot and painful, fever, drainage and pus. The infection might even spread further to other parts of the body if not treated in the early stages. Fungal nail infection (Onychomycosis) is also highly possible to take place because of the athlete’s foot. Groin infection (tinea cruris) and Body skin fungus (tinea corporis) may as well take place. Individuals with diseases that affect the immune system such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and diabetes will be prone to many kinds of infections. Athlete’s foot fungal infections with diabetes may cause severe ulcers on the body of the patient. Bacterial infection may cause cellulitis or inflammation of the skin of the patient. Use of topical steroid creams weakens the patient’s immune system which can result in other infection to take place. 

Prevention of Athlete’s foot-
There are many things an individual can do to avoid athlete’s foot such as maintaining proper hygiene and washing your feet with water and soap and drying them off properly every day. The area between the toes should be cleaned and dried off thoroughly.

  • Use anti-fungal powder for your feet every day.
  • Disinfecting your shoes by using disinfectant sprays and wipes. Do not share your towels, socks and shoes with others as this might result in spread of the infection. Wear sock and footwear made of breathable fibers and material that also wicks away the moisture from your feet.
  • Change your socks and shoes whenever your feet start to sweat. staying bare foot or in footwear like slippers is suggested at home to air out your feet and remove the moisture. Moisture helps the spread of fungus, to prevent athlete’s foot keep your feet clean and moisture free. Change between two or more different pair of shoes every other day to let each pair dry out between uses.  
  • Make sure family members with athlete’s foot are treated to avoid the spread of the infection to other family members.

Aromatherapy - What Are Its Amazing Benefits?

Bachelor of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences (BNYS), M.sc in yoga and naturopathy, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), Bachelor of Physiotherapy
Ayurveda, Delhi
Aromatherapy - What Are Its Amazing Benefits?

Aromatherapy is an ancient practice that dates back to ancient times across many cultures. This is a practice where concentrated oils are used to treat many imbalances and disorders within the body. The oils emit a fragrance or aroma, through which many important molecules enter your blood stream which have a healing effect. The oils can be applied on the skin and the aroma is then absorbed directly into the body through it. They can also be used as an aromatic agent where you need to sniff them in order for the molecules to get inside the body and then be absorbed into your blood.

What kind of oils are generally used in aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy uses essential oils similar to the ones used for massage in many other forms of alternative medicine such as Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. These oils have the organic compounds within the plants or respective sources concentrated into a small dose so it can pass on the benefits of those compounds to you, healing your body. Some of the types of oils used in aromatherapy are –
1. Peppermint oil
2. Tee tree oil
3. Lavender oil
4. Frankincense oil
5. Lemon oils among many others

How are essential oils made?
Essential oils are made from natural ingredients such as herbs and resins of different plants. These can be extracted from the following sources of a plant, tree or herb:
1. Flowers
2. Seeds
3. Fruits
4. Leaves
5. Bark
6. Roots
7. Stems etc.

Aromatic oils tend to be powerful as a lot of ingredients go into the making of a small quantity of oil. It is estimated that it takes multiple kilos of an ingredient to make only a few milliliters of an essential oil. Due to the immense concentration of the powerful organic compounds created by this, organic oils are very effective and thus potent in curing ailments. The compounds are separated through a distillation process that separates the oils from the other components.

How and where are essential oils in aromatherapy effective?
Aromatherapy is very effective in dealing with lesser ailments and also as a supplementary form of treatment for other larger problems such as recovery form surgery and pain relief. Some of the more common areas where aromatherapy is very helpful are:

1. Relieving and reducing stress
2. Relief from joint pain
3. Resisting Cold and flu like infections
4. Building the immunity of the body
5. Improving the appearance and health of your skin by fighting wrinklesskin infections and inflammation
6. Reduce pain from inflammation and other disorders
7. Corrects and properly regulates hormone production within the body
8. Helps with gastrointestinal problems as well as improving digestion among many other such benefits

Certain specific types of essential oils and their benefits in aromatherapy
1. Lavender oil: Helps heal burns and cuts quicker, relaxes your body and improves your mood
2. Peppermint oil: Helps with digestion, builds up immunity, and helps with the ability to focus among others
3. Rosemary oil: Helps build hair strength, improves memory and brain function in general
4. Sandalwood oil: Improves skin quality, fights inflammation and wrinkles and also acts a as a libido booster
5. Rose oil: Extremely effective for combatting skin problems as well as for natural glow of the skin
6. Tea tree oil: An excellent immunity booster, Tea tree oil also has antifungal and antimicrobial properties which can fight off infections and cure the ailments much quicker. 

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