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Dark Skin Tips

Melasma - All About It!

Dr. Jagatjit Singh 85% (256 ratings)
MBBS, DHMS-Harvard, Masters in Clinical Dermatology
Dermatologist, Chandigarh
Melasma - All About It!

A common skin condition, which causes the discoloration of your skin in patches across the face, melasma is more of a social embarrassment and cause for distress rather than being a serious condition. Although it affects men as well, studies have shown that over 90 percent of patients are women. It is also known as the mask of pregnancy as many pregnant women develop this skin condition.

Causes of Melasma

Primary causes of melasma have been attributed to various hormonal changes within the body. Let's look at some of the factors that may cause this disorder:

  1. Pregnancy: This is often attributed as the leading cause of melasma, the primary cause has often been attributed to hormonal changes that a woman may experience due to pregnancy.
  2. Treatments that may change hormonal balance: Women on contraceptive pills or who have implants such as intrauterine devices may also develop this disorder. This is due to the balance of estrogen and progesterone being changed within the body.
  3. Sun exposure: Continued sun exposure may also lead to melasma. This is due to the activation of melanocytes within the body which starts producing more melanin.
  4. Stress: Long periods of stress on the body can also trigger hormonal changes and cause melasma.
  5. Thyroid problems: If someone suffers from Hypothyroidism or low levels of the thyroid hormone, it can trigger other hormonal changes and also cause this skin disorder. 

It has also been noticed that people with generally a darker skin tone tend to get melasma and it is less common in people with fairer skin.

Certain characteristics of Melasma

Melasma develops in certain patterns which can be easily diagnosed either as spots on the skin similar to freckles or brown patches of skin that grow bigger. Some of these patterns are:

  1. Malar pattern: This grows on the nose and cheeks
  2. Mandibular pattern: Starts growing around the jawline
  3. Brachial melasma: This grows on the upper arms and shoulders
  4. Lateral cheek pattern: Grows on the cheek on both sides of the face
  5. Centrofacial pattern: Nose, upper lips, forehead, and cheeks

Treatment of Melasma

Most women who develop melasma during pregnancy report that it goes away after childbirth. However certain forms of melasma may appear in non-pregnant women due to hormonal changes. Treating the underlying hormonal changes usually, resolves the problem. However certain other methods may be required to resolve the issues such as skin creams, chemical peels, dermabrasion, and microdermabrasion.

1 person found this helpful

Dark Circles Under The Eyes - What You Can Do?

Dr. Rajeev Jain 85% (31 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Kota
Dark Circles Under The Eyes - What You Can Do?

Under eye dark circles are a common appearance if you do not get the adequate hours of sleep or if you are subjected to stress over a prolonged period of time. However, if you notice the presence of under eye dark circles even after getting sufficient sleep, that might be a result of crater formation or swollen eyelids.

Causes of under eye dark circles

  1. Hereditary factors and constant exposure to the sun which might lead to an over-secretion of melanin (the pigment responsible for skin coloration).
  2. Dark circles might also occur if you randomly rub or scratch your eyes as an unconscious habit.
  3. Dark circles might also develop due to allergies or because of eczema (skin inflammation).
  4. Dark circles can also occur as a result of contact dermatitis (a condition wherein rashes develop accompanied by severe itching after coming in contact with a foreign substance).
  5. The gradual loosening of skin along with fats and collagen as you grow old can result in dark circles of reddish-blue hue.
  6. Excessive consumption of tobacco and alcohol might also form dark circles under the eyes.

 Treatment for under eye dark circles

Under eye dark circles are not a serious medical condition and can be easily eliminated by means of the following procedures:

  1. In order to eradicate dark circles, you can opt for a procedure which combines aqua jet, glycolic peel (which helps to shed the affected skin in the under-eye region and initiate the natural reduction of the dark circles), microcurrent (which keeps the affected region duly hydrated) and associated home ingredients to strengthen the skin around your eyes.
  2. To prevent dark circles, you can also opt for a procedure which revitalizes the under-eye regions with the help of high platelet-containing plasma. The platelets help in the creation of collagen (the building block of the skin) that restores freshness of your skin. This procedure is completely safe as it is a natural one and does not come with any side effect.

Further recommendations

In addition to the aforementioned procedures, you can also use a serum containing soy and rice peptides, yeast protein, hyaluronic acid, and extracts from seaweed.

6 people found this helpful

Sunscreen - Know Importance Of It!

Dr. Kiran Lohia 84% (10 ratings)
MD
Dermatologist, Delhi
Sunscreen - Know Importance Of It!

We all think of sunscreen as something that goes into our vacation kit when heading out on a hike in the hills or to the beach. What we fear is being out in the sun can reduce fairness and/or case a tan, and a sunscreen will help maintain complexion.

This is a completely wrong notion. What we need to be aware of is that even the regular, daily sun exposure during driving or going to office can do as much damage if not more. The sunscreen, therefore, assumes a very important role in your daily personal care. Read on and find out more.

Relationship with skin cancer: Studies in the US have shown that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and sun exposure is the leading cause of this. It is the regular exposure on a daily basis that cumulatively leads to this, rather than a one-day exposure minus the sunscreen. Using sunscreen on a regular, daily basis provides a good shield against skin cancer.

Slows down aging: The dry skin, wrinkles, sun spots, and dark circles on the skin are more a result of unprotected exposure to sun rather than just ageing. The sun is the most powerful agent that can lead to these effects and it is very essential to guard yourself against it.

While the general belief is that the sun is less harmful during cloudy days, it is not so. The ultraviolet rays of the sun filter through clouds and cause equal damage as they would during sunny summer days. Studies have shown that these rays which filter through the clouds are capable of continuing their accelerated ageing effects even after you have reached your homes. It is not just the amount of time you are actually out in the sun that counts. The collagen in the skin that gives it the firmness is damaged, leading to sagging and bagging. 

Using a sunscreen provides a shield against these harmful UV rays. Research has shown a 73% reduction in the invasive forms of skin cancer by using sunscreen on a regular basis.
It is popular belief that fair complexion is more affected by sun exposure. It is true that darker complexion has more melanocytes that increase the natural protection, but this does not ensure complete protection against the harmful ultraviolet rays.

After reading this, a sunscreen lotion with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more should find its way into your grooming kit.
 

15 people found this helpful

Rare Skin Conditions - Why You Must Be Aware Of Them?

MBBS, MD - Dermatology, Diploma In Dermatology And Venerology And Leprosy (DDVL)
Dermatologist, Pune
Rare Skin Conditions - Why You Must Be Aware Of Them?

The biggest organ of the body, skin can also be plagued with diseases and problems unheard of apart from common skin conditions.

Here are some of the rare skin conditions that you must know of:

1 Argyria

This skin condition is characterized by blue or gray skin and develops due to ingestion or exposure to a large quantity of silver for a long period of time. This is a permanent skin problem without any known cure as of now. Causes for it can range from working in a sliver mine, developing photographs to consumption of silver supplements for curing a range of health problems such as diabetes, arthritis and so on. Apart from the toxicity caused by the exposure or ingestion of the element, a very common side effect of silver is a change in the color of your skin.



2 Dermatographia

A rare skin condition, a person suffering from this tends to have skin that is exceedingly sensitive to light scratches and minor injuries. This happens due to the hypersensitivity of the body's immune system, which reveals itself in the skin. As a consequence it brings about the release of huge quantity of histamine, leading to the dilation of capillaries and formation of swellings when the surface of the skin gets scratched. 

3 Harlequin Ichthyosis

Affecting newborns the most, the skin condition sees babies being born with hard and thick plates of skin all over their body. The condition renders newborns with the inability to control fluid and water loss, causing instances of severe dehydration. Newborns with this condition also experience trouble breathing, moving, controlling their body temperature as well as warding off infections. Many experts consider it to be a genetic disorder brought on by the mutation of the abca12 gene, leading to the improper development of the epidermis (outer layers of skin cells).

4 Xeroderma Pigmentosum

Over here, the individual is said to be sensitive to uv light, which makes him or her avoid sunlight whether direct or indirect and even florescent illumination. In addition to blisters on the skin and sunburn, symptoms of the condition also include dark and light skin patches. It can also cause your skin to become thin, resulting in the appearance of blood vessels and spots. Development of skin cancer is the final outcome of this skin condition.

5 Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

This skin condition brings about the shedding and falling off of not only your skin but even the lining of your internal organs. The skin problem is closely associated with another form of skin disease called toxic epidermal necrolysis (ten). It is usually identified through blisters and painful rashes that develop on the skin surface.

Dark Circle: Avoid Standing Long Hours Under The Sun!

Dr. Vaishali Uzagare 89% (35 ratings)
BAMS, Diploma In Emergency Medicine, PG Diploma In Clinical Cosmetology (PGDCC)
Cosmetic Physician, Navi Mumbai
Dark Circle: Avoid Standing Long Hours Under The Sun!

Beautiful eyes speak a thousand words. They play a pivotal role in shaping up your overall personality. Your eyes can make or break things in life. But appearance of dark patches under eyes may play a spoilsport. They foil the beauty of your innocent eyes. It is not just lack of sleep or rest that causes these unwanted dark circles. Researchers have found out that a number of factors are responsible for under eye dark circles. Here are the common reasons behind dark circles:

  1. Aging: There are numerous blood vessels passing through the under eye region. As blood cells get clogged in these vessels, they give a blue black tinge to the region. Aging leads to the thinning of the skin under the eye. This makes the blood vessels more prominent and appears as dark circles.
  2. Hereditary factors: You can sometimes blame the bad genes for occurrence of dark circles. Nutritional deficiency: If you are not taking balanced diet, you may end up developing dark circles. Your body must get adequate supply of vitamins A, C, K and E to prevent dark circles.
  3. Insufficient Sleep: Lack of proper rest and sleep turns the skin under the eyes pale. Therefore, the blood in the veins becomes more prominent, causing dark circles.
  4. Smoking and alcohol: The intake of alcohol or indulging in smoking can lead to dehydration of the body and thus lead to dark circles.
  5. Long hours under the sun: Your skin under the eyes gets damaged by the UV rays from sunlight. Moreover, spending long hours under sun triggers the excess production of melanin pigment. This gives a darker shade to the region beneath your eyes.
  6. Pregnancy and menstruation: A woman's skin is largely affected by the hormonal influences at the time of pregnancy or menstruation. The hormonal changes during these periods lead to darkening of the under-eye area
  7. Diseases: Researchers have found that certain diseases linked to the liver or anaemia often causes dark circles under the eye.
  8. Allergies: The colour of the under eye region often changes due to certain allergic reactions and subsequent scratching or rubbing of the area.

A holistic approach to remove dark circles combines chemical peels, microcurrent therapy and homecare solutions. Chemical peels break apart the dead cell layer and bring fresher skin to the surface, reducing pigmentation around the eyes. Microcurrent makes the under-eye area firmer while also supplying it with additional hydration. To maximize these results, a customized homecare regime is drawn up to suit your skin's specific needs.

Further, under guidance of a Cosmetic physician or dermatologist, changes in lifestyle and homecare regime ensure that you enjoy long-lasting results. With this approach, your eyes lose their tired look and are completely refreshed. This effectively reduces pigmentation around eyes and ensures that your eyes remain sparkling fresh as long as you want.

5051 people found this helpful

Sunscreen - Why Should You Use It Daily?

Dr. Abhinav Singh 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology, Venereology, & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Noida
Sunscreen - Why Should You Use It Daily?

We all think of sunscreen as something that goes into our vacation kit when heading out on a hike in the hills or to the beach. What we fear is being out in the sun can reduce fairness and/or case a tan, and a sunscreen will help maintain complexion.

This is a completely wrong notion. What we need to be aware of is that even the regular, daily sun exposure during driving or going to office can do as much damage if not more. The sunscreen, therefore, assumes a very important role in your daily personal care. Read on and find out more.

Relationship with skin cancer: Studies in the US have shown that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and sun exposure is the leading cause of this. It is the regular exposure on a daily basis that cumulatively leads to this, rather than a one-day exposure minus the sunscreen. Using sunscreen on a regular, daily basis provides a good shield against skin cancer.

Slows down aging: The dry skin, wrinkles, sun spots, and dark circles on the skin are more a result of unprotected exposure to sun rather than just ageing. The sun is the most powerful agent that can lead to these effects and it is very essential to guard yourself against it.

While the general belief is that the sun is less harmful during cloudy days, it is not so. The ultraviolet rays of the sun filter through clouds and cause equal damage as they would during sunny summer days. Studies have shown that these rays which filter through the clouds are capable of continuing their accelerated ageing effects even after you have reached your homes. It is not just the amount of time you are actually out in the sun that counts. The collagen in the skin that gives it the firmness is damaged, leading to sagging and bagging. 

Using a sunscreen provides a shield against these harmful UV rays. Research has shown a 73% reduction in the invasive forms of skin cancer by using sunscreen on a regular basis.

It is popular belief that fair complexion is more affected by sun exposure. It is true that darker complexion has more melanocytes that increase the natural protection, but this does not ensure complete protection against the harmful ultraviolet rays.

After reading this, a sunscreen lotion with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more should find its way into your grooming kit.

3776 people found this helpful

Zuchini And Cucumber - Know The Difference!

Dr. Priya Barai ( Gold Medalist ) 88% (1109 ratings)
BAMS, PG-Diploma In (Cosmetology & Laser Therapy)
Ayurveda, Kolhapur
Zuchini And Cucumber - Know The Difference!

If placed side by side, you may confuse a cucumber with a zucchini and vice versa. Given that both have a dark green skin, are long and cylindrical , you wouldn’t be the only one to be confused. However, try using one in place of the other and you’ll realize your mistake in a second. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between these two vegetables.

  1. Fruit or Vegetable: Though they may look similar, cucumbers and zucchini do not belong to the same family. Cucumbers belong to the gourd family while zucchini belongs to the Cucurbita family. Technically speaking, cucumbers are considered to be a fruit by many people. However, you wouldn’t really put a cucumber in a fruit salad.
  2. Know just by touching it: When you touch a cucumber, it is relatively softer as compared to a zucchini. A cucumber will also feel cool and waxy while a zucchini is more likely to feel rough and dry. Cucumbers may feel a little bumpy to touch while zucchinis are typically smoother.
  3. How does it taste: Cucumbers are generally eaten raw while zucchinis are cooked. However, cucumbers can also be cooked and zucchini may be eaten raw or pickled. Tastewise, cucumbers have a fresh taste and are juicy due to high water content. On the other hand, zucchinis have a heartier flavor and may even tend to be slightly bitter. When cooked, zucchini holds its shape better than cucumbers that wilt easily. However, zucchini softens when cooked while cucumbers will maintain a slight crunch. It is also important to note that zucchini flowers are edible while cucumber flowers are not.
  4. Calories: Cucumbers have a slightly lower calorific value as compared to zucchini. Zucchini is richer in vitamin B and vitamin C as compared to cucumbers. Both vegetables have relatively equal amounts of calcium but zucchini is richer than cucumbers in potassium and iron. Zucchini also has a higher amount of protein and fiber.
  5. The best way to eat it: Cucumbers are ideally eaten raw or pickled. A cold cucumber can be quite refreshing on a hot summer day. Cucumbers typically find themselves in salads or sandwiches. They can also be used to flavor water. On the other hand, zucchinis taste better when baked or stir-fried. Apart from being chopped and used as vegetables, zucchini is often made into the shape of noodles that are popularly known as zoodles. Zucchini can also be shredded and baked in loaves of bread and muffins.
7942 people found this helpful

Dark Elbows And Joints - 4 Things You Can Do To Lighten Them!

Dr. Vivek Kumar Dey 84% (12 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Bhopal
Dark Elbows And Joints - 4 Things You Can Do To Lighten Them!

Apart from the skin on your face, the skin on your elbows and knees needs special attention as well. Whether you’re fair skinned or dark skinned, with age you may notice your skin on the elbows and knees becoming darker than usual. This happens because the skin in these areas is thicker than the rest of the body and has more folds than usual. It also has no oil glands and very little blood supply that makes this area rough and dry.

Genetics, exposure to the sun, improper hygiene, hormonal imbalances and certain medications are some of the factors that play a role in the darkening of the skin in these areas. Resting your elbows on the tables or kneeling puts the skin on your elbows and knees in contact with other surfaces and causes friction that can also make the skin darker. Luckily this is not a condition that requires medical attention and can be treated with simple home remedies. Here are a few-

  1. Lemon and Honey Scrub: Lemon and honey are excellent for the skin. Lemon juice has natural bleaching properties and honey is a great moisturiser. When combined together, they lighten the skin and make it softer simultaneously. Mix 1 lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of honey and apply on the affected areas. Leave on for at least 20 minutes and then rinse.

  2. Vinegar and Yogurt Mask: The combination of vinegar and yoghurt helps remove black spots and moisturises the skin. To use, mix a few tablespoons of vinegar with yoghurt and apply on the skin. Once dry, rub the mixture in a circular motion to scrub the dead cells off and then wash off.

  3. Aloe Vera Gel: Along with all its other health benefits, aloe vera gel is also very good for the skin. In particular, it addresses damage caused by sun exposure and moisturises the skin. Ideally, use the gel from a plant directly. Apply aloe vera gel on the elbows and knees and leave to dry for at least half an hour before rinsing it off.

  4. Turmeric, Milk, and Honey: Turmeric is well known as an antiseptic and when combined with the moisturising properties of honey and the bleaching properties of milk can do wonders for darkened elbows and knees. To use, mix equal proportions of all the three elements into a paste and apply to the affected areas. Leave on for 20 minutes and scrub in a circular motion before washing off.

2582 people found this helpful

5 Lifestyle Habits Which Affect Your Skin!

Dr. Harshit Ranpara 90% (10 ratings)
MD - Dermatology, DVD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Rajkot
5 Lifestyle Habits Which Affect Your Skin!

Blemish free skin, which is supple and radiant is everyone’s dream, however, there are certain lifestyle habits which can take a toll on your skin and affect it adversely.

Here are a few lifestyle habits which affect your skin:

  1. Smoking can speed up the process of aging: Smoking can affect your skin adversely as it strips your skin of essential nutrients and oxidants. This leads to degradation of the basic units of the skin- collagen and elastin. The affected units also lead to uneven skin, appearance of fine lines and sagging. A study has also proven that smoking causes acne as the pores in your skin get blocked.

  2. Stress: Stress has the power to cause major hormonal imbalances inside your body, which can affect your skin. Stress affects the skin’s barrier function which reduces its ability to absorb and retain moisture. Dehydrated skin looks dry and patchy and becomes flaky over time, leading to acne.

  3. Not applying sunscreen: Your job might require you to stay outdoors for long, which exposes your skin to the harmful UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun and dust particles. In such conditions, using sunscreens with SPF (Sun protection factor) 30 or above is a necessity as otherwise, the rays can penetrate into your skin, weaken the collagen cells and lead to pigmentation and tanning in the long run.

  4. Sleep: Sleeping for less than 6 hours at night can make you feel sleepy and tired the next day. Your skin also deals with the lack of rest which is why the radiance is lost and can lead to problems such as under eye bags, dark circles and saggy skin.

  5. Poor nutrition: Poor nutrition which lacks in essential vitamins and minerals can cause serious problems in the skin. Including foods which are rich in vitamin C such as fruits lime, oranges and tomatoes and fatty fishes such as tuna, mackerel and salmons can help you retain radiant skin. Adding colourful fruits and vegetables to your diet will help you detoxify your skin and get acne free and supple skin.

Hyperpigmentation - How To Get Rid Of It?

Dr. Shambulingaiah S. Hiremath 90% (50 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MS - Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Bangalore
Hyperpigmentation - How To Get Rid Of It?

Ayurveda believes that the human body is made of 3 doshas - kapha, pitta, and vata. Most illnesses are a result of an imbalance between these three doshas and/or dominance of patterns and symptoms of one of the three doshas.

Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin its color; higher the pigment levels, darker the complexion. Hyperpigmentation is caused due to excessive melanin deposition, commonly in certain areas of the skin like the face leading to blemishes and dark spots. In fair complexioned people, this could be an aesthetic issue, affecting the personality of the individual.

The following are some common causes of hyperpigmentation:

  1. Overexposure to sunlight - Direct exposure to sunlight without the use of sunscreen.
  2. Environmental pollutants - Dust and other chemicals, especially in areas with high levels of pollution are more prone to hyperpigmentation.
  3. Cosmetic products - If they contain chemicals like silicone and hydroquinone, over a long period of time, can produce dark spots.
  4. Antibiotics and hormone treatments - As a side effect, some antibiotics and hormones used as oral contraceptive pills can produce spots.
  5. Viral infections like herpes - The scars from infections like herpes and chickenpox would take time to heal completely and can be a cosmetic issue.

Hormonal issues may cause hyperpigmentation and in that case, we need to supplement herbal tablets for better result and better skin health and glow.

Now, let us look at some simple, herbal ways to manage these:

  1. Natural exfoliation of skin - Wash the skin regularly with plain water before heading out and after returning. Aloe vera juice can be used as a cleanser and toner followed by applying vitamin E oil. Use the following natural face packs:
  2. Turmeric - Known for its skin lightening properties, turmeric can be mixed with milk or aloe vera pulp or ghee and applied on the skin. Alternately, plain turmeric can be rubbed on the skin once or twice a day to reduce blemishes.
  3. Lemon Juice - Application of plain lime juice is considered as an excellent way to reduce dark spots and blemishes.
  4. Sandalwood - Believed to have great benefits on the skin. Mixed with honey or milk or plain sandalwood as a paste is very beneficial to the skin.
  5. Tomato juice - Mixed with honey is also believed to be good for skin complexion.
  6. Water - Drinking lots of water keeps the skin hydrated and helps the skin keep pigmentation at bay. There would be a natural glow and elasticity of the skin, which is very visible.

In addition to these food substances, there are a lot of topical applications like oils (kumkumadi oil, nalpamaradi oil, eladi oil, and kanaka oil). The treatment should be holistic in that along with topical applications there should be overall reduced exposure to sun and sufficient water consumption to wash off toxins and dead skin cells. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4228 people found this helpful
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