Thursday, March 6, 2014

Skin problems and their treatment

 Your skin is very important. It covers and protects everything inside your body. Without skin, people's muscles, bones, and organs would be hanging out all over the place. Skin holds everything together. It also:
·         protects our bodies
·         helps keep our bodies at just the right temperature
·         allows us to have the sense of touch

The average human body is covered by about 20 square feet (2 square meters) of skin. Skin is the only organ that is constantly exposed to potential irritation. And, with so many things coming into contact with your skin daily, you're bound to get an itch or two. Serious itching can be caused by allergies, disease, emotions and infections, but let's take a look at what causes the common itches that aggravate you everyday. Chances are you've experienced a skin irritation at some point in your life. You may have had anything from a mild redness to frustrating swelling and itching to a severe case of blisters or sores. Your skin is your body's largest organ and its primary layer of defense, so it often takes the first blow against irritants in the world around you.
A walk through a drug store or an hour in front of the television should suffice to convince anyone of the importance healthy skin holds in terms of self-image and society’s idea of beauty. Perfect skin is, for most people, a distant dream.  Skin disorders can be temporary or permanent, treatable or incurable, situational or genetic, painless or agonizing, minor inconveniences or life-threatening diagnoses

                So here are some skin problems like acne, eczema, itching and different types of skin allergies with their solution.
Acne:   Acne, medically known as Acne Vulgaris, is a skin disease that involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. It commonly occurs during puberty when the sebaceous (oil) glands come to life - the glands are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands of both males and females.

Acne is not dangerous, but can leave skin scars. Human skin has pores (tiny holes) which connect to oil glands located under the skin. The glands are connected to the pores via follicles - small canals. These glands produce Sebum, an oily liquid. The sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin. A small hair grows through the follicle out of the skin. Pimples grow when these follicles get blocked, resulting in an accumulation of oil under the skin.
There are various types of pimples
§  Whiteheads - remain under the skin and are very small.

§  Blackheads - clearly visible, they are black and appear on the surface of the skin. Remember that a blackhead is not caused by dirt. Scrubbing your face vigorously when you see blackheads will not help.

§  Papules - visible on the surface of the skin. They are small bumps, usually pink.

§  Pustules - clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are red at their base and have pus at the top.

§  Nobules - clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are large, solid pimples. They are painful and are embedded deep in the skin.

§  Cysts - clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are painful, and are filled with pus. Cysts can easily cause scars.
 Treatment :          Only three types of drugs have proven to be effective for the treatment of acne -- benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and antibiotics. Most people require at least one or two agents, depending on the severity of their acne.

Here are some ways to care for skin if you have acne:

·         Clean skin gently. Use a mild cleanser in the morning, evening, and after heavy workouts. Scrubbing the skin does not stop acne. It can even make the problem worse.
·         Try not to touch your skin. People who squeeze, pinch, or pick their pimples can get scars or dark spots on their skin.
·         Shave carefully. If you shave, you can try both electric and safety razors to see which works best. With safety razors, use a sharp blade. Also, it helps to soften your beard with soap and water before putting on shaving cream. Shave lightly and only when you have to.
·         Stay out of the sun. Many acne medicines can make people more likely to sunburn. Being in the sun a lot can also make skin wrinkle and raise the risk of skin cancer.
·         Choose makeup carefully. All makeup should be oil free. Look for the word “noncomedogenic” on the label. This means that the makeup will not clog up your pores. But some people still get acne even if they use these products.
·         Shampoo your hair regularly. If your hair is oily, you may want to shampoo daily.

Eczema:     Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema(the most common form of eczema). Atopic eczema mainly affects children, but it can continue into ad**thood or start later in life. Eczema is a chronic skin condition in which the skin becomes itchy, reddened, cracked and dry. Approximately 30% of all skin-related GP visits in Western Europe result in a diagnosis of atopic eczema.                 
 It affects both males and females equally, as well as people from different ethnic backgrounds. Most GPs (general practitioners, primary care physicians) in Western Europe, North America and Australia say the number of people diagnosed each year with eczema is has been rising in recent years. Below are some common symptoms of atopic eczema (without flare-up):
§  The skin may be broken in places.
§  Some areas of the skin are cracked.
§  The skin usually feels dry.
§  Many areas of skin are itchy, and sometimes raw if scratched a lot.
§  Itching usually worse at night.
§  Scratching may also result in areas of thickened skin.
§  Some areas of skin become red and inflamed.
§  Some inflamed areas develop blisters and weep (ooze liquid).
§  The skin has red to brownish-gray colored patches.
§  Areas of skin may have small, raised bumps.
Treatment :  If you have eczema, it is important to take good care of your skin. Take warm (not hot!) baths on a regular basis and immediately applying moisturizers afterward will help keep your skin moist. You’ll find more information about this in the bathing and moisturizing section. In order for prescription medications to be most effective, a proper bathing and moisturizing regimen is required.
·         Moisturize every day.
·         Wear cotton or soft fabrics. Avoid rough, scratchy fibers and tight clothing.
·         Take lukewarm baths and showers, using mild soap or non-soap cleanser
·         Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel – do not rub.
·         Apply a moisturizer within 3 minutes after bathing to “lock in” moisture.
·         When possible, avoid rapid changes of temperature and activities that make you sweat.
·         Learn your eczema triggers and avoid them.
·         Use a humidifier in dry or cold weather.
·         Keep your fingernails short to help keep scratching from breaking the skin.
·         Some people with allergies find it helps to remove carpets from their house, and give pets dander treatments.

Dermatosis : Dermatosis is a condition that affects the skin, nails, hair or glands. The term does not include skin conditions involving inflammation. Another term for a dermatosis is a cutaneous condition. Skin has several layers, including the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous tissue. A dermatosis may involve changes in any or all of these skin layers. Terms you may hear to describe dermatosis of the skin condition include:
·         lesion: an area of skin that is abnormal
·         macule: a change in color or consistency of the skin
·         papule: a bump on the skin smaller than 1 cm in diameter
·         nodule: a bump on the skin larger than 1 cm in diameter
·         plaque: a large area of affected skin that may flake or peel with defined edges
·         vesicles and bullae: raised bumps that are filled with fluid
·         lichenification: thickening and discoloration of skin like lichen on a tree
·         pustules: a bump that contains pus, possibly due to infection
·         rash: a wide variety of conditions that are red, raised up from the skin, most likely due to inflammation
treatment :  In addition to treatment which may be prescribed by your doctor, general skin-care guidelines should be followed whenever possible:

1. Cleanse with only mild soaps or soap substitutes.

2. Moisturize frequently.

3. Avoid constant skin wetting; wear protective gloves whenever possible

Actinic keratosis : UV light from the sun and commercial tanning lamps or beds are the major causes of AK. UV light causes changes in the genetic material of the skin's cells. Changes in certain genes can cause cells to grow abnormally and form lesions. There is some link between infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) and AK, but this is not yet proven.

·         An actinic keratosis is a small, rough spot occurring on skin that has been chronically exposed to the sun.
·         Actinic keratosis is also known as a solar keratosis.
·         Actinic keratoses occur most commonly in fair-skinned people after years of sun exposure.
·         Common locations for actinic keratoses are the face, scalp, ears, back of the neck, upper chest, as well as the tops of the hands and forearms.
Treatment: There are several options available for treating AK. Which one is best will depend on factors such as the size and location of the lesions, the number of lesions, and the person's overall health.
Cryotherapy uses a very cold substance, like liquid nitrogen, to freeze and kill the skin cells that make up the AK lesion. The liquid nitrogen is applied as a spray or with a swab. This treatment method is best for a small number of lesions. Topical medications (see below) may be used prior to cryotherapy to improve results.
Excision is surgical removal of the lesion using a sharp blade.
Electrodessication and curettage dries out the AK cells with an electric current and then scrapes them out using a curette (a sharp instrument). These procedures require a local anesthetic. Like cryotherapy, these are not practical for large numbers of lesions.
·           The best treatment for an actinic keratoses is prevention by minimizing sun exposure  Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, applied one-half hour before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours. Wear a hat and protective clothing to help protect your skin from the sun's UV rays. Remember to protect children as well. Try to stay out of the sun during peak hours (11 am to 4 pm). It's important to make sure your sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays..
·         Treatments for actinic keratoses include cryosurgery, scraping or burning, 5-fluorouracil, imiquimod (Aldara), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, Voltaren-XR, Cambia), ingenol mebutate (Picato), TCA skin peels, 
Moles:    Many people have raised marks on their body, either black or brown in color, which range from the size of a pencil tip to the size of a pencil eraser. These marks are called moles. While most moles are harmless, some moles are actually cancerous and should be removed by a doctor. Although the safest way to remove any mole is removal by a doctor, there are some unverified home remedies that you can try to remove your mole.
Treatment:  A doctor will be able to look at the mole and see whether it's a harmless mole, or a potentially cancerous mole. You can try to remove a mole at home using common household items, but the safest, most effective way is surgery, unfortunately. If you plan on trying to remove a mole or moles on your own, without the help of a doctor, know first that these procedures may backfire. There's a reason your doctor uses surgery to remove moles (it works); it ends up being a lot less dangerous in the right hands than other methods. 
1.   Apple cider vinegar ACV:   ACV is an inexpensive way to get rid of a mole leaving no scar. Put a few drops of apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball.
Put the cotton ball on the mole and wrap a bandage around it. Leave the bandage on for an hour. Do this everyday until the mole falls off or disappears.
2.   Banana peels: Peel the peels off a banana. Make sure that the inside of the peel is in contact with the mole. Do this several days.The peel theoretically will dry up the mole until it falls off.
3.   Garlic: Take a clove of garlic and slice it in half. Put the half piece of garlic on the mole and leave it overnight wrapped in a bandage. Do this several days to remove the mole.
4.   Grapefruit juice: Take a fresh grapefruit and squeeze it to get its juice. Apply this juice to the moles repeatedly several times each day. This will ensure the removal of your moles within two weeks or a month.
5.   Mole removal cream : Mole removal creams are more expensive than many of these household items, but still cheaper than surgery. However, mole removal creams should be used with caution. They can leave pits in your skin and cause scarring that's more noticeable than the mole was in the first place. Follow the instructions carefully.
Acne Scars: Acne is an infection of the skin, caused by changes in the sebaceous glands. The most common form of acne is called acne vulgaris, which means "common acne". The redness comes from the inflammation of the skin in response to the infection.
Oils from the glands combine with dead skin cells to block hair follicles. Under the blocked pore, oil builds up. Skin bacteria can then grow very quickly. This infection makes the skin become swollen and red, which becomes visible.
The face, chest, back, and upper arms are most common places for acne to happen.
Acne is common during puberty, when a person is turning from a child into an adu**, because of high levels of hormones. Acne becomes less common as people reach adu**hood.
Bad acne often leads to bad scars where the skin has the shape of a volcano. It is difficult and expensive to treat acne scars.
Treatment : Acne scars are stubborn, and no single treatment is best for everyone. However, various procedures can improve your complexion.
  • Laser treatments. In laser resurfacing, a laser beam destroys the outer layer of skin. As the wound heals, new skin forms. Less intense lasers cause less damage, but are also less effective.
  • Other energy-based procedures. Pulsed light sources and radiofrequency devices help create new skin without damaging the outer layer of skin. After several treatments, acne scars may appear less noticeable.
  • Dermabrasion. This procedure involves removing the top layer of skin with a rapidly rotating wire brush. Surface scars may be completely removed, and deeper acne scars may appear less noticeable.
  • Surgery. In some cases, surgery to remove deeply indented acne scars is an option. A minor procedure, called punch excision, cuts out individual acne scars. Stitches or a skin graft repairs the hole left at the scar site.
  • Tissue fillers. Injecting collagen or fat under the skin and into the acne scars can fill out or stretch the skin, making acne scars less noticeable. Results are temporary, so you'd need to repeat the injections periodically.
Home remedies : . Select light, non-greasy, oil free make up products - there are a huge variety of foundations and powders available for sensitive skins, and many medicated varieties.
·        You can't simply get rid of acne scars by applying natural substances on your skin. A large part of the healing process consists of maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet that aids in the growth of new, healthy skin. Also, eating a healthy diet gives you the essential nutrients that you need to fight against infections and other types of diseases that might complicate your acne scars.

 Fenugreek is an effective solution to how to treat acne scars. You can make a paste out of fenugreek leaves and use it as a face mask. You can also boil Fenugreek seeds in water and use the solution on acne scars after it cools down. 
·        Olive oil is truly a miracle substance. It does not only make your food taste better, it also improves the condition of your skin and reduces your acne scars. Massage the oil on affected parts of your skin every day. It has moisturizing properties that soften the texture of your skin and reduce the prominence of your acne scars. 
·        Tea tree oil is a great way to reduce the effects of acne scars. This oil comes directly from Australia and is used for healing acne scars and also preventing outbreaks from occurring.  
·        Cucumber is great for helping to keep the skin smooth and supple.  Many different cosmetic beauty products often have cucumber as a key ingredient.  Also Indian gooseberry lotions and creams are great for reducing acne scaring and outbreaks.

 Apply the juice directly on your acne scars using a cotton ball. Let your skin soak up the lemon juice for a while before washing it off with water. Lemon juice improves the appearance of dark acne scars and blemishes by lightening them. 
·        Aloe Vera is a commonly used natural remedy to cure acne scars. The Aloe Vera plants are famous for their magically ability to help heal scars and wounds. The juice of the Aloe Vera is very useful for helping to heal acne scars as well as to fight breakouts when they do occur.  By applying the juice on a regular basis, you can erase the signs of bad acne over time. 
Skin Allergies: Allergic skin reactions are very common, and it can be difficult to figure out what causes them. There are hundreds of different kinds of rashes that can be caused by many things, such as plants like poison ivy, allergic reactions to a medication or a food, or a response to an illness.
·         Skin Rashes: Healthy skin provides a barrier between the inside of the body and the outside environment. A rash means some change has affected the skin.Rashes are generally caused by skin irritation, which can have many causes. A rash is generally a minor problem that may go away with home treatment. In some cases a rash does not go away or the skin may become so irritated that medical care is needed.In adu**s and older children, rashes are often caused by contact with a substance that irritates the skin. Common causes of contact dermatitis include:
Ø  Poisonous plants, such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
Ø  Soaps, detergents, shampoos, perfumes, cosmetics, or lotions.
Ø  Jewelry or fabrics.
Ø  New tools, toys, appliances, or other objects. 
Treatment differs according to what rash a patient has been diagnosed with. Common rashes can be easily remedied using steroid topical creams (such as hydrocortisone) or non-steroidal treatments. Many of the medications are available over the counter in the United States.The problem with steroid topical creams i.e. hydrocortisone; is their inability to penetrate the skin through absorption and therefore not be effective in clearing up the affected area, thus rendering the hydrocortisone almost completely ineffective in all except the most mild of cases.
·        Fragrance allergy: Perfumes and fragrances are among the most common causes of contact allergies, and this type of allergy is on the rise. But it's not just the stuff you use to smell good. Fragrances that may cause an allergic reaction are found in hundreds of products, including shampoos, soaps, body washes, and household products like room sprays, cleaners, laundry detergents, and dryer sheets.  Research has shown that natural oils can also cause allergic reactions. If you're prone to fragrance allergies, look for fragrance-free products.
          If you have a fragrance allergy the best way to avoid any problems is by avoiding all products that contain fragrances of any sort. Unfortunately, fragrance allergy is usually life-long and gets worse with continued exposure. Once the dermatitis appears on the skin, treatment is as for any acute dermatitis/eczema, i.e. topical corticosteroids, emollients, treatment of any secondary bacterial infection (Staphylococcus aureus), etc. 
·        Latex: If your skin becomes red and itchy when you wear rubber gloves, you’re probably allergic to latex, a milky fluid that comes from rubber trees and is processed to make balloons, waistbands on clothing, rubber bands, condoms, and other products. The allergy is a reaction to certain proteins in latex that your body mistakes for harmful substances. Symptoms can range from mild (rashes, itchy eyes) to severe (difficulty breathing, vomiting). If you have a latex allergy, you can reduce your risk of a reaction by avoiding contact with latex and using substitutes, such as nonlatex gloves. Always tell medical personnel about your allergy.


·        Poison Ivy: The common weed poison ivy contains an oil, called urushiol, that can cause an allergic reaction. Urushiol is also found in poison oak and poison sumac, which grow as bushes or small trees. Surprisingly, not everyone is allergic to urushiol. For those who are, symptoms of poison ivy rash include itchy skin, redness, hives, and blisters. Urushiol is sticky, so you can get a rash from touching something that came in contact with it — your pet’s fur, your shoes, or firewood, for example. You can experience a poison ivy allergy only if you are exposed to urushiol; the resulting rashes are not contagious. These rashes can usually be treated at home by washing the affected area with cool water and applying nonprescription antihistamines and calamine lotion. Severe cases may require a visit to the doctor.
·        Fabrics and Clothing: Although many people believe they are allergic to wool, a true wool allergy is rare. People are usually just sensitive to the texture of the fabric. The most common fabric-related allergy is an allergy to formaldehyde resins, which are used to make fabrics waterproof and resistant to wrinkles and shrinkage. They are also used in elastics, and some people develop a rash around the abdomen when elastic in undergarments is exposed with wear. If you experience formaldehyde allergy symptoms, such as burning eyes, skin rashes, and chest tightness, look for clothing that’s only lightly treated with resins, such as pure cotton, polyester, nylon, and acrylic. Often, people who are allergic to formaldehyde in fabric can tolerate clothing that has been washed many times.
·        Cosmetics: Allergic reactions to cosmetics can be induced by fragrance allergies, but they may also be caused by preservatives used in cosmetics. Skin irritation is a common problem at the site of contact with cosmetics and may be experienced by anyone, but allergic reactions such as redness, swelling, and hives tend to occur in people who are allergic to specific ingredients, like formaldehyde, parabens, and thimerosal. A surprising allergen is wet nail polish — the most common cause of eyelid dermatitis. “Once the nail polish is dry, you can touch your face and eyes, but you should avoid contact until it is completely dry,” says Day. If you experience a cosmetics allergy, stop using all cosmetics, and then gradually reintroduce products into your routine to isolate the culprit.
                      When you care for your epidermis, you help maintain all these functions and keep your body strong and protected.

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