Neither could we squirm in front of others to control our itching nor could we scratch as it would be embarrassing to do so. What an arduous situation to endure!

Pruritus or itch is an unpleasant sensation that causes the desire to scratch. If it occurs in old age it is known as senile pruritus. It is often a long-term condition, extending more than six weeks, in elderly population. Though it is not a life-threatening disease, it still is the cause of discomfort in the form of sleepless nights, depression and anxiety with a negative impact on our daily life.

What are the causes of senile pruritus?

Dry skin (Xerosis): probably the most common cause
Other skin changes: like decreased skin surface lipids or fats; reduced sweat and oil (sebum) production; decrease in skin repair
Certain diseases: like seborrheic dermatitis (a condition that mainly affects scalp) and stasis dermatitis (skin inflammation in the lower legs), kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety.
Medications: which include drugs used for treating high blood pressure: calcium channel blockers (e.g.: amlodipine), thiazides (e.g.: chlorthalidone, hydrochlorothiazide), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (e.g.: enalapril)

What are the symptoms of senile pruritus?

A person may have itchy skin over certain areas, or over the whole body. Itchy skin may be also associated with:
– Redness
– Bumps, spots or blisters
– Dry, cracked skin
– Leathery or scaly texture to the skin

What is the impact of senile pruritus on day-to-day life?

Pruritus considerably affects general health status and has a negative impact on quality of life. It decreases the daily activities and causes lack of sleep. In some cases, it can also lead to depression or anxiety.

How is senile pruritus treated?

– Topical treatment: like moisturizers which help in preventing dryness of skin
– Anti-allergy drugs: help to relieve itching
– Light therapy (phototherapy): skin is exposed to certain UV light, which reduces itching
– General measures: like wearing light loose clothing, maintaining a comfortable temperature, bathing in cool or lukewarm water.

Though it is not a life-threatening disease, it still is the cause of discomfort in the form of sleepless nights, depression and anxiety with a negative impact on our daily life. So, do consult the dermatologist before it gets too serious.

October 18, 2018

Basic Understanding of pH

Most people lack the knowledge on what is the pH of their skin and how it determines the health of their skin. It is important to have a basic understanding of our skin’s pH levels as it determines the overall skin health.

pH stands for “potential of hydrogen”. It measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance.

How is pH measured?

The level of pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14.
– pH value < 7 is acidic - pH value = 7 is neutral - pH value >7 is alkaline

What is the normal pH of the body?

The pH value is highly controlled in all body fluids and tissues within a narrow range. Moreover, each cell, tissue or organ-type has its own pH level like:
– Blood pH = 7.35 to 7.45
– Skin pH = 4 to 6.5
– Urine pH = 4.6 to 8.0
– Stomach pH = 1.35 to 3.5

Which organs play a key role in maintaining the body’s pH balance?

The lungs and kidneys play a key role in this process.

What is the importance of pH balance in the human body?

The normal pH of the human body is essential for many processes necessary to life including, oxygen delivery to tissues, correct protein structure, and for various biochemical reactions.

What are the general signs and symptoms of poor pH balance?

A poor pH balance can lead to fatigue, lack of energy, low body temperature, depression, frequent infections, dry skin, brittle nails, frequent leg cramps etc.

How can we maintain healthy body pH?

A healthy body pH can be maintained by:
– Drinking lots of water
– Limiting alcohol intake
– Eating more raw foods
– Exercising regularly
– Managing stress
– Sleeping properly
So, why are you waiting get your skin’s pH tested and get to know it well.

Noticing the scales of white or yellow patches on the baby’s head may be a nightmare for the parents. Worry not! It is not harmful and very common among babies. Experts call this condition as infantile seborrheic dermatitis or cradle cap, which generally appears on baby’s head during the first few months of their birth.

What is cradle cap?

Cradle cap is a greasy, yellow scaly patch that sometimes appears on the scalps of young babies. It is common, and not dangerous. It doesn’t usually itch or cause discomfort. Cradle cap is neither contagious nor a result of poor hygiene and it is also not allergic.

What are the causes of cradle cap?

The exact cause of cradle cap is unknown. However, it may be associated with
– High levels of an oily substance called sebum on affected areas
– A reaction to a yeast (a type of fungus) on the skin

What are the common complaints of cradle cap?

The common complaints of cradle cap are:
– Patchy scaling or thick crusts on the scalp
– Oily or dry skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales
– Skin flakes (dandruff)
– Possibly mild redness

Does cradle cap cause hair loss?

Hair loss can occur when hair stuck in the cradle cap falls off with the patch. This is normal, and the hair will grow back naturally.

What precautions parents should take in case of cradle cap?

The precautions that parents should take includes:
– Do not pick or scratch the area, as this may lead to infection
– Once the scales disappear, the gentle washing process should be repeated every few days to prevent them from recurring

How is cradle cap treated?

In most cases, cradle caps clear up on their own without treatment within weeks to a few months. However, your doctor may suggest the following care:
– Wash your baby’s hair once a day with mild baby shampoo
– Brush the scalp lightly with a soft brush to loosen the scale
– If the scales don’t loosen easily, rub petroleum jelly or a few drops of mineral oil onto your baby’s scalp. Don’t leave oil on baby’s scalp and wash it after a few minutes.
– Nobody wants their baby’s sensitive skin to be affected by harsh chemicals. Consult your dermatologist before using any skin care products on your baby’s tender skin or if the condition severs. Let the fear not get on to you, now that you have the needed understanding of cradle caps.

Bask in the delight of motherhood!

“Your eyes speak the truth when everything else is a lie.” This is not a mere proverb to brighten up your day but one that is meant to open your eyes to a stark truth – your eyes are perhaps the first ones to signal the beginning of a problematic skin condition. If you feel any kind of change in the way your eyes are behaving, it’s time to pay attention.

Some skin disorders are first manifested through the eyes. If your eyes are experiencing dryness, redness or severe itching, it must be the onset of a skin disease.

Dry eyes are a strong symptom of a skin problem. Consider the skin condition called Rosacea. An inflammatory skin condition that causes red, pus-filled bumps on the face, could kick off with redness and irritation of the eyes, and swelling of eyelids. This condition, known as ocular rosacea, may also be related to mites living on the eyelashes or bacteria from the skin, which travel to the eyelids.

Ocular itching or itchy eyes can also be the sign of Pruritus, a common skin condition identified by itchy skin. Itchy eyes signal atopic dermatitis or psoriasis, which eventually lead to whole body itching, inflammation and rashes. Look out for symptoms such as swelling around the eyelids or scaly eyelids.

Blepharitis, which is the inflammation or swelling of the eyelids could indicate dandruff or rosacea. This condition of the eye could also suggest a skin rash due to an allergic reaction.

To sum things up, the health of your eyes is an indication of your overall health. Hence, when you experience dryness, itching, redness or swelling of the eyes, consult a medical practitioner to get to the root of the problem.

It is well known that excess sugar can lead to a variety of health issues, but what we don’t know is that too much sugar can also affect our skin.It is well known that excess sugar can lead to a variety of health issues, but what we don’t know is that too much sugar can also affect our skin.