June 2, 2017

Skin Can Speak

Skin Can Speak

Mirror Mirror on the wall, tell me who is the fairest of them all. Unlike the villainous queen of the Snow-White story, we may not really ask this question overtly to the mirror. But as we look into it every morning, it does tell us a story.

A story about sleepless nights, age, worries, travel and eating habits. We inspect ourselves to see different shades of colour, perhaps some open pores, a new wrinkle, a rash, a new contour. The more closely we look, a new thing we may not have noticed before become visible and we make a mental note that maybe that discolouration could be fixed with a lotion or re-commit ourselves to the CTM (cleansing, toning, moisturizing) regimen.

If the face is the index of the mind, the skin shows what you have been doing with your life and how you have been living it. Yes, the skin can say something about your health.

What is Skin?
Like hands, legs, kidney, heart, liver etc., the skin too is an organ. It is the largest organ that is connected to every other organ in your body. It keeps your internal organs inside and unless cut, ensures germs and other dangerous particles do not get in.
It is like a kaleidoscope into the functioning of all the organs of your body. How cool is that!

How does Skin Speak to Us?
So how exactly does this conversation happen? Well, it happens by way of codes. You may look at a die-hard dark patch behind your neck that refuses to go away despite scrubbing, just break out into rashes or find a discoloured patch on your body.

All of these are like the popups that you see while browsing a website. The skin is basically alerting you that all may not be well under the surface. The code in which the skin speaks may not be decipherable by us laypeople, but experts have figured out some common indications and have given us a reference point to at least understand a few of the common ways in which to interpret skin code.

What can you do?
Now that you know that most changes in your skin are a lens to things that may perhaps be wrong below the surface, you sure can do something about it. Look at yourself closely in the proverbial mirror every morning and have that talk with your skin. Don’t ignore the popups or alerts, however subtle they may be. Don’t obsess or stress either, as stress could also harm your skin. Love yourself and learn to be mindful and discerning for a healthy and joyous life.

dark and dirty neck home remedies

Have you ever noticed people with dark and dirty neck?

It looks ugly and it seems they have not taken bath for days or maybe for weeks. Maybe they are in a hurry that they don’t even bother to rub soap on the back of their neck. After all, this is the back, invisible to themselves. People generally tend to forget to keep that part of the body clean.

Do you really think so? Yes, at least these people think so.

They think that their dark neck is dirt accumulated on their neck and they keep rubbing it more often. Despite this, their neck remains dark because it is NOT dirt. Then what is it? Is caused by the neck chain that people wear? Or is it an infection?

No, neither. It is much more ominous than you thought. Though the problem appears on the skin, it is a resultant of problems lying inside the body. This condition is named as “Acanthosis Nigricans” by doctors.

What is this dark patchy neck?

The dark patchy neck is due to extra skin cells on the neck giving it a darker look. Your elbow skin is darker, because of more skin cells. More skin cells on the neck may be caused by many problems inside the body. Besides neck, skin on other body folds like underarms, groin & knuckles could also be affected.

What are the reasons for extra skin cells?

The most common reason is hormonal imbalance, especially the hormone which regulates our blood glucose level. When this fails to do its primary work efficiently, i.e. lowering blood glucose level, the body produces more of it. The increased level of this interacts with the skin cells especially on body folds, triggering their multiplication.

Thus, more number of skin cells get produced, giving a look of dirt accumulation. The other very less often reasons could be drugs induced, hereditary, or in rare cases because of cancer.

Why does this hormonal imbalance occur?

  • Sedentary lifestyle,
  • Oily, fatty, carbohydrate rich junky food.
  • Lack of exercise or obesity,
  • Some other diseases like diabetes, hyperthyroidism and PCOS

Would the person be necessarily/diabetic/or having high blood glucose level?

No. Not necessarily. The person might have a normal body weight and glucose level. But this is a warning signal that if not attended to, the person may become diabetic with or without normal body weight.

Who is vulnerable? Is this contagious.

Anyone who is not leading a healthy lifestyle, not having healthy food and not doing regular exercise, irrespective of gender may be at risk. It’s seen even in children of 8-10 years old. Obesity, diabetes and various hormonal disorders are other risk factors. And no, it is not contagious.

Is it curable. If yes, could it come back?

If it is not too late when diagnosed, in most of the cases, yes. Appropriate medicine, regular exercise and healthy food can completely cure it. And Yes. It could come back if a healthy lifestyle is not being followed.

Does someone have to take the medicine lifelong? Or how long the medicine has to be taken?

It has to be taken as per physician’s advice. In most cases, the physician would advise to take medicine till the disappearance of dark patches. After that, exercise & healthy food should contain it. In case dark patches reappear, visit a dermatologist again.

What would be the consequences if attention is not paid to it?

If not attended to, it ultimately leads to diabetes, which is an irreversible disease.

Do all diabetic patients have dark patchy neck?

No, not necessarily. In some patients, the dark patches on the neck are too faint to be recognised, while some may fail to show the symptoms at all and directly head to diabetic stage.

Is it a cause of great concern?

Yes, it is, but not a cause of great worry. Awareness and change in lifestyle will contain this. But awareness or knowledge about this is lacking among patients & people around us.

What to do if you see someone with dark patchy neck?

Tell them, that this is not dirt. Ask them not to ignore, and encourage them to visit a dermatologist. A brief education about the condition will certainly encourage them to visit a specialist. Also encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Why only dermatologist?

Dermatologists know more about skin. They could identify whether the dark patches are Acanthosis Nigricans or just hyper pigmentation or something else. No other specialist will take dark patches on skin as seriously as a skin specialist.

How much time it may take for the dark patches to fade away?

It is purely subjective. It may vary from few months to several months. It depends on the severity, the stage of diagnosis, and individual’s response considering that the medicine and healthy lifestyle are followed religiously.

Over 50 million Indians has diabetes. Many of these patients could have been stopped being diabetic had they known about this dark patchy neck condition. So, let’s spread the awareness. Whenever you see someone with dark patch on the neck, educate and encourage them to visit a dermatologist. Also look for dark patches on neck & knuckles in your family members and friends for the same.

Let’s spread the awareness as a small service to the Nation and Humanity.

  1. Apply Warm Water On The Pimple Surface – This is the most advisable remedy for curing heat boils in this scorching summer. Just dip a cloth in warm salted water and dab it on the boil for around 15 minutes, through the day. This will help in getting the pus out from your skin.Apply warm water
  2. Apply Neem leaves Paste  – Boil neem leaves in water and then wait for few minutes and once it turns into a semi solid, apply the paste on the top of your boil to get rid of your pimples.Neem_leaves_Neem_Leaves
  3. Garlic and Onion Paste – Cut a slice of onion and wrap it around a cloth. Now, press this cloth on the boil for a few minutes to drain out the boil. Garlic is also highly recommended for boils and rashes. So you can also Prepare a garlic paste and apply it directly on the boils for a quick cure.Apply garlic and onion for curing pimples
  4. Apply Tea Tree Oil Using A Cotton – Get instant relief from heat boils by dabbing a piece cotton dipped in Tea Tree Oil on the top of your pimple. It is a great antifungal and an antibacterial agent and helps in effective riddance of heat boils and pimples.olive-oil-968657_1920
  5. Apply Turmeric and  Milk Paste On Top Of Pimples – Turmeric and milk have high medicinal values and  can be combined together in several ways and could be used to fight heat boils like: 30498443120_53615be422_z
  1. Applying turmeric and milk paste on the boil. You could also add vinegar to this mixture.
  2. Turmeric and rose water paste or turmeric and ginger paste is also a  great home remedy for boils and pimples.
  3. Drink a warm glass of milk mixed with turmeric at least 2 or 3 times a day, to keep the boils away!

 

prevent sun tan in face

– UV rays are the strongest between the peak hours i.e 10 AM to 4 AM, so avoid stepping out during this duration.

– Your clothing is very important. During summer wear light weight fabrics, loose pants, full sleeves with dark colors to avoid a tan. Stick to colors which has a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). Wondering how to identify the UPF? Usually, a lot of brands have UPF number on the label. So make sure that it is 30 and above.

– Sunscreen is a must. It is the best and easiest way to avoid a tan. Use sunscreen every day, especially 30 minutes before stepping out. If your outdoor activity is high, make sure you apply the sunscreen every 2 hours. Sunscreens with broad spectrum, UVA protection and SPF that is 15 or higher is ideal.

– Rejuvenate your skin with moisturizers and baby oils. These two are a must to avoid tanning in the summer. While baby oil helps with dead skin, moisturizing helps in removal of tan.

– Some of the best home remedies for tan removal are – Turmeric powder, Curd, Lemon juice and Sandalwood. Applying these on your skin is a great way to get rid of summer tan. While turmeric powder could be mixed with curd and honey, a paste of sandalwood, coconut and almond oil could give you some amazing results.

– Hats and sunglasses are your go-to essentials to avoid tanning. Wide hats and sunglasses with 100% UV protection are the most recommendable.

glowing skin

Why squander on products that may or may not help your skin?? Just make sure you eat the right food to get that glowing skin that we all dream of, because beautiful skin needs commitment, not a miracle.

Yoghurt

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No doubt yoghurt provides delicious benefits for your body, enriched with protein, calcium, vitamins and probiotics. But it also does great beauty wonders for your skin. It’s an all-around beauty multi-tasker that fights acne and pimples, restricts premature aging, relieves sunburn, reduces discoloration and keeps your skin glowing and youthful.

 Pomegranate

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Along with boosting your immune system, pomegranate possesses anti-aging properties, thus rejuvenating your skin.  Pomegranate juice is useful in reducing fine lines and wrinkles on your skin. It helps the skin cells to regenerate and prevents dark spots and pigmentation troubles. Regular intake keeps you looking younger and beautiful.

Walnut

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Foodies everywhere love walnuts for their crunchy texture and great taste. Aside from filling a hunger gap; they are also a beauty secret. Being the powerhouse of Omega-3 fatty acids, they lock-in moisture and nutrients in the skin. Applying walnut oil will cure your dark circles and removes puffiness under the eyes.

Avocados

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Avocados not only nurture your skin when you eat them, but also when applied topically they prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails. Eating half an avocado would probably lower your cholesterol level. Replace your sunscreen lotions with this fruit. It helps in protecting your skin from the UV rays of the sun, also a remedy for removing sun burns and eczema from the skin.

    

Tulsi/Basil

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From regular fever to some of the deadliest bacterial and viral infections, basil can cure diseases. The juice of crushed basil leaves cleanse your skin from within. Basil purifies the blood and eliminates the toxins, thus healing and preventing eruptions on skin. The antioxidants present in Tulsi make you look younger and fresher.  Basil has more powerful antibacterial properties when compared with other home remedies for acne. Basil can help to inhibit the growth of bacteria which causes acne problem. It works well as a skin and hair moisturizer too.