August 31, 2018
Most people would agree that babies have great skin. Understanding the fundamental differences between baby and adult skin can help us better appreciate why our skin changes over time and how to best maintain its quality as we age.
Visible and anatomic differences
Generally, baby skin is smoother and suppler than adult skin as they contain slightly higher water content (roughly 75%). Adults contain closer to 65% water and the elderly are closer to 55% water. You can think of baby skin like a sponge that has absorbed more water, making it feel softer and more flexible than a drier sponge.
More on its functions:
While the overall functions of the skin in acting as a physical barrier, radiation barrier, moisture barrier, temperature regulator, and stimulus sensor, the capacity for these functions are somewhat different.
Exposure and water loss:
Baby skin is slightly more prone to environmental irritants and water loss than adult skin, possibly due to having thinner stratum corneum and epidermis (the outermost layers of the skin).
Research has shown that regular use of moisturizers for the first 6 months of life reduces eczema incidence by 50%. Thus the regular application of moisturizers can help maintain skin water content and act as a barrier to irritants.
A burst of a myth:
Owing to their size, children have a higher skin surface area to total body volume ratio. They also have lesser sweat glands than adults. These contribute to fluctuations in ambient temperature.
While this anatomical difference can mean that they can easily get cold, more often than not it’s actually the other way around. With layers upon layers of clothes and blankets, it is not only too hot for them; they usually don’t have the ability to remove the layers themselves to cool down.
August 31, 2018
Tinea or ringworm is a fungal infections caused by dermatophytes. The name ‘ringworm’ is due to the ring-like appearance of the rash. It can involve any body site from head to toe like the scalp, face, beard area, trunk, arms, legs, groin, hands, foot and even, nails.
It appears as a round red rash with scales. You can observe a lot of red bumps at the edges while it is vice- versa at the centre. As the disease progresses, there will be many such rings forming a large patch of redness, studded with boils, small bumps, and scales.
1. Wear dry loose cotton clothes. Keep the affected part well ventilated
2. Take bath twice a day in the lukewarm water. Avoid using very hot water as it favours fungal growth
3. Use a fresh dry towel to wipe off water and make sure skin folds are totally dry before wearing clothes
4. Wash your clothes, towel, and bedspread in hot water and dry them in good sunlight
5. Eat healthy food, keep your body weight ideal for your height because being overweight or undernourished leads to reduced immunity
6. If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar level frequently and make sure it lies in the normal range because uncontrolled blood sugar is a risk factor for fungal infection.
7. Visit a Dermatologist and complete the course of Antifungal Medicine they prescribe.
8. Do not scratch. Scratching makes the rash worse. Ask your dermatologist to prescribe anti-itching medicine.
9. Do not wear synthetic clothes, tight-fitting jeans which do not allow air to flow through them. Do not wear wet inner clothes. Do not wear inners while at home, just allow air to flow freely through the affected part.
10. Do not share your personal items such as clothes, towel, soap, or comb with your family members or friends.
11. Do not use over-the-counter (OTC) medications as most of them contain steroid which gives faster relief from itching but spread the ringworm to a larger area.
12. Do not use home remedies such as garlic paste to get rid of ringworm. This could burn your skin and leave a permanent scar.
Proper and timely medications from a dermatologist and these skin care measures would provide faster relief from symptoms, speedy recovery and less chance of recurrence.
August 31, 2018
Many people think excessive sweating is due to poor personal hygiene. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hyperhidrosis is primarily a neurologic disorder; but endocrine, infectious, or some other systemic diseases can also cause hyperhidrosis in otherwise healthy people. Although high temperatures, intense physical activity or stress can trigger excessive sweating, it is true that people suffering from hyperhidrosis may sweat excessively during waking hours, in spite of the weather or other internal and external conditions.
While normal sweating is the body’s cooling mechanism, in hyperhidrosis the nervous system is overactive and triggers the sweat glands to work up without any reason. Excessive sweating can lead to dry skin, which would eventually need extra care and moisturising. Excessive sweating can make the sufferer prone to skin infections, as well. In these conditions, medical assistance may be required to keep the disorder under control.
The approach to treating excessive sweating generally proceeds as follows:
- Over-the-counter antiperspirants containing a low dose of metal salt (usual aluminium) are usually tried first because they are readily available. Antiperspirants containing aluminium chloride (for example Certain Dri) may be more effective when other antiperspirants have failed.
- Prescription strength antiperspirants, which contain aluminium chloride hexahydrate.
- Iontophoresis, a device which passes ionized tap water through the skin using direct electricity.
- Oral medications, Anticholinergics reduce sweating.
- Botox (botulinum toxin)-A, has been approved in the U.S. by the FDA for treating excessive axillary (underarm) sweating.
- miraDry. This technique uses microwave energy to permanently kill sweat glands.
- Lasers. Lasers can target and kill the underarm sweat glands.
- Surgery. A procedure called thoracic sympathectomy may be considered as a last resort.
However, remember that hyperhidrosis can be easily managed, and it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying life just the way you want to!
August 27, 2018
You have been invited to a high profile business event. You have the perfect clothes, the right personality and the ideal crowd to hang out with. This could be just what your career needs! But there is something constantly worrying you; a problem that most people don’t expect to cause discomfort – excessive sweating. You imagine your clothes swathed in sweat, your hands clammy in a handshake, or your face dripping when you meet someone important.
Here is a reassuring fact, though – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Scientifically called Hyperhidrosis and this condition of excessive sweating is a manageable disorder.
People who suffer from hyperhidrosis know that this condition does not always kick off due to heat, rigorous physical activity or nervousness. An episode of heavy sweating can commence just about anywhere or any time and may leave the sufferer feeling uncomfortable, and even embarrassed. This kind of excessive sweating of the underarms, feet, palms and even face usually begins at adolescence, and can hamper a person’s self-confidence and personal and professional relationships, and cause practical problems such as difficulty in writing or driving.
Hyperhidrosis can also be caused by medical conditions like diabetes, thyroid problems, menopause-related hot flashes, low blood sugar, etc. Excessive sweating can make the sufferer prone to skin infections, as well. In these conditions, medical assistance may be required to keep the disorder under control. However, remember that hyperhidrosis can be easily managed, and it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying life just the way you want to!
August 27, 2018
A majority of people dismiss Psoriasis as an unsightly skin condition. However, those who suffer from this medical condition are aware of the psychological impact it has on their lives.
The International Federation of Psoriasis Association (IFPA) has revealed that about 3% of the global population has some form of psoriasis. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that around 7.5 million Americans are affected by the condition.
Identified by red inflammation on the skin, Psoriasis is a result of an abnormal growth of skin cells. This leads to lesions on the skin’s outer layer, defined by stages of scaling, thickening and redness. The condition is usually accompanied by sensations of itching.
Anyone who suffers from this condition would hope to zero in on the triggers and get rid of Psoriasis. However, the exact causes of Psoriasis are unknown. There could be several potential causes for the condition, ranging from genetic and immunological, to psychological and environmental. Nonetheless, it is believed that smoking, alcohol, infections, stress and certain medications can act as triggers. Even seemingly everyday occurrences like bruising, bug bites, chafing, cuts and scrapes, or boils could set off an imminent Psoriasis attack.
Psoriasis has a detrimental psychological impact on patients – like, low self-esteem, poor relations with family, friends, partner and colleagues, depression and suicidal tendencies, decreased vocational and career opportunities due to discrimination, and increased stress leading to a flare-up of the condition.
Although the scale of the skin disorder varies from person to person and goes from being mild to severe, the discomfort, embarrassment and psychological consequences of the condition can be far-reaching and prolonged.
Treatment for the skin disorder begins with consulting a doctor, who may first suggest topical creams for psoriasis treatment. Depending on the severity, doctors may also advise prescription medicine for psoriasis.
However, to deal with the psychological effects, one may need counselling, relaxation therapies and participation in support groups.