Understanding Senile Pruritus

Pruritus is the sensation or the urge to scratch. If this sensation occurs at old age, it is known as Senile Pruritus. This condition can be termed as a long term condition extending over 6 weeks among the elderly. Pruritus is by no means a life threatening disease but the constant urge to itch and scratch can give a person many sleepless nights, and can also cause mental stress, depression and have a negative impact on ones day to day life.

Let’s have a look at some of the most common causes of senile pruritus.

Dry skin: This is the most common cause, as aging skin tends to dry out more often.

Certain skin changes: A decrease in skin surface lipids, or a reduced production of sweat and oil, also the skin takes more time to repair.

Certain diseases: Seborrehic dermatitis and statis dermatisis may cause irritation of the skin. Other diseases that can cause senile pruritus are liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes and depression.

Medications: Certain drugs used for treating high blood pressure, calcium blockers and thiazides.

Common symptoms of senile pruritus:

– Redness
– Bumps, spots or blisters
– Dry, cracked skin
– Leathery or scaly texture

How can it be treated?

The use of moisturizers will ensure your skin stays smooth and will help prevent drying. Do not scratch the lesions it will only make it worse. In certain cases, if the itching goes to an extreme the use of anti-allergy drugs will help relieve the sensation. Ensuring simple steps such as applying moisturizer, wearing loose clothing, taking a bath in lukewarm water will help to keep your skin dry-free and hydrated.

Senile pruritus is not a life threatening disease but it can cause a lot of discomfort and anxiety issues. In case if the itching worsens, visit the dermatologist immediately.

Many a times, clinicians have reported stress to be a prominent, direct or indirect factor in various types of health conditions. In cases where the actual causative factor is clearly identified, the treatment protocol can take a specific course but in cases of ambiguity stress management should always be taken into account while planning the treatment.

Skin diseases have been linked to stress very often. Off the many related, clinical skin manifestations, urticaria is one of them. Urticaria involves severe itching and studies have shown that even depression could be a modulating factor in chronic idiopathic version.

The link between stress and onset of urticaria is even quantified as the fact that the onset of disease is preceded by a substantial stressful period of about 4–6 months in many reported cases. The strong linkage can also be understood by few more findings like up to 50% urticaria patients have been shown to have psychological stress episodes. Women are known to be predominantly more affected by emotional disturbances and urticaria related studies prove that hence women are twice as likely as men to suffer from the disease.

The mechanism can be understood by the sequential increased vascular permeability due to triggered mast cells, thereby causing transient leakage of plasma from small blood vessels into the surrounding connective tissue, triggering swelling of skin causing urticaria.

Realizing the involvement of stress in the onset of urticaria, clinicians can include investigation of recent life events prior to the disease episode, in order to generate a new patient identification and also to offer complete care solutions.

Stress can affect the whole body, including the hair, nails, and skin. Stress causes a chemical response in the body that makes skin more sensitive and reactive. It can also make it harder for skin problems to heal.

When we talk about stress and its affect to skin in psoriasis, the impact is a vicious cycle. Genetics and stress are proven to up regulate the production of neuropeptides in the dry skin in psoriasis which ultimately contribute to the inflammatory response there by indicating psoriasis.

Further, psoriasis can be associated with a systemic inflammatory response which could exacerbate negative psychosocial states, resulting in elevated levels of anxiety and depression. Psoriatic patients experiencing a psychological vulnerability are often “stress reactors” and show higher levels of anxiety and depression.

Thus, stress management is essential in the maintenance therapy for Psoriasis. Till the time, the response to stress is not more than superficial for example an acne flare, regular care will help however when skin starts responding to a higher degree like signs of psoriasis, clinical management like skin creams for psoriasis is advisable.

The vicious cycle of stress and altered maintenance mechanism in order to get rid of psoriasis needs to be broken in “stress reactors”. Following stress management advice is important for managing psoriasis for such kind of individuals, up to a certain extent.

A dark spot on the face leads to a mind roving questions. The common thoughts are when, why, till when?

The Why & Who of Melasma

Quite often the reasons are age, pollution, intermittent miss in skin care routine and acne, however UV radiation and hormonal imbalance especially during pregnancies are also one of the causative reasons. These two factors are generally realized as less influencing and transient. Melasma is one pigmentation disorder which gets triggered due to repeated UV radiation and hormonal fluctuations (especially during pregnancies) in specific races and people with genetic predisposition. The disorder is characterized by over production of Melanin in a particular area especially the facial regions; causing a darker skin tone than the remaining areas. It is reported to be more common in darker skin people and in young to middle aged woman.

The Know How of treatment

Important preventive tips include sun avoidance, application of sunscreen for melasma, avoiding birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).The treatment needs patience as the problem too isn’t acquired overnight and the skin lightening creams available over the counter, have serious side effects. The most effective solution hence is to meet a dermatologist and follow the advice. A typical Melasma prescription includes a face wash, to disperse the pigments visible on the skin, a depigmentation cream, to stop the excessive production of Melanin and a sun screen, to protect from UV radiation.

An early identification, right compliance to the dermatologist’s advice, coupled with patience makes Melasma a transient disorder in patients, affected and prone to it.

Plethora of solutions to Acne-Right Choice essential

Acne is a common problem faced by most young adult and can have mild to moderate effect on skin and psychological health of an individual. In such a scenario it is difficult for acne patient to bank upon one solution out of the many options. Dermatologist’s prescribed drug is the right choice in such a scenario however sometimes the prescribed topical solution causes discomfort in the form of dry skin, severe itching, and redness thus impacting patient compliance.

The proven science of Acne Management through the basic cleansing route

It has been reported that careful face washing with a cleanser helps in improving as well as preventing acne suggesting “Cleansing” to be the most essential part of acne management regimen. The criticality of following this regimen however rests with selecting the right cleanser which suits the acne prone skin rather than flaring up skin irritation due to the use of strong chemicals like surfactants.

Choosing the right Cleanser is essential

Cleansers are emulsifiers which makes the dirt, sweat, bacteria, dead surface cells and excessive skin lipids from the acne prone skin, water soluble. Selection of right cleanser is very important in acne management. A harsh cleanser can damage skin proteins and lipids, leading to after-wash tightness, dryness, barrier damage, irritation and even itch. Such cleansers also reduce skin hydration there by weakening the skin barrier which may further exacerbate patients’ skin disorders.

The Mild Cleanser is the right choice

The new cleansers in the market are comparatively safer and much skin friendly. Numerous studies prove mild cleansers to be significantly effective in acne patients. Decreased acne lesions and significant improvement in open comedowns have been demonstrated in various trials, upon twice a day cleansing which works on deep pores. A formulation containing mild cleanser, mildness enhancers and moisturizing agents is skin friendly and aids in improving skin hydration.

Hence bringing in a general awareness about the right formulation in acne patients is needed. Patients should follow the Dermatologists advice of twice daily face washing with specific cleanser. Such an understanding will also prevent them from making wrong selections when they decide to buy a face wash on their own.