11:53 am

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 discoloration 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 is 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 breakout 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.

You Are What You Eat for Life longevity

According to WHO, the average life expectancy in 2015 was 71.4 years. With the world’s current dietary habits, we can expect this number to decrease drastically. Let’s take a look at some of the food that will help you have a long life (Jeethe raho!):

Water

Yes, sometimes it’s as simple as that – drinking water rather than juices or soda, can greatly increase your life span as it improves your cognitive functions and cleanses your body.

Nuts

The nuts that are good for you are generally unsalted and unroasted nuts (If you want you can roast them at home). Nuts can include peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and almonds. Consuming nuts improve your longevity, as they are a source of healthy fat and are healthier snacks rather than chips and cookies.

Garlic

Garlic not only adds flavour to your favourite food, but also strengthens your immunity and possessed anti-viral properties. Additionally, it aids in the absorption of essential nutrients, which is always a plus.

Milk

Research has suggested that human bodies are not capable of digesting cow’s milk due to its high sugar and fat content, which is what most of us consume daily. Instead of cow’s milk, try coconut milk, almond milk, or even sheep’s milk.

Vegetables

Vegetables, especially broccoli, sprouts, and spinach are great for increasing longevity due to their nutritional and medicinal properties.

Homemade Food

Last of all, eat as much homemade food as you can –opt for home-cooked meals rather than processed foods because honestly who knows what’s in all those bottles and packets of food?

Do you have any other suggestions for improving longevity? Let us know in the comments section below.

salt has harmful effects on the skin

We all love our popcorn, chips, crackers, samosas, murku, and ketchup – but what do all these things have in common? SALT.

According to WHO (2016), adults should consume less than 5 grams (1 teaspoons) per day. In India, an average Indian consumes 10.98 grams per day, which is 119% more than the required intake per day! 119%.

Let’s take a look at how it affects the skin:

Puffy Eyes

Consuming too much salt in any form can cause us to retain water that can cause swelling around the eyes. The skin around the eyes is very thing so your eyes tend to swell more, says Dr. Schultz.

Dry Skin

Your skin can also become dry and cracked as a result of excess consumption of sodium.

Oily Skin

Your skin could also go the opposite way and there may be an overproduction of oil due to the dehydration of the skin, leading to skin breakouts and acne.

The bottom line is: reduce your salt intake and consumption of processed foods because they often contain hidden salt. So our advice to you is: take it with a grain of salt!

Are there any other effects that we should know about? Let us know in the comment sections below.

sugar effects

What do your cereals, canned juices, jams, ketchup, sodas, and ice creams all have in common? If you guessed sugar, you’re right!

According to the American Heart Association, the ideal amount of sugar consumption is 9 teaspoons for men and 6 for women. The actual consumption of sugar in India is 27.2 million metric tonnes.

Let’s have a look at the effect our sugar intake has on the skin:

Inflammation

High glycemic foods such as refined bread, sugar, and soda – quickly convert to sugar and eating these foods causes your insulin levels to drastically increase, leading to a “burst of inflammation,” according to Dr. Nicolas Perricone.

Wrinkles

The inflammation produces enzymes that break down the collagen – leading to sagging skin and wrinkles.

Oily Skin

Moreover, it is a dehydrating substance so it increases oil production. It also influences the skin’s oxygenated and glowing nature. An increased oil production leads to more breakouts, swelling, and acne.

Pigmentation

The more your sugar consumption, the more likely it is that you will develop an insulin resistance, resulting in excessive hair growth and dark patches or pigmentation on the neck and other parts of the body.

The effects of reducing your sugar intake can be seen as soon as after 48-72 hours. Are there any more effects that we should know about?? Let us know in the comments section below.

What is Skin Abnormality?

Human skin color varies from different hues of brown to pink. The pigment which determines the skin color of each individual is called as melanin. The skin color evolved primarily to protect the skin from the harmful UV rays. People who live near equator with high exposure to UV rays have more melanin pigments for protection. Hence they are dark skinned. People who live closer to the poles with less UV exposure have less melanin pigments and are light skinned.

Change in skin color can happen due to various reasons. Changes in skin tone because of tanning or scars are considered normal. Other changes which require medical advice are considered as skin abnormality.

Tanning

Tanning is caused when the skin is exposed to excessive sun rays. The body tends to produce more melanin for UV protection. The area exposed to sun rays becomes darker than the rest of the body results in uneven skin tone. Tanning is not exactly a skin condition or abnormality. Covering the exposed areas or using a sunscreen can protect one from the UV rays. But overexposure to UV rays can cause sun burns, skin ageing and even skin cancer.

Scars

Scars are a form of tissues called fibrous which replaces the normal skin after an injury.  Simple scars from small wounds, acne, itchy insect bites can fade away in weeks. Any other major wound or surgery can cause permanent scars. Even though the skin looks different from the rest of the body, scarring is considered as a natural part of the healing process. There are some treatments available as well to remove the scars.

Hyper pigmentation 

Hyper pigmentation is caused because of the over production of melanin but it is not only because of the exposure to UV rays.  Hyper pigmentation can be because of the various following reasons. Pregnancy can be one of the main reasons for hyper pigmentation. The skin is darkened around neck and at the lower part of stomach which eventually goes away after the child birth. Decrease in the function of adrenal gland can cause hyper pigmentation.  Use of certain medication is one of the reasons for hyper pigmentation.  Skin inflammation, fungal infection, accumulation of iron in the body, exposure to mercury and smoking are the other reasons for hyper pigmentation.

Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis Nigricans is a type of hyper pigmentation caused by hormonal imbalance. It results in occurrence of dark patches on neck, under arms and knuckles. The dark patch is nothing but extra skin cells produced by the imbalanced hormones regulating the blood sugar level called insulin. Sedentary lifestyle, junk food, lack of exercise, obesity, diabetics and polycystic ovary syndrome are the causes of Acanthosis Nigricans.

These dark parches are often mistaken as dirt accumulation. Irrespective of regular cleaning and scrubbing, these patches won’t fade away. Doctor consultation is a must to treat this condition. Proper medication along with healthy food and lifestyle changes can help to overcome the condition.