A Stressful Disease- Urticaria

Many 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. Of 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 the 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 the 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.

The Vicious Cycle Of Psoriasis Stress

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

When we talk about stress and its effect on the skin in psoriasis, the impact is a vicious cycle. Genetics and stress are proven to upregulate the production of neuropeptides in the dry skin in psoriasis which ultimately contribute to the inflammatory response thereby 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 psychological vulnerability are often “stress reactors” and show higher levels of anxiety and depression.

Thus, stress management is essential in 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 the 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.

Is The New Spot On Your Face, MELASMA?

A dark spot on the face leads to 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 skincare 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 that gets triggered due to repeated UV radiation and hormonal fluctuations (especially during pregnancies) in specific races and people with a genetic predisposition. The disorder is characterized by overproduction 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 women.

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 sunscreen, 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.

Importance Of Cleansing For Acne Management

The plethora of solutions to Acne-Right Choice essential

Acne is a common problem faced by most young adults and can have a mild to moderate effect on the skin and psychological health of an individual. In such a scenario it is difficult for acne patients 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 the 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 that makes the dirt, sweat, bacteria, dead surface cells and excessive skin lipids from the acne-prone skin, water-soluble. The selection of the 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 thereby 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 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.

Discover What Stress Can Do to Your Skin

Life is demanding! Demands cost time and attention, thus the routine sometimes gets altered while chasing it. While we keep battling to reduce the stress that causes challenges externally, our bodies too keep combating them internally.

Stress is the body’s response to physical, mental, or emotional changes, situations, and forces. One common response of the body to stress gets exhibited in the form of acne.

As it is said, face is the mirror of the mind, so when skin faces acne issues it actually speaks about the body’s response to ongoing stress. Multiple studies suggest that psychological stress can be linked to the onset or aggravation of multiple skin diseases. Significant numbers of affected adolescents and adults have also reported worsening of acne, when in stress.

The skin is sensitive to touch and has different sensory receptors. These sensory receptors deal with pain, heat, cold, touch and pressure. They are distributed all over the body and when a message is received, they send impulses to nerve cells and then to the brain. Emotional stress alters the functioning of the sebaceous unit in the skin by influencing the production of hormones, neuropeptides, and inflammatory markers, causing exacerbation of acne.

Listening to the system and taking proper care of skin health is advisable to control acne aggravation in patients prone to acne and prevent further increase in stress due to unwanted complexes. It is necessary to take acne as a signal and not let it become a compounding factor for stress and anxiety.

Tips to reduce the effects of Pollution on skin

Uneven skin tone? Accelerated aging? Pollution may be wreaking havoc on your skin.

Pollution leads to a number of skin disorders. UV rays, smoke, and car exhausts have the ability to create free radicals. When these free radicals are emitted, they can easily attach to your skin when you are out and about walking to work, running errands or just enjoying a day outside.

The potential harm caused by these free radicals may be:

Compromised moisture barrier
Dry and dehydrated skin
• Dull skin tone
• Premature signs of skin aging like wrinkles and fine lines

Let us now address pollution with the following tips.

1. Cleanse your face or skin at least twice a day with a gentle face wash based on your skin type. Make sure your skin is dirt-free.
2. Use a good sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before going outside to protect the skin from UV rays.
3. Wear makeup and go outside because makeup prevents pollution from directly impacting the skin.
4. Always remove makeup as early as possible after coming back home.
5. Drink plenty of water and eat a lot of green vegetables, salads, and fruits to detoxify the body.

Educate your friends and relatives about the effects of pollution. Be doubly careful while going out and follow the simple steps to keep your skin pollution-free.

Say ‘No’ to Stress and ‘Yes’ to De-Stress

Too much stress or having sleep disorders? Then your skin would speak up harshly.

Yes! That is true “Stress affects the skin”. The pimples, dark patches, wrinkles or whatever eruptions on the skin are aggravated by stress.

Have you ever wondered why experienced people always insist that we take rest while hurt or having pain? Definitely, we are supermen and superwomen but they are only warning us that any strain or stress is only going to increase the damage.

Adding fuel to fire, stress is contagious. Even if you take less stress or do regular stress management activities, having stressed people around you is like having a time bomb. You may not know when the time bomb explodes but it puts you on edge constantly and that itself is toxic. Stress transmitted from others can change the operation of the cerebrum in comparison with what real stress does.

It causes chemical changes in your body and affects mental and physical health.

Do we need to say more? Come what may, just slow down your fast-paced life and take time to relax, unwind and de-stress yourself.

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 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 breakout into rashes or finds 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.

Acne may leave more than physical scars

Acne can feel so distressing that you just want to hide your face from the world.

For most people with acne, the skin condition takes a toll on more than just the way they look. Acne can affect one’s emotional health. Studies have found that people with acne may also suffer from:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Loneliness

Every day, dermatologists see the devastating effects that acne can have on someone’s life.

In some schools, kids are bullied with names such as “crater face”. This can cause self-esteem to deep dive into the basement. Teens could feel so low that just want to be alone all the time.

Research has shown that people often say that they feel embarrassed or ashamed and too self-conscious to be their natural self. This might stop teens and even adults from being confident during a job interview or taking pictures or actively participating in class or work.

Some women say that it has led them to cancel dates with their boyfriends as they felt unattractive. They tend to be aloof or irritant until the flare-up fades away.

Needless to say, people prone to acne often develop depression and anxiety.

Treat it early and save your stress

As with any disease or condition, addressing it early can save you a lot of stress or emotional distress. In that case, it may leave behind permanent scars and your emotional well-being may be the price you have to pay.

Our advice! Visit your dermatologist right away and get to the bottom of the issue.

Photo-aging- The Inevitable Effect

Photo-Aging is a natural process. As we grow old, our skin ages along. It loses its firmness, elasticity, and appearance. Let us remind you, “it is unavoidable.”

There is another type of aging process that is caused by the sun. Aging caused by the sun is often termed as photo-aging. Most of the aging signs that appear in your 30s and 40s are because of photo-aging. This effect is caused by the UV rays of the sun. These UV rays penetrate through the skin and lead to the development of fine lines, wrinkles, freckles and so on.

But don’t worry. We have good news for you. Though they damage the skin, photo-aging can be reversed. That doesn’t mean that these aging effects are temporary. They do require proper therapy.

Early symptoms of photo-aging:

• Formation of wrinkles around regions of skin exposed to the sun such as eyes lips and forehead.
• The appearance of spider veins on the face and neck.
• Loss of colour in the lips.

Symptoms of photo-aging attributed to prolonged exposure to UV:

• Deepened wrinkles and forehead frown lines can be seen even when not frowning.
• Spider veins are most commonly seen around the nose, cheeks, and chin.
• Skin becomes leathery and laxity occurs.
• Age spots appear on the face and hands.
• In extreme cases, pre-cancerous red and scaly spots appear.

Micro-needle dermal therapies play the best role in the treatment of photo-aging. Micro-needle based delivery systems are one of the new advancements for taking care of age signs. Do consult a dermatologist for direction. For people affected by photo-aging, there are broad-spectrum sunscreens that provide effective protection against harmful UV rays. These aging signs are reversible and appropriate therapy will help get rid of the same.

So when you step outside your home next time, use a photo-blocking sunscreen and see the difference.

Habits to de-stress after a long day

Appraisals coming up, new job, moving to a different city, school admissions, traffic congestion and so on. One can go on about all the little and big things that add stress to your daily life.

We put up with it every day. But we take hardly any time to de-stress ourselves.

Let us look at some of the changes that stress causes in our body:

• blood pressure and pulse rate rises
• breathing becomes faster
• the digestive system slows down
• immune activity decreases
• the muscles become tense
• a heightened state of alertness prevents sleep

Unwinding is essential in order to lead a stress-free life. Here are some habits that can help you get started:

1. Leave work at Workplace
The moment you step out of the office or return home, the workday is over for you. Engage a psychological stop sign to your brain if it starts overthinking about office emails, work or reports.

2. Time for Meditation
Meditation helps effectively in calming your mind. It gives immense relaxation to your mind and it helps you understand the power of silence.

3. Take a Shower
A good shower can make you forget all the good and bad that happened in the workplace. It can be soothing to your body and mind.

4. Take a hobby
Work on your hobbies and do something that you like and makes you happy. Utilize the free time to do your favorite job.

5. Sleep is the best remedy

8 hours of sleep every day is necessary for all of us. Sleep deprivation is the biggest factor for a stressful mind.

What are you waiting for? Go on. Unwind. Release all that pressure and choose a peaceful life.