Fungal skin infection and tips for prevention

Fungi live almost everywhere. You can find them in plants, soil, and even on human skin. These microscopic organisms on your skin don’t cause any problem, but they are chances for it to multiply faster than usual, penetrate your skin when you have a cut or lesion.

Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, and fungal infections can often occur in sweaty or damp areas, such as your feet, groin areas, and skin folds that don’t get adequate airflow. These infections result in a scaly rash or skin colorations that are often itchy.

Most of the time, fungal skin infections are spread through direct contact, i.e., through coming in contact with fungi infected clothing or other items, on a person or animal.

How you can prevent them

Below are the tips you can consider to prevent from the occurrence of fungal skin infection:

  • Follow good hygiene habits.
  • Don’t share your clothes, towels, or other personal items with anyone.
  • Go for clothing and shoes that breathe well. Do not use clothing or shoes that are too tight.
  • Wear clean clothes daily, especially socks and underwear are must to be changed.
  • Dry yourself off properly with a clean, dry towel after showering or swimming.
  • Avoid walking with bare feet in locker rooms. Wear flip-flops instead.
  • Stay away from your pets if they show signs of a fungal infection, such as missing fur or repeated scratching.

 

When to see a doctor

Several fungal skin infections can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) fungal treatments. 

However, you can reach out to your doctor if you:

  • have a fungal skin infection that doesn’t respond to OTC treatment.
  • have patches of hair loss along with itchiness.
  • have a weak immune system and doubt a fungal infection.

 

The bottom line

Although fungal skin infections aren’t usually serious, they cause discomfort and irritation. If not treated, it might spread to other body parts. Opt for OTC products to treat them. If it still persists, see your doctor and get a prescription for more effective treatment.

How can antioxidants benefit our health?

Antioxidants are substances that help in preventing or slowing down cell damage caused by free radicals and unstable molecules produced by our body as a response to environmental and other constraints. Hence, they get the name ‘free-radical scavengers.’

Be it natural or artificial, antioxidants render a lot of benefits. Certain foods are found to be rich in antioxidants. It is also produced by our body, and are called endogenous antioxidants. Antioxidants that are taken from outside the body are known as exogenous.

Free radicals are waste materials produced by cells as our bodies process food and react to environmental changes. If the body does not remove free radicals efficiently, it results in oxidative stress and harms cells and body functions. Oxidative stress is linked to several disease conditions, including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, respiratory diseases, and more. Intake of antioxidants is believed to reduce these risks. They help neutralize free radicals in our bodies, boosting our overall health. 

Antioxidants play several roles, such as radical scavenger, peroxide decomposer, hydrogen donor, electron donor, singlet oxygen quencher, enzyme inhibitor, and metal-chelating agents. 

Some researches have found that consuming antioxidant supplements help to reduce vision loss occurring due to age-related macular degeneration in older people.

Key takeaway

Make sure you include enough antioxidants in your daily diet. Consuming fruits and vegetables are bound to help. If you still feel like your body lacks in antioxidant levels, consult your doctor. He/she might prescribe your antioxidant supplements as per your body requirements.

Your Skin, Pruritus, and Itching

Have you ever heard of the term – Pruritus? No? Then read on to understand the cause behind the constant itching that you have. The condition can be associated due to several reasons, such as dry skin, skin disease, pregnancy, and sometimes, cancer.

Who gets Pruritus?

Anyone can get Pruritus, but several people are more susceptible to it, including:

  • People who have allergies, hay fever, asthma, and eczema.
  • People who have diabetes.
  • People with HIV/AIDS and other types of cancer.
  • Pregnant women.
  • The older adults.

 

How can the condition be treated?

Find the cause of the itching and treat the underlying skin disease behind it as the first step towards solving Pruritus. If it is due to a medication, switch it immediately to reduce the itching. The best way to protect your skin against Pruritus is to care for it. 

To protect your skin:

  • Use bath soaps that are mild to avoid skin irritation.
  • Avoid hot water for showers. Instead, bathe or shower in warm water.
  • Avoid fabrics, such as wool and synthetics that might cause skin itch. Opt for cotton clothing and bedsheets.
  • Use creams and lotions that moisturize your skin, preventing it from dryness.
  • Use sunscreens when you step out to prevent sunburns and skin damage.

 

If the itching persists, it is advised to consult your dermatologist. He/she might prescribe medication to treat Pruritus for better results.

Lifestyle changes to manage hyperhidrosis

Sweating profusely is a nightmare for people who have hyperhidrosis. If you are one among them, you would know how stressful it feels to walk with sweat marks all over your clothes. You would have canceled numerous dates and multiple plans with your buddies in fear of spoiling the special moments. It is time to face the world with confidence.

Below is a list of changes that you can incorporate in your lifestyle for avoiding embarrassing moments and rock the party like every other individual.

Bathe regularly: Bathing often keeps the number of bacteria on your skin in check. After bathing, dry yourself thoroughly, primarily focus on the toes and underarm areas where the chances of sweat occurrence are high.

Change your socks often: Avoid wearing unwashed socks. Change it daily and dry your feet each time you wear it. You can also opt for over-the-counter foot powders to help absorb sweat. Also, choose the socks that are made of natural materials so your feet can find it easy to breathe.

Air your feet: Try to walk barefoot whenever you can. Else, slip out of your shoes now and then.

Choose to clothe wisely: Wear natural fabrics, such as cotton, silk, and wool, that allow your skin to breathe. While exercising, prefer materials that are designed to absorb moisture away from your skin.

Try to relax: Consider relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation to de-stress yourself. This helps to control the stress that triggers sweating.

Use antiperspirant: Antiperspirants contain specific compounds that are known to block the sweat pores temporarily, reducing the amount of sweat that reaches your skin. It helps to a great extent if you have secondary hyperhidrosis. Ensure to apply them before going to bed.

As you keep following the steps above, there are chances to bring your condition under control. You can also reach out to your dermatologist for suggestions.

Managing eczema in older patients

Eczema is a common skin problem that occurs in older people more often due to poorly demarcated skin inflammation with scaling and thickening of the skin. The causes of eczema are the skin changes that occur as they age, but often it is aggravated by medications, illnesses, and cognitive impairment problems. The use of creams based on steroids can also thin the skin over a period of time.

Several triggers cause eczema flare-ups. Every skin reacts differently to these triggers. The common triggers include scented products, household cleaners, chemicals, dust mites, and even some foods. It is vital to be aware of the triggers and avoid them to prevent the condition from worsening.

Following the tips below can help you manage the eczema flare-ups with ease. Here’s how:

Moisture

Moisturizing should be a part of your regular skincare regimen. Opt for an unscented moisturizer that is free from additives or chemicals. For added protection, moisturize after washing the skin to seal in moisture.

Maintain the room temperature

Temperature fluctuations can be hard on the skin. Depending on the season, use an air-conditioner or humidifier to regulate the temperature of your home to experience a comfortable environment.

Avoid scratching

It is quite difficult to avoid scratching, but there are ways to soothe the itchiness caused by eczema. Apply moisturizing lotions to calm the skin.

Minimize sweat

In a few cases, overheating or excessive sweating might result in eczema flare-ups. To combat this issue, ensure to wear weather-appropriate clothing, stay out of direct sunlight, and intake water to stay hydrated. A cold shower after a workout or excessive sweating would also be of some help.

Clothing

Wear clothes made of natural fabrics, such as cotton, as these prevent your skin from irritation. Use mild and unscented detergent for washing your clothes. Always wash new clothes before wearing them to minimize skin irritation.

Stress

Stress can also exacerbate eczema. Try deep breathing and relaxation techniques to calm your mind and body. 

We hope the blog has listed useful tips to help to manage your eczema. 

Tips for managing psoriasis in winter

Psoriasis, a non-contagious skin disorder, results in red, scaly patches on the skin. These patches can appear on any part of the skin, especially on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. At times, people who have psoriasis notice seasonal changes that severe their condition, resulting in a worsening of symptoms during the winter season. The cold months with its dry air, cold temperature, reduced exposure to sunlight, and inadequate hydration can contribute to a flare-up. Although there is no cure as yet, you can follow some tips if you have psoriasis to help you manage it in the winter season.

Moisturize your skin: Keeping your skin moisturized as a part of vital psoriasis prevention measure. Dry skin triggers psoriasis flares, resulting in severe scaling and causing the skin to crack and bleed. Moisturizers containing mineral oils are more suitable for the effective management of psoriasis. You can also go for coconut oil and aloe vera gel as they have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Moisturize your scalp: If you have psoriasis on your scalp, prevent flares by moisturizing the skin on this part of the body. Tar shampoos and salicylic acid helps in managing scalp psoriasis.

Use a humidifier: To wake up with smooth skin without flares, use a humidifier to keep indoor air moist. Run it in your bedroom at night to overcome the drying effects of indoor heating. Remember, clean your humidifier once a while to avoid a buildup of bacteria.

Get exposed to sunlight: Ultraviolet rays of the sun have immunosuppressive effects. It reduces the symptoms of autoimmune conditions, such as psoriasis. Exposure to short, regular intervals of sun aids in psoriasis prevention. Also, UV light therapy is a better treatment option.

Avoid sunburn: Warmer, humid conditions and sunlight are suggested to improve psoriasis, but this does not mean that spending long periods in the sun is suitable for the skin condition, especially when you have psoriasis. Skin damage, such as sunburn can cause psoriasis flares. Prevent such flares by wearing sunscreen and limiting your exposure to the sun.

Drink water: To pump up the moisture levels of your body, drink plenty of water. You will know if you are taking enough water if your urine is pale yellow. If your urine is bright yellow or dark-colored, it indicates that your body needs more water.

Reduce stress: Stress is a potential trigger for people with psoriasis. The winter holidays are full of cheer, but also bring in stress. Just relax and ease your stress. Try practicing yoga, meditation, or mindfulness. Also, exercising relieves stress, reducing flare-ups.

Improve your treatment plan: If your psoriasis gets worse in winter, consult your doctor. You may need to avoid/adjust your medications a little or get some light therapy.

With these tips in mind, you could enjoy the winter season like your fellow human beings.

Tips to keep the skin healthy in teenagers

Though teenage is a precious time to cherish, it brings a myriad of challenges to handle. While you deal with the pressure of studies and struggle with figuring out what you want to become in life, you might encounter problems such as hormonal imbalance, conflicts, and then arises the mind-bogging issue – the changing skin during teenage. You might have occasional breakouts on your skin and lose your sleep over that acne that has just erupted. With the hormonal imbalance, there is a higher chance of enlargement of oil glands leading to blackheads and acne pores. But with proper care and a healthy regimen, it’s possible to have a skin that dazzles. Here’s how:

Identify your skin type

It is vital to determine your skin type as what goes well for the others of your age might not go for you. Every skin has different needs. Know your skin type, and when you do, you will get the hang of how to care for your skin. But you can condition your skin irrespective of its kind with a proper regimen.

Here are a few tips you need to follow to get healthy, glowing skin:

Wash your face 

Wash your skin the first thing as soon as you wake up in the morning to remove the sebum that secreted during the night as you slept away. Before and after you hit the gym or went out, wash your face to get rid of the dust, sweat, and germs you gathered along. Carry face wipes with you to clean your face as and when required.

Remove makeup

Don’t forget to remove your make up before you hit the bed. Going to sleep with makeup on will lead to the formation of bumpy rashes and cause an acne breakout.

Cosmetic hygiene

Don’t share your makeup products with others. Sharing cosmetics is highly unhygienic. The same goes for using combs, hairbrushes, and shaving kit. Opting for the right amount of makeup is as important as avoiding heavy makeup to protect the skin from damages. 

Drink water often and follow a healthy diet 

Water is the top-secret to get healthy skin, as hydrating yourself keeps your skin glowing. Also, the intake of a lot of fruits and vegetables helps to maintain healthy skin. Avoid deep-fried foods as they contribute to acne breakouts. Check for food allergies that might lead to breakouts or rashes to identify what kind of food is not helping your skin.

Get ample sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the culprits of several skin ailments, including acne. Poor sleep leads to dark circles and uneven toned skin. Getting the right amount of sleep would do wonders for your skin.

Stay out of myths

Don’t go by word of mouth remedies that someone tells you to follow. If your friend tells you that putting toothpaste on your acne will help it heal faster, take it as an old wives’ tale. Toothpaste only makes it worse if your skin is allergic to any of its ingredients. 

Consult your dermatologist if you have any underlying skin problems, or for removal of blackheads or acne medication. Teenage might be a passing cloud, but taking care of your skin today is essential to retain glorious skin for tomorrow. Just pay attention to these tips to help gain healthy skin.

Stay warm this winter without agitating your psoriasis

Winter is the most beautiful time of the year when everyone should have their best time, even if you’re someone with psoriasis. Though cold weather can make psoriasis symptoms worse, there is a lot you can do to enjoy the joys of the season without succumbing to flare-ups. 

Reasons for worsening of psoriasis in winter

Cold weather extracts moisture from your skin, which is already at a premium. It keeps more people indoors, where heaters dry out the skin and trigger flare-ups. Cold temperatures can make psoriasis in joints more painful.

Need not worry. We have got you covered with our tips for staying warm without making your symptoms worse.

Forget your jackets

The multi-layered, puffy jackets may keep the cold out, but it can worsen the flares. Instead of a big coat, try wearing several layers of cotton. This fabric is a smarter choice for people with psoriasis as it breathes better. On the other hand, synthetics, nylon, and polyester lack the absorbing properties of cotton, making you sweat more.

Warm-up with soup

As a child, you might have enjoyed coming indoors to a steaming bowl of tomato soup, after a day spent playing in the snow with your friends. Continue this childhood tradition by eating warm foods like soups and stews. Hot beverages help you stay warm. But ensure to watch your caffeine intake as it might trigger your psoriasis.

Opt for light therapy

Light therapy or phototherapy is a perfect treatment option for people with psoriasis. Ultraviolet light is used to penetrate the affected skin during this procedure. It clears up existing symptoms of psoriasis and prevents future flare-ups. 

Plan a psoriasis-friendly vacation

Schedule your vacation with your psoriasis in mind. Prefer places that can help you relax while not worsening your condition. Remember, it is crucial to stay stress-free to reduce your flare-ups.

Pay attention to your body, and make sure to follow through with your psoriasis management. Schedule an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist to keep yourself prepared to enjoy this season without worries.

How to treat and heal dry skin in winter

It is no secret that harsh winter weather can damage your skin due to the cold temperature and dry air, depleting the skin’s natural moisture. But following a right skin care routine and a few changes to your go-to habits can help keep both your face and body skin soft, supple, and hydrated, rather than cracked, chapped, and dried.

Tips to take care of your dry skin in the winter to help it feel smooth and nourished from head to toe through the season and beyond.

Avoid taking hot or long baths

Nothing sounds better than a hot shower on a cold day, but many don’t know that hot water is the reason for dry winter skin. Too much hot water causes increased evaporation of your skin’s natural hydration. Take a shower, not more than 10 minutes. Try swapping parching soaps and gels for a body cleanser with fatty acid-rich plant oils to fortify and protect the moisture barrier of your skin.

Use an air humidifier

The drier the air, the more dehydrated the skin. To increase the amount of water in the air, place a humidifier in the room where you spend most of your time, which, in several cases, is the bedroom. An air humidifier increases the moisture level in the air, helping the skin’s barrier to stay hydrated. Also, be sure the heat is kept at a low to moderate temperature to avoid extra dryness in the air.

Change your diet

When there is a direct connection between the gut and skin health, it is essential to change your diet routine to maintain healthy skin. Increase your daily intake of fats to get rid of the dry skin. Include walnuts, olive oil, and avocados to your diet. Drink a lot of water. Don’t overdo it with alcohol, caffeine, and coffee as they cause dehydration. 

Change your cream for face and body 

One of the most commonly overlooked steps in the dry skin regimen is changing the moisturizer. Opt for creams rather than lotions. For people with severely chapped faces, get a hefty amount of product to protect your skin barrier.

Avoid harsh cleansers

Make sure to get rid of face washes with drying ingredients, like fragrances or additives. A syndet based cleanser is a great option not to let your skin strip off its natural oils. This moisturizes your overall body and face.

Follow an excellent nighttime routine

Every night before bed, stick to a method that will ensure healthy skin in the morning. Followed by your face serum and moisturizer, apply gentle eye cream to the under eyes and lids. These products will prevent the occurrence of redness and eczema.

Though the drier climate and indoor heat may have already taken a toll, there is still time to get serious about a daily skincare routine to maintain hydrated skin.

Tips for having a good night’s sleep with Hyperhidrosis

We all knew that sweating during the daytime was scary for people with hyperhidrosis. But the condition not only affects their routine during broad daylight but also during bedtimes. It doesn’t take a break, making it troublesome to get a good night’s sleep.

To prevent people with hyperhidrosis from accepting their sweaty nights and to help them get a night of good sleep, we have listed a few tips that range from making clothing choices to exercising their mental health.

Tip #1. Choose your nightwears wisely
When it comes to nighttime sweating, comfort is vital. For sweat-free sleep, avoid nightwears made of polyester and other synthetic materials that don’t absorb sweat well. Go for dresses made of natural materials like light cotton that are ideal sleepwear choices.

Tip #2. Give your bedding a makeover
Like your nightwears, choose bed sheets and blankets that are breathable and made from cotton. Layer your bedding so you can kick off the extra blankets and comforters as you feel hot, preventing you from tossing and turning at night.

Tip #3. Relaxation is a must
A busy day causes stress, which in turn leads to sweating. Do only what needs to be done before bedtime, everything else can wait till the morning. Rather than checking your email or thinking about your job for the next day, practice relaxing activities to destress your mind and body.

Tip #4. Be clear-headed
Attempt to have a clear mind before bedtime and give yourself a relaxing environment to sleep in. Try out bedtime yoga, a nighttime meditation routine or deep breathing exercises once you lie down. Remember, don’t try to master a new exercise, rather focus on engaging your mind to get a night of good sleep.

Tip #5. Consult your doctor
When your deodorant doesn’t give you the result, ask your doctor to prescribe antiperspirant. This controls excessive sweating under the armpits, palms of the hand, soles of the feet and other body areas, helping you sleep soundly.

All about Hyperhidrosis: Causes and Treatment Options

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating i.e., people with this condition sweat more than usual. In normal people, sweating cools the body to prevent it from overheating. But for people with hyperhidrosis, sweating occurs even when the body does not need cooling.

Many people with hyperhidrosis sweat from one or two body areas. Often, they sweat from

  • Armpits
  • Palms of their hands
  • Soles of their feet
  • Face and Chest
  • Groin areas

Even though hyperhidrosis is not a serious threat, it disrupts daily activities of people suffering from this condition. Episodes of excessive sweating occur often for no clear reason and affect social life, leading to depression and anxiety.

What Causes Hyperhidrosis

The causes of primary hyperhidrosis are not known whereas secondary hyperhidrosis has a long list of known causes.

Primary Hyperhidrosis:
It occurs due to an unknown problem in the nervous system that is responsible for sweating control. In some cases, genes play a role in causing hyperhidrosis, that is likely to be inherited.

Secondary Hyperhidrosis:
Several medical conditions can cause secondary hyperhidrosis. Some of them are:

  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Heart diseases
  • Obesity
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Overactive thyroid gland (Hyperthyroidism)
  • Medications such as antidepressants, propranolol (for high blood pressure), pilocarpine (for glaucoma), and bethanechol
  • Being under substance
  • Infections such as Malaria, Tuberculosis, and HIV
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Disorders of the blood cells or bone marrow, such as Hodgkin lymphoma (a cancer of the white blood cells)

How to Treat Hyperhidrosis

As people with hyperhidrosis visit the dermatologist, he/she might suggest one of the below treatment options based on their condition and its cause.

Antiperspirants: The doctor may prescribe an antiperspirant with Aluminum Chloride that has to be applied to the affected skin before you going to bed.

Iontophoresis: In this treatment, the hands and feet are submerged in a bowl of water. A weak electric current is passed through the water or wet pad, blocking the sweat glands from causing excessive sweat.

Botulinum toxin (Botox injections): These injections block the nerves that trigger the sweat glands. People with hyperhidrosis need several injections for better results.

Anticholinergic drugs: These medications restrain the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses. People undertaking them feel improvement in about two weeks.

ETS (Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy): This surgical intervention is recommended in severe cases that have not responded to other treatment options. Here, the nerves that carry messages to the sweat glands are cut, preventing excessive sweating. It is used to treat hyperhidrosis of the face, hands or armpits. However, it is not recommended to treat hyperhidrosis of the feet as it might cause permanent sexual dysfunction.