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.
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 and 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! Don’t wait it out and try all home remedies based on videos you see on the Internet. Visit your dermatologist right away and get to the bottom of the issue.
Every day in the media, you are constantly bombarded with advertisements for soaps which claim to be healthy and good for the skin. They claim the most natural ingredients and may promise you Cleopatra’s beauty on a platter.
How do you then find out which one suits you the best? How do you know what parameter to look for in choosing a soap? pH is your magic word. Our skin is naturally designed to fight infection and environmental stresses. But the ability to do so is affected by the pH level. The pH level of the skin refers to how acidic or alkaline it is. On a scale of 1-14, with 1 being the most acidic to 14 being the most alkaline, 7 is considered a neutral reading. Skin’s natural pH is about 5.5 i.e., acidic and any deviation from this value leads to failure of the skin’s ability to protect itself.
Most cleansers, including natural soaps, detergent soaps, etc., tend to be too alkaline for the skin. Due to which they remove natural oils from the skin thereby, causing dryness and irritation. Only syndet based cleansers have a skin friendly pH 5.5. Bathing with a syndet over a long-term provides moisture to the skin and maintains skin pH. It proves very effective for the skin to fight off pathogens.
Dark Neck? Does it seem dirty?
You might have scrubbed dark neck a hundred times or even more, but it still seems like you haven’t taken a shower for weeks. We understand how it feels. But worry not, because the issue is not on the outside, but on the inside.
Yes! The problem may appear on the skin, but it is caused by cells inside the body. This condition is called “Acanthosis Nigricans”.
This condition on the neck is due to the accumulation of extra skin cells. The main reason for accumulation of extra skin cells is hormonal imbalance, specifically the hormone that regulates blood glucose level. When this fails to lower the blood glucose level, the body produces more of it.
Besides the neck, the skin on other body folds like underarms, groin, elbows and knuckles might also get affected.
Lack of exercise, obesity and junk food are the main reasons for hormonal imbalance. Anyone who isn’t leading a healthy lifestyle is at risk. It’s even seen in children who are 8-10 years old.
Acanthosis Nigricans is a condition which makes people prone to diabetes which is an irreversible disease. So whenever you see people with dark patches on their skin, educate them that it is not dirt and ask them not to ignore the issue. Encourage them to visit a dermatologist immediately. Only a dermatologist can identify if the patches are “Acanthosis Nigricans” or just dark pigmentation and can treat it accordingly.
Most of you would find that usual topical creams don’t work well for some kind of acne. It is because there are cases when acne is caused due to the underlying hormonal conditions. These hormonal conditions include symptoms like irregular menstrual cycles, thinning of hair, excessive facial hair and weight gain.
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They are powerful chemicals that travel around your bloodstream telling tissues and organs what to do and control many of your body’s major processes, including metabolism and reproduction.
So when you have a hormonal imbalance, it absolutely means that you have too much or too little of certain hormones. Even tiny changes can have serious effects throughout your body.
To make it easier for you, we have a list of symptoms indicating hormonal imbalances:
• Heavy or irregular periods, including missed periods, stopped periods or frequent periods
• Hirsutism, or excessive hair on the face, chin or other parts of the body
• Acne on the face, chest or upper back
• Thinning hair or hair loss
• Obesity or trouble losing weight
If you have any of the above symptoms, then you need to consult a dermatologist immediately. Do not consider acne just a blemish. It could be an indication of something serious.