WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND
Excessive pigmentation is a commonly seen skin problem, caused by excessive production of melanin. It can develop due to excessive exposure to sunlight, hormonal changes during pregnancy which is also called melasma and as a side-effect of skin problems like psoriasis or medications. Topical application of agents like hydroquinone, azekaic acid and mandelic acid help reduce pigmentation. Apart from this, advanced treatments like laser skin resurfacing and salicylic acid peels are available to treat the condition. Dermabrasion, retinoid treatment and skin lightening creams are also effective solutions.
A wart is a skin growth caused by some strains of the virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV). Though most of the time they go away on their own, at times they need to be treated, especially if they start spreading or become painful. They can be treated with salicylic acid, retinoid creams, laser surgery, chemical peels and cryotherapy.
Taking simple precautions and maintaining hygiene is all that one needs to steer clear of gym-related infections. During workout, the skin is moist and warm, acting as a perfect breeding ground for germs. One must wash their hands before and after the workout. Before starting with the workout, wipe the equipment or machine with disinfectant. Take a bath after the workout and wear clean clothes. Wash and dry your feet thoroughly after exercising. Avoid sharing personal use items like towels, head bands, water bottles and gym gear.
Chemical peels are a form of skin treatment where a chemical solution is applied on the skin which causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new skin is smoother and looks more even toned. The process also reverses sun damage to some extent. It reduces fine lines, lightens scars, spots, pigmentation, freckles and dark patches. The overall look and feel of the skin improves after this process.
A skin care regime depends on the type of skin one has- oily, dry, combination or normal. The first step is cleansing. Use cleansers specially made for your skin type. Then comes toning the skin with a light non-alcohol-based toner. Moisturizing comes after this; choose a water or gel-based lotion if you have dry skin and cream-based lotion if you have oily skin. You can also exfoliate your skin with a scrub before applying moisturizer. This helps in removing dead cells but it should not be done more than twice a week. A healthy balanced diet and staying well hydrated should also be a part for your skin care regime. You can also opt for anti-ageing serums/creams with retinoids and anti-oxidants to retain your youthful looks.
Though acne vulgaris, commonly known as acne, commonly affects teenagers, it can present at any age. Although the exact cause of acne has not been identified, skin problems and acne are linked to hormonal changes, diet and personal hygiene. Topical application of benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, retinoids, or creams containing ingredients like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, lactic acid or azelaic acid help in controlling acne and reducing inflammation. In cases of severe acne, hormonal therapy is also given.
In pregnancy the body undergoes many physical changes, one of them being development of stretch marks which occur due to breakage of elastic fibers under the skin. Ninety percent of women get stretch marks after 6-7 months of pregnancy. Application of hyaluronic acid and retinoids help lighten the stretch marks. Also, undergoing treatments like laser and dermabrasion are helpful in reducing them.
The problem of coarse hair growth on body and face is seen in 5-10 percent of women. Excess production of male hormones or conditions like Poly Cystic Ovary Disease (PCOD) can lead to unwanted hair growth in women. If you are overweight, losing weight can help reduce the growth of facial hair. Methods like bleaching to lighten them, plucking or shaving are other ways to get rid of facial hair. For permanent hair removal, treatments like electrolysis and laser are available.
Changing lifestyles and eating patterns take a toll on the skin, resulting in premature ageing and wrinkles. Simple changes in diet like loading up on fruits and vegetables, staying well hydrated and eating omega 3 fats like fish and nuts helps in fighting wrinkles. As far as other treatments go, topical application of retinoids, vitamin C, and alpha- hydroxy acids help in keeping the skin youthful. For advanced treatments, you can go in for procedures like chemical peels, dermabrasion, botox and dermafillers.
The best way to reduce oiliness of skin is to wash your face twice in a day, preferably morning and evening. Use mild cleansers containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or beta-hydroxy acid. Avoid harsh soaps. Use a toner as it has astringent properties. Your moisturizer should either be water or gel based. Choose an oil free sunscreen and clay mask to combat the oiliness. Laser and chemical peels also help in improving the complexion and reducing oil production.
Chemical peels are a good option to treat uneven, patchy skin. These are applied on the skin leading to formation of blisters, and eventually peeling away of skin. This reveals the new skin underneath which is smoother and more even toned. Apart from this, using sunscreen when going out in the sun and keeping the skin well moisturized is also important to prevent patchiness.
First and foremost, you must identify your skin type- normal, dry, oily or combination. The skin care regime depends on your skin type. It is important to clean the skin regularly with a gentle and mild cleanser to prevent dust and grime from clogging the pores. Next, moisturize your skin, using a moisturizer based on your skin type. For oily skin, use water/gel based moisturizer and for dry skin use cream based moisturizer. Use a mild sunscreen with SPF of at least 15, when going out. Avoid using heavy makeup and have lots of water along with fruits and vegetables.
With technological advancements in field of dermatology, there are various anti-ageing treatments now available. Injection of fillers is one of them. This gives plumped up, natural looking skin. Lasers, Botox, wrinkle lift are few other procedures which help one look younger. Also, application of creams/gels/serums which contain anti-oxidants, peptides and retinoids are helpful in maintaining the youthful appearance of the skin.
Keeping your skin clean and oil free is the first step to prevent open pores. Wash your face often and use products containing salicylic acid. Avoid going out in harsh sunlight and wear sunscreen. Do not sleep with make- up on and have more of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Although open pores cannot be shrunk totally, there are ways to minimize them and reduce their size. Open pores occur due to excess oiliness or improper skin care. You can go in for treatments like laser, microdermabrasion and chemical peels to reduce the size of pores. As far as topical agents go, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulphur containing creams and retinoids are also useful.
The condition is known eczema, a form of dermatitis. Dermatitis is basically inflammation of the skin. It has many types and occurs in many forms. Applying corticosteroid creams and those which affect the immune system helps in controlling eczema. Exposure to sunlight helps the condition to get better. Also, frequent wet dressings and anti-histamines helps reduce the intensity of itching. Take short warm showers and use only mild soap to clean the affected area.
Skin infections are mainly bacterial, viral and fungal. Carbuncles, staph, boils, ringworm, impetigo and shingles are few common skin infections. Practicing proper hand washing, covering cuts and wounds with clean bandages, not sharing personal items with others, washing clothes regularly and changing bed sheets often are few ways to prevent skin infections.
Hair loss can occur due to a variety of reasons like heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions and as a side effect of certain medications. The objectives of treatment are to either slow down hair loss or promote fresh hair growth. Hair loss or baldness can be treated with medications like minoxidil and finasteride. Nowadays, laser treatments and hair transplants have come up as effective ways to deal with hair loss. Consuming a healthy balanced diet and protein rich foods also helps prevent hair loss.
The term used to describe weak, splitting or brittle nails is Onychoschizia. The common reasons behind this condition are nutritional deficiencies, lack of biotin in diet and lack of moisture/too much moisture in the nails. The best way to prevent brittle nails is to keep them protected by wearing gloves, taking nutritional supplements containing biotin and iron, and by keeping them away from harsh chemicals like detergents and nail polish removers.
The most common reason for discolored nails is fungal infections causing a condition known as onchymycosis. Not just discoloration, it also leads to thickening and deformation of nails. Common oral drugs used for treatment of onychomycosis are griseofulvin, terbinafine, itraconazole and ketoconazole. Application of anti-fungal nail lacquers is also an effective solution. Apart from this, it is important to follow general precautions like keeping the nails dry, using sanitized instruments for manicure and avoiding nail biting.