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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

COMMON SKIN PROBLEMS: MYTHS & FACTS


A flawless skin is one thing that everyone desires, and that’s precisely the reason people try to take all the advice/remedies to get a glowing face and skin. Its important to separate the myths from the facts so we make the right choices. Today’s article we would try to bust some myths and share some facts with you, a step that would help you to make a step towards a health skin.

ACNE (PIMPLES)
Acne affects 85% of the people during adolescence and early youth

Ø  MYTH: Acne is very common and does not require active care and treatment.
Ø  FACT:
o   True, acne is very common and is part of hormonal changes that occur during puberty.
o   Acne beyond 25 years is unusual and are triggered by hormonal changes, cosmetics and stress.
o   Acne need treatment if
§  simple measures like washing  face three times a day and avoiding  oily creams don’t help
§  pimples are increasing in number and size ,become red coloured or develop pus in them or leave marks on healing
§  pimples occur beyond 25 years of age.

Ø  MYTH: Squeezing pimples to release pus leads to early healing.
Ø  FACT: Squeezing or even frequent touching pimples deepens inflammation and increases chances of acne scars and pigmentation. So, never fiddle with your pimples and don’t rub your face vigorously after washing.

Ø  MYTH: Oily food increases tendency for pimples
Ø  FACT: Studies so far negates this fact, so avoid fatty food not for your face but for your heart.

Ø  MYTH: Steroid creams like betnovate, lobate, tenovate, steriderm etc. decrease pimples.
Ø  FACT: All these are potent and super potent steroids which are contraindicated for facial application. They reduce pimples temporarily. Long term use of these steroid creams on face causes thin skin, increase hair growth and redness of face.

Ø  MYTH: There is no treatment for acne scars.
Ø  FACT: Acne scars can be reduced by procedures like TCA peels, derma rollers and lasers depending on patient’s requirement.

MELASMA
                                                                
Ø  MYTH: Pregnancy is the only trigger for blemishes.
Ø  FACT: Precipitating factors include
o   Pregnancy
o   hormonal replacement treatment or oral contraceptive pills
o   menstrual irregularities
o   thyroid abnormality
o   stress
o   iron or other dietary deficiencies
o   medications
o   cosmetics
o   sun exposure – stimulate pigment forming cells
§  Sun exposure restriction is of prime importance which can be achieved by regular use of medicated sunscreen and covering your face with cloth.



ECZEMA (ALLERGY)

Ø  MYTH: Eczema is usually triggered by food we eat.
Ø  FACT: Eczema can be classified as exogenous and endogenous depending on whether external factors or body’s own constitution is predisposing to eczema respectively. Exogenous eczema is rarely triggered by eatables, rather allergens that come in contact with skin cause allergic manifestation. Common allergens include
o   nickel (in artificial jewelry, door handles, key chains, coins, belts etc.)
o   PPD (in hair dye and kali mehendi)
o   plants (most common Congress grass in India) etc.

Ø  MYTH: Steroids are the only treatment for eczema and they are completely unsafe.
Ø  FACT: Most important is to recognise the allergen and avoiding it altogether as in case of hair dye. But allergens which can’t be completely avoided require long term treatment. Steroid creams and tablets if prescribed in adequate amount and strength are safe. If patient is still not controlled, steroid sparing agents are now available though they are more expensive.


HAIR FALL

Ø  MYTH: Hair fall is due to change in water or shampoo.
Ø  FACT: Hair fall is one of most common symptom of chronic stress, besides this iron deficiency, thyroid abnormality, menstrual problems, certain medications, crash dieting are common causes in females. While Male pattern baldness is common cause in males and requires a long term treatment.


FUNGAL INFECTION (RING WORM)

Ø  MYTH:  Fungal infection is common in summer and rainy season.
Ø  FACT: True, fungal infection usually occur in body folds like groin, arm pits under breast or in between toes and fingers due to collection of sweat during hot and humid climate. Patients should thoroughly dry these folds after washing and wear cotton garments.

WARTS

Ø  MYTH: Warts are due to repeated pressure on skin.
Ø  FACT: Warts are caused by a virus while corns are caused by chronic friction or pressure on skin of sole. Warts can spread by contact, so patients should not share their towels and soaps and take treatment early before warts increase in number.