Flawless, youthful, glowing, silky, smooth, blemish-free, dewy, fresh, glabrous, porcelain and supple is the kind of skin that humans desire. Skin is the outermost and also the largest organ of the body. Skin keeps us safe from the microorganisms, regulates the body temperature and allows the sensation of touch- heat and cold. Our skin is cruelly exposed constantly to the outside temperature, heat, dust, microbes and other elements. With the worsening scores of temperature and pollution, our skin faces the brunt of the changes in the atmosphere. However, skin damage is reversible owing to the growing technology under skin improvement and also the age-old home remedies, which successfully relieve numerous problems related to skin.
Here is a list of top 15 most common skin problems and their solutions:
Rosacea is a very common skin disease that attacks parts of face- nose, cheeks, chin and forehead, causing redness and tiny bumps or pimples filled with fluid, on the red parts of the face. The redness may also tend to spread to other parts of the body like ears, chest and back. Rosacea also causes burning sensation and soreness in eyes. It usually affects people over 30 years of age.
CAUSES: Hereditary and environmental factors trigger Rosacea. Some of the causes include: consumption of alcohol, hot drinks and spicy food, exposure to excessive sunlight and wind, exercises, excessive emotions or expressions, cosmetics and problems with blood vessels in the skin.
- Flushing or blushing episodes are usually extended, along with a hot sensation and the blush expands down to the neck and chest.
- Redness that persists over a period.
- Inflammatory Rosacea, which is characterized by tiny spots or pustules that appear on face.
- Increased facial hair or Rhinophyma.
- Solution for mild Rosacea: the use of Beta blockers – Inderal and Corgard and Estrogen can be used too.
- Solution for moderate Rosacea: Anti-inflammatory gels like Finacea and Azelex.
- Topical antibiotics: Metrogel and Noritate.
- Topical medications: Benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and sodium sulfacetamide and sulphur lotions.
- Oral antibiotics: Tetracycline and Doxycycline.
14. Herpes Zoster or Shingles
Herpes Zoster or Shingles are painful rash on the skin with blisters. It appears in a small patch on the face or body. It is the reoccurrence of chickenpox virus in the body. It affects people with a low immunity system and old age.
CAUSES: Herpes Zoster or Shingles is caused by Varicella Zoster virus. Moreover, anyone who has been infected with chickenpox earlier is at a risk of Shingles.
SYMPTOMS: Herpes Zoster occurs in 3 stages:
- 1st stage: headache and sensitivity to light, followed by development of a flu.
- 2nd stage: The above symptoms are followed by itching and occurrence of an area of rash which turns into blisters filled with fluid.
- 3rd stage: Dizziness or weakness may occur, along with pain and changes in vision.
TREATMENT: Anti-viral medicines and medicines for pain.
Athlete’s Foot is a fungal infection that develops on the feet because of ringworm fungus. It is also known as tinea pedis and is a contagious infection. It makes skin red, itchy and dry.
CAUSES: Athlete’s Foot is caused by the ringworm fungus, tinea pedis, which grows on the feet. Since it is contagious, you can catch the infection through directed contact with an infected person or by coming in contact with surfaces contaminated with the fungus.
SYMPTOMS: The skin on feet or between the toes turn red, dry, flaky, itch and causes a burning sensation.
- Application of anti-fungal medicines like Clotrimazole and Miconazole.
- Topical anti-fungals like Butenafine and Naftifine.
- Home remedies like the use of Tea tree oil is also effective in the treatment of Athlete’s Foot.
Building up of the skin causing it to form scales, dry and itchy patches is known as Psoriasis. It is known to be long-term and incurable.
CAUSES: It is caused by excessive multiplication of skin cells. It is also caused by genetic and environmental factors.
SYMPTOMS: Rashes, dryness, flaking of skin signal towards Psoriasis.
- Though incurable, Psoriasis can be minimized by topical medications. Topical ointments include: salicylic acid ointment, and steroid based creams. Calcipotriene containing topical ointment and coal-tar ointments and shampoos.
- Oral drugs like Methotrexate immensely clears up Psoriasis. Even Cyclosporine is extremely effective in its treatment.
- Topical applications of natural ointments like Aloe Vera, fish oil and dead sea salts also provides relief.
Melasma is also known as Chloasma or the mask of pregnancy, when it occurs it pregnant women. It is a common skin problem which causes dark, discoloured, patchy, brown, tan or blue-gray skin patch caused by excessive production of pigment on skin. It appears on nose, cheekbones, jaw and mostly attacks women.
CAUSES: Melasma occurs due to hormonal changes, excessive exposure to sun and Hypothyrodism. It is also caused due to overproduction of melanin. It mostly occurs in women of ages 20-50 years.
SYMPTOMS: Appearance of discoloured patches on upper cheek, nose, lips, upper lip and forehead. These patches usually make people conscious about their appearance.
- Topical treatment by Hydroquinone, Azelaic acid cream, lotion or gel, Kojic acid, Ascorbic acid and Methimazole.
- Oral treatment involves Tranexamic acid and Gluthathione.
- Laser treatments and chemical peels.
- Makeup to the rescue
- Avoid excessive exposure to sun by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF50+)
Eczema is another skin problem that results in dry, flaky, inflamed, irritated and red skin. It causes small bumps that contain fluid. It is generally very itchy.
- Genetic and environmental factors.
- Improper functioning of the immune system.
- Improper skin care like avoiding moisturisation , activities causing skin sensitivity, etc
SYMPTOMS: Occurrence of itchy, dry and flaky skin on parts of the body like face, neck and legs. If scratched the flaky skin with the liquid filled bumps may cause infection.
- Use of topical corticosteroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) and oral drugs.
- Phototherapy and acupuncture.
- Application of gentle, soap-free cleansers, tar-based products, petroleum jelly and mineral oil.
9. Cold sores
Cold sores are also called fever blisters that appear on the face- lip, chin, cheeks, inside the nostrils and inside the mouth. They are painful and itchy and usually burst and crust over.
CAUSES: Cold sores are caused by Herpes Simplex virus type 1 or HSV-1. It is contagious, however it can clear within 7-10 days.
- Soreness in mouth and throat.
- Fever and swollen lymph nodes.
- Use of over-the-counter topical ointment like Abreva and Zilactin.
- Oral consumption of anti-viral medicines like Acyclovir, Famciclovir and Valacyclovir.
- Rinsing the mouth with mouthwashes that contain baking soda as an ingredient also provides relief.
Sunburns as the word reads is caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. It results in redness and swelling, which is quite painful. It can also lead to skin cancer.
CAUSES: Overexposure of sun causes damage to the DNA because of the UV-B light. The damage is reversed by the body by DNA repair which leads to increased melanin production, causing sunburns.
SYMPTOMS: Though minor sunburns cause slight redness, in serious cases it causes blistering. Moreover, in severe cases, it causes fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and low blood pressure.
- Consume plenty fluids.
- Use cool cloth to heal sunburns.
- Take cool showers.
- Application of cooling gels like Aloe Vera.
- Oral consumption of Acetaminophen, Advil, Aleve and Bufferin.
Warts are bumps of fleshy skin triggered by human papillomavirus(HPV). They are contagious and painful.
CAUSES: When the HPV comes in contact with the skin, warts are caused. They usually occur out of broken skin.
SYMPTOMS: Small fleshy growth of bumps on the skin indicates the occurrence of warts.
- Treatment with salicylic acid or duct tape.
- Cryotherapy, Electrosurgery and Curettage, and laser surgery.
- Chemical peels.
A skin condition in which hair fails to rise up, instead curls and grows back into the skin, resulting in red bumps that resemble pimples.
CAUSES: Improper way of removing hair and sudden hormonal imbalance causing excessive hair growth are responsible for ingrowth.
SYMPTOMS: Itchy skin, coupled with pus under the skin which gives the appearance of a pimple.
- Laser treatments
- Topical application of diluted glycolid acid and salicylic acid.
- Hair removal with tweezers to remove the ingrown hair.
As the word reads, birthmarks are marks that appear at birth or shortly after. Some birthmarks are usually pigmented because of the clustering of pigment cells.
TREATMENT: Resorting to surgical treatment if necessary or covering the birthmark with makeup.
4. Dark circles
Dark circles are also called periorbital dark circles. They are dark rounds surrounding the eyes.
CAUSES: It is caused by hereditary and environmental factors like lack of sleep, oversleeping, allergies, stress, fatigue, eczema, crying, poor diet, aging and lifestyle that we follow.
SYMPTOMS: Darkening of the area below the eye, along with puffiness of eyes and bags under them.
- Application of Vasconstricting creams.
- Surgical methods like Light therapy, laser and bleaching techniques.
- Application of various creams to diminish dark circles.
- Treatment is coupled with various home remedies like placing cucumber, potato juice and tea bags over the eyes.
- Also, dipping cotton in rosewater and placing it over the eye is believed to be very effective.
3. Age spots
Age sots re also known as liver spots or solar lentigines. They are flat, dark, brown, gray or black spots that appear on the skin because of exposure to sun. It attacks any part of the body that is exposed to sun- face, hands, arms and shoulders. Though it is common in older people, it can also attack people of younger age if they are exposed to too much sun.
CAUSES: Exposure to the Ultraviolet radiation is the main cause of age spots, which triggers excessive melanin production.
SYMPTOMS: Appearance of flat, dark coloured spots is a sign of age spots, which are usually painless.
- Application of bleaching creams with Hydroquinone. Also the use of sunscreen with SPF 30+ as a precautionary measure.
- Chemical peels and laser treatments.
- Cryotherapy and dermabrasion.
Wrinkles are fine lines that appear on skin mainly due to aging. It is also called a Rhytide. Alcohol consumption coupled with smoking, sun exposure and improper hydration also make way for wrinkles.
CAUSES: As a person ages, the skin becomes thin, dry and loses its elasticity and falls prey to damage. Moreover, repeated facial expressions like frowning, smiling, etc can cause wrinkles at a young age. Furthermore, environmental factors like exposure to UV radiation is also a major reason for causing wrinkles.
- Intake of retinoids with Vitamin A.
- Over-the-counter ant-wrinkle or anti-aging creams.
- Surgical methods like Dermabrasion, laser therapy, botox, facelift, fillers and chemical peels.
Acne is also called Acne Vulgaris or pimples. It is caused when the hair follicles interrupt with the oil glands and dead skin cells. It usually caused among teenager when puberty hits them. It not only affects the face, but also the neck, chest and back.
- Rise in the hormonal levels.
- Hair follicles interrupting the oil glands and dead skin cells.
SYMPTOMS: Appearance of bumps or boils with or without fluids and red spots signals the occurrence of acne.
- Topical application of Benzoyl peroxide and adapalene.
- Topical antibiotics to the rescue.
- Use of Azelaic acid.
- Consumption of antibiotics.
- Various home remedies like the use of lemon juice, tomato juice, neem, apple cider vinegar, etc also prove effective.
Without a doubt, skin is one of the most important organ, which due to many environmental and hereditary factors loses its suppleness, therefore it is important to take good care of our skin and to keep it healthy and glowing. Also, visit a dermatologist and keep frequent checks on your skin. Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize and follow a healthy diet to keep your skin flawless and radiant. Love the skin you are in!