1
Eczema Causes and Treatment Tips
2
List of Different Types of Skin Diseases
3
Natural Psoriasis Treatment For The Scalp
4
Vitiligo – A Skin Pigmentation Disease
5
Anti-Aging Diet and Supplements: Fact or Fiction

Eczema Causes and Treatment Tips

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes blistering and rashes in patches along the skin’s surface. This condition affects roughly 334 million people worldwide and is more present among women than it is among men. Many people who have this condition struggle to find relief. Keep reading to learn about the causes of eczema as well as treatment options.

Causes

While most people contract eczema as young children, the majority of them outgrow this condition around the time they turn ten. For those who carry this ailment into adulthood, it tends to plague them with little relief throughout their lifetime. Knowing the causes of eczema can help patients better understand this disease and learn how to treat it.

The most common causes of eczema are as follows:

  • Allergies
  • Genetics
  • Skin Defects

Allergies

Allergic reactions caused by external irritants are one of the most prevalent reasons why eczema appears. Most doctors believe that patients with this condition have overactive immune systems that work too hard to counteract these irritants. Atopic dermatitis may increase when a person has been in contact with pet dander, extreme heat or cold, or even water and detergents.

Genetics

It is believed that genetics play a role in eczema’s untimely presence. Genetic mutations in the immune system are believed to contribute to the cause of eczema. There is also believed to be a link between dermatitis and those who also suffer from celiac disease, a genetically predisposed autoimmune disease.

Skin Defects

Defects in the skin’s moisture barrier can attribute to the arrival of the irritating rash. If the skin lets more moisture out than intended, there is an increased chance that it will also let germs in, which could, in turn, cause the immune system to work overtime. This often results in the blistering rash that causes itching and discomfort.

Treatments

While there is no specific cure for eczema, outbreaks can be prevented by both self-treatment methods and prescription medications.

Here are the best known treatments for preventing or relieving eczema outbreaks:

  • Avoid irritants
  • Antihistamine and Antibiotics
  • Ointments, Lotions and Creams
  • Treatment Baths

Avoid Irritants

Keeping a journal or other forms of documentation about when eczema appears and what lifestyle changes were made during that time can help to narrow down the irritants that cause outbreaks. Once a patient knows which factors double as irritants, they are more capable of avoiding them altogether.

Antihistamine and Antibiotics

Medical physicians will be able to help patients decide which treatment is right for them and provide prescriptions that can reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. This may include antihistamines to be used to relieve itching and irritation, or antibiotics that can treat any infections as well as open sores.

Ointments, Lotions and Creams

Since one factor of eczema is dry skin, soothing and healing lotions can be used to ease symptoms. If the use of lotions do not decrease the rash, over the counter or even prescription creams may be used to reduce the appearance of redness and irritation.

Treatment Baths

The most effective home remedies include the use of treatment baths, with the most popular being bleach and oatmeal. Bleach baths are used to kill any bacteria that may reside on the skin’s surface, while oatmeal baths are intended to help soothe the skin.

By increasing their education of the causes and symptoms of atopic dermatitis, sufferers are far more likely to be able to recognize, acknowledge, and treat the symptoms of eczema. Accepting the support of family members, friends, and fellow eczema sufferers is the best treatment that patients can find.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatitis

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/atopic-dermatitis-eczema#1

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eczema/basics/prevention/con-20032073

List of Different Types of Skin Diseases

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and its most important role is to protect the internal tissues and organs from the external world. As it acts like a barrier, it is many times affected by many environmental factors like UV rays or chemicals or by trauma. Also, because it is the human organism’s interface, the skin brings to surface conditions of the internal organs. In addition to these, the skin has its own specific diseases.

Understanding Skin Disorders

You might experience a rash, an invisible itch, a differently colored region on your skin, a bump, blisters or a big eruption. All these and other symptoms account for a variety of causes. They may be situational, or they can indicate a genetic predisposition.

There are chronic skin diseases and there are disorders that can be cured. Because 31.2 percent of the population is affected by skin diseases that require medical intervention, you are doing yourself a big favor by learning more about the various different kinds of conditions and how to relate to them. Leaving it alone, even a common disorder like acne, untreated can have a serious impact on every day life transforming even in a disabling illness. In more serious cases, it can even be fatal.

Skin is a complicated organ and the medicine branch called dermatology obviously goes into great depth to categorize it. To give you a better understanding of what are the types of disorders, here are the different types you might come across (the classifications are based on the MSD manual)

1. Acne and related disorders

Acne causes pimples on the face and upper body caused by inflammation of hair follicles. Other diseases that have a similar manifestation are rosacea that causes redness and small pimples on the face and perioral dermatitis that affects the area around mouth and chin.

2. Hives and dermatitis

Hives or urticaria can be identified by the red swellings that appear on the skin. They are most of the cases temporary and are usually caused by allergic reactions. Dermatitis is an inflammation that can manifest through itching, blisters, redness, swelling and sometimes oozing and crusting. It is a broad term and it can refer to general inflammation like atopic dermatitis or eczema and exfoliative dermatitis, or it can affect a specific area. In the latter category we can place inflammations that occur after skin is in direct contact with a substance (contact dermatitis).

3. Bacterial, parasitic, fungal and viral infections

Many factors can cause infections. There are bacteria that can cause a wide range of disorders from cellulitis to impetigo. There are also parasites like scabies, fungal infections and also there are viruses that can cause infections. The most usual viral infections are measles, chickenpox and herpes.

4. Noncancerous growths

Skin growths can appear at birth or at some point during life and they are not a reason to immediately assume cancer is present. They can be flat or raised and have different pigmentation. Most common non-cancerous growths are moles, lipomas, cutaneous cysts and seborrheic keratosis.

5. Pigment disorders

Pigmentation of the skin is caused by a substance called melanin. Disorders in melanin levels lead to albinism, vitiligo or hyperpigmentation.

6. Psoriasis and scaling disorders

Psoriasis, pityriasis rosea, lichen planus and lichen sclerosus are different diseases of the skin but they have the same characteristics that include showing clearly defined red bumps. Out of these psoriasis is a chronic disease that is connected to the immune system and might be genetically triggered. The others, except lichen sclerosus, can be caused by a reaction to a drug or a viral infection.

7. Cancerous growths

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and it is predominantly seen among those that are exposed to sun rays.

The Dermatologist Knows Best

Even if the conditions are apparent, and they can easily be seen as opposed to others that have only internal symptoms, don’t attempt to diagnose yourself. As soon as you discover an abnormality, think about the fact that skin is a very complex organ and go see a dermatologist and get professional help. A correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment can make a whole lot of difference for your living. Remember: a blister is not always just a blister and a rash is not always just a rash. And, sometimes, a growth is just a growth.

Natural Psoriasis Treatment For The Scalp

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that is characterized by the presence of thickened, scaly areas of skin that may have some pimple-like bumps that do not contain pus or sebum. They are unsightly, appear anywhere on the face and body, and a source of embarrassment for many. The more important question for many is whether its treatable. Let’s discuss psoriasis first before we delve into its treatments, if any:

What Causes Psoriasis?

Knowing the cause of a disease will go a long in treating it. Unfortunately, even though there are over 7 million Americans suffering from psoriasis, the medical industry has still not discovered what exactly causes it. Certain studies suggest though, that its related to an immune system problem as shown by the effectivity of some immunosuppressant medicines.

That said however, there are certain factors that trigger psoriasis. Stress, injury, skin irritation and health problems (e.g. flu) have been observed to precede a breakout. Weather, obesity, alcohol, and smoking are also known triggers, but no one yet knows why or how they are connected to psoriasis.

Symptoms

Psoriasis is often confused with dandruff due to the appearance of dry flakes. However, these are two different medical conditions. While both are embarrassing, the latter is milder and easily treated. The former is chronic as it more of an autoimmune disease.

You have psoriasis if you experience severe itching and burning sensations. Your skin will be dry and cracked which can sometimes bleed. Or they may appear as red patches with silvery scales. Children often exhibit scaling spots that are small. And because its an autoimmune disease, your joints may feel stiff and swollen.

Medical Treatment

Since its a chronic condition rooted in your autoimmune system, the best way to deal with it is to work with your doctor. Currently, there are 3 main treatment types: systemic medications, topical treatments, and light therapy. Every person reacts differently to these treatments, so its largely a trial-and-error method.

Natural Treatments

Its hard to live with the symptoms of psoriasis. You can’t spend all your time in the doctor’s office, so its best to look for ways to combat it at home. many people have reported some success in some natural treatments. Here are some of the tips that have produced results:

  • Dandruff shampoos don’t work. You need to keep your head well-moisturized, and dandruff shampoos does exactly the opposite – it strips your scalp of its natural oil. Instead, use shampoos with aloe vera.
  • Combine a teaspoon of Vitamin E oil or aloe vera with either tea tree, lavender or peppermint. Massage on your scalp and leave for 30 minutes to an hour. Shampoo and condition afterwards.
  • You can also use ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties such as apple cider vinegar. Mix a cup of this with a gallon of water and apply on your scalp. This will go a long way in relieving the itchiness.
  • Baking soda, epsom salts, olive oil have been shown to help psoriasis.
  • Add plenty of Omega-3 rich food such as salmon to help rid your scalp of flakes. A little bit of olive oil and coconut oil is not only yummy, but can help relieve the symptoms.

Psoriasis have confounded the medical community because of its randomness. The lesions and flakes come and go, the duration is arbitrary, and the severity is anyone’s guess. But just because you have it, doesn’t mean that you suffer in silence. See your doctor and come up with a treatment plan. Include the natural treatments mentioned above to help relieve the symptoms. Be patient and you will see results.

Vitiligo – A Skin Pigmentation Disease

If one were to look at diseases that can be really scary and distressing then Vitiligo is definitely one of them. This is the ailment that causes the patient to lose the natural color of their skin in blotches of all sizes in virtually any part of their body. Mercifully it is not in any way a life-threatening or infectious ailment.

What makes Vitiligo even scarier is the fact that it is unpredictable as to what extent it can attack a person’s body or at what rate it can spread in the body. Hardly surprising because it is suspected that it all comes down to the genes and DNA of an individual.

Man with Vitiligo

Despite plenty of research being done on this disease, experts still do not know nearly enough to combat it effectively and provide permanent treatment solutions.

  • Are there exceptions to where Vitiligo can attack? – This is a disorder that has been known to touch skin virtually anywhere in the body. And that also includes the insides of the mouth and eyes. Even the hair can also show signs of vitiligo.
  • Does it spread rapidly or at a slow pace? – More often than not it will tend to spread. But then this does not happen in all cases and there are some recorded instances where a second blotch never appears. For others it will spread at a snail’s pace taking many years to spread its’ tentacles into many parts of the body.
  • Emotion and stress; Are they linked? – There are case studies where it has been noticed that more colorless patches appeared as a result of some kind of stress in the patient’s life. The stress could be of a purely emotional nature but cases of faster spread occurring immediately after physical strain have also been noted.
  • What is the link between Vitiligo and sun exposure? – Vitiligo patches tend to be more rampant on parts of the body that happen to be exposed to the sun. And it seems that darker or colored races are the most vulnerable and more likely to get this ailment than others.

Areas More Likely to be Targeted

Here is a list of body parts that are commonly attacked by the syndrome:

  • Face
  • Lips
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Arms
  • Armpits and groin
  • Around the mouth
  • Eyes
  • Navel
  • Genitals
  • Nostrils

What Really Causes Vitiligo?

There are a handful of theories out there as to what may be the real cause of this disease. However the most likely suspected culprit is that it is an autoimmune ailment. Autoimmune ailments usually happen when the immune system, for reasons that are not clear, suddenly and inexplicably starts to attack its’ own cells.

Most researchers also suspect that having certain genes make a person more likely to and up with Vitiligo spots on their body at some point in their lives.

Treatment

All known treatment is mainly cosmetic and helps to recover the appearance of the individual rather than heal the root cause. In other words it is on the list of disorders that still has no permanent cure.

Side Effects of Treatments

Most treatments, which are all used to deal with the symptoms, tend to have side effects. Others fail to work completely in some patients or may end up taking quite a long time to start showing signs of success.

Treatments for Vitiligo tend to fall under the broad categories of both medicinal and surgical. These include the use of certain creams that are applied to all the affected areas, ultraviolet treatment and a combination of both the medicinal remedy and ultra-violet administered together.

Surgical solutions to Vitiligo are usually in the form of skin grafts being applied by the surgeon on affected skin. This is usually most effective in patients with very small spots. Placing tattoos in the affected areas is another option that is available to those suffering from Vitiligo

Change of Appearance

Nobody likes to be stared at as they walk down the street. However this is unavoidable with Vitiligo since it is a disease that attacks the very appearance of a person.

Conclusion

Although a way to get rid of the disease in the body is yet to be found by researchers, many with the ailment have been able to control the symptoms and live very normal lives.

References:

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/vitiligo/vitiligo_ff.asp

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vitiligo/basics/symptoms/con-20032007

Anti-Aging Diet and Supplements: Fact or Fiction

Consuming a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis is the most common recommendation given by health care practitioners to those looking to stay young since it increases energy levels, reduces body fat and imbues greater muscle strength. However, for those who are really looking to turn the clock, smooth away wrinkles and restore the vigor they had at 18, there are special diets and supplements that could help maintain good health.

To give you a fair idea of why and how anti-aging diets and supplements work, let’s take a look at some of the nutrients and minerals contained in most of these regimes:

Anti-oxidants

These are substances found in most fruits and vegetables. Some of the most common anti-oxidants are selenium, vitamin C, Vitamin E, resveratrol and lycopene. Antioxidants are a key ingredient because they protect cells from organic compounds called free radicals

Omega Fatty Acids

Krill Oil Omega Fatty AcidKeeping the skin well hydrated from the inside out is one of the best ways of preventing wrinkles. Whether taken in the form of food or as part of a supplement, Omega fatty acids – 3, -6, and -9 play a vital role in helping you look younger because they form part of the skin cell walls. When the skin walls are healthy and plump, the skin itself will look more hydrated .Omega-3 fatty acids can help protect your body against rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and a host of other diseases – thereby lengthening your lifespan.

Hormones

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) supplements are common in stores, but this is a hormone that your body actually produces naturally. However, while DHEA levels in the body usually starts declining at 30 (this is when most age-related changes such as reduced bone density, decrease muscle mass and cognitive impairment start); there is no evidence to suggest that taking additional DHEA can help counteract these effects. Other hormone supplements often promoted by lay media and “medical” anti-aging societies include estrogen, testosterone and the human growth hormone. The proponents of these claims have however, failed to show that hormone therapies reverse or reduce the effects of aging or increase lifespan.

On the other hand, there are several foods you can include in your diet to help balance your hormone levels naturally to promote healthy weight, increase libido and maintain optimal mental health. These include:

  • Fiber – these play an active role in removing, old oxides hormones
  • Broccoli – broccoli has been shown to support healthy metabolism of steroid hormones such as Estrogen
  • Pumpkin Seeds and Wheat Germ – these are a great source of Zinc, a trace mineral in the body that is necessary for many enzymes to work properly

Catalase

Hair cells produce hydrogen peroxide (which lighten hair color) and catalase (which breaks hydrogen peroxide into oxygen d water). As we age, the body produces less catalase and as hydrogen peroxide levels build up, hair ends up graying. Eating a diet that consists of beef liver combined with fruits and vegetables that contain catalase is the best way to reverse grey hair while maintaining good health. You can however, also take the enzyme in the form of an anti-aging pill.

References:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/08/anti-aging-supplements-claims-vs-reality/index.htm

http://www.webmd.boots.com/healthy-ageing/guide/anti-ageing-supplements-do-they-exist

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