How our skin and hair look is important to many of us. At the same time, skin and hair are organs that do special jobs
that support life. Skin protects inside organs from injury, bacteria, and viruses. Skin, hair, and sweat glands help
control body temperature. Body hair also alerts to heat and touch.
A look at skin and hair gives clues to overall health.
Good skin and hair care involves eating a variety of healthy foods rich in vitamins and nutrients,
keeping physically active, managing stress, practicing sun safety.
limiting alcohol, not using tobacco and other recreational drugs, drinking plenty of water. Unhealthy behaviors can take a toll on skin and hair. For instance, habits like
smoking and sunbathing dry out skin and cause wrinkles.
Skin care routine to keep skin healthy and radiant should include bathing in warm—not hot—water using mild cleansers that don’t irritate. Keep skin from drying out by drinking plenty of water and using gentle moisturizers,lotions, or creams.
Healthy fingernails and toenails are smooth, with an even color. Keep your nails clean, dry, and trimmed to prevent ingrown nails. If you wear artificial nails, check around the base and sides of the nails for redness, pain, and infection. Bacteria and fungus can grow between the artificial nail and your natural nail. Tell your doctor if you notice nail changes, which also could be the result of health problems, such as diabetes or heart disease.
Healthy skin and hair are signs of good overall health. Some skin and hair changes can signal a health problem. For instance, a “butterfly” rash on face can be a sign of lupus. Distinct papules and pustules appear in measles and chicken pox. An allergic reaction can cause hives, redness, and itching. Diabetes and thyroid disease can cause hair loss.
Women with sensitive skin may have itching, burning, stinging, or tightness after using products such as soaps or makeup. Women of color are more prone to sensitive skin. Look for products made for sensitive skin. Talk with your doctor if these products don’t help.
Pimples form when hair follicles under your skin clog up. Although most common in the teen years, many women get pimples into their 50s. Acne also is common during pregnancy and menopause,
when hormones are changing. Medicines, such as birth control pills, can also lead to breakouts. The cause of acne is unclear. We do know that dirt, stress, and foods do not cause acne. But stress and certain foods, such as chocolate or greasy foods, can make acne worse. Acne also appears to run in some families.
The first step towards a clearer skin is to put a good skin care regimen in place. Start with cleansing your face with a good cleanser containing salicylic acid followed by a toner and then finally a non-greasy moisturizer. Curb the urge to poke the zit- This is the main cause of most acne scars. When you poke a zit it not only spreads the infection leading to more pimples but also leaves a spotty aftermath. In worse cases it can also lead to atrophic scars or deep sunken scars.
To care for acne wear oil-free makeup. Your doctor may also suggest an acne medicine. If so, ask about the side effects. Do not take isotretinoin if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant— it can hurt your baby.
Skin can dry out and become rough, scaly, and itchy for a number of reasons. Dry skin (xerosis) can be caused by dry air, overuse of soaps, antiperspirants, and perfumes.If dry skin does not improve, talk to your doctor. Sometimes, dry skin signals a health problem, such as diabetes or kidney disease.CELLULITE
Cellulite is fat that collects just below the surface of your skin, giving it a dimpled look. Women of all sizes can get it. Once formed, you cannot get rid of cellulite. No amount of weight loss, exercise, or massage reduces cellulite. Spa wraps, creams, and vitamins also do not help. Liposuction can make it look even worse. To prevent cellulite, try eating well, being active, and not smoking.
Rapid growth and weight gain, such as with puberty and pregnancy, can stretch your skin, leaving pink, red, or brown streaks on your breasts, stomach, hips, buttocks, or thighs. Medicines, such as cortisones, and health problems, like diabetes or Cushing’s syndrome, also can cause stretch marks. Creams that claim to prevent stretch marks are of little value. Yet stretch marks often fade over time.
Skin infections can be caused due to a variety of infectious agents and each infection has its own symptoms and reasons. It is said that skin is our first line of defence and protecting the body from infections is one of its most important functions. There are several kinds of infections including bacterial, fungal and viral.
a) Boils – They form due to the accumulation of Pus and dead tissues and result in a painful swollen area on the skin. They are commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus
b) Carbuncles – These are filled with pus and are large, painful, round bumps that occur under the skin. A carbuncle is basically a cluster of boils. Often, it occurs on the neck, face and buttocks.
c) Cellulitis – Its main characteristics are warmth, redness, swelling and tenderness. It mostly occurs on legs and arms. Cellulitis happens when bacteria get in through cracks in the skin, for example, cuts, burns, abrasions, etc. and spread to deeper tissues.
Many skin infections are caused due to fungal growth on any part of the skin. Skin infections caused due to fungi include yeast infections, ringworm, athlete’s foot etc. The major symptoms include fever and chills and a rash with painful, red, tender skin. As for all diseases prevention is better than cure for skin infections as well. It is important to observe precautions so that you can reduce the risk of skin infections, and protect your skin from damage.Here are some common precautions:
Observe good personal hygiene and practice correct hand washing techniques: Observing good skin, particularly of hands, is one of the most effective mechanisms of reducing the risk of skin infections. All you need is soap, warm water and a clear understanding of the correct technique.
Don’t keep wounds open: If you have any cuts, scraps or other such wounds, they should be kept clean and bandaged regularly until they are completely healed because unhealed wounds can get infected and result in pus formation.
Nails should be kept trimmed and clean: Unclean nails can turn into breeding grounds for fungal growth. Fungus can enter the skin through cracked nails and cause it to turn yellow. Nail manicure and poor quality nail products can damage the nail or cuticle, making it susceptible to infections. It is therefore important to choose only sterile instruments.
Keep the sun off: It is important to use a sunscreen lotion/cream when you are about to expose your skin to sunlight. Due to direct exposure, the skin can develop swelling and sunburn blisters, which can cause your skin to peel off and start itching.
Don’t puncture boils: If you are suffering from boils or pimples, avoid touching or pressing them yourself. Doing so increases the risk of getting red or brown spots on the skin and of spreading them further. Always report to a doctor and take prescribed medication.
Skin damage can occur if you are not careful as skin gets damaged easily and requires attention. Taking care of your skin and precautions to keep skin infections at bay are bound to stand you in good stead. It is important to be well-informed so that you can take timely measures to protect your skin from damage.SKIN CANCER:
Believed to result from exposure to ultraviolet radiation, skin cancer is an unusual, rapid growth of human skin cells.
Too much exposure to ultraviolet rays
Age over 40
Family history of melanoma
Medical conditions affecting the immune system
Squamous-cell cancer: Formation of thin, flat cells at the top layer of the epidermis. Basal-cell cancer: Formation of round cells beneath squamous cells. Melanoma: The most common type of skin cancer, melanoma is unnatural growth of skin cells caused due to ultraviolet exposure.Curing Skin Cancer Surgery:
The primary treatment of all stages, surgery is aimed at removing the tumor. Chemotherapy: This therapy is used to either kill the cancer cells or to stop them from dividing through the use of drugs. Radiation therapy: It is the use of high-energy x-rays and radiation to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. Biologic therapy: In this therapy, the patient’s immune system is used to fight cancer. Substances from the body are developed in a laboratory to boost, or restore natural defenses of the body to fight vcancer.Targeted therapy:
In this therapy, drugs or other substances are used to attack cancer cells.CALLUS/CORN:
Having trouble walking due to those unsightly calluses that have suddenly appeared on your feet? They’re called corns. But, what causes corns in the first place?
Well, they usually occur as a result of chronic friction or pressure on the skin. This response is actually a defence mechanism that the skin pulls off in order to
protect itself against blisters and ulcers.
If you’ve long been wondering how to get rid of corns effectively, follow these remedies:
Wear shoes that are not too tight. You need to let your feet breathe to keep the skin dry.
- Keep the wound moisturised throughout with olive or castor oil to lend adequate hydration.
- Don’t cut or shave them as it can increase the risk of infection.
- Avoid wearing open footwear such as flip-flops, slippers and stilettos.