Medical Skin Concerns

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Vitiligo or leucoderma

Vitiligo or leucoderma is a condition where there is depigmentation of some parts of the skin. It happens when cells that produce melanin are unable to function and there is loss of skin color. The skin color is lost in blotches. The condition is not contagious but can be extremely stressful because of change in appearance. Unfortunately, it can affect anyone of any age group and any gender.

Leucoderma can be treated by phototherapy

Phototherapy uses ultraviolet light to slow down the rapid growth of skin cells when there is overgrowth happening because of disease process. Also it causes repigmentation in the area and thus bringing normal color back to the affected skin.

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Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common skin condition that changes the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful.

Psoriasis is a persistent, long-lasting (chronic) disease. There may be times when your psoriasis symptoms get better alternating with times your psoriasis worsens.

The primary goal of our treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly. Lifestyle measures, such as using a nonprescription cortisone cream and exposing your skin to small amounts of natural sunlight, also may improve your psoriasis symptoms.

Psoriasis treatments aim to:

Stop the skin cells from growing so quickly, which reduces inflammation and plaque formation
Remove scales and smooth the skin, which is particularly true of topical treatments that you apply to your skin
Psoriasis treatments can be divided into three main types: topical treatments, light therapy and systemic medications.

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Eczema

Eczema is a group of unrelated diseases that have a similar appearance. When it is new eczema, the affected skin appears red and elevated with small blisters (vesicles) containing a clear fluid. When the blisters break, the affected skin will weep and ooze. In older eczema, chronic eczema, the blisters are less prominent and the skin is thickened, elevated, and scaling. Eczema almost always is very itchy.

There are many different types of eczema.

Allergic contact eczema (dermatitis) – a reaction where the skin has come into contact with a substance that the immune system recognizes as foreign
Contact eczema – a localized reaction where the skin has come into contact with an allergen
Dyshidriotic eczema – irritation of skin on palms of hands and soles of feet, characterized by blisters
Neurodermatitis – scaly patches of skin on head, forearms, wrists, lower legs caused by localized itch such as an insect bite
Nummular eczema – circular patches of irritated skin that can be crusted, scaling and itchy
Seborrheic eczema – oily, scaly yellowish patches of skin, usually on scalp and face
Stasis dermatitis – skin irritation on lower legs, usually related to circulatory problems.

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Urticaria or Hives

Hives, also known as urticaria, affects about 20 percent of people at some time during their lives. It can be triggered by many substances or situations and usually starts as an itchy patch of skin that turns into swollen red welts. The itching may be mild to severe. Scratching, alcoholic beverages, exercise and emotional stress may worsen the itching.

Hives Symptoms :- Raised itchy bumps, either red or skin-colored
“Blanching” (when pressed, the center of a red hive turns white)

Hives Triggers :- Some food (especially peanuts, eggs, nuts and shellfish)
Medications, such as antibiotics (especially penicillin and sulfa), aspirin and ibuprofen, Insect stings or bites, Physical stimuli, such as pressure, cold, heat, exercise or sun exposure, Latex, Blood transfusions, Bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections and strep throat, Viral infections, including the common cold, infectious mononucleosis and hepatitis, Pet dander, Pollen, Some plants, such as poison oak and poison ivy

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Skin Allergies

An skin allergy is an abnormal sensitivity to an allergen that is inhaled, eaten or touched that most other people can tolerate with no trouble. Allergies are Over-reactions to substances one’s immune system considers harmful. Skin allergy symptoms like redness, itching, and swelling often go away on their own in a week or two, with or without treatment.
Skin allergy can be caused by a variety of factors. These include immune system disorders, medications and infections. When an allergen is responsible for triggering an immune system response, then it is an allergic skin condition.

Followings are the known allergy types:-
Seasonal : These are mainly outdoor allergens and include pollens from grasses, trees and weeds, and also some moulds.

Parennial : These are usually indoor allergens, and cause symptoms all year round. The commonest is the house dust mite. These reside in nests such as carpets, bedding and upholstered furniture. They are triggers for perennial rhinitis and allergic asthma. Other parennial allergens include domestic pets, especially cats.

Food Allergens : There is an increasing evidence that different foods play significant roles in manifesting allergies. They can manifest as itching, Urticaria, Swelling of mouth. Throat obstruction, Respiratory difficulty etc. The common foods are milk, eggs, peanuts & other nuts, wheat, soya, fish etc.

Drugs : Any drug can cause allergic reactions but aspirin & other anti-inflammatory drugs as well as antibiotics lie penicillin, sulphonamides account for most of the allergic reactions due to drugs.

Insects : Each year about 40 peoples die in the USA from Anaphylaxis to insect (bee, wasp & fire ants venom) sting.

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Xanthelasma

If you notice soft or hard yellow patches on the inside corners of your eyelids, you might have xanthelasma. They’re made up of cholesterol that’s under your skin. They aren’t harmful, but if you’re bothered by the way they look, there are treatments that can get rid of them.

Even though xanthelasma itself won’t hurt you, it could be a sign that you’re at higher risk for heart disease. So don’t ignore this skin condition. Get it checked by your doctor.

The condition is rare, but you can sometimes get it if have high levels of cholesterol or other fats in your blood. It’s also possible to get it even if your cholesterol levels are normal. Most people with xanthelasma are middle aged or older. It’s more common in women than in men.

Causes :- About half of people with xanthelasma have high cholesterol. You’re more likely to get these growths if you have:- High LDL (“bad”) cholesterol or low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, Inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia) , Liver disease called primary biliary cirrhosis, which can raise cholesterol levels,  Xanthelasma is most common in people whose families are from Asia or the Mediterranean.

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Fungal Infections

Fungal infections of the skin are very common and include athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm, and yeast infections.

Some fungi reproduce through tiny spores in the air. You can inhale the spores or they can land on you. As a result, fungal infections often start in the lungs or on the skin. You are more likely to get a fungal infection if you have a weakened immune system or take antibiotics.

Fungi can be difficult to kill. For skin and nail infections, you can apply medicine directly to the infected area. Oral antifungal medicines are also available for serious infections.

Fungi reproduce by spreading microscopic spores. These spores are often present in the air and soil, where they can be inhaled or come into contact with the surfaces of the body, primarily the skin. Consequently, fungal infections usually begin in the lungs or on the skin.

Of the wide variety of spores that land on the skin or are inhaled into the lungs, most types do not cause infection. A few types cause infection only in people who have one of the following:

:A weakened immune system

:Foreign material, including medical devices (such as an artificial joint or heart valve), in their body

The immune system may be weakened when people take drugs that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants), such as chemotherapy drugs or drugs used to prevent rejection of an organ transplant, or have a disorder such as AIDS.

Except for some superficial skin infections, fungal infections are rarely passed from one person to another.

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Viral Infections (Skin)

Many systemic viral infections cause skin lesions. Molluscum contagiosum, herpes simplex virus infection and warts are the most common primary viral skin diseases without systemic manifestations.

other viral infections, such as measles and rubella, cause rashes, spots, or sores on the skin, as well as other symptoms. Herpesviruses often cause rashes and sores . However, in two common viral infections, warts (see page Warts) and molluscum contagiosum , the virus remains solely within the skin and does not spread to other parts of the body.

Viral infections usually resolve without treatment. There are few specific antiviral agents. See individual conditions for general management advice.

Herpes virus infections may be treated with aciclovir and similar agents. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections and are ineffective for viral infections.

Rest and paracetamol for relief of symptoms are important.

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Nail Diseases

Nail diseases are distinct from diseases of the skin. Although nails are a skin appendage, they have their own signs and symptoms which may relate to other medical conditions. Nail conditions that show signs of infection or inflammation require medical assistance. Deformity or diseaseof the nails may be referred to as onychosis.

Your toenails and fingernails protect the tissues of your toes and fingers. They are made up of layers of a hardened protein called keratin, which is also in your hair and skin. The health of your nails can be a clue to your overall health. Healthy nails are usually smooth and consistent in color. Specific types of nail discoloration and changes in growth rate can be signs of lung, heart, kidney, and liver diseases, as well as diabetes and anemia. White spots and vertical ridges are harmless.

Nail problems that sometimes require treatment include

  • Bacterial and fungal infections
  • Ingrown nails
  • Tumors
  • Warts

Keeping your nails clean, dry, and trimmed can help you avoid some problems. Do not remove the cuticle, which can cause infection.