CATEGORY

Skin Care

Description

Before you understand aspects of Skin Care it is essential to know your skin and skin types. What is Human Skin? This may not need any explanation; however, human skin is the outer covering of the human body. Skin is called the largest organ of the body as it engulfs all the components such as organs, muscles, bones, nerves, etc. It is technically described as multiple layers comprised of ectodermal tissues that guard the aforementioned components. Though, skin is said to be same as skin of many other mammals, a noticeable difference is that human skin does not have fur protection. Though most of the human skin is hairy and is covered with hair follicles – apart from glabrous skin area such as palm and sole of feet – it appears hairless.

  • SKIN LAYERS:

  • SKIN CARE TIPS:

  • NATURAL SKIN CARE METHODS:

  • HABITS TO AVOID:

  • UNDERSTANDING YOUR SKIN TYPE:

  • SKIN CARE TECHNIQUES BASED ON SKIN TYPES:

  • COMMON SKIN DISORDERS:

  • SKIN PIGMENTATION:

  • SKIN DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT:

Skin is layer of ectodermal tissues. There are three primary layers of the skin which are explained here:

  • Epidermis:
    Epidermis is the outermost layer of skin which serves as a waterproof protection that wraps the body surface. This layer comprise of stratified squamous epithelium on the top and basal lamina which makes the lower portion of Epidermis. Epidermis does not contain any blood vessels, and cells present at the deepest level are nourished by oxygen diffused from the surrounding through air; however, it is also slightly nourished through blood capillaries of dermis.
  • Dermis:

    Dermis is the layer of the skin that is present right beneath the topmost layer called Epidermis. This layer comprise of connective tissues and cushions that protects body from strain and stress. There is a basement membrane that tightly adjoins dermis with epidermis. This layer also holds many nerves-endings that are responsible for regulating heat and touch sensations. Dermis contains hair follicles, apocrine sweat gland, blood veins, lymphatic vessels, sebaceous glands, etc.

  • Hypodermis:
    This is technically not considered as a part of skin. This layer lies underneath the dermis. Hypodermis layer is responsible for adjoining the skin with muscles and bones. It is also responsible for connecting skin with nerves and blood vessels. This layer consists of elastin and loose connective tissues. It is said that hypodermis contains 50% of the entire body fats which serves acts as insulation and padding for the body.

Skin care techniques need not be too intense. You necessarily don’t have to invest hours on your skin but basic techniques to pamper your skin are sufficient to have healthy skin.

  • Protection from Sun:-
  • Though, exposure to sun is crucial for healthy skin, too much exposure can lead to skin complications.  Thus, keeping your skin protected from sun is one of the key skin care techniques. Excessive lifelong exposure to sun may lead to issues such as age spots, early wrinkles and other skin anomalies. Extreme exposure to sun rays may also increase risk of skin cancer. These are some techniques adopted to keep skin protected from sun; these are:

    • Sunscreen: Sunscreens are products which serve as shield for your skin against extreme and harmful sun rays. Dermatologists usually suggested broad-spectrum sunscreen with minimum of 15 SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Before going out in sun one should wear sunscreen on face, neck and other region that will be exposed to rays. Apply the cream every two to three hours or after swimming of perspiration.
    • Stay away from sun light: Sun rays are hottest between 10 am to 4 pm. Thus, it is better to avoid going out in sun during this time or at least seek shade if you are already out.
    • Wear protective clothes: If you are going out in sun cover yourself completely.  Wear full sleeves clothes, wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, etc. This will help in reducing effects of sun light on your skin. You can also use certain laundry additives that provide an additional layer to clothes, which serves as protection against ultraviolet rays.  
  • Avoid Smoking:-
  • Smoking is a factor that may cause your skin to appear older and may also contribute to cause wrinkles. Smoking causes the miniscule blood vessels of outmost skin layer to become narrowed. This causes depletion of blood flow. Since, blood carries oxygen to this layer it also leads to diminished or inadequate supply of oxygen to the skin. It is also noted that smoking affects elastin and collagen; these are two significant fibres that makes skin stronger and elastic. Smokers tend to make repetitive expressions such as squinting eyes, pursing lips, etc., which may lead to wrinkles. Smoking is one of the leading factors that affect skin. Thus, if you are a smoker and desire a healthy skin, the first thing you need to do is quit smoking.  

  • Treat your skin gradually:-
  • Daily rigorous skin care activities such as shaving or cleansing using chemicals may in fact lead to skin complications:

    • Changes with bathing techniques: You may love to bath for longer time but bathing can remove oil from your skin. While bathing, ensure that the water is not hot but one can take warm water bath.  
    • Select soap carefully: Avoid strong soaps and detersives as these can lower or strip away oil from your skin. Rather go for cleansers that are not harsh and are mild.
    • Careful shave: It is a common but crucial practice to apply shaving creams, gel or shaving lotions before you run the razor along your facial skin. This will help in protecting your skin from issues such as razor burns and maintain lubrication while you shave. Ensure that your razor is sharp enough to give a close and clean shave. One important aspect is to run the razor in the direction of hair growth not against the growth.  
    • Drying your skin: After bathing or washing ensure to pat dry your skin and do not rub your skin hard with towel.  This will allow some moisture to remain on your skin. Also ensure to use clean towels.
    • Skin moisturizing: Dry skin is prone to dermal issues thus it is crucial to maintain moisture of the skin. If your skin is dry, then use appropriate moisturizers; one with SPF is better.

  • Eating healthy:-

    Healthy diet can help you stay at your best, this also goes for looks. One should include considerable amount of vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grain and lead proteins, in their regular diet. Though it is not clear some researches show association between diets and acne. It is also said that diets that has low processed/refined carbohydrates, lower unhealthy fats and high amount of Vitamin C, can promote younger skin.

  • Manage stress:-
  • Stress is another factor that influences your skin as well. Unaddressed stress issue can make your skin prone to acne and other issues. Thus, to ensure healthy skin as well as favourable mind state one should manage stress and depression effectively. This is one of the important skin care techniques that can help in prevent skin problems.

Though there are numerous methods to have a healthy and attractive looking skin, most people rely on natural methods. This is because there is less risk involved and these methods are mostly side-effect free. Here are some natural ways to care for your skin.

  • Ayurvedic skin care techniques:-
    Ayurveda is the science of medicine and health care that is persistent since over 5,000 years BCE, according to scholars. This discipline of medicine is native to Indian subcontinent. The Ayurvedic way to skin can involves focusing on spirit, body and mind together through a holistic approach. Along with Ayurvedic medicines one also need to practice healthy lifestyle such as having a healthy diet, performing regular exercises and supplementing these practices with herbal treatment. Most common skin products developed through science of Ayurveda includes: aloe vera, almond, carrot, clay, coconut oil, cornmeal, emu oil, ginseng, walnut shell, honey, witch hazel, etc.
  • Egg oil for skin care:-
  • Egg oil is widely used in skin care treatments and it is also added to cosmetic preparation as excipient. As an excipient it acts as moisturizer, skin emollient, anti-oxidant, skin conditioner, antibacterial substance and as accelerants. As mentioned above, egg is an occlusive agent which prevents dehydration without affecting the pores.

  • Skin Care using Honey:
  • Honey has natural anti-microbial and antioxidant properties. It also has the ability to absorb as well as retain moisture of skin. Thus, it is widely used in skin care as it helps protect skin damages caused due to sun and may also help in rejuvenating skin. Honey is a common treatment against acne, it can be either directly applied on the affected skin or it can be mixed with face mask.

  • Shea butter:
  • Shea butter is another useful ingredient for skin care. This butter is made out of ‘Karite’ tree kernels. This butter is useful, as it acts as moisturizer as well as emollient when used on skin.

  • Jojoba skin care:              
  • Jojoba is used as skin care as it acts as natural moisturizing agent for skin. This is said to be a liquid wax which actually turns solid when temperature is lower than room temperature. Though it is a wax it is also called as Jojoba oil.

One may not be aware, but there are habits that have influence on your skin. These habits should be avoided in order to ensure your skin remain healthy and to get best of your skin care regimen. Some of such adverse habits are:

  • Smoking:
    Smoking ranks first not only when it comes to skin issues but for overall health. It is considered as one of the leading influencing factors on your skin. Smoking causes dehydration; it dries away the skin and may also cause your skin to become dull and rough. Chronic smoking also causes wrinkles on your skin and your skin may start appearing saggy adding age to your appearance.
  • Alcohol Consumption:
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol is bad for your overall health as well as skin. Alcohol is said to cause dehydration in the body. This decreases the natural radiance of your skin which makes you look dull and older. Excessive alcohol intake may lead to expansion of blood vessels in the skin, which causes spidery veins appearance around your cheeks and nose. Moreover, if you are already affected with any skin issues, then alcohol consumption may aggravate the condition.  

  • Insufficient sleep:
  • It is understandable that sleep deprivation is common due to professional and personal demands. However, it is also evident that insufficient sleep can affect your skin health. Inadequate sleep may increase the degree of stress hormones in the body which in turn will decrease the amount of collagen received by your skin and this is adversely influential. One should try to get at least 8 hours of sound sleep and sleeping near humidifier may have additional skin benefits.

  • Exposure to UV rays:
  • Sun bathing is acceptable in mild to moderate level and that too when temperature is not at its peak – that is between 10 am to 4 pm. Too much exposure to UV rays that emits from sun can not only cause tanning of skin, sunburns, etc., but it may also increase your risk of developing skin cancer. UV rays also generally cause dehydration. Thus, protection of sunrays is one of the major aspects of skin care regimen.  

  • Popping pimples:
  • Though it may not be known and neither supported by any scientific studies, popping pimples is something that most acne affected individuals like to do and this can be a habit. Popping acne can aggravate the condition by spreading the bacteria infected fluid to surrounding region. This may cause permanent pockmarks scars. One can either go to a dermatologist for appropriate treatment, adopt a natural remedy to deal with acne or let acne cure on its own.  

  • Not removing make-up before bedtime:
  • Most women wear makeup but not all take time to remove it before going to bed. This is one habit that makes your skin prone to irritations and acne development. The chemical based make-up that remains overnight grinds and clogs pores by entering into it causing irritation. Thus, make-up should be removed before going to bed using a mild cleanser followed by application of suitable moisturizers.  

People who do not research on skin may find this interesting that different people have different skin types. There are basically four skin types which are normal skin, oily skin, dry sin and sensitive skin. These are primary skin types while some people may have a combination of two or more of these types. One should also remember that your skin type may change overtime.

Factors that determine skin types:

  • Water content that regulates comfort ad elasticity of skin
  • Lipid content (oil content) that affect skin softness
  • Level of skin sensitivity

Normal skin type: –

  • Normal skin is not too dry neither too oily
  • It is void of imperfection or has a few issues
  • It does not serve sensitivity
  • It has pores which are barely visible
  • Normal skin has radiant complexion

Dry skin type:

  • Invisible pores
  • Rough and dull complexion
  • Red patches
  • Lower elasticity
  • Prominent lines

Dry skin may become aggravated due to various factors such as hot bath, environmental influences, harsh cosmetics or detersives, genetic factors, aging, hormonal fluctuations, etc. On getting worsened they may appear scaly, have cracks, peel off, cause itchiness, irritation, inflammation, etc.

Oily skin Type:

  • This type of skin may have enlarged pores
  • They may appear dull and shiny
  • Oily skin has thick complexion
  • Blackhead may be visible
  • People with oily skin are prone to pimples and blemishes

Oily skin may change due to various factors such as climate, environmental influence, exposure to humidity or heat, stress level fluctuation, puberty or hormonal changes, etc.

Sensitive skin type:
Sensitive skin usually, easily reacts when exposed to certain irritants. If a person has a sensitive skin, he/she should first try to determine what triggers the reaction and avoid the irritant at best.  There can be various factors that cause sensitivity and each may have dissimilar manifestations. Sensitivity of the skin may cause:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Burning sensation
  • Dryness of skin

 

Normal skin type is considered to be ideal and does not need any especial care techniques. However, one may have to follow some basic skin care methods to ensure that skin does not become prone to issues.  In most cases merely oily skin and dry skin need proper care. Here are some skin care tips according to skin type:

Dry skin care:

  • If you have a dry skin you should take shorter showers and preferably only once a day
  • Use mild soaps and cleansers which are not hard. Avoid soaps that have deodorants in it.
  • Do not scrub your skin hard while drying or bathing
  • Use moisturizer after bathing. One can also go for suitable creams or ointments which may work better than lotions.

Oily skin care:

  • Wash your skin not more than two times a day and you should surely wash your skin after you perspire
  • You can use gentle cleansing agent to clean your skin but avoid scrubbing
  • Avoid popping picking or even touching your pimples
  • Use products which are categorized as ‘noncomedogenic’, these products do not clog pores of the skin

Skin being the outermost layer of the body is prone to many issues. There are common skin problems such as rashes, hives, boils, etc., which erupts due to underlying health conditions. However, there are other serious skin problems which may need medical attentions.

  • Skin cancer: Characterized by uncontrolled development of malignant cells in skin.
  • Lupus: a disorder wherein body mistakenly attacks healthy body tissues and organs, including those of skin.
  • Rubeola Measles: People affected with measles suffer from fever, cough and skin rashes.
  • Acne: acne are pimples which is the most common skin condition recorded in numerous people around the world
  • Hemangioma of skin: Characterized by anomalous blood vessel build-up in skin or body organs
  • Cold sores: These are fluid filled blisters that appear red in color and occur mostly near mouth and other facial region
  • Psoriasis: This condition is characterized by scaly skin patches and is usually non-contagious.
  • Rosacea: In this condition, facial regions such as nose, chin, eyelids, forehead and cheek becomes inflamed. This is a chronic skin disorder
  • Seborrheic Eczema: Also called as Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin conditions wherein skin is affected with inflammation and flakes appear in white of yellowish color on oily skin regions
  • Hives: these are raised welts on skin surface which are usually reddish in color and may be itchy in some cases. These usually occur due to allergic reactions to medicines or foods.
  • Vitiligo: is a skin disorder characterized with loss of pigmentation from certain skin region. This may lead to irregular white patches on normal skin.
  • Warts: are small and often painless growths on skin which may resemble small cauliflower. This may also appear as solid blisters.
  • Cutaneous Candidiasis:  This is a skin infection which is caused due to candida fungus.
  • Carbuncle:  Another skin infection that usually affects a group of hair follicles. The infections results in lump formation that develop deep within the skin
  • Cellulitis or Impetigo: These are two different infection caused due to bacteria. It occurs mostly due to strep or staph bacteria.
  • Cutis Laxa: Is a skin disorder associated with the connective tissue in this condition the skin losses its elasticity and becomes saggy.
  • Decubitus Ulcer: A skin ulcer that results due to prolong stationary position without shift in weight or posture.
  • Erysipelas: Is a skin infection resulted due to Streptococcus bacteria of group A
  • Dyshidrotic eczema: This is also called as dyshidrosis; it is a condition wherein blisters erupt at the sole of your feet or on the palms.
  • Canker sore: Common ulcers that happen to almost all people at least once in their lifetime. These are open crater-like ulcers which occur in mouth.
  • Ichthyosis Vulgaris: A condition which is categorized with scaly skin which appears dry. This is hereditary conditions passed down through families.
  • Molluscum Contagiosum: It is viral infection of the skin which leads to pearl-like papulesor nodule eruptions on skin, these eruptions are raised.  
  • Corns and Calluses: In this condition the skin becomes thicker due to repeated friction and pressure.
  • Eczema: This is common skin disorder which is characterized by inflamed and itchy skin patches.
  • Bullous pemphigoid: This is another skin disorder wherein large blisters start appearing on the skin.

Pigmentation is technical term for coloring and skin pigmentation and de-pigmentation is a process in which skin becomes darker or lighter respectively. There are pigments in skin which provide the skin with its color; these are melanin (renders skin brown); melanoid (resembles melanin but is diffused in epidermis); carotene (pigment for orange or yellow color); haemoglobin (not a skin pigment but may cause purple appearance) and oxyhemoglobin (not a skin pigment but can impart red color to skin).  Darker people are said to have more of melanin in the skin which results in Hyper-pigmentation. Hypo-pigmentation is a condition wherein the skin losses its color. Hyper-pigmentation and well as Hypo-pigmentation may result due to various factors such as underlying health issues, side-effects or other external factors.   

Skin Pigmentation treatment:
In case if you desire to alter your skin complexion it is best to consult a dermatologist and follow treatment suggested by the expert. If you are affected with hyper-pigmentation then there are some home based remedies that can help in naturally lightening the skin complexion. Here are a few:

  • Potatoes: Potatoes are considered as one of the best remedies to deal with dark spots, blemishes and provide general skin lightening.  You can directly rub a slice of potato on the skin daily or make a face pack which should be kept for 20 minutes before rinsing.
  • Lemon/Lime: Lemon extract is another widely used natural bleaching agent which not only reduces pigmentation but also maintains moisture of the skin especially when mixed with honey.
  • Lemon and Turmeric: One can mix 1 tbsp of turmeric with little lemon extract to make a solution which should have consistency of thin paste. Apply this pack on your face and keep it for approx 20 minutes before washing.
  • Red onion: Red onion is one of the highly used natural ingredients for reducing skin pigmentation, freckles, scare and dark spots. You should gently massage your skin with a slice of red onion. One can also extract red-onion juice and apply on the face, keeping it for 10 minutes before washing.

These aforementioned remedies are commonly used natural treatments against pigmentation. There are some other natural medicinal remedies that can be added to list such as Aloe Vera, Oatmeal, Tomato, Yogurt, vinegar, avocadoes, bananas, etc.

There are various factors that may lead to skin problems. These factors may range from mild to serious health conditions. Thus, in case if any skin irregularity is experienced, it is crucial to consult your dermatologist immediately.  This will help you obtain effective treatment under guidance of a professional health expert. Your health advisor would first analyze the condition and try to determine the root cause of the issue either through spot diagnosis or by suggesting certain tests. There is a range of tests suggested for patients with dermal issues. These tests include:

  • Allergy skin test or Patch test (to test skin reactions whether caused due to allergy)
  • Trichoscopy (for scalp and hair evaluation)
  • Frei test (to test for lymphogranuloma inguinale)
  • Hair perforation test or In-vitro hair perforation test
  • Schick test (to determine a person’s susceptibility to diphtheria)
  • SIAscopy (to check for melanin, collagen and haemoglobin in epidermis, dermis and stratum corneum)
  • Skin biopsy

After diagnosing the condition and determining the root cause of the skin irregularity, your doctor may suggest you suitable treatment. For conditions that are mild to moderate your doctor may suggested medicine based treatment regimen. Dermatologist may commonly prescribe steroid based medicines which are usually available in topical solution form. He may also suggest other anti-bacterial, anti-fungal cream or lotions that may help in treating the relevant skin condition. However, in case if the condition is serious then there are chances that one may have to undergo surgical procedure.

While under treatment with your doctor ask him about possible skin care measures that may pace-up the recovery process. You should also avoid unhealthy habits while undergoing treatment as this will support your ongoing treatment.

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