Your skin is what forms a protective barrier between you and your external environment. It is the largest organ of the body. It regulates body temperature and protects you from germs and other harmful foreign entities. The skin holds in the body’s fluids and prevents dehydration.
Even after proper care, sometimes skin diseases and conditions do occur. These may be caused by different allergens, bacteria, viruses, or other genetic or immune system problems. They may lead to inflammation, rashes, and other unwanted skin changes. Some skin diseases are minor, while others can cause serious complications. A dermatologist in Islamabad was asked about some commonly occurring skin diseases, how they present with, and their treatment. Let‘s list down two for you:
Acne Vulgaris (Acne)
The most common skin disorder which is a source of anxiety for most people is acne. Acne occurs when the hair follicles become plugged or clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne usually appears on the face, neck, back, shoulders, and chest. Acne causes whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples. The pores that are filled and blocked are called white heads. The open pores that turn dark are called blackheads. You may get pus-filled pimples or cysts as well.
Causes of acne
The sebaceous glands may be triggered to produce more oil possibly due to hormonal changes. These hormonal changes may be due to puberty or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in women as well. Poor hygiene and cleanliness may cause dead skin cells to clog the pores as well. Adolescents are more prone to getting acne than other people.
Acne can be very persistent. The treatment may take a long time as the pimples and bumps heal slowly. Another issue is the scars that are left behind. The earlier you start the treatment, the better it will be. Treatment will also depend upon your age, the place where the acne is situated, and the type of acne you are presenting with.
Non-prescription options include using gentle cleansers to wash your face regularly. Cleansing twice a day with a glycolic acid or salicylic acid cleanser will help. Aggressive scrubbing must be avoided at all costs as it may rupture, damaging the skin further. Using a retinol gel or cream will ensure that pimples are not able to form further. It increases cell turnover and unblocks the pores. It takes 8-12 weeks for a complete effect. Know that your acne may first get worse and then better.
The best treatments include inhibiting sebum production or limiting bacterial growth. The less the oil produced, the less chance there will be of your pores clogging up. Topical or oral antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor if acne is caused by a bacterial infection. These may reduce inflammation as well. Azelaic acid which is available in a gel or cream formulation is commonly used to help treat mild acne with its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
For acne scars, treatment options such as microdermabrasion, lasers, or chemical peeling are available.
Atopic dermatitis (Eczema)
A dry, itchy, inflamed skin condition that can appear anywhere on the body is known as eczema. Atopic dermatitis is common in children, but can also occur at any age. It is a chronic condition but can cause flare-ups sometimes. Symptoms include dry, crusty cracked skin that causes itchiness. This itching may further aggravate the skin rendering it extremely sensitive to touch.
Too much staphylococcus aureus bacteria on the skin can lead to atopic dermatitis. Helpful bacteria are displaced by these and skin’s barrier function is hindered. This may also trigger an immune system response leading to redness and inflammation.
The skin is there to provide protection. When a gene variation can occur, disrupting this skin’s function, it does not retain enough moisture. It is also unable to protect against microorganisms that then lead to eczema.
Eczema treatments may include antihistamines. These are anti-allergic medicines. Short-term steroids or light therapy are effective as well. Some may be prescribed immunosuppressant medicines to reduce the immune system response to avoid inflammation by their healthcare provider. Using gentle cleansers and moisturizing at least twice a day are other management options.
Having healthy skin is important to avoid these diseases that can further cause much discomfort in your life. It is important to take adequate measures to prevent such conditions.