Pimples or medically known as Acne vulgaris is a common problem faced by everyone at some time or the other. It’s a disorder of excessive activity of the oil glands and overgrowth of bacteria on the face. There are known factors which contribute to pimples formation, most important being
hormonal changes in the body. There are some things that you should and should not do at home to control mild acne.
What you should do?
1. Keep your face clean. Wash your face using a face wash containing salicylic acid at least once a day. You can also use Tea tree containing face wash if your skin is sensitive. It is mandatory to wash your face at night.
2. Include exercise in your daily routine. This helps in clearing up your skin. Sometimes, you may notice increase in your pimples but that is transient so don’t worry.
3. You can apply a gel or cream containing Retinol in it, only on the pimples; be sure to apply only at night and NEVER apply in the DAY time. Retinol can cause irritation so be careful and discontinue using it if you feel discomfort. A dermatologist can help you overcome the irritation in
4. See your dermatologist if your pimples are getting worse and not settled after a month also. If you get a pimple every week, then its better to get expert treatment. You may be in need of oral antibiotics which your doctor can decide for you.
5. Wipe your face with clean towel/napkins or use a fresh tissue paper after you wash your face. Most of the time bacteria resides in towels which further contribute to pimples.
6. Get dandruff treated as it can aggravate pimples.
7. Wash your bed linens once a week.
What you should NOT DO:
1. DO NOT APPLY HOME MADE THINGS! This is the most important thing to keep in mind. Please, for the love of God in who you believe in, do not apply things like toothpaste, ginger, garlic, lemon, pappaya or gram flour! I have seen many patients come to me with severe irritation and superficial burns. Internet is flooded with wrong information and so please do not resort to such practices.
2. Do not pick on your pimples no matter how tempted you are. Picking on your pimples will cause scars (depression) in your skin which is much harder to treat later.
3. Avoid oily food, dairy products, excess sugars and anything that is considered as junk food. Diet plays a very important role in triggering oil glands.
4. Do not wash your face too frequently. Limit to washing 2 or 3 times maximum in a day.
5. Do not lose your confidence if you have severe acne; this condition can be controlled if you seek help from a good dermatologist.
Have you been struggling with dandruff for a very long time and it just does not seem to go away no matter what shampoo you try?
Dandruff is one of the most common problems everyone faces every now and then. You need to understand few facts about these annoying flakes, which ruin the appearance of your dark colored clothes.
Dandruff is medically referred as Pityraisis capitis. The more severe form of dandruff is when flakes start to appear over the eyebrows, around the nose and ears also, it’s called as seborrheic dermatitis.
If you have dandruff that causes big flakes and just does not respond at any antidandruff shampoos, then you might be suffering from Psoriasis of the scalp. This condition needs to be checked by a good dermatologist who can differentiate and give you appropriate treatment. Psoriasis does not respond to anti-dandruff shampoos.
Dandruff can get aggravated by illness, psychological stress, fatigue, change of season and reduced general health or sometimes it’s just always there. It is known to be caused by a fungus, which produces substances that irritate the skin and hence causes flakiness.
What can you do?
1. Medicated shampoos containing ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, used thrice weekly for at least a month and if necessary, indefinitely. You can try Nizaral, 8X, Arcolane or Triatop shampoos. All these are available only in pharmacy.
2. Remember that dandruff can just be controlled and may never go away completely! You need to treat it regularly first by using medicated shampoos 3 times a week and then maintain the effect by using twice or once a week depending on the severity of your dandruff.
3. Applying oils like coconut/olive/almond oils half hour before washing your hair also helps.
4..The medicated shampoo should be used only for cleansing the scalp. If you long hair then use your regular mild shampoo for cleansing the hair and then apply the medicated shampoo for 2 mins and then rinse it off.
5. Please avoid using regular anti-dandruff shampoos (Head and Shoulder, Clean and Clear etc.) as they are too strong and will lead to hair fall if used for prolong period.
Frizzy hair can make hair appear unruly and difficult to manage. For healthy and shiny hair, try the following recommendations.
1. Hair oil:
Yes, our mothers and grannies have always vouched for hair oils, yet we dismiss them. Time to make use of the old tradition to beat dry hair. Oil your hair 30-60 mins before you shampoo them. You can also apply hot towel on oiled hair for better penetration. Oil nourishes and moisturizes the hair. Try the new Dove hair oil or simply good old fashioned coconut or almond oil.
Apply good quality rinse off conditioner after shampoo is washed off. Take care to apply conditioner only on the hair and not scalp as it will make the scalp sticky. Keep conditioner on hair for a good 2-3 minutes. Conditioner replenishes the hair with the moisture lost due to cleansers in the shampoo.
3. Hair Serum:
If your hair feels dry and frizzy even after conditioner, then you can apply hair serum on towel dried hair. Hair serum is non sticky and will help give a glossy effect to hair.
4. Avoid ironing your hair or using hair dryers on high temperature. These techniques only make your hair more dry and frizzy. Instead, use hair dryer at lower temperature just for about 2 minutes and let the hair dry naturally as far as possible. Us heat protection hair spray before drying or styling your hair.
5. Avoid using hair sprays and hair gels. These products are damaging for your hair. If you use hair colour, then you must follow regular oiling of your hair to keep them moisturized.
The monsoon brings relief from scorching heat and makes weather so pleasant, yet one problem that almost everyone faces is sticky, itchy scalp and dry, frizzy hair. Here is how you can deal with it:
1. Itchy scalp:
Due to excess humidity, the scalp skin, just like your face skin, tends to get sticky.
– Do not oil your hair specially when you step out as this will attract dirt and fungus, leading to dandruff and scalp infections.
– Use a mild shampoo suitable for your hair type. You can shampoo even daily if needed. Gently wash off your scalp in under 2 mins.
– Concentrate on washing the scalp than the hair. The shampoo will run down over your hair and its enough to cleanse your hair.
2. Dry frizzy hair:
Hair tends to absorb water from humid air fast and becomes dry and difficult to manage.
-Apply good quality rinse off conditioner after shampoo is washed off.
-Take care to apply conditioner only on the hair and not scalp as it will make the scalp sticky.
– Keep conditioner on hair for a good 2-3 mins.
– Conditioner replenishes the hair with the moisture lost due to cleansers in the shampoo.
– If your hair feels dry and frizzy even after conditioner, then you can apply hair serum on towel dried hair. Hair serum is non sticky and will help give a glossy effect to hair.
The choice of your skin care depends on the type of skin that you have. So, it’s very important that you know what type your skin is. There are ways of identifying your skin type, however, remember that skin texture changes according to the environment, your general health status and your age. Teens have the oiliest skin while elderly people have the driest skin.
After washing your face, wait for about 30 min to 1 hour. Then feel your facial skin.
1. Normal skin: Will still feel fresh and will not be greasy or stretchy.
2. Oily skin: Most people who are acne prone develop oiliness within 1 hour after washing their face. If you feel greasy or if your tissue paper shows oil blotting then clearly you have oily skin.
3. Dry skin: Feels dry, flaky and stretch right after washing. If the discomforts continues even beyond 30 mins then you have dry skin.
4. Sensitive skin: This is a special type of skin. Most people consider their skin to be sensitive which is not the case. Signs of sensitive are redness especially on the cheeks, intolerance to bright sunlight and most skin care products do not suit them easily. Your skin can be either dry sensitive or oily sensitive, though it is usually dry.
5. Combination type: The most common type. If you develop oiliness only on the forehead, nose and chin after 1 hour, then you have combination skin. A little tricky to deal with. In the next post, I will recommend the type of skin care needed for each skin type.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin. It is caused by rapid formation of new skin on the body. Your skin undergoes continuous renewal process. Old skin usually sheds off within 28 days to reveal new skin. In psoriasis, the rate at which old skin sheds off is not altered but the new skin formation is 7 times faster, as a result of which skin keeps getting layered up; which is why psoriasis results in thick patches.
Few facts on psoriasis that you need to know:
1. Psoriasis is not an infection, hence does not get transmitted to others.
2. We do not know the absolute cause of psoriasis but we do know certain conditions like obesity, dry weather, smoking, stress and certain medications can aggravate or trigger psoriasis.
3. Psoriasis cannot be completely cured but can certainly be controlled by medical treatment.
4. We cannot predict the course of psoriasis in any given patient. Sometimes psoriasis can go away and never come back. At other times it comes and goes with a nonspecific interval.
5. It is seen in family members also but whether it is hereditary or not, is not an established fact.
6. There is definitely a gene defect in people who suffer from psoriasis.
7. Psoriasis does not lead to skin cancers.
8. Psoriasis can occur in age group and can affect any part of the body. Mostly affects skin, nails and joints. Sometimes psoriasis is limited to just one part of the body like scalp or palms and soles. These are localized forms. Other times, it may occur all over the body.
9. There is no effect of diet on psoriasis. Eating or avoid any particular foods will have no impact on the disease.
10. Do not get panicked if you see thick scaly patches appearing on your body. Sometimes fungal infections also present like psoriasis. Visit your dermatologist who will make the diagnosis for you.
The single most important thing to delay ageing is sunscreen. Sunscreen also protects from sun rays induced allergy and tanning.
Sunlight contains UVA and UVB rays which account for 90% of photo-ageing. The ultraviolet rays lead to the formation of free radicals which breaks down collagen and elastic fibres present in skin; these are responsible for maintaining the integrity and smoothness of your skin. Over a period of time, due to everyday sunlight exposure, these break down pre-maturely and hence lead to formation of wrinkles, open pores and sagging of skin. Sunlight also leads to formation of melanin in excess which leads to spots such as freckles and age spots.
However, one can delay the process of ageing just by application of a good quality sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
Some points to remember about a sunscreen application:
1. Apply at least before 20-30 mins before stepping out as it takes time for the sunscreen to penetrate the skin in order to start working.
2. Apply a generous amount so that your face skin is covered completely. Apply ok your hands also to avoid tanning.
3. Do not massage it in. Instead, use gentle patting movement and spread it using your fingers only. If you feel that you have applied too much, wait for 2 mins and then dab off excess using a tissue paper.
4. Reapply if you are out in the sun for more than 2 hours; as the effect of sunscreen wears off slowly.
5. Always wash off sunscreen before going to bed.
6. Even on a cloudy day, apply sunscreen. Remember, the UV rays penetrate through the clouds; and even though you may not feel the warmth of sun, the UV rays continue to damage your skin.
Your sweat is actually odor-less! It’s the bacteria on the body which breaks down the sweat into smelly particles.
Ways to decrease body odor:
1. Take showers twice daily, specially wash the under-arms, in between the thighs and under the breasts (for women) with an antibacterial soap. Avoid using anti-bacterial soaps for rest of body as it causes dryness.
2. Wear cotton inner wear and cotton clothes. Synthetic clothing helps to retain the sweat on the skin and encourages bacteria to multiply. Also, avoid repeating same clothes. Sweaty clothes contain bacteria, which will nullify your bath as soon as you put them on and will cause rapid multiplication of bacteria on your skin.
3. Anti-perspirant or deodorants?
Anti-perspirant helps in controlling sweat and deodorants just mask the smell. Depending on how much you sweat and how severe is your body odor, you can decide between the two. Anti-perspirants help to keep your under-arms feel fresher for longer duration.
4. Drink more water if you sweat too much, to replenish your body so that you do not get dehydrated.
5. Certain foods like garlic, ginger and certain spices accentuate body odor. Though they are good for your health, you can reduce the intake and observe if it helps in reducing your odor.
The type of product that you use depends on the type of your skin, which was covered in the last post. This is important for optimal results and so that the skin does not break out.
- Lotion based moisturizers.
- Use toner only once in a while. Toners can dry out the skin so use occasionally.
- Cream based moisturizers.
- No toner.
- Use gel or lotion based moisturizer.
- Use toner only on T zone areas.
- Usually no moisturizer needed but you can use gel based light moisturizer followed by gel based sunscreen.
- Use toner at the end of the day.
- Special moisturizers meant only for sensitive skin. Never experiment with your skin care products. If something suits you then stick with it.
- Toner to be completely avoided.
A lot of young men suffer from early hair loss and balding. It’s distressing because balding can make a person look much older than they actually are. Hair treatments if begun early can arrest hair fall and induce new hair growth also. The hair root needs to get stimulated, while it is still active and alive. If the hair root is left unchecked for a long enough time, then it gets miniaturized or goes dead. No treatment done on dead hair root can bring it back to life.
Most common reason for hair fall in men is male pattern baldness, which is due to excess testosterone which gets converted to DHT (di-hydro testosterone). DHT in turn starts to shrink the hair follicles (hair roots) and over a period of time, when the hair follicle has completely shrunk, it becomes dead and will no longer regenerate new hair.
You need to start your treatment while you still have good number of hair and as soon as you notice excess hair fall. Do not wait until you have gone 60-70% bald. By then, it’s most often too late for conventional treatments to work and you will have to then opt for hair transplant. Visit your dermatologist as soon as possible and get treated.
Please be careful when you choose your hair care provider and do not fall prey to tall claims and false advertisements. One need not invest too much money to get their hair fall arrested at an early age.