Tag Archives: Acne

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Touch the Grass


Q: I am 23 years old and have been reading a lot about exercising bare foot. I want to give it a try.

A: Barefoot running has really caught on. In fact, there is even a special barefoot shoe, which is similar to a glove. If you plan to run or walk long distances barefoot, make sure you do it on grass or soft soil. Tarred and cement roads or tracks with stones will hurt your feet. Also, make sure you acclimatise and harden your soles by doing short runs or walks at first. Running barefoot on the treadmill or skipping rope without shoes is, however, not a good idea.

Pee pain

Q: My 9-month-old son strains to pass urine. His face turns red and he cries every time.

A: Check to see if his foreskin balloons out when he urinates. If that happens it means that the skin around the meatus (hole through which the urine comes out) is tight. You need to consult a paediatric surgeon. They can dilate it. Otherwise they might suggest a small operation called a circumcision.

Sometimes children may strain to urinate owing to posterior valves in the urinary bladder, which obstruct the free flow of urine. Both the conditions need evaluation, diagnosis and surgical correction. So consult your doctor immediately.

Acne farewell

Q: I am being treated for acne and want to know if I can continue with the treatment after marriage.

A: Stop the treatment if you think that you might become pregnant soon after the marriage. Small quantities of products you apply on the skin can get absorbed and affect the foetus. Many common over-the-counter acne treatments contain benzoyl peroxide retinoids, minocycline and tetracyclines, all of which can potentially cause birth defects and need to be avoided during pregnancy.

Here are some safe, non medical ways to control acne:-

Wash your face using a wash cloth 3-4 times a day.

Do not apply talcum powder or greasy make up.

Shampoo your hair regularly.

Keep hair off the face.

Avoid picking and scratching acne

Bow legs


Q: My daughter is three years old and bow-legged. It looks awkward and we are worried that the deformity will persist and cause problems when she is an adult.

A: Children are normally born bow-legged. It may be more obvious in some than in others. It usually gets corrected by the age of 5-6. If the legs are curved more than normal, it may be due to rickets (a consequence of vitamin D deficiency), or Blount’s disease. It is better to have your paediatrician evaluate the child.

Prostrate trouble


Q: My father gets up several times in the night to go to the loo, where he spends a lot of time as he says the urine does not flow freely.

A: Your father needs to be evaluated for an enlarged prostrate. It seems the likely diagnosis as he is complaining of “an obstructed feeling”. Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) or prostatic growth begins at approximately 30. Around 50 per cent of men have evidence of BPH by age 50 and 75 per cent by 80. It can usually be tackled with medication. However, you need to do scans and a blood test called PSA (prostate specific antigen) to rule out cancer. Appropriate treatment can be provided by a urologist.

Leg ache


Q: I develop a shooting pain down the back of my leg when I move suddenly. The doctor said it is sciatica and that I need surgery.

A: Sciatica is a generic term that describes a set of symptoms like tingling, pain or numbness in one leg. It is due to compression of one or more of the nerves coming out of the spinal cord. This may be due to the collapse of the lumbar vertebrae or herniation of the discs in between the bones. It needs to be evaluated with a CT scan or an MRI. If the symptoms are mild and there is no actual muscle wasting, traction and exercise can be tried. If the herniation is severe, surgery may be required.

Milk allergy


Q: My 6-month-old son had such a bad bout of diarrhoea that he lost a kilo. The paediatrician said he is allergic to cow’s milk and asked me to give him soya milk. I tried but my son does not like the taste. Can I use Nan or Lactogen instead? I have no milk so he has been on cow’s milk since birth.

A: Nan, Lactogen and other baby formulae are made by processing cow’s milk. So if your son is allergic to cow’s milk, he will be allergic to these tinned products also. Since your son is six months old, in addition to soya milk, you can start giving him solid food. You can give khichdi, potatoes, carrots, idlies and bananas. The ready-to-serve weaning foods available in packets and tins often contain milk powder so they are better avoided. If you want to use them, check the packaging label.

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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High-Protein Diet ‘Reduces Pimples’

In what could finally put an end to the debate over whether what one eats affects pimples, a new study has revealed that a high-protein diet can reduce acne by 50%.

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A team at RMIT University in Australia has carried out the study and found that a high protein-based, low-GI diet could have a dramatic effect on acne symptoms, the ‘Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology‘ reported.

Lead researcher Dr Robyn Smith said: “Diet has long been thought to be the cause of acne with chocolate most often named as a culprit, but I was surprised how little scientific research had been done in this area.

“My research found that a low-GI diet significantly reduced acne lesion counts when compared with the conventional high-carb, high-GI Western diet.

“A diet designed to fight acne should contain minimally refined carbohydrate-based foods and include a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, lean meats, fish and seafood.”

In fact, the researchers came to the conclusion after conducting what they claim was the first randomised controlled trial on diet and acne in more than 40 years. The experiment involved 43 teenage boys on two different diets over 12 weeks.

One group followed the typical western teen diet of refined and highly processed carbohydrate foods while the other group ate a more natural diet higher in protein and low-GI foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and legumes.

“Those on the low-GI diet reduced facial acne by 50%, and showed improvements in their self-esteem and overall wellbeing,” Smith said.

Sources: The Times Of India

Acne

Serious skin conditions affect around seven million of people in the UK alone.They can cause significant emotional distress as well as physical discomfort.

.Acne causes unsightly spots

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What is it?

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that causes spots.

Spots result from the build up of dead skin cells and grease that block the pores or hair follicles, typically on the face, upper arms, upper back and chest.

It is not contagious and is nothing to do with not being clean.

Hormonal changes, such as those related to puberty, menstruation and pregnancy, can contribute to acne.

Some medicines will also make it worse, including some contraceptive pills and steroids.

Who gets it?

Most people experience acne at some time in their lives, typically as young adults. Girls tend to develop it slightly earlier than boys – around the ages of 14-17 compared to 16-19 years, respectively.

Acne can occur later in life. Around five per cent of women and one per cent of men aged 25-40 continue to have acne after adolescence.

What are the symptoms?

As the pores of the skin become blocked, blackheads develop and small, tender, red spots appear. These can turn into pimples or whiteheads filled with pus.

What is the outlook?

Usually it is a mild condition, most commonly during young adulthood, and will resolve by itself. But for 15% of people it is severe.

The spots can become infected and cause significant scarring, particularly if they are scratched or squeezed.

How can it be treated?

Mild acne does not need treating as each inflamed spot will eventually heal. Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water will help keep the skin healthy.

Keeping spot-prone areas clean by washing the affected area twice daily with an unperfumed cleanser can help. However, excessive washing and scrubbing of the skin will not help and may make the inflammation worse.

More severe acne may need treatment. The aim is to clear the spots and prevent scarring.

Treatments work by either unblocking blocked pores, reducing the amount of grease or sebum made by the skin, reducing the inflammation or fighting the bacterium that infects the lesions.

Creams, gels and lotions that can be applied to the skin are available to buy at pharmacies without a prescription. These usually contain antibacterial agents such as benzoyl peroxide, which also works by drying out the skin and encouraging it to shed the surface layer of dead skin.

There are several more potent oral tablets that can be prescribed by a doctor if the acne persists.

Make-up can be used to cover blemishes but heavy use of concealer may make acne worse.

Any scarring will improve with time. Laser therapy, chemical peels, dermabrasion and other treatments have been suggested for acne scarring.

Acne can be extremely distressing and it is important to seek help if you are anxious or depressed about it.

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Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Sources: BBC NEWS (9th.March’06)

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Hindradenitis Suppurative

Definition:
Hidradenitis is a chronic disease of the scent or apocrine glands which causes chronic scarring and pus formation of the axillae and groin areas. It is similar to acne which is a disease of the sebaceous glands. This condition is slightly more common in African-Americans and women. Hidradenitis usually starts as one or more red, tender, swellings in the groin or axilla. Over a period of hours to days the lesions enlarge and often open to the skin surface draining clear to yellow fluid. The involved area then heals with scarring. The condition usually continues for years with periods of flare and remission.

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Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS), also known as ‘Acne Inversa‘, is a physically, psychologically, and socially disabling disease affecting inverse areas of the body (those places where there is skin-to-skin contact – armpits, groin, breasts, etc.), and where apocrine glands and hair follicles are found. It is non-contagious and recurrent; typically manifesting as a progression from single boil-like, pus-filled abscesses, or hard sebaceous lumps, to painful, deep-seated, often inflamed clusters of lesions with chronic seepage (suppuration — hence the name) involving significant scarring.

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Causes and Associations:

For unknown reasons, people with hidradenitis develop plugging or clogging of their apocrine glands. This leads to bacterial infection which can produce pain and odor.
Hidradenitis is made worse by being overweight, however this condition is not caused by obesity.

Hidradenitis is more common in people who have had acne.

Hidradenitis may become worse under stress.

Hidradenitis is not caused by poor hygiene.

Hidradenitis is a chronic disease of the apocrine glands (a form of sweat gland found on certain parts of the body). For unknown reasons, people with hidradenitis develop plugging or clogging of their apocrine glands. It causes chronic scarring and pus formation of the underarms (axilla) and groin/inner thigh areas. In women it can also occur under the breasts. It is similar to acne, which is also a disease of the sebaceous glands. Hidradenitis is more common in people who have had acne. It may be an unusual type of adult acne.

This condition is slightly more common in women and African-Americans. Hidradenitis usually starts as one or more red, tender, swellings in the groin or armpits. Over a period of hours to days the lesions enlarge and often open to the skin surface draining clear to yellow fluid. The involved area then heals with scarring. The condition usually continues for years with periods of flare and remission.

Bacterial infection produces the pain and odor. Hidradenitis is made worse by being overweight, however this condition is not caused by obesity and weight loss will improve but not cure hidradenitis. Hidradenitis may become worse under stress. Hidradenitis is not caused by poor hygiene.

Symptoms
Hidradenitis suppurativa usually develops in otherwise healthy people, but it has been associated with Crohn’s disease in some individuals. It is a non-contagious skin disease that usually appears on the body in skin folds of the underarms, groin, or perianal area. It has three main stages, beginning with boils or pockets of infection (abscesses). These become hard, painful, inflamed lumps with drainage (suppuration). Tunnels (sinus tracts) may form around and between the lumps.

Scars form. The last stage is the most debilitating, because large areas of skin are affected by the abscesses, sinus tracts, lumps, and scars.


Worsens over time

Hidradenitis suppurativa usually develops slowly over time, with flare-ups, but in some people the disease progresses quickly. The course of the disease varies for each person. Some will stay at one stage most of the

Treatment:

Topical antibiotics (applied to the skin) are the treatment of choice. Systemic (by mouth) antibiotics are at times necessary when the condition is flaring or when a patient has a severe case.
Tight-fitting clothing is to be strictly avoided.

Dirt does not cause hidradenitis. The involved areas should be cleaned daily using an antibacterial soap, such as the liquid form of Lever 2000. Some patients have found that the liquid form of Lever 2000, applied to the involved areas as a lotion after bathing, can help reduce the odor associated with this condition.

There is no medical cure for hidradenitis. Hidradenitis can be controlled, but not cured. Sometimes surgery is required to drain infected areas or to remove scarred tissue or even large areas of skin.
Weight loss will improve but not cure hidradenitis.

Initial treatments are usually oral antibiotics (minocycline, tetracycline, erythromycin, Augmentin, others) and topical antibiotics (clindamycin or erythromycin). Intralesional injections into the affected places reduce swelling and tenderness within days. Anti-inflammatory pills (Celebrex, Advil, Naprosyn, Alleve, and others) are helpful in addition to the antibiotics, especially if it is a severe case. Some women respond to high estrogen birth control pills (Demulen 1/50 Ortho Novum 1/50) and spironolactone pills.

Tight fitting clothing and shaving the areas are to be strictly avoided. Dirt does not cause hidradenitis. The involved areas should be cleaned daily using an antibacterial soap, as this will reduce any odor associated with this condition. Retin-A cream, a prescription, helps some people. Accutane, a drug for severe acne, offers modest help for moderately bad cases. There is medical control, but not cure for hidradenitis.

Surgery is the most effective treatment for recalcitrant hidradenitis. Aggressive surgery will cure an area of severe, chronic hidradenitis but it has to remove scarred tissue or even large areas of skin. Skin grafts may be needed. Incision (lancing) and draining will reliably help smaller affected areas. Because surgery scars and may have complications, medical treatments are usually tried first.

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Homeopathy & Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Click Here for Medical and Research Articles on Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Resources:
http://www.skinsite.com/info_hidradenitis_suppurativa.htm
http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/hidradenitis_suppu.html
http://www.hs-usa.org/hidradenitis_suppurativa.htm

http://rarediseases.about.com/cs/hidradenitissupp/a/072703.htm

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