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Ailmemts & Remedies

Pityriasis versicolor

Alternative Name:Tinea versicolor,Dermatomycosis furfuracea,Tinea flava

Definition:
Pityriasis versicolor is a condition characterized by a rash on the trunk and proximal extremities. Recent research has shown that the majority of pityriasis versicolor is caused by Malassezia globosa, although M. furfur is responsible for a small number of cases. These yeasts are normally found on the human skin and only become troublesome under certain circumstances, such as a warm and humid environment, although the exact conditions that cause initiation of the disease process are poorly understood.It is a common and relatively harmless fungal infection that results in patches of different pigmentation on the skin.

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The condition pityriasis versicolor was first identified in 1846.

It is estimated that 2 to 8% of the population of the United States has it. This skin disease commonly affects adolescents and young adults, especially in warm and humid climates. It is thought that the yeast feeds on skin oils (lipids) as well as dead skin cells. Infections are more common in people who have seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, and hyperhidrosis.

Symptoms:
Pityriasis versicolor is a type of infection that appears as a tissue-thin coating of fungus on your skin. The signs and symptoms of Pityriasis versicolor are:

*Small scaly patches of discolored skin
*Patches that grow slowly
*Patches that tend to become more noticeable after sun exposure
*Possible mild itching

The patches can be various colors, including:

*White
*Pink
*Tan
*Dark brown

Although the discoloration may be more apparent on dark skin, the infection can affect anyone, regardless of skin color.

In people with dark skin tones, pigmentary changes such as hypopigmentation (loss of color) are common, while in those with lighter skin color, hyperpigmentation (increase in skin color) are more common. These discolorations have led to the term “sun fungus

The infection, which is most common in warm, humid temperatures, usually affects the:

*Back
*Chest
*Neck
*Upper arms

However, they’re not usually itchy or uncomfortable.

Causes:
The exact conditions that cause initiation of the disease process are not  very well understood.It is believed  that a number of factors may trigger this growth, including:

*Hot, humid weather
*Excessive sweating
*Oily skin
*Hormonal changes
*Immunosuppression — when your immune system is unable to protect your body from the growth of yeast or fungus on your skin or elsewhere

Healthy skin may normally have the fungus that causes this disorder growing in the area where hair follicles open onto the skin surface.Pityriasis versicolor occurs when the fungus becomes overgrown.

Diagnosis:
Doctor can diagnose Pityriasis versicolor with a skin exam. If there’s any doubt, he or she may take skin scrapings from the infected area and view them under a microscope.

Treatment:
Treatments for tinea versicolor include:

*Topical antifungal medications containing 2.5% selenium sulfide (Selsun shampoo in UK) are often recommended. Selsun Blue works for some people, but not all, because it only contains 1% selenium sulfide.  Ketoconazole (Nizoral ointment and shampoo) is another treatment. It is normally applied to dry skin and washed off after 10 minutes, repeated daily for 2 weeks. Ciclopirox (Ciclopirox olamine) is an alternative treatment to ketoconazole as it suppresses growth of the yeast Malassezia furfur. Initial results show similar efficacy to ketoconazole with a relative increase in subjective symptom relief due to its inherent anti-inflammatory properties.[9] Other topical antifungal agents such as clotrimazole, miconazole or terbinafine are less widely recommended[citation needed]. Additionally, hydrogen peroxide has been known to lessen symptoms, and on certain occasions, remove the problem, although permanent scarring occurs with this treatment.[citation needed] Clotrimazole (1%) is also used combined with selenium sulfide (2.5%) (Candid-TV).

*Oral antifungal prescription-only medications include 400 mg of ketoconazole or fluconazole in a single dose, or ketoconazole 200 mg daily for 7 days, or itraconazole 400 mg daily for 3–7 days. The single-dose regimens, or pulse therapy regimes, can be made more effective by having the patient exercise 1–2 hours after the dose, to induce sweating. The sweat is allowed to evaporate, and showering is delayed for a day, leaving a film of the medication on the skin.

*Some success with Senna alata has been reported.

*Recurrence is common and may be reduced by intermittent application of topical anti-fungal agents like tea tree oil or selenium sulfide.

Lifestyle and home remedies:-
For a mild case of Pityriasis versicolor, you can apply an over-the-counter antifungal lotion, cream, ointment or shampoo. Most fungal infections respond well to these topical agents, which include:

*Selenium sulfide shampoo (Selsun Blue)
*Miconazole (Monistat-Derm)
*Clotrimazole (Lotrimin)
*Terbinafine (Lamisil)

Wash and dry the affected area. Then, apply a thin layer of the topical agent once or twice a day for at least two weeks. If you’re using shampoo, rinse it off after waiting five to 10 minutes. If you don’t see an improvement after four weeks, see your doctor. You may need a stronger medication.

Prevention:
Avoid applying oil or oily products to your skin or wearing tight, restrictive or nonventilated clothing. Sun exposure makes the fungal infection more apparent.

To help prevent tinea versicolor from returning, your doctor can prescribe a topical or oral treatment that you take once or twice a month. Preventive treatments include:

*Selenium sulfide (Selsun) lotion applied to the affected areas every two to three weeks
*Ketoconazole (Nizoral) tablets once a month
*Itraconazole (Sporanox) capsules once a month

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinea_versicolor
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tinea-versicolor/DS00635
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/pityriasisversicolor1.shtml

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Ailmemts & Remedies Featured

Fungus on Skin

The word fungus conjures up visions of mold and dirty, damp unhygienic surroundings. Many of us may cringe at the thought of developing a fungal infection. But these infections are common and most people suffer from several attacks during the course of a lifetime.
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In babies, small curd-like white patches can form in the mouth. These are difficult to remove. If scraped off, a raw red area is exposed. This is commonly called “thrush” and is caused by a fungal specie called candida. It may occur if the child is bottle fed, uses a pacifier or has recently had a course of antibiotics. It may make the child irritable while feeding.

Oral thrush may occur in adults too if they have ill-fitting dentures, suffer from diabetes, have had a course of antibiotics, consumed steroids, are on anti-cancer drugs, are smokers, or are immuno compromised as a result of medicines or HIV infection.

In adults as well as children, oral thrush can be treated with applications of anti-fungal medication like clotrimazole two or three times a day. Dentures must be cleaned regularly. Feeding bottles and artificial nipples should ideally not be used. If thrush has occurred, they must be rinsed with a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water and air dried prior to sterilisation.

Candida and some bacteria like lactobacillus normally live in perfect harmony in the vagina. The lactobacillus produces acid, which prevents the overgrowth of candida. If this balance is disrupted, candida can overgrow, resulting in infection. Imbalance occurs as a result of diabetes, pregnancy, hormonal tablets, antibiotics, steroids or immuno suppression. Frequent douching or using “feminine hygiene sprays” may also lead to infection. Vaginal fungal infections owing to candida affect almost all women. It causes redness, an uncontrollable itch and an odourless white discharge.
You may click to see :Natural solutions for Candida Albicans: Candida diet
Treatment involves the application of creams or insertion of vaginal tablets for one, three or six days. Sometimes oral medicines have to be taken. The bacteria-fungus balance in the vagina can be restored by eating lactobacillus. This is found in homemade curd. A tablespoon a day usually restores the balance.

Men can develop candida infection on the foreskin, especially if they are diabetic. The skin is itchy and may develop fissures. Topical anti-fungal creams work well.

Men are also prone to developing “jock itch” (or dhobi’s itch), an infection of the groin area where the skin is usually warm and moist. Infection is precipitated by wearing tight undergarments, or not changing sweaty exercise clothes promptly. Treatment involves bathing regularly, wearing loose-fitting clothes and application of anti-fungal creams.

The warm moist areas between the toes may also develop a fungal infection called Tinea pedis or athlete’s foot. It causes itching, burning, cracking and at times blisters. It occurs with wearing damp socks and tight airless shoes, especially of a non-porous material like plastic.

To prevent Tinea pedis, the feet need to be aired and socks changed regularly. Once infection has developed, the feet should be soaked in equal quantities of water and vinegar for 10 minutes a day. After wiping them dry, an anti-fungal cream needs to be applied. The infection may take two to four weeks to clear up.

The warm and moist areas of the inner thighs, genitalia, armpits, under the breasts, and waist may also develop fungal infection and become red, itchy, oozy and sore. This is common in overweight individuals and those with diabetes. Treatment is by bathing regularly and keeping the area dry. Talcum powder aggravates the problem. Instead, the area should be patted dry after a bath and a combination of a “diaper rash” cream containing zinc oxide and an anti-fungal medication must be applied.

Toe nails and fingernails can also get infected by fungus. The nail then hurts, breaks easily and becomes discoloured. This occurs if the nails are constantly exposed to moisture or are immersed in water, if non-absorbent socks or shoes are used, or if the person has diabetes. Treatment is with applications and medications for one and a half to six months. Soaking the feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water for 10 minutes daily and then applying Vicks VapoRub has anecdotally been shown to be effective.

The outer layers of the skin can develop scaly white patches of Tinea versicolor infection. Moist climates, sweating, humidity and hormonal changes have been blamed for this. The infection responds well to Selinium sulphide (Selsun) or Ketoconazole (Nizral) shampoo.

Ringworm causes round, hairless patches on the scalp and skin. They are contagious and spread by contact with infected humans or animals. Medicines have to be taken for six weeks. Topical agents are not effective.

Source : The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Health Problems & Solutions

Some Health Questions And Answers

Q: I like to study and do my homework while watching television or listening to music. But my mother disapproves of this and turns off the music or the TV. What is wrong with studying like that?
Rapidly moving television images exhaust brain chemicals needed for transmitting electrical signals

A: The proof of the pudding is in the eating. If you are doing well in your studies, your mother has no reason to complain. But if you are not, it probably means that the TV serials and the music are posing a distraction. In that case, your mother is right. Brain cells function by transmitting electrical signals that require biochemical reactions. Rapidly moving images like those on the TV screen saturate and exhaust these chemicals. The brain then needs time to recover. By the time you start to assimilate the knowledge in your textbooks, the chemicals may be temporarily depleted, leading to poor recall. Also, memory is better when reinforced by vision and sound. In this scenario, recalling what you have learnt from the book may be more difficult than remembering the nuances of the last soap watched.

White patch

Q: I have a white patch on my eyelid which I think is growing. It has been there for as long as I can remember. I am scared that it is leukoderma. There are no patches anywhere else. Please advise.

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A: A single white patch that has been there for a long time may be a birthmark. This grows larger as you grow bigger and older. If you ask your parents, or look at your childhood photos, you can ascertain if the patch was present at or soon after birth. A scar from an old burn or injury can also become hypopigmented and appear white. Leukoderma usually appears after the age of 10 years. The patches are multiple. A dermatologist will be able to make an accurate diagnosis. All these conditions are treatable so you need not worry.

A scoundrel

Q: My son lived at home until he went to college. We were strict parents and he got into engineering college on merit. We had to put him in a hostel as the college is an overnight train journey from our house. We, however, feel that he is running wild there and rapidly turning into a wastrel and scoundrel.

A: These are strong words to describe a boy who seems to have worked hard in school! Perhaps you could check his academic performance. The semester marks must be available by now. If his performance is as consistent as it was when he was in school  and living at home  then he may be just testing the waters. He is becoming an independent, mature young adult. If he is using drugs or misusing alcohol, rest assured there will be absenteeism, arrears and falling grades. These, and unprotected intercourse (unsafe sex), are the real hazards of college life.

Living in a hostel

Q: A girl in my daughter’s hostel developed brain fever and died. We are now worried.

A: Living in a hostel often exposes children to multiple disease-causing organisms, thanks to the close proximity to one another. Some of these are dangerous while others are harmless. “Brain fever” is a non-specific description and could be due to bacteria (meningitis) or viruses (encephalitis.). Vaccines are available only against Japanese B encephalitis, meningococcus, H Influenzae and pneumococcus infections. These should be given to prevent infection. Mundane diseases like jaundice and typhoid are commoner than brain fever. They too affect the health and well being of a child and can be prevented by immunisation. Before sending your child to a hostel, ensure that his or her schedule has been completed.

Itchy facial

Q: I developed black, itchy patches on my face after I went for a gold facial. I look worse than ever now.

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A: Chemicals should be applied to the face with caution. This is a profit-oriented country, where everyone   from the supplier to the manufacturer   tries to cut corners and make a fast buck. The chemicals applied may have been adulterated or (more likely) you may have developed an idiosyncratic allergic reaction. Many allergic patches are photo sensitive, so avoid sunlight. Wash your face with unscented baby soap. Do not apply cosmetics or chemicals. Take a mild antihistamine to reduce the itching. If there is no improvement within a week, consult a dermatologist. You might need an ointment for local application.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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