Sunday, 26 May 2013

Acne Myths Busted: Most common myths surrounding acne and scientific explanation to refute them

Acne or popular term like 'pimples'or' zits' affects 80%of people at-least once in a lifetime. Though it is  very common but still the information about it is very scarce. In this blog I will share with you the six most common myths around acne and offer a scientific explanation to refute them.

Myth 1 :  Adults don't get acne . I never had it when I was in teenage then why now?
Not True. A  lot of people (around 14%) develop acne after 25 years ( Acne Tarda or late onset acne). Teenage acne presents mostly with blackheads or whiteheads scattered all over forehead and rest of the face whereas it is more of reddish nodules around  mouth and jaw in Acne Tarda.

Myth 2:  You get acne when you don't wash your face enough
Not at all. Washing your face more than twice a day is not helpful but can harm one more by disturbing the ph of the skin. It is not build up of dirt that leads to blackheads and the black color is because of oxidized skin debris and melanin and not dirt.
Never squeeze your acne

Myth 3: Eating chocolate and so called 'hot foods' ( Indian concept) provoke acne
The diet controversy still looms large. As a matter of fact , few studies show AGGRAVATION of acne with high glycemic index foods like junk , high carb diet and few dairy items.But they definitely Do not cause acne and may be innocent bystanders in the process.

Myth 4: Acne is just a cosmetic problem, it shall go away on its ownAcne does resolve on its own even without treatment but untreated acne can scat one's face and psyche for a life time. So as soon as you see them appearing, please rush to your dermatologist . Prevention is better than cure which is not so complete for Acne Scarring.

Myth 5 : I get it treated but still it comes back , Will it never go back?Acne is chronic in nature and certain skin has a propensity to have it more but as the oil producing glands shrink with age so does acne too. It is good to start a treatment for control but even better if you  continue to apply a maintenance therapy to prevent breakouts.

Myth 6: Clean up or steaming or may be squeezing them out will unclog my pores and helpThis is actually the worst thing you can do. Picking on acne can lead to deep scars. Popular clean ups will only make it worse while steaming only dehydrates the skin further. Making your face sweat more does not affect acne problem at all. You can ask for chemical peels from your Dermatologist which can help a great deal of patients in refractory acne and scarring as well.

Do post your queries and questions as we all delve deep into this common but commonly misunderstood enemy called 'Acne'. I will be dealing with more questions in my next blog on acne and acne scarring.

Dr Divya Sharma is a practicing dermatologist at Bangalore. The data shared in this blog is her personal opinion based on her knowledge and experience. The author is not responsible for any adverse event that arises out of following blog opinion

Friday, 17 May 2013

Seven Do’s and Don’ts for healthy hands

Dexterity is one of the biggest assets of human evolution. Still we tend to ignore them a various little signals it sends across before it becomes full blown problem. Lot of patients come with skin issues these days and more often it is a result of ignorance and neglect . I share a few tips onto the best skincare for patients already suffering from hand allergies and for prevention.

a) Age is no bar
No age group is resistant to develop hand allergies although it has been more commonly seen in young adults . Start taking care of your hands at the earliest.

b) Sensitive skin -Beware!
People with sensitive skin tend to develop hand allergies too soon with even a little exposure. People who have allergies , asthma and recurrent allergic sinus allergies are more prone.

c) How to wash your hands?
           i) Use a mild , fragrance free soap or hand wash and slightly warm water.

          ii) Slightly wet your hands before applying soaps. Take off your rings before washing.

         iii) Use a soap substitute like shower gel , aqueous cream based or paraffin based hand washes , preferably fragrance free.

         iv) The lesser the amount of soap substitute used , the better!

         v) Thoroughly rinse your hands and pat dry with focus on skin between fingers.

d) Moisturise! Moisturise! Moisturise!
Follow your hand wash with a fragrance free moisturizer . Consult your Dermatologist for prescribing one suited best for you.

e) Apply moisturising cream at least ten times a day . Keep moisturizer stacked at every location where hands are washed like kitchen , bathroom and laundry room.

f) Sunprotect the most!
Hands age even faster than face as they are not cared much in sun . Do not forget to apply a thick layer of sunscreen to your hands.

g) Keep your nails properly trimmed, clean and filed as they add beauty and a hint of grace to your soft hands. Nicely painted nails add gold to the glitter!!!

Wishing you soft, glowing and healthy hands!!!

Next Section talks about the care of hands and feet in people suffering from eczema s or allergies ....till then keep glowing and take care of your skin to remain Skin healthy and Skin wiser!!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Top 5 food nutrients for skin and hair: Part 2

Here is the second part of the post Top 5 Nutrients for Skin and Hair. Here we talk about Vitamin D and Flavinoids and the major food sources of these nutrients.

Vitamin D 

Our skin has been endowed with the capacity to produce Vitamin D from sunlight. This not only delays ageing but also prevents skin cancer. Research has shown a link of this precious Vitamin with hair loss and sleep disturbances. 
Sources: Salmon fish, Milk, Cereal, Eggs, orange juice and mushrooms

Doctor what is the recommended dosage for each age group?
The American Academy of Dermatology has recommended a 200 IU/day dose for children (0–14 y), 200 IU for the age population between 14–50 y, 400 IU for the 50–70 y and 600 IU for people over their 71st year of age. Consult your Dermatologist for an appropriate dosage regimen.

Flavinoids and other Polyphenols - The fountain of youth

Of lately Green tea is becoming very popular beverage and offers a variety of benefits not only for skin but other organ systems too.  This property is because of he presence of these compounds known as polyphenols. The health benefits offered by them often extend beyond skin . 
Sources: Richly found in vegetables , dry legumes , grapes , cherries and cereals, they prevent hair fall , ageing and is natural antioxidant. 

What is the ideal cooking practice to retain these nutrients?
Sadly the content of these nutrients get heavily affected by the cooking methods used . 
For Example onions, which are a major source of phenolic acids and flavonoids, and tomatoes lose between 75% and 80% of their initial content when boiled over 15 min, 65% when cooked in a microwave oven and 30% when fried. In French fries or freeze-dried mashed potatoes no remaining phenolic acids are found.


keep glowing and take care of your skin to remain Skin healthy and Skin wiser!!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Top 5 food nutrients for skin and hair: Part 1

Skin is the window to general health and well being of a person. It is the largest organ of our body and consequently undergoes not only the external assaults but also internal ageing. Our shelves are decorated with so many latest cosmetics but little do we realize that as the case with the rest of our body , it can be more helped ’inside out’ rather than ’outside in’. 
While we live a fast paced life in Bangalore let us try to make a few easy and natural changes in our diet to achieve a flawless complexion.
I plan to take you across the healthier food ingredients which can do wonders along with the basic skin care regimens. I will put across this post in two parts 

Vitalife for the skin – Vitamin C
    a)   This cosmenutrient is an important ingredient of the very backbone of our skin known as collagen. It is shrinkage of this collagen which is responsible for the fine lines and wrinkling with ageing.
    b)   This nutrient prevents age spots , tones the skin and is preventive against blemishes and dark patches known as melasma.(Remember grandma’s remedy of lime dash on the face for skin glow)
    c)   Vit C helps in Iron absorption deficiency of which causes hair loss especially in women.
    d)   Consult your Dermatologist to include a suitable preparation of Topcal Vitamin C serum as a part of your anti ageing regimen. As home based preparations are unlikely to be helpful.
   e) Sources:  Include more of lemon , amla , guava , black currant , chilli pepper or parsley in your diet as this is not formed inside . It has to be supplemented always.

Vitamin E  - The policemen of Skin
Also known as tocopherols , these compounds protect our skin against the main culprit for ageing known as free radicals. It is a naturally occurring antioxidant alongwith Vitamin C and both of them synergistically protects against sun induced damage. 
Sources:It is richly available in vegetables, vegetable oils like wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and seeds, corn, soy and some sorts of meat. Various cream formulations are avialable containing Vitamin C and E which can go a log way in sun protection and delay in ageing.

Vitamin A – banes Ageing
Derivatives of this vitamin include Carotene , lycopene , astaxanthin and Retinol all of which are sun protective and also play a role in delaying wrinkles. 
Sources: Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mangos and papaya are some examples of β-carotene containing fruits and vegetables which can be served as salads or soups. Lycopene is a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as red carrots, watermelons and papayas (but not strawberries or cherries). While Astaxanthin is being formulated in creams and lotions which claim to delay ageing.Although supplements containing these Vitamins should not be taken without medical advice , these food items can be given a  healthy additive to our diet regimens.

In Part 2 of this post I will talk about the Flavinoids and  Vitamin D . Till then keep glowing and take care of your skin to remain Skin healthy and Skin wiser!!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

How to keep your skin glowing during summers: Summer care tips for skin

Come summers and we all dread that sweaty and oily look on the face. With Bangalore brewing hot , it becomes all the more important for us to go a little extra in taking care of our skin and hair and how to keep the skin glowing during summers. I share some skin care tips which may be useful in daily care of our skin and hair during Bangalore summers.

a) Stay hydrated!
Our body signals thirst and reacts by producing more oil. Oiliness is nature's way of flushing skin toxins when water intake is less. Drink more water to balance the skin pH.

b) What not to drink?
Aerated drinks and concentrated juices as high sugar content in them predisposes to breakouts and pimples.

c) Which drinks are the best then?
Do not forget to replace your aerated drinks with home made buttermilk and tender coconut water. The latter is a natural source of lot of natural nutrients for the skin. Cooling herbs and spices like mint, cardamom and fennel can be added to our daily cup of tea for their antioxidants content. Green tea should me made a daily ritual. Lime barley water cools the body and mind together.

d) Exfoliate it out!
A light scrub makes a lot of difference as dead skin is more accumulated in summers. Do not forget to do at-least twice a week using cosmetic product or home made ones.

e) Sun protection -Lather sunscreen up!
There is an increased intensity of sun rays in summers for which we should keep our sun protection gear ready. A sunscreen of at-least SPF 30 should be applied generously along with other measures like hats , scarves and sunglasses. Try UV indexed sunglasses ! Avoid stepping out between 10 am and 3 pm as the summer sun is harshest then.

f) Do not forget your lips!
Lips deserve a bland moisturizer to prevent it from drying preferably one with a sunscreen for added benefits of sun protection.

g) Manage your mane
Summertime is bad for our hair too as sweat , dust and  grime make our scalp go oily in a crazy way. To add to the woes is the sunlight damaging our hair too. Do not forget to wash your hair everyday or alternate days to prevent dandruff woes which may increase in summers.

h) Your summer make up regime
Replace your liquid and cream based make up with mineral based powders. Use waterproof mascara and gloss instead of sticky lipsticks.

i) Swimming and skin care
As we hit the swimming pool in summers, do not forget to keep a post swim moisturizer at hand. Shower cap has to be donned every time you enter the pool along with a water resistant sunscreen

Keep me posted on queries and comments .I will be happy to answer them! Have a safe day and enjoy the summer glow!!!
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