Skin Disorders: Treatment and Prevention
The skin is a part of the integumentary system. It is the human body’s largest organ and is made of water, proteins, fats and minerals. The skin regulates our body temperature and protects us from germs. Dermatology is a medical speciality that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the skin, hair, and nails.
Dermatology doctors, also known as dermatologists, are specially trained to assess, diagnose, and treat skin, hair, and nail diseases. Some of them include complex conditions like skin cancer and psoriasis. Additionally, dermatologists can provide aesthetic treatments such as chemical peels and dermal fillers to improve skin appearance.
Skin diseases their causes, and preventive measures
Several diseases affect the health of the human skin. Some of them are: -
Skin conditions, such as acne, occur when hair follicles become clogged under the skin. A dermatologist can diagnose your acne by examining your breakouts. Furthermore, a dermatologist will also note where breakouts appear on your skin and what kinds of acne you have. The dermatologist can then develop an effective treatment plan.
There is no clear explanation for why some people is skin is more susceptible to acne, but hormones may play a role. A hormone called androgen increases the size of oil glands in the skin during puberty. Consequently, the glands start producing more oil, causing pores to clog.
Topical medication, oral medication and therapy are different types of acne treatments.
Psoriasis affects the skin and causes scaly, itchy patches, usually on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp. There is no known cause, but psoriasis seems to be triggered by many factors, including infections, injuries (cuts, scrapes, bug bites, sunburn), heavy alcohol consumption and certain medications.
The treatment of psoriasis includes topical (creams and ointments), phototherapy (exposing the skin to certain UV lights), and oral & injected medications. In many cases, these treatments are in combination.
This chronic autoimmune disorder causes patches of skin to lose their pigment (depigmentation). This is caused by damage to melanocytes. Hence, skin turns milky-white. Additionally, vitiligo patients are at a higher risk of developing other autoimmune diseases.
People can develop vitiligo at any age. It is more common, however, among people with certain autoimmune disorders or family histories of the condition.
There is no known cause for vitiligo, but researchers have identified some risk factors. These include sunburn, emotional distress, exposure to chemicals, etc.
Phototherapy and steroid creams are the most common treatments, but they do not stop the disease from spreading. In particular, they can only temporarily restore skin colour.
Leprosy, also called Hansen's disease, is a chronic, infectious disease mainly affecting the eyes, peripheral nerves, and upper respiratory tract mucosa. It is caused by a slow-growing bacterium called Mycobacterium leprae.
People in prolonged contact with an infected person are also at risk of contracting it. Additionally, those living in countries where leprosy is widespread are also at a higher risk.
The infection is treated with a combination of antibiotics. This is called multidrug therapy. Usually, the treatment period for leprosy is 2 years.
Skin cancer occurs when there is an abnormal growth of skin cells. This usually develops on parts of the skin that are exposed to the sun. The UV rays from sunlight damage the DNA in the cells, giving rise to abnormal cells. Consequently, they divide to form a mass of cancer cells.
People who spend too long in the sun, use tanning booths, are exposed to ultraviolet light therapy, have frequent contact with certain chemicals, and have a family history of skin cancer are at a higher risk of developing it.
Skin cancer treatments can include biopsy, cryotherapy, excisional surgery, Mohs surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and photodynamic therapy.
Preventing skin cancer is important to lead a healthy life. There are many things you can do to prevent it. Some of the most important preventive measures are, avoiding too much sunlight, applying sunscreen before going out, covering up skin in the sun, and avoiding tanning booths.
It refers to some skin conditions that cause rashes and irritation. It can be caused by genetics, an overactive immune system, infections, allergies, or other irritating substances.
Anyone can develop dermatitis, and each type of dermatitis has different risk factors. Avoiding triggers such as stress, certain chemicals, and tobacco smoke can help prevent them. It is also best to talk to a nutritionist and follow a healthy diet.
Treatments for dermatitis can be done at home if the symptoms are mild. These remedies include applying moisturizer, bathing in lukewarm water, using mild soap, better managing stress, and avoiding scratching.
However, treatments for severe symptoms involve ultraviolet light, wet wrap therapy, bleach baths, calcineurin inhibitors, creams & ointments, biologics, phosphodiesterase- 4 inhibitors, oral medications, antihistamines, and antibiotics.
Nail disorders include nail fungus, dark streaks, nail lifting, redness & swelling around the nail, pitted nails, deep grooves on the nail, ram’s horn nail, spoon-shaped nails, washboard nails, curved nails, and colour changes in nails.
All these disorders occur due to a lack of vitamins and nutrients and improper nail care. Keeping fingernails clean and dry, using moisturiser on nails, avoiding biting the nails, and trimming nails regularly are some ways to prevent nail disorders.
Antifungal creams and ointments help in treating nail fungus, while some nail disorders need oral medication, laser treatment or even surgery.
Keeping skin healthy can help prevent most skin disorders. Ageing leads to the loss of collagen and elastin. As a result, the middle layer of the skin gets thinner and starts to sag. Accordingly, this causes wrinkles and fine lines.
Here are a few ways to maintain healthy skin:
- Avoiding a tan: Tanning ages the skin. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that the skin is protected and healthy.
- Stress management: Having stress can increase the risks of skin problems. However, managing stress is a great way to reduce those risks.
- Regular health check-ups: Going for regular health check-ups helps in detecting any skin conditions at an early stage.
- Avoiding cigarettes and other tobacco products: Nicotine present in cigarettes can cause skin damage and lead to serious health issues.
- Washing the face twice a day with gentle soap: Washing the face helps get rid of dirt and pollution. Additionally, it ensures that the skin is clean and healthy.
- Showering regularly: Showering is the best way to make sure the skin is clean.
Listed below are a few tips by Spoorthi Arun, an Internal Medicine Physician at ProMed Hospital, to keep our skin healthy during winter.
- Keep well-hydrated: Drinking lots of water helps to keep skin hydrated and fresh always.
- Don’t use soap very frequently: Soaps can cause the skin to dry up quickly. Consequently, this may lead to skin problems.
- Apply moisturizer: Dry skin can lead to wrinkles and fine lines. Hence, a moisturizer can help keep skin hydrated and remove dryness.
- Apply sunscreen every day: UV rays are the primary cause of skin damage. Therefore, applying sunscreen will ensure that the skin is protected from harmful rays.
We, at ProMed Multi-Speciality Hospital, offer a range of dermatological services. In particular, we provide comprehensive clinical and cosmetic care, including disorders of the skin, hair and nail and venereal diseases.
As one of the best dermatology hospitals in Chennai. we have highly qualified dermatologists who are specialized in skin care and specialize in treating patients with skin disorders, such as: -
- Skin Cancer
- Cold Sores
- Viral and bacterial conditions
- Nair disorders
- Hair loss
Additionally, we also specialize in cosmetic dermatology procedures. Some of them are:
- Chemical peels
- Mole removal
- Dermal fillers
- Thread lift
- PRP or Platelet-rich plasma
- Warts and skin tags
More benefits of choosing ProMed include outpatient facilities, dermatology consultations for inpatients, and expert counselling sessions with superior quality care.