Diseases that cause skin issues
By Nmami Agarwal
Skin is the largest organ that we have in terms of both, weight and surface area. It shields us from the meteorological conditions, but while it’s resilient, it’s not inaccessible. Alternation in weather, allergens, hormones and genetical factors are a few of the skin issues which cause redness, boils, prickling skin and exacerbate other skin troubles. Some skin conditions may be innocuous whereas some tend to be contagious and excruciating. Here is a list of a few most common diseases which cause skin issues:
- Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD) – Results in small cysts in the enlarged ovaries of the females suffering from it resulting in excessive production of androgenic and estrogenic hormones. The typical medical history of PCOD includes heavy or unpredictable period cycles and excessive facial & body hair. There is no specific cause for PCOD but it has a significant genetical component and can be transferred from one generation to another. PCOD is the source of various skin troubles like oily skin, skin tags, acne and dark velvety pattern known as acanthosis nigricans. Treatment for this disease includes weight loss program, ovulation induction and vaginal surgery. Broccoli, spinach, blueberries and blackberries are some anti-inflammatory foods that can be incorporated in PCOD diet. Avoid starchy foods like potatoes, peas and corn, sweetened juices and products made of white flour.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – Affects females’ hormonal levels by producing higher-than- normal amounts of male hormones and also results in cystic ovaries. This causes an imbalance in hormones and makes it harder for women to conceive a child. PCOS also causes growth in facial hair and baldness on the rest of the body and inflammation on the face, back and chest. Up to eighty percent of the women suffering from PCOS are overweight and obese which increases the risk of high blood pressure and sugar levels. Vaginal surgery, weight loss plans which include lowering insulin levels and birth control pills only when recommended by a certified gynecologist are some common medical treatments for PCOS. Sugary food like caffeinated drinks, cookies and candies should be avoided whereas foods like beans,
lentils, cauliflowers, and avocados would immensely benefit the condition.
- Eczema – A skin condition which causes red, inflamed itchy skin that causes blisters. Eczema is usually triggered by factors like nuts and dairy products which vary according to the age of a person suffering from it but will always result in the prickly and scaly skin. However, eczema is not a curable condition, therefore, the treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and healing damaged skin. Foods like apples, broccoli and cherries help to calm down the inflammation. Citrus fruits, dairy products, eggs and spices such as vanilla, cloves and cinnamon should be eliminated from the diet.
- Chicken Pox / Varicella – It is caused by varicella zoster virus and is highly contagious. Although highly uncomfortable, the incubation period lasts for 10-12 days. The symptoms of this disease include a general feeling of being unwell (malaise), loss of appetite, fever and achy muscles. Soon enough rash materializes along with small itchy red spots which tend to appear on face, limbs and stomach along with a few blisters. There is no definite cure for chicken pox but it can be prevented by a vaccine, as suggested by either a dermatologist or general physician, to assist with symptoms. Antiviral foods and high hydration levels are supremely recommended whereas, oily, deep fried and
high on fat content should be subdued as it can cause further itchiness. Neem leaves and virgin coconut oil are highly beneficial for soothing the dryness and skin rashes for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties.
- Mental Stress – It is a known to establish a series of impulses which increase the chemical reaction in our bodies, making the skin reactive and sensitive. Stress not only creates new skin problems but also makes it difficult for existing skin issues to heal. It can aggravate psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. Stress causes our bodies to release a hormone called cortisol which releases excess oil into the skin making it more prone to acne. Regular exercise, taking care of your skin and sufficient amount of sleep tend to reduce stress. Foods like spinach, broccoli, oatmeal, yogurt and salmon help with the condition whereas processed foods, alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks should be eliminated from the diet for good.
- Athlete’s Foot – Also known as tinea pedis is a highly contagious fungal infection that infects feet and travels towards toenails and hands. Symptoms of this disease include itching and stinging between the toes, blisters on feet and raw skin on the sides of feet. This fungus thrives in a warm and moist environment. Athlete's foot can be treated with over-the-top (OTC) topical medicines or oral prescription-strength antifungal medications. Tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, cornstarch and neem oil are a few natural remedies for athlete’s foot. Avoid baked food, alcohol and dried fruits.
- Vitamin D Deficiency – Unlike most vitamins, vitamin D works as a hormone rather than a vitamin in our bodies which makes it extremely important as it has a powerful effect on the systems throughout our body. Deficiency of vitamin D is a common disease and may cause acne and psoriasis. Exposure to the sun to consume vitamin D increases the skin pigmentation and decreases the rate of manufacture of vitamin D. Potential dangers from too much sun exposure include sunburns and skin cancer. Food that is rich in vitamin D are sardines, milk, mackerel and eggs.
- Bed Bugs – These are small oval-shaped insects which feed on animal and human blood. Although bed bugs are not known to have any severe health hazards they can be very disturbing as they leave bites which cause night fever, muscle soreness, continuous feeling of tiredness, irritation and small bumps and redness. For severe itching steroid creams and oral antihistamines can be used to keep the symptoms at bay. Common locations for bug bites are neck, face, hands and arms. Oatmeal bath, cool compresses, application of baking soda on the infected area are a few ways to cure bug bites.
- Dandruff – Also known as seborrheic dermatitis is the appearance of white flakes on our heads. It is a very common condition regardless the age of people. Dandruff creates a layer of white and yellowish flakes on extremely oily or dry parts of the body. It may sometimes be very crusty and cause severe itching. Dandruff caused by excess production of sebum from follicles and it may clog pores which leads to acne through the face. Cases of dandruff can be treated by washing our hair regularly with a gentle shampoo. Foods like amla, lemon, pine nuts, pecans, green peppers and potatoes are known to reduce dandruff.
- Diabetes – It can affect many parts of our bodies including skin. When diabetes mangles with skin it’s usually because blood sugar levels are quite high. This skin condition begins with a small pimple like structure and then stretch over the skin as patches of hard and swollen skin – usually red, yellow or brown in color. Medical treatment for diseases caused by diabetes can be cured by the consultation of a doctor who can help keep diabetes under check and a dermatologist to attend to the wounds. Salmons, sardines, fenugreek and cinnamon will keep diabetes under the bay. Sugar-sweetened beverages, honey, agave, cookies, candies and white flour products should be avoided while suffering from diabetes.
- Menopause – In females, estrogen is powerhouse hormone but between the ages of forty to fifty- eight when menopause comes to action, the production of estrogen declines. Estrogen is known for producing skin smoothening collagen and oils. Declination of an amount of estrogen not only hamper with body & oil production but also reduces the ability to retain moisture. Therefore dryness and flaky skin takes over as it is a whole body phenomenon. Usage of sunscreens, moisturizers and gentle soap helps to keep the skin soft. Consumption of good fats like salmon, walnuts, fortified eggs maintain skin’s oil barrier and keep the skin hydrated. Salt and sugar should be used in moderation, usage of saturated fats and alcohol should be cut down immensely during this period.
Sometimes skin shows the first sign of imbalance inside our body. Not all of them can be cured but they can all be taken care of. Due to any severe reaction or condition please consult a dermatologist for better results.
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