Itchy Skin : Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Itchy Skin Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Itchy skin is a common problem among many people across the word. This can get annoying pretty fast as it results in skin irritation and discomfort. Itchy skin might at times not indicate much or at times act as an indication of a serious underlying condition. Causes vary tremendously but in the end, there’s usually a treatment for most conditions causing skin itchiness. To get started on finding a suitable treatment regiment, it is paramount that you first know the condition causing the itchy skin.

Cause Of Itchy Skin

Examples of possible causes of itchy skin are such as:

1. Pregnancy : During pregnancy, itchy skin is a common phenomenon. This is usually experienced especially on the thighs, abdomen, breasts and arms. Moreover, pre-existing itchy skin conditions, like dermatitis, may become worse during pregnancy.

2. Skin conditions and rashes : Most skin conditions and complications cause itching. Conditions like psoriasis, eczema (dermatitis), lice, scabies, chickenpox and hives are good examples in this case. The itching normally affects specific areas and it is accompanied by other symptoms like bumps, red, irritated skin or blisters.

3. Dry skin : Dry skin (xerosis) is usually the cause if you do not see bright, red bumps or other noticeable changes around the itchy area. Dry skin is usually as a result of environmental factors such as washing or bathing too much, long-term use of central heating or air conditioning and hot or cold weather with low humidity.

Combination Skin Cleanser

4. Internal diseases : Internal diseases have for a while been known to cause itchy skin. Illnesses like thyroid problems, iron deficiency anemia, kidney failure, liver disease, malabsorption of wheat (celiac disease), and cancers, like leukemia and lymphoma. The itching is usually full body although the skin usually still looks pretty normal.

5. Irritation and allergic reactions : Itchy skin can also be as a result of the materials or chemicals coming in contact with skin. These are such as soap, Wool, chemicals and other substances which can irritate the skin and cause itching. It could also be as a result of an allergic reaction like poison ivy, food or cosmetics, causing the skin to itch.

6. Nerve disorders : Conditions affecting the nervous system have also been known to cause itching. These are conditions such as diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, pinched nerves and shingles also known as herpes zoster.

7. Drugs : Reactions to medications and drugs like antifungal, antibiotics or narcotic pain medications, can lead to widespread development of rashes and itchiness of the skin.

Itchy Skin Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Treatment of Itchy Skin

• Taking an oral antihistamine whether pill or liquid.
• Trying over-the-counter anti-itch creams.
• Taking a cool bath with baking soda or oatmeal.
• Staying away from soaps, detergents, and other products containing color dyes and perfumes.
• Avoid scratching as it worsens the itch.
• Using a suitable moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation refers to a condition where dark spots and patches, of light brown or black, appear on the hands, face and other visible body parts when they are exposed to the sun. These spots can be difficult to hide and they vary in shape and size. The main cause of hyperpigmentation is when melanin is overproduced in certain areas of the skin.

Types of Hyperpigmentation

Age spots : These are as a result of sun exposure and therefore appear on body parts that are frequently exposed. They are usually small dark patches on the skin.

Chloasma or Melasma : This affects 90% of women and has been dabbed ‘the mask of pregnancy.’ It normally results from hormonal influences like birth control pills and pregnancy.   Its appearance is usually dark irregular shapes on the arms and face which can be pretty large.

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation : This is in reference to the discoloration left after a skin injury or trauma heals. This is common with acne sufferers.

5 Unusual Causes Of Breakouts 3

Major Causes Of Hyperpigmentation

1- Sun Exposure

The sun triggers the production of melanin. Melanin normally acts as a natural sunscreen for your skin, providing protection from harmful UV rays. However, excessive exposure to sun can lead to hyperpigmentation. Moreover, the sun exposure can exacerbate the dark spots forming freckles.

You can prevent this by wearing protective clothing and using a high SPF sunscreen.

2- Hormonal Influences

This is the main cause of Chloasma or Melasma hyperpigmentation which is common among women. This is because female hormones estrogen and progesterone have been found to stimulate overproduction of melanin once exposed to the sun.

3- Genetics

Having certain genes makes you more prone to hyperpigmentation. People in certain age groups are more prone to hyperpigmentation. This is mostly tied with hormonal production at these various ages.

4- Skin Injuries or Inflammation

This is the main cause of Post-inflammatory HyperpigmentationHyperpigmentation can also be a side effect of certain illnesses or more prevalent in certain jobs and occupations.

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Treatment of Hyperpigmentation

There are multiple dermatological treatments with anti-pigmentation treatment procedures. Here are some few examples:

Laser Therapy : This treatment involves ‘zapping’ the problem areas with high energy light whose intensity can be controlled. Depending on the intensity, the treatment can either work on the epidermis or surface layer or on the deepest skin layer.

Chemical Peels : This treatment involves the application of an acidic solution on the layers of the ski, be it face, hands or feet. These eventually causes the skin to blister and peel off, leaving you with a new and evenly pigmented skin.

Skin Care Products : There are multiple skin care products that claim to have the power to reduce hyperpigmentation. Some common ingredients in such products include Arbutin, hydroquinone, kojic acid, Vitamin C derivatives, retinoid acid, azelaic acid, and B-resorcinol among others.

How to Minimize Enlarged Pores

How to Minimize Enlarged Pores

Enlarged pores are normally accompanied by blackheads and they can tend to be a major nuisance on your skin. Most people end up spending quite a sum in a bid to try and get rid of them only to find that the treatment only makes it worse or just doesn’t work at all. This is not to say that no treatment works but that one needs to find and use just the right products in a bid to help minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and blackheads. To get started, it is important to first know what causes these conditions.

Causes of Enlarged Pores

Enlarged pores start as a result of oil glands that produce too much oil. This excess oil mixes with the dead skin and other substances on the pores and this causes a clog. This clog makes it harder for oil to flow freely and in the end, this causes the pore itself to enlarge.
In some cases, even after the pore enlarge to give way for the oil to flow out, at times, the oil can still remain trapped by dead skin especially in areas around the nose. When the oil and dead skin at the end of the pore are exposed to air and oxidized, this leads to the formation of black heads.

How to Minimize Enlarged Pores

Treatment of Enlarged Pores

There are multiple treatment methods for enlarged pores. These include:
1. Stick To Products Loaded With Niacinamide: Niacinamide has the ability to give a tightened up look for pores that have been stretched beyond normal capacity. Niacinamide has natural skin replenishing oxidants and other ingredients.

2. Avoid Bar Soap Or Other Skincare Products That Clog Pores: Ingredients used to keep bar soap solid tend to clog pores. Therefore, you should strive to avoid products that are thick or greasy (overly emollient) and particularly if you have oily skin.

3. Avoid Cleaning Brushes And Scrubs With Stiff Bristles: Scrubbing is not a treatment method for this condition. In fact, it tends to elicit the opposite reaction by making skin flaky and dry, which creates more dead skin that goes on to block the pores.

4. Stick To Gentle And Water Soluble Cleansers: It is recommended that you avoid products with harsh and drying ingredients. These only go on to worsen the oiliness factor of your skin.

5. Exfoliation: It is best to exfoliate using a non-abrasive, leave-on salicylic acid (BHA) liquid. Such liquids go on to shed the built up surface dead skin which are usually left on the skin and go on to block pores. BHA has the ability to exfoliate inside pores. Therefore, it can help return the pore to its normal shape.

6. Washing Make Up Off Before Bed: Failing to gently but thoroughly remove all your make up before going to bed can make the clogged pores even worse.

Eczema and Your Skin : Eczema Types, Symptoms, Causes, and More

Eczema and Your Skin Eczema Types, Symptoms, Causes, and More

Eczema is an inflammatory condition affecting the epidermis. It is initially marked by redness, crusting, itching, scaling, minute papules and vesicles and even pigmentation. Therefore the best description of eczema is a rash-like skin condition or atopic dermatitis. Despite common opinion, eczema is pretty common, affecting up to 30% of the American population. Moreover, it is more prevalent in people living in dry areas and cities. Also contrary to popular belief, eczema is present in both males and females.

Atopic dermatitis refers to a chronic condition which affects infants and children.

Types of Eczema

There are various variations of Atopic dermatitis. These include:
1. Stasis dermatitis. This is appears as skin irritation on lower legs and is normally related to circulatory problems.
2. Contact eczema. This is a localized reaction where your skin has come into contact with an allergen.
3. Allergic contact eczema (dermatitis). This is a reaction where the skin has come into contact with substances which your immune system recognizes as foreign.
4. Dyshidriotic eczema. This refers to irritation of skin on the palms and soles which are characterized by blisters.
5. Nummular eczema. These are circular patches of irritated skin that can be scaling, crusted and itchy
6. Neurodermatitis. These are scaly patches of skin on the forearms, head, wrists and lower legs which is caused by a localized itch for example an insect bite.
7. Seborrheic eczema. These are oily, scaly yellow patches of skin which are usually found on the scalp and face.

Facial Redness

Causes of Eczema

The exact cause of eczema remains unknown to scientists. However, it is believed to result from a number of causes, a combination environmental and hereditary factors. Environmental factors include:
• Allergens like pets, pollen, dust mites, mold, and dandruff.
• Irritants such as soaps, shampoos, detergents, disinfectants, meats, vegetables, and juices from fresh fruits.
• Microbes for example fungi, viruses and bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus.
• Hot and cold temperatures.
• Stress. This is not a cause but it makes symptoms worse.
• Foods. These are such as eggs, dairy products, nuts and seeds, wheat and soy products.
• Hormones. Particularly for women, the change in hormone levels like during their menstrual cycle and pregnancy worsens eczema symptoms.

Homemade Masks for Combination Skin_2

Treatment for Eczema

Eczema has no specific cure. All treatment done is usually to heal the affected areas and prevent worsening of the symptoms. Treatment normally depends on age, health status and symptoms. There are a number of home remedies for eczema which help improve the skin and control the symptoms. These include regular warm baths, moisturizing, air dying or gently parting the skin after showering, using a humidifier in dry weather, wearing cotton and other soft fabrics and also using mild soap or non-soap cleansers.

There are also a number of prescribed medication like antibiotics, phototherapy, corticosteroid creams, and antihistamines among many others.

How To Get Rid Of Dark Circles

How To Get Rid Of Dark Circles

Dark circles are a common condition experienced by most people. This condition usually involves the appearance of a darkened circle under the eyes. Being such a common occurrence, there are numerous theories explaining their occurrence and appearance, some of which are true and some of which aren’t. According to a dermatologist in New York City, Charlotte Clark, getting a full night sleep may help diminish the appearance of dark circles but not erase them completely. To be able to get rid of them completely, it is first important to consider their origin.

Mask For Smooth Skin

Causes of Dark Circles

Genetics is one of the most common sources. People who have inherited fair and thin skin under the eyes are more susceptible to dark circles. This is because in their case, it is more obvious when blood polls gather under the eyes. Such conditions are usually due to lack of sufficient sleep which results in slower blood circulation. The accumulation of blood causes the fragile capillaries to stretch and even in some cases leak.

Seasonal allergies can be to blame for a lot of people. Allergies trigger the release of histamines by the body which then go on to inflame blood vessels and cause swelling.

Age is another common factor. The human skin loses collagen over time causing it to thin. This causes the veins to show through more prominently with sunbathing being known to speed up this process. This is because it breaks down collagen and mottles the skin color.

It is also important to note the following method of dark circles diagnosis. To know why you have dark circles, you can gently stretch out the skin beneath your eyes. If the area gets darker, then most probably the cause of your dark circle is aging or genetics. However if there is no color change observed, the cause is most probably UV rays or allergies.

Skin Moisturizer Mask

Treatment of Dark Circles

Treatment of dark circle is usually dependent on the causative factor.

1. Dark Circles Due To Vascular Issues. For such cases, a common solution is using more pillows when sleeping to prevent blood from building up under your eyes. Moreover, after waking up, it is advised that you apply a cold compress for 5 minutes. This helps to constrict the blood vessels.

You can apply eye cream on the area to help constrict the vessels. Recommended eye creams should have anti-inflammatory properties and ingredients such as caffeine, green tea or grape seed oil. Your diet can also be used to accompany treatment. An ounce of flavonol-rich dark chocolate daily and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and walnuts may improve blood flow.

2. Dark Circles due to Allergies. This can be treated using over-the-counter antihistamines.

3. Dark Circles Due to Skin Conditions. This require the use of a collagen-building cream like retinol which increase collagen production. Another great ingredient is vitamin C as it helps brighten the skin tone.

Crepey Skin

Crepey Skin

Crepey skin can best be described as the loose, paper-thin skin that appears on very old people. Due to aging, the skin becomes thin, loose and flaccid with notable sagginess. The name crepey skin is as a result of the comparison of the thin skin to crepe paper. This condition is usually as a result of thinning of the epidermis and dermis.

According to Macrene Alexiades, a New York dermatologist, it is currently one of the most difficult skin aging signs to prevent since it not only has multiple causes but it also appears in multiple parts of the body. This lack of skin firmness is one of the major and most common signs of aging.

Mask For Smooth Skin

Skin Aging and Crepiness

As you approach your mid-40s, the thinning of your skin accelerates. It may not be an overnight change but week after week, month after month, you will start to observe variances in the texture of your skin. According to dermatologists, crepey skin usually appears as a result of various causes. These include:

• A loss of collagen andelastin
• Prolonged exposure to sun
• Chronic use of steroids
• Decrease in moisture due to aging.

Crepey skin becomes more noticeable if there is notable fat loss in the area whether due to aging or just natural weight loss. This condition can at times tend to be more prevalent in women since a decrease in female hormones results in dry skin which causes crepiness on the thighs and arms. Therefore, hormonal replacement therapy may be a solution for treatment in such a case.

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Crepey Skin Appearance

Crepey skin is unlike most skin aging types. First, it starts to appear as an increase in skin markings. This tend to look like small dots around the hair follicle which begin to merge into diamond shaped or linear marks which look like they connect the dots together. However, with time, these subtle pores and creases become more exaggerated with the continued breakdown of collagen and elastin. From that point, the skin folds increase and so does the skin thinning.

Therefore, crepey skin is mainly characterized by lack of skin thickness.

Crepey Skin Susceptibility

Almost everyone is susceptible to crepey skin. However, some skin types and tones are more likely to face this more than others. People with less melanin or those prone to sun damage are bound to see crepey skin signs faster. This includes people with fair- and lighter-toned skin who are exposed to sun for prolonged periods.

Specific ethnicities like Asians, Latinas and African Americans may experience reduced effects of crepiness due to the fact that their skin tends to be inherently thicker. Also women tend to be more prone to crepey skin due to hormonal issues as explained above.
Crepey skin is an unavoidable bit of aging, however with the proper care, its signs and effects can be greatly minimized.

Cold Sores

Cold Sores

Cold sores are the small blister like sores which usually appear on cheeks, lips, chins, on the gums, in the nostrils or around the mouth. They are normally itchy, painful and they cause a burning sensation. Caused by the herpes simplex virus, cold sores are actually a pretty common occurrence. Most commonly, cold sores are caused by herpes simplex type 1. There are however those less frequent ones caused by herpes simplex type 2 which results from having oral sex with a partner with genital herpes. Cold sores have no prevention or cure but there are a number of treatment methods to reduce their frequency and duration. Moreover, cold sores are known to clear out naturally in about 7-10 days.

Spread of Cold Sores

The cold sore virus, herpes simplex is highly contagious and can be very easily transmitted from person to person as a result of close contact. Once it enters your body, the virus remains dormant for a while until a trigger activates the virus. These triggers vary from person to person and this determines the number of cold sore outbreaks one may get annually, including their frequency. There are people who carry the virus for years and never get an outbreak while a good number of people have cold sores recurring twice or thrice a year.

Cold Sores 2

Causes of Cold Sores

As mentioned above, cold sores are as a result of the virus, herpes simplex, both type 1 and 2. Type one is spread by close direct contact like kissing, sharing utensils or other personal items like razors and towels. Some known triggers for the inactive cold sore virus include:

• Menstruation
• Injury to the affected area
• Intense sunlight
• Deep sadness or upset
• Mental stress

Treatment for Cold Sores

Cold sores usually clear up naturally in a week or two. However, you can also opt for ointments and antiviral medications as they can reduce the outbreak duration and minimize the irritation, discomfort and pain. Here are some additional types of medication which can be employed.

Antivirals

These are over-the-counter cold sore antiviral creams. They can reduce the duration of a recurrent cold sore when used properly. The most important active ingredients in these creams are acyclovir and penciclovir. For best results, these creams should be applied in the very early stages of the formation of the sore. The recommended application regiment is five times daily for 4-5 days.

Special care should be taken for patients with weakened immune systems for example HIV positive patients and those undergoing chemotherapy. Antiviral tablets are the best treatment options in such cases.

Additional treatments for cold sores

There are additional creams that can be used that do not contain antivirals. For very dry, itchy or painful cold sores, this may be helpful in alleviate some of the irritation. Examples of these include Blistex, Bonjela,or Cymex. These creams are to be gently dabbed onto the sores.

Aging Skin Over 40

Aging Skin Over 40

Skin care is a cause of concern for most women from a very young age. This only gets worse with age. Women worry about their skin type, wrinkling and even which products to use for their skin. The best part is that with the great scientific advances in skincare, women can look as vibrant in their 40s as they did in their 30s and 20s. In most cases, especially for aging skin over 40, you have to trial and error with anti-aging products until you find one that is just perfect for you. This can be harmful to your skin over time and even have adverse future effects.

Dry Skin At 40

This is a very common problem for women over 40. Scientifically, this can be explained as follows: progesterone and estrogen production in the body slows down as we age. As a result, les sebum or oil is produced by your skin. Sebum is normally responsible for keeping your skin looking and feeling supple and soft.

Moreover, the skin renewal process slows down slightly causing your complexion to appear less radiant and dull.

Signs Of Aging Skin

When you are in your 40s, here are some signs to look out for on your skin.
• Larger pores
• Loss of skin firmness
Wrinkles
• Hyperpigmentation
• More visible dullness on your skin.

Taking Care Of Your Skin

Taking that your skin at 40 requires more specialized care, there are a number of tips and tricks for skin care. These range from homecare remedies to which products are best suited for skin at this age. Here are some examples to keep you looking radiant and amazing.

Skin Cleansing

Moisturizing

As earlier mentioned, dry skin is one of the most prevalent conditions at this age. Therefore, you can:
1. Apply a moisturizer with a broad spectrum SPF of up to 15 very morning.
2. Use a serum for moisturization or spot treatment. You can apply this twice a day, in the morning before using your moisturizer and in the evening after washing your face. You can also look out for hydrating ingredients like Niacinamide or N-Acetyl Glucosamine which exfoliates your skin while also minimizing the visibility of the hyperpigmentation and also glycerin which hydrates your skin by drawing moisture from the air into your skin.

Cleansing

You also need to cleanse away impurities often. Choose a cleanser that effectively exfoliates the skin’s surface to remove the dead skin and unblock your pores. This will help your skin look and feel fresh.

Facial Redness Treatment

Eye Creams

Eye creams are perfect for reducing the visibility of hollowing around the eyes and the appearance of fine lines. You can dab the cream on using your ring finger, from the inner corner then to the outer corner. Tap lightly to give an immediate circulation boost around the area applied.

Note that nighttime is the most important as it is the time your skin starts to repair itself. Therefore, moisturizing with peptides at night is of utmost importance. This not only speeds up the skin cell turnover but also reduces the appearance of fine lines leaving your skin looking moist and bright!

The Importance of Moisturizing for Skin

The Importance of Moisturizing for Skin

When it comes to skincare, you’ll find tons of advice online, and often, it can get too overwhelming. Sticking to the basics is the best way to ensure optimum skin health, and that’s exactly what we’ve outlined here!

Keep reading to know a little more about how important moisturization is when it comes to following a skincare routine, and quick tips to do it the right way!

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Moisturizing: Why it is I
mportant

Why is moisturization so important you may ask. Well, think about it.

1- If you don’t follow a regular skincare routine, all your skin gets is exposure to chemical products and cosmetics and environmental pollutants, all of which tend to do everything from clogging pores to disrupting the natural pH balance of the skin, leading to breakouts, skin irritation and possibly even infections.

2- Moisturization, on the other hand, keeps the skin hydrated and nourished and creates a sort of protective layer over the skin. In addition, regular moisturization also keeps the skin soft and supple, prevents wrinkling of skin, and thereby reduces premature ageing.

3- What’s more, a lot of skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis tend to worsen due to dryness of the skin, and that’s when using a good quality, natural moisturizer could help a lot!

The Bare Minimum Anti-Aging Routine 1

Moisturizing the Right Way!

Confused about how to moisturize your face on a daily basis? Follow these quick steps to do it right!

1- Determine your skin type before you choose a moisturizer. Is your skin oily? Choose a water based moisturizer. Got excessively dry skin? An oil based moisturizer would be the best.

2- If you have acne prone skin, a salicylic acid moisturizer could be a good choice.

3- If you have sensitive skin, choose opt for a homemade face moisturizer or choose a brand or product that is crafted using natural and organic ingredients.

4- You could also try using natural oils as a moisturizer. Avocado oil makes for a good choice since it is not greasy and still moisturizes the skin, keeping it soft and supple.

5- Using a good moisturizer right before you go to sleep is the best way to ensure deep moisturization for your skin- it’s like giving your skin a refreshing drink.

6- Another good way to give your skin a little extra dose of pampering is to slather on some moisturizer right after you have a shower- that’s when your pores will be open and the moisturizer will seep deep into it, revitalizing your skin from within.

7- If you have sensitive skin, choosing a moisturizer that packs in natural soothing ingredients such as tea tree oil or chamomile essential oil could be a good idea. Make sure you do a patch test before you use it though, especially if you’re trying it for the first time.

Why Your Detox Program Might Not Be Working

Why Your Detox Program Might Not Be Working

Everybody wants to detox so as to remove toxic material from our bodies. Most experts recommend January as the best month to be on a detox program so as to flush out toxins ingested during the Christmas craze. However, many are the times we will go on a detox and become frustrated when the detox is not working. Breaking a single rule in a detox program is costly and can paralyze the detox draining your efforts down the drain.

Here are several reasons on why your detox program might not be working:

1. Starving yourself

One of the main reasons for a detox is to maintain a clean eating program. Most of us tend to think that starving ourselves is the ultimate way to flush toxins out of our bodies but sadly that is not the case. Any diet under 1200 calories is dangerous as it will cause the body to starve. In turn, pangs of hunger will chip in and you will tend to overeat so you end up gaining more weight.

Why Your Detox Program Might Not Be Working 3

2. Not eating enough vegetables and fruits

Fruits and vegetables are the keys to a successful detox program. Not taking enough fruits and vegetables complicates the detox program as these are essential in aiding digestion in our bodies. Fruits and vegetables also help in minimizing our hunger pangs. Nutritionists highly recommended taking five portions of vegetables a day.

Why Your Detox Program Might Not Be Working 4

3. Not taking enough water

Water is an important ingredient for a successful detox program. Nutritionists recommend taking about 8 to 12 glasses of water every day. To most people this might sound a bit hard, but there is an easy way of achieving that. The best way to hit the 8-12 glasses watermark is to keep a bottle of glass water on your desk and take a sip after every 10 minutes. You will be surprised that by the end of the day you will have taken close to 12 glasses in total. Some people are so bent on hitting the 12 glasses mark by taking four glasses of water at a go, 3 times a day. This will help you achieve the 12 glasses mark, but unfortunately the water will not perform as it should.

4. Animal protein

Nutritionists always advice on maintaining a balanced diet during our detox. Proteins must be included in the detox. When detoxing, vegetable proteins are recommended as they are low in fats and calories. On the other hand, animal proteins contain high cholesterol and fat. Replace milk, eggs and meat with vegetable proteins such as soya beans and nuts and you will be surprised at how fast you will lose those calories.

5. Taking alcohol alcohol and caffeine

Detoxing nutritionists highly advise us to stay away from alcohol. Alcohol is high in calories. Taking a glass of wine once in a while would be better as wine contains fewer calories. Caffeine is also not healthy when detoxing and that’s why nutritionists advise us to take herbal tea instead of coffee and tea.