Nevus, Keratosis, Skin Spots, Warts, Benign Growths and Moles

January 21, 2010 by admin · Leave a Comment 

BENIGN GROWTHS & MOLES

Everyone has skin growths. The dermatologist is the expert on determining which are harmless and which should receive attention.
This article is not a substitute for a medical exam. If you have any serious skin issues or concerns, you need to consult your physician.

Moles

nevus on an arm

nevus on an arm

Everyone has moles, from a few to several dozen. Most people think of a mole as being a dark brown spot, but moles have a much wider range of appearance. They can be raised from the skin and very noticeable, or they may contain dark hairs. Having hairs in a mole doesn’t make it more dangerous.

Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or grouped. They usually are brown in color and can be various sizes and shapes.  Special cells that contain the pigment melanin cause the brown color.  Facial moles are probably are determined before a person is born. Many of those that form in childhood and early adult life are now thought to be due to sun damage. Some may not appear until later in life, but moles that appear after age 50 should be regarded with suspicion. Moles may darken, which can happen after exposure to the sun, pregnancy and sometimes during therapy with certain steroid drugs. Moles can be safely removed for cosmetic or medical reasons.

Blood Moles

These are benign growths that consists of small blood vessels. These tumors can be located anywhere on the body. Some of the different types include spider angiomas, cherry angiomas, and angiokeratomas. We do not know the cause of most types of angiomas.

Age Spots

Multiple small brown spots that may appear on wrists, backs of the hands, forearms, and face could be solar lentigos. These are also called “liver spots” or “age spots” and occur later in life. The are flat and evenly colored.

Keratosis

After a person reaches middle age, he or she may acquire other dark areas that are not moles. The brown, wart-like growths that appear on the face or trunk and look as if they have been stuck to the skin may be seborrheic keratoses. Seborrheic keratoses are non-cancerous thickenings of the outer layer of skin. They may be just one growth or clusters. They are usually brown but can vary in color from light tan all the way to black. They’re different sizes as well –anywhere from a fraction of an inch in diameter to larger than a half dollar. A main feature of seborrheic keratoses is their waxy, pasted-on, or stuck-on look. They sometimes look like a dab of warm brown candle wax that has dropped onto the skin. Others have a rough surface.

Actinic Keratoses, also called solar keratoses, are caused by sun damage. They occur on body areas that have been heavily exposed to sunlight or exposed a little bit often for a lot of years. The face, hands, forearms and the V of the neck are the most common areas for actinic keratoses. They may get sore a times. These growths are more common among pale-skinned, fair-haired, light-eyed individuals. They are flatter, redder and rougher than seborrheic keratosis. Actinic keratoses are pre-cancerous, which means they may become skin cancers. The risk has been estimated at 1% per spot, per year,


WARTS

Warts are caused by a viral infection of the cells found in the top layer of the skin. The name of this virus is the human papillomavirus HPV). Warts are skin-colored and feel rough to the touch. Hand warts are usually found around the nails, on the fingers and on the back of the hand. They are more common where skin has been broken and in the areas where fingernails are bitten or hangnails picked. Foot warts are usually on the soles of the feet. These warts are called plantar warts (this has nothing to do with farming-the bottom of the foot is called the plantar side by doctors). Flat warts are much smaller and are less rough than hand or foot warts. They tend to grow in great numbers — 20 to 100 at any one time. They can occur anywhere, but in children they are most common on the face. In adults they are most often found in the beard area in men and on the legs in women. Skin irritation from shaving probably accounts for this.

Watch out for…

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer. Melanomas are often, but not always, very dark brown to bluish-black growths. Melanomas may be confused with seborrheic keratoses or moles because both can become very dark. It is wise to have any growth that turns dark or becomes irritated checked by a dermatologist. Early detection of skin cancer is the best way to assure successful treatment.

Information by : Dermatologist, Robert M Rosen, D. O.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatments

December 21, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

Most squamous cell carcinomas may be treated by one of the following methods. More healthy tissue around the lesion is removed than for basal cell carcinomas because of the potential of squamous cell carcinomas to spread. Nearby lymph nodes are also examined carefully. The choice of treatment is influenced by:

* size, location, grade, and type of tumour
* whether the tumour is primary or is recurring
* person’s age and health
* people with organ transplants are at a high risk of aggressive squamous cell carcinoma, which is considered in their treatment plan
* availability of the treatment

Surgery (Wide Excision)

# used for:
- most small lesions that are less than 2 cm
- superficial or SCC that has not spread
- verrucous carcinomas (slow growing and less aggressive)
- tumours that have previously been treated with radiation therapy
- lesions on the eyelid, forehead, scalp, lip, penis, vulva and anus

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

* used for all types of squamous cell cancer
* commonly used for:
- areas that are at high risk of recurrence (eyelids, nose, ears, forehead, scalp), as well as areas that have - already recurred
- areas where it is important to keep function and appearance
- lesions that are larger than 2 cm, and lesions with poorly defined borders
- aggressive tumours, and invasive lesions that have spread to nerves, cartilage or bone
- tumours that have been left untreated for a long time
- lesions that had not been completely removed with prior surgery it involves a meticulous study of tissues removed by a  pathologist at the time of surgery

Radiation Therapy

* used after surgery for:
- elderly individuals
- ensuring cancer free margins
- treatment of involved lymph nodes
- squamous cell carcinoma that has recurred after surgery
- to relieve or control the symptoms of very large tumours
- for people who are unwilling or unable to undergo surgery
- tumours on the eyelid, cheek, earlobe and nose not used for verrucous carcinomas (slow growing and less aggressive)

Chemotherapy

* systemic chemotherapy is used for squamous cell cancer that has spread to other parts of the body
* drugs used most often in chemotherapy:
- cisplatin
- doxorubicin
- bleomycin

Curettage And Electrodesiccation (C & E)

used for
- small areas that are less than 2 cm
- lesions that haven’t spread
- squamous cell carcinoma with distinct margins in Actinic Keratosis should not be used for:

- larger lesions that are greater than 2 cm
- recurrent tumours
- aggressive squamous cell carcinoma
- lesions with poorly defined borders
- hairy areas like the underarms, scalp, and the pubic area
- areas where it is important to keep function and appearance uncommonly used

Skin Tags and Seborrheic Keratoses

November 20, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

Nuisances You don’t have to put up with. As time goes on, we all acquire tiny bits of extra skin called skin tags. These can range in size from 1-10 mm, and are flesh colored or brown.

Skin tags can be found on any part of the body, but are most common on the eyelids and neck, and in the armpits and groin, and under the breasts.  While skin tags are benign they can be annoying if they become irritating or rub on sporting equipment, and skin tags can interfere with shaving and can detract from one’s appearance and self-image.

Fortunately, we don’t have to put up with skin tags. These little annoyances can be easily removed in an office visit with little or no discomfort. Skin tags can almost always be removed without needing stitches, and the treated areas usually have healed completely in a week or two.

The cost of removing skin tags is quite reasonable - ranging from about $80 for a few tiny ones to about $200 for a larger number scattered over several areas.

Seborrheic keratoses are firm flat or raised, sometimes scaly or crusty flesh-colored, brown or black “barnacles” which accumulate (usually on the face and trunk) as time goes on. Some people start to develop seborrheic keratoses in their thirties, and most people have at least a few by the time they are sixty. To look at pictures of different types of moles, click on www.SkinCancerGuide.ca .

Seborrheic keratoses are usually just a nuisance, but - like skin tags — they can rub on clothing and equipment, and their appearance can sometimes be so distressing that they interfere with choice of clothing, sports like swimming, and intimacy.  Because seborrheic keratoses grow above the skin (but not down into the skin) they can be easily scraped off, and the treated areas heal up nicely within a few weeks. Sometimes the healed area remains pink for a few months after the seborrheic keratosis is removed.

The cost of removing seborrheic keratoses is similar to that for removal of skin tags: about $80 for one or two, with the cost gradually increasing depending on the number and size of seborrheic keratoses to be removed.

The cost of removing skin tags and seborrheic keratoses is a tax-deductible medical expense, just like things like dental bills.  So, if you are annoyed by skin tags or seborrheic keratoses you can be confident that it is simple and inexpensive to rid yourself of these nuisances.

By Kevin C. Smith MD FACP FRCPC

Identifying Skin Lesions - Warts, Moles and SebKs

August 27, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

By Van Le |  While freckles can add to a person’s beauty and uniqueness, other skin lesions such as large moles, skin tags, warts, and seborrheic keratoses can be unsightly and embarrassing. Most lesions are malignant (non-cancerous), however, it is important to be aware of and track any skin abnormalities on your body as a preventative measure.

Freckles

Freckles are irritating for some and embraced by others. They are pigment cells that retain within the skin to form light brown spots, and individuals with lighter complexions are more susceptible to freckles since their skin contains less melanin. Freckles, also known as ephelides, can appear on the face, arms and other sun-exposed areas. Excessive and continued exposure to harmful UV rays can cause more freckles and cause them to appear darker. While they are harmless, it is important to distinguish between freckles and symptoms of melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can grow from an existing freckle. Consult your doctor if you notice any change in freckle size, shape and color.

Skin tags

Skin tags are pieces of skin that hang from the surface of a surrounding area. Like freckles, they are benign, but can cause irritation if located on an area that is exposed to constant contact, such as the eyelids or areas where they can be snagged by jewelry or clothing. Skin tags can vary from a small pin-point size to a large grape size. While some can fall off on their own, there are several ways to medically remove skin tags, including freezing and burning. There are home remedies as well as creams available on the market to remove unwanted and embarrassing skin tags.

Seborrheic keratoses

Seborrheic keratoses, another benign skin lesion, can form anywhere on the body, but is commonly found on the chest and back. They can be distinguished from other types of lesions due to their waxy, stuck-on-the-skin appearance and often described as brown candle wax stuck on the skin. While the cause is still unknown, scientists have found that they can be hereditary and not affected by sun exposure.

Warts

Most warts are skin infections caused by viruses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. Basically, warts are benign tumors of the epidermis (outer layer of skin), and can occur in people of all ages, but are most commonly found on children and teenagers. There are different types, including flat and plantar warts. Flat warts are small in size but can be high in quantity, can spread to other areas of the body by shaving or scratching, and can be transferred person-to-person by physical contact. Plantar warts grow on the heel, ball or sole of the foot, and pressure from standing or walking pushes them into the deeper layers of skin.

Skin lesions like warts, seborrheic keratoses and skin tags are often harmless, but they can be embarrassing. While they can be surgically removed, there are creams and ointments available on the market to remove and reduce their appearance. If you have further questions about a particular skin lesion, consult your doctor or pharmacist for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Van Le is a staff writer for the CSU Daily Titan and writing intern for Vivoderm Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. She is currently pursuing a Journalism degree at California State University, Fullerton.

For the latest findings on skin lesions and treatments, you can also link to http://www.removalofwart.com

Actinic Keratosis and Other Precancers

July 29, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

THE MOST COMMON PRECANCER :  More Than Ten Million

This figure is generally accepted as the best current estimate of the number of Americans with actinic keratosis (AK). People with a fair complexion, blond or red hair, and blue, green or grey eyes (Identify Your Skin Type) have a high likelihood of developing one or more of these common precancers if they spend time in the sun and live long enough. Location makes a difference: The closer to the equator you live, the more likely you are to have actinic keratoses.

The incidence is slightly higher in men, because they tend to spend more time in the sun and use less sun protection than women do. African-
Americans, Hispanics, Asians and others with darker skin are not as susceptible as Caucasians (Skin Cancer and Skin of Color).

Is There Cause for Concern?

Actinic keratosis can be the first step leading to squamous cell carcinoma and is therefore known as a “precancer.” Although the vast majority of actinic keratoses remain benign, some studies report that up to ten percent may advance to squamous cell carcinoma. This percentage does not sound very large, but it has a large impact. When it comes to squamous cell carcinomas, 40-60 percent begin as untreated actinic keratoses and may advance to invade the surrounding tissues. About 2 to 10 percent of these squamous cell carcinomas spread to the internal organs and are life-threatening.

Another form of actinic keratosis, actinic cheilitis, develops on the lips and may evolve into squamous cell carcinoma.

The more keratoses you have, the greater the chance that one or more may turn into skin cancer. In fact, some scientists interpret actinic keratosis as the earliest form of squamous cell carcinoma.

What Is Actinic Keratosis?

An actinic keratosis, also known as a solar keratosis, is a scaly or crusty growth (lesion). It most often appears on the bald scalp, face, ears, lips,
backs of the hands and forearms, shoulders, neck or any other areas of the body frequently exposed to the sun. You’ll most often see the plural,
“keratoses,” because there is seldom just one.

In the beginning, actinic keratoses are frequently so small that they are recognized by touch rather than sight. It feels as if you were running a finger over sandpaper. There are many times the number of invisible (subclinical) lesions as visible ones on the skin surface.

Most often, actinic keratoses develop slowly and reach a size from an eighth to a quarter of an inch. Early on, they may disappear only to reappear later. Most become red, but some will be light or dark tan, pink, red, a combination of these, or the same color as your skin. Occasionally they itch or produce a pricking or tender sensation. They can also become inflamed and surrounded by redness. In rare instances, actinic keratoses can even bleed.

If you have actinic keratoses, it indicates that you have sustained sun damage and could develop any kind of skin cancer – not just squamous cell carcinoma.

Actinic keratosis on the back of the hand. These precancers commonly occur on the face and the back of the hands. ak 1 081 150x146 Actinic Keratosis and Other Precancers

A closeup shows elevation, roughness, and crusting. Some keratoses, like this one, are quite discrete and difficult to distinguish clinically from squamous cell carcinoma.

How to Recognize Actinic Keratosis

Examples of typical actinic keratoses are shown here, so examine your skin regularly for lesions that look like them. But it’s not always that simple:

Many actinic keratoses have quite a different appearance, so if you find any unusual or changing growth, be suspicious and see your doctor promptly.

Numerous actinic keratoses can reveale chronic sun damage. They are elevated, rough in texture, and resemble warts.

Two typical keratoses on rim of ear. The top lesion is crusted, the lower one rough in appearance.ak 4 08 Actinic Keratosis and Other Precancers

While most keratoses have a fine sandpapery roughness, others such as this lesion have an obviously scaly, crusty surface.

Chronic sun exposure is the cause of almost all actinic keratoses. Sun damage to the skin is cumulative, so even a brief period in the sun adds to the lifetime total. Cloudy days aren’t safe either, because 70-80 percent of solar ultraviolet (UV) rays can pass through clouds. These harmful rays can also bounce off sand, snow and other reflective surfaces, giving you extra exposure.

The ultraviolet radiation given off by the lamps in a tanning salon can be even more dangerous than the sun, so dermatologists warn against indoor tanning.

Occasionally, actinic keratoses may be caused by extensive exposure to X-rays or a number of industrial chemicals.

What Age Has to Do with It

Because the total amount of time spent in the sun adds up year by year, older people are most likely to develop actinic keratoses. However, nowadays, some individuals in their 20s are affected. Still, actinic keratoses become much more common in people over the age of 50. Some experts believe almost everyone over 80 has actinic keratoses.

Also, individuals whose immune defenses are weakened by cancer chemotherapy, AIDS, organ transplantation or excessive UV exposure are less able to fight off the effects of the radiation and thus more likely to develop actinic keratoses.

A PUBLICATION OF THE SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION
For more information or to order this article as a brochure, please contact:
The Skin Cancer Foundation
149 Madison Ave., Suite 901,
New York, NY 10016
© 2008

Photos courtesy of:
Pearon G. Lang, Jr., MD, and
MSKCC Dept. of Dermatology
Photos courtesy of:
Pearon G. Lang, Jr., MD, and
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Deptartment of Dermatology

Actinic Keratosis Treatments

July 22, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

What Is Actinic Keratosis?

An actinic keratosis, also known as a solar keratosis, is a scaly or crusty growth (lesion). It most often appears on the bald scalp, face, ears, lips,
backs of the hands and forearms, shoulders, neck or any other areas of the body frequently exposed to the sun. You’ll most often see the plural,
“keratoses,” because there is seldom just one.

In the beginning, actinic keratoses are frequently so small that they are recognized by touch rather than sight. It feels as if you were running a finger over sandpaper. There are many times the number of invisible (subclinical) lesions as visible ones on the skin surface. ak 5 08 Actinic Keratosis Treatments

Most often, actinic keratoses develop slowly and reach a size from an eighth to a quarter of an inch. Early on, they may disappear only to reappear later. Most become red, but some will be light or dark tan, pink, red, a combination of these, or the same color as your skin. Occasionally they itch or produce a pricking or tender sensation. They can also become inflamed and surrounded by redness. In rare instances, actinic keratoses can even bleed.

If you have actinic keratoses, it indicates that you have sustained sun damage and could develop any kind of skin cancer – not just squamous cell carcinoma.

How to Recognize Actinic Keratosis

Examples of typical actinic keratoses are shown here, so examine your skin regularly for lesions that look like them. But it’s not always that simple:

Many actinic keratoses have quite a different appearance, so if you find any unusual or changing growth, be suspicious and see your doctor promptly. Numerous actinic keratoses can reveale chronic sun damage. They are elevated, rough in texture, and resemble warts.

Two typical keratoses on rim of ear. The top lesion is crusted, the lower one rough in appearance.ak 4 08 Actinic Keratosis Treatments

While most keratoses have a fine sandpapery roughness, others such as this lesion have an obviously scaly, crusty surface.

Chronic sun exposure is the cause of almost all actinic keratoses. Sun damage to the skin is cumulative, so even a brief period in the sun adds to the lifetime total. Cloudy days aren’t safe either, because 70-80 percent of solar ultraviolet (UV) rays can pass through clouds. These harmful rays can also bounce off sand, snow and other reflective surfaces, giving you extra exposure.

The ultraviolet radiation given off by the lamps in a tanning salon can be even more dangerous than the sun, so dermatologists warn against indoor tanning.

Occasionally, actinic keratoses may be caused by extensive exposure to X-rays or a number of industrial chemicals.

What Age Has to Do with It

Because the total amount of time spent in the sun adds up year by year, older people are most likely to develop actinic keratoses. However, nowadays, some individuals in their 20s are affected. Still, actinic keratoses become much more common in people over the age of 50. Some experts believe almost everyone over 80 has actinic keratoses.

Also, individuals whose immune defenses are weakened by cancer chemotherapy, AIDS, organ transplantation or excessive UV exposure are less able to fight off the effects of the radiation and thus more likely to develop actinic keratoses.

Why Is It Treated?

While actinic keratosis is the most common precancer, not all keratoses turn into cancers. Unfortunately, there is no way to know ahead of time which actinic keratoses are precursors of squamous cell carcinoma. That is why it is fortunate that there are so many effective treatments for eliminating actinic keratoses.

When an actinic keratisis is suspected to be an early cancer, the physician may take tissue for biopsy. This is done by shaving off the top of the lesion with a scalpel or scraping it off with a curette. Local anesthesia is required. Bleeding is usually stopped with a styptic agent.

TOPICAL MEDICATIONS

Medicated creams and solutions are very effective by themselves or in combination with another form of treatment when a person has many actinic keratoses.

5-fluorouracil (5-FU) ointment or liquid in concentrations from 0.5 to 5 percent has FDA approval and is the most widely used topical treatment for actinic keratoses. It is effective against not only the surface lesions but also the subclinical ones. Rubbed gently onto the lesions once or twice a day for two to four weeks, it produces cure rates of up to 93 percent. Reddening, swelling and crusting may occur, but they are temporary. The lesions usually heal within two weeks of stopping treatment. There is rarely scarring and the cosmetic result is good.

Imiquimod 5% cream, also FDA-approved, works in a different way: It stimulates the immune system to produce interferon, a chemical that destroys  cancerous and precancerous cells. It is rubbed gently on the lesion twice a week for four to sixteen weeks. The cream is generally well tolerated, but some individuals develop redness and ulcerations.

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used in combination with hyaluronic acid, a chemical found naturally in the body. The resulting gelis applied twice a day for two to three months. The diclofenac prevents an inflammatory response, so this topical is well-tolerated, and the hyaluronic acid delays uptake of the diclofenac, leading to higher concentrations in the skin. It is used in persons who are oversensitive to other topical treatments.


CRYOSURGERY

This is the most commonly used treatment method when a limited number of lesions exist. No cutting or anesthesia is required. Liquid nitrogen, applied with a spray device or cotton-tipped applicator, freezes the growths. The lesions subsequently shrink or become crusted and fall off. Temporary redness and swelling may occur after treatment, and in some patients, white spots may remain permanently.

COMBINATION THERAPIES

If one form of therapy is good, two may be better; some of the treatment options described here are especially effective when used together or in sequence. This approach can both improve the cure rate and reduce side effects. One to two weeks of 5-FU followed by cryosurgery can reduce the healing time for 5-FU and decrease the likelihood of white spots following cryosurgery.

CHEMICAL PEELING

This method, best known for reversing the signs of photoaging, is also used to remove some actinic keratoses on the face. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and/or similar chemicals are applied directly to the skin. The top skin layers slough off and are usually replaced within seven days. This technique requires local anesthesia and can cause temporary discoloration and irritation.

LASER SURGERY

A carbon dioxide or erbium YAG laser is focused onto the lesion, and the beam cuts through tissue without causing bleeding. This is a good option for lesions in small or narrow areas, and, therefore, can be particularly effective for keratoses on the face and scalp, as well as actinic cheilitis on the lips.

However, local anesthesia may be necessary, and some pigment loss can occur. Lasers are useful for people taking blood thinners or as a secondarytreatment when others have not succeeded.

PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY (PDT)

PDT can be especially useful for lesions on the face and scalp. Topical 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA), a photosensitizing agent, is applied to thelesions. Subsequently, the medicated area is exposed to strong light that activates 5-ALA. The treatment selectively destroys actinic keratoses, causing little damage to surrounding normal skin, although some swelling and redness often occur.

How to Prevent Actinic Keratosis

The best way to prevent actinic keratosis is to protect yourself from the sun. Here are some sun-safety habits that really work.

* Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
* Do not burn.
* Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.

* Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after  swimming or excessive sweating.
* Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
* Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
* Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
* See your doctor every year for a professional skin exam.
* Avoid tanning and UV tanning salons.

Medical Reviewers:
Rex A. Amonette, MD
David J. Leffell, MD
Perry Robins, MD

A PUBLICATION OF THE SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION
For more information or to order this article as a brochure, please contact:
The Skin Cancer Foundation
149 Madison Ave., Suite 901,
New York, NY 10016
© 2008

Photos courtesy of:
Pearon G. Lang, Jr., MD, and
MSKCC Dept. of Dermatology
Photos courtesy of:
Pearon G. Lang, Jr., MD, and
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Deptartment of Dermatology

Proper care of your skin

April 28, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

Those who have never had skin issues or were blessed to even have beautiful skin for most of the lives, are now desperate to address the skin wrinkles and many run to the dermatologist feeling a lot of regret. Although genes certainly play a role in one’s skin condition, decades of neglect, or even mistreatment of their skin is most frequently the source of their skin problems.  Many say that if they knew then what they know now, they would have done things very differently and taken better care of their skin.
There are numerous explanations for unhealthy skin but the main causes tend to be an unhealthy diet, an ineffectual cleansing routine, and poor lifestyle choices.

“Is it too late to save my bad skin? I never paid much attention to my skin because I never had any skin problems. I never bothered with skin care products because I didn’t need to. Now I’m seeing wrinkles and spots forming, I guess it’s just too late to anything about it.” If this sounds like you, you may want to keep reading.Never fear, because there is still much that you can do to help your skin. If you are lost in sea of product choices, you can still be assured cosmetic dermatology can offer many alternative treatments.

Not surprisingly, many adults rarely consult a dermatologist that is until AFTER the signs of aging have appeared. Wrinkles, of course, are the chief complaint. Your skin may feel  rough to the touch, and even sore, especially in drying environmental  conditions such as on an airplane or in a low-humidity environment like the desert or high-altitude cities. In the winter, when indoor heating is used, your skin gets even more dehydrated, making the wrinkles look worse. Your skin may catch on rough clothing. You may also notice wrinkles on your neck or others parts of your body.

Poor Diet
Your skin is a living, breathing organ of the body and it needs proper nourishment and hydration to look and feel its best. When your skin is deprived of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that it needs it is unable to functional at optimal levels and the structure slowly begins to break down. This breakdown results in dry skin, blemishes, discoloration, wrinkles, and premature ageing.

In order to avoid this breakdown you need to feed your skin a varied mix of important nutrients each day. Ingesting sufficient amounts of vitamin A, a nutrient that can be found in citrus fruits and orange vegetables, can help you avoid dry skin and blemishes. Eating foods rich in the vitamin B group like brewer’s yeast or breads, or taking a vitamin B group supplement, can help you ward of skin discoloration, dry skin, dermatitis, shallow skin, and premature ageing.

To help discourage wrinkles, pale skin, sun damage, blemishes, and other unhealthy skin symptoms, nutrients like calcium, protein, iodine, niacin, folic acid, iron, and copper are very important to a healthy diet. Get these effective skin helpers by enjoying foods like mild, eggs, cheese, chicken, fish, leafy vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Poor Hygiene
Another common cause of unhealthy skin is poor hygiene. Whether this involves the failure to clean your skin often enough or the use of an ineffective cleansing routine, built-up dirt and grime can lead to blemishes, premature ageing, shallowness, dry skin, and wrinkles.

When your skin is not properly cleaned on a regular basis, dirt, pollution and other harmful substances are allowed to build up on your skin and clog the pores. Clogged pores result in breakouts, dry skin, and the reduction of cell renewal.

To get the most out of your cleansing routine make sure that you wash your skin twice a day, everyday. Also, make sure that you are using an effective cleanser like a soap that is specially formulated for deep cleansing. Make sure that you use gentle pressure when cleaning the skin, do not scrub or pull on the skin since this can result in tiny tears that are susceptible to irritation and infection. Finally, always follow your cleansing routine with a hydrating moisturizer that also contains a sunscreen in order to hydrate your skin and protect it from sun damage.

Bad Lifestyle Habits
Even if you enjoy a healthy diet and pay special attention to your skin care regime you can still be sabotaging the health of your skin by indulging in unhealthy habits. Habits like sun tanning, smoking, choosing fizzy drinks or sodas over water, and wearing heavy makeup can lead to the development of unhealthy skin. Avoid excessive sun exposure, always wear sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15, stop smoking and avoid those who smoke, drink plenty of water, and choose light cosmetics if you want your skin to stay young and healthy looking for years to come.

Benzoyl Peroxide and Tretinoin

April 27, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

When applying antiacne drugs to the skin, people should be careful not to get the medicine in the eyes, mouth, or inside the nose. They should not put the medicine on skin that is wind burned, sunburned, or irritated, and not apply it to open wounds.

Because antiacne drugs such as benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin irritate the skin slightly, users should avoid doing anything that might cause further irritation. They should wash the face with mild soap and water only two or three times a day, unless the physician says to wash it more often. They should also avoid using abrasive soaps or cleansers and products that might dry the skin or make it peel, such as medicated cosmetics, cleansers that contain alcohol, or other acne products that contain resorcinol, sulfur, or salicylic acid.

If benzoyl peroxide or tretinoin make the skin too red or too dry or cause too much peeling, the user should check with a physician. Using the medicine less often or using a weaker strength may be necessary. Benzoyl peroxide can irritate the skin of people with skin of color and cause darkened spots called hyperpigmentation on the skin. Benzoyl peroxide may discolor hair or colored fabrics.

ORAL DRUGS. Oral antibiotics are taken daily for two to four months. The drugs used include tetracycline, erythromycin, minocycline (Minocin), doxycycline, clindamycin (Cleocin), and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra). Possible side effects include allergic reactions, stomach upset, vaginal yeast infections, dizziness, and tooth discoloration.

The goal of treating moderate acne is to decrease inflammation and prevent new comedones from forming. One effective treatment is topical tretinoin, used along with a topical or oral antibiotic. A combination of topical benzoyl peroxide and erythromycin is also very effective. Improvement is normally seen within four to six weeks, but treatment is maintained for at least two to four months.

Special Conditions

People who have certain medical conditions or who are taking certain other medicines may have problems if they use antiacne drugs. Before using these products, the physician should be informed about any of the following conditions.

ALLERGIES. Anyone who has had unusual reactions to etretinate, isotretinoin, tretinoin, vitamin A preparations, or benzoyl peroxide in the past should let the physician know before using an antiacne drug. The physician should also be told about any allergies to foods, dyes, preservatives, or other substances.

PREGNANCY. Teens who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should check with a physician before using tretinoin or benzoyl peroxide. Isotretinoin causes birth defects in humans and must not be used during pregnancy.

OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS. Before using antiacne drugs applied to the skin, people with any of these medical problems should make sure their physicians are aware of their conditions:
•    Eczema. Antiacne drugs that are applied to the skin may make this condition worse.
•    Sunburn or raw skin. Antiacne drugs that are applied to the skin may increase the pain and irritation of these conditions.

In people with certain medical conditions, isotretinoin may increase the amount of triglyceride (a fatty-substance) in the blood. This may lead to heart or blood vessel problems. Before using isotretinoin, adolescents with any of the following medical problems should make sure their physicians are aware of their conditions:

•    alcoholism or heavy drinking, currently or in the past
•    diabetes or family history of diabetes (Isotretinoin may change blood sugar levels.)
•    family history of high triglyceride levels in the blood
•    severe weight problems

Using antiacne drugs with certain other drugs may affect the way the drugs work or may increase the chance of side effects.

Natural Acne Scar Treatments

April 27, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

Hormonal changes and overly active sebaceous (oil) glands that commonly occur in adolescence usually cause acne, however acne can still affect adults as well. Zits, pimples, acne, cystic skin eruptions, blackheads and white heads all fit into the acne skin malady category.

The temptation to squeeze the spots and remove the infected matter, albeit tempting, will not reform your skin to its natural radiance. In fact, secondary infection by bacteria being pushed back into the deeper layers of the skin can cause more pain, inflammation and most likely future scaring. Once the bacteria have been released, it can re-infect the surrounding skin. The facial scars are actually remnants of the bacterial infection caused by ‘procedure.’

The unfair fact is that adult acne will affect 25 percent of men and 50 percent of women in their adult lives. We know that identifying hormonal changes as the main cause of adult acne aren’t entirely proven. There isn’t just one cause. Acne in adult women can be linked to cosmetic use, some hair products and can frequently be brought on by the hormonal fluctuations associated with pregnancy. Certain types of prescription medications can also cause adult acne. Some strains of acne, such as Acne vulgaris, don’t typically show up in adults until midlife. Adult acne also forms differently, whereas adolescent acne begins on the forehead and cheek area, adult acne tends to show more on the chin, jaw line and neck.

With all this new adult acne erupting (pardon the pun) more than before, natural acne and scar treatments are gaining more acceptance as consumers want to make healthier more sustainable choices for their skincare.

Your skin has an amazing natural ability to regenerate itself and a new layer of skin growth will generally cover any scarring, but in the rare cases where this does not occur then a more advanced scar treatment is in order. Always consult with your doctor or dermatologist before beginning any facial treatments to be sure you are not causing further damage.

A healthy, well-balanced diet plays a large role in helping your body and skin to regenerate itself to its optimal condition. Many dermatologists recommend a diet high in natural minerals. These minerals are to maintain the health of the skin cells, which in turn should prevent a further outbreak of acne and repair damaged tissue. Diets, which include plenty of green vegetables, un-cooked vegetables such as carrots, spinach and cucumbers, have also helped many to maintain smooth, blemish-free skin. The idea is to try to create a new fresh layer of skin so that the scars reduced or eradicated.

Are you drinking enough water?

By consuming a regular amount of water daily, you can improve the look of your skin. The average human body is comprised of 60 percent water. Drinking more water, instead of sugar-laden sodas or energy drinks will keep the skin moist and smooth; it will also clear away the dead skin cells, flush toxins and aid in the regeneration of new skin cells. Mixing water with natural ingredients like citrus, fruit or vegetable juices, can also be helpful to exfoliate the skin.

With a proper nutritious diet, vitamins and plenty of water, most see results within a few months. It can take up to a year for acne scars to heal completely. Acne scars do not show up overnight and removing them can take the same amount of time if not more. It takes patience, but with the proper motivation for beautiful, glowing skin, it will be well worth the wait.

Of course, some scars may be so deep as to require dermalogical treatments such as lasers or painful acid peels. Try the natural methods first, as theses procedures can be quite costly. Any effort you make to regenerate your skin naturally will only help the dermatologist’s treatments even further.

Always remember to gently cleanse and moisturize your skin everyday as well. Applying harsh, drying chemicals to your acne will usually cause further inflammation and breakouts. One natural treatment that had shown good results is to mix pure sandalwood oil with rose water, apply it to your scar(s) and leave on the skin overnight. Cleanse face as usual in the morning.

Understanding Skin Care

April 20, 2009 by admin · Leave a Comment 

Skin Care is the first step towards achieving a healthy body. Skin care is an essential part of most people’s daily routine.

Skin care specialists say any imbalance in the protective barrier that envelops the human body provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, resulting in many types of skin irritations and accelerating the aging process.

Natural skin care is the care of the skin (the largest organ of the body) using naturally-derived ingredients (such as herbs, roots, essential oils and flowers) combined with naturally occurring carrier agents, preservatives, surfactants, humectants and emulsifiers (everything from natural soap to oils to pure water).

Skin care treatment is going green, but you still have to make sure you read the labels. Skin care treatment may be the least of your problems if you’re a middle-aged male, but many dry skin remedies will also raise testosterone levels. The latest craze in skin care is also the oldest: herbal products.

Natural skin care has its roots in the 4th millennium BC in China and the Middle East. Natural body lotion has become a big business in recent years as more and more consumers seek a gentler, healthier alternative for their skin care needs.

The best skin care beauty tips are not only the right products but also healthy diet. People who use natural skin care products are less concerned with artificial beauty enhancements, as they feel that natural beauty is healthy beauty.

Healthy skin care for skin problems is part of overall good health. Healthy Skincare store sells skin care products that are effective anti-aging treatments for aging skin.

Acne is a common skin care problem for many individuals of all ages and all skin types. Acne Skin Care, no matter what kind of acne treatment you select, an outbreak can still emerge even after all blemishes have vanished.

The skin on your face needs more attention than the rest of your body because it has more oil glands. It is important to not just put sunscreen on your face, but also on your body as well.

Some women are seen with bangs but these bangs look very natural with the face, not a blunt cut style look. Most skin is a combination of skin types, with different areas of the face having different conditions that fluctuate with factors such as weather, diet, stress, health, and travel.

Organic and natural ingredients are healthier and more effective then the harmful chemically based products on the market today. Skin care is becoming increasingly more high tech but at the same time there is growing popularity in natural and organic products.

The single most important breakthrough in skin care is understanding that the only Way to truly moisturize your skin is to get water into it. Proper skin care is important to maintaining health, and is an integral part of overall wound management.

While skin care products in the 1990s were almost exclusively focused on wellness and simple body care lotions, today, skin care is one of the most dynamic and technologically advanced segments of the beauty market.

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