Any kind of blemishes on the skin spoil the personality and charm of a woman. Every beauty-conscious woman wants to avoid such beauty dampeners. Symptoms. causes and cures of some of the common skin imperfections are as below :
Blackheads and Whiteheads: Make sure. a sterilized implement. Follow these remedies in case you suffer from frequent blackheads:
• Wash the skin three times a day with medicated soap if the skin is greasy.
• Have a balanced diet. Do not take fried. foods. chocolates. pastries. spices and aerated drinks.
• Unclog skin pores thy steaming and applying face pack.
Pigmentation of Skin: Discoloration of the skin occurs due to precipitation of pigments or exposure to the sun. The condition is also called blemished skin. This is often mistaken for scarring. Initially. all the scars are red. pink or purple but the color fades in due course. All races have the same number of color cells in the skin. The color of the skin also depends upon the blood supply to the skin. Increased hormone level in the body during pregnancy period, too, stimulates the color cells of the face and brown patches appearing around the eyes, cheeks and on the upper lip. Contraceptive pills can cause similar brown patches on the face and body. Allergy to perfumes may also produce dark patches on the face and neck. It is important to wash off all perfumes before sunbathing. Drugs may cause changes in skin color which tend to be allover the body. Very dark patches may develop in later life in the groins and armpits. They can be a sign of illness and a doctor should be consulted.
Freckles: The brownish spots on the skin due to exposure to the sun are called freckles.
• Mix in a tablespoon of milk cream, a few drops of lime juice and apply on freckles at night.
• Mix yellow mustard in milk and apply to the face at night, then wash thoroughly next morning.
Hyper-sensitive Skin: Such skin is prone to redness, blotchy and broken veins due to change in temperature. Even ordinary make-up causes swelling, blotches, irritation and reacts violently. Very delicate skins are easily affected. They are allergic to cosmetics. The following remedies are suggested:
• Avoid extremes of temperature.
• Cut out very rich and spicy food from your diet.
• Use special cosmetics beneficial for hyper-sensitive skins.
• Do not take alcohol.
• Never bathe with too hot or too cold water.
• Avoid use of soap.
• Use moisturizers.
• Cover your skin when going out.
Cracked Skin: The skin, especially the lips, gets chapped and cracks due to cold with the onset of winter or defective functioning of the sebaceous glands. Chilblains is also an abnormal reaction to the cold, which develop with the onset of winter. Young girls are more often affected. Chilblains consist of a bluish-red discoloration, swelling and sometimes blistering of toes and fingers. Very rarely, the nose, ears. and cheeks may be involved . The infected person experiences severe itching or burning. The following may be used as remedies:
• Rub a little castor oil or olive oil on the skin.
• Apply hot milk cream on cracked skin.
• Use antibiotic cream. Massage the affected skin at night.
Open Pores: The face looks unattractive and the skin gives the appearance of enlarged pores. These are caused by over-active glands due to puberty, a poor diet and emotional disturbance. Try the following remedies:
• Use a face mask twice a week.
• Mix 2 tablespoons honey with ½ tablespoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon rose water. Apply on the face.
• Mix cucumber juice with Fuller’s earth and gram flour. Apply as a face mask. Let it dry for ten minutes, then wash.
Muddy Skin: The skin loses its radiance due to over-tiredness and lack of sleep.
• Drink a glass of hot skimmed milk before going to bed at night.
• Drink 4 to 6 glasses of cold water everyday.
• Take fresh fruits, green vegetables as much as you can.
• Have cold drinks and fruit juices without sugar.
Prickly Heat: Red pustules of the size of mustard grains appear on the body, especially on the chest, back and abdomen caused due to profuse sweating during hot or rainy days. For relief try the following remedies:
• Apply green henna ground in water on the affected skin.
• Apply a pack of Fuller’s earth; it has a cooling effect on the skin.
• Avoid wearing heavy garments.
• Expose affected area to fresh air.
• Take cold water bath twice in a day.
• There is intense itching on affected skin, and if the affected skin area is scratched, it gives temporary relief, though there are chances of the skin getting septic. Mix to it a pinch of alum (powdered) and apply to the affected skin, thrice a week, depending upon the condition of prickly heat.
• Another way to treat prickly heat is to dissolve a tablespoon of soda bicarbonate in half a cup of water, and mix to it one tablespoon of rose water.
Boils and Pustules: These are red, small, painful nodules which start oozing pus, leaving a tiny scar. These generally occur in the area covered with coarse hair subjected to repeated mild friction, Le on the neck, buttocks, knees and elbows. The following remedial measures should be adopted:
• Systemic antibiotics are required. But do consult a doctor.
• Keep your bowels clear. Avoid fatty or sour products.
• Apply paste of neem tree bark.
• Take melon (tarbooj) to keep body clean.
• Take a leaf of ‘peepal’ tree. Smear it with ghee and apply as lukewarm bandage. The boil will burst after some time
Sunburn: Dryness of the skin due to dehydration. This can cause scarring of the skin. It loses complexion and becomes dark, thick, leathery, wrinkled and patchy. Sunburn is caused by the adverse affect of the sun on the skin. To cure sunburn, following remedies are suggested:
• Drink maximum quantity of water. Take 8 to 10 glasses of water a day in summer, and 4 to 5 glasses a day during winter season.
• Apply Suntan lotion or cream.
• If the skin becomes dark, apply a face mask of a mixture of bleaching powder and hydrogen peroxide.
Burns and Scalds: Skin damaged by burning or severe inflammation always leaves scars. Surface injuries often heal with temporary discoloration if the burns are not very severe. In case of scars, plastic surgery, if done carefully along the expression lines, makes the scars invisible. Burns, either due to sun rays, sitting too near open fires or a very hot bottle in winter or fire while cooking, are classified as:
1. First Degree Burns: These mild superficial burns cause redness of the skin and later peeling. For this no treatment is necessary but calamine lotion is soothing. The burns usually heal without scarring, with temporary darkening or lightening of the skin.
2. Second Degree Burns: These are more severe causing blistering, swelling and redness of the skin. There is no permanent scar due to this burn. The blister may be burst with a sterilized needle and the burn should be kept clean and dry and covered with a dressing.
3. Third and Fourth Degree Burns: These types of burns cause very serious problems as the whole skin and its underlying fat, muscle and tendons are burnt, sometimes down to the bone. The burn is dark and charred and painless as the nerves are destroyed. The burn may cause infection and should be immediately treated. It results in severe scarring when the burn heals.
Birthmarks: Dark brown patches to fleshy bumps. Sometimes, these are fairly small moles which disfigure the skin. The scar is usually caused by scratching the pimples or due to small-pox. Remedial measures are the following:
• Minor scars are dealt with carbon snow, ray treatment and cortisone injections.
• Can be disguised temporarily by cosmetics.
• Skin-grafting by a competent surgeon.
• Peeling treatment i.e., a process which causes deep cleansing by removing a thin layer of skin.
• Strawberry marks can be removed by electric coagulation or X-ray treatment.
• Cosmetic surgery by a doctor.
Cold Sores: Also known as Virus-herpes simplex, occurs most commonly on the lips and other parts of the body. Sometimes, it affects the genitalia and infection is spread by sexual intercourse. This infection can be precipated by cold, fever, stressful conditions, emotional upheavals or any serious illness. The following remedies are recommended:
• Cold compress of ice relieves pain.
• In case of recurrent attacks of herpes, takee treatment strictly under the supervision of a doctor.
Discoloration of Skin: This is often mistaken for scarring. Color cells (melanocytes) produce a brown pigment called melanin. An extensive network of blood vessels runs underneath the epidermis in the skin, and reacts to heat and cold in many ways. Most of the reactions are to the body’s advantage, some are troublesome and a few are even dangerous. We assist the skin by altering our clothes. Hot weather, warm clothes or a fever causes the body temperature to rise resulting in reddening of the skin due to enlarging of the blood vessels, swelling of the skin and sweating. The body cools with sweat evaporating from the skin.
Red Nose: Eating too much, drinking and sudden change of temperature if the skin is delicate, cause trouble. For remedy:
• Avoid change of temperature all of sudden.
• Massage nose, up and down, with rose water mixed with glycerine.
Skin Afflictions: A skin disease is any departure from a normal state of health. It is an infection of the skin and is of many types:
1. An acute disease is manifested by symptoms of a more or less violent character and is of a short duration.
2. A chronic disease is of a long duration, usually mild but recurring.
3. An infectious disease is caused by pathogenic germs taken into the body as a result of contact with a contaminated object.
4. A contagious ‘disease is communicable by contact.
5. A congenital disease is one that is present in the infant at the time of birth.
6. A seasonal disease is influenced by the weather.
7. An occupational disease is afflicted by one’s occupation.
8. A parasitic disease is one that is caused by a vegetable or an animal parasite, such as pediculosis (lice infestation) or ringworm.
9. A pathogenic disease is produced by a disease-producing bacteria.
10. A systemic disease is the result of over-functioning of the internal glands and is caused by a faulty diet.
11. A venereal disease is a contagious disease commonly acquired by contact with an infected person during sexual ‘intercourse.
12. An epidemic disease is the manifestation of the disease that attacks simultaneously a large number of persons living in a particular area.
13. An allergy is a sensitivity which certain persons develop to normally harmless substances. Skin allergy is very common and generally caused by contact with foods, cosmetics, medicines and tints resulting in itching accompanied by redness, swelling, blisters, oozing and scaling. An inflammation is characterized by redness, pain, swelling and heat.
14. Sebaceous gland diseases are caused by a worm-like mass of hardened sebum. These include blackheads, whiteheads, steatoma (sebaceous cyst), asbestosis, seborrhoea, acne appearing on the body and face.
15. Sweat gland diseases are miliaria rubra (prickly heat), anidrosis, bromidrosis or osmidrosis, hyderidrosis etc. The causes and cures of some of the skin afflictions are as below:
Pimples and Acne: Pimples are a serious adolescence problem which mar many a lovely skin in the teens and twenties. Sometimes acne is not caused by germs or dirt. When the male attains puberty, the androgens cause the voice to break, a beard to grow, the skin to become greasy and spots to erupt. Apart from pimples and acne, women between the age group of teens and twenties usually suffer from greasy skin, excessive facial and body hair and thinning of scalp hair.
Why do pimples appear in youth? The answer to this question is that as soon as one crosses childhood and enters the threshold of adolescence, different parts of the body start developing. The oil-glands underneath the skin become over-active and ooze grease which blocks the skin pores, causing pimples to sprout. The appearance of pimples signifies the approach of youth and they vanish by themselves with time. The following home remedies are suggested to avoid growth of pimples:
• Use Sulphur soap to keep the skin’s oil-glands clean.
• Remove make-up at night before going to bed. Cleansing of stale make-up is very important because stale make-up particles block the pores and prevent them from breathing freely.
• Steaming once a week keeps the skin pores open.
• A multani mitti pack (Fullers’ earth) is an effective way to control pimples.
• Do not peel off pimples; it may cause the pimple to become septic and leaves permanent scars. However, they can be subdued to a great extent by applying cucumber juice and rose water mixture.
• Cut down blood-heating foods such as sweets, fats and spicy food.
• Avoid heavy make-up.
• Avoid constipation. A sound sleep, morning walk, regular exercise and good bowel movement are helping agents.
• In case of an oily skin, it should be cleaned frequently so that the oily secretion called sebum coming out of the sebaceous-glands does not thicken and clog the pores.
Moles: Pink, brown and black, hairy or hairless swellings, also known as neoplasins, usually occur on the face, fingers and trunk. These are usually pigmented and are formed by a defect of the melanocytes which multiply and grow down into the dermis. The only remedy is to excise by electro-surgery or surgical diathermy under local anaesthesia by a doctor.
Warts: Plain, smooth, silky, skin-colored or brownish epidermal growths occur on the skin, usually on the face and outer surface of the hands, varying in size and shape. They are caused by a virus. The following methods could be used to cure warts:
• Elimination by chemical or physical means.
• Applying a peeling agent daily (4% sulphur calamine lotion or Retina A cream).
• Treating by electro-cautery which excises the wart with current.
• Application of salicylic acid. The warts are commonly of three types – Plane warts, Common warts and Planter warts. Plane warts are the simplest of all warts. They are usually small, smooth and skin-colored or brownish lesions which are slightly raised from the skin surface. The most commonly affected are children and young adults. They usually occur on the face and outer surface of the hands. Planter warts are slightly different and normally contain blood vessels and the surface of the wart, if carefully pared, bleeds because of this. Warts are simple afflictions, not a threat to life, but they can be quite troublesome and may cripple the smooth running of the day.
Genital Warts: Like anywhere else on the body, surface warts can also occur on the genitalia. The genital warts usually respond to local application of ointment (20% podophyllin in tincture benzoinco) but the treatment should be strictly according to consultation with a doctor. of cervical cancer.
Leucoderma The Whitening of Skin: Painless white spots or patches on the body which expand, if not treated. These are caused due to loss of pigmentation in the skin. This disease is called Leucoderma. The white patches on the skin are painless, but a Leucoderma patient is more embarrassed than a victim of any pain or discomfort, as in addition to being a medical and beauty problem, it also becomes a social stigma. Leucoderma is not a contagious disease. An imbalance of melanin in the body results in the appearance of white spots. Darker skins have more patches because such skins contain more melanin. Remember, white patches are not congenital nor hereditary and the children are not affected if the mother has these patches. To prevent the spread of Leucoderma, the following remedies are advised:
• Protect the skin from exposure to heat.
• Have salt-free diet. However, rock salt may be permitted in minute quantity.
• Apply Sandalwood (chandan) pack on the patches.
• Soak seeds of ‘Babchi in ginger juice for 72 hours. Remove their husk, dry and powder, and apply on patches.
• Apply the juice of ‘bathua’ (Goose Foot) extracted from the leaves, three to four times a day.
Rhinoplasty: Deformed nose (a hump nose deformity) due to the skin of the upper part of the nose being free from the underlying bone and cartilage, gives a saddle nose look. The deformed nose can be corrected by an operation done by a surgeon. The steps of the operation include removal of the hump, re-contouring the nasal in fracture, elevation of the tip of the nose and trimming of the lower part to suit the rest of the nose. Itchy skin: A sudden eruption of red patches all over the skin.
Flaking of the skin? The inflammation of the skin may be due to Dermatitis. It is the term used to signify inflammatory conditions of the skin, generally due to contact with some particular substance to which an individual may be sensitive like cosmetics, hair oil, hair dyes, bleaches, skin tonics, creams, lipsticks, nail polishes, perfumes etc. If the inflammation continues for a long time, it may be followed by thickening of the skin. In case of Dermatitis, no treatment is effective until the offending agent is removed. If the skin is inflamed, apply moist warm compresses of potassium permanganate solution. To make this solution, dissolve one five gramme tablet of potassium permanganate in half litre of warm water. Repeat it two or three times a day.
Neuro-dermatitis : is a chronic type of inflammation accompanied with itching, which spreads very quickly over large areas of the body when the skin is dry and too sensitive. People who are nervous, tense and restless are more troubled with neurodermatitis. The generally affected areas on the body are the bend of the elbows, behind the knees. Constant scratching leaves deep scratch marks and causes thickening and furrowing of the skin. Applying rose water with ointment on the affected skin is excellent for this purpose.
Seborrhoeic Dermatitis: is a chronic skin inflammation most frequently seen on the scalp. Usually, it starts from the skin behind the ear and immediately spreads on the whole scalp. From there, it may spread to the eyebrows, the fold of the nose, front of the chest and between the folds of the breasts. In this case, sometimes reddish scaling patches may appear under the breasts and in the body creases, especially around the groin. Consult your doctor before a treatment.
Scabies: It is a contagious disease caused by a mite Sorcoptes scabies. The usual mode of infection is by direct contact between bed-fellows, or children who hold hands while playing. The infected bed-clothes and under-garments could spread the disease. The most prominent symptoms of scabies is itching, which is most severe during night. The lesions are most pronounced on webs between the fingers, wrists, elbows, around the armpits, abdomen, buttocks and the inner sides of the thighs. Very often external genitalia in males and breasts in females are affected. Avoid scratching, it might result in the lesions getting secondarily infected with bacteria-producing pus, boils, abscesses, etc. To treat scabies, the following remedies are suggested after consulting a doctor:
• Local application of 25% benzyl benzoate emulsion (Ascabiol) or 10% gammabenzene hexachloride (Scabiezima, Scarb) as prescribed by the doctor. It is important that all the members of the family are simultaneously treated.
• There should be separate bath soap and towel of the patient.
• The clothes should be changed at the end of the treatment.
• The lotion should not be applied on the face.
Genital Scabies: Quite often lesions of scabies may be seen on the genitals. Apart from intense nocturnal itching, the lesions are observed as papules on the prepuce, glans and shaft of the penis (male organ). Very often, scratching by the patient leaves a small shallow ulcer and subsequent crusting.
Skin Allergies: kin disorders due to the use of cosmetics are generally called skin allergies. are innumerable substances in the environment which can cause mild or violent reactions in many people. These reactions may be due to intolerance of certain foods and substances, to those resulting from pollution. Allergic reactions may occur within a few minutes of the sufferer coming in contact with the allergen or they may be delayed for several hours or even several days. Common sites affected by allergic reaction are the nose and the eyes, .the skin, chest, intestines and ears. These include pollen, dust, cosmetics, animal hair, poisonous plants, serums, vaccines and drugs besides physical agents such as heat, cold, sunlight and a variety of foods.
The symptoms of allergy are varied. These include recurring headache, migraine, dizziness, irritability, nervousness, depression, neuralgia, sneezing, conjunctivitis, diabetes, eczema, heartburn, hay fever, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, gastric ulcer, asthma, overweight, high blood pressure, chest pain, heart attack, a stuffy or runny nose, shortness of breath, swelling of the face and eyes etc. There are mainly three ways to tackle many of the allergic disturbances: The source of allergic reaction must be identified. The most important part is general health and resistance should be built up to tackle reaction.