The Curse of Psoriasis

If you are one of the many who are suffering from psoriasis then it is just understandable that you might feel you are cursed. The skin condition is chronic, meaning it recurs when exposed to triggers like stress, weather condition and the likes. There is no known cure which definitely intensifies the burden of the patient enduring it.

Because of the skin disease’s prevalence, questions like “what is psoriasis?” and “is psoriasis contagious?” are fairly common. Let us answer these frequently asked questions one by one.

1. What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin affliction that is classified as one of the auto-immune diseases. Patients suffering from it have this abnormal body condition wherein there is an excessive reproduction of skin cells. This overproduction results to different symptoms that can be distinguished from mild to severe.

2. Is psoriasis contagious?

Psoriasis is non-contagious skin disease and non-infectious although no definite cause has been identified with its occurrence, it is widely known that genetics played a great part in it.

3. How can it be diagnosed?

Most often, medical doctors rely on the appearance of the affliction. Plaque psoriasis, one of the most common types of the skin disease, has a distinct silvery-white tone. In order to validate the findings, some tests, like skin biopsy or scraping, are ordered to be done.

4. What are the types of psoriasis and what are its symptoms?

There are 7 known variants of psoriasis and each can be identified through its appearance and other characteristics. These seven are:

a. Plaque psoriasis

It is the most common and most prevalent among the types. Approximately 8 out 10 psoriasis patients are categorized under this.

It manifests symptoms like the appearance of inflamed, raised and red skin with plaques of silvery-white color. These rashes can sometimes be itchy and painful. In severe cases, the skin may also crack and bleed.

b. Nail Psoriasis

Simply put, this type occurs and affects the fingernails and toes. It shows pitting, abnormal discoloration and growth.

c. Gluttate Psoriasis

This is less common than plaque psoriasis but like it, it also manifests thinner skin lesions. It is usually triggered by a respiratory illness and sometimes goes away on its own unless the patient is still exposed to the trigger.

d. Inverse Psoriasis

It is so named because the lesions, although bright and red, are smooth and shiny. It usually appears in areas under skin folds like armpits, groin areas, buttocks and genitals. They are prone to exacerbation because of exposure to sweat and constant rubbing

e. Pustular Psoriasis

This type although less common is more serious. It is characterized by pus-filled skin bumps with redness surrounding it. It needs medical attention since it can trigger secondary ailments like fever, chills, muscle weakness, and nausea among others.

It can be triggered by a number of factors like taking and sudden withdrawal of systemic medications, UV Light overexposure, pregnancy, stress and certain kinds of chemicals.

f. Scalp Psoriasis

Just like the nail psoriasis, this is aptly named because of the appearance of red and white scales on patient’s scalp.

g. Erythrodermic Psoriasis

This is the least common type of the dreaded skin disease and positively the most severe. If you see a patient suffering from this you will definitely ask that previous question – “is psoriasis contagious?” because of its intimidating appearance.

It may not be contagious but it surely needs an immediate medical attention. The body is covered all over by redness and severe itchiness. This condition causes one to have an increased heart rate and a change in body temperature.

Other than these, it can also cause serious complications like protein and fluid loss; infection; pneumonia; and congestive heart failure.

In any onset of a disease, it is wise to seek the advice of your medical doctor. This will ensure that you will get adequate treatment and medication appropriate to your skin condition.

Acne and Rosacea Linked to MRSA Development

MRSA (multi resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a huge problem in many hospitals leading to numerous deaths and increased hospital stays longer than normal. This has a huge impact on beds let alone peoples safety and confidence in their hospital.

There is growing evidence that the major cause of MRSA is the inappropriate over prescribing of antibiotics by general practitioners. This is not news and it is common knowledge that most infections are viral and do not require antibiotics.

Also it is well known that antibiotics upset gut bacteria and lead to overgrowth of the intestinal tract with fungi such as Candida which is present in everyone’s guts, but normally kept in check by the probiotic bacteria surrounding it and which also produce chemicals to keep it in check. Antibiotic use can reduce the probiotic bacteria and allow the fungus to grow which over time can lead to inflammation and misdiagnosis of IBS later in life and open another chapter in prescribing. A downward spiral we don’t want to promote. Candida overgrowth and dysbiotic guts probably affect millions of ’20 something’s’ who have just had years of antibiotics for acne, or million of 40 something’s who have been put on antibiotics for rosacea. We have clever ways of restoring the normal bacterial balance and reducing Candida without harsh antifungals. Click here for more information.

However the use of antibiotics for skin infections such as acne and rosacea often at low doses and often for 3 to 6 months at a time is probably the biggest cause of MRSA (multi resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in hospitals. Let me explain.

It doesn’t matter whether oral or cream antibiotics are used they cause the same problem. In acne if you have many blocked ‘pores’ (pilo sebaceous ducts) then the anaerobic bacteria propiobacterium acnes (p.acnes) can start to colonise the area under the plug and cause inflammation and damage. This bacterium only survives in normal skin at very low levels as it likes to live in an environment where there is little or no oxygen. When you create a blockage as with acne, you create the environment for p.acnes. So antibiotics can help to reduce p.acnes, but they also hit other friendly skin bacteria and herein lies the problem.

Staphylococcus epidermidis (s.epidermidis) lives on our skin and helps keep other nasty bacteria away. It likes an oxygen rich environment. The same antibiotics that reduce p.acnes often hit the s.epidermidis as well. This attack puts selective pressure on the bacteria to survive and within three or four weeks you can isolate resistant strains s.epidermidis on skin being treated with antibiotics.

Now Staphylococcus epidermidis is related to Staphylococcus aureus (s.aureus) (cousins if you like). S. aureus lives inside the body and s.epidermidis lives on the skin. They meet at places such as the nose and other entrances into the body. They can pass information to each other through the use of things called plasmids and it is highly likely information for developing resistance is transferred.

Hey presto we have started the super bug development. The acne sufferer ends up in hospital for an operation. They get a wound infection either from their own bacteria but also through other bugs already there. S.aureus is a typical bacterium that infects wounds. The antibiotics used for wound infections are often the same or similar to the one that has been used for the patient’s acne, and it is not surprising they find the antibiotics don’t work as the bugs are already resistant. This resistant strain becomes the dominant resident s.aureus in the hospital and is extremely difficult to remove and can go on to infect many other patients.

Using a product such as Aknicare which has 4 antibacterial agents which control p.acnes by changing conditions in the area under the plug rather than directly destroying it means you can prevent damage and inflammation without breeding resistant bugs. Aknicare can reduce p.acnes and all the other key causes of an acneic skin (inflammation, oil production, cell turnover) all without breeding resistant bugs.

As a final thought the main treatment for rosacea recommended on PRODIGY, the GP prescribing database recommends ROSEX creams and gels. Rosex contains the antibiotic metronidazole. Rosacea patients often use it for months and years. It works in a few. Metronidazole is also a powerful antioxidant and it is these properties that help with rosacea symptoms, not the antibiotic properties. Rosacea is not caused by bacteria. It is a sobering thought that the antibiotic most used in theatre to prevent infections during and shortly after surgery is metronidazole. Imagine if you had been using it for months or years before that operation.

It is concerning to think the antibiotic you are using today could end up leading to someone dieing in hospital in the near future. Change prescribing habits for acne and rosacea now and have an impact on MRSA in hospitals. Use Aknicare a new medical device with a CE mark. Once in the drug tariff this should be prescribed by GPs. Primary Care Trusts should act now.

Prickly Heat Rash

There is an old saying about skin irritations and rashes. “If it is dry, wet it. If it is wet, dry it. If it doesn’t get better in a week, see the doctor.” Heat rash is a common problem that isn’t in the least serious. Infants and young children are most often affected, but adults can and do get heat rashes as well.

Heat rash is caused by the obstruction of sweat glands. Sweat glands can be obstructed simply by clothing that is too tight or does not let air circulate around the body. Heat rash is simple to prevent and simple to cure. When the skin is not properly ventilated, sweat that would normally come to the surface of the skin evaporates collects under the skin. A heat rash is the result.

To prevent heat rash, do not wear clothing that binds during hot weather, and don’t put clothing that binds on small children. As often as possible and for as long as possible, allow infants to not wear diapers during very hot weather. It might be heresy, but old-fashioned cloth diapers are better for a baby during hot weather months. The disposable diapers are all contained in plastic shields that prevent the adult’s clothing and the household furnishing from becoming stained and soiled, but do not allow air to circulate around delicate little bottoms at all.

There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of products on the market to treat heat rash. These products are available over the counter and without a doctor’s prescription. There are products to heal heat rash made especially for infants and small children.

An inexpensive and effective product that you most likely have sitting on a kitchen shelf is baking soda. You can apply baking soda to a heat rash dry, or you can make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the rash. It will cool and dry the rash.

Anti Wrinkle Cream Review – Unbelievable Me

Unbelievable Me is the brand new anti wrinkle cream developed and

released by supermodel Cheryl Tiegs. Targeting wrinkles around the eye area, commonly

known as crow’s feet, Unbelievable Me boasts to reduce the

appearance of fine line and wrinkles within five minutes.

Being the skeptic that I am, the first time I ran across the product I quickly read the advertisement and kept clicking. Then a few days later I happened on a documentary on Cheryl Tiegs’

modeling career. It portrayed her from early in her career to her current

age, that being 58. I paused my TiVo and took a good look at her. Man! She

looks so young! That started my wheels turning. I found the advertisement,

took advantage of the free sample, and thought heck, what do I have to loose.

I was anxious for the product to arrive. Once it did, I hit the bathroom running.

Cheryl Tiegs wrinkle cream actually did make a huge difference in my

crow’s feet. I wouldn’t say that it worked instantly or within five minutes, but

the next morning as I was getting ready for work I could definitely tell a

difference.

Unbelievable Me uses a blend of the antioxidents Ginseng and

Portulaca to protect your skin from the effects of environmental damage.

If you are like me, I had absolutely no idea what an antioxident was.

Simply put, antioxident is a chemical that slows down or interferes

with deterioration.

The greatest thing that I found about Unbelievable Wrinkle Cream

was that it was painless and I actually noticed visible results.

Of course, this product might not work as well for all people. Anti-

Aging Products work differently for every person and every

skin type. There are lots of other products on the market to consider.

Do your research, including an extensive review of the product’s

ingredients, prior to purchasing anything.

Acne Tips – Mistakes That Can Cause Acne

There are many reasons why people are affected with acne. Most of them are not even aware of the causes and continues with the same habits and products that perpetuate the situation. Let us take a look at some causes of acne and how you can prevent it.

Dirt

Pollution is one of the major causes of acne. While you cannot do much about the fumes and dust around you, you can make sure that you clean you face thoroughly at the end of the day. Another overlooked cause is the dirt on our hands. We often have the habit of touching our faces with our hands. This is worsen if you have oily skin as the bacteria on your hands is now mixed with the oil on the skin. This can easily lead to pimples and blackheads. If you have acne, it is extremely important to make sure you get rid of dirt and germs on your skin.

Bad Diet

While this is not a direct cause, consuming too much oily and spicy food can stimulate acne condition on your skin. Too much caffeine also weakens your skin cell regeneration and dulls the skin tone. Try to strike a balance by drinking more water and eating more fruits.

Hormonal

This is the reason why teenagers often get acne. However, this hormonal change in puberty is normal and with the use of proper acne products, it will go away after some time. Women are also prone to acne breakouts during menstruations.

Bad Hygiene

Be mindful of your hygiene. Many people often overlook this. For example, dirty pillowcases. You should change your pillowcases as frequently as possible. This applies to towels as well. If you take note of these causes of acne, you will be able to prevent more acne from developing.

Acne Rosacea – The Telltale Blush

Given its irritating and embarrassing nature, I have always thought Acne Rosacea has too pretty a name. In essence, Acne Rosacea is a condition of the skin that resembles acne but is not the same thing, despite the acne before the rosacea. In fact, it would be more appropriate to simply call the condition Rosacea.

Before we go on to the symptoms of Acne Rosacea, I can’t help indulging in a little trivia. One of the most interesting aspects of Acne Rosacea is that it appears to affect mainly white-skinned people of northwestern European descent, so much so that Acne Rosacea was dubbed ‘curse of the Celts’ in Ireland. The other curious thing about Acne Rosacea is that it seems to affect women more than men, particularly in the 30-60 years age group.

Symptoms of Acne Rosacea

The first symptom of Acne Rosacea is redness, almost always on the face (Rosacea rarely attacks other parts of the body, another notable fact). There may follow slight inflammation, pimple-like eruptions and a roughening of the skin. As rosacea progresses, the redness of the skin can become semi-permanent, the superficial blood vessels on the face may dilate, eyes will turn red, pimples and pustules will become more pronounced, and a patient will experience burning and stinging sensations. In extreme cases, a person (mostly men) may develop a red lobulated nose, a condition known as rhinophyma.

Cause & incidence of Acne Rosacea

At a rough estimate, Acne Rosacea affects nearly 15 million people in the United States alone, a majority of them women like I said earlier, and most of them white. Why women contract Rosacea more than men remains a mystery, though some research has linked the condition to menopause. And women may be more affected but it is men who tend to develop more severe forms of Rosacea.

Indeed, the cause of Rosacea as a whole remains unknown. 43-year-old Claire Maloney of Akron, Ohio, who underwent treatment for an acute attack of Rosacea, says that initially, her condition would be aggravated by even minor embarrassment or stress. “At the first sign of trouble, my face would go a fiery red, and because I did not realize I had Rosacea, I thought it mighty odd that I had suddenly started to blush like a schoolgirl at the age of 40,” she says.

Recent research has proved that people with Rosacea have higher levels of the peptide cathelicidin and of stratum corneum tryptic enzymes (SCTE). In addition, as already mentioned, Rosacea tends to affect fair-skinned people of European or Celtic ancestry more then other racial groups.

Triggers of Acne Rosacea

People with latent Rosacea may trigger it off through activities that cause them to blush or flush. Among these are exposures to extremes of temperature, rigorous exercise, stress, sunburn, use of certain cosmetic chemicals, and the consumption of certain food and beverages such as alcohol, caffeine-based drinks, and spicy dishes. So rule number one is to avoid activities that cause you to blush or ‘go red’.

Dos and don’ts

From what has already been said, it is pretty obvious that people with Acne Rosacea should avoid certain foods and beverages, take adequate protection against temperature swings and strong sunlight, avoid potentially tense situations, exercise with restraint, and avoid harsh cosmetics and facial products.

Consulting a dermatologist should top your list of priorities if you display symptoms of Acne Rosacea. Depending on your condition, you will have to use topical lotions of varying strength, or antibiotics. Cortisone creams can, over a period of time, significantly reduce redness and inflammation, while LASER surgery may be required in extreme cases.

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