Skin health Top 12 skin treatments

Is your skin always prone to breaking out, itching or acting unpredictable?

If this is you, then there can be endless reasons for those spots, changes in texture or colour or skin inflammation - ranging from shingles, warts to ringworm, hives or cold sores. They may look inconsequential to us, but in actuality they might be evidence of a serious skin disorder. With expert inputs from Dermatologist Dr Meghna Gupta of Delhi Skin Centre, here's an overview of types of skin disorders and what you can do to treat them.

Medical term for shingles is Herpes Zoster. This is a viral infection. It involves not only skin but nerves too. It is a painful skin condition and one needs to consult the dermatologist within 48 hours of onset for anti-viral medications.

Skin rash:
Rashes in skin can be due to many reasons such as fever, any infection in the body, allergic reaction to medications, imitation jewellery, skincare products etc. Apply calamine lotion, or if the condition worsens take an anti allergic tablet. If condition persists, consult dermatologists within 48 hours of its onset.

Bug bites:
Insect bite reactions can vary from mild to severe. Wash the area with mild soap and water to remove the germs and other provoking substances. Apply calamine lotion. Do not scratch the area and make sure to take an anti-allergic tablet.

This is a fungal infection. Get your sugar tested if recurrent. Apply an anti-fungal cream or sprinkle anti-fungal dusting powder. Consult a dermatologist in case of severe infection.

Skin cancer:
For this condition a diagnostic work-up has to be done. Treatment depends only on the type of carcinoma whether benign or malignant.

Eczema or dermatitis is basically an inflammation of superficial layers of skin. There are various forms of eczema like atopic in children, discoid in elderly, nummular in winters etc. Moisturization is the best thing to prevent and soothe the skin. Soaps should be avoided. Consult a dermatologist if condition still persists.

Medical term for hives is urticaria. It could be acute or chronic. Hives is basically a response of the skin when it is scratched. Few common factors found in hives are food allergies, infections and drug induced. Some uncommon causes could be friction, sunlight, extremes of temperature. It is a very common variant is Dermographism. Acute attack can be threatening so, consult the dermatologist immediately.

Cold sores:
Cold sores are also known as fever blisters. This is a herpes virus infection. This particular virus becomes latent in the body and becomes reactive due to any stress. Lesions are painful and typically occur around the lips and nose. If outbreaks happen more regularly, consult the dermatologist.

It happens due to infection in the skin and hair follicle. Generally, it is a bacterial infection, at times it happens when skin comes in contact with an extremely hot sensation. Diabetics are more prone to recurrent boils and in children it is due to unhygienic condition. Topical or oral antibiotic is required depending on the involvement or severity.

Burns destroy the skin which has a very important barrier function to play. While minor burns are usually not dangerous, involvement of little larger area can develop complications. Immediately stop the burn process by putting the affected area under cool running water. Do not spray with high pressure. One can apply a burn water soluble cream in case there is no blistering. Do not apply any oil or butter as it may make the burn deeper by retaining the heat.

Medical term for warts is verrucae. This is a viral infection that can be contagious. There are various types of warts such as genital, flat, finger like and plantar warts. The most effective treatment is removal of the wart by cauterization or laser in a dermatologist's office. Some homeopathic preparations are effective if the size is small.

Acnes are commonly called pimples or zits. It is a very common condition seen in adolescence. Propionibacterium acnes are the bacteria responsible for this condition. Hormonal imbalances, lack of skin care, intake of junk food, use of wrong cosmetics are a few of the reasons for acne. Thorough cleansing should be done and non-comedogenic products should be used. One should never pick on the acne as it leads to very bad, unsightly marks. Dermatologists should be consulted after using a branded anti-acne lotion.

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