SKIN CARE

Pollution, smoking, drugs, the wrong cosmetics, left over makeup, poor diet and over exposure to the sun can all take their toll on the skin. Skin can become dry, blotchy or rough when diets deteriorate. Ageing lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tones are commonly associated with bad nutrition. Dry skin usually responds to vitamin A and E together with a little more dietry oils. Those red, greasy and scaly rashes often found on the face, especially around the nose, chin and forehead, respond better to vitamins B2 and B6, especially when cracks appear at the edge of the mouth. Zinc has been universally used to treat all skin conditions especially eczema and acne. It also improves skin texture, elasticity and strength in ageing. Pale skin or mucous membranes may be due to anaemia but this can be corrected with extra iron, B12 and folic acid. Evening Primrose Oil has also been found to improve the softness of the skin.

The skin is the outer covering of living tissue of an animal. It is the largest organ of the integumentary system made up of multiple layers of epithelial tissues, and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments, internal organs. The adjective cutaneous literally means "of the skin" (from Latin cutis, skin). Because it interfaces with the environment, skin plays a very important role in protecting (the body) against pathogens. Its other functions are insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, synthesis of vitamin D, and the protection of vitamin B folates. Severely damaged skin will try to heal by forming scar tissue. This is often discolored and depigmented. In humans, skin pigmentation varies among populations, and skin type can range from dry to oily.

Skin components
Skin layers
Skin has pigmentation, or melanin, provided by melanocytes, which absorb some of the potentially dangerous ultraviolet radiation (UV) in sunlight. It also contains DNA-repair enzymes that help reverse UV damage, and people who lack the genes for these enzymes suffer high rates of skin cancer. One form predominantly produced by UV light, malignant melanoma, is particularly invasive, causing it to spread quickly, and can often be deadly. Human skin pigmentation varies among populations in a striking manner. This has led to the classification of people(s) on the basis of skin color. Mammalian skin often contains hairs, which in sufficient density is called fur. The hair mainly serves to augment the insulation the skin provides, but can also serve as a secondary sexual characteristic or as camouflage. On some animals, the skin is very hard and thick, and can be processed to create leather. Reptiles and fish have hard protective scales on their skin for protection, and birds have hard feathers, all made of tough ß-keratins. Amphibian skin is not a strong barrier to passage of chemicals and is often subject to osmosis. A frog sitting in an anesthetic solution could quickly go to sleep. The skin is often known as the largest organ of the human body. This applies to exterior surface, as it covers the body, appearing to have the largest surface area of all the organs. For the average adult human, the skin has a surface area of between 1.5-2.0 square meters (16.1-21.5 sq ft.), most of it is between 2-3 mm (0.10 inch) thick. The average square inch (6.5 cm²) of skin holds 650 sweat glands, 20 blood vessels, 60,000 melanocytes, and more than a thousand nerve endings.

Functions
Skin performs the following functions:
Protection: an anatomical barrier from pathogens and damage between the internal and external environment in bodily defense; Langerhans cells in the skin are part of the adaptive immune system.
Sensation: contains a variety of nerve endings that react to heat and cold, touch, pressure, vibration, and tissue injury; see somatosensory system and haptics.
Heat regulation: the skin contains a blood supply far greater than its requirements which allows precise control of energy loss by radiation, convection and conduction. Dilated blood vessels increase perfusion and heat loss while constricted vessels greatly reduce cutaneous blood flow and conserve heat. Erector pili muscles are significant in animals.
Control of evaporation: the skin provides a relatively dry and impermeable barrier to fluid loss. Loss of this function contributes to the massive fluid loss in burns.
Aesthetics and communication: others see our skin and can assess our mood, physical state and attractiveness.
Storage and synthesis: acts as a storage center for lipids and water, as well as a means of synthesis of vitamin D by action of UV on certain parts of the skin.
Excretion: sweat contains urea, however its concentration is 1/130th that of urine, hence excretion by sweating is at most a secondary function to temperature regulation.
Absorption: Oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide can diffuse into the epidermis in small amounts, some animals using their skin for their sole respiration organ. In addition, medicine can be administered through the skin, by ointments or by means of adhesive patch, such as the nicotine patch or iontophoresis. The skin is an important site of transport in many other organisms.
Water resistance: The skin acts as a water resistant barrier so essential nutrients aren't washed out of the body.

Hygiene
Unclean skin favors the development of pathogenic organisms, the dead cells that continually slough off of the epidermis mix with the secretions of the sweat and sebaceous glands and the dust found on the skin to form a filthy layer on its surface. If not washed away, the slurry of sweat and sebaceous secretions mixed with dirt and dead skin is decomposed by bacterial flora, producing a foul smell. Functions of the skin are disturbed when it is excessively dirty; it becomes more easily damaged, the release of antibacterial compounds decreases, and dirty skin is more prone to develop infections. Cosmetics should be used carefully because these may cause allergic reactions. Each season requires suitable clothing in order to facilitate the evaporation of the sweat. Sunlight, water and air play an important role in keeping the skin healthy. The skin supports its own ecosystems of microorganisms, including yeasts and bacteria, which cannot be removed by any amount of cleaning. Estimates place the number of individual bacteria on the surface of one square inch (6.5 square cm) of human skin at 50 million though this figure varies greatly over the average 20 feet2 (1.9 m²) of human skin. Oily surfaces, such as the face, may contain over 500 million bacteria per square inch (6.5 cm²). Despite these vast quantities, all of the bacteria found on the skin's surface would fit into a volume the size of a pea. In general, the microorganisms keep one another in check and are part of a healthy skin. When the balance is disturbed, there may be an overgrowth and infection, such as when antibiotics kill microbes, resulting in an overgrowth of yeast. The skin is continuous with the inner epithelial lining of the body at the orifices, each of which supports its own complement of microbes. Oily skin is caused by over-active glands, that produce a substance called sebum, a naturally healthy skin lubricant. When the skin produces excessive sebum, it becomes heavy and thick in texture. Oily skin is typified by shininess, blemishes and pimples. The oily-skin type is not necessarily bad, since such skin is less prone to wrinkling, or other signs of aging, because the oil helps to keep needed moisture locked into the epidermis (outermost layer of skin). The negative aspect of the oily-skin type is that oily complexions are especially susceptible to clogged pores, blackheads, and buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Oily skin can be sallow and rough in texture and tends to have large, clearly visible pores everywhere, except around the eyes and neck. The goal of treating oily skin is to remove excess surface sebum without complete removal of skin lipids. Severe decreasing treatment can foster an actual worsening of sebum secretion, which defeats the aim of the cleansing. A method of cleansing oily skin is to wash with a solution of a mild synthetic detergent (see: surfactant) containing no oils, waxes or other lipid agents that could aggravate the oily condition of the skin, sometimes combined with a toning lotion. Such a product removes the oily residue and debris from the skin surface. Some cleansing products have lower concentrations of hydroxy acids, which remove dead cells from the upper levels of the stratum corneum. Those products should be used on a regular basis to work adequately. A light moisturizer may be included in a product to counteract any drying effects of the cleanser.

Aging
A typical rash
As skin ages, it becomes thinner and more easily damaged. Intensifying this effect is the decreasing ability of skin to heal itself as a person ages. Skin aging is caused by the fall in elasticity. Aging skin also receives less blood flow and lower gland activity.


Disease
Dermatology is the branch of medicine that deals with conditions of the skin.

Variability in skin tone
Individuals with ancestors from different parts of the world can have highly visible differences in skin pigmentation. Individuals with Sub-Saharan African ancestry (black people) tend towards darker skin, while those of Northern European descent (white people) have paler skin. Between these extremes are individuals of Asian, South-East Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern, Polynesian and Melanesian descent. The skin of black people has more variation in color from one part of the body to another than does the skin of other racial groups, particularly the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Part of this is the result of the variations in the thickness of the skin or different parts of the body. The thicker the skin, the more layers of cell with melanin in them, and the darker the color. In addition, these parts of the body do not have melanin-producing cells. Darker skin hinders UV A rays from penetrating. Since vitamin B folats are degraded by UV A and vitamin D is synthesized different skin tones are more likely to produce different vitamin deficiencies.

Skin types
Skin can be classified based on its reaction to ultraviolet radiation:

Type Definition Description
I Always burns but never tans Pale skin, red hair, freckles
II Usually burns, sometimes tans Fair Skin
III May burn, usually tans Darker Skin
IV Rarely burns, always tans Mediterranean
V Moderate constitutional pigmentation Latin American, Middle Eastern, Maori and Polynesian
VI Marked constitutional pigmentation Black.

Skin layers
Skin is composed of three primary layers:

the epidermis, which provides waterproofing and serves as a barrier to infection;
the dermis, which serves as a location for the appendages of skin; and
the hypodermis (subcutaneous adipose layer).

Epidermis
Epidermis, "epi" coming from the Greek meaning "over" or "upon", is the outermost layer of the skin. It forms the waterproof, protective wrap over the body's surface and is made up of stratified squamous epithelium with an underlying basal lamina.

The epidermis contains no blood vessels, and cells in the deepest layers are nourished by diffusion from blood capillaries extending to the upper layers of the dermis. The main type of cells which make up the epidermis are Merkel cells, keratinocytes, with melanocytes and Langerhans cells also present. The epidermis can be further subdivided into the following strata (beginning with the outermost layer): corneum, lucidum (only in palms of hands and bottoms of feet), granulosum, spinosum, basale. Cells are formed through mitosis at the basale layer. The daughter cells move up the strata changing shape and composition as they die due to isolation from their blood source. The cytoplasm is released and the protein keratin is inserted. They eventually reach the corneum and slough off (desquamation). This process is called keratinization and takes place within about 27 days. This keratinized layer of skin is responsible for keeping water in the body and keeping other harmful chemicals and pathogens out, making skin a natural barrier to infection.

Components
The epidermis contains no blood vessels, and is nourished by diffusion from the dermis. The main type of cells which make up the epidermis are keratinocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells and Merkels cells. The epidermis help's the skin to regulate body temperature.

Layers
Epidermis is divided into several layers where cells are formed through mitosis at the innermost layers. They move up the strata changing shape and composition as they differentiate and become filled with keratin. They eventually reach the top layer called stratum corneum and become sloughed off, or desquamated. This process is called keratinization and takes place within weeks. The outermost layer of Epidermis consists of 25 to 30 layers of dead cells.

Sublayers
Epidermis is divided into the following 5 sublayers or strata:

Stratum corneum
Stratum lucidum
Stratum granulosum
Stratum spinosum
Stratum germinativum (also called "stratum basale")
Mnemonics that are good for remembering the layers of the skin (using "stratum basale" instead of "stratum germinativum"):

Blood capillaries are found beneath the epidermis, and are linked to an arteriole and a venule. Arterial shunt vessels may bypass the network in ears, the nose and fingertips.

Dermis
The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis by a basement membrane. It also harbors many Mechanoreceptor/nerve endings that provide the sense of touch and heat. It contains the hair follicles, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, apocrine glands, lymphatic vessels and blood vessels. The blood vessels in the dermis provide nourishment and waste removal to its own cells as well as the Stratum basale of the epidermis. The dermis is structurally divided into two areas: a superficial area adjacent to the epidermis, called the papillary region, and a deep thicker area known as the reticular region.

Papillary region
The papillary region is composed of loose areolar connective tissue. It is named for its finger like projections called papillae, that extend toward the epidermis. The papillae provide the dermis with a "bumpy" surface that interdigitates with the epidermis, strengthening the connection between the two layers of skin. In the palms, fingers, soles, and toes, the influence of the papillae projecting into the epidermis forms contours in the skin's surface. These are called friction ridges, because they help the hand or foot to grasp by increasing friction. Friction ridges occur in patterns (see: fingerprint) that are genetically and epigenetically determined and are therefore unique to the individual, making it possible to use fingerprints or footprints as a means of identification.

Reticular region
The reticular region lies deep in the papillary region and is usually much thicker. It is composed of dense irregular connective tissue, and receives its name from the dense concentration of collagenous, elastic, and reticular fibers that weave throughout it. These protein fibers give the dermis its properties of strength, extensibility, and elasticity. Also located within the reticular region are the roots of the hair, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, receptors, nails, and blood vessels. Tattoo ink is held in the dermis. Stretch marks from pregnancy are also located in the dermis.

Hypodermis
The hypodermis is not part of the skin, and lies below the dermis. Its purpose is to attach the skin to underlying bone and muscle as well as supplying it with blood vessels and nerves. It consists of loose connective tissue and elastin. The main cell types are fibroblasts, macrophages and adipocytes (the hypodermis contains 50% of body fat). Fat serves as padding and insulation for the body. Microorganisms like Staphylococcus epidermidis colonize the skin surface. The density of skin flora depends on region of the skin. The disinfected skin surface gets recolonized from bacteria residing in the deeper areas of the hair follicle, gut and urogenital openings.

Skin Acne
Close to 100% of people between 12 and 17 have at least an occasional whitehead, blackhead or pimple, regardless of race or ethnicity. Most of people are able to manage their skin acne with over the counter (nonprescription) acne treatments. However for some skin acne is more serious.
More than 40% of adolescents have skin acne severe enough to require some treatment by a physician. Skin Acne normally goes away on its own sometime in the early twenties. However in some cases acne can persist into the late twenties or thirties or even beyond. Some people get skin acne for the first time as adults. Skin Acne affects young men and young women about equally but there are differences. Young men are more likely than young women to have more severe, longer lasting forms of acne. Young women are more likely to have intermittent acne due to hormonal changes associated with their menstrual cycle and acne caused by cosmetics. Skin Acne lesions are most common on the face but they can also occur on the neck, chest, back, shoulders, scalp, and upper arms and legs. Acne myths and misconceptions
Myth 1 : Acne is caused by poor hygiene.
If you believe this myth, and wash your skin hard and frequently, you can actually make your acne worse. Acne is not caused by dirt or surface skin oils. The best approach to hygiene and acne
Gently wash your face twice a day with a mild soap, pat dry--and use an appropriate acne treatment for the acne. Myth 2 : Acne is caused by diet. Extensive scientific studies have not found a connection between diet and acne. In other words, food does not cause acne. Not chocolate. Not french fries. Not pizza. However eating a balanced diet always makes sense. ACNE Myth 3 : Acne is caused by stress.
Scarring and how to avoid it
Causes of Acne Scars
In the simplest terms, scars form at the site of an injury to tissue.
They are the visible reminders of injury and tissue repair. In the case of acne, the injury is caused by the body’s inflammatory response to sebum, bacteria and dead cells in the plugged sebaceous follicle. Two types of true scars exist, (1) depressed areas such as ice-pick scars, and (2) raised thickened tissue such as keloids. When tissue suffers an injury, the body rushes its repair kit to the injury site. Among the elements of the repair kit are white blood cells and an array of inflammatory molecules that have the task of repairing tissue and fighting infection. However, when their job is done they may leave a somewhat messy repair site in the form of fibrous scar tissue, or eroded tissue. White blood cells and inflammatory molecules may remain at the site of an active acne lesion for days or even weeks. In people who are susceptible to scarring, the result may be an acne scar. The occurrence and incidence of scarring is still not well understood. There is considerable variation in scarring between one person and another, indicating that some people are more prone to scarring than others. Scarring frequently results from severe inflammatory nodulocystic acne that occurs deep in the skin. But, scarring also may arise from more superficial inflamed lesions. Acne is a disease of the sebaceous hair follicle.
Each follicle contains a tiny hair and multilobed sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands get their name from the oily substance they produce - sebum.
Under normal circumstances, sebum travels up the hair follicle and out to the skin's surface. However, in acne, sebum is trapped within the follicle. Acne develops on those areas of the skin where sebaceous glands are most numerous : the face, scalp, neck, chest, back, and upper arms and shoulders. The acne lesions we know as blackheads are called "comedones".
Four basic factors, work together for the development of comedones
Hormones (androgens), Increased sebum production, Changes inside the follicle, Bacteria.
The genetic connection
While virtually everyone gets acne to some degree, some people are born with a predisposition to certain types of acne. There seem to be similarities in acne among family members regarding patterns of acne lesions, duration of acne, severity and so on. Acne from cosmetics
Comedones may be caused by certain cosmetics and toiletries containing ingredients that can clog pores. Such products, which include makeup, foundations, night creams and moisturizers, are called comedogenic. People should look for "noncomedogenic" cosmetics and toiletries.

Ageing Skin
When you are between 20 to 30 cell turnover is at its best. During this period you will find your complexion is at optimum condition. A basic skincare regime should be fine during this period. You should be using a PH balanced cleansing bar. Use a moisturiser on a regular basis but toner is optional. You should also pay close attention to your neck and hands during this period. If you sun backed as a teenager or during this period damage may be done to your skins blueprint cells. When your skin is prone to excessive oiliness it may be because your hormones are still stabilising. During the years 30 to 40 your cell turnover production will start to decrease. It is during this period that wrinkles start to become more obvious. You should use a hydrating mask once a week. During these years as the skin becomes less efficient at manufacturing melanin pigmentation problems are common. Brown patches known as melasma or chloasma may start to appear. Laser resurfacing may be used to remove patches. Between the years 40 to 50 the protective film on your skins surface is becoming less effective in retaining the moisture. This leads to water loss which may lead to dryness. You should apply moisturiser at least twice every day. You should exfoliate your skin at least twice a week during this period. You should use a cream cleanser instead of a water soluble type. You should also increase the amount of antioxidants you take. After you turn 50 years your cell turnover will decrease by almost fifty percent. The skins outer layer becomes less resilient and the production of sebum decreases. During this period you should increase your amount of water intake. Use extra moisture rich products. As the skins resilience starts to break down broken capillaries start to appear. These may be treated with a course of laser resurfacing.

Skin Bath
Just relaxing in a bath can be therapeutic for the body and mind. The ideal temperature for the water should be 35C. Add some aromatherapy oils to the bath and stir to disperse. Make sure to have a glass of water with every bath. Its important to keep your body fresh with water. Bathing helps to cleanse our body.

Body Brushing
Dry skin brushing is a more intense form of exfoliation. The brush strokes stimulate lymphatic drainage. It also eliminates as much as one third of the body wastes. Use a soft bristled brush before showering and work over your body but not your face. Use long sweeping patterns. When finished take a warm shower. Then use a smooth moisturiser.

Skin Cleansing
Always consider your skin type first when choosing a cleanser. A good cleanser will remove impurities without leaving residue. You should avoid cleansing with soap. This is because skin is slightly acidic and soap is alkaline. This disrupts the skins naturally acidic protective film. Oil based cleansers are suitable for all skin types. Cream cleansers will suit a dry skin. Smooth on the cleanser and leave it for a few seconds to dissolve impurities. Then very gently wipe it off with cotton wool or damp tissue. When using a wash off cleanser you should apply it to damp skin and then remove with warm water.

Skin Dermatitis
Occupational contact Skin Dermatitis is a local inflammation of the skin. Symptoms of inflammation are itching, pain, redness, swelling, and the formation of small blisters or wheals (itchy, red circles with a white centre) on the skin. The inflammation is caused by an allergy or irritation as a result of substances found in the workplace that come into direct contact with the skin. The most common factors contributing to the development of allergic contact dermatitis are pre-existing skin conditions such as irritant contact dermatitis. Cuts or scratches into which allergenic substances can enter. Important individual factors include the resistance of the skin, which increases with age. Hereditary factors influence the variety of reactions in different persons exposed to the same allergen. Victims of allergic contact dermatitis often consult a doctor. The evaluation of occupational allergic contact dermatitis includes the identification of conditions of exposure. Evaluation begins with a discussion of the victim's employment and requires a detailed description of all the processes involved in a typical day's work. It also requires a detailed list of all chemicals in the individual's working environment and knowledge of whether other workers are affected. Diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis is confirmed by patch test. Minute amounts of suspected substances are applied to the skin usually on the upper back. Inflammation at the site of application indicates that the victim is allergic to a specific substance. Sensitized workers should avoid further exposure to the allergen. This alone is an effective remedy. Allergic contact dermatitis may be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and with ointments and skin cleansers.

Hydration
After a shower or bath always use a hydration preparation. If your short of time use a body spray. For a more indulgent experience use scented body lotion.

Poison Ivy
The leaves are coated with a mixture of chemicals called urushiol. When people get urushiol on their skin it causes an allergic contact dermatitis. This is a T cell-mediated immune response, also called delayed hypersensitivity, in which the body's immune system recognizes as foreign and attacks the complex of urushiol derivatives with skin proteins. The irony is that urushiol in the absence of the immune attack would be harmless. The most common treatment for severe contact dermatitis is with corticosteroids which diminish the immune attack and resulting inflammation. A recent recommendation for mild cases is to use manganese sulfate solution to reduce the itching.

Impetigo
This is an acute superficial infection of the skin caused by bacteria. This infection is common in pre school children and young adults. Infection appears as skin blisters which later break down to become superficial sores with golden yellow stuck on crusts on the surface. Common sites affected are the face, arms, buttocks and legs. Impetigo may also occur on skin where there is no visible break. It is most common in children, particularly those in unhealthy living conditions. In adults, it may follow other skin disorders or a recent upper respiratory infection such as a cold or other virus. It is similar to cellulitis, but it only involves the top layers of the skin. Impetigo is contagious, meaning it can spread to others. Consult your doctor.

Brown Spots
An excess amount of melanin in the skin causes brown spots such as age spots, moles, freckles, lentigos and blue/black birthmarks. Exposure to the sun and hormones will make these brown spots darker and more obvious. Lasers can remove brown and age spots safely without leaving a scar. The laser light passes harmlessly through the top layer of the skin and is absorbed by the unwanted brown spot causing it to burst into tiny particles. The natural cleansing system of the body then carries these particles away leaving behind normal skin.

Bruises
Avoid massaging the bump or bruise. Apply ice pack for 20 minutes. Do not apply ice directly to the injury. Elevate the injured area if possible. Do not pop blood blisters if they occur. Multiple, unexplained bruises should be evaluated by a doctor.

Stretch Marks
Usually occur due to weight increase during pregnancy or vitamin deficiencies. Between 75% and 90% of women develop stretch marks to some degree during pregnancy. Stretch marks are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth (common in puberty) or weight gain (e.g. pregnancy, muscle building, or rapid gain of fat) or, in some cases, severe pulling force on skin that overcomes the dermis's elasticity. There is no cure but you can lessen their appearance. Take zinc, silica and vitamin B6 in your daily diet. Use pure vitamin E oil on your skin. For a temporary cover-up use a waterproof make-up base.

Lentigenes
What are solar lentigenes : Solar lentigenes are brown spots 1 cm or greater in diameter occurring usually on the face and back of the hands. Solar lentigenes are evidence of excessive sunlight exposure. They are found in individuals over 40 years of age especially if they have a long history of working outdoors. How are solar lentigenes treated : One should avoid the sun and use a sunscreen.

Psoriasis
A chronic skin disease characterized by scaling and inflammation. Scaling occurs when cells in the outer layer of the skin reproduce faster than normal and pile up on the skin’s surface. The disease PSORIASIS occurs in all age groups and about equally in men and women. However, it primarily affects adults. People with psoriasis may suffer discomfort, including pain and itching, restricted motion in their joints, and emotional distress. In its most typical form, psoriasis results in patches of thick, red skin covered with silvery scales. These patches, which are sometimes referred to as plaques, usually itch and may burn. The skin at the joints may crack. Recent research indicates that Psoriasis is likely a disorder of the immune system. In about one third of the cases psoriasis is inherited. People with psoriasis may notice that there are times when their skin worsens, then improves. Conditions that may cause flareups include changes in climate, infections, stress, and dry skin. Also, certain medicines, most notably beta-blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure, and lithium or drugs used to treat depression, may trigger an outbreak or worsen the disease. Doctors usually diagnose Psoriasis after a careful examination of the skin. A pathologist may assist with diagnosis by examining a small skin sample (biopsy) under a microscope. There are several forms of soriasis. The most common form is plaque psoriasis (its scientific name is psoriasis vulgaris). In plaque psoriasis, lesions have a reddened base covered by silvery scales. Guttate psoriasis : Small, drop-like lesions appear on the trunk, limbs, and scalp. Guttate psoriasis is most often triggered by bacterial infections. Pustular psoriasis : Blisters of noninfectious pus appear on the skin. Attacks of pustular psoriasis may be triggered by medications, infections, emotional stress, or exposure to certain chemicals. Inverse psoriasis : Large, dry, smooth, vividly red plaques occur in the folds of the skin near the genitals, under the breasts, or in the armpits. Inverse psoriasis is related to increased sensitivity to friction and sweating and may be painful or itchy. Erythrodermic psoriasis : Widespread reddening and scaling of the skin is often accompanied by itching or pain. Erythrodermic psoriasis may be precipitated by severe sunburn, use of oral steroids or a drug related rash. In healing, Doctors generally treat psoriasis in steps based on the severity of the disease, the extent of the areas involved, the type of psoriasis, or the patient’s responsiveness to initial treatments. This is sometimes called the 1 2 3 approach. In step 1, medicines are applied to the skin (topical treatment). Step 2 focuses on light treatments (phototherapy). Step 3 involves taking medicines internally, usually by mouth (systemic treatment). Over time, affected skin can become resistant to treatment, especially when topical corticosteroids are used.

Nail Fungus
Nail Fungus is similar to athletes foot. It is spread in moist warm environments. Showers, public swimming pools, etc. are some of the places the virus will be found. You can catch the fungus from anyone that uses a shower before you and leaves the virus there. Always wash and dry your feet completely when leaving these areas and before putting on shoes and socks. Nail Fungus is fairly easy to catch like athletes foot but is much more difficult to get rid of taking up to a year for complete eradication.

Lip Care
Because your lips lack several of your bodies natural protective substances they need extra care. There lack of hydrating sebaceous glands make them prone to dryness. You should wear lipstick with high SPF when you are outdoors or wear protective lip balm enriched with a sun filter. For you to maintain the condition of your lips gently coat them with Vaseline.

Hives
They are red, very itchy, swollen areas of the skin. Hives arise suddenly and may leave quickly in 1-2 hours or can last as long as 48 hours. They often appear in clusters, with new clusters appearing as other areas clear. Physicians refer to hives as urticaria. Hives can be caused by allergic or non-allergic mechanisms. In a majority of chronic cases, the exact cause is unknown. Often hives are caused by an adverse reaction to some food or drug. Avoidance of the foods, drugs, or other provoking factors is recommended whenever possible.

Mud Masks
These are excellent deep cleansers. Mud Masks contain negatively charged ions that attract positively charged impurities. Sponge the Mask onto damp skin. Leave on for the recommended time then wash off in the shower.

Skin Toning
Choosing to use a toner after you cleanse is optional. It will refresh the skin and remove any remnants of the cleanser. If you have oily skin you should avoid alcohol based toner. It tends to strip your skin of essential moisture. A good alternative is floral waters which are also inexpensive. For oily skin try witch hazel. For dry skin try rose water. Camomile water is good for both sensitive and normal skins.

Skin Blemishes
Keratoses are thickenings of the outer layer (epidermis) of the skin. There are 3 main types
Solar keratosis.
Seborrhoeic keratosis.
Warts.
Benign moles often are considered blemishes if they appear in prominent or awkward locations or if they look unattractive. There are many ways to remove these and the method chosen depends on the type of blemish treated. Frequently it is necessary to obtain a laboratory report to make sure that blemishes are safe to be removed. Once the laboratory diagnosis is obtained other treatment methods might be chosen to remove the blemish. Liver spots are tan or brown coloured marks on the hands and arms among other places. There are several different ways of removing these
Medical strength chemical peel.
Cryotherapy.
Electrofulguration.
Laser.
Several different treatments can remove of these unsightly blemishes. In general the treatment of apparent skin blemishes needs to be done with the care that your doctor can provide.

Winter Skin
If you participate in outdoor sports in the wintertime, or if you spend time inside a dry office building, here are some tips to help your skin survive the cold, dry winter
1. Don't use hot water to wash your face. Make your water lukewarm, as heat pulls the oil out of your skin.
2. Unless you have oily skin, try a super fatted soap. These don't strip your skin, and your face won't have that tight feeling after you use one.
3. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Do this as soon as you get out of the shower, while your skin is still slightly damp. You'll get the most out of the moisture that way.
4. Invest in a humidifier to help put moisture back in the air. Central air and heat, found in most office buildings (and many homes) dries out your skin. I even bought a small one to keep near my desk at work. Everything felt so dry, I figured I looked like a raisin! The humidifier has really helped me. Be sure to check with your boss first, though. You don't want to do anything you're not supposed to do.
5. Finally, don't forget the sunscreen! You put it on in the summer, and you should put it on in the winter, too. Much as sand reflects the summer sun, snow does the same for the winter sun. We tend to forget that sun damage can exist in the winter, since it's so cold, but it can be just as damaging. If you don't want to use a plain old sunscreen, make sure that it's in your makeup. There are several brands out there that have sunscreen right in them, so find the one that's right for you.

Sunburn
A condition resulting from an over exposure of the skin to Ultraviolet (UV) rays found in sunlight. Everyone is at risk for sunburn. Fair skinned, blue eyed blondes and redheads are especially susceptible. Redness, pain, swelling, and even blistering can occur from this over exposure. Peeling usually follows several days later.
Sunburn Prevention
Try to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when its rays are strongest. Use a sunscreen with SPF of 15 or greater at all times. Don't use sunlamps, reflectors, or tanning beds. They produce high levels of ultraviolet radiation! Be informed about any medications you are taking and their side effects. Some antibiotics such as Tetracycline and Sulfa produce an allergic-type rash on body parts exposed to sun.
Sunburn Treatment
Use cool wet compresses for first 48 hours. Do not use ice. No lotions or petroleum jelly in the first 48 hours!! These hold in the heat! Apply moisturizing lotions after 48 hours. Seek medical attention if fever, fluid-filled blisters, dizziness or visual disturbances are present.
Long Term Effects
The sun weakens the skin's elasticity leading to premature aging, such as early wrinkles and a tough, leathery look. Over exposure also leads to the development of flat, scaly, reddish patches called Solar Keratoses, which sometimes are precancerous.

Skin Sauna
A good deep cleansing treat is to give your face a sauna. This is especially good for congested skin. You need to fill a bowl with near boiling water and add four drops of each of the essential oils recommended for your skin type. NORMAL : Mandarin and Lavender. OILY : Lemon and Eucalyptus. DRY : Rose and Camomile. Place a towel over your head and hold it over the bowl from a distance of about 30cm for a period of around two minutes. This opens the pores and prepares it for a face mask. You should not use a face sauna if you have sensitive skin, are pregnant or suffer from asthma.

Skin Warts
Are noncancerous skin growths caused by a viral infection in the top layer of the skin or mucous membranes. Some scientists believe skin warts are also caused by stress. Viruses that cause skin warts belong to a "family" called human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are usually skin colored and feel rough to the touch, but can be dark, flat or smooth. There are several different kinds of skin warts including : Common warts. Foot warts. Flat warts. Common skin warts usually grow around the nails, on the fingers and on the backs of the hands. Foot warts are usually on the soles of the feet and are called plantar warts. Flat skin warts are smaller and smoother than other 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. Skin Warts probably are passed from person to person, sometimes indirectly. The time between the first contact and the time that the warts can be seen is often several months. The risk of catching hand, foot and flat skin warts is small. Skin Warts often disappear without treatment over a period of several months to years. However since skin warts can be spread to others or new areas of the body it is reasonable to treat most people especially if the warts are bothersome or painful.

Skin Moisturising
All skin has its own natural moisturising factor that regulates water flow from the dermis to the surface. Sebum also helps by forming a barrier on the skin that prevents moisture loss. As we grow older both of these however decrease in activity and therefore we need a water regulating moisturiser. All skin types really need moisturising twice a day. There are two types of moisturizers available, Humectants and Occlusives. Occlusives act by creating an oily film on the surface to lock in moisture and prevent it from evaporating into the atmosphere. Humectants attract water from the surrounding atmosphere or draw water from the dermis. You should be careful to choose a moisturiser to suit your skin type. For oily skins oil free formulas and oil in emulsions. Water in oil formulations suit dry normal skin. You should always spritz your skin with water before applying moisturiser. Water plumps up the skin cells creating an even surface making lines less apparent.

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Poison Oak
Can cause an allergic reaction in nearly 85 percent of the population. What causes an allergic reaction? The resin in the plants contains an oily substance called urushiol. Urushiol is easily transferred from the plants to other objects, including toys, garments, and animals. This chemical can remain active for a year or longer. It is important to know that the oils can also be transferred from clothing, pets, and can be present in the smoke from a burning plant. What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction to poison ivy/poison oak? The reaction is usually contact dermatitis, which may occur several hours, days, or even weeks after exposure. The dermatitis is characterized by a rash followed by bumps and blisters that itch. Sometimes swelling occurs in the area of contact. Eventually, the blisters break, ooze, and then crust over. Treatment for poison oak : Avoid the poisonous plants is the best treatment. If contact with the plants has already occurred you should remove the oils from the skin as soon as possible. Cleansing with an ordinary soap within six hours after the initial exposure has proven to be effective. Repeat the cleaning with the soap three times. There are also alcohol based wipes that help remove the oils. Wash all clothes and shoes also, because the oils can remain on these. Is poison oak contagious? Poison oak cannot be spread from person to person by touching the blisters, or from the fluid inside the blisters. It can be spread, however, if the oils remain on the skin, clothes, or shoes.

Rosacea
A chronic skin disease that affects both the skin and the eyes. The disorder is characterized by redness, bumps, pimples, and, in advanced stages, thickened skin on the nose. Rosacea usually occurs on the face, although the neck and upper chest are also sometimes involved. It usually occurs in adults between the ages of 30 and 60. A tendency to develop rosacea may be inherited. Doctors generally classify rosacea into four types based on symptoms. The earliest recognizable stage is called prerosacea. Signs and symptoms at this stage include frequent episodes of flushing and redness of the face and neck that come and go.

Body Odour
You lose one litre of water through perspiration each day on average. Sweating is part of your body`s waste disposal and temperature control. In fact perspiration is actually odourless when it leaves the body. It only begins to smell when it comes into contact with bacteria. Antiperspirants are not ideal as they block the pores and may lead to toxic build-up.

Face Masks
You should use a face mask once a week. You should apply it after you have had a facial sauna. Make sure to only leave it on for the time stated by the manufacturer. When using a gel based mask you will find they set to form a film on the skin. When this is washed away it removes the dead cells. Clay or mud enriched masks are good for deep cleansing the skin. For dry skin use a rich cream mask. For oily skin you may use a sulphur based mask. There is also some fast action masks if you are short on time.

Cellulite
There really is no miracle cure for cellulite. Cellulite is thought to occur in 80-90% of postpubertal females. There appears to be a hormonal component to its presentation. It is rarely seen in males. Cream is not going to shift stubborn patches of cellulite. You can however expect to see an improvement with a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Liposuction for will however help to eradicate orange peel thighs.

Exfoliation
Your skin renews itself about every 28 days on average. However this process slows as you age. Regular Exfoliation gives your skin a fresh look and increases circulation. Use a body mitt or scrub to massage damp skin. Work over your body in circular motions. You should exfoliate your skin at least once a week.
Chemical Exfoliation:
Involves the use of products that contain alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), betahydroxy acids (BHAS) or enzymes that act to loosen the glue-like substance that holds the cells together which allowing them to ease away.
Mechanical Exfoliation:
This is where dead skin cells are rubbed off with a type of abrasive. Exfoliation involves the removal of the oldest dead skin cells along the skin's outermost surface. Exfoliation is involved in the process of a facial and during body treatments at spas. People of non-Caucasian descent generally see better results from exfoliation, due to their faster skin production. It is a process recommended to maintain healthy skin at least twice a week, with a daily regimen recommended during the winter months. Some credit ancient Egyptians for beginning the practice of dermabrasion, a form of exfoliation. In the Middle Ages, wine was used as a chemical exfoliant, with the tartaric acid as the active agent. In Asia, the practice of exfoliation started hundreds of years ago. New skins cells are generated within the skins lower layer, the dermis. Over time, cells rise to the surface of the skin and become more acidic. As they do so, over their 30 day journey, they die and become saturated with keratin. Keratin is important because the substance protects the skin from outside elements. During aging, and after menopause, the natural process of skin erosion becomes uneven, which gives skin a dry and rough character. Exfoliation removes the rougher outer layer to reveal the newer skin that lies beneath. This shedding of the outer skin layer unclogs pores, keeps skin clean, and helps reduce acne breakouts. It is considered the first step in cleaning your face, followed up by washing your face with a hypoallergenic soap, then moisturizing. Exfoliation is considered important for men as it exposes the face's hair follicles, allowing for a better shave. It is possible to overly exfoliate, which dries and irritates the skin. The face is the part of the body most sensitive to exfoliation. Dry skin on the face can lead to wrinkle development. Exfoliation is achieved through either mechanical or chemical means. Mechanical process involves phyiscially scrubbing the skin off with an abrasive. Mechanical exfoliants include microfiber cloths, micro-bead facial scrubs, crushed apricot kernel or almond shells, sugar or salt crystals, pumice, and abrasive materials such as sponges, loofahs, and brushes. Facial scrubs are generally available in over-the-counter products and applied by the user. People with dry skin should avoid exfoliants which include a significant portion of pumice, or crushed volcanic rock. Pumice is considered to good material to use to exfoliate the skin of the feet. Chemical exfoliants include scrubs containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, citric acid, or malic acid which may be applied in high concentrations by a dermatologist, or in lower concentrations in over-the-counter products. Chemical exfoliation may involve the use of products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or enzymes that act to loosen the glue-like substance that holds the cells together, allowing them to ease away. This type of exfoliation is recommended for people treating acne. The greatest disadvantage to exfoliation is the high price of some of the products and methods used to achieve its goal.

Skin Solutions
Always get regular sleep as the skins cellular repair activity is at its peak during sleep. Regular exercise will benifit your skin as it boosts circulation and encourages blood flow. Evening Primrose oil contains an essential fatty acid reputed to strengthen skin cells. Vitamin C is required for collagen production. Vitamin B will help to repair the skin and Vitamin E is for skin condition. You should avoid exfoliating the skin on your face if you have surface veins. This only tends to make the situation worse. During the day use a moisturiser that is enriched with antioxidents. You should pat moisturiser onto your skin instead of smoothing it on.

Anna Hart
This skin care article on Paralumun New Age Village is maintained by beauty consultant Anna Hart.
Anna comes with more then 20 years experience in the beauty industry. She uses this experience in her articles here on Paralumun.

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