Dandruff or Psoriasis

scalp psoriasis favorite plusHaving dry, flaky skin on your scalp can be annoying. Two different conditions can cause these flakes — dandruff and psoriasis.

It is quite easy to treat dandruff (seborrhea), and it’s not a severe medical condition. Psoriasis, however, is a different issue. It is a chronic skin problem without a permanent cure and one that can cause a great deal of discomfort.

How it develops: Dandruff vs. Psoriasis

Dandruff is a disorder that causes flakes of dry skin to appear on the scalp. The flakes can generally cascade from your hair and come to rest on your shoulders.

Dandruff commonly begins from a dry scalp. Frequent shampooing or using many chemicals on your hair can sometimes irritate your scalp and lead to flakes.

A common condition called seborrheic dermatitis is the cause of many dandruff cases. It causes patches of red and oily skin that leave yellowish flakes on the scalp. These flakes are often more prominent than the dandruff flakes that arise from dry skin.

Seborrheic dermatitis can also cause flaky, irritated patches elsewhere on the body.

Psoriasis is a problem rooted in your immune system. It is an autoimmune disease, where unique proteins, called autoantibodies, attack healthy tissue. This attack causes skin cell production to speed up. It then creates an unhealthy and abnormal growth of new skin that collects in dry, flaky patches on your body, including the scalp.

The normal process of skin regeneration is you shed dead skin in small, thin fragments from the outermost layer of skin. No one, not even yourself, can see that you are losing dead skin. New, healthy skin cells are developing beneath the surface of your skin and, in a few weeks, push up to the surface to take the place of the dead skin.

If you have psoriasis, that action speeds up in various spots on your body, and there is no time for the dead skin to go through its normal shedding. That causes dead skin cells to build upon the surface. It usually occurs on the scalp, elbows, knees, and back.

Psoriasis can take different forms. Sometimes, your skin may look cracked and dry. Other times, it may look red and dotted with small silvery patches.

Prevention: Dandruff vs. Psoriasis

You can easily stop dandruff. Dandruff shampoo is usually adequate to prevent dandruff from producing. Generally, keeping your hair clean is a must.

Oil and dirt can accumulate on your scalp and make it dry. Brushing your hair away from the scalp also helps keep grease from building up on your scalp.

On the contrary, there is no way to prevent psoriasis. It can develop in anyone at any age but is less frequent in kids. It frequently appears between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age.

Treatment: Dandruff vs. Psoriasis

You can treat dandruff with medicated shampoo. You may have to switch shampoos, too, as one may become less effective over time.

You may treat psoriasis with topical lotions and medications. Many of these contain steroids, which only serve to make the symptoms somewhat milder. There’s no actual cure.

Light therapy can also help treat the symptoms of psoriasis.

When to See a Doctor: Dandruff vs. Psoriasis

If your dandruff doesn’t go away or doesn’t get better after two weeks of anti-dandruff shampoo, you may need to see a dermatologist. There are prescription dandruff shampoos that may have the strength you need to overcome the problem. You may also require a medicated ointment.

On the other hand, if your symptoms indicate psoriasis, you should see a dermatologist right away. If you also have stiff or swollen joints, you may have psoriatic arthritis. See a rheumatologist.

 

Skin Tags: What Causes Them and What Treatment Options are Available?

skin tags FavoritePlusAre skin tags making your life miserable? Well, you can now access a 
variety of treatment options. Although knowing what skin tags are and are not can be reassuring, sometimes you want to have a clear skin free of any blemishes.

What Causes Skin Tags

Skin tags are made of blood vessels and loose collagen fibers around the skin. Although there are no known causes of skin tags, scientists 
believe that certain factors could make you predisposed. Skin tags are 
not present during birth, and their frequency increases with age. 
Studies also show that genetic predisposition could lead to you getting 
skin tags. That is the reason why people in one family could end up 
having the growths. Hormonal changes and Crohn’s disease could also 
stimulatethe growth of skin tags.

The friction between adjacent areas of skin or between the clothes and 
skin could also lead to the development of skin tags. You’ll find skin 
tags on eyelids, neck, upper chest, and the underarms. Skin tags are 
harmless and vary in size and color. Although skin tags are standard and may not 
cause discomfort or pain, they can affect your self-esteem. If this is 
the case, you might consider having them removed.

How Are Skin Tags Diagnosed?

Skin tags are diagnosed through observation by 
your general physician or cosmetic surgeon. Skin tags have a 
characteristic appearance and do not require lab tests. However, in some 
cases, the doctor may send the tissues for microscopic diagnosis to 
ascertain that there are no other conditions similar to what you have on 
your skin. Sometimes warts and benign skin growths can resemble skin 
tags. It’s critical to note that it’s rare for skin cancer to look like 
a skin tag.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Skin Tags?

Skin tags can be removed through different methods. Do not attempt to get 
rid of skin tags on your own as this could lead to scarring and 
infections. You can choose an over-the-counter solution that freezes the 
skin tag. The tag will fall after ten days. The medication is similar to 
what is used for wart removal. Unfortunately, OTC medications do not 
work for everyone. You may be forced to go through several options to 
find one that works. Also, you might want to see a dermatologist if you 
don’t feel comfortable removing a skin tag on your own.

The doctor uses local anesthesia to numb the area before performing 
surgery on the area. Cauterization is a procedure that uses heat to 
remove a growth from the skin. Also, the surgeon may use cryosurgery 
which involves spraying liquid nitrogen over the skin tag. The procedure 
freezes off the growth leaving you with smooth skin.

Laser therapy is also another way to get rid of skin tags. The procedure 
involves pointing a radiofrequency device to the tags to remove the 
lesions. You may require one to two treatments for complete 
removal. You’ll need up to five days to heal depending on your skin’s 
natural state.

Skin tags don’t have to make you feel bad about your looks, visit a 
dermatologist who will advise on the best way to remove them. Most 
treatment options are painless and do not cause scarring.

********

Guest Post by Writing Jackie

Pediatric Psoriasis Treatment

psoriasis children favoriteplusPsoriasis is a disease that causes itchy, dry patches on your skin. Up to 40% of people with psoriasis have symptoms before they are 16 years old, and 10% get it before they are 10.

Children can have mild, moderate, or severe psoriasis. It is a lifelong condition with no cure, but you can treat the symptoms with medication. Most pediatric cases of psoriasis are mild and get better with treatment.

Psoriasis is not contagious. Often, a bacterial infection like strep throat triggers psoriasis for the first time in children. Other kids get certain genes from their parents that make them more likely to get it.

Things that raise a child’s risk of getting the disease also include:

  • Cold weather
  • Cuts, rashes, scratches, or sunburn on the skin
  • Medications such as beta blockers, lithium, or malaria drugs
  • Cold weather
  • Obesity
  • Stress

Types of Psoriasis in Children

There are five types of psoriasis, but some are much more common in children than others. The two types children are most likely to get are:

Guttate psoriasis. This kind of psoriasis is also called “drop-like” psoriasis. It causes little red dots to form on the arms, back, chest, and legs. Strep infection most likely triggers this. Many children who get this type of psoriasis also develop plaque psoriasis.

Plaque psoriasis. Most kids who have psoriasis have this type. It causes red, dry patches called plaques. It can also cause silvery scales, which usually show up on elbows, knees, lower back, and the scalp. They are itchy, red, and sometimes painful. They can also bleed. Plaque psoriasis patches are smaller, thinner, and less scaly in children than in adults.

Children under two years can get psoriatic diaper rash. It happens on the skin that’s covered up by the diaper. It may show up like plaque psoriasis, or it may cause a bright red, weeping rash. You can tell the difference between psoriatic diaper rash and regular diaper rash. Psoriatic diaper rash does not get better with regular diaper rash treatment.

Diagnosis

A dermatologist can usually tell it is psoriasis just by looking at your child’s nails, scalp, or skin. To be sure, they might also remove a small sample of skin and send it to a lab for a closer look. They will also ask questions about your family history and habits to see how many risk factors your child has.

Treatment

Your child’s doctor is likely to recommend an antihistamine to help with itching. Keeping the skin moisturized is important, too. They may suggest the use of petroleum jelly to lock in moisture. Moreover, salicylic acid may also be an option for thick plaques, but you should not use it on children under six years old.

Other options may include:

Topical treatments. Most children who have mild psoriasis heal with cream, lotion, or ointment. Topical treatments include anthralin, calcipotriene, coal tar, and corticosteroids.

Phototherapy. Your child’s doctor might choose this option if plaques are on most of your child’s body. However, the doctor will likely try a topical treatment first before recommending therapy.

Oral medications. Your child’s doctor will recommend medicine to take by mouth or by shot only if the psoriasis is severe. Many of the ones doctors use for adults are not as safe in children and have serious side effects.

 

Tips for Rosacea – Treatment and Triggers

Rosacea is a common, acne-like skin disorder that is easily controllable and medically manageable.

 

Symptoms of Rosacea

favorite plus rosacea treatmentSymptoms frequently begin with episodes of skin redness. Other symptoms develop as the condition progresses, such as:

  • burning and stinging sensations
  • long-lasting redness
  • appearance of small blood vessels in the skin
  • breakout of papules and pustules

A simple visual examination by a seasoned dermatologist is sufficient for diagnosis in most cases. In other circumstances, particularly when pimples or redness on less common parts of the face are present, a trial of common treatments is useful for confirming a suspected diagnosis.

 

Types of Rosacea

  • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: redness, flushing, visible blood vessels
  • Ocular rosacea: red and irritated eyes, swollen eyelids, sty-like growth on the eye
  • Papulopustular rosacea: acne-like breakouts, redness, swelling
  • Phymatous rosacea: skin thickens with bumpy texture

 

Causes of Rosacea

The cause of rosacea is unknown; nonetheless, it could be due to some combination of environmental and hereditary factors.

Numerous factors can trigger or aggravate rosacea by increasing blood flow to the surface of the skin.

Some of these factors include:

  • Alcohol
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone
  • Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications
  • Hot baths or saunas
  • Hot foods or beverages
  • Spicy foods
  • Temperature extremes
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Stress and emotions, such as anger or embarrassment
  • Sunlight

 

How to Avoid or Manage Rosacea Flare-Ups

  1. Distinguish your triggers.

You have a better chance of controlling your condition once you have identified the environmental and lifestyle factors that contribute to your flare-ups. Keep a journal to identify and avoid those factors that affect your skin.

  1. Stay cool.

High temperature is one of the primary triggers for many rosacea patients. Calm the irritation and burning sensation induced by exercise or hot weather by applying cool compress to your face or misting yourself with a spray bottle filled with cool water. Reddening can also be controlled by chewing on ice chips.

  1. Avoid stress.

Do not try to do countless activities in a day. Plan some downtime when you can relax. Consider meditating, and let yourself take a break from your daily roles to do something fun.

  1. Take your medications.

Remember to use your medication as prescribed by your specialist. This can help maintain lasting remission of your signs and symptoms.

Though there is no cure for rosacea, treatments can control and reduce the signs and symptoms. Every so often, this requires a combination of prescription treatments and certain lifestyle changes on your part. Common prescription drugs used for rosacea are antibiotics and acne creams.

The length of treatment depends on the type and severity of your symptoms; but typically, you will notice an improvement within one to two months. Since symptoms may recur if you stop taking medications, long-term regular treatment is usually necessary.

  1. Consult your dermatologist if you can use phototherapy.

Contrary to popular belief that light worsens rosacea, studies have revealed that sunlight actually improves rosacea. This is because skin cells are capable of absorbing light and using it as a source of energy to fuel the repair and rejuvenation of damaged cells, or kill bacteria. It is a natural biochemical reaction like that of plants’ photosynthesis.

When skin is exposed to phototherapy light, skin cells regenerate faster and hydrate more efficiently. This whole process results in youthful, healthy skin.

Urticaria (Hives) Treatment

favorite plus narrowband uvb lamp

Urticaria, also known as hives, is an outbreak of pale red swollen bumps, patches, or welts on the skin that appear suddenly, either as a result of allergies or other causes. See more images of what hives look like here.

Hives frequently causes itching, but may also burn or sting. They can develop anywhere on the body, including the ears, face, lips, throat, or tongue. Hives differ in size, and may join together to form bigger regions known as plaques. They can persist for hours, or up to one day before disappearing.

Most cases of urticaria do not need treatment because the symptoms are usually mild and normally improve within a few days. But, if your symptoms are persistent or troublesome, check out the recommendations below to try some of these remedies:

The most frequently used oral treatment is antihistamines, which help resist the effects of the histamine given away by mast cells. The principal side effect of antihistamines is drowsiness so if you take them, you should be especially careful, and be sure you are fully alert before driving or partaking in other activities needing mental concentration.

Patients with recurrent symptoms may be prescribed to use an antihistamine every day in an effort to accomplish complete suppression of wheals. This is more helpful than taking a medication as needed when symptoms become severe. For frequent use, the newer, non-sedating antihistamines have clear improvements over the older drugs in their superior safety profile and in particular, their virtual lack of sedation.

Calamine lotion or menthol 1% in aqueous cream can relieve itching, although if it is left on for an extended time, the itch may come back. It may be bought without a prescription, but it should not be used on young children.

Narrowband UVB therapy is the second line of treatment if antihistamines do not work. It is an effective, well-tolerated option for chronic urticaria. This treatment can lead to subjective relief of itching and reduce the appearance of welts. Used together with antihistamine, it is better at reducing urticaria compared to when treated with antihistamine alone.

Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Treatment

Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma treatment
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma at the back

Forms of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma are mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome. Mycosis fungoides commonly manifests as discrete or coalescing nodules, patches, or plaques on the skin. Mycosis fungoides may progress to involve lymph nodes and internal organs. Sezary syndrome is characterized by generalized erythroderma, keratoderma of the palms and soles, and a Sezary cell count of more than 1,000/mm3 in the blood. Most patients experience severe itching.

Both mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome are characterized by the presence of Sezary cells in the skin and blood.

Treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma includes ultraviolet-B light, psoralen with ultraviolet-A light (PUVA), radiotherapy, systemic chemotherapy, and topical nitrogen mustard. Interferon, retinoids, and other agents have also been used. Most recently, extracorporeal photopheresis has become popular in the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. After ingestion of 8-methoxypsoralen, the patient’s leukocytes are exposed to ultraviolet light-A, and then re-infused.

Broadband ultraviolet-B has been used for treatment of mycosis fungoides for many, many years. However, a new form of UVB, known as narrowband ultraviolet-B, uses only a few selected UVB wavelengths (311-312 nm). Narrowband ultraviolet-B is generally more effective than broadband UVB. Ultraviolet-B is used mainly for patch stage mycosis fungoides.

A lower risk of skin malignancy is the offered advantage of narrowband UVB over broadband, as wavelengths in the lower end of the UVB spectrum are thought to add the most to DNA damage. Areas of the body like the intertriginous regions, scalp, and soles of the feet are moderately shielded from the ultraviolet effects. Patients with significant disease in these locations may benefit from handheld UV-B phototherapy lamps, which are more flexible in reaching these hidden areas. The male genitalia must be protected during UV treatments, as well as other uninvolved areas of the body, to reduce the probability of skin cancer development.

Phototherapy is at first administered three times a week. It normally takes 20 to 30 treatments for a response to become apparent. If no response is seen at that time, an alternative light source (phototherapy) or medication should be considered. If there is an improvement with phototherapy, the frequency of treatments will be reduced and eventually stopped.