You have to love the skin you’re in. As much as you might wish otherwise, it is the only one you’ve got. There are a whole host of different conditions which might give your skin grief, but thankfully, your friendly neighbourhood pharmacist has got something for whatever might come your way. In our experience, it is usually better to get on the front foot, so if you know that you have come across some of these conditions before, pick up something today so that you are ready for whatever comes tomorrow.
It is a common misconception that acne is just a problem for teenagers. Whilst it might be more prevalent within this demographic, it is something that affects people of all ages and sizes. Your body is covered in tiny little holes called hair follicles. Sometimes, these holes get clogged up with dead skin cells or oil, and this causes a little irritation on your face AKA a pimple. They usually appear on your face, forehead, chest, back and shoulders. It is a good idea to have a management plan because otherwise, they can leave scars. Here are a few tips and tricks:
- Eat a healthy diet. If you are consuming a lot of fat and oil in your food, you are more likely to excrete this through your pores. The less oil on your face, the less chance you have of clogging a follicle.
- Wash the affected areas regularly. Take one teaspoon of Dettol and dilute it into a cup of warm water. Undiluted, Dettol is a bit too powerful for your skin, but when diluted it has powerful anti-bacterial properties. Try doing this twice daily for the next two to three days for best results.
- Moisturise: The last thing you want is for your face to dry out as then it can actually become worse. After you have done a Dettol wash, use a moisturiser to rehydrate your skin.
- If none of these remedies work, there are antibiotics that can help fight acne. But these should be a last resort as there are other side effects which are best avoided if possible.
Before you ask, this has nothing to do with the cellulite that people worry about. That is mainly an aesthetic concern. Cellulitis, on the other hand, can be quite dangerous if left untreated. It is a bacterial infection which gets in through an ulcer, cut or scratch. It is part of the staph group, and lives on some people’s skin without them being any the wiser. It only becomes problematic if it gets inside, and from there it can be downhill quickly. If you have cellulitis, you will have an area of skin that is inflamed, sore, red, and warm. After a while, this will also begin to affect your general health, leaving you with a temperature, the shakes, and blisters. It generally isn't contagious, but it is still a good idea to be washing your hands regularly if you or someone in your immediate vicinity is suffering. There are a number of different treatment options available:
- Antibiotics. This isn’t something to mess around with, and so you need to call in the big guns ASAP.
- Rest. As with all illnesses, you need to allow your white blood cells to focus entirely on defeating the infection. If you are over exerting yourself, your blood is split on feeding your muscles AND fighting the infection. Slow down, put your feet up.
- Often, cellulitis strikes on the leg, so if possible, elevate the limb to avoid excess swelling. If you are able, compressing the site will also help reduce the pain.
This is a bit of a catch-all term for a variety of different skin conditions (atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and contact dermatitis). They aren’t contagious, but they can make you feel a bit uncomfortable about going outside, so it is worth finding a solution, post haste! Depending on the type you have, you might experience itchiness, a dryness and flakiness of your skin, a rash, or blisters. Mostly, this happens because you’ve come into contact with something that irritates your skin: nickel, a certain plant, an ingredient in a moisturiser. Alternatively, it could be related to stress, a deficiency with your immune system, an infection, or plain old genetics. Whatever the cause, there is quite a bit you can do to reduce the length and severity of your symptoms:
- Make sure your skin doesn’t dry out by taking shorter baths. Ideally, you should limit these to no longer than 10 minutes in warm water rather than hot. The more natural oil you keep on your skin, the better.
- Avoid washing yourself with soap, as many soap products end up drying out your skin unnecessarily.
- When you dry yourself, don’t scrub violently. Instead, gently pat yourself dry to minimise the irritation.
- Moisturise. You’re always going to dry your skin out a little bit when bathing, but if you moisturise in the immediate aftermath, you can reduce the incidence of dermatitis by 50%.
These are more commonly known as urticaria, and are welts that occur across the skin. They can be incredibly itchy, ranging from small spots to large blotches. Hives can be caused by certain food groups (nuts or seafood), medications, airborne allergens or bites from various insects. Mostly, they clear up within a day, but some people will suffer with hives for over six weeks. There is not too much you can do aside from avoiding the things that have triggered an outbreak of hives in the past, and regularly washing and changing your clothes. Some studies suggest that antihistamines have an impact on reducing symptoms, but further work is needed before we would recommend this as a course of treatment. Of course, if you are becoming concerned that the symptoms are getting worse, or the person is becoming non responsive, seek urgent medical care and an epipen as it might be an anaphylactic reaction.