Monday, November 5, 2007

Skin Care Secrets

Skin plays a vital role in everyone's life that how one looks and feels, is directly related to one skin. Great skin is the first step towards an excellent makeup also. Making the best choices for our bodies, and ultimately our skin, is achieved through good diet/ food, exercise, regular professional treatments, personalized homecare, and above all, a healthy mental attitude.

Secret solutions for skin care:
As far as your daily diet is concerned, track these three secrets in your routine to have a glowing and sensuous skin.
Avoid eating chocolates and foods or drinks that are made with cocoa combination. There is a link between chocolate and skin conditions such as pimples.
Avoid fried and fatty foods in general.
Avoid starchy foods. No cakes, biscuits, sweets, bread or Jams.
The first and foremost step towards beautiful skin is working out what your skin type is. This is necessary, so that you can move forward how to care for your skin, and what products should be used. Below are the 5 different features of skin types, which you can compare to your own skin type. Once you have decided what type your skin is, you can find out what the best way is to look after your skin.
Dry skin
Oily skin
Combinational skin
Sensitive skin
Normal skin
Care for Dry skin:
For dry skin, use a creamy cleanser to melt away dirt. Leave it on your skin before sweeping it away with cotton wool. Splash cold water onto your face to clean and refresh your skin. Use a thick cream moisturizer to seal in as much moisture as possible and have a refreshing feel.
Care for Oily skin:
To care for oily skin you should start with a gentle, foaming facial wash. This will remove dirt and oil without stripping away moisture. Soak cotton wool in a gentle astringent lotion and sweep it over your skin to refresh and cool it.
Even oily skin needs a moisturizer, but choose a light, watery fluid; this will be enough for your skin. Allow the moisturizer to sink in well and then absorb the excess with a tissue to prevent shine.
Care for Combinational skin:
If you have combinational skin use a foaming facial wash in the mornings to cleanse your skin. This will keep the oily areas clean to prevent blackheads. In the evening use a cream cleanser to soothe your dry areas. This will keep a balance between excess dryness and excess oiliness. Use a strong astringent for your oily areas and a mild skin freshener for the dry areas. This is not an expensive option, as you will need a little of each. Use moisturizer on your whole face, but make sure you concentrate on your drier areas.
Care for Sensitive Skin:
If you have sensitive skin, do not use facial washes or soap; instead use a light, hypoallergenic cleansing lotion. Use a moisturizer to strengthen your skin and provide a barrier against irritants. Make sure you use an non perfumed moisturizer, which will not irritate your skin.
Care for Normal Skin:
To care for normal skin you should start with a gentle foaming facial wash. Massaging it into your face will give you a rosy complexion. Cool your skin with a refreshing toner, and massage it with your fingers in light upward strokes.

The Structure of Skin

The importance of keeping your skin healthy can't be overemphasized. It's the body's first defense against disease and infection, and it protects your internal organs from injuries. It is, in fact, the largest organ in the body. The skin helps regulate body temperature and prevents excess fluid loss, and it also helps your body remove excess water and salt.

Skin conditions can affect anyone—young and old, men and women. Acne, psoriasis and eczema are just a few examples of common skin disorders. The good news is that there are a number of simple ways to keep skin healthy, and there also are now many options available to treat skin conditions, if treatment is necessary.

If you think you may have a skin problem, or need to learn how to better care for your skin, consultation with a dermatologist—a physician who specializes in treating the skin and keeping it healthy—may be in order. Skin problems can be difficult to diagnose because many skin conditions share similar symptoms. An evaluation is key to effective treatment.

The Structure of Skin

To understand how to keep your skin healthy, it may help to learn about your skin's structure.

Skin is composed of two layers: the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin—about the thickness of a piece of paper) and the dermis (the middle layer). The thickness of the dermis is variable depending on the location. For example, eyelid dermis is quite thin, but back dermis is about 1/2 inch thick. The epidermis has four layers: the stratum corneum, the granular layer, the squamous cell layer and the basal cell layer.

The stratum corneum or outer layer of the epidermis is the layer of skin that can be seen and felt. Proteins known as keratin, a fatty, waterproof envelope, and flat corneocyte cells make up the stratum corneum. This layer is the barrier between your body and the outside world.

The granular layer produces protein and lipids (fat) for the stratum corneum.

The squamous cell layer produces keratin for the stratum corneum and also transports water. Friction blisters occur in the squamous cell layer.

The basal cell layer is the lowest layer of the epidermis. This is where the skin cells are reproduced and give rise to the more superficial layers of the epidermis. The most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, arises from this cell layer. Melanocytes, which produce melanin, or skin pigment, sit along this layer among these cells. Melanoma, one of the two main groups of skin cancer, originates from these pigment-producing cells.

How can diabetes hurt my feet?

High blood glucose from diabetes causes two problems that can hurt your feet:

Nerve damage. One problem is damage to nerves in your legs and feet. With damaged nerves, you might not feel pain, heat, or cold in your legs and feet. A sore or cut on your foot may get worse because you do not know it is there. This lack of feeling is caused by nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy (noo-ROP-uh-thee). Nerve damage can lead to a sore or an infection.

Poor blood flow. The second problem happens when not enough blood flows to your legs and feet. Poor blood flow makes it hard for a sore or infection to heal. This problem is called peripheral (puh-RIF-ur-uhl) vascular disease, also called PVD. Smoking when you have diabetes makes blood flow problems much worse.
These two problems can work together to cause a foot problem.

For example, you get a blister from shoes that do not fit. You do not feel the pain from the blister because you have nerve damage in your foot. Next, the blister gets infected. If blood glucose is high, the extra glucose feeds the germs. Germs grow and the infection gets worse. Poor blood flow to your legs and feet can slow down healing. Once in a while a bad infection never heals. The infection might cause gangrene (GANG-green). If a person has gangrene, the skin and tissue around the sore die. The area becomes black and smelly.

To keep gangrene from spreading, a doctor may have to do surgery to cut off a toe, foot, or part of a leg. Cutting off a body part is called an amputation (AM-pyoo-TAY-shuhn).

Skin Problems in Diabetes

If you have diabetes, it’s important to be aware of potentially serious skin problems related to diabetes and see your doctor before the problem gets out of control. In most cases, skin problems in diabetes can be managed with early diagnosis and treatment.

Diabetes Skin Problems
Scleroderma diabeticorum: While rare, this skin problem affects people with type 2 diabetes, causing a thickening of the skin on the back of the neck and upper back. The treatment is to bring your blood glucose level under control. Lotions and moisturizers may help soften skin.
Vitiligo: Vitiligo, a skin problem more commonly associated with type 1 diabetes than type 2 diabetes, affects skin coloration. With vitiligo, the special cells that make pigment (the substance that controls skin color) are destroyed, resulting in patches of discolored skin. Vitiligo often affects the chest and abdomen, but may be found on the face around the mouth, nostrils and eyes. Current treatment options for vitiligo include topical steroids and micropigmentation (tattooing). If you have vitiligo, you should use sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher to prevent sunburn on the discolored skin.

Skin Problems Linked to Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
Acanthosis nigricans. This is a skin problem that results in the darkening and thickening of certain areas of the skin especially in the skin folds. The skin becomes tan or brown and is sometimes slightly raised and described as velvety. Most often the condition, which typically looks like a small wart, appears on the sides or back of the neck, the armpits, under the breast, and groin. Occasionally the top of the knuckles will have a particularly unusual appearance. Acanthosis nigricans usually strikes people who are very overweight. While there is no cure for acanthosis nigricans, losing weight may improve the skin condition. Acanthosis nigricans usually precedes diabetes and is considered to be a marker for the disease. There are other health conditions that also are known to cause acanthosis of the skin and these include acromegaly and Cushing syndromes. It is thought that this health condition is a skin manifestation of insulin resistance.

Boils can be painful

A boil (furuncle) is a skin disease caused by the inflammation of hair follicles, resulting in the localized accumulation of pus and dead tissues. Individual boils can cluster together and form an interconnected network of boils called carbuncles. In severe cases, boils may develop to form abscesses.


The symptoms of boils are red, pus-filled lumps that are tender, warm, and/or painful. A yellow or white point at the center of the lump can be seen when the boil is ready to drain or discharge pus. In a severe infection, multiple boils may develop and the patient may experience fever and swollen lymph nodes. A recurring boil is called chronic furunculosis.

In some people, itching may develop before the lumps begin to develop. Boils are most often found on the back, underarms, shoulders, face, thighs and buttocks, but may be found elsewhere. Boils on the ear tend to be more painful, and can create shooting pain in the entire ear when touched.

Sometimes boils will emit an unpleasant smell, particularly when drained or when discharge is present, due to the presence of bacteria in the discharge.


Boils are generally caused by an infection of the hair follicles by Staphylococcus aureus or staph, a strain of bacteria that normally lives on the skin surface. It is thought that a tiny cut of the skin allows this bacterium to enter the follicles and cause an infection. This can happen during bathing or while using a razor.

People with immune system disorders, diabetes, poor hygiene or malnutrition (Vitamin A or E deficiency) are particularly susceptible to getting boils. However they may also occur in healthy, hygienic individuals.

Hidradenitis suppurativa causes frequent boils.

Boils in the armpits can sometimes be caused by anti-perspirant deodorants.


Most boils run their course within 4 to 10 days. For most people, self-care by applying a warm compress or soaking the boil in warm water can help alleviate the pain and hasten draining of the pus (colloquially referred to as "bringing the boil to a head"). Fire cupping can be utilised to facilitate this procedure. Once the boil drains, the area should be washed with antibacterial soap or antibacterial herbs (chickweed poultice) and bandaged well.

For recurring cases, sufferers may benefit from diet supplements of Vitamin A and E.

In serious cases, prescription oral antibiotics such as dicloxacillin (Dynapen) or cephalexin (Keflex), or topical antibiotics, are commonly used. For patients allergic to penicillin-based drugs, erythromycin (E-base, Erycin) may also be used.

However, some boils are caused by a superbug known as community-acquired Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or CA-MRSA. Bactrim or other sulfa drugs must be prescribed relatively soon after boil has started to form. MRSA tends to increase the speed of growth of the infection.

Magnesium sulfate paste applied to the affected area can prevent the growth of bacteria and reduce boils by absorbing pus and drying up the lesion.


For most cases, there are no serious complications and a full recovery is expected.


Alopecia is hair loss from the scalp. Alopecia is also known as male-pattern hair loss or balding in men, or female-pattern hair loss in women.

The most common cause of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia which is thinning of the hair caused by androgens (male hormones) in those who have inherited a genetic tendency towards balding.

Drug treatments for hereditary balding include the drugs finasteride and minoxidil.

Another cause of hair loss is alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is considered an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system, which is designed to protect the body from foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria, mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, the tiny cup-shaped structures from which hairs grow. This can lead to hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere.

What is acne?

Acne is a disorder that causes outbreaks of skin lesions commonly called pimples. It is caused by the skin’s oil glands making too much sebum, an oily substance, which leads to plugged pores. It also can be caused by the rapid production of a bacteria P. acnes.

Acne lesions occur mostly on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. It is the most common skin disease. Although acne is not a serious health threat, severe acne can lead to disfiguring and permanent scarring.

How does acne affect women?

Most young women and men will have at least a few pimples over the course of their lives. But acne seems to affect men and women in different ways. Young men are more likely to have a more serious form of acne. Acne in young women tends to be more random and linked to hormone changes, such as the menstrual cycle.

As women get older, acne often gets better. But some women have acne for many years. Some women even get acne for the first time at age 30 or 40.

For many women, acne can be an upsetting illness. Women may have feelings of depression, poor body image, or low self-esteem. But you don’t have to wait to outgrow acne or to let it run its course. Today, almost every case of acne can be resolved. Acne also can, sometimes, be prevented. Talk with your doctor or dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in treating skin problems) about how you can help prevent acne and if treatment would help you.