September 30, 2016

The skin is our largest organ and therefore the most prone to a variety of attacks from both inside and out. Triggers range from a fleeting brush with a toxic leaf, improper shaving, hormonal fluctuations, stress, immune disorder and even dormant virus.

If you have a rash, an itch, a patch of rough skin, redness, or dark spot that won’t go away, consult a dermatologist for proper evaluation. Read on to know more about these common skin concerns so you understand the courses of treatment available for you.

1.Rashes

Rash is a blanket term referring to an area of the skin that gets irritated or swollen. This irritation can be caused by a variety of factors. Allergens, infections, contact with toxic plants, medications, immune system disorders and even heat are thought to be the culprits. Treatment usually involves medicated creams or ointments to make the swelling and irritation subside. If there is infection or if the rash is severe, oral antibiotic may be prescribed.

2.Eczema

Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a kind of non-contagious rash characterized by inflamed, red, dry and itchy skin. It can be triggered by almost anything – irritants, allergens, stress and even the climate. It’s important to identify your triggers and then avoid it, if not minimize it. Medicated creams or ointments are applied to the affected area to relieve the symptoms, but it doesn’t mean that eczema won’t resurface at some future time.

3.Acne

Acne is a fact of life for most adolescents, and increasingly, among adults. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, with up to 50 million Americans affected by acne every year.

Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog up the pores creating what we know as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples or nodules that occur most commonly on the face but also on the chest, neck, back and shoulders. It can be severe enough to cause low self-esteem and limit a person’s social activities. There is a variety of treatment options available for those with active acne – oral antibiotics, topical retinoid, medical-grade skin rejuvenation to clear up pores, laser and light-based therapies, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.

One of the most effective acne treatment Singapore patients love for its high yet safe concentration is Cutis Anti Acne Peel. It contains willow plant extracts known for its pore-clearing and antibacterial properties. Cutis Anti Acne Peel is developed by a highly trusted Singapore skin centre that also offers acne scar treatment like micro-needling and laser skin resurfacing.

rosacea

4.Rosacea

Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by redness or flushing of the face – especially the cheeks and the nose – due to enlarged facial blood vessels. It has no known cures at the moment (because experts are still unsure of its causes), so the treatment approach is to keep the redness, and other symptoms such as acne-like breakouts and thickened skin, under control. Light- and laser-based therapies are currently used to shrink dilated veins and broken blood vessels so the reddish look gradually disappears. A popular skin treatment Singapore clinics offer to their patients is Laser Genesis, a non-invasive laser treatment that warms the skin to fade diffuse redness and scars as well as minimize fine lines and wrinkles and tighten pores.

5.Psoriasis

If you have a patch of dry, scaly skin on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, you may have psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to trigger an overproduction of new skin cells that the body can’t shed fast enough once they build up on the surface of the epidermis. The result is thick, silvery scales which are red, itchy, dry and sometimes painful. Some of the treatments available are topical creams, ointments, light therapy and medications delivered either orally or intravenously. Exposing the skin to small amounts of natural sunlight may help improve the symptoms.

6.Age or liver spots

People who loved the sun when they were younger are bound to see annoying brown or gray spots as they age because sun damage normally shows up 15 years later. These “liver” spots tend to appear on areas that have had plenty of exposure to sunlight – face, hands and arms.

Hydroquinone, chemical peels, and light and laser therapies have proven to be safe and effective treatments for unwanted pigmentation. A current favorite is Pearl laser resurfacing that uses pulses of light to strip away the damaged topmost layer of the skin while stimulating the formation of new skin. To protect this new layer of healthy skin, don’t skimp on broad-spectrum sunscreen with a rating of at least SPF 30. Rule out skin cancer by having a skin specialist look at suspicious dark spots or irregularities.

7.Razor bumps

Razor bumps are hairs that remain inside the follicle, curling and growing back into the skin. This inward growth irritates the skin and causes pimples that may end up as scars. A common approach to draw out ingrown hair is to coax it with clean needle and pull out the rest of the hair with tweezers. To minimize ingrown hairs, apply something warm on the area you want to shave, or take a shower before. Shave in the direction your hair grows using sharp razor. Unlike what you see in the commercials, don’t stretch your skin while you shave.

8.Shingles

Also a type of rash that appears as raised dots that eventually turn into painful blisters, shingles or herpes zoster is an infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. This virus reactivates later in life when the immune system weakens or when certain triggers like medication, stress or injury wake up the dormant virus. The affected area becomes very sensitive and burns, tingles and itches. Creams, steroids, antiviral drugs and even antidepressants are usually prescribed to manage the outbreak which usually lasts about two weeks. In rare cases, a type of herpes zoster virus may cause complications that could result to unilateral facial paralysis.

9.Melasma

Melasma

Melasma is called pregnancy mask because it appears as discolored patches on your cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. While the cause is usually hormonal and goes away when hormones return to their normal levels (as they do post-pregnancy), melasma may leave a blotchy appearance that can be a cosmetic nuisance. The Cutis Crystal Peel and Advanced Clear Skin Program by Dr Sylvia Skin Care are some of the skin pigmentation treatment Singapore patients have come to trust because it’s developed by a Harvard-trained skin specialist in Singapore who also offers laser therapy for other types of skin pigmentation.

10.Skin Tags

Small, soft skin growths that hang off by a stalk are likely to be skin tags. They are generally benign and don’t cause pain unless clothing or nearby skin rubs against them and cause irritation. Skin tags can be found on the neck, armpits, chest, under the breasts or in the groin area. If they are a nuisance, a dermatologist can freeze, cut or burn them off through electrocauterization.

Generally, common skin concerns are nothing to worry about. Just keep an eye on them so you’ll know when to see a doctor. And to better understand your treatment options for these common skin concerns, read our blog posts on resurfacing skin treatments, laser for acne scars and pigmentation removal.

Tags: face, acne scar treatment, laser skin resurfacing, skin treatment Singapore, skin specialisthyper pigmentation removal