Treating and Controlling the Skin Condition Impetigo

Children pick up all kinds of different health issues at school or daycare, and seeing them come home covered in oozing blisters can be traumatic. If the sores turn out to be impetigo, you can relax, as it is a common skin complaint among kids. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications for the treatment of impetigo.

The blisters and sores that show up are with impetigo are caused by a bacterial skin infection, with the most commonly infected areas being on the face, neck, hands, and diaper region. Pediatrician Thomas D. Smith, MD, of the FDA explained that while impetigo is contagious, it is also preventable and manageable.

The Causes of Impetigo

The skin contains two types of bacteria that are responsible for impetigo, and they are Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, the letter of which is also the trigger for strep throat. Most people carry these bacteria without any sort of issue, but a simple cut, scratch, or insect bite can lead to a bacterial infection that results in impetigo.

Anyone, child or adult, can get impetigo, and can suffer from it more than once. It’s an ailment that can hit at any given time, although, it is usually more prevalent in warmer months. In the U.S. alone, roughly 3 million cases of impetigo are seen every single year.

Smith explained that impetigo is most common in children aged 2 to 6 years old, as they are more likely to get the cuts and scrapes that can lead to the spread of bacteria.

Impetigo Treatment

Listed below are the most common signs of impetigo:

  • Fluid-filled sores that are prone to bursting and forming a yellow crust
  • Itchy rashes
  • Blisters filled with fluid

You should immediately contact your doctor if you see any of the above symptoms. Your doctor will probably prescribe topical or oral antibiotics to treat the impetigo. Multiple visible lesions are most commonly treated with oral antibiotics. What you will not find is an over the counter impetigo treatment option.

The Control and Prevention of Impetigo

If left untreated, impetigo will clear up in anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Smith makes it clear, though, that you need to use soap and water to keep the affected areas clean, and that you do not scratch. The problem with going this route is that the impetigo can spread to other parts of the body.

Perhaps more importantly, you may end up infecting other people. The spread of infection usually comes via close contact as opposed to casual contact. The spread to others can be prevented by doing the following:

  • Keeping the infected area clean using soap and water
  • Keeping sores and scabs loosely covered until they heal
  • Gently remove crusted over scabs
  • When you touch an infected area, wash your hands with soap and water

Since impetigo spreads via skin to skin contact, it is not uncommon to see outbreaks in a family or classroom setting. Smith recommends that you avoid using items that people infected with impetigo use. If you have impetigo, try to keep your nails short, as this will prevent the bacteria making home under the nails, making it easier to spread. Also, avoid scratching the sores.

If the symptoms persist or get worse, be sure to call your doctor. Signs of worsening symptoms include increased swelling, pain, and fever.


 

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Dandruff Prevention

Dandruff

Dandruff is a common, non-contagious skin condition that affects the scalp (the skin that covers the top and back of the head) and causes flakes of skin to appear. Non-contagious means that you cannot catch dandruff from someone who has the condition. Dandruff can vary in severity- it can be mild, moderate or severe.

Mild dandruff can affect anyone, although it tends to affect men more than women. Dandruff often occurs after puberty and is most common in people in their early twenties. Puberty is the period of life when the body reaches sexual maturity and causes physical, psychological and behavioral changes. In adults, dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis may return at any time.

There is not much you can do for dandruff prevention. However, using an antidandruff or antifungal shampoo once a week (or as prescribed on the bottle) after the scalp is clear may help to prevent dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis of the scalp.

Dandruff Prevention

Try the following steps for dandruff prevention:

  • Try not to scratch your scalp when using shampoo. Gently massage your scalp without scratching as this will not damage your scalp or your hair.
  • Brush your hair daily and wash it at least three times a week. After washing your hair, rinse it thoroughly to get all the shampoo out. Using a shampoo that contains tea tree oil daily may help reduce dandruff. It contains an antifungal and antiseptic and can be bought in health shops.
  • Avoid using chemicals on your scalp, such as those used in hair colouring products. The chemicals reduce the number of bacteria on the scalp that are needed to fight against yeasts.
  • Using hair products, such as hair gels and hair sprays, can build up oils and can irritate the scalp in some people. You may want to stop using a product for a while to see if your dandruff improves, or change products completely.
  • Spending time outdoors can help reduce dandruff. However, ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can damage your skin, as well as increasing your risk of developing skin cancer. Make sure you protect yourself from the sun by using a sun screen with the appropriate skin protection factor (SPF) for your skin type.
  • Managing stress can reduce your risk of getting dandruff. Stress can have an adverse effect on your overall health and can increase your risk of becoming ill. Stress can also trigger dandruff or make existing dandruff worse. If you feel stressed or under pressure, your GP can recommend a variety of different ways to help treat your stress.

Injectable Skin Lightening Products

Injectable products are becoming a popular alternative for those desiring to alter their skin color for the purpose of lightening or whitening their complexion. Despite the popularity of these products, they have yet to be FDA-approved (Food and Drug Administration) and are considered to be unsafe for use. These products are also believed to not have a significant effect on altering skin color.

One FDA representative noted that injectables contain mystery substances that may be extremely harmful to one’s body. Also, because no one knows how these injectables are made, it adds to the uncertainty of their safety.

A Costly Promises

Like most skin brightening and whitening products on the market, injectables promise to even skin tone, remove blemishes and lighten skin tone. You can find these products online and in some retail and health stores. Most products come with instructions on how to inject the product under the skin, in a vein or in a muscle. However, most people fail to realize that while these products are being marketed, they are not approved as safe by the FDA. Some injectable products claim to treat conditions like Parkinson’s or liver disease, which is also not able to be proved or verified by the FDA. Because it is not known how these products are made, no one can vouch for the safety of these products.

What Consumers Should Do

If you are having adverse reactions to using an injectable product in the past, contact your health care provider immediately.

Also, contact your health care provider if you want to try a safer way to deal with your skin problems (like melisma or hyperpigmentation). That way, you can use a topical product that is known to be approved by the FDA.

Unlike the injectable products for skin condition, FDA-approved drugs are verified to be safe and effective in doing their intended purpose. Also, if a product is FDA-approved, the manufacturer has also meet specific qualifications that verify the product was produced in a safe way.

Wrinkles: Causes and Treatment

Wrinkles are caused by thin, sagging skin. They particularly appear on the face, neck, backs of hands, and tops of forearms.

Wrinkles occur as part of the natural aging process, when the collagen and elastin in the connective tissue of the skin become weak and break down due to changes in fibroblasts that produce collagen and elastin.

Premature or excess wrinkles can also be caused by factors like too much exposure to sunlight or harsh environments, smoking, use of certain drugs, excessive stress, sudden weight loss, loss of vitamin E, and genetic predisposition.

There are many easy natural remedies that will help reduce wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming. Most natural wrinkle remedies do not have many side effects. You can usually try natural remedies for wrinkles without investing a lot of money or suffering from potentially serious complications.

However, it is a good idea to first consult with your dermatologist or skin care specialist, as even the best home remedies for wrinkles can have serious side effects, especially for those with sensitive skin and those prone to allergic reactions.

Indoor Tanning Products

Several risks are involved with using indoor tanning products. For instance, if you use an indoor tanning booth or bed, you are exposing your body to UV (ultraviolet) radiation, which promotes skin damage, eye injuries, melanoma and other skin cancers.

Because of the gradual impact of UV radiation, it places children, adolescents and young adults at a higher risk for eye and skin conditions in their later years. The FDA is determined to minimize the damage of UV radiation caused by indoor tanning products by prohibiting the use of these products by people under the age of 18. Also, indoor tanning sites are required to provide literature about the possible risks associated with using an indoor tanning product and have the consumer acknowledge the awareness of such risks by signing an acknowledgment form.

The FDA is also considering another rule that will require makers of indoor tanning products and tanning sites to create more proactive strategies to prevent injuries from using these products.

Dr. Markham Luke, dermatologist and deputy office director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health tells us that using indoor tanning products at a young age (childhood and young adulthood) increases the potential to develop melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. Markham also states that several hundred youth each year in the US get injured from using an indoor tanning product.

The American Academy of Dermatology states that exposure to indoor tanning products make people 59% more likely to have melanoma than people who have never used an indoor tanning product.

Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between 2003 to 2012 conclude that there are over 3,000 emergency room visits in the US alone due to indoor tanning product-related injuries. Interesting enough, over 400 of the patients were adolescents under the age of 18.

Things to Keep in Mind for those Still Planning on Using an Indoor Tanning Product

Now the FDA has taken steps to prevent injuries to minors who use tanning products. FDA-approved products will carry a disclaimer that prohibits the use of the tanning product by people under the age of 18. Indoor tanning products are required to have a visible, black-box disclaimer that people under age 18 should not use the product. Also keep these points in mind:

  • Being exposed too long (like near the maximum time for the tanning device) can cause sunburn. Since it takes from 6 to 48 hours to realize your skin is sunburned, it’s going to be hard to tell if you’ve stayed exposed for too long.
  • If you take medications or use certain cosmetics, it may make you sensitive to the sun (UV radiation actually), so consult your physician or pharmacist prior to using a tanning product.
  • Neglecting to wear protective goggles while doing indoor tanning can cause temporary or long-term eye problems.
  • Always follow the directions for the tanning product. If you have skin that easily burns or is hard to tan (or does not tan at all), then it is highly recommended you do not use an indoor tanning product.

Remedies for Cracked Heels

Anyone can get cracked heel but some people are more prone to the condition than others. Some individuals suffer dry, cracked heel due to poor hygiene. The person may not exfoliate daily or moisturize well enough. Additionally, it could occur because the person is not drinking enough water. Each of these factors may contribute to dry, cracked heel.

The first sign of getting cracked heel is the development of dry, hard, thickened skin around the rim of the heel. This is called a callus and may be yellow or dark brown discoloured area of skin. Initially small cracks over the callus are visible.

If left untreated and as more pressure is placed on the heel, these cracks become deeper and eventually walking and standing will be painful. The cracks may be so deep that they begin to bleed. That is why it’s important to take care of your skin even on feet and find an appropriate remedy for cracked heel.

Severe heel infections may require that individuals take oral anti-fungal medication in order to alleviate or cure the symptoms. The most common ingredients in prescription anti-fungal drugs include ketaconazole, itraconazole, naftifine, and nystatin.

Those who desire a topical treatment should not simply select an anti-itch ointment. These ointments may promote moisture and exacerbate the condition. Experts recommend the use of gels instead of creams for application of topical treatments.

Head Lice Treatment Options

Your doctor will likely recommend an over-the-counter (OTC) head lice treatment that kills lice and some of the eggs. These head lice treatment medications may not kill recently laid eggs. Therefore, an appropriately timed second treatment is usually necessary to kill nymphs after they hatch but before they become adult lice.

In some geographic regions, lice have developed resistance to OTC medications. Also, OTC treatment may fail because of incorrect use, such as not repeating the treatment at an appropriate time.

If the correct use of an OTC treatment has failed, the next head lice treatment option is a prescription remedy. The truth is, while these pesticides may get rid of lice, they are also being absorbed by the skin. As you may well imagine, this can cause a number of negative side effects – from skin irritation, redness and swelling to breathing difficulties or asthmatic episodes – and that’s just from regular, recommended use! These treatments have caused vomiting, seizures, even death.

Natural head lice treatment can be fantastic for both acute cases of lice and chronic recurrent never-ending cases of nits. You can count on the natural head lice treatment products to quickly, safely remove lice and nits without the use of poisons and pesticides. Instead, the natural remedies use the finest grade homeopathics and aromatherapeutic oils to relieve and soothe itchy irritated scalps.