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Quick diagnosis of Atopic Dermatitis

Dennie-Morgan lines in atopic  kids

Atopic dermatitis is also known as “Asthma of the skin”. It is generally manifested as dry skin itching and eczematous red areas mostly on the flexural parts of the elbows and knees. An interesting features that helps dermatologist diagnosis – is a is an additional skin fold below the lower eyelids called Dennie-Morgan lines. (see picture).

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Skin Allergies – What Are The Seven Most Common Causes ?

[1] Nickel: Nickel is a metal found in many products, especially those plated with a chrome-nickel alloy or those made of stainless steel, of which nickel is one of the components.  Many earrings not made of gold contain nickel and cause dermatitis in people allergic to it.  The metal buttons on jeans and belt and watchband buckles also contain nickel and can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people.  Since perspiration dissolves a small quantity of the nickel found in various products, these reactions are more common in summer.

[2] Rubber: Rubber is a frequent cause of allergic reactions.  An allergy to rubber appears as an itching red rash which can manifest itself a few minutes after contact with an article containing rubber.  Most of these reactions occur in people who use rubber gloves, among them doctors and nurses who wear gloves made of latex.  People who have been diagnosed as allergic to rubber and to rubber-bearing products are advised to wear vinyl gloves instead, since these to not produce allergic reactions.

[3] Hair Dyes: Some people are sensitive to hair dyes.  A common cause is the pheraphenylan diamine, one of the ingredients found in hair dyes.

[4] Chromates: Chromates are substances common in cement, shoe leather, matches, paints and some anti-rust preparations.  Welders, construction workers and shoe makers are readily exposed to chromates and can develop allergies to products containing them.

[5] Cosmetics: The wide range of cosmetic products that can be bought today enables us to beautify our hair and nails.  Remember, however, that these products can cause unwanted side effects such as allergic dermatitis, increased sensitivity to the sun, lesions resembling acne, etc., which should be diagnosed early to prevent continued damage to the skin.

The most common cause of cosmetic allergy is caused by the fragrances present in cosmetic products.  More than five thousand such fragrances are in use today and are found not only in cosmetics which are applied or sprayed onto the skin but in other common household items such as toilet paper, paper towels, soaps, detergents and fabric softeners.

Some of the fragrances, especially those used in men’s after shave lotions until a few years ago, cause increased facial skin sensitivity to the sun, which can lead to hard-to-cure chronic skin inflammations or to brown splotches on the skin.  Allergy tests can determine the exact cause of this sensitivity.

Preservatives are found in the overwhelming majority of cosmetic products.  Their role is to prevent bacteria and fungi from contaminating the product.  These preservatives often cause rashes and are the second most common cause of allergic reactions to cosmetics.

A small number of side effects has been noted as a result of the use, welcome as it is, of sun blocks.  These   allergic reactions appear as local redness or itching.  They used to be caused by an ingredient called PABA, which is no longer used in such preparations; today they are caused by sun blocks containing oxybenzone.

[6] Toothpaste There have been infrequent reported cases of skin irritations caused by toothpaste.  In these few cases, sensitivity to toothpaste or mouthwash appears as an itchy red area around the lips.  In a few cases allergic reactions  to the fluoride in toothpaste have caused lesions resembling the pustules of acne around the lips.

[7] Shaving creams and after shave lotions can cause irritations or allergies, chiefly because of the fragrances they contain.  One of the most common such fragrances in use during the nineteen sixties and seventies was called “musk ambrette,” and caused severe skin inflammations which worsened upon exposure to the sun.

Certain cosmetic products contain hypoallergenic ingredients which cause fewer allergic reactions than ordinary cosmetic products.  Although the chance of developing an allergic reaction to one of these substances is relatively small, they are not perfect and do cause such reactions in some of the people who use them.

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Photosensitivity Caused By Drugs and Chemicals

ACQUIRED  HYPERSENSITIVITY TO THE SUN-

People suffering from lupus erythematosis are particularly sensitive to the sun.  Their skins develop rashes spread in a ring or butterfly pattern covering the cheeks and the bridge of the nose.  In come cases there is involvement of the blood vessels, the kidneys and the joints.  Since exposure to the sun worsens the rashes, lupus patients must avoid any such exposure.

Polymorphous light eruption (PLE) is a common skin reaction to the sun.  Despite its long name it is not dangerous.  The patient’s first exposure to the sun in any given year produces an itching rash.  As the summer continues and the skin becomes slightly tan, the rash disappears.  It might be considered an allergy to the sun, and there are those who estimate that more than 10% of the population suffers from it.

HYPERSENSITIVITY TO THE SUN AS A RESULT
OF SUBSTANCES WHICH COME IN CONTACT
WITH THE SKIN-

Many women aged 50 and older have brown patches of skin on the sides of their necks.  Very few people are aware that these patches are caused by the use of perfumes which, when exposed to the sun, lead to sensitivity which develops into colored patches where the perfume was applied.  This occurs because solar radiation, especially UVA, can change chemical compounds.  These changes in the substance which was sprayed or dabbed on the skin can cause reactions resembling burns or allergic rashes.

These rashes are characterized by the fact that they appear only in exposed areas which came in contact with the irritating substance, usually the face, neck, forearms and upper chest.  An example of such a substance is perfume containing chemicals derived from oranges that grow in the Bergamot region of France.

These perfumes can cause sun-induced marks on the skin of people who expose the areas where the perfume was applied to the sun.  Other substances can cause similar reactions, such as the juices of figs and green lemons, and tar fumes.  It is interesting to note that even sunscreens, which are supposed to protect the skin, can in rare instances cause hypersensitivity to the sun.  Any person who uses a sunscreen and feels that his or her skin is red and sensitive after sunning should consult a dermatologist.  Hypersensitivity to the sun caused by a substance applied to the skin can be determined by hospital tests.

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Diaper Rash Treatment – 8 Best Tips !

Diaperdermatitis

Diaper Rash Treatment-

The skin of an infant is very thin and easily damaged.  Even short exposure to the sun’s rays or to hot water will cause a burn.  The use of chemicals and soaps which are unsuitable for an infant’s delicate skin can lead to irritation or to the development of an allergic reaction.  In recent years there has been considerable evidence showing that a connection exists between frequent sunburn in childhood and an increased risk of skin growths in later life, and therefore it is advisable to protect an infant’s skin from excessive sunshine.  He or she should be placed in a shady spot and if necessary a sunscreen specially formulated for infant skin. Because of the fact that the sweat glands are not fully active, infants sometimes develop “prickly heat,” also known as milaria. The problem can easily be solved by regulating room temperature, dressing the baby in light, loose clothing and by avoiding the use of greasy salves and lotions which prevent the evaporation of perspiration.  If necessary the skin can be cooled by wiping it with a sponge or washcloth dipped in cool water.  Calamine lotion can also be used.

WHAT IS DIAPER RASH?

Diaper rash is the most common skin complaint found among infants.  It is so common that almost every baby seems to suffer from it at least once.  Diaper rash is an inflammation characterized by redness and irritation on those areas of the skin covered by the diaper: buttocks, groin, thighs and lower stomach.  This rash develops as the result of a combination of causes.  Continued contact with urine irritates the skin, and bacteria from the feces cause the urine to break down into agents which worsen the irritation.  In the moist, warm environment of the diaper, bacteria and fungi also develop.  They multiply chiefly in the folds of the skin and create lesions which look like shiny red patches, sometimes covered with a whitish discharge.

HOW CAN DIAPER RASH BE PREVENTED?

  1. The baby’s skin should be washed with a mild soap and dried carefully in order not to damage it further.
  2. It is advisable to make frequent use of a fragrance-free skin cream or protective lotion.
  3. Special “night diapers,” which absorb more, should be used.
  4. Diapers should be changed as frequently as possible, even every hour, if necessary.
  5. The affected skin should be carefully washed and dried every time the diaper is changed.
  6. It is advisable to use thick, fragrance-free sterile wipes in order to avoid allergic reactions.
  7. If the weather is suitable, the baby can be left without a diaper for short periods of time.
  8. If the rash does not go away within a few days in spite of all the above precautions, consult your doctor about the advisability of using a fungicide or an anti-inflammatory preparation (steroids).
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Contact Dermatitis Treatment And Prevention Is Possible !

Cause of dermatitis -

The most common cause of dermatitis (skin inflammation) is an allergic reaction to a substance which comes in contact with the skin and irritates it.  Many of the eruptions on  the face, neck and other areas of the body are allergic reactions to substances applied to the skin (cosmetics), to substances in clothing (dyes, laundry detergents), and to the active ingredients in household cleaning products and to the nickel found in jewelry.

Special tests can determine the exact cause of an allergy.  If contact with the offending substance is avoided, the dermatitis will disappear by itself.

There are two different forms of dermatitis which appears as a result of contact with a certain substance:

The inflammation is caused by direct contact with a strong substance such as an acid, or by exaggerated use of a harsh soap.  Contact with these substances results in an irritation regardless of who the person is, and is not related to an allergic tendency.

The only way to prevent this kind of dermatitis is to wear gloves or to avoid dealing with the substances.

2) The inflammation is an allergic reaction called contact dermatitis and occurs only in the small percentage of the population which is naturally sensitivity to them.

Allergic reactions can also be produced by the ingestion of certain substances.  Some cases of allergic dermatitis  affecting the entire body are caused by various drugs and medicines, especially those belonging to the penicillin and sulfa groups.  In a small number of cases certain foods produce allergic reactions, especially fruits, eggs and fish.

A rash caused by substances which come in contact with the skin usually itches and is flat and red.  In some cases blisters or “weeping” appears on the red areas.  If the rash continues for an extended period of time the skin may thicken and crack.  Such an allergic reaction will usually occur within two or three weeks after the first contact with the irritant.  After the second contact, the allergic reaction  usually appears in two to four days.  In a small percentage of cases an allergic reaction to cosmetic products can appear after months or even years of exposure.

The red, itchy area can appear anywhere on the body, depending upon the point of contact with the irritant.  An allergy to the nickel found in earrings appears on the earlobes, while an allergy to a substance found in a watchband appears on the wrist under the watchband.

Often the rash appears in unexpected places on the body and the cause is more difficult to determine.  For instance, an allergy to nail polish may appear on the eyelids but not on the hands.  The reason is that most people touch their eyelids without being aware of it, and since the skin of the eyelids is thinner than that of the hands, an allergy to nail polish or even to hand lotion will appear on the eyelids, and only infrequently around the fingernails or on the hands.

THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF SKIN ALLERGIES-

Nickel: Nickel is a metal found in many products, especially those plated with a chrome-nickel alloy or those made of stainless steel, of which nickel is one of the components.  Many earrings not made of gold contain nickel and cause dermatitis in people allergic to it.  The metal buttons on jeans and belt and watchband buckles also contain nickel and can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people.  Since perspiration dissolves a small quantity of the nickel found in various products, these reactions are more common in summer.

Rubber: Rubber is a frequent cause of allergic reactions.  An allergy to rubber appears as an itching red rash which can manifest itself a few minutes after contact with an article containing rubber.  Most of these reactions occur in people who use rubber gloves, among them doctors and nurses who wear gloves made of latex.  People who have been diagnosed as allergic to rubber and to rubber-bearing products are advised to wear vinyl gloves instead, since these to not produce allergic reactions.

Hair Dyes: Some people are sensitive to hair dyes.  A common cause is the pheraphenylan diamine, one of the ingredients found in hair dyes.

Chromates: Chromates are substances common in cement, shoe leather, matches, paints and some anti-rust preparations.  Welders, construction workers and shoe makers are readily exposed to chromates and can develop allergies to products containing them.

Cosmetics: The wide range of cosmetic products that can be bought today enables us to beautify our hair and nails.  Remember, however, that these products can cause unwanted side effects such as allergic dermatitis, increased sensitivity to the sun, lesions resembling acne, etc., which should be diagnosed early to prevent continued damage to the skin.

Cosmetic Allergy

The most common cause of cosmetic allergy is caused by the fragrances present in cosmetic products.  More than five thousand such fragrances are in use today and are found not only in cosmetics which are applied or sprayed onto the skin but in other common household items such as toilet paper, paper towels, soaps, detergents and fabric softeners.

Some of the fragrances, especially those used in men’s after shave lotions until a few years ago, cause increased facial skin sensitivity to the sun, which can lead to hard-to-cure chronic skin inflammations or to brown splotches on the skin.  Allergy tests can determine the exact cause of this sensitivity.

Preservatives are found in the overwhelming majority of cosmetic products.  Their role is to prevent bacteria and fungi from contaminating the product.  These preservatives often cause rashes and are the second most common cause of allergic reactions to cosmetics.

A small number of side effects has been noted as a result of the use, welcome as it is, of sun blocks.  These   allergic reactions appear as local redness or itching.  They used to be caused by an ingredient called PABA, which is no longer used in such preparations; today they are caused by sun blocks containing oxybenzone.

There have been infrequent reported cases of skin irritations caused by toothpaste.  In these few cases, sensitivity to toothpaste or mouthwash appears as an itchy red area around the lips.  In a few cases allergic reactions  to the fluoride in toothpaste have caused lesions resembling the pustules of acne around the lips.

Shaving creams and after shave lotions can cause irritations or allergies, chiefly because of the fragrances they contain.  One of the most common such fragrances in use during the nineteen sixties and seventies was called “musk ambrette,” and caused severe skin inflammations which worsened upon exposure to the sun.

Certain cosmetic products contain hypoallergenic ingredients which cause fewer allergic reactions than ordinary cosmetic products.  Although the chance of developing an allergic reaction to one of these substances is relatively small, they are not perfect and do cause such reactions in some of the people who use them.

HOW  TO  FIND  THE  CAUSE  OF  CONTACT DERMATITIS

In most cases diagnosing the exact cause of an allergy requires a great amount of knowledge and information.  If the locality of the allergy does not point to any specific cause, the dermatologist will perform a special test called a patch test.  This test requires three visits to the dermatologist’s office.  During the first visit the dermatologist sticks a series of special adhesive tapes to the patient’s back.  These pieces of tape have been impregnated with the most common allergy-causing reagents.  The test can also include substances habitually used by the patient, such as skin creams, soaps and after shave lotions.

48 hours later the patches are removed and reactions are examined, and 48 hours after that another examination is performed.  Judging by the reactions, in most instances the dermatologist can determine which substances the patient is sensitive to.

If the dermatologist diagnoses the cause of the allergy, he can advise the patient to replace the offending substance with one to which the patient is not sensitive, or he can advise a different course of treatment.  Once contact with the irritant is avoided, the rash can easily be treated with the proper medication and will disappear.

HOW  TO PROTECT  YOUR  HANDS  AGAINST  CONTACT  DERMATITIS ?

Redness, sensitivity and cracks in the skin of the hands develop for many reasons.  One of the most common is a reaction to substances with which the hands come in contact.

During the day we all touch irritating substances such as dishwashing liquids and detergents, oils and acids.  The skin of people whose work includes cleaning is usually inflamed as a direct result of being irritated by these products and not as the result of an allergic reaction.

IMPORTANT!

1) Wear rubber gloves or thick vinyl gloves (the best ones are those lined with cotton) while washing dishes, cleaning the house or when coming in contact with any harsh substance.  Buy several pairs of such gloves, keep them in various places around the house and use them whenever necessary.  After use, turn them inside out and allow them to dry thoroughly.

2) Since there are several vegetables which contain substances liable to irritate the skin, it is wise to wear gloves when peeling lemons, oranges, potatoes, and especially when touching and cutting tomatoes.

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Atopic Dermatitis – Treatment Update Tips And Tricks

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Atopic dermatitis manifests itself as irritated red areas of skin-

These areas are usually found in the folds of the skin and on the inner sides of the elbows, behind the knees and around the eyes.

In difficult cases, especially in children, the inflammation and irritation can also appear on the skin of the face, palms, scalp and back.  In certain cases the irritation is so severe that it causes sleepless nights and difficulties in school and at work.  Sometimes scratching the skin with unwashed hands causes topical bacterial infections which exacerbate the redness and pain.  Since atopic dermatitis usually appears in families with a tendency to asthma or to allergic rhinitis, it is sometimes calledasthma of the skin”.

Atopic dermatitis first appears in infant-hood or childhood-

It can continue into adolescence or even adulthood.  Its cause is not completely known, but it would seem to be linked to the fact that the skin of the affected person reacts more strongly to irritations.  The irritation can be external, e.g. cold weather, hot weather, pollen, dust or certain foods, and it can be internal, e.g. nervous tension.  There are dermatologists who believe that a small percentage (about 10%) of infants and children who suffer from atopic dermatitis are sensitive to cows’ milk, eggs or fish, which worsen the symptoms of the disease.  On the other hand, as far as adults are concerned, no link has been found so far between foods and atopic dermatitis.

Basis for treatment  is moisturizing the skin  that may  prevent  most  flare ups.  On the  red  inflamed  areas one  may   apply   steroids  creams   or  one  of the  new   non steroidal anti inflammatory  creams (Elidel or protopic). Internal medications   such  as   antihistamines  or  Profiten  may  relieve  the itch.

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