fbpx
Tag

skin series Archives • HealthMint

skin-healthmint-rosacea

Rosacea: HealthMint Skin Series

By | Skin | No Comments

What You Need to Know About Rosacea

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a kind of skin inflammation, almost always on the face. It is not contagious, and the cause is unknown. Rosacea is enlarged capillaries (tiny blood vessels on the surface of the skin) which give a permanent flush to the face, and can also cause yellow-headed pimples.

Some things that can trigger rosacea or make symptoms worse are:

  • Overheating (especially at night)
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Hot drinks
  • Spicy food
  • Overexposure to sunlight
  • Some moisturisers and skin care products.

Who can get rosacea?

Men and women can get rosacea. Most people are diagnosed with the condition between the ages of 30-50. The most common first sign is frequent blushing or being flushed in the face. As the capillaries enlarge over time, the redness can become permanent. Men with rosacea can sometimes have a secondary condition called rhinophyma, which causes the nose to become enlarged and red.

As people get older, the symptoms of rosacea tend to get worse. There is no permanent cure for rosacea, although there are a number of treatment options.

How do you know if you’ve got rosacea?

The symptoms of rosacea include:

  • A permanent flush across the nose and cheeks
  • Redness resembling sunburn that doesn’t go away
  • Frequent blushing
  • A burning or stinging sensation
  • A rash on the face
  • Mildly swollen cheeks and nose
  • Enlarged visible capillaries
  • Painless lumps or pimples under the skin
  • red or irritated eyes or swollen eyelids.

What can you do to treat rosacea?

There is no single treatment for rosacea, and for many people treatment is focussed on managing symptoms. Some treatment options that might be prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist include:

  • Antibiotic- or azelaic acid-containing gels and creams
  • Antibiotic pills
  • Laser treatments to reduce the appearance of visible blood vessels
  • Surgery or laser therapy for enlarged noses
  • Non-irritating skin care products
  • Diathermy – a heat-generating device is used to treat damaged blood vessels
  • Frequent use of a gentle sunscreen
  • Avoiding known triggers such as alcohol, spicy food and anxiety

Sometimes people with rosacea have symptoms in their eyes, which requires specialised treatment by an ophthalmologist, and a dermatologist can help with symptoms that occur on the skin. The first step to getting checked should be to visit a trusted GP, who can help diagnose your condition, begin treatments and refer you to specialists if necessary.

Rosacea can be unsightly and uncomfortable, so it’s a great idea to get it looked at before it becomes a bigger problem. Looking after your skin is important to your health and well-being, and beginning a treatment plan can be as simple as having a chat with your GP.

Other Skin Series Articles

dry skin healthmint blog
Skin

8 Tips To Get Rid of Dry Skin

8 Tips to Get Rid of Dry Skin Dry skin during winter is common as…
stacey-murphy-healthmint-melanoma
Cancer

Stacey’s Melanoma Story – An Unexpected Diagnosis

An Unexpected Diagnosis When Stacey was just 28, she was diagnosed with Melanoma. Finding the…
Cancer

Melanoma Symptoms

What is Melanoma, What are the Symptoms of Melanoma?     Fast and scary facts…

Want more information?

Call (03) 5611 3365 to speak to a friendly patient concierge

or book an appointment here
skin-Psoriasis-healthmint

Psoriasis: HealthMint Skin Series

By | Body Systems, Skin | No Comments

What You Need to Know About Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition that can be uncomfortable and make people unhappy with the appearance of their skin. Because it often comes and goes, many people just put up with the symptoms. While the condition isn’t curable, it can be managed with help from your GP.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin condition where the life cycle of skin cells is sped up, which causes cells to build up thickly on the skin’s surface. The patches of skin that have an excess skin build-up can form into scales or red patches. These areas tend to be itchy and uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful. It is most often found on the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear on any part of the skin. Some people get a few small patches of scaling that look almost like dandruff, while others get major eruptions that cover a large area of skin.

Psoriasis is associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression. It also causes a particular type of arthritis known as psoriatic arthritis, which can sometimes occur without a noticeable skin irritation.

Who can get psoriasis?

People of any age can get the skin condition, from small babies right up to elderly people. However, most people are diagnosed in their early adult years. Men and women have almost equal instances of psoriasis. All people groups can get it, although it does occur more frequently depending on racial background.   

How long does psoriasis last?

Psoriasis is a chronic condition, which means the potential for the irritating skin patches is probably not going to go away any time soon. The irritated areas themselves will probably come and go.

How do you know if you’ve got psoriasis?

The signs and symptoms are different for everyone, but here are some common identifiers  you should look out for:

  • Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
  • Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
  • Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
  • Itching, burning or soreness
  • Swollen and stiff joints

If you develop a rash that doesn’t go away with an over-the-counter medication, psoriasis is one option your doctor might consider.

What can you do to treat psoriasis?

Because psoriasis currently has no cure, the aim is to improve the symptoms. With mild psoriasis, products are usually recommended or prescribed to be used on the skin, such as moisturisers, vitamin D preparations, or corticosteroid creams.  Ultraviolet light therapy is another way medical professionals can slow down the production of skin cells.

If your psoriasis is severe or not responding to other options, you might need oral or injected medication. You can work with your health professionals to manage your symptoms by giving up smoking, managing stress, regularly moisturising and following the treatment plan given to you by your doctor.

Skin conditions are almost always manageable, and you don’t have to put up with your symptoms. Get in touch with your GP if you think you might have psoriasis, and start yourself on a journey towards clear, healthy skin.

Want more information?

Call (03) 5611 3365 to speak to a friendly patient concierge

or book an appointment here
skin-series-eczema-healthmint

Eczema: What is it? HealthMint Skin Series

By | Children's Health, Family Planning & Parenting, Men's Health, Skin, Women's Health | No Comments

Skin Series – All About Eczema

Skin is the largest organ in the body, and it works as a barrier to keep the body safe. When that barrier is broken, eczema can occur. Let’s look at what eczema is, how it occurs and steps you can take to avoid an eczema flareup.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It’s an irritating, and sometimes painful skin condition that occurs when the skins barrier becomes compromised. The skin becomes red, dry and itchy, and over time rough patches might develop. The most common areas to have an eczema flare-up include the creases of the elbows, behind the knees, across the ankles and sometimes on the face, ears and neck. There are many triggers that might cause eczema to flare up, and with careful observation most people are able to identify them to help manage their condition.

Who is Affected by Eczema?

Eczema can occur in people of any age, but it is most common in children. Around one in five children under 2 years old will have the condition. It can also occur in older children and adults, but for most people it improves with age. Even adult eczema normally goes away by middle age, although a small number of people might need to manage the condition for the rest of their lives.

What Causes Eczema?

We don’t really know why some people get eczema. Eczema seems to go along with other issues like allergies, hayfever and asthma, which appears to show that genetics influence the risk of someone developing eczema.

When the skin barrier is damaged, it allows moisture to evaporate and lets irritants and allergens past the skin. In turn, the skin releases chemicals that make the skin itchy, and scratching makes the skin release even more. That creates an irritating and painful cycle that makes the problem worse.

Known irritants that can trigger eczema include:

  • Dry skin
  • Infections
  • Chlorine from swimming pools
  • Sand (especially in sandpits)
  • Scratching
  • Sitting on grass
  • Chemical irritants like soap and perfumes
  • Changes in temperature
  • Pollen sensitivity

If a person has allergies, then coming into contact with allergens can cause eczema to occur. Constant exposure to water, soap, grease, food or chemicals can also damage the protective barrier function of the skin, which often causes eczema.

Sometimes because an allergic reaction to food and an eczema flare-up can happen around the same time, people assume that the food has caused the eczema, causing them to remove the food from their diet. In some cases, removing foods can help with eczema management but it should only be attempted under the supervision of a doctor.  More often, food issues are unrelated to eczema flare-ups and don’t need to be removed from the diet.

What Treatments are Available?

Unfortunately, eczema can’t be cured. However, it can be treated and managed. Staying away from allergens can help avoid flare-ups, and keeping the skin moisturised and protected can help stop the skin barrier from breaking. People with eczema need to work together with their doctor to identify triggers for their eczema, and work on minimising flare-ups.

People can help manage their own symptoms by:

  • Keeping baths and showers lukewarm
  • Moisturising every day, preferably within a few minutes of bathing
  • Wearing soft, natural fabrics
  • Using mild cleansers, preferably non-soap
  • Gently drying skin after bathing by patting or air-drying
  • Avoiding sudden changes of temperature
  • Using a humidifier when the weather is dry

Your doctor might prescribe:

  • Corticosteroid creams and ointments
  • Systemic corticosteroids
  • Antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals if a skin infection has occurred
  • Barrier repair moisturisers
  • Phototherapy – UV A or B light can be used to treat moderate dermatitis.

Managing eczema is an ongoing battle. Even adults who have outgrown childhood eczema can find their skin is easily irritated. Once an area of skin has healed, it still needs ongoing care to ensure the barrier stays intact. People who struggle with eczema need to be proactive, and work with their doctor to identify their triggers, alleviate their symptoms and prevent further breakouts. A cure isn’t currently available, but good skin management can free eczema sufferers from irritation and discomfort.

 

ASCIA Guide to eczema (atopic dermatitis) management:

Click Here

Other Skin Series Posts

dry skin healthmint blog
Skin

8 Tips To Get Rid of Dry Skin

8 Tips to Get Rid of Dry Skin Dry skin during winter is common as…
stacey-murphy-healthmint-melanoma
Cancer

Stacey’s Melanoma Story – An Unexpected Diagnosis

An Unexpected Diagnosis When Stacey was just 28, she was diagnosed with Melanoma. Finding the…
Cancer

Melanoma Symptoms

What is Melanoma, What are the Symptoms of Melanoma?     Fast and scary facts…

Want more information?

Call (03) 5611 3365 to speak to a friendly patient concierge

or book an appointment here
Call Now Button