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Home Eminent Columnists Derma Column " I bought a derma cleanse washing gel..."

" I bought a derma cleanse washing gel..."

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Doctor, I'm 21-years-old and I have lots of whiteheads on my face, especially on the tip of my nose and under the eyes. Please help me out with a solution for this. - Vaishnavi.
White head is a pimple kind of lesion where sebum (oil like material) and dead keratin get clogged in the pore and appear as small white raised lesion in and around the nose. It may also be called Dyssebacia. Generally people try to squeeze it out and they also try to steam the face and then slowly manipulate. But remember you are damaging the skin by doing so. Since you are forcing it out, you may cause superficial abrasion and cause pigmentation or blackening of the skin. Of course, removing it also does not provide permanent eradication. They do reappear. Instead you may try topical retinoid application which causes superficial removal of these. One may use salicylic acid containing face washes for reduction and maintenance. Use of multi-vitamins also helps. Systemic retinoids such as Isotretinoin in low doses may be used in stubborn cases. Micro-dermabrasion or salicylic acid peels are some good cosmetic procedures to remove them effectively.

Doctor, I recently brought a derma cleanse washing gel off the counter, at the behest of a medical student who suggested that it would work wonders for my acne problem. But the acne has become worse and the skin seems to have become dry and rough. I am a 17-year-old boy and study late into the night quite often and sometimes have irregular sleeping habits. Is this also a reason for the acne to get aggravated? What do you suggest I do to reduce the acne? - Srinath K.
It seems that you are very worried about your acne. You also seem to have preformed notions about the causes of acne such as habits and food etc. Do not try to experiment by using over the counter products or god sent friend advised medications as they may cause more harm than good. Acne is related to age and hormonal influences in the body so you may suffer from these for certain number of months or years. But there are several good medications available to control and limit your acne. A proper approach to its management is required as the treatment depends on the kind of lesions and the severity of acne. This is properly assessed by a dermatologist. You may consult your dermatologist for proper understanding and treatment of your acne.

Doctor, My young toddler has a flushed appearance with redness around his cheeks, chin, forehead and nose. I'm scared that he might be breaking into a rash or infection of some sort. What could it be and is it something to be worried about? - Sneha.
Children of this age with redness around the cheeks can or may be suffering from atopic dermatitis which presents itself first as cheek dermatitis. Dryness is the main feature. Child may scratch too. It is advisable to apply good amount of emollient soon after bath and at bed time to take care of the dryness. Avoid woolen clothes too. Try to consult a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

Doctor, My wife is in her mid-thirties and does not suffer from any medical ailments. There are times when her upper lip gets swollen up for no reason at all. It happens mostly in the mornings and upon taking medication the swelling comes down. We've tried hard to figure out what is causing it. We've even tried to see if it is some food that she has had for dinner which is causing the swelling or is it minute dust particles in and around the house. But we have failed to pinpoint what is causing it. What could be the reason behind the sudden swelling up of only the upper lip? Please help us solve this problem. - P Kaushik.  
Your wife seems to be suffering from Angioedema. A condition characterized by swelling of parts of the body especially the lips. Usually it may be also associated with red swellings which itch a lot on the skin. In your case it does not appear to be so. Angioedema without wheals needs to be properly investigated. Usual precipitating causes can be medications, food, infection, insect bites; physical factors such as cold, heat, pressure etc., hereditary and in some cases as you have pointed out it is difficult to determine a cause. It is important to investigate for proper cause. Sometimes during a severe attack one may even feel difficulty in breathing or suffocation in chest or pain in the stomach. In such cases immediate hospitalization may be required. Usually anti-histamines such as Fexofenadine, Loratadine, Cetirizine or any such drug is helpful for reliving of the symptoms. But severe cases might require systemic treatments such as systemic steroids. You may approach a dermatologist for correct assessment and management. 

Month: September 2010.

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