- Normal hair loss is about 50 to 100 hairs per day. These hairs are shed every day and regrow.
- Every day shampooing and coconut oil application does not cause hair loss. If there is thinning of hairs on scalp and recession of hair line, it requires evaluation and treatment.
- The most common cause is androgenetic alopecia or common baldness. In males, it leads to male pattern baldness, that is frontal hair line recession and vertex baldness. In females, it leads to diffuse thinning more on the vertex area.
- Other causes of reversible hair loss include nutritional factors such as anaemia (low Hb due to iron deficiency, vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency), malnutrition, dandruff, vitamin deficiency, stress, pregnancy and lactation, post surgery and hospitalization, prolonged fever such as typhoid, malaria, dengue and others can lead to reversible hair loss. Hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary, thyroid disorders, drug induced, mechanical factors such as hair dryers, straightening, curling, colouring and traction of hairs.
- Treatment should be started early to prevent further progression and to induce re-growth of hairs. Depending on the extent of baldness, treatments vary. Combination of treatment works better along with home hair care as prescribed.
- Home hair care includes application of prescribed lotions to scalp, which usually dries within 10 minutes and use of prescribed shampoos to prevent hair loss and dandruff. No need of hair washes daily for females. The lotion should be applied after bath. Take care that the lotion does not dribble on to the face. The response starts after 2 to 3 months and peaks at about 6 to 8 months. Maintenance is required with smaller dose for prolonged period.
- It can be combined with hair growth laser, injection mesotherapy with hair growth factors, and hair transplantation.
XEROSIS (DRY SKIN)
PHOTODERMATITIS (SUNLIGHT ALLERGY)
ATOPIC DERMATITIS (CHILDHOOD SKIN ALLERGY)
It is skin allergy of childhood which occurs at about 3 months of age and lasts up to 8 to 10 yrs of age. In infants, it usually presents as extreme dryness, redness and scaling associated with itching over cheeks and extensor aspect of body. In children over 2 yrs of age, it commonly affects flexural areas. Parents may have allergic disorders like asthma, runny nose with sneezing or skin allergy. It gradually reduces in severity as age progresses.
Treatment is aimed at continuous use of prescribed moisturisers and mild soaps. Itching is controlled by anti-allergy syrups or tabs as prescribed. Regular follow-up with your doctor is essential to control flare-ups and to prevent recurrence.
- Avoid contact with woollen and synthetic clothes and prefer cotton clothes.(teddy bear, carpets, dust and pets)
- Avoid prolonged bathing which tends to wash out protective oils from skin. Bathe with lukewarm water.
- Certain foods like ice cream, eggs, seafood, aerated drinks and packed food.
- Avoid vigorous exercise which tends to sweating. Take bath immediately after sweating.
- It aggravates during winter season.
- Clip nails to avoid scratching and secondary infection.
Infections of skin could be fungal, bacterial and viral infections.
Fungal infections (Ring worm)
Bacterial infections (Boils)
- It presents as red painful swelling with discharge of pus anywhere in the body. It can occur due to break in the skin barrier due to scratching and injury. Recurrent boils are due to poor skin hygiene, low immunity and anaemia.
- Treatment includes draining the pus out and taking the prescribed medicines for proper duration as advised. Recurrence can be prevented by maintenance of skin hygiene by using prescribed soaps and elimination of carrier state of microbes by follow-up with the doctor.
Herpes labialis (cold sore)
- It is a common childhood ailment and presents as red fluid filled lesions associated with itching and crust formation.
- It starts with fever, myalgia and back ache in some.
- It can spread from person to person with incubation period of 2 to 3 wks.
- It resolves in one week.
- Isolation is needed during the active stage by using separate towels, soaps and bedspread. Take the prescribed medications at the earliest sign to avoid complications such as scarring and pigmentation.
Herpes Zoster (shingles)
- It presents as grouped fluid filled lesions on a red base associated with pain and burning sensation over the involved nerve root seen in adults.
- It is the reactivation of chicken pox virus remaining dormant in the nerve root after a chicken pox infection.
- Treatment should be started at the earliest possible to prevent complications such as post herpetic pain and scarring.
- Isolation is required to prevent spread of infection. In elderly, complications are more frequent.
It is similar to herpes labialis, which presents in genital region and is sexually transmitted. It can be recurrent and sexual abstinence is advised during active lesions. Take the prescribed medications for faster clearance and to prevent recurrence. It is a mild self limiting disorder with not many complications.
- It presents as severe itching usually in the night associated with skin lesions over hands, foot, underarms, abdomen and genital areas.
- It spreads from person to person. Treatment should be done for all the family members. Bedspread and other clothes should be washed and dried.
- Apply the prescribed medication properly. It takes 2 to 3 weeks to clear.
- It presents as milky white patches on skin due to focal failure of pigmentation caused by destruction of pigment producing cells. It can occur at any age.
- It occurs in 1 to 2% of population. Exact cause is not known. It does not have definite pattern of inheritance and is non-infectious.
- Treatment is done for cosmetic reasons and social stigma regarding the disease. There are no major complications due to the disease.
- Treatment is long term and may take months to years. The course of the disease is unpredictable.
- It can be localised to 1 or 2 patches and responds well to treatment. In few, it has a relapsing and remitting course. Treatment modalities include phototherapy and surgical for stable disease.
CORN AND CALLUSES
It is localised thickening of plantar skin of foot due to constant pressure over the area by use of tight and improper footwear. Treatment is surgical excision. Prevention is by using soft footwear and shoes with soft padding.
- It is a genetic disorder and runs in families.
- It can be mild and presents as multiple small pin head sized lesion with nut-meg crater localised to arms or it can be generalised spreading over back, shoulders, chest and buttocks.
- Treatment is lifelong application of prescribed topical medications.
It presents as hyperpigmented patch over back, neck, arms, forearms and legs associated with mild itching. It occurs due to deposition of substance called amyloid in the skin. It can be due to constant friction of the skin by using stone or scrub while bathing. It is a disease of middle aged. Treatment is aimed at controlling itching and reduction of pigmentation by various treatment modalities.