Q1) what is vitiligo /leckoderma
Ans) Leukoderma means white patches on the skin. It is a chronic skin disorder.
Q2) What is the Cause?
Ans) It may be due to some known and some unknown cause. Some causes like some minor skin infections and inflammations may give rise to white spots which are fully curable. Where as if the cause of white spots is an autoimmune disorder/vitiligo then it may take longer to treat. It is not contagious and has no systemic effects.
Q3) What happens in vitilligo?
Ans) In vitiligo there is development of round or oval sharply demarcated white patches over the skin. These may affect many areas together (generalised) or may be limited to one area (localised).
Lips and anogenital(groin) area may also be affected. In the affected areas the hair is also white. These patches may remain stable over many years or they may enlarge to involve large portions of the skin surface. Spontaneous recolouring may occur in 10-20 % patients mainly in areas exposed to sun.
Q4) How do I know that I have vitiligo?
Ans) One should always consult a dermatologist to confirm vitiligo. Many other conditions may like fungal infections certain birth marks may look like leucoderma/vitiligo.
Q5) Can vitiligo be cured?
Ans) There are many treatments available for getting the colour back in the lesions. The nature of how the disease will progress is difficult to predict. After complete treatment few patches may be left and may need skin grafting. Sometimes even after the vitiligo completely heals it may come back after many years.
Treatments include cosmetic camouflage, repigmentation with medicines to apply and take orally. And relatively newer treatment with specific type of UV rays. Surgery is also resorted to in patients with stable patches, not responding to repigmentation therapies.
Q1) What is psoriasis?
Ans) Psoriasis is a chronic, recurrent inflammatory skin problem with a genetic component in which the rate of skin growth is very fast in some patches and there is shedding of skin. Psora literally in greek means “scale “/”Flake”, the typical skin look in psoriasis is characterized by a silvery dandruff like flaking or scale.
Q2) What is the cause of psoriasis?
Ans) There are many causes known to aggravate the problem in patients, and many factors are identified like autoimmunity and complex chemical changes in the body to cause the onset of psoriasis.
The provocating factors include, radiation, burns, high fever, pregnancy, tattoos, some medications and surgery. Infections also may aggravate it. There is also association with pharyngitis /sore throat.
Q3) What happens in psoriasis?
Ans) The primary lesion in psoriasis is red and flaky with sharp borders, typically lesions affect the knees, elbows, scalp, umbilicus or buttock area. But many different varied forms are known. Nail and oral mucosa is also involved in some cases. The only internal manifestation may be joint pains and arthritis.
Q4) Can psoriasis be treated?
Ans) There are many therapeutic options for psoriasis but relapses are common. The “root cause” may not go by treatments currently available in any “pathies”.
However the problem can be kept under control with the various treatment option. Treatment ranges from application medicines to some oral suppressors of inflammation and immune modulators. Photo therapy with UV rays may also be used. Some very new promising medicines are also available but they are very costly, called biological treatment of psoriasis.
Q1) what are pimples?
Ans) Pimples or acne is one of the most common skin problems especially in teens and younger age group. This is basically a disorder of oil glands, in which there is blockage of oil gland ducts and change in type and quality of oil produced due to hormonal reasons. This causes appearance of white heads and blackheads, which over a period of time get infected and appear as red dots or painful cysts and pus-filled spots.
Q2) What is the cause and do they really need to be treated?
Ans) Hormonal changes is the most important cause. Infection with certain bacteria also causes it. Traditionally foods especially oily foods have been blamed, but there is no significant conclusive evidence that specific foods aggravate acne in everyone. It is advisable to avoid certain foods which you feel aggravate acne in your case.
Sometimes the pimples may pass on their own, requiring no or little treatment. Whereas on the other hand they may cause significant scarring and psychological impact on the patient. Treatment definitely helps.
Q3) I have taken many treatments pimples go away then come back again, so whats the use!!!!!?
Ans) It is true that pimples may come in bouts, it is said that even if you take no treatment at all pimples will go away with age but may leave a scarred face and pigmentation problem which may be very difficult to get rid of.
The advantage of taking treatment for pimples is that it will not leave the face scarred and will reduce or stop the new pimples. Also even if you get recurrent bouts they will usually be less severe.
Q4) Allopathic treatments have too many side effects, antibiotics and all you know!!
Ans) Antibiotics are only a small part of acne treatment and usually may not be required in most cases, Besides it is a common misnomer that only “allopathy” has side effects, all forms of treatments carry side effects, it is mostly that followers of western medicine document these and declare them openly for caution and best results.
Q5) How are pimples diagnosed?
Ans) Pimples are so common that even lay man can make out, but there are many other skin problems that mimic pimples so it is important that an expert makes the right diagnosis.
Q6) What is the treatment, and is it curable?
Ans) With the recent advances in medicine, there are a host of effective and safe treatments available suited for individual skin types. Right from benzoyl peroxide to latest retinoids and antibiotics to apply instead of tablets.
Treatment is also available for treating acne scars also. Some very effective medicines may eradicate them completely. Besides some treatments like chemical peels may give a faster and a better cosmetic result. For information on peels refer to section on chemical peels.
Q1) What is eczema?
Ans) Eczema literally means to boil out. It is usually a skin problem manifesting as itching and oozing of liquid from the skin. It can be disfiguring and may increase chances of infection in the skin.
Q2) How does one get it, is it contagious?
Ans) It is not right to term eczema as contagious; it may be due to allergies because of substances/chemicals/plant pollen coming in contact with the skin. In some cases skin infection may also cause eczema like eruption. Also it may be due to an allergic tendency in the body of some people. It is therefore not transmissible from person to person.
Q3) Are eczema’s completely curable? Ans) Many causes of eczema’s are completely curable permanently or may just be transient for a variable period, while eczema’s due to some chronic cause and unknown causes may be difficult to treat, but can be kept under control so as not to disturb the regular lifestyle.
Q4) Do foods cause eczema?
Ans) Foods may not be the only cause for eczema’s, but if one feels certain foods increase eczema’s then they should be avoided. There are allergy tests these days which can tell if you are allergic to certain foods.
Q5) Are steroids the only treatment?
Ans) No there are many non steroidal medicines that are now available but sometimes they are needed, and do not cause side effects if used judiciously for short time, under a doctor’s supervision.
Q6) Is there something as light/UV treatment for eczema’s?
Ans) Yes this is true and it is a very effective and safe treatment for some types of eczema’s.
Q1) What are warts?
Ans) These are proliferations of skin caused by some viruses, causing the skin cells to grow uncontrollably. This is an infection.
Q2) How do they spread?
Ans)Warts are infectious. They spread by contact with a person having warts or sharing articles/objects of personal use also. Swimming pools, gyms, parlors may be a big source of infection.
Q3) What happens, how do they look like?
Ans) Warts appear as single or multiple growths of skin, commonly warts are seen on the hands and feet. Palms and soles are also common sites, but they may occur anywhere. Different types of viruses may give rise to different looking warts, it is best for an expert to diagnose them. Warts on the genitals usually are sexually transmitted.
Q4) How can I know if I have warts. What tests should I do?
Ans) No tests are usually required, the warts are not difficult to diagnose by an expert but many people may regard other type of skin growths as warts. Especially around the neck area, the soft growths are regarded as warts even by some doctors and treated, whereas those are usually non infectious growths called skin tags.
Q5) What about treatment? Are they completely curable?
Ans) Yes, the warts are completely curable, though initially they may appear stubborn. With the current advances in medicine we have many excellent options to treat them, including some medicines which enhance the immune response of skin to kill the viruses in the warts. Mostly applications may be used but many other oral treatments can also be helpful.
Q6) Is laser the only permanent treatment?
Ans) It is a big misconception that laser is the only treatment. Many other treatments also work as well and even after laser a wart may reappear at same or a different place. It is very likely .
Q7) Isn’t there a universal remedy like a plaster cap to remove the warts without a doctors visit?
Ans) Some over the counter preparation may be helpful but may also leave scars and so more harm than good. Let your doctor choose the right treatment for you.
Q8) My uncle had warts, he got them burnt at a hair saloon, he was ok?
Ans) Again the traditional forms of treatment even if used correctly may give reasonable results at best, but may end up giving bad scars and skin infections.