SKIN ALLERGY

Overview

Irritated skin can be caused by various reasons. When an immune system response is triggered by an allergen then it is skin allergy. The immune system response causes the symptoms to occur such as rashes, red skin, bumpy and itching skin and also skin irritation.

Skin allergy can be caused by multiple factors or potential allergens. Some of the most common allergens are:

Rubber or latex

Rubber or latex are most commonly used to make items such as balloons, condoms, gloves, paint and many more.

Nickel

Nickel is a silvery metal that is stated to resist corrosion even at high temperatures .Nickel is used widely in various industries. One of the common product which contains Nickel is jewelry and accessories such as earrings, belt buckles, eyeglasses frames and keys

Fragrance 

Fragrance is used in most of the products to enhance the user experience. Fragrance’s vital role is to produce a pleasant scent and helps to mask other ingredients in a product. It contains in everyday use products such as skin care, cosmetics and even house old products. 

Types of Skin Conditions

Atopic dermatitis 

Atopic dermatitis (Eczema) is one of the most common skin conditions. It is an inflammatory skin disease especially in children where it affects 15 – 20% of children and 103 % of adults worldwide.

Eczema is also commonly related with asthma, allergic rhinitis or food allergy.

Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis ( Eczema)

Eczema can appear anywhere on your skin. The most common area would be on your hands, neck, ankles, knees, feet and around your eyes. Below are the symptom of Eczema:

  • Red rashes
  • Bumps on skin
  • Swelling
  • Itchy skin
  • Dry or cracked skin

Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis ( Eczema)

  • Seek immediate medical attention as Eczema is an uncomfortable skin condition that could affect your daily activities.
  • Use skin products that contain ceramide. These moisturizers replace some of the barriers missing from your skin.
  • Use products that are free from fragrances, alcohol and dyes. 
  • Air drying or gently patting the skin dry with a towel, rather than rubbing the skin dry after bathing or taking a shower
  • Apply cortisone creams and ointments.These are anti-inflammatory medications and can be applied directly on skin.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is a hypersensitivity skin reaction that is caused by exposure to chemical allergens. It can be also defined as an itchy rash caused by products that have substances that could trigger reactions. 

Have you ever experienced itchiness and skin irritations after using perfumes , soap or jewellery? Those are the reactions or some symptoms of contact dermatitis.

Symptoms of Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Symptoms of contact dermatitis range mild to severe and may include:

  • Redness on skin
  • Hyperpigmented skin
  • Swelling
  • Extreme itching
  • Fissuring
  • Small blisters

Treatment for Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Avoidance is the mainstay of treatment for Allergic Contact Dermatitis

  • Your doctor can perform allergy testing called a patch test and develop a personalised management plan for you.
  • You may also apply hydrocortisone creams. It can be used if your rash is mild or covers a small area.

Hives

Hives are also called urticaria, this is a condition where red bumps or welts appear on the body. Hives can show up anywhere on the body and can look like blotches or large connected bumps. It can be caused by several physical factors, such as cold, sudden increase of body temperature, also can be a reaction from contact dermatitis. Hives normally last for a few hours or several days. If it stays more that 6 weeks then is is Acute hives

Symptoms of Hives

  • Red bumps on the skin.
  • Raised welts 
  • Itching skin
  • Blanching

Treatment for Hives

In  most cases hives are harmless and disappear in a short time. As precaution your doctor might recommend medications and at-home care to help you feel better. Treatments includes:

  • Allergy medications such as antihistamines to relieve itching and prevent allergic reactions. 
  • At home treatments can be cool bath
  • Cold compress

For acute hives: Epinephrine or oral steroids such as prednisone

Most of us experience skin allergies at some point of our lives. It can cause you to feel uncomfortable and feel embarrassed. Skin allergy not only affects physical but also mentally as it may cause stress, mood swings and low self confidence which could be a barrier for your daily activities.

Identifying the symptoms are the most important. If you have any symptoms related to skin allergy immediately seek medical assistance.Your healthcare provider will help you to live your life to the fullest.

If you are suffering from skin allergies and looking for a trusted healthcare provider, WhatsDoc is here to help. Consult with our doctors to help you with your skin issues.

Linktree link

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atopic-dermatitis-eczema/symptoms-causes/syc-20353273

https://www.aafa.org/skin-allergies/

https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-treatments/allergies/skin-allergy

https://www.omicsonline.org/allergy/skin-allergies-review-articles.ph

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/skin-aller

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13543784.2022.2042513?journalCo

https://nortonchildrens.com/health-library/article/?url=/en/parents/hives.html

https://www.verywellhealth.com/allergic-contact-dermatitis-1069247

  • skin allergy.
  •  Rashes  
  • Eczema 
  • Asthma,
  •  food allergy.  
  • Swelling 
  • Ceramide
  • hydrocortisone creams
  • Hive
  • Cold skin allergy 
  • Health care
  • hyperpigmentation

What To Know About Sore Throat

Sore throat is a common and familiar condition for everyone. When your throat is irritated, inflamed, scratchy, painful, or very dry, it’s called sore throat.These are common but do you know they are two different types of sore throat? Viral infection (Pharyngitis) and Bacterial Infection ( Strep Throat).

Viral Infection (Pharyngitis)

Most often, sore throats happen as a result of a viral infection, such as the flu or the common cold. Sore throats also occur with hand, foot, and mouth disease caused by the Coxsackie virus. Viral infection symptoms mostly will go away within several days but it also depends on the virus. Some virus symptoms can last up to 10 days.

Normally normal cold symptoms are accompanied by other symptoms as well. These symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, mild body aches, cough and sneezing.

How can a sore throat caused by a cold be treated?

Treatment of sore throats also depends on the cause or virus. But there are ways that one can try to relieve the discomfort.

For home care , below are general tips that can help.

  • Drink warm fluids, such as hot tea with lemon or broth.
  • Increase the total amount of fluids you drink. This keeps you hydrated and prevents your throat from getting dry.
  • Gargle with warm salt water. It helps to soothe throat irritation and reduce swelling.
  • Rest your voice
  • Suck on lozenges

For those who prefer medication can try there are also a few options available.

  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce fever.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Aspirin

Bacterial Infection (Strep Throat)

Bacterial Infection is also known as strep throat. It is caused by the streptococcus bacteria which are spherical-shaped bacteria that produce lysis of red blood cells producing clear or transparent areas in special growth media. 

Contrast to Viral infection, Strep throat is contagious. It can spread through air. This Group A strep bacteria can  spread from an infected person when they talk, cough, or sneeze. Untreated bacterial infections lead to more serious infections like cellulitis, abscess, or bacteremia. This also makes the treatment to be dependent on antibiotics.

Strep infection might also lead to inflammatory issues.

The common symptom of strep throat include:

  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Painful swallowing
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Nausea or vomiting especially in younger children
  • Strep infection might also lead to inflammatory issues.Example , inflammation of kidney and  rheumatic fever

How can Bacterial Infection (Strep Throat) be treated?

Your healthcare provider would suggest antibiotics.Common antibiotics that are used to treat strep throat are Penicillin and amoxicillin. These antibiotics are normally taken as pills or given a shot.For children it is often given in a liquid for or a shot.

What are the other causes of sore throat?

Other than the common two reasons, Viral infection and Bacterial infection these are some other factors that can cause sore throat.

Acid reflux

A condition where one feels burning and pain in their throat. It is often caused by foods that are acidic and high in fat. When acid reflux happens one may feel uncomfortable as they feel as though there is a lump in their throat.

Allergies

Allergies to pets, dust , flowers and cause sore throat. These allergies could cause post nasal drip and throat irritation.

Smoking

The smoke can irritate the tissues in the throat. Smoking in the long run also weakens your immune system which causes you to catch cold or get infected faster compared to non-smokers.

Even though everyone is familiar with sore throat, it is important to look for major symptoms when you have throat discomfort. Especially for children, untreated sore throat can lead to severe illness. Should you be looking for more information on sore throat or respiratory related issues, you may consult WhatsDoc clinicians for detailed and better understanding. Consult our clinician to get your answers and get treated.

Reference

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/strep-throat

https://www.concordia.ca/cunews/offices/provost/health/topics/sore-throat.html

https://www.statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/27105

https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/sore-throat.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infectious-diseases/expert-answers/infectious-disease/faq-20058098

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/198488

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311473#treatment

  • Sore throat
  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Flu
  • Common cold
  • Virus
  • Running nose
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Hand, foot and mouth diseases
  • Contagious
  • Rash 
  • Healthcare
  • Antibiotics
  • Smoking
  • Allergies

Monkeypox

Overview

Monkeypox is a rare illness that causes chills, rash, and fever. This illness is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same group of viruses as smallpox.  Monkeypox is a common disease in African countries. In  July 2022, the World Health Organization declared Monkeypox a global health emergency . Monkeypox may spread from one person to another through very close contact or by touching body fluids of a person with monkeypox. 

Symptoms of monkeypox

The sign of monkeypox virus is how the rash looks. However, it may be several days or a few weeks before you develop symptoms. 

Monkeypox symptoms may start 5 to 21 days after you’re exposed. The time between when you’re exposed and when you have symptoms is called the incubation period.

Here are common monkeypox symptoms:

  • fever
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • Cough

What are the stages of Rash?

  1. Macules

Macules is a discolored are or flat area of the skin with pink spot

  1. Papules

Papules is when flat with pink spot area change to a small bump

  1. Vesicles

This is the next stage when the bump is filled with fluid that creates a bubble-like sac. It is also known as blister and this is a similar rash caused by allergy, bacterial infections or chicken pox.

  1. Pustules

This stage is when a clear fluid bump changes to enlarged us bump white white or yellow pus filled. This can last for about a week or more.

  1. Scabs

The last stage of monkeypox is when the bump starts to crust and turn to scabs. This stage lasts for a week before it flakes off.

If you have a new rash or any of these symptoms, please seek help from your healthcare provider.

How is monkeypox diagnosed?

Because monkeypox is rare, a healthcare provider may first suspect other rash illnesses, such as chickenpox or measles Swollen lymph nodes often distinguish monkeypox from other types of rash or poxes.

To diagnose monkeypox, your healthcare provider takes a swab of the open sore. The swab is then sent to a lab to test  polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing (genetic fingerprinting).

Can monkeypox be treated?

Monkeypox vaccines are available. Eligible patients are recommended to get vaccinated. After vaccination, patients are urged to take care of themselves to avoid catching and spreading monkeypox. The full recovery period could take up to a few weeks as it takes time to develop immunity after vaccination. Other than that,  vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing monkeypox but is no longer routinely available following global smallpox eradication. Post vaccination may help prevent the disease or reduce its severity. Prior smallpox vaccination will likely result in a milder disease course. 

Precautionary measures

  • Monitor your health and maintain a good personal hygiene
  • Avoid contact with persons who are unwell 
  • Avoid high-risk sexual activity, such as having multiple sex partners or casual sex
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer 
  • Avoid sharing eating utensils, clothing, bedding, towels, or personal grooming devices.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you develop symptoms such as sudden high fever, swollen lymph nodes or rash

In summary, If you think you might have symptoms of monkeypox please seek support from your healthcare provider. Wear a mask when you are at a public area  and do maintain distance from others.If you have questions about monkeypox chat with Whatsdoc clinicians and get your medical support.

10 Things about Diabetes and Kidney Disease

In Singapore, diabetic kidney disease, also known as diabetic nephropathy, remains the number one cause of kidney failure. A significant number of these patients could have had their kidney failure prevented or delayed had there been a good control of sugars.

Kidney function and health is directly linked to blood sugars. In many cultures such as Malay and Tamil, the respective terms for diabetes namely “kencing manis” and “inippu neer” mean sugar in the urine or “sweet urine”.

Because there is a suboptimal understanding and awareness of kidney disease, I will structure this article as “Ten things that I want everyone to know”.

  • Kidney damage, in most cases, is a painless process. Many patients who find out that they suffer from kidney disease are shocked to find out. “But doctor, I have no pain” is the common response. The mechanism by which the kidney is damaged in diabetes does not elicit an inflammatory response which causes pain. Moreover, the kidney organ, save for select areas is poor in nerve fibers that carry pain. So, unless the capsule is involved or there is an increase in pressure in the kidneys, there is no pain.
  • The commonest symptom of kidney damage is “no symptoms”. Most patients with kidney disease, till the very advanced stages, do not have any symptoms at all. Please do not wait for symptoms to be tested for kidney disease.
  • Kidney disease is preventable in most cases. It is not inevitable that patients with diabetes will end up with kidney failure. This is a popular misconception. There are many things you can do along with your doctor’s inputs to help prevent or delay the onset of kidney failure.
  • All diabetic patients and those with other risk factors for kidney disease need to be tested for kidney damage. For the above listed reasons, it is recommended that all patients with diabetes need to get urine and blood tests to screen for kidney disease on a regular basis.
  • There is effective management of kidney disease in all stages, but there is no known cure to diabetic kidney disease. It is true that there is no way to reverse damage that has already occurred. But, at all stages of kidney disease, care can be optimized to improve outcomes for the patients.
  • Kidney function decline is a lag indicator and there are specific tests that detect kidney damage even before decline in kidney function. The detection of traces of a protein called albumin precede kidney function decline. It is possible to detect kidney damage earlier in order to intervene more effectively and protect your kidneys.
  • There are specific diabetes medications that may be helpful to protect your kidney. Do talk to your doctor if those are appropriate for you. So, not all diabetes medications are created equal. Some diabetes medications protect kidneys by mechanisms that are independent of their sugar lowering effects.
  • There are specific medications in the class of “Blood pressure medications” that can help protect your kidneys. Not all blood pressure medications are created equal. There are BP lowering medications that can help protect your kidneys independent of their BP lowering effects.
  • It is never too late to make positive changes towards improving your kidney health and/or your overall health. Even in someone with late stage kidney diseases, there are steps that can be taken to improve the wellness and sense of well-being for the patients.
  • Just because a medication is “Over the Counter” or of herbal origin, that does not necessarily make it safe for your kidney. Please do not self-medicate. Educate yourself. Talk to your doctor about both prescribed and over the counter medications you consume. Also about any alternative systems of medicine you subject yourself to such as TCM, Jamu or Ayurveda treatments.

Most of all, look after your kidneys. They need to last you for your lifetime. A kidney specialist like myself can be a valuable ally and a guide to walk the journey of kidney health and kidney disease by your side.

With WhatsDoc services, you can have all your queries about Diabetes and Kidney Disease answered with our expert panel doctors. Feel free to contact us. We offer round-the-clock telemedicine attention at your fingertips.

Written by: Dr Srinivas Subramanian, renal medicine and internal medicine specialist practising in Parkway East Hospital, Singapore.

Living with Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is a common phenomenon happening amongst the elderly, and it takes a toll both on the patient, as well as the people around them. 

It is not to be assumed that it will never happen to certain people, but here is some information for you to have more than an idea of the disease and what you can do when it happens to a loved one or a close relative.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease

Before we delve deeper into what Alzheimer’s Disease is, it is important to know that it is not the same as another common term: Dementia. 

Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline or the loss of brain functioning. It can affect memory, thinking & reasoning skills and other mental abilities like problem-solving or language. It also affects behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. 

Alzheimer’s Disease on the other hand is the most common cause of dementia among older adults and is a physical disease that affects the brain. Named after Alois Alzheimer (the doctor who first described it), Alzheimer’s is irreversible and a progressive disease. 

This means that over time, more parts of the brain are damaged and slowly affects memory, thinking & reasoning skills, and eventually, affects the ability to carry out the simplest and ordinary tasks like move around, swallow and feed yourself. 

While the disease destroys nerve connections and devastates the brain, it does not kill you. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, weight loss and other complications from Alzheimer’s can lead to a weakened immune system. As informed by the National Institute on Aging, this increases a person’s susceptibility to potentially life-threatening infections. 

The complications of the decline in brain function affects the other functions of the body which is what slowly leads to death.

alzheimer leads to other issues

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease

Our brain is made up of billions of nerve cells that connect to each other. Scientifically, Alzheimer’s Disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins in and around brain cells called ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’.

One of the proteins involved is called amyloid – deposits of which form plaques around brain cells. The other protein is called tau – deposits of which form tangles within brain cells. The formation of these abnormal chunks will cause the connections between the nerve cells to be lost. 

Even so, there is no specific or exact cause of Alzheimer’s Disease, but there are other factors that might increase the risk of developing the disease. These include:

    • Increasing age (those 65 years of age or older) – best known risk factor.
    • Family history – genetics may play a role in developing Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Lifestyle factors & conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol associated with or may lead to cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke).
    • Untreated depression – can also be one of the symptoms.

People with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease (aged 40 – 65) may be caused by a genetic mutation. On the other hand, late-onset Alzheimer’s arises from a complex series of brain changes that occur over decades. The causes probably include a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. 

It differs from person to person in which these stated factors may influence in the increased or decreased risk of developing the Alzheimer’s Disease.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

In most people with the disease – those with the late-onset type – symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. As Alzheimer’s Disease is progressive, the symptoms will develop gradually over many years and eventually become more severe and affect multiple brain functions.

Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss, language problems, and impulsive or unpredictable behavior. The earliest and first sign of Alzheimer’s Disease is usually minor memory problems like forgetting recent conversations or events, or even forgetting names of places and objects. 

For many, there are also the common symptoms of decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/ spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment. 

Though it doesn’t seem like something out of the ordinary, the memory problems will become more severe. People who have Alzheimer’s Disease will display additional symptoms and certain change in behaviour that will worsen over time:

    • Confusion, disorientation about time and getting lost in familiar places
    • Trouble with familiar day-to-day tasks
    • Decreased judgement, difficulty planning or making decisions
    • Mood & personality changes, such as anxiety, becoming aggressive, demanding and being suspicious of others (inclusive of family members), 
    • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there) and delusions (believing things that are untrue)
    • Problems moving around without assistance or performing self-care tasks
    • Problems with speech and language
    • Decreased personal hygiene
    • Withdrawal from friends, family, and community

For some cases, other occurring conditions like a stroke, delirium or other related infections can worsen the symptoms. Certain medicines can also cause symptoms to worsen.

Alzheimers-Disease stages

Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

Because Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive disease, this means the symptoms will gradually worsen over time. 

The first few symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease in the earlier stages vary from person to person. To understand the severity and the progressive decline of cognitive health caused by Alzheimer’s Disease, here is a chart where it is broken down into seven stages:

Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4
No symptoms yet but there might be an early diagnosis based on family history.The earliest symptoms appear, such as forgetfulness.Mild physical and mental impairments appear, such as reduced memory and concentration.These may only be noticeable by someone very close to the person.Alzheimer’s Disease is often diagnosed at this stage, but it’s still considered mild.Memory loss and the inability to perform everyday tasks is evident.
Stage 5Stage 6Stage 7
Moderate to severe symptoms that require help from loved ones or caregivers.At this stage, a person with Alzheimer’s Disease may need help with basic tasks, such as eating and putting on clothes.This is the most severe and final stage of Alzheimer’s. There may be a loss of speech and facial expressions. The patient is completely dependent on others for their care.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease: Reducing the Risk

There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, nor is there a foolproof preventive measure. It is not possible to reverse the death of brain cells. 

However, there is some research done that by focusing on overall healthy lifestyle habits like having physical, mental, and social activities, it may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and could contribute to the prevention of cognitive decline.

The following measures may also assist in decreasing the risk of getting Alzheimer’s:

    • Quit smoking
    • Maintain an active social life
    • Exercise regularly
    • Try cognitive training exercises
    • Consume more antioxidants

Older people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) are at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s, but not all of them do. Some may even go back to normal cognition. 

Some researchers have started studying biomarkers (biological signs of disease found in brain images, cerebrospinal fluid, and blood) to detect early changes in the brains of people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and in cognitively normal people who may be at greater risk for Alzheimer’s. 

Studies indicate that such early detection is possible, but more research is needed before these techniques can be routinely used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in everyday medical practice.

Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease

Currently, many people living with Alzheimer’s Disease are cared for at home by family members with some additional help from other caregivers.

It has to be expected that caring for somebody with Alzheimer’s Disease at home can be a difficult task and might become overwhelming at times. Every day is a new challenge with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behaviour. As the disease gets worse, people living with Alzheimer’s disease often need more intensive care. 

With proper treatment, it can help delay symptoms and improve quality of life. The treatment addresses several different areas:

    • Maintaining mental functions
    • Managing behavioral symptoms
    • Slowing or delaying the symptoms of the disease

Need Assistance with Alzheimer’s?

We hope this article was able to assist you in understanding Alzheimer’s Disease a little better. Do you know somebody that has Alzheimer’s, or somebody who needs some help in caring for the disease? WhatsDoc has a range of experienced healthcare professionals that could assist further in this matter. 

Resources:

1. Overview: Alzheimer’s disease

2. Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet

3. ‘High-Risk, High-Reward’ Approach To Finding Alzheimer’s Disease Treatments

4. What to know about Alzheimer’s disease

5. Everything You Need to Know About Alzheimer’s Disease

6. Alzheimer’s Disease

7. Alzheimer’s disease

8. Facts and Figures Alzheimer’s and dementia

9. Gene Wilder’s Death: How Do People Die from Alzheimer’s?

10. Why Do People Die from Alzheimer’s Disease?

11. Causes of Death in People With Alzheimer’s Disease

Stroke: Pitting Quick Action against Severity

Strokes are so common that it can happen to anybody at any given time, though some lifestyle choices play an important role in increasing the risks of getting one. Even the healthiest of us will get a stroke out of nowhere and have our lives changed forever. 

The positive note about strokes is that they are preventable. Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented, making it the leading cause of preventable disability. However, us and the community are not educated enough to take necessary and immediate action to decrease the sickness’s devastating impact.

A stroke is a medical emergency and the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen. This is where Stroke Awareness is important.

What is a Stroke?

The brain is a central computer that controls all the body’s functions. It needs sufficient oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells will begin to die. This can lead to brain injury, disability and possibly death.

A stroke or also known as cerebrovascular accident, CVA, or “brain attack”, is a sudden interruption or reduction in the blood supply of the brain. The brain tissue is prevented from getting oxygen and nutrients and brain cells begin to die in minutes. Part of the brain that has lost its blood supply will stop working, and this in turn leads to part of the body that the injured brain controls to stop working.

Most strokes are caused by a blocked blood vessel leading to the brain. Other strokes are caused by bleeding into brain tissue when a blood vessel bursts. The effects of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is injured, and how severely it is injured.

types of strokes

Types of Strokes and Causes

There are different types of strokes that can happen to oneself depending on the nature and the cause behind the stroke itself. The below are some of the types identified:

Types of StrokesExplanationCauses
Ischemic StrokeBroken down into two types:Thrombotic strokes: Caused by a blood clot that forms in an artery that supplies blood to your brain.Embolic strokes: Caused when a clot forms somewhere else in your body and travels through the blood vessels and gets stuck, stopping blood flow. The most common stroke happens amongst people where part of the brain loses blood flow. This means a blood vessel supplying blood to your brain gets blocked by a blood clot.A fatty substance called plaque collects in your arteries and narrows them. This process is called atherosclerosis, and it slows the flow of blood. As it pools, blood can clump and form clots — and your artery gets blocked.
Hemorrhagic Stroke Broken down into two types:Subarachnoid hemorrhage: Happens in the area between your brain and skull. Intracerebral hemorrhage: Bleeding inside the brain.Bleeding occurs in the brain and damages nearby cells. High blood pressureInjuryBleeding disordersCocaine useAbnormal blood vessels (AVMs)Aneurysm (a weak area in a blood vessel that breaks open)
Transient Ischemic Attack (Mini Stroke)Temporary blockage in blood flow to your brain. Symptoms usually last for just a few minutes or may go away in 24 hours without treatment. It is usually a warning sign that your chances of getting a stroke are higher in the near future.SmokingHigh blood pressure (hypertension)ObesityHigh cholesterolExcessive consumption of alcoholIrregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)Diabetes
Brain Stem StrokeHappens in your brain stem and can affect both sides of the body. One is left in a “locked in” state, unable to speak or move below the neck.Blood clotsHemorrhagesInjury to an artery due to sudden head or neck movements (rare)
Cryptogenic Stroke Stroke of unknown cause(s).Cause(s) undetermined because the event is transitory or reversible, investigations did not look for all possible causes, or because some causes truly remain unknown.

Many common medical conditions can increase your chances of having a stroke. Those who are at an increased risk in getting a stroke as stated in the different types are ones who have:

  1. High Blood Pressure (leading cause of stroke, can be due to stress)
  2. High Cholesterol
  3. Diabetes
  4. Smoking habits (Smokers)
  5. Heart Disease
  6. Heart Rhythm Disturbances/ Irregular Heartbeat (Atrial Fibrillation)

You can lower your risk for stroke by generally maintaining a healthy weight, follow a healthy diet and exercising regularly. To make it easier, just remember these ABCS of stroke prevention:

  • Aspirin
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Smoking

Symptoms in Identifying a Stroke (Before it truly happens)

brain stroke

This part of the article might be the most important in saving somebody from being paralysed or preventing one’s health from further deteriorating due to a stroke. 

Strokes may cause sudden weakness, loss of sensation or a tingling sensation, difficulty with speaking, seeing, or walking. Since different parts of the brain control different areas and functions, it is usually the area immediately surrounding the stroke that is affected. 

Sometimes people with stroke have obvious symptoms, but stroke can also be completely painless. You are advised to pay particular attention to the time the symptoms began. It is very important to recognise the warning signs of stroke. Some treatment options are most effective when given soon after a stroke begins.

Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to come and go or they disappear completely. 

The signs and symptoms of a stroke include:

  1. Numbness (sometimes tingling sensation) of the face, arm or leg – affecting one side of the body
  2. Weakness in lifting arm or leg – difficulty in raising both arms.
  3. Trouble speaking and understanding, slurred words confusion.
  4. Trouble walking – stumbling and losing balance, loss of coordination.
  5. Sudden and severe headache, accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness
  6. Vision loss or changes – blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or seeing double

A simple abbreviation that is common in identifying a stroke is to think and act “FAST”:

  1. Face Drooping. Ask the person to smile. Is one part of the face drooping?
  2. Arms Weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or is one arm unable to rise?
  3. Speech Difficulty. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
  4. Time to call for medical assistance immediately.

At times, these symptoms don’t last like when a mini stroke happens. However, never take these symptoms lightly because just because the symptoms go away, it doesn’t mean anybody is in the clear and that a stroke would not still happen. 

A stroke of any duration can do lasting damage. It is always better to be safe and seek treatment than to ignore the warning signs of a potentially deadly event.

Problems after a Stroke

Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect motor function or the ability for the entire body to move. A common disability that results from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body, called hemiplegia. A related disability is weakness on one side of the body or hemiparesis

People who survive a stroke are often left with long-term problems caused by injury to their brain. Most are common and will improve with time and disciplined rehabilitation. Some of the few issues that are faced by stroke survivors are listed as below:

PhysicalCommunicationDepression and Emotional Changes
Right Side of the BrainLeft Side of the BrainSpeech disordersLanguage disordersCognitive-linguistic deficitsSudden mood changesFeeling anxious, worried, pessimistic, or hopelessHaving thoughts of deathLoss of energyIncrease or decrease in appetiteDifficulty sleeping or sleeping too muchDifficulty concentrating, remembering, thinking, or making decisionsHeadacheDigestive problemsSexual problems
Left-side weaknessImpulsive behaviorOverconfidence in abilitiesVision problemsRight-side weaknessSpeech and language problemsSlow behavior

Stroke patients may have difficulty controlling their emotions or may express inappropriate emotions. Many stroke patients tend to experience depression as they will start to feel that they are not capable anymore. 

In some cases, stroke survivors may also have numbness or strange sensations. The pain is often worse in the hands and feet and is made worse by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures.

Stroke Rehabilitation & Recovery Suggestions

There are three treatment stages for stroke: prevention, therapy immediately after the stroke, and post-stroke rehabilitation. 

  • Therapies to prevent a first or recurrent stroke are based on treating an individual’s underlying risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes. 
  • Acute stroke therapies try to stop a stroke while it is happening by quickly dissolving or removing the blood clot causing an ischemic stroke or by stopping the bleeding of a hemorrhagic stroke. 
  • Post-stroke rehabilitation helps individuals overcome disabilities that result from stroke damage. This includes rehabilitation that helps stroke survivors relearn skills that have been lost or compromised. 
  • While learning any new skill requires patience and practice, a repetitive rehabilitation program helps the brain heal.

Treatment will depend on the type of stroke you have, including which part of the brain was affected and what caused it. Some people need a long period of rehabilitation before they can recover their former independence, while many never fully recover and need ongoing support after their stroke. The most rapid recovery usually occurs during the first three to four months after a stroke. 

Strokes are commonly treated with medication. This includes medicines to prevent and dissolve blood clots, reduce blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. In some cases, procedures like surgery may be required to remove blood clots. 

To assist in the stroke survivor’s journey and provide stroke care, here are some additional ways to care for them:

  • A safe and accommodative home environment
  • Monitor medications
  • Assist them in staying active physically and mentally, constant muscle movements
  • Encourage social interaction for positive motivation
  • Provide healthy diets and avoid processed sugars
  • Avoid burnout for caretakers

Both the stroke survivor and caretakers need to be physically and mentally prepared for the road to recovery. Recurrent stroke is frequent; about 25 percent of people who recover from their first stroke will have another stroke within 5 years. Therefore, it is crucial to take preventive measures (ABCS), and always be aware of the symptoms – FAST. In this matter, early intervention is key to a successful recovery.

References:

1. What is a Stroke?

2. Conditions That Increase Risk for Stroke

3. Stroke

4. Stroke Information Page

5. Stroke definition and facts

6. Stroke Health Center

7. How to Spot a Stroke: 5 Sure Signs and 4 Life-Saving Letters

8. Overview -Stroke

9. Stroke Recovery: Can the Brain Heal Itself?

10. Management of cryptogenic stroke

Anxiety Causes Symptoms and Management

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural feeling of uncertainty and unease. This includes worry or fear that can be mild or severe. This is normal and everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life when encountered with stressful life situations.

When does anxiety become a problem? Anxiety is a problem when it starts to feel overwhelming or unmanageable. Anxiety disorders are mental illnesses that causes a huge impact on your life.

What causes Anxiety?

There can be many causes of anxiety, mainly stemming from environmental factors. These can be stress from school, a job, a relationship and many other individual factors.

Here are some of the other key contributors:

  1. Genetics: Should a family member or family history records an anxiety disorder, it is more likely that you will also have one yourself.
  2. Brain Chemistry: Psychologists and neurologists define anxiety and mood disorders as disruptions to hormones and electrical signals in the brain. These are affected by traumatic events and/or genetic factors that can cause alteration of the brain’s structure and activity in causing a reaction.
  3. Illicit Substance Usage or Withdrawal: While some people approach stress by consuming alcohol or other illicit substances, this may cause them to have increased anxiety levels and risk further complications that may lead to an anxiety disorder.
  4. Medical factors (Situational): Some side effects of medication or the stress from an existing medical condition can also lead to an anxiety disorder.

 

Symptoms of Anxiety to look out for

Common anxiety symptoms and signs can include the following:

  • Feeling tensed, restless, nervous
  • Increased/ Rapid heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Having a sense of impending danger and panic
  • Difficulty in focusing or thinking about other things besides the current worry
  • Difficulty controlling worry
  • Having trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or lethargic
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

How to manage Anxiety?

While there is no immediate cure to anxiety, it is highly treatable with the correct and suitable approaches depending on different individuals. Lifestyle changes, natural remedies, therapy and medication can sometimes help in easing anxiety and can be tried in different combinations.

However, it is important to keep in mind that untreated anxiety can get worse and cause more stress. Although symptoms of anxiety can be relieved in the long-term, such relief can be potentially broken due to an in-built tendency toward those mental problems.

Managing anxiety involves many different ways. Here are some self-care tips that can be included into your routine to calm the mind and cut down on stress:

  1. Exercise: By moving your body, it can ease your feelings of anxiety and boost your sense of well-being. Exercising is an important part for both physical and mental health, so choose a list of enjoyable exercises so you look forward to doing them.
  2. Take deep breaths: This simple gesture helps your mind and body to relax, while sending a message to your brain telling it that you’re doing alright. To get the most out of it, lie down on a flat surface and put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Take a slow breath in. Make sure it fills your belly enough that you can feel it rise slightly. Hold it for a second, then slowly let it out.
  3. Get enough sleep: It may sound easy, but it takes both quality and quantity to have a good night’s sleep. Anxiety sometimes tends to mess with your sleep routine, so here are a few suggestions to ensure you catch an average of 8 hours of ZZZs every night:
    • Reduce screen time, or make it an effort to leave it around 30 minutes before you go to bed.
    • Decrease or cut back on both caffeine and alcohol, as they can increase the intensity of your anxiety. The best is to avoid them if you can.
    • Try to stick to a schedule.
    • A comfortable bed and a cool room temperature can also go a long way.
  4. Schedule your worry time: This point might be confusing to some but it is actually recommended by doctors that you plan a time to worry and think about what you fear. 30 minutes can be used to identify what’s bothering you and what you can do about it. You can try to fix your “worry session” at the same time every day and spend it focusing on what are the things that make you anxious.
Giving out a helping hand

If you need assistance, we are here for a helping hand

Anxiety can be rather intimidating when faced alone, but it is advisable to get professional help. Come speak to us at WhatsDoc where we have certified healthcare professionals ready to be of assistance. Download our app now and set your appointment!

References:

1. Tips for Living with Anxiety

2. Anxiety disorders

3. Symptoms and causes of anxiety 

4. Types of anxiety 

5. Understanding anxiety 

6. What is the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder?

7. Diagnosis of anxiety disorder

Top Benefits Of Telemedicine For Patients

We’ve all been there — feeling lethargic, moody and irritable while sick as we drag ourselves out of the home to visit a doctor.

So, if you’re feeling under the weather and don’t want to visit a clinic, why don’t we bring the doctor to you? Thanks to technology, telemedicine provides an opportunity to consult a doctor without having to leave the comfort of your home.

 

The Rise of Telemedicine in Southeast Asia

Telemedicine is on the rise in Southeast Asia, especially during the COVID-19 situation. Under these circumstances, telemedicine has become the “new normal” in the healthcare industry.

This kind of technology has come in handy by bridging the gap between healthcare professionals and patients through the introduction of telemedicine apps such as Doctor Anywhere, WhiteCoat, BookDoc and DOC2US. These are some of the go-to telemedicine services in Singapore and Malaysia.

After all, one of the most significant benefits of telemedicine is convenience. More and more consumers are consulting with doctors online and receiving prescribed medications on the very same day at their doorstep.

But, before we venture into the benefits, let’s take a quick look at what is telemedicine.

What is Telemedicine?

What is telemedicine

Telemedicine is a type of practice that uses technology to deliver medicine and care at a distance. It’s a remote setting that offers a wide range of medical care services for patients.

It utilises the internet, video, voice conferencing, and other telecommunications technologies. This concept of consultation is perfect for managing medical care appointments, consultations, prescriptions, diagnostics and many more.

Not only it is becoming a game-changer for healthcare practices but also engages better with patients and improve efficiencies.

Top 5 Telemedicine Benefits

Flexible and Convenience

The most apparent benefit of telemedicine is none other than bringing convenience to you. As a patient, you don’t have to waste time travelling to the clinic and wait long hours.

With telemedicine, you can connect to a doctor within minutes and seek a medical consultation over a video call, allowing you to receive advice or treatment in a shorter time.

Even if you have weak immune systems or mobility challenges, telemedicine can be a helping hand in medical care from appointments to consultations, prescriptions, diagnostics, specialist referral, and more — at anywhere, anytime.

All in all, telemedicine is here to support, not replace, traditional medical cares.

Accessible care to your family, children and elders

With telemedicine, it has given a fantastic opportunity for families to conduct remote consultation, treatment, and diagnosis of medical problems.

After all, many of us have responsibilities in caring for our children or elders. Bringing them along can be nerve-racking or impractical. Fortunately, telemedicine solves this challenge by facilitating two-way interaction between the patient and healthcare professional. They can seek general consultations with doctors and receive prescription medicine after a telemedicine visit.

However, certain services, such as vaccinations or health screenings, need to be done physically. But with telemedicine, you can skip the line with online bookings with the tough of a finger.

Higher quality care and easy management

Telemedicine is particularly beneficial for patients who are looking for higher quality care and easy supervision of their chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Telemedicine platforms can be used to communicate with doctors, dentists, specialists, request instant prescription refills, as well as review test summaries and results. It can also be used to schedule and remind appointments.

People, especially with chronic illness, benefit greatly from these services. For example, patients can use at-home devices such as blood glucose monitors and upload the data into a telemedicine app. It enables a general practitioner or specialist to monitor your health remotely.

But again, telemedicine can’t wholly replace in-person visits, especially for those who require annual checkups or physical exams for more serious chronic conditions.

Immediate access from consults to specialists

With telemedicine, a general practitioner can immediately refer patients to medical specialists or hospitals. This makes it easy for patients as it prevents unnecessary in-person referrals, reduces wait time and eliminates unnecessary travel.

You can also connect with the specialist more often, leveraging its expertise to guide your health better.

Not to mention, you can avoid unnecessary admissions and readmissions with the help of remote consultations and supervision, allowing you to manage health situations more effectively at home.

After all, when it comes to serious health issues, you want to consult with someone who knows you better.

Secured and contactless care

Even though COVID-19 is still in everyone’s mind, people still need medical care for more severe issues.

However, going to the doctor’s office during the pandemic may cause anxiety or risk of exposure to the virus, especially for patients who are immunocompromised or have pre-existing medical conditions.

In addition, many telemedicine services, including ours, offer a way to communicate with patients through private, secure connections.

We respect and value your privacy. We understand that health issues can be a sensitive matter. Thus, leveraging security compliances such as HIPAA and ISO27001 can provide peace of mind when it comes to sharing private information.

All in all — with telemedicine — it’s an excellent option for those looking for the care they want and need from the safety of their homes.

Telemedicine — it’s all about health and access

Telemedicine access

We hope that with this article, you can see there are many telemedicine benefits for patients. Ultimately, telemedicine removes a lot of barriers many patients face trying to get access to health and care they need.

From the comfort of your own home, telemedicine provides an opportunity for you to seek medical services remotely, similar to our services.

With WhatsDoc services, you instantly have access to reliable healthcare services ranging from medical to dental, veterinary and allied healthcare. If you still have questions, that’s okay! Feel free to contact us. We offer round-the-clock telemedicine attention at your fingertips.

References:

1. Surge in patients choosing to see Docs via telemedicine

2. IHH healthcare rolls out telemedicine in Singapore and other key markets

3. COVID-19 Accelerates the adoption of telemedicine in Asia pacific countries

4. Telemedicine consulting:  A doctor online anywhere

5. Medspace

Constipation

Constipation: An important reminder to be able to pass stools regularly

Did you grow up with the home-training of always having to sit on a potty stool or the toilet, and your parents making sure that something comes out of you before heading out?

If the answer is mostly yes, it must have been hard when there was nothing. 

We shall dive into what constipation is and how it affects both children and adults differently.

What is Constipation?

To understand how it is classified as constipation, the term means that a person has three or fewer bowel movements in a week, and sometimes it is painful to pass motion. It commonly occurs when waste or stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract or cannot be eliminated effectively from the rectum, which may cause the stool to become hard and dry. 

The term constipation might mean differently to different people who experience it. For many people, it simply means infrequent passage of stool (faeces). And for others, it might mean difficulty in passing stools (straining), hard stools, or a sense of incomplete passing after a bowel movement.

At one time or another, almost everyone gets constipated. In most cases, it lasts a short time and is not serious. Constipation can occur in babies, children and adults. The condition affects twice as many women as men and is also more common in older adults and during pregnancy.

Constipation is a very common problem in kids, but usually nothing to be concerned about because it can be prevented by healthy eating and establishing exercise habits.

How does constipation happen?

As food moves through the digestive tract, nutrients are absorbed. The partially digested food (waste) that remains moves from the small intestine to the large intestine, also called the colon. The colon absorbs water from this waste, which creates a solid matter called stool. 

If you have constipation, food may move too slowly through the digestive tract. Constipation happens because your colon absorbs too much water from the waste created in the body (stool/ poop), which dries out the stool and makes the consistency hard. This causes it to be difficult to be pushed out of the body.

Signs and Symptoms of Constipation

The signs and symptoms of constipation may vary in different individuals, but mainly include:

  • abdominal bloating
  • anal bleeding or fissures from the trauma caused by hard faeces
  • colonic perforation 
  • haemorrhoids
  • hard and/ or small faeces
  • infrequent bowel movements
  • lower abdominal discomfort/ stomach ache or cramps
  • occasionally distension (bloating)
  • occasionally diarrhoea due to obstruction of the colon by hard stool
  • psychological distress and/or obsession with having to go to the bathroom, and possible aggravation of the diverticular disease,
  • rectal bleeding and/ or anal fissures that are caused by hard or small stools
  • rectal prolapse
  • sense of incomplete evacuation after going to the bathroom
  • straining when going to the bathroom and to have a bowel movement

Causes of Constipation

The cause for each of these symptoms of constipation will vary, therefore different approaches have to be considered to tailor to the various symptoms.

Some of the common causes of constipation include:

  • a change in your routine or lifestyle, such as a change in your eating habits
  • abuse of laxatives: there is a possibility that stimulant products can damage the colon, therefore it is advised they are to be used as a last resort.
  • aging – constipation is more common in the elderly because of a few factors, including reduced intestinal muscle contractions and reliance on regular medications.
  • anxiety or depression
  • hormonal disorders – high levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy.
  • ignoring the urge to pass stools – bowel movements are under voluntary control and suppressing the urge too frequently can lead to a decrease of urges and result in constipation.
  • lack of water/fluids – constipation can occur from a high-fibre diet if insufficient water is consumed.
  • eating little fibre, such as fruit, vegetables and cereals – fibre is important in maintaining a soft, bulky stool.
  • side effects of certain medications
  • other diseases primarily of other parts of the body that also affect the colon
  • eating lots of processed food such as cheeses, white bread and bagels, and meats

The two disorders that causes constipation are:

  1. colonic inertia – also known as a motility disorder; which is an abnormal passage of waste through the digestive system.
  2. pelvic floor dysfunction – the inability to correctly relax and coordinate your pelvic floor muscles to have a bowel movement.

In some cases, constipation is caused by more serious illnesses and events, including tumours and systemic diseases.

Chronic Constipation

Chronic constipation is also another underlying problem that might need constant attention in order to solve the issue. Chronic constipation is infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer.

Chronic constipation may also cause people to strain excessively in order to have a bowel movement.

Some of the complications of chronic constipation include:

  • Haemorrhoids – caused by the constant straining to open the bowel, where it can damage the blood vessels of the rectum.
  • Faecal incontinence – an overfull bowel can cause involuntary ‘dribbling’ of diarrhoea.
  • Faecal impaction – faeces are collected and become so full in the lower bowel and rectum that the muscles of the bowels cannot push it out.
  • Rectal prolapse – happens when the constant straining pushes a section of rectal lining out of the anus.
  • Urinary incontinence – the constant straining can weaken pelvic floor muscles. This makes the involuntary passing of urine more likely, especially during coughing, laughing or sneezing.

Preventing and Treating Constipation

  • Consume more liquids: Drinking enough water and other liquids like two to four extra glasses of water a day can help the stool move easily through the intestines. You can also include apple, pear, or prune juice each day, and warm liquids in the morning.
  • Consume more fibre: High-fibre foods that can help prevent constipation include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread and bran cereal. You can also try adding apples, pears, beans, oatmeal, oranges, ripe bananas, whole-grains breads, and popcorn. 
  • Get enough exercise: Physical activity helps the bowels get into action.
  • Encourage/ Remind yourself to go to the toilet: Never fight the urge to go to the bathroom. 

Making diet and lifestyle changes can also help to reduce your risk of developing constipation in the first place.

If the suggestions are not effective for your situation, you may consult a pharmacist or your healthcare professional for some medication like laxatives as a last resort to assist in getting your bowel movement consistent.

NEVER ignore your body’s signs of passing stool

Constipation is a condition that usually happens based on our lifestyle habits, as well as our diets, therefore it is easy to prevent as well with some of the suggestions stated.

However, chronic constipation might take more than just the suggested ways to treat it, therefore it is important to talk with your doctor or other healthcare professional for the proper treatment for your constipation based on the various causes – especially if you are experiencing severe pain that worsens.

To also keep in mind, the symptoms of constipation may resemble other medical conditions or problems, therefore always consult your doctor for a diagnosis. 

WhatsDoc is a platform filled with general practitioners and pharmacists that may assist in your constipation issues. You can message them accordingly on the application for consultations. 

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/constipation/symptoms-causes/syc-20354253#:~:text=Constipation%20most%20commonly%20occurs%20when,constipation%20has%20many%20possible%20causes.

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4059-constipation

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-constipation

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150322

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/constipation

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/184704-overview

https://www.healthline.com/health/constipation

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/constipation

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/constipation

https://medlineplus.gov/constipation.html

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/stomach-liver-and-gastrointestinal-tract/constipation

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/constipation.html

https://www.medicinenet.com/constipation/article.htm

Acne & Scar Treatment – Opting for Natural Remedies

Acne is a common skin disease and it causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples which can be frustrating to treat. It affects an estimated 85% of people of all ages and at some point in their lives, and it starts when oil and dead skin cells clog up the pores in your skin.

In order to understand how to treat acne you need to understand the cause. Causes of acne are mainly from the hormones changes and genetics, and though poor personal hygiene sometimes may play a role, other factors contributing to the development of acne include diet, stress and skin infections.

Though most people tend to go through the conventional and most effective acne treatments and solutions that include salicylic acidniacinamide, or benzoyl peroxide, not only are they expensive, but they can also have undesirable side effects, such as dryness, redness, and irritation.

What You Should Know While Opting for Homemade Remedies

Some of the stated home remedies are not considered the best acne treatments in the market, and they tend to vary according to different skin types and different acne situations. Nevertheless, there are many who have researched and tried out some potential home treatments, however, their effectiveness are still not solid results. 

Natural Ways for Acne Treatment Everyone Should Try

It is important to keep in mind that these natural remedies are not developed to treat the root cause, and while they might not work for everyone, they could be worth a try. Exfoliation with your usual products accompanied by some of these ingredients may also improve acne by removing the skin cells that clog pores.

You might find some to reduce the inflammation on your skin, but they aren’t actually going to ‘cure’ your spots. If your acne is mild to moderate and looking to try some gentle alternatives, here is the list of various home and natural ways for acne and pimples:

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a thick, short-stemmed plant that stores water in its leaves. It’s a go-to for calming your skin down when you’re sunburnt and it is best known for treating skin injuries. It also assists in regulating melanin production and reduces pigmentation and discoloration.

Though it is anti-inflammatory, it doesn’t really mean it is helpful for breakouts going to reduce the inflammation of acne. Nevertheless, it may promote healing, fight infection, and even reduce scarring

Make sure what you get is pure aloe before dabbing it onto blemishes or spots that are at risk of scarring. 

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains malic and lactic acids that may help exfoliate skin and dry out acne. There’s some suggestion it may cure breakouts, but it is still an acid and contains a very high risk of irritation. The reason people use apple cider vinegar is to cause a chemical exfoliation of the skin, but there are far safer acids that you can use in the context of acne. Some dermatologists suggest salicylic or glycolic or lactic acid if you are looking for clinically proven acids. 

The apple cider vinegar is included for a DIY toner, just mix it equally with water to ensure it dilutes well and apply only on pimples with a cotton ball to avoid irritation. Concentrated apple cider vinegar can further harm the face. Diluted apple cider vinegar may help remove the upper layer of your skin and reduce the appearance of acne scars.

3. Cucumber

Cucumbers can have a soothing effect on the skin and with its antioxidant activity, hence it is able to reduce swelling, irritation and pain. They can potentially relieve inflammation specifically associated with acne, however, they are not effective at treating the underlying pimples.

Cucumber can be rubbed directly on the skin, over acne spots, or even put under a sheet mask while waiting. You can also rinse cucumber slices on your eyes to reduce puffiness.

4. Green Tea

Green tea also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that may be beneficial for the skin. Using cool green tea bags on your skin might make it feel better for a few minutes as it is helpful in soothing irritated skin and reducing the inflammation of acne. However, it doesn’t target the cause of spots or completely clears your complexion.

Another interesting quality green tea has is its ability to fight bacteria. To get its effects, use a cooled cup of green tea as a face wash or lay the bag over the affected area. 

5. Honey

For centuries, people have used honey as a medicinal treatment. Honey contains enzymes that create hydrogen peroxide, which has antimicrobial properties. It is ideal for soothing red blemishes or deep-rooted acne spots. 

Honey’s antibacterial properties may help improve acne as it is a natural moisturiser as well as a natural antiseptic. This not only keeps your skin soft and healthy, but also makes sure less of a scar is left behind. 

An example is Manuka honey, which is considered the best for acne healing as it has even greater antibacterial effects. 

6. Lemons

Lemons have a high pH level and are a rich source of vitamin C and citric acid. Known for their detoxifying effects, lemons can help decrease inflammation and oil that contribute to the formation of acne. They act as an exfoliant, skin lightener and antiseptic to reduce the appearance of acne scars, remove black heads, effectively fade age spots and prevent new pimples from forming. 

Diluted lemon juice is mixed with other natural remedies like witch hazel to be used as treatment for spot and blemishes as well as acne scar treatment.

7. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a product derived from the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree that possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is less harsh than benzoyl peroxide but may be just as effective against acne in soothing the inflammation. 

If you do not have severe acne, tea tree oil may even help to prevent and reduce acne scars, leaving you with smooth, clear skin. It is recommended to apply tea tree oil on acne spots for about 20 minutes, twice a day as it is too potent to leave on and may dry out and irritate the skin.

8. Turmeric Facial Mask

Turmeric is known as the wonder spice, one of the many uses include helping to reduce acne and any resulting scars. The spice’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties creates the ability to reduce bacterial growth and helps skin regeneration while reducing scarring. At the same time, it might not be a favoured option as it tends to impart its color on everything it touches.

If you have never used turmeric for skincare before, it is always advisable to test out with a small patch on a less-visible patch of skin first. Wait 48 hours to see how your skin responds. 

Going Natural Doesn’t Mean Guaranteed Positive Results

We understand that acne problems and the scars can be rather annoying and hard to get rid of. Though natural remedies have added benefits like being kind on your wallet and few side effects if any, delays in proper treatment might increase the risk of developing stains in the skin, or in some cases, permanent scars.

While in some cases it may just be the stress, you may try out some stress-relieving activities. Surely, it doesn’t hurt to try one or more of these remedies to treat pimple-prone skin and see how your skin responds, but if it doesn’t help after about 2 to 4 weeks, you might want to enquire a consultation with a certified dermatologist.

Search for some registered dermatologists on the WhatsDoc app or here on the website to find answers for some of your skin issues!

No.Keywords
1acne scars
2acne scar treatment
3best acne treatment
4acne medication
5blackhead extraction
6acne spot treatment
7acne scar removal
8acne removal
9spot treatment
10home remedies for pimples

References:

https://patient.info/news-and-features/do-natural-remedies-work-for-acne

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-acne-remedies

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/get-rid-of-pimples-fast

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322455

https://www.byrdie.com/natural-remedies-for-acne

https://www.today.com/style/top-10-home-remedies-acne-according-dermatologists-t145253

https://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/home-remedies-for-acne.aspx

https://www.thehealthy.com/skin-health/acne/home-remedies-for-acne/

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-old-scars#remedies

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324784

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/natural-products-for-acne-scars#4.-Aloe-Vera

https://www.medicinenet.com/how_do_you_get_rid_of_acne_scars_naturally/article.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/symptoms-causes/syc-20368047#:~:text=Acne%20is%20a%20skin%20condition,affects%20people%20of%20all%20ages.

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/cucumber-for-skin#diy-cucumber-tricks

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/green-tea-for-acne#how-it-works

https://www.verywellhealth.com/does-green-tea-help-clear-acne-4117353

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/honey-for-acne#blemish-type

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315877

https://vitagene.com/blog/turmeric-for-acne/

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Taken from https://www.reequil.com/blogs/care-tips/acne-scars-solutions