Eczema

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. Bacteria of the genus Leptospira cause it. In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all.

Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.
Infection

The bacteria that cause leptospirosis are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months. Many different kinds of wild and domestic animals carry the bacterium.

These can include, but are not limited to: cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents, and wild animals. When these animals are infected, they may have no symptoms of the disease.

Infected animals may continue to excrete the bacteria into the environment continuously or every once in a while for a few months up to several years. Humans can become infected through: contact with urine (or other body fluids, except saliva) from infected animals and contact with water, soil, or food contaminated with the urine of infected animals.

The bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth), especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Drinking contaminated water can also cause infection. Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to contaminated water, such as floodwaters. Person to person transmission is rare.
Sign and symptoms

In humans, Leptospirosis can cause a wide range of symptoms, including: high fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rash.

Many of these symptoms can be mistaken for other diseases. In addition, some infected persons may have no symptoms at all.The time between a person’s exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is two days to four weeks. Illness usually begins abruptly with fever and other symptoms. Leptospirosis may occur in two phases: after the first phase (with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, or diarrhea) the patient may recover for a time but become ill again; and if a second phase occurs, it is more severe; the person may have kidney or liver failure or meningitis.

The illness lasts from a few days to three weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.
Prevention

The risk of acquiring leptospirosis can be greatly reduced by not swimming or wading in water that might be contaminated with animal urine, or eliminating contact with potentially infected animals. Protective clothing or footwear should be worn by those exposed to contaminated water or soil because of their job or recreational activities.
Prevention

Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics, such as doxycycline or penicillin, which should be given early in the course of the disease. Intravenous antibiotics may be required for persons with more severe symptoms. Persons with symptoms suggestive of leptospirosis should contact a health care provider.

You might have probably come across someone just scratching a part of the body. Or met someone with red patches or rashes all over. That could be as a result of skin reaction or infections.

It is quite common for some people to react to certain skin care products such as body creams, cosmetics, soaps, deodorants and antiperspirants, among others. The symptoms of allergy include, skin rashes, itchiness, swellings and pus.

To avoid this situation, health experts have advised that consumers take precautions when selecting products and pick only those with few ingredients, as they are unlikely to cause contact dermatitis.

The immediate past National Chairman of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Young Pharmacists Group (PSN-YPG), Olagunju Muyiwa, said the term used to refer to itchiness, redness or irritation of the skin is called dermatitis. When caused by something that touches the skin, it is called contact dermatitis.

Several factors, Muyiwa explained could trigger contact dermatitis through skin care products, such as creams, cosmetics, soaps, deodorants and antiperspirants. They include the type of fragrance used, preservatives and colourants among others. Some natural products, particularly, essential oils, are known to produce nice fragrance, but if used superfluously are likely to cause contact dermatitis, which lead to itchy and bumpy rash on the skin at the site of contact with the oil. “Most times, when people purchase new skin products, it’s probably based on recommendation or the intrinsic desire to try new things. All could go well with the new product and desired outcomes achieved. But there is tendency for the body not to tolerate some of these products. In this situation, the product causing the irritation should be identified, which can only be achieved by narrowing down the problematic product.

“If there is a mild reaction and the person has not started any new product, one product should be removed from the regimen at a time to see if the skin condition improves. It may take up to two to four weeks before a difference is observed. Overtime, such individuals may come to realise what kind of products they are sensitive to, either in the form of preservatives or fragrance and then know how to best avoid them.”

Trigger factors, he said, differ from one individual to another. “What may be acceptable to person A may pose irritation risk to person B and vice versa. So, it depends on compatibility of the skin with the ingredients of the cosmetic product. For safety sake, chronic administration of these products are discouraged. One of such example is a facial cleanser that makes your skin squeaky-clean. Over time, the cleanser may no longer “clean” the skin. Instead, it may compromise the exterior barrier of cells known as the stratum corneum.

“Some of the major components of bleaching creams are hydroquinone and alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs), among others, including citric acid. Prolonged administration of products containing these substances increases risk of photosensitivity and subsequent skin burn and in worst-case scenario, cancer.”

He, therefore, warned: “Be careful with cosmetic products with such preservatives as parabens, formaldehyde, formalin, imadazolidinyl urea, isothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, and quaternium-15, as they are likely to cause contact dermatitis.”

A Consultant Physician and Dermatologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Dr. Olufolakemi Cole-Adeife said some people may have sensitive skin or skin conditions, which could make them react to some skincare products.

Examples of such skin conditions are atopic dermatitis, rosacea and seborrhoeic dermatitis. Also, some people may be allergic to certain chemicals in some skin care products that other people use without any issue. This condition is called allergic contact dermatitis. “The symptoms of infections may include skin rashes, dryness or scaliness of the skin, itchiness, tingling or peppery sensations on the skin, as well as swelling, redness or darkening of the skin,” she explained, adding: “In severe cases, the skin may become weepy and develop sores. These symptoms are usually most pronounced after the use of the skincare product”.

Cole-Adeife explained that harmful cosmetic products could cause skin irritation and damage, which may initially be reversible or temporary, but can become irreversible or permanent, if the product is continuously used.

She said: “The regular use of antiseptic liquids and soaps can remove the normal bacteria flora, meant to stimulate healthy skin. This normal flora is protective and beneficial to the skin and its absence may result in some skin abnormalities like dryness. It can also expose the skin to colonisation by harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses resulting in skin, hair or nail infections. The use of skin lightening or bleaching agents can result in a myriad of complications such as thinning of the skin, stretch marks, skin discolouration like redness and hyperpigmentation, excessive hair growth, malodour, poor wound healing and a propensity to skin infections.

According to Cole-Adeife, mercury-containing creams and soaps could also result in kidney damage and ultimately kidney failure. “It is important to note that children are more vulnerable to harmful skin care products. This is because their skin is much thinner than adults’ and they are likely to absorb a higher amount of harmful chemicals from creams and soaps. Children should never be exposed to mercury-containing soaps. They should also not be exposed to any steroid containing cream without a doctor’s prescription and prescribed creams should not be used beyond the duration specified by the doctor.

“These steroid-containing creams should certainly never be mixed into the children’s daily body creams, as is being done by many mothers nowadays. This practice is very harmful to the child’s skin and whole body and should be strongly discouraged.”

The treatment of these skin infections she asserted, involves stopping the use of these products. “The skin can be quite forgiving, and when the products are stopped early enough, many of the complications are reversible. As treatment, a person is often advised to switch to plain, gentle skin care products and encouraged to eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Sunscreen creams to shield exposed skin from UV rays is often recommended.”

Chairperson of Public Relations, Young Pharmacists Group (YPG), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), Pharm. Funmbi Okoya, said: “Cosmetics can be classified as drugs, when they contain substances that have a physiological effect on the body. Therefore, antifungal creams, steroid-containing creams, antidandruff shampoo and Sun Protection Factor (SPF) creams, among others are cosmetic drugs. Cosmetics counterfeit, especially those containing drug substances, can cause a wide range of localised side effects, depending on where they are applied, as well as systemic side effects, depending on the quantity that enters the blood.

“Common local side effects include allergies. Harmful cosmetics are even more likely to cause severe side effects, depending on what dangerous substances are used and its respective quantities. To avoid harmful or counterfeit cosmetic products and their side effects, make sure to use only NAFDAC registered products purchased from a credible store. Also, consult your pharmacist or dermatologist before trying any new cosmetic products.”

Okoya advised that people should not bleach their skin, as skin whitening is the same as skin bleaching and skin lightening is often a milder form of skin bleaching. Meanwhile, studies have shown that skin toning has no serious side effects.”

A blemish is the term for any mark on the skin. There are many different types of blemish.

Most blemishes are harmless, but some people may wish to treat them for cosmetic reasons.

Certain blemishes may indicate an underlying condition, such as skin cancer, which requires prompt medical treatment.

In this article, we outline the different types of blemish that people may have and the treatment options available in each case.

Types

There are many different types of skin blemish. Some examples include those below.

Acne

Acne is a skin condition that occurs as a result of the skin producing too much oil. Different factors can cause excess oil production, including:

  • overactive oil glands
  • hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, or the menopause
  • stress, anxiety, or depression, which can also affect hormones

There are several different types of acne, which vary in their appearance. Some examples include:

Blackheads

Blackheads are small, dark spots on the surface of the skin. They resemble trapped dirt but actually consist of oil that has become stuck inside the pore. When this oil reacts with air, it becomes black.

Whiteheads

Whiteheads are small, round blemishes that are white or skin-colored. They develop as a result of oil and dead skin cells blocking the pores.

Papules

Papules are small, hard, red bumps on the skin. These develop when excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells travel deeper into the skin, causing inflammation.

When lots of papules cluster together, this can give the skin a rough, sandpaper-like texture.

Pustules

Pustules are raised, red spots that contain yellow or white pus. They occur when oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells collect under the skin, causing infection.

Nodules

Nodules are large skin blemishes that develop when a pore becomes clogged. Oils mix with dead skin cells and bacteria that then become trapped deep in the skin. The excess oil and bacteria lead to infection and inflammation inside the skin.

This type of skin blemish can cause acne scarring.

Acne cysts

A break in the lining of a pore can cause oil and bacteria to spread to the surrounding skin. An acne cyst is a membrane that has formed around the infected area.

Cysts appear as large, swollen, red blemishes. They may be very painful to the touch.

Like nodules, cysts can cause permanent acne scarring.

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a type of blemish that appears darker than other areas of skin. It is common and usually harmless.

Hyperpigmentation can occur as a result of genetic factors, sun damage, or acne scarring.

Freckles are a type of hyperpigmentation that a person can inherit the tendency to develop. They are small, flat spots that may be red, brown, tan, or black. They can appear anywhere on the body.

Sunspots or “age spots” are another type of hyperpigmentation. These small spots or patches can develop on areas of the skin that get a lot of sun exposure.

Acne scarring can also cause dark spots to remain on the skin once the acne has cleared.

Melasma

Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation that can develop during pregnancy or when a person takes birth control pills.

The hormonal changes that take place lead to an increase in melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its coloring. The overproduction of melanin can make the skin darker.

Ingrown hair

Sometimes, hairs can curl back on themselves or grow sideways into the skin, which can result in red, itchy bumps forming. Doctors refer to these skin blemishes as ingrown hairs.

Hair removal techniques, such as waxing, shaving, or plucking, can all cause ingrown hairs.

Birthmarks

Birthmarks are blemishes that appear on the skin of a newborn baby. They can appear either at birth or shortly afterward. Some birthmarks disappear over time, while others may be permanent.

Experts are still not sure what causes birthmarks to form. However, these skin blemishes can sometimes develop as a result of:

  • blood vessels not forming properly
  • skin pigment cells clumping together, creating moles or patches of darker skin
  • an overgrowth of skin that creates raised patches of thickened skin

A birthmark will look different than the skin surrounding it. These types of skin blemish can be any size and may vary greatly in appearance. They may be:

  • flat or raised
  • similar to a bruise or stain
  • any color, including pink, red, brown, or tan

Birthmarks are generally harmless, but some marks that appear on a baby’s skin can signal an underlying condition. It is best to have a dermatologist check any birthmarks just to be sure.

Some harmless birthmarks can also get larger quickly, which can be alarming. Talking with a dermatologist can help people know what to expect regarding birthmark growth.

Cold sores

Cold sores are painful, red, fluid-filled blisters that form on the lips or around the mouth. They occur as a result of infection with the herpes simplex virus.

Cold sores are highly contagious, so people should avoid intimate contact with others until the sores have healed to avoid passing the virus on.

Skin cancer

Some types of blemish can be a sign of skin cancer. Being aware of the signs to look out for can help people spot skin cancer early.

Some potential signs of skin cancer include:

  • a new mole or mark that grows quickly
  • a mole or mark that bleeds or itches
  • a blemish that changes in shape, size, or color
  • a mole that is asymmetrical or has rough, irregular edges
  • a mole that is larger than 6 millimeters

A person should see a doctor if they develop a new or unusual skin blemish that has any of the above characteristics.

Treatments

Although many types of skin blemish do not require treatment, some people may wish to treat them for cosmetic reasons. The type of skin blemish will determine the treatment options.

Acne treatment

People may be able to treat acne blemishes with topical creams, such as benzoyl peroxide.

These products can help dry out the skin and get rid of acne-causing bacteria.

Washing the face twice daily with a cleanser containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can help treat certain types of acne. In addition, medications called retinoids may help unclog the pores.

Acne treatments can take time to have a noticeable effect. People may need to wait 6–8 weeks for them to work.

For persistent acne, a dermatologist may suggest a topical or oral prescription medication. Some prescription treatments for acne and hyperpigmentation can cause side effects.

People should discuss any potential side effects with their dermatologist before starting treatment.

Some people may also find that certain dietary and lifestyle changes can help reduce stress levels and balance hormones.

Hyperpigmentation and melasma treatment

The following treatments may help reduce hyperpigmentation and melasma:

  • over-the-counter or prescription medicine containing hydroquinone, which works by lightening darker patches of skin
  • prescription cortisone or tretinoin cream
  • laser treatment

In some cases, melasma disappears after a woman has given birth or is no longer taking hormonal contraception.

Ingrown hair treatment

Some tips for preventing ingrown hairs include:

  • shaving only in the direction of hair growth
  • using a shaving gel
  • using only clean, sharp razors

For existing ingrown hairs, an exfoliating scrub can help release trapped hairs from under the skin.

Birthmark treatment

If people want to treat a birthmark, they may consider the following options:

  • laser therapy
  • medications, such as propranolol, timolol, or corticosteroids, which can shrink certain birthmarks
  • surgery to remove a birthmark that may be harmful

People may also use makeup to cover any blemishes or discolored skin that they wish to disguise.

Cold sore treatment

Cold sores tend to clear up on their own within 2 weeks. A dermatologist may also prescribe an oral or topical antiviral medicine to treat cold sores.

Skin cancer treatment

Skin cancer is very treatable if a person begins treatment in the early stages of the disease. The treatment that a person receives will depend on the type of skin cancer. Some possible treatment options include:

  • surgical removal of cancerous cells
  • topical medication to kill cancerous cells
  • radiation therapy

When to see a dermatologist

Some people may choose to see a dermatologist if they wish to treat a blemish for cosmetic reasons or if the blemish is causing them psychological distress.

A person should see their dermatologist immediately if they have a skin blemish that takes on any of the following characteristics:

  • grows quickly
  • changes in size, shape, or color
  • bleeds or itches

These could be signs of skin cancer or another serious skin condition that requires immediate treatment.

Summary

A blemish is any type of mark on the skin. Most blemishes are harmless, but people may choose to treat them for cosmetic reasons.

Certain types of skin blemish may be more serious. People should see a doctor or dermatologist if they develop a blemish that has any of the characteristic signs of skin cancer. This type of cancer is highly treatable if a person begins treatment during the early stages of the disease.

People should see a doctor or dermatologist if they have any concerns about a skin blemish or skin condition. These healthcare professionals can diagnose the condition and then recommend appropriate treatments.

Itchy breasts are a common occurrence, but if there is no rash, the cause may be difficult to pinpoint.

Various conditions, including yeast infections, eczema, and psoriasis, often cause itching, but they also produce a rash.

There are several reasons why the breasts may feel itchy without an accompanying rash, however. Although most causes are benign, people should pay attention to their symptoms, as breast itchiness can also be an early sign of a rare form of inflammatory breast cancer.

In this article, we provide more information on the possible causes of itchy breasts with no rash.

1. Dry skin

Dry skin on the breasts can cause itchiness and irritation. The skin typically appears flaky or scaly when it is dry.

Some people have naturally dry skin, but other possible causes include:

  • the use of harsh skin care products
  • sun exposure
  • sweating

Using moisturizers and sunscreen may help prevent dry skin. Keeping creams in the fridge and applying them to the breasts can help cool the skin and ease itching.

2. Breast growth

Whenever the breasts grow, the skin around them stretches, and this may cause itchiness and discomfort. The breasts may grow due to:

  • puberty
  • pregnancy
  • weight gain
  • hormonal changes, such as those that occur during the menstrual cycle

3. Heat rash

Heat rash is a common occurrence in hot climates or when a person exercises in high temperatures.

Contrary to its name, heat rash can sometimes occur without any visual symptoms. However, many people also develop small, pin-like bumps or blisters in addition to the itching.

Heat rash can affect any part of the body with sweat glands, and it can often appear on, between, or under the breasts. Other names for it include “prickly heat” and “miliaria.”

4. Allergens

Allergic reactions are another common cause of itchiness. Allergic reactions can sometimes cause a rash, but this is not always the case.

Products that may cause an allergic reaction include:

  • soaps
  • laundry detergents
  • cosmetic products
  • perfume

5. Breast cancer

In rare cases, itchiness of the breasts can be a symptom of breast cancer.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation list itchy breasts as a symptom of a rare form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer.

In addition to experiencing itchiness, people with inflammatory breast cancer may see a rash and feel that the breast is warm and swollen.

If either the nipple or areolar region is itchy, this could be a symptom of a rare form of breast cancer called Paget’s disease of the breast.

When to see a doctor

Dry skin and growing breasts are two of the more common reasons for itchy breasts, and they do not usually require a doctor’s examination.

However, a person should talk to a doctor if they experience the following symptoms:

  • itchiness lasting for more than a week
  • intense itchiness
  • an itchy nipple or areolar area, especially if the area is also flaky
  • tenderness, pain, or swelling alongside the itching
  • the appearance of a rash on, between, or under the breasts
  • itchiness that does not go away with home remedies

Treatments and prevention

People can often treat and prevent breast itchiness at home.

For example, if dry skin is the cause of the itchiness, a person can try:

  • using sunscreen
  • using moisturizers that are not oil based
  • staying hydrated
  • keeping the breasts clean and dry
  • using only nonscented products, including creams and detergents

If an allergic reaction causes the itchiness, a person can try to identify the source of the irritation and avoid exposure to it.

Other treatments for itchy breasts may include ointments such as pramoxine, which numbs the skin, or hydrocortisone, which reduces itchiness and swelling.

Antihistamines are another possible treatment option. Some examples include:

  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • loratadine (Claritin)
  • fexofenadine (Allegra)

Antihistamines can help suppress the immune system’s response to the allergen. People can take these orally or use them in the form of a cream or ointment.

Summary

Breast itchiness without a rash has many possible causes, including dry skin or growing breasts due to puberty, weight gain, or pregnancy.

In some cases, allergic reactions or other underlying conditions may be responsible for the itchiness.

In very rare cases, itchiness of the breast, nipple, or areolar region can be a sign of some types of breast cancer.

People should speak to a doctor if the itchiness is intense, does not respond to treatment, lasts for a long time, or occurs alongside other symptoms.

There are many misconceptions about masturbation. A lack of research into its long-term effects may contribute to some of these misapprehensions. Both masturbation and acne relate to hormonal changes, but is there a link between the two?

It is a common myth that masturbation causes acne. While both are common during puberty, this is the only real link between them.

Keep reading to learn more about the relationship between masturbation and acne, the causes of acne, and how to treat it.

Does masturbation cause acne?

Hormonal changes occur during puberty. These hormonal changes cause the body to produce more oil, which may contribute to the development of acne. Many people also start masturbating during puberty, which also has a small effect on hormone levels.

Because acne and masturbation tend to occur around the same time, this could explain the common misconception that masturbation causes acne. However, it is a myth — both masturbation and acne relate to hormonal changes.

Masturbation and hormones

Although masturbation can cause changes in hormone levels, these changes are minimal.

Testosterone levels rise during masturbation and return to normal after ejaculation. The effect is temporary and does not appear to have any long-term health implications.

One study looked at hormonal changes after masturbation following a period of abstinence. The findings indicate that any hormonal changes following masturbation are temporary and minimal. This, however, only looks at the short term effects.

There has been little research into the long-term effects of masturbation on hormone levels.

Causes of acne

Acne is a skin condition that causes whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples to develop.

Pores under the skin connect to glands that produce sebum, which is n oily substance. These glands can become blocked by a buildup of sebum, dead skin, or other debris. Bacteria can accumulate and cause inflammation. This leads to the visible symptoms of acne, such as pimples.

Acne can develop anywhere on the body. It is most common on:

  • the face
  • shoulders
  • back
  • chest
  • arms

While acne can develop at any age, it usually occurs and is most prominent during puberty.

The exact causes of acne are unclear but may relate to:

  • hormonal changes
  • medicines
  • cosmetic use
  • genetics

Poor hygiene does not cause acne, but it can make the symptoms worse in people who already have it.

Acne treatment

There are many different treatments for acne. Choosing the right one will depend on the severity of the condition.

There is a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) medications that are suitable for most types of acne. They are available as gels, creams, soaps, or lotions.

In mild cases, suitable OTC products should contain active ingredients such as:

  • benzoyl peroxide
  • salicylic acid

Some products will contain more than one of these substances.

Doctors recommend that people try combinations of these products when one does not work. Acne can have different causes that require different treatments. Start with one type of treatment and add a second if there is no improvement within 4 to 6 weeks.

In moderate cases, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the acne if it is due to a bacterial infection. The antibiotics, which can be a cream or a pill, will help fight the bacteria that are causing the inflammation. This may be in addition to OTC medications, such as benzoyl peroxide. Antibiotics may include the following:

  • clindamycin
  • erythromycin

In severe cases, such as cystic acne (nodular acne), a doctor may suggest isotretinoin. This drug comes as a capsule and is highly effective for treating acne. However, isotretinoin can have serious side effects, including:

  • dry skin
  • dry eyes
  • sore throat
  • skin rashes
  • headaches
  • anxiety
  • severe stomach pain
  • bloody diarrhea
  • yellowing skin
  • difficulty urinating

Doctors will only use isotretinoin in the most severe cases because of all these side effects. Anyone taking this medication should keep an eye out for any of these side effects and report them to a doctor if they experience any of them.

While it is difficult to prevent acne from developing, some tips for people who are prone to acne include:

  • avoiding washing more than twice a day
  • washing sweat off the face
  • avoiding scrubbing areas of skin prone to acne
  • using cosmetic products that do not clog pores
  • trying not to touch or pick at the acne
  • keeping bedding and clothing clean
  • spreading acne medication on all acne-prone areas, not just where outbreaks occur

When to see a doctor

Acne is a widespread condition and rarely has any serious health implications.

Most cases of acne do not require a doctor. OTC medications should clear away symptoms without the need for stronger medicine.

If the acne does not improve after 4 to 6 weeks of home treatment, consider seeing a doctor.

Summary

Masturbation does not cause acne.

Hormonal changes may contribute to the development of acne, and masturbation can also cause changes in hormone levels, but these disappear after ejaculation. Furthermore, these hormonal changes are minimal and do not contribute to the development of acne.

People tend to start masturbating and develop acne at around the same time, typically during puberty. This is likely a source of the confusion and the myth that masturbating causes acne.

The exact cause of acne remains unclear.

Acne is a widespread condition with many different treatments. Most cases of acne are mild and do not require a doctor. In more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics or stronger forms of medication.

Neem oil is an extract of the neem tree. Some practitioners of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine use neem oil to treat conditions ranging from ulcers to fungal infections.

This type of oil contains several compounds, including fatty acids and antioxidants, that can benefit the skin.

Below, find out about the uses and potential benefits of neem oil, as well as the risks. We also provide tips for using neem oil on the skin.

What is neem oil?

Neem oil derives from the fruits and seeds of the neem tree. These trees grow mainly in the Indian subcontinent.

Neem oil is rich in fatty acidsTrusted Source, such as palmitic, linoleic, and oleic acids, which help support healthy skinTrusted Source. The oil is, therefore, a popular ingredient in skin care products.

The leaf of the plant also provides health benefits. The leaves contain plant compounds called flavonoids and polyphenols, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.

Also, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) note that neem oil contains azadirachtin, a natural pesticide.

Benefits for the skin

Researchers have only recently begun to examine how plant compounds influence health and disease. As a result, few scientific studies have investigated the use of neem oil in general skincare or as a treatment for skin conditions.

Authors of a 2013 reviewTrusted Source of the available research into medicinal uses of neem concluded that its extracts can help treat a variety of skin conditions, including:

  • acne
  • psoriasis
  • eczema
  • ringworm
  • warts

The following are some benefits of neem oil and the evidence behind these claims.

First, however, it is important to note that most of the studies involved cell lines or animals. Those that did involve humans only included small numbers of participants. This makes it difficult to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of neem in the general population.

Anti-aging effects

2017 study investigated the anti-aging effects of topical neem leaf extract in hairless mice. The researchers first exposed the mice to skin-damaging ultraviolet B radiation. They then applied neem oil to the skin of some of the rodents.

The team concluded that the oil was effective in treating the following symptoms of skin aging:

  • wrinkles
  • skin thickening
  • skin redness
  • water loss

The researchers also found that the extract boosted levels of a collagen-producing enzyme called procollagen and a protein called elastin.

Collagen gives the skin structure, making it look plump and full, while elastin helps retain the skin’s shape.

Production of these compounds decreases as people age. This eventually leads to dry, deflated-looking, thin skin and the formation of wrinkles.

Promoting wound healing

Research suggests that neem oil may help enhance wound healing.

In one 2010 animal study, researchers discovered that neem oil showed superior wound healing effects, compared with Vaseline. Specifically, the rats that received topical neem oil healed more quickly. They also developed stronger and more resilient tissue at the sites of their wounds.

A similar 2013 study compared the effects of saline and neem oil on wound healing in rats. Those that received neem oil healed faster and did not develop raised scars.

The researchers speculated that compounds in neem oil may promote blood vessel and connective tissue growth, thus enhancing wound healing.

2014 study investigated whether a gel containing neem oil and St. John’s wort could help reduce skin toxicity from radiation therapy. The study involved 28 human participants who were receiving radiation therapy for head and neck cancer.

All participants experienced some reduction in skin toxicity following treatment with the gel. However, it is important to note that this study did not include a placebo control.

Fighting skin infections

2019 studyTrusted Source examined the antibacterial properties of cosmetic products containing neem compounds. The authors found that soaps containing extracts of neem leaf or neem bark prevented the growth of several strains of bacteria.

Risks

Most people can use neem oil safely. However, the EPA consider the oil to be a “low toxicity” substance. It can, for example, cause allergic reactions, such as contact dermatitis.

Also, while ingesting trace amounts of neem oil will likely not cause harm, consuming large quantities can cause adverse effects, especially in children. These may include:

  • vomiting
  • liver damage
  • metabolic acidosis
  • encephalopathy, a term for brain disease, disorder, or damage

How to use it

People should use organic, cold-pressed neem oil. The oil should have a cloudy, yellow-brown color and a strong odor.

Neem oil is generally safe to apply to the skin. However, it is very potent, so it may be a good idea to test it on a small patch of skin before applying it more extensively.

To perform a patch test, mix a couple drops of neem oil with water or liquid soap. Apply the mixture to a small area of skin on the arm or the back of the hand.

If the skin becomes red, inflamed, or itchy, dilute the neem oil further by adding more water or liquid soap. Test this mixture on a different area of skin and watch for any signs of irritation.

People who are allergic to neem oil may develop hives or a rash after a patch test. If this happens, stop using the oil — and any products that contain it — immediately.

Treating skin conditions

Some people use neem oil to treat various skin conditions, including infections and acne.

To use it as a spot treatment, apply a small amount of diluted oil to the affected skin. Let the mixture soak into the skin, then rinse it off with warm water.

Neem oil has a particularly strong odor. To disguise it, try mixing neem oil with a carrier oil, such as jojoba, coconut, or almond oil. Carrier oils also help the skin absorb neem oil.

Summary

Neem oil has a long history of use in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Despite this, researchers have only recently begun exploring the potential applications of neem oil in Western medicine.

Neem oil contains fatty acids, antioxidants, and antimicrobial compounds, and these can benefit the skin in a range of ways. Research shows that these compounds may help fight skin infections, promote wound healing, and combat signs of skin aging.

To use neem oil as part of a skincare routine, mix it with water or a carrier oil. It is important to do a patch test when trying neem oil for the first time.

Neem oil is available for purchase online.

Some people experience a reaction to neem oil, such as contact dermatitis. If this occurs, stop using the oil.

Skin tags, or acrochordons, are small growths of skin that hang off the body from a thin stalk. They can develop on several areas of the body, but they most often occur in areas where the skin folds, such as the armpits, groin, and neck. They can also develop on the eyelids.

Skin tags consist of collagen and blood vessels with a covering of skin. They can be the same color as the surrounding skin or slightly darker.

Skin tags are a common skin condition and develop in about 25%Trusted Source of the population. They are harmless and do not cause pain unless they rub against clothing, which can make them sore.

This article outlines the causes of skin tags and the procedures that people can undergo to remove them. It also examines the risks involved with removal procedures.

Causes

Skin tags occur due to excess cell growth in the upper layers of the skin.

Some people develop skin tags due to genetic reasons or as a result of unknown causes, but there are a few other factors that can increase the chance of developing them. These include:

  • Body size: People with overweight and obesity have a higher chance of developing skin tags due to extra folds of skin rubbing against each other.
  • Age: Older adults seem to be more likely to develop skin tags, so they may be a part of the natural aging process.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women are more likely to develop skin tags due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. These tags typically disappear after giving birth.

In a 2010 study that took place in Brazil, researchers found a strong association between people with insulin resistance and diabetes and the development of skin tags.

The study authors also note that there may be a correlation between skin tags and Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome, as well as the human papillomavirus.

Treatment and removal

Although they are harmless, having large skin tags around the eyes can obscure vision, so some people may want them removed. Others may decide to remove them for cosmetic reasons.

Sometimes, skin tags can fall off by themselves. This may happen if the stalk becomes twisted, cutting off the blood supply to the skin tag.

People should not attempt to remove skin tags at home before talking to their doctor. Doctors can easily remove skin tags in their office, and this can reduce the risk of infection from improper removal.

However, if the procedure does not remove all of the skin tag, it may grow back.

A doctor can use a variety of medical procedures to remove skin tags from the eyelids. The sections below discuss these in more detail.

Cryotherapy

A doctor can use cryotherapy to freeze the skin tag off. To do so, they will soak a pair of forceps in liquid nitrogen, then pinch the skin tag with the forceps to freeze it off. The doctor will repeat this process for each skin tag present.

People may need repeat treatments to remove all skin tags.

Scissor excision

A doctor can also use a small pair of sterile scissors to cut smaller skin tags off. They do this by cutting through the thin stalk that attaches the skin tag to the eyelid.

They may then use an electrical probe to stop any bleeding that occurs.

Electrosurgery

A doctor can use a device to transmit an electric current to burn off the skin tag. This method can be very effective, and it also prevents any bleeding after removal.

A doctor may give a person an anesthetic if they are removing a larger skin tag.

Risks of removal

If a person wants to remove a skin tag from their eyelid, they should consult a doctor about which method will be the safest and most effective, as there can be risks involved.

The following sections describe these risks in more detail.

Bleeding

People should not attempt to remove any large skin tags themselves, as this can cause significant bleeding.

If a person undergoes a surgical procedure to remove a skin tag, minor bleeding can occur. A doctor will be able to stop this bleeding and provide proper wound care advice to prevent infection.

If the removal procedure creates a larger wound, the person may require stitches.

Scarring

There may be a risk of scarring with some forms of skin tag removal. People can talk to their healthcare provider about the potential of scars forming.

Summary

Although skin tags on the eyelids are usually harmless, they can cause irritation or obscure vision. As a result, a person may want to remove them.

A person should talk to their doctor about skin tag removal options, as trying to remove them at home comes with risks — particularly around such a sensitive area.

Some people may choose to have a medical procedure to remove a skin tag. These people should also talk to their doctor about any potential risks or side effects.

In some cases, people may need repeat treatments to remove a skin tag completely.

What is psoriasis?

PSORIASIS is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
Psoriasis causes patches of thick red skin and silvery scales. Patches are typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of feet, but can affect other places (fingernails, toenails, and mouth). The most common type of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis.

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that eventually occurs in 10 percent to 20 percent of people with psoriasis. It is different from more common types of arthritis (such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis) and is thought to be related to the underlying problem of psoriasis. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are sometimes considered together as psoriatic disease.

Who is at risk for psoriasis?
Anyone can get psoriasis. It occurs mostly in adults, but children can also get it. Men and women seem to have equal risk.

Can I get psoriasis from someone who has it?
Psoriasis is not contagious. This means you cannot get psoriasis from contact (example, touching skin patches) with someone who has it.

What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that part of the body’s own immune system becomes overactive and attacks normal tissues in the body.

How is psoriasis diagnosed and treated?
Psoriasis often has a typical appearance that a primary care doctor can recognize, but it can be confused with other skin diseases (like eczema), so a dermatologist (skin doctor) is often the best doctor to diagnose it. The treatment of psoriasis usually depends on how much skin is affected, how bad the disease is (example, having many or painful skin patches), or the location (especially the face). Treatments range from creams and ointments applied to the affected areas to ultraviolet light therapy to drugs (such as methotrexate). Many people who have psoriasis also have serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

Psoriatic arthritis has many of the same symptoms as other types of arthritis, so a rheumatologist (arthritis doctor) is often the best doctor to diagnose it. The treatment of psoriatic arthritis usually involves the use of drugs (such as methotrexate). Psoriatic disease (when a person has psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis) may be treated with drugs (such as methotrexate) or a combination of drugs and creams or ointments.

butt rash
butt rash
Rashes can appear anywhere on the body, including the butt. Rashes can be painful or itchy and lead to blisters and raw skin, in some cases. Most people associate butt rashes with babies and toddlers, but people of all ages, including adults, can get butt rashes.

Many things from a heat rash to allergies and sexually transmitted infections can cause butt rashes.

Some rashes may respond well to home remedies while others may need medical attention.

Causes of butt rashes in adults

  • Heat rash: This itchy, red rash often appears as blisters or red bumps during hot weather.
  • Ringworm: More commonly known as jock itch, ringworm is a fungal infection that causes a red, ring-shaped rash in the groin and butt area. The rash is often very itchy.
  • Contact dermatitis: This itchy rash is inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritant.
  • Atopic dermatitis: Also known as eczema, this causes dry skin that tends to be itchier at night.
  • Psoriasis: This is a condition that causes skin cells to build up and form itchy dry patches or scales. Scientists think psoriasis is the result of an immune system problem.
  • Intertrigo: This is an inflammatory condition most commonly found in skin folds. It tends to be accompanied by or worsened by an infection.
  • Acne: Acne that forms on the buttocks is often different from the acne found on the rest of the body. An infection in the hair follicles from shaving or general friction (folliculitis) causes acne on the butt.
  • Shingles: This viral infection is related to chickenpox and causes a severe itchy rash on one side of the body. Shingles normally affects older adults that have had chickenpox.
  • Genital herpes: This common sexually transmitted virus causes rash-like symptoms around the genitals and anus.
  • CandidaCandida is a fungus that lives on skin and causes yeast infections. Yeast infections may cause intense itching and a spreading rash.
  • Incontinence: Rashes thrive and develop in warm moist areas. Often, adults who deal with incontinence wind up with incontinence-related irritation and raw skin.

Symptoms

 General symptoms of a butt rash include the following:
  • red, irritated skin on the butt cheeks or around the anus
  • acne-like lesions on the butt cheeks
  • small, red bumps or dots on the skin
  • itching that is not relieved by scratching
  • sore, painful areas of skin around the buttocks
  • painful or itchy skin around the anus
  • scaly patches of skin on the butt cheeks
  • crusty or leaky blisters, bumps, or pustules

Natural remedies and at-home treatments

Natural rash remedies include the following:

  • Coconut oil: Applying coconut oil to areas of atopic dermatitis reduces symptoms and irritation, studies show.
  • Oatmeal: Applying an oatmeal paste or soaking in an oatmeal bath may help dry up a rash and relieve the itching.
  • Witch hazel: Witch hazel is effective in treating rashes on the buttocks and genital area, according to research published in the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery.
  • Honey: Rubbing honey on a rash may help clear it up. Honey has antimicrobial properties that may promote skin healing and tissue repair.
  • Chamomile tea compresses: Using compresses soaked in chamomile tea on a rash may help ease the discomfort.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agents that can help soothe damaged skin when rubbed on. It also provides a cooling sensation that may help ease the pain and sting of a painful butt rash.
  • Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that make it a popular topical treatment for skin ailments.

Over-the-counter (OTC) products that may be helpful for rash treatment include:

  • gentle, fragrance- and oil-free moisturizers
  • oral antihistamines if the rash is caused by an allergic reaction
  • topical hydrocortisone cream to relieve itching
  • anti-inflammatory oral medications, such as ibuprofen, to relieve pain and swelling
  • antifungal creams and sprays

When to see a doctor

Additionally, someone with a butt rash needs to consult a doctor if their butt rash meets any of the following criteria:

  • spreads over a large area of the body
  • it is accompanied by fever
  • the rash starts or spreads suddenly and quickly
  • there are blisters on the genital or anal areas
  • the rash oozes yellow or green fluid
  • there are red streaks coming from the rash
  • pain accompanies the rash

Medical treatments

A doctor may suggest one of the following medical treatments:

  • steroid creams to relieve swelling and itching
  • oral steroids to reduce swelling and inflammation of severe rashes
  • oral antibiotics for rashes caused by bacterial infections
  • prescription-strength antibiotic creams for intertrigo and infections resulting from incontinence
  • prescription-strength antifungal medications for yeast infections, jock itch, and other rashes caused by fungal infections
  • retinoid creams for reducing inflammation and treating rashes from psoriasis
  • antiviral medications to reduce the duration and severity of butt rashes from shingles or herpes
  • drugs, such as immunomodulators and others that alter the immune system, may treat rashes due to allergens or severe psoriasis
  • prescription vitamin D and methotrexate may be used for psoriasis

Prevention

People can prevent the risk of developing a butt rash by following these tips:

  • practice good hygiene, including having regular showers and wiping well after using the bathroom
  • change underwear regularly.
  • use gentle, fragrance-free detergents and body washes
  • avoid rewearing sweaty clothing
  • avoid itchy fabrics, including wool and some synthetics
  • shower and change clothing after exercising or sweating heavily
  • wear loose clothing to prevent rashes from friction
  • consider using antiperspirants to reduce moisture
  • keep the buttocks and genital area clean and dry

Some butt rashes may be preventable; however, others may not.

Get ready for your prettiest, most confident year yet. Kick your skincare routine into high gear with these blemish-busting and pimple-preventing tips to get flawless skin by the time you head back to school.

1. Always wash your face before bed. Not washing away the day’s grime? You’re asking for a breakout. Stash cleansing wipes on your nightstand for nights when you’re too tired to move.

2. Don’t skimp on sudsing. Wash your face for 30 to 45 seconds with a dime-size amount of cleanser. That’s how long it takes to clear dirt and oil off your face.

3. Use lukewarm water when washing your face. Hot water dries out your skin, and cold water won’t open up your pores.

4. Be gentle. Scrubbing too hard leaves skin rough and red. Skip harsh scrubs and even washcloths, which can be too rough on your face and can cause irritation. Use your hands instead. Be sure they’re clean, or you’ll transfer acne-causing dirt and oil right back!

5. Suds up your cleanser in your hands first. It helps activate the ingredients, so they are more effective when applied to your face!

6. Don’t skip your morning wash. Hairstyling products get absorbed by your pillowcase then transfer to your skin — if it’s not cleared away in the A.M., it’ll clog your pores!

7. Try a cleansing brush. Sometimes even after you wash, there’s makeup left on your skin, and that buildup leads to breakouts. Using an exfoliating brush with your basic cleanser loosens and removes the leftover makeup that has seeped inside your pores! The brush can get deeper into your skin than just your soaped-up fingers.

8. Don’t overwash. If your skin still feels oily, instead of washing again (which can make your skin produce even more oil!), try an astringent after cleansing.

9. Exfoliate. The trick is to remove the layers of dead skin cells and dirt that are blocking your pores — and your skin’s natural glow. Products with alpha hydroxy and lactic acids exfoliate gently to make you look radiant.

11. Turn on the rinse cycle. Leftover cleanser equals leftover dirt and oil. Rinse with tepid water till skin feels clean and smooth and no longer slippery or soapy.

12. Exfoliate in the shower. The steam helps open pores, so the grains can really dig out the grime!

14. Fight acne with a 3-step approach. If you have acne, dermatologists recommend fighting it with a three-step regimen: a salicylic acid cleanser, a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment, and a daily moisturizer.

15. Unclog pores with an all-natural treatment! Whip up a spa-worthy mask right in your own home using strawberries—they’re a great natural exfoliant! This mixture will help smooth bumps and unclog pores. Mix together equal parts mashed strawberries and plain yoghurt. Spread the mixture on clean skin and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Follow with alcohol-free toner and moisturizer.

16. Use a clay mask. The ingredients will penetrate deep into your skin and clean out excess oil and bacteria. It’s also an exfoliator to open pores and get rid of the gunk clogged inside!

17. Keep it simple. Too many products can irritate and too many steps may tempt you to skip.

18. Step away from the pimple. Popping can cause infections, making the sitch worse. Instead, dab a sulphur treatment on problem areas morning and night. It brings down swelling until your zit disappears.