November 29, 2011

Taking Care of Your Skin While Traveling to Warm Climates

skinSkin care is a very important thing for many people. Fair skinned individuals especially have to take care of themselves when traveling to warm climates in order to protect their skin.

Without properly taking care of their skin, individuals risk:

- Sun burn
- Skin cancer
- Heat or sun rashes.

Taking the risks into account, taking care of your skin while out in the sun is extremely important. It is not worth the risk to be out in the sun for an extended period of time without proper protection with sunscreen. Having a sunscreen of SPF 15 will protect you a little bit, but for people that are very susceptible to sunburn SPF 40 should be used.

Understandably, when most people visit warm places for vacation, we want to be able to enjoy the sun and the warmth and get a tan. One work around to being smart with the care of your skin is to go out into the sun for 15-30 minutes and after the first 15-30 minutes put sunscreen on for the rest of the day.

Wearing a big hat, although goofy will save your head from the warmth and your face and neck from strong UV rays.

What To Do If You Do Get Sunburned ?

Taking care of your skin after you get sunburned is just as important as taking care of it to prevent a sunburn. Sometimes your sunburn wears off, gets washed off, or you forget to put it on and are gone from the hotel for a whole day. The best thing for a sunburn is prevention. If you are unable to prevent a sunburn, aloe is one of the best soothers of your skin. Aloe is a natural product coming from Aloe plants that literally cools and heals your skin on impact.

There are many different forms of aloe that can be used, including gels (extract from the plant), actual aloe plants that you can break off and open up and get the gel from inside which is a completely natural way, or by getting lotions that have aloe in them.

Personally I prefer the aloe gels that you can buy at any major department, pharmacy, or grocery store. They are sticky and make your skin sticky, but aloe gel provides the best soothing relief instantly.

If you have ever been sunburned, you will know that taking a shower can be very painful. Turning the temperature down for your shower will keep you from feeling completely miserable from showering or bathing. After your shower have your aloe ready to be applied (and do not be scarce!).

Taking care of your skin when you are traveling is very important. Prevention is the most important step to taking proper care of your skin in warm weather. Sunscreen and wearing a hat are great steps for keeping your skin safe. If you are exposed to the sun, taking care of it with aloe and further protection from getting a sunburn are your best options.

Things You Should Know About Skin Cancer

Skin cancer describes three malignant condition of the skin – Squamous cell carcinoma, Basal cell carcinoma and Malignant melanoma. The skin consists of two layers – the inner dermis and the outer epidermis. Skin cancer occurs in the epidermal layer. Therefore, all the three variants are clearly visible by naked eye and make it possible for early diagnosis. It is the most common form of all the cancers occur in human body. According to a recent survey, more than one million people get affected by skin cancer in a year. The major cause of skin cancer is exposure to Ultraviolet rays.

People with fair skin develop skin carcinoma earlier than blacks. Continuous exposure to sunlight causes exposure to UV rays. This ray can change the character of the cells present in the epidermis. Having sunburn in early childhood doubles the risk of developing skin cancer. However, sunburn in adulthood does not reduce the risk.  A person residing in high altitudes or deserts possesses greater risk towards development of skin cancer. It is seen that constant handling of some chemicals increases the possibility. Patient having family history of skin cancer has threefold chance of the same.

Exact cause of any cancer is not known. Cancer occurs due to uncontrolled and unregulated multiplication of cells.

Before the development of overt malignancy, changes of the morphology of the epidermal cells occur in quick succession. After continuous exposure to UV ray, dysplastic change occurs in the cells with deposition of keratin materials. This precancerous condition if the skin is called ‘Actinic keratosis. They are usually less than 1 cm in diameter. They may be red, skin or tan brown colored. They have a rough and sandpaper like consistency. In excess production of keratin, a ‘Cutaneous horn’ develops. There is no consolidated opinion regarding development of clear cut cancerous lesion from all ‘Actinic keratosis. But if it occurs, a lesion usually produces ‘squamous cell cancer’ of the skin.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. Most common site for this tumor is facial skin. They are slow growing tumors and occasionally metastasize. Persons having Xeroderma pigmentosum (a disease where there is inherited disorder of DNA repair) has absolute chance of developing basal cell carcinoma. There tumors appear as pearly papules, the blood capillaries are usually visible from outside (telangiectasia). Some of the tumors may contain melanin and can mimic melanomas. Advanced condition of basal cell carcinoma generally ulcerates and there is extensive local foray of bones. That is why; basal cell carcinoma was previously called as ‘Rodent ulcer’.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer. It usually occurs over the sun-exposed parts of the skin. It can also occur after exposure to industrial carcinogens (tar and various oils), discharging osteomyelitis cases and old burn scars. Patients having lowered immunity also posses high risk for squamous cell carcinoma. DNA sequence of certain viruses (Human Papilloma Virus – I) are accepted as potential precursors of this type of skin cancer.

Treatment of most of the variants of skin cancer is complete, even for the aggressive cancers. The modes of treatment include – 

Surgery – complete excision of the lesion leaving a healthy margin can cure most of the cancers. Surgery followed by skin grafting may be necessary for a large lesion.

Curettages – the area is curetted and electrodessication is done afterwards.

Cryosurgery – extreme low temperature can destroy the cancer cells. It is useful in ‘Actinic keratosis.

Laser ablation – controlled beam of laser is used to kill the cancer cells.

Radiation therapy – surgically inoperable lesions are being treated with radiation therapy.

Dry Skin: How to Prevent Them Naturally

dry skinDry skin, more scientifically called Xerosis, is a condition when our skin becomes freckled and wrinkled. Our skin needs moisture and oil to remain supple. As we grow older these oil producing glands, also called the sebaceous glands, starts fading out. There are several environmental factors to lose moisture from the skin. During the winter season and in hot dry areas, moisture starts evaporating from our skin. Although dry skin is not a serious condition, it looks odd to have wrinkles in our face and other body parts.

A condition called ichthyosis is a disease where there is extensive dryness of the skin leading to restriction of normal activities. This can be very much devastating psychologically. The skin becomes scaly and extremely rough.

Nutritional deficiency especially less intake of Vitamin A and B-group of vitamins can lead to dry skin condition. Exposure to direct sunlight for a long time, working in dusty and windy environment can also lead to dry skin. During winter season, as the humidity falls, our skin becomes dry. It is also true in a centrally air-conditioned and centrally heated room. Fireplace is again another notorious object to destroy humidity and precipitating dry skin. If you have a habit of having a hot bath for a long time, the upper protective oily coat of your skin becomes washed out. This is a common risk factor for dry skin. Some chemicals, especially some low quality soaps (having less Total Fatty Matter – TFM) are among the common reasons for dry skin. Tanning in a beach for a long time has the risk of exposure to ultraviolet rays. This ray can penetrate through the epidermal layer of the skin and damaging the sebum producing glands.

There are disease conditions like Psoriasis, Xeroderma pigmentosa and Hyperthyroidism which can lead to dry skin. If you have dry skin for a long time, there is chance to develop inflammation and infection of that particular area.

You can beat the formation of dry skin by adopting some lifestyle modifications. If you have a habit to bathe for a long time, cut it short and finish it within 5-10 minutes. It is better to bathe in lukewarm water. Sitting away from the air-conditioner duct, the room heater and from the fireplace will save some moisture. If you are going for a sun tanning, apply a better quality sun-block cream (SPF 20 or higher) to all your exposed body parts. Use good quality soaps and it is better to use natural face wash to clean your face. Avoid using deodorant soap as they are very harsh to your skin. Apply moisturizer or good quality body lotion liberally just after taking a bath. This will help to retain water from the shower. If you use chemical detergents for laundry, use mild detergents and wash your hands just after finishing the task. Use a humidifier if you are staying in a house with central heating system. Limit the use of body deodorants. You must pay attention to the linen you wear. Wardrobes full of cotton and silk fabric will let your skin to breathe and to retain moisture.

Eat plenty of water. Water deprivation is often the main cause of dry skin. And don’t forget to take fresh green leafy vegetables. There are several natural homemade beauty preparations that are extremely helpful for restoration of normal skin.