The weather is a challenge for the skin
If there’s one thing people are generally happy about when talking about the Estonian weather, it’s the change of seasons. The four big changes – winter-spring-summer-autumn – all offer a nice change of pace. How can we help our skin cope with weather changes?
For many people, the autumn-winter period marks the start of a long period when their skin health is put to the test. It’s when there’s less sun that different skin problems kick in. Hands that get cold easily become rough and sore. The skin condition dermatitis, which in warm weather can make you forget you ever existed, also gains strength.
If dry hands are a problem
Dry hands can be caused by eczema on the hands. “It is a chronic skin disease, the most common form of eczema, with symptoms such as dryness of the surface layer of the skin, itching, blisters, cracks, erosions, redness or thickening of the skin,” explains Dr Ulvi Loite, dermatologist at Dr Niine Dermatology Clinic.
Eczema or contact dermatitis (KD) is divided into simple and allergic. Mild KD is caused by brief exposure to a strong irritant or prolonged contact with a weak irritant. Allergic eczema develops over a long period of time, taking about 10 days to trigger an allergic reaction.
Both look quite similar, so it can be difficult to tell which is which. Sometimes the patient can associate the reaction with a specific substance, which is a great help in diagnosis and treatment. If you don’t know the cause, you can get the answer from skin tests that will identify the allergen. “It is necessary to know the allergen not only for diagnosis, but also for treatment and prevention,” stresses Dr Loite.
Small everyday remedies
In the case of eczema, it is best to avoid excessive washing with water and wet work. It is advisable to wear two pairs of gloves at a time when working with wet work, when using household chemicals and when preparing spicy and acidic foods: cotton gloves should be worn under normal plastic or rubber gloves. Frequent use of a moisturising cream, which could contain glycerine and urea, is also important. In addition, you should use a hand cream at least twice a day to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier.
In general, unless there is visible dirt, alcohol-based disinfectants specifically designed for cleaning hands can be used instead of washing. However, if water is unavoidable, you should wash with lukewarm or cool water. Soaping isn’t very good, but if you need to use an oil soap from the pharmacy, you should. In the case of eczema of the hands, it is recommended to avoid wearing rings, watches and bracelets.
Allergy tests help to find out
In the case of eczema of the hands, it is possible to perform skin tests on the patient to find out which substances cause the disease in a particular person. One of the most important prerequisites for recovery is allergen avoidance. Irritants cause the skin to dry out and therefore itch. Scratching, in turn, complicates the healing process. During the acute stage, it is best to use the injured hand as little as possible. Unless exposure to allergens is absolutely unavoidable, gloves with a cotton lining should be worn for contact.
Dr Loite points out that it is important to make sure not to be afraid to use corticosteroid creams and ointments when treating eczema. Under-treatment and stopping treatment too early causes people unnecessary suffering. “A medium to high strength hormonal ointment should be used, and after each contact with water, hands should be moisturised with a base cream,” he says.
Fungi that make your skin uncomfortable
Occasionally, people develop brown and/or lighter patches on the neck, upper body and shoulders, which may be accompanied by some scaling and itching. In summer, when the skin can be more complexioned, spots are lighter because the fungal overgrowth prevents the skin from tanning. It can be a harmless but recurrent and very superficial skin disease – Pityriasis versicolor.
“It is a yeast-like microorganism of the Malassezia genus, which is part of the normal skin microflora, but when it starts to actively grow, it causes multicoloured skin disease,” explains Dr Ulvi Loite, dermatologist at Dr Niine Dermatology Clinic.
Treatment is easier than you think
Dr Loite reassures that the disease can be treated with relative ease. Special antifungal creams, shampoos and lotions are effective. Tablets for oral treatment are also available. However, if left untreated, the individual spots will slowly grow and spread over the body. “The disease is not contagious or harmful, but it is visually unpleasant,” says Dr Loite. ” If you develop bumps, spots or bumps on your skin, it’s always a good idea to see a dermatologist. Treatment can only be prescribed after diagnosis, so the first step is to see a dermatologist,” says Dr Ulvi Loite.
There are several reasons why multicoloured clostridial disease can occur in the first place, including increased humidity and a high-temperature environment, sweating and clogging, over-dressing, exposure to unnatural oils, a decline in the body’s immunity or diabetes. Dr Ulvi Loite says it is common for the disease to recur, and people with a predisposition can develop multicoloured cleft palate every year or even several times a year.