• Atopic eczema and how you can combat it
  • Winter can cause a flaring up of many skin conditions. In this blog post we discuss one such condition called atopic eczema. 

    What is atopic eczema?

    Atopic Eczema or atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory condition of the skin which is characterised by redness, itching and dryness of skin. Atopic eczema causes blistering of the skin occasionally. Due to the excessive dryness of skin in this condition, scaling and flaking of the skin is also observed. This type of Eczema commonly affects children, with the presence of symptoms being noticed before five years of age, and continuing up to adulthood. Sometimes, the onset of the disease also occurs in adults. Worldwide, 20% of children and 3% of adults are affected with this condition. The lesion can be present anywhere on the skin, with a specific predilection for the fossa of the elbows and  knees and nape of neck, in affected adults.

    Eczema often presents in phases, where the symptoms flare up, followed by phases of remission. These changes are observed seasonally in the affected individuals, with the symptoms flaring up during the seasons of spring and autumn. This occurs because of the drastic change in weather conditions during these seasons. The symptoms of eczema also flare up during winters due to the dry weather conditions in this season. Familial associations are commonly noted in this condition.

    Although, eczema is not contagious and does not spread from person to person or site to site, the symptoms of eczema are distressing to the patient and thus, the condition requires proper treatment and care. Taking good care of the skin is the key to the treatment of eczema, especially during the initial stages of the disease. Eczema is usually associated with dry skin. So, preventing the skin from getting dry will help to reduce the symptoms.

    Treatment, care and prevention of eczema:

    Reducing the dryness of skin

    • Use a mild soap or cleanser to avoid dryness of skin. Mild cleansers with PH balance  are gentle to the skin and help in maintaining the skin’s natural oils and moistures.
    • Use warm or cold water for bathing. The use of hot water worsens the symptoms of dryness and eczema.
    • Duration of showers must be kept short and it must be essentially followed by a regular moisturising routine, with a good quality moisturiser. Use of moisturiser helps to lock in the skin’s moistures. Application of a moisturising agent immediately after a shower helps in locking extra hydration.
    • While going out, the skin must be covered and protected from sun, dust and pollution, to avoid worsening of the symptoms.
    • Touching, scratching or peeling the lesion must be avoided at all times to prevent deterioration of symptoms and to avoid bleeding at the site.
    • While being indoors, the use of a humidifier is recommended, as it helps in adding moisture to the air, which avoids dryness of skin.

    Lifestyle modifications

    • In addition to the above measures, lifestyle modifications, including the avoidance of trigger foods and reduction of stress levels of an individual, assist in the management of the symptoms of eczema.
    • The individual triggers must be identified and eliminated from the diet. The possible food triggers include peanuts, milk, soy, eggs, wheat and fish.
    • Stress reduction can be done through the practice of yoga and meditation in the individual. Walking is also known to be beneficial in the process of stress reduction. Reassurance of the patient, about the improvement of symptoms and treatment of eczema also helps in reduction in the individual’s stress levels.

    The above measures help in reducing the dryness of skin and diminishing the symptoms of eczema. However, in advanced stages of the disease, a dermatologist must be visited for proper treatment of the condition.

    Treatment of the condition:

    The following medications and topical applications are known to be useful in the treatment of the condition

    Anti-histamines

    Anti-histamines are the known to successfully treat allergic and inflammatory conditions. They are often prescribed as topical applicants in the treatment of eczema, and help in the treatment of inflammatory outcomes of the patient. Oral antihistamines are also used to keep the allergies in check

    Hydrocortisone

    Hydrocortisone the mildest topical corticosteroid  is also available as a topical application. It is commonly prescribed in the treatment of eczema, to reduce pain, itching, swelling and discomfort of the patient. The affected area or the lesion is first cleaned with mild soap and water, to remove dust and dirt, before the application of the cream.

    Hydrocortisone is a topical corticosteroid although the mild variety .

    Topical steroids

    Topical steroid applications in the form of gels, creams and lotions are prescribed to the patient. Topical steroids, particularly in the form of ointments are known to be effective in the treatment of various skin conditions, like eczema. When applied on the lesion, they penetrate deep into the skin, through the creases and micro disruptions present due to eczema.  However, they are immunosuppressive in nature and are not prescribed as the first line treatment of the disease. They are prescribed only when the patient’s symptoms are severe.

    Systemic medications

    Systemic medications including immunosuppressants can also be prescribed to the patient for the management of the condition.

    Phototherapy

    If the prescribed medications and topical applications fail to treat the condition, phototherapy with UV-B radiation is employed, to reduce itching and inflammation of the skin. The radiations help in increasing the production of vitamin D and improving the bactericidal mechanism of the body.

    Thus, eczema, which is an inflammatory condition of skin, presenting with itching, pain and discomfort to the patient, is completely manageable by taking good care of the skin and the use of medications. corticosteroids and anti-histamines are often prescribed as topical applications to reduce the symptoms of eczema. Certain systemic medications and phototherapy have also been proved successful in the treatment of this condition. Stress reduction and management of diet are equally beneficial in the process of treatment. With the help of these measures and avoidance of scratching of the lesion, eczema can be successfully treated in affected individuals.

    If you have eczema, we suggest consulting a dermatologist to get your treatment started. With Remedico, all you have to do is answer a few questions, take some photos with your smartphone, and you’re done. From start to finish in as little as 5 minutes.

    Start your consultation

    18 Nov, 2017
  • How to avoid dry skin
  • In an earlier blog post we covered some effective ways you can deal with oily skin. Now that “winter is coming” we deal with the issue of dry skin, the causes for it and a few ways you can avoid it.

    Most people tend to get dry skin as the weather gets colder and dryer. Dry skin tends to be more prone to desiccation, chapping and cracking. Often, dry skin presents itself with a dry mouth and throat owing to the lack of hydration and moisture. Dry and cracked skin is more prone to infections due to the colonisation of microorganisms in the cracks. Such type of skin needs special care to restore it back to its former healthy state. It’s important to understand the causes for dry skin.

    Some of the causes for dry skin are: 

    • Dehydration: This is caused due to lack of water in your body. It is usually due to limited consumption of water, or due to excessive loss of water from the body, through the process of transpiration. This occurs due to extremely hot weather conditions or exercising over enthusiastically without consumption of enough water. Dehydration can also occur due to certain illnesses like diarrhoea.
    • Genetics: Genetic or familial factors have a significant role in the determination of your skin type. Natural dryness of your skin, despite a good skincare routine, is usually due to genetic factors.
    • Weather: Skin usually gets dry during winters due to lack of moisture or humidity in the atmosphere. Even individuals with normal skin type experience dry and stretched skin during the winter season. It is worse for individuals with a genetically dry skin type.
    • Harsh Skin Products: Use of harsh soaps, detergents or body washes rips off the natural oils of the skin rendering it dry. 
    • Hot Showers: Taking frequent hot showers for long durations can damage the skin, making it lose its natural oils and moisture. Swimming in heavily chlorinated pools has the same effect on the skin.
    • pH of water: Avoid taking a bath with water that is too harsh or chemically treated as the pH of water affects the health of your skin. . This damages your skin, rendering it dry.
    • Certain Skin Conditions: Skin conditions such as, eczema, psoriasis, xeroderma, etc. cause your skin to dry as well.

    Here are some signs that you have dry skin:

    •   Itching
    •   Flaking
    •   Chapping
    •   Irritation of skin
    •   Feeling of tightness or stretching of the skin
    •   Susceptibility to infections

    Dryness of skin can be avoided by taking the following precautions:

    • Consuming 8-12 glasses of water each day to keep the skin hydrated and moisturised.
    • Avoiding the use of harsh soaps and products on the skin. Avoid using gentle cleansers and washes instead, as they help in restoring the skin’s moisture.
    • Avoiding bathing with hot water. Use cold or lukewarm water if you have a dry skin type.
    • Avoiding taking shower for long hours, as this can rip off the skin’s oils. Try keeping your shower time to around ten to fifteen minutes each day.
    • After bathing, you must dry your skin gently. Always air dry or dry up with a soft cloth. Avoid using harsh towels, which rip off your skin’s oils.
    • Moisturising regularly and taking good care of skin, particularly in the winter season, prevents the skin from drying. Efficient moisturising seals the skin’s moisture and prevents it from escaping to the environment.
    • In cold weather remember to keep your skin covered in as well as moisturised. Use scarves, gloves, socks and sweaters to prevent the loss of moisture to the environment.
    • Use a humidifier to add moisture to your indoor atmosphere. This can help prevent dryness.
    • Avoid the use of hard water while bathing because hard water is irritating to the skin and can causes dryness.
    • Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools.
    • Use of rubber gloves while washing or doing the dishes, prevents dryness of skin, as it avoids prolonged exposure to water and detergents.
    • Avoiding prolonged sun exposure prevents excessive perspiration.
    • While going out in the sun, a good quality sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above must be used in good amounts.
    • Consuming a diet rich in Vitamin A, E and Omega 3 fatty acids keeps the skin healthy and moisturised. Consume foods like salmon, almonds, olive oil, carrots, kale, etc. to avoid dry skin.

    Treatment options for dry skin:

    • The most effective treatment for dry skin is moisturising. A good quality moisturiser must be gently rubbed and massaged into the skin. This helps in sealing and restoring the skin’s moistures. Moisturising is most effective immediately after a shower, to lock in additional moisture. It helps to moisturise at night if you are someone with extremely dry skin.
    • Gently exfoliating the skin helps in removing dead skin cells and cracks on your skin. By removing dead skin cells, exfoliation promotes a healthy growth cycle of the skin. Exfoliate your skin twice a week but remember exfoliating too often can be damaging to your skin.
    • Use a hydrating lip-balm and avoid licking or biting your lips when you feel dry. Resort to a good lip-balm and drink loads of fluids to prevent dry lips.

    If the above precautions and treatments are carefully followed, dry skin can be easily managed at home. If the skin remains dry even after taking good care, it points towards a considerable underlying cause, like eczema or psoriasis. A dermatologist must be consulted for the specific diagnosis and management of such a cause. 

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist right from your smartphone. All within 5 minutes. Get a personalised treatment plan from our dermatologists now!

    Start your consultation

    11 Nov, 2017
  • How to get rid of blackheads?
  • Blackheads affect people of all age groups, but teenagers experience it the most. In this blog post we discuss some effective ways to get rid of blackheads. 

    Blackheads are small, raised, skin coloured bumps with black centres on the skin, occurring due to clogged hair follicles. They mostly occur on the face, but can also occur on other parts of the body, like- back, neck, arms, chest, shoulders, etc. Blackheads are completely symptomless and painless. Sometimes, they get infected, leading to pain and inflammation, thus forming pimples. Underlying are the causes, symptoms and treatment for blackheads.

    Cause: Blackheads are formed when the opening of a hair follicle is clogged. This may be due to excess oil or sebum, or even dead skin cells. A hair follicle contains a sebaceous gland, which produces oil. When excess oil or sebum is produced, the hair follicle gets blocked, which produces a bump causing a white head at first. Once the skin over the bump breaks, and it opens, a blackhead is formed due to exposure to the environment, causing a change in colour.

    Other Causative Factors:

    • Blackheads are more commonly found if you have oily skin type due to the excess sebum production.
    • Build-up of dead skin cells is another causative factor.
    • They are more commonly seen during the phases of hormonal changes, like the ones occurring during teenage years or during a menstruation cycle. In addition to this, certain drugs are also known to alter hormonal mechanism and contribute to the appearance of blackheads. These drugs include- oral contraceptives and oral corticosteroids.
    • Diet also has an effect on the appearance of blackheads. A diet which is too oily or too rich in carbohydrates and fats, is known to be a contributing factor to the appearance of blackheads.
    • Colonisation of microorganisms, particularly Propionibacterium is also known to cause the appearance of blackheads along with inflammation of the skin.

    Prevention and Treatment: Blackheads are the most common type of skin disorder, affecting multiple people, but it is a completely painless and symptomless phenomenon and can be easily managed by altering diet and skincare routines.

    Prevention:

    Wash your face regularly:

    • Washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser helps clean away all the excess oil and sebum that builds up.
    • You should ideally wash your face in the morning and before going to bed at night. This helps wash away the excess oil accumulated in your hair follicle.

    Exfoliate your skin regularly:

    • Exfoliating the skin gently and regularly helps remove dead skin cells and thus prevents them from clogging your pores.
    • A good quality exfoliating scrub or mask can be applied to the skin to get rid of blackheads as well as dead skin cells. This should be done once or a maximum of twice per week.

    Using oil-free products:

    • Any skin product that contains oils in any amounts must be avoided, to avoid adding on to the current build-up of oil.
    • Oil-free moisturisers, sunscreens and other products must only  be used.

    Taking care of oily skin:

    • Washing your face with warm water, instead of cold helps dissolve excess oil or sebum.
    • Using blotting papers from time to time helps to soak the excess sebum.

    Dietary precautions:

    Fast foods, junk foods and foods containing excess of oils must be avoided, as they lead to excess oil production, which causes the hair follicles to get blocked, causing blackheads.

    Treatment:

    Over-the-counter treatment:

    This includes various creams, gels and pads which are available as over-the-counter treatments, and are to be directly applied to the skin. They do not need a prescription.

    They contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, etc. and help to absorb excess oils, and also to shed dead skin cells and kill bacteria, thus preventing blackheads.

    Prescription Medications:

    When over-the-counter treatment doesn’t seem to work, a dermatologist needs to be visited in order to seek medical care for blackheads. Generally, medications containing Vitamin A are prescribed as they prevent the oil plug from forming and promote rapid turnover of dead skin cells.

    Manual Removal:

    Manual removal of the blackheads by a dermatologist or a trained professional involves the removal of blackheads with a special round loop extractor to remove the oil plug causing blackheads.

    Surgical Methods:

    These are the third line treatment. Usually the appearance of blackheads disappears before opting for these treatments.

    These include:

    • Chemical peels:

    In this process, chemical products are applied to the skin and left for a while, until the top layer of the skin gets gently exfoliated, revealing soft, smooth skin which is free of blackheads underneath.

    • Microdermabrasion:

    In this process, the dermatologist uses particular instruments to finely abrade and finish the skin, leaving behind soft skin, which is free of acne and blackheads.

    • Laser and Light Therapies:

    They target the sub-surface layer of the skin, to reach out to acne and blackheads, without damaging the top layer of the skin, which stays intact.

    Both these processes use tiny beams of intense light at the sub-surface level, which is used to reduce oil production or kill the bacteria causing blackheads.

    Blackheads are one of the most common skin disorder, affecting millions of people. Even though they are usually completely symptomless and painless they need to be treated so you can look your best.

    Our online consultation process provides you with a detailed diagnosis, personalized treatment plan and any medicine prescription that you require to get rid of your blackheads.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist right from your smartphone. All within 5 minutes. Consult our dermatologists now.

    Start your consultation

    04 Nov, 2017
  • Patchy hair loss: Alopecia Areata
  • In a previous blog post we have discussed the issue of excessive, unwanted hair growth in females, commonly called Hirsutism. In this latest blog post we discuss another hair related issue, Alopecia Areata, also called patchy baldness.

    Alopecia Areata is a condition in which hair loss occurs from some or all areas of the body, resulting in bald spots, most commonly on the scalp. The exact etiology of the condition remains unidentified. It presents itself in various forms with the hair loss being either temporary or permanent. It may occur anywhere on the scalp and may include multiple sites or a single bald spot. In a few cases, it may just involve the beard, sparing the scalp. In a few other cases, it involves all the body hair as well as the hair on scalp (it is then called Alopecia Areata Totalis, which is a rare condition). 

    Etiology:

    • Alopecia Areata is known to be an auto-immune disorder, in which the body damages its own hair follicles, suppressing or ceasing their growth, leading to hair loss in patches
    • It has a hereditary and familial association, with a likelihood of running in families.
    • It may also be congenital (present since birth) or linked with genetic factors.

    Signs, symptoms and clinical features:

    • The first sign towards developing the condition is when huge clumps of hair regularly fall off the scalp, resulting in smooth, round bald spots on the scalp.
    • The development of bald spots occurs slowly, over long durations of time.
    • These bald spots may acquire any shape, but are mostly round or oval.
    • The hair usually grows back over a period of several months, retaining the same texture and colour, in most cases. This hair is usually thinner and gray coloured .
    • In some cases, which includes, 10% of the total cases, the hair loss is permanent.
    • This condition typically affects the scalp, or the beard, but it may be seen anywhere on the skin, where there is presence of hair.
    • The underlying skin, beneath the bald spot, is completely normal and unscarred, with no signs of redness, inflammation or scarring. Sometimes, the hair that falls off leaves behind short stubs of hair, instead of a smooth bald area.
    • The disease does not pose any threats otherwise and the person is completely healthy. But, the area with hair loss can sometimes be tingling or painful.
    • The smooth bald area is more prone to sunburns due to the direct effect of sunlight.
    • It is not contagious and does not spread from person to person or site to site. However, different areas of skin exhibit hair loss and regrowth at the same time.
    • Alopecia is common in children, with the onset of the disease usually occurring in childhood itself.
    • It most commonly occurs in individuals between the ages of 20 to 40 years.
    • Alopecia occurs with an equal prevalence in both the sexes.

    Diagnosis:

    • Alopecia is usually diagnosed on the basis of pre-listed signs, symptoms and clinical conditions.
    • Sometimes, additional tests or a biopsy may be needed, which also assist in the treatment of the condition.

    Prevention and Treatment:

    • Usually the condition is temporary and hair grows back over a period of several months. There are phases of remission and regrowth, occurring simultaneously. No specific therapeutic or preventive treatments are known to be efficient.
    • In cases with severe hair loss, topical corticosteroids are used. The efficacy of the drug through the topical route is limited, so, it takes longer durations to show effective results. This occurs due to limited ability of the topical drugs to penetrate deeper into the layers of skin, where the hair bulb needs to be targeted in order to promote hair regrowth.
    • Thus, steroid injections are more commonly used, as they are absorbed quickly. They are directly injected into the area of the scalp with bald spots. Injectable steroids penetrate deeper into the skin and directly target the hair bulb. But, the efficacy of this treatment is still undetermined. Bald spots that are smaller in size are treated with injectable methods.
    • Injectable steroids are also used in cases involving Alopecia Areata in the eyebrows, forming small hairless patches.
    • Oral steroids are also used for the treatment of condition if it’s use is meritted. 
    • Other than various forms of steroids, a variety of drugs specific to hair loss and alopecia, are also available.
    • The commonest of these drugs is minoxidil, which is most commonly prescribed in cases of patchy hair loss.
    • Other drugs available are topical calcineurin inhibitors like tacrolimus.
    • You should always take medicines only when prescribed by a dermatologist.

    Prognosis:

    • The disease is completely non-limiting. There is no loss of body functions. However, it is psychologically distressing, and becomes a common cause for anxiety and depression which is a matter of great concern.
    • Usually the hair loss begins with small number of patches and the hair grows back over a period of several months to a year.
    • When there are a greater number of patches, the hair can either grow back or progress on to Alopecia Totalis.
    • Even when the hair regrows, there are high chances of recurrence.
    • Recurrence does not occur in all cases.

    Identify the root cause of Alopecia can be help treat it suitably. A dermatologist, with Remedico, will be able to help you understand the best options for you.

    Do you have Alopecia Areata? With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist from wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you with regular follow ups and answers to all your questions. Click the button below to consult our doctors.

    Start your consultation

    28 Oct, 2017
  • How to avoid dry skin
  • In an earlier blog post we covered some effective ways you can deal with oily skin. Now that “winter is coming” we deal with the issue of dry skin, the causes for it and a few ways you can avoid it.

    Most people tend to get dry skin as the weather gets colder and dryer. Dry skin tends to be more prone to desiccation, chapping and cracking. Often, dry skin presents itself with a dry mouth and throat owing to the lack of hydration and moisture. Dry and cracked skin is more prone to infections due to the colonisation of microorganisms in the cracks. Such type of skin needs special care to restore it back to its former healthy state. It’s important to understand the causes for dry skin.

    Some of the causes for dry skin are: 

    • Dehydration: This is caused due to lack of water in your body. It is usually due to limited consumption of water, or due to excessive loss of water from the body, through the process of transpiration. This occurs due to extremely hot weather conditions or exercising over enthusiastically without consumption of enough water. Dehydration can also occur due to certain illnesses like diarrhoea.
    • Genetics: Genetic or familial factors have a significant role in the determination of your skin type. Natural dryness of your skin, despite a good skincare routine, is usually due to genetic factors.
    • Weather: Skin usually gets dry during winters due to lack of moisture or humidity in the atmosphere. Even individuals with normal skin type experience dry and stretched skin during the winter season. It is worse for individuals with a genetically dry skin type.
    • Harsh Skin Products: Use of harsh soaps, detergents or body washes rips off the natural oils of the skin rendering it dry. 
    • Hot Showers: Taking frequent hot showers for long durations can damage the skin, making it lose its natural oils and moisture. Swimming in heavily chlorinated pools has the same effect on the skin.
    • pH of water: Avoid taking a bath with water that is too harsh or chemically treated as the pH of water affects the health of your skin. . This damages your skin, rendering it dry.
    • Certain Skin Conditions: Skin conditions such as, eczema, psoriasis, xeroderma, etc. cause your skin to dry as well.

    Here are some signs that you have dry skin:

    •   Itching
    •   Flaking
    •   Chapping
    •   Irritation of skin
    •   Feeling of tightness or stretching of the skin
    •   Susceptibility to infections

    Dryness of skin can be avoided by taking the following precautions:

    • Consuming 8-12 glasses of water each day to keep the skin hydrated and moisturised.
    • Avoiding the use of harsh soaps and products on the skin. Avoid using gentle cleansers and washes instead, as they help in restoring the skin’s moisture.
    • Avoiding bathing with hot water. Use cold or lukewarm water if you have a dry skin type.
    • Avoiding taking shower for long hours, as this can rip off the skin’s oils. Try keeping your shower time to around ten to fifteen minutes each day.
    • After bathing, you must dry your skin gently. Always air dry or dry up with a soft cloth. Avoid using harsh towels, which rip off your skin’s oils.
    • Moisturising regularly and taking good care of skin, particularly in the winter season, prevents the skin from drying. Efficient moisturising seals the skin’s moisture and prevents it from escaping to the environment.
    • In cold weather remember to keep your skin covered in as well as moisturised. Use scarves, gloves, socks and sweaters to prevent the loss of moisture to the environment.
    • Use a humidifier to add moisture to your indoor atmosphere. This can help prevent dryness.
    • Avoid the use of hard water while bathing because hard water is irritating to the skin and can causes dryness.
    • Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools.
    • Use of rubber gloves while washing or doing the dishes, prevents dryness of skin, as it avoids prolonged exposure to water and detergents.
    • Avoiding prolonged sun exposure prevents excessive perspiration.
    • While going out in the sun, a good quality sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above must be used in good amounts.
    • Consuming a diet rich in Vitamin A, E and Omega 3 fatty acids keeps the skin healthy and moisturised. Consume foods like salmon, almonds, olive oil, carrots, kale, etc. to avoid dry skin.

    Treatment options for dry skin:

    • The most effective treatment for dry skin is moisturising. A good quality moisturiser must be gently rubbed and massaged into the skin. This helps in sealing and restoring the skin’s moistures. Moisturising is most effective immediately after a shower, to lock in additional moisture. It helps to moisturise at night if you are someone with extremely dry skin.
    • Gently exfoliating the skin helps in removing dead skin cells and cracks on your skin. By removing dead skin cells, exfoliation promotes a healthy growth cycle of the skin. Exfoliate your skin twice a week but remember exfoliating too often can be damaging to your skin.
    • Use a hydrating lip-balm and avoid licking or biting your lips when you feel dry. Resort to a good lip-balm and drink loads of fluids to prevent dry lips.

    If the above precautions and treatments are carefully followed, dry skin can be easily managed at home. If the skin remains dry even after taking good care, it points towards a considerable underlying cause, like eczema or psoriasis. A dermatologist must be consulted for the specific diagnosis and management of such a cause. 

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist right from your smartphone. All within 5 minutes. Get a personalised treatment plan from our dermatologists now!

    Start your consultation

    11 Nov, 2017
  • How to get rid of blackheads?
  • Blackheads affect people of all age groups, but teenagers experience it the most. In this blog post we discuss some effective ways to get rid of blackheads. 

    Blackheads are small, raised, skin coloured bumps with black centres on the skin, occurring due to clogged hair follicles. They mostly occur on the face, but can also occur on other parts of the body, like- back, neck, arms, chest, shoulders, etc. Blackheads are completely symptomless and painless. Sometimes, they get infected, leading to pain and inflammation, thus forming pimples. Underlying are the causes, symptoms and treatment for blackheads.

    Cause: Blackheads are formed when the opening of a hair follicle is clogged. This may be due to excess oil or sebum, or even dead skin cells. A hair follicle contains a sebaceous gland, which produces oil. When excess oil or sebum is produced, the hair follicle gets blocked, which produces a bump causing a white head at first. Once the skin over the bump breaks, and it opens, a blackhead is formed due to exposure to the environment, causing a change in colour.

    Other Causative Factors:

    • Blackheads are more commonly found if you have oily skin type due to the excess sebum production.
    • Build-up of dead skin cells is another causative factor.
    • They are more commonly seen during the phases of hormonal changes, like the ones occurring during teenage years or during a menstruation cycle. In addition to this, certain drugs are also known to alter hormonal mechanism and contribute to the appearance of blackheads. These drugs include- oral contraceptives and oral corticosteroids.
    • Diet also has an effect on the appearance of blackheads. A diet which is too oily or too rich in carbohydrates and fats, is known to be a contributing factor to the appearance of blackheads.
    • Colonisation of microorganisms, particularly Propionibacterium is also known to cause the appearance of blackheads along with inflammation of the skin.

    Prevention and Treatment: Blackheads are the most common type of skin disorder, affecting multiple people, but it is a completely painless and symptomless phenomenon and can be easily managed by altering diet and skincare routines.

    Prevention:

    Wash your face regularly:

    • Washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser helps clean away all the excess oil and sebum that builds up.
    • You should ideally wash your face in the morning and before going to bed at night. This helps wash away the excess oil accumulated in your hair follicle.

    Exfoliate your skin regularly:

    • Exfoliating the skin gently and regularly helps remove dead skin cells and thus prevents them from clogging your pores.
    • A good quality exfoliating scrub or mask can be applied to the skin to get rid of blackheads as well as dead skin cells. This should be done once or a maximum of twice per week.

    Using oil-free products:

    • Any skin product that contains oils in any amounts must be avoided, to avoid adding on to the current build-up of oil.
    • Oil-free moisturisers, sunscreens and other products must only  be used.

    Taking care of oily skin:

    • Washing your face with warm water, instead of cold helps dissolve excess oil or sebum.
    • Using blotting papers from time to time helps to soak the excess sebum.

    Dietary precautions:

    Fast foods, junk foods and foods containing excess of oils must be avoided, as they lead to excess oil production, which causes the hair follicles to get blocked, causing blackheads.

    Treatment:

    Over-the-counter treatment:

    This includes various creams, gels and pads which are available as over-the-counter treatments, and are to be directly applied to the skin. They do not need a prescription.

    They contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, etc. and help to absorb excess oils, and also to shed dead skin cells and kill bacteria, thus preventing blackheads.

    Prescription Medications:

    When over-the-counter treatment doesn’t seem to work, a dermatologist needs to be visited in order to seek medical care for blackheads. Generally, medications containing Vitamin A are prescribed as they prevent the oil plug from forming and promote rapid turnover of dead skin cells.

    Manual Removal:

    Manual removal of the blackheads by a dermatologist or a trained professional involves the removal of blackheads with a special round loop extractor to remove the oil plug causing blackheads.

    Surgical Methods:

    These are the third line treatment. Usually the appearance of blackheads disappears before opting for these treatments.

    These include:

    • Chemical peels:

    In this process, chemical products are applied to the skin and left for a while, until the top layer of the skin gets gently exfoliated, revealing soft, smooth skin which is free of blackheads underneath.

    • Microdermabrasion:

    In this process, the dermatologist uses particular instruments to finely abrade and finish the skin, leaving behind soft skin, which is free of acne and blackheads.

    • Laser and Light Therapies:

    They target the sub-surface layer of the skin, to reach out to acne and blackheads, without damaging the top layer of the skin, which stays intact.

    Both these processes use tiny beams of intense light at the sub-surface level, which is used to reduce oil production or kill the bacteria causing blackheads.

    Blackheads are one of the most common skin disorder, affecting millions of people. Even though they are usually completely symptomless and painless they need to be treated so you can look your best.

    Our online consultation process provides you with a detailed diagnosis, personalized treatment plan and any medicine prescription that you require to get rid of your blackheads.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist right from your smartphone. All within 5 minutes. Consult our dermatologists now.

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    04 Nov, 2017
  • Patchy hair loss: Alopecia Areata
  • In a previous blog post we have discussed the issue of excessive, unwanted hair growth in females, commonly called Hirsutism. In this latest blog post we discuss another hair related issue, Alopecia Areata, also called patchy baldness.

    Alopecia Areata is a condition in which hair loss occurs from some or all areas of the body, resulting in bald spots, most commonly on the scalp. The exact etiology of the condition remains unidentified. It presents itself in various forms with the hair loss being either temporary or permanent. It may occur anywhere on the scalp and may include multiple sites or a single bald spot. In a few cases, it may just involve the beard, sparing the scalp. In a few other cases, it involves all the body hair as well as the hair on scalp (it is then called Alopecia Areata Totalis, which is a rare condition). 

    Etiology:

    • Alopecia Areata is known to be an auto-immune disorder, in which the body damages its own hair follicles, suppressing or ceasing their growth, leading to hair loss in patches
    • It has a hereditary and familial association, with a likelihood of running in families.
    • It may also be congenital (present since birth) or linked with genetic factors.

    Signs, symptoms and clinical features:

    • The first sign towards developing the condition is when huge clumps of hair regularly fall off the scalp, resulting in smooth, round bald spots on the scalp.
    • The development of bald spots occurs slowly, over long durations of time.
    • These bald spots may acquire any shape, but are mostly round or oval.
    • The hair usually grows back over a period of several months, retaining the same texture and colour, in most cases. This hair is usually thinner and gray coloured .
    • In some cases, which includes, 10% of the total cases, the hair loss is permanent.
    • This condition typically affects the scalp, or the beard, but it may be seen anywhere on the skin, where there is presence of hair.
    • The underlying skin, beneath the bald spot, is completely normal and unscarred, with no signs of redness, inflammation or scarring. Sometimes, the hair that falls off leaves behind short stubs of hair, instead of a smooth bald area.
    • The disease does not pose any threats otherwise and the person is completely healthy. But, the area with hair loss can sometimes be tingling or painful.
    • The smooth bald area is more prone to sunburns due to the direct effect of sunlight.
    • It is not contagious and does not spread from person to person or site to site. However, different areas of skin exhibit hair loss and regrowth at the same time.
    • Alopecia is common in children, with the onset of the disease usually occurring in childhood itself.
    • It most commonly occurs in individuals between the ages of 20 to 40 years.
    • Alopecia occurs with an equal prevalence in both the sexes.

    Diagnosis:

    • Alopecia is usually diagnosed on the basis of pre-listed signs, symptoms and clinical conditions.
    • Sometimes, additional tests or a biopsy may be needed, which also assist in the treatment of the condition.

    Prevention and Treatment:

    • Usually the condition is temporary and hair grows back over a period of several months. There are phases of remission and regrowth, occurring simultaneously. No specific therapeutic or preventive treatments are known to be efficient.
    • In cases with severe hair loss, topical corticosteroids are used. The efficacy of the drug through the topical route is limited, so, it takes longer durations to show effective results. This occurs due to limited ability of the topical drugs to penetrate deeper into the layers of skin, where the hair bulb needs to be targeted in order to promote hair regrowth.
    • Thus, steroid injections are more commonly used, as they are absorbed quickly. They are directly injected into the area of the scalp with bald spots. Injectable steroids penetrate deeper into the skin and directly target the hair bulb. But, the efficacy of this treatment is still undetermined. Bald spots that are smaller in size are treated with injectable methods.
    • Injectable steroids are also used in cases involving Alopecia Areata in the eyebrows, forming small hairless patches.
    • Oral steroids are also used for the treatment of condition if it’s use is meritted. 
    • Other than various forms of steroids, a variety of drugs specific to hair loss and alopecia, are also available.
    • The commonest of these drugs is minoxidil, which is most commonly prescribed in cases of patchy hair loss.
    • Other drugs available are topical calcineurin inhibitors like tacrolimus.
    • You should always take medicines only when prescribed by a dermatologist.

    Prognosis:

    • The disease is completely non-limiting. There is no loss of body functions. However, it is psychologically distressing, and becomes a common cause for anxiety and depression which is a matter of great concern.
    • Usually the hair loss begins with small number of patches and the hair grows back over a period of several months to a year.
    • When there are a greater number of patches, the hair can either grow back or progress on to Alopecia Totalis.
    • Even when the hair regrows, there are high chances of recurrence.
    • Recurrence does not occur in all cases.

    Identify the root cause of Alopecia can be help treat it suitably. A dermatologist, with Remedico, will be able to help you understand the best options for you.

    Do you have Alopecia Areata? With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist from wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you with regular follow ups and answers to all your questions. Click the button below to consult our doctors.

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    28 Oct, 2017
  • How to get rid of acne scars
  • We’ve spoken about acne in our two part blog post in the past. This week we discuss acne scars and how you can get rid of them.

    Acne scars are the results of inflamed blemishes on the skin, which are left behind after the disappearance of pimple. They may be raised or flat and depressed. They are initially red in colour.  Acne scars are caused due to inflammation within the dermis due to the acne process which causes fibrosis.

    Minor scars heal quickly, but, the deeper ones can get infected further due to the engorgement of bacteria. This can lead to breaks in the wall and cause deep scarring, which is limited by newly formed collagen fibres. New collagen fibres are formed for the repair mechanism of the skin. But, the skin left behind by this process is not as smooth and flawless. There are three types of acne scars, based on appearance, icepick, boxcar and rolling types.

    Acne scars are usually asymptomatic and do not cause any loss of function. The appearance of these disfiguring lesions has psychological impacts and thus must be treated. Treatment is performed in order to get healthier and smoother skin, which is free of blemishes and scars. Treatment of the scars also promotes an overall healthier skin growth cycle.

    Following are the ways to improve the appearance of these disfiguring scars:

    1. Getting rid of your acne: The first line of treatment to get rid of acne scars is the treatment of present case of acne and prevention of any future acne scars. For this purpose, dermatologists prescribe topical creams and lotions like Benzoyl Peroxide and oral medications like Accutane to the patients. Medications must only be taken when prescribed by a professional dermatologist.
    2. Avoiding touching your acne: Avoid touching your acne as dirt and bacteria from your hands and fingernails can irritate the skin of the scar. Irritation of skin causes further infection and the inflammation will result in more scarring within the deeper layers.
    3. Avoiding sun exposure: Sun exposure can cause irritation of the scars, worsening the symptoms. It can also cause the skin to get tanned and appear darker in colour, highlighting the appearance of scars.
      Other than the above methods, which are basically aimed at avoiding the worsening of acne scars, there are various operative procedures, which are carried out by dermatologists to improve the appearance of scars and smoothen the skin. They are performed once the  acne is under control and there is no new acne.  One requires usually more than one kind of treatment for acne scars. Multiple sittings are usually required for this purpose, especially in case of deep acne scars. These procedures are known to improve the appearance of acne scars, however, they do not cause complete disappearance of the scars.

    These procedures are collectively called as skin resurfacing procedures which remove the damaged, scarred layers of skin to leave behind smoother skin which has a healthier growth cycle. Multiple sessions are needed for improvement .

     

    Available treatment modalities:

    1. Microdermabrasion: In this process, the dermatologist uses a fine instrument, like a fine rapidly spinning diamond wheel, wire or a brush, with a rough surface, to finely abrade or wear the skin. This removes the topmost scarred layer which gets replaced with smoother  skin as the healing process proceeds. Healing takes about 10 days to 3 weeks, and new skin is formed.
    2. Chemical Peel: Chemical products and acids are applied to the skin. You should have chemical peels professionally performed by a dermatologist. This procedure involves the application of chemical products to the skin, which cause exfoliation of the top layer of the skin.
    3. Laser therapy: Laser treatment is given by the dermatologist under local anaesthesia to remove the damaged top layer of the skin and tighten the middle layer. This procedure uses tiny beams of intense light which are targeted to the skin. It leaves behind smoother shallower scars.This procedure takes about an hour and the skin heals subsequently within 3-10 days. You need multiple sessions to see effects.
    4. Fractional Laser Therapy: Fractional laser therapy uses laser beams which are directed at a deeper, sub-surface level, as compared to the traditional laser treatment. This keeps the top most layer of skin intact.
      Since the topmost layer of skin is untouched and intact, the healing time is comparatively shorter in case of this therapy. It causes skin discolouration for a few days.
    5. Injections: In some cases, particularly with rolling scars, injections are given just underneath the scar. The injection contains products which elevate the level of scar and bring them at par with the surrounding skin. This improves the appearance of scars.If all the above measures fail to achieve the desired results and do not improve the appearance of scars, surgery and plastic resurfacing must be considered for deeply indented scars.

    A dermatologist through Remedico will be able to identify the cause for your acne even before you arrive at the problem of acne scars. Our online consultation process provides you with a detailed diagnosis, personalized treatment plan and any medicine prescription that you require. It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate. Only take medical treatment for your acne scars that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your acne and acne scars from wherever you are, right from your smartphone! All within 5 minutes! We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    21 Oct, 2017
  • Great skin starts in the gut
  • Food has a significant place in our lives because it is our primary source of nutrition. In this blog post we discuss how great skin starts in our gut.

    Diet is an essential factor in maintaining good skin health. Consuming a nutritious balanced diet, rich in all the essential components, along with ample amounts of water helps in keeping your skin healthy, soft and supple. A nutritious balanced diet keeps your skin moisturised and prevents dry skin and flakiness. In addition to this, it also delays the process of skin ageing and early appearance of wrinkles. A healthy diet also prevents the appearance of acne and inflammation.

    Following are the best foods for great skin:

    1. Proteins:-

    • Proteins contain essential amino acids which are not synthesised by the body and need to be acquired through your diet. They are present in milk and dairy products, like eggs, meat, poultry, fish, soy, tofu, etc. and must be consumed in right amounts, depending on individual’s weight, age and sex, to achieve healthy, radiant skin.
    • Proteins are the building blocks of the body and are essential for proper tissue growth, repair and regeneration.
    • They are also required for the synthesis of collagen, which keeps the skin firm and healthy, avoiding loose, saggy skin.

    2. Vitamins:-

    Vitamin C:

    • Vitamin C, which is present in citrus fruits and vegetables, like oranges, lemons, strawberries, bell peppers, etc. is a powerful antioxidant and protects the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals. This slows down the process of damage to the skin and the subsequent process of skin ageing.
    • Vitamin C also contributes to a stronger immune system which helps to prevent skin infections and blemishes.
    • It improves wound healing in case of any skin injury or blemishes.
    • Vitamin C also protects the skin from sun damage by harmful UV rays.
    • It also helps to produce collagen which keeps the skin tight and firm.

    Vitamin E:

    • Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant which protects the skin from ageing and damage in the same way, thus improving skin health.
    • It is present in foods like- almonds, avocados, pine nuts and various oils like- almond oil, sunflower oil, etc.

    Vitamin A:

    • Vitamin A, which is found in fish oil, salmon, carrots, broccoli, spinach, is essential for normal epithelialisation of skin.
    • In case of deficiency of this vitamin, the epithelial cycle would be disturbed leading to skin disorders like, eczema, psoriasis, etc.
    • Thus, vitamin A is essential for healthy development and maintenance of skin.
    • It also prevents acne, brown spots and wrinkles on the skin.

    3. Omega 3 and Omega 6  Fatty Acids:-

    • Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids belong to the group of essential fatty acids which are not synthesised by your body and must be acquired through your diet.
    • They are present in salmon, tuna, walnuts, flaxseed oil, fish oil, etc. and have anti-inflammatory properties, which prevents inflammatory conditions of the skin, like- acne and psoriasis.

    4. Fresh fruits and vegetables:-

    • Fresh fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants which protect your skin from free radicals, which are known to cause damage to your skin and speed up the process of ageing.
    • Thus, consuming a healthy diet consisting of 4-5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, in various colours helps in protecting the skin from the effects of ageing, and keeping it firm and healthy.

    5. Selenium:-

    • Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and is present in nuts, eggs, tomatoes, fish, broccoli, etc.
    • It protects your skin from sun damage, infections and inflammations.
    • It also slows down the process of skin ageing.
    • Selenium is also known to protect against skin cancer.

    6. Green Tea:-

    • Green tea contains catechins, which are powerful antioxidants and protect your skin from sun damage and the harmful effects of free radicals, which are known to hasten the process of skin ageing.
    • Having green tea helps reduce the redness and inflammation of the skin and also improve its hydration and elasticity.
    • However, it must be consumed without milk, as addition of milk is known to hamper these benefits.

    7. Olive oil:-

    • Olive oil contains powerful antioxidants, like, vitamin E, polyphenols and phytosterols, which protect your skin from the effects of damage and ageing.
    • It also moisturises the skin, keeping it soft and supple.

    8. Additional Tips:-

    • Consume lots of water: Consuming 8-12 glasses of water each day, keeps the skin hydrated and moisturised, which makes it soft, smooth and less prone to dryness, desiccation and flaking. Dry skin is more prone to infections as well as exhibiting of wrinkles.

    Water also helps in digestion, excretion and removal of toxins from the body, which makes the skin healthy and less prone to skin infections, like acne.

    • Avoid fad diets: Crash diets are often deficient in essential nutrients required by the body, which affects the skin health.

    Sticking to crash diets for long adversely affects the skin, causing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The skin also begins to sag down and becomes loose. Appearance of dark circles is also a common association.

    These effects are seen due to rapid weight loss and nutritional deficiencies due to following of fad diets.

    • Avoiding fried foods, junk foods and sugary stuff: Consumption of fried fast foods must be avoided, especially in people with oily skin. Such foods are known to increase the activity of oil glands which causes clogged pores, leading to acne.

    Consumption of foods with high amounts of sugar causes inflammation of the skin, which breaks down elastin and collagen, causing sagging and wrinkles. Thus, foods with excessive oils and sugars must be avoided in order to keep the skin healthy and radiant.

    When you consult with Remedico we help you find a solution for your skin type and lifestyle. Keeping a watch on your diet and eating healthy is a step towards attaining great skin.

    With Remedico, consult with a certified dermatologist for all your skin troubles right from your smartphone. It takes only five minutes to complete our consultation after which we will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    14 Oct, 2017
  • Everything you need to know about stretch marks
  • In our previous blog posts we’ve explored dermatological issues like hirsutism and skin growths. In this blog post we deep dive into the issue of stretch marks.

    Stretch marks are dermal scars caused by tearing of the dermis due to rapid distension or stretching of the skin. Stretch marks, or striae distensae, happens due to rapid fluctuations in weight or due to hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy or puberty. Once formed, stretch marks may gradually diminish in size, but they are not known to disappear completely.

    Prevalence:

    • Stretch marks are a common concern and can occur in anyone. Although, they have a strong female predilection and are seen in 40-90% of women, owing to hormonal factors.
    • They can occur at any age, when there is distension of skin, due to weight fluctuations, particularly a gain in weight. Sometimes, they can also occur due to rapid and quick weight loss.
    • They are occur most commonly during pregnancy and puberty, which are associated with hormonal changes, thus, occurring in about 40-90% of pregnant women (striae gravidarum) and 70% of girls during puberty.
    • In men, they occur due to rapid weight gain, owing to obesity or as a result of excessive weight lifting regimen in order to increase muscle mass rapidly, like in body-builders.

    Appearance, stages and symptoms:

    • They appear as reddish-purple, long, narrow and smooth streaks or bands, occurring particularly in the areas of body with excessive fat storage like, belly, buttocks, thighs, breasts, upper arm, under arms and back.
    • They arise in the dermis layer of the skin.
    • Gradually, the stretch marks begin to atrophy and lose their reddish-purple hue, fading down to whitish, pale or silver-coloured lines, which are soft and empty upon touch.
    • They visibly differ in appearance from the surrounding skin, and are thus an aesthetic concern for most people, causing emotional distress, especially in young women. However, they do not pose any medical threat to the person, and are completely asymptomatic. Though, they can sometimes cause an itching (or burning ) omit sensation, in some people.

    Causes:

    1.   Weight gain-
    • The primary reason for stretch marks is tearing of the dermis due to distension of skin, caused due to weight fluctuations and an increase in cortisone levels, which occurs in response to stress.
    • Higher cortisone levels are known to worsen the gravity of stretch marks by reducing the skin’s pliability. This occurs due to inability of fibroblasts to form collagen and elastic fibres, which help in maintaining the skin’s firmness. Thus, lack of supporting structures of skin, leads to dermal and epidermal tearing, which eventually leads to scarring.
    1.   Pregnancy-
    • In pregnancy, 50-90% of women are affected with striae gravidum due to sudden weight gain and hormonal changes. The more the weight gain and increase in BMI during pregnancy, the more is the risk of developing stretch marks. Higher neonatal birth weight also contributes to the same.
    • Striae gravidum develop due to tearing of the dermis, when estrogen and relaxin hormones combine with higher cortisol levels during pregnancy.
    • This softens the pelvic ligaments, making them flexible, which causes atrophy and loss of rete ridges, particularly in rapidly growing areas during pregnancy, like abdomen and breasts.
    • They are more common in first pregnancies and in women with lower maternal age.
    1.   Puberty-

    In puberty, the body goes through a lot of hormonal changes and rapid growth spurts, leading to the appearance of striae, which occur on breasts, hips and thighs for females, and shoulders and back in case of males.

    1.   Genetic  factors-

    Genetic  factors like genes, race, family history are also determinants in the appearance of striae.

    1.   Medical Conditions-
    • Certain medical and hormonal disorders, like Cushing’s Syndrome or Marfan Syndrome are also known to cause stretch marks.
    • In Cushing’s Syndrome, there is over-production of cortisol, leading to rapid weight gain, especially in abdomen, causing stretch marks to appear in that area. It also causes the skin to become thin and fragile, which makes it more susceptible to scarring.
    • In Marfan Syndrome, there is weakness and decreased elasticity of body tissues, which has the same effects.
    1.   Certain Medications-

    Prolonged usage of topical corticosteroid creams and lotions decreases collagen levels of the skin, leading to thinness of skin and a greater risk of developing stretch marks.

    Diagnosis:

    Stretch marks are easily diagnosed upon the observing the skin of the affected area. A history of weight gain or weight loss, or pregnancy makes the diagnosis clear.

    Stretch marks do not cause any medical threat, but they may sometimes be associated with an underlying medical disorder, like, Cushing’s Syndrome or Marfan Syndrome, which must be identified and treated first. It is always best to consult a dermatologist for stretch marks.

    Prevention and Treatment:

    • Stretch marks are not hazardous to health in any ways but the disfiguring scar is a cosmetic concern, which may cause emotional distress and depression, especially in women. Stretch marks must be taken care of and treated in such cases.
    • Stretch marks often fade away and diminish with time, though they do not completely disappear.
    • When associated with pregnancy, they diminish 6-12 months postpartum. Chances of developing stretch marks during pregnancy can be reduced by taking proper care of the skin during this period. 8-12 glasses of water must be consumed and anti-stretch marks oils and creams must be massaged into the skin, to keep it healthy and moisturised which prevents the development of stretch marks.
    • Almond oil, Tretinoin topical retinoid creams cream and Silicone gel are known to improve the disfiguring appearance of stretch marks.
    • Generally, consuming enough water and maintaining a healthy weight, along with a balanced diet is effective in preventing the appearance of stretch marks. Keeping the skin healthy and hydrated, and avoiding fad diets is also equally helpful.
    • Ointments, creams and gels are available for stretch marks shrinkage, which can be prescribed by the dermatologist.
    •  Surgical procedural methods, which include microdermabrasion and laser therapy, and radiofrequency for the removal reduction of stretch marks, are also known.

    A dermatologist through Remedico will be able to identify the cause for your stretch marks as well as provide you with a personalized treatment plan to reduce your stretch marks. It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your stretch marks that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your stretch marks from wherever you are, from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    07 Oct, 2017
  • Characteristics of common skin growth issues
  • Sometimes unexpected growths can appear on your skin. In this blog post we talk about characteristics of some common skin growth issues. If you see a growth that you haven’t always had, it is best to get it checked by a certified dermatologist.

    Skin is the outermost, soft layer covering the body. It protects the body from mechanical, thermal and electrical stimuli, and also carries the sensations of touch, heat, pain, temperature, etc. Skin is the most vital structure, subjected to all the aforementioned stimuli and thus, it is completely physiological for the skin to develop a variety of harmless outgrowths, as a defence mechanism or otherwise. But, these growths must be properly diagnosed and differentiated from their malignant counterparts, to rule out the risk of malignancy or any serious complications. A dermatologist must be visited for a proper diagnosis and evaluation, in case of encounter with any kind of outgrowths or swellings.

    Following are the most common skin growths seen:

    1. Moles or nevus: They are the most common benign  (disorders) lesions of the pigment-producing cells, melanocytes, with more than 10 million cases per year in our country. They are more common in fair skinned individuals, who can have 10-40 of them on their skin.

    Characteristics:

    • They may be present at birth, or may develop later in life, particularly during childhood or adolescence.
    • They may be flat or raised.
    • They grow in size as the individual ages.
    • They may darken or even lighten in colour, which is a physiological phenomenon.
    • Sudden appearance of multiple new moles in adults, or itching, bleeding and progressive growth of the nevus may be signs of malignant transformation and shouldn’t be ignored.
    1. Warts: They are a common skin growth, caused due to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV affects the top most layer of the skin, causing it to grow rapidly, thus forming a wart.

    Characteristics:

    • They can grow anywhere on the body, in variable shapes and sizes, and they rarely disappear on their own within a few months or a year. However, they have a high tendency to recur, because the virus has not been destroyed.
    • They may be flat and smooth or rough and raised.
    • They are usually painless and require removal as a treatment. It is advisable to get them treated so as to prevent transmission .
    • They are transmissible and can easily spread from one part of the body to another, or from person to person, by direct skin contact, or indirectly through clothing items, towels, razors, etc. Thus, care must be taken to not touch the lesion repeatedly, in order to avoid its spread. A duct tape can be used to isolate the lesion for this purpose.
    • If the wart is unusual, painful or spreading, the diagnosis needs to be confirmed with a biopsy, to rule out other more serious conditions and a dermatologist needs to be visited for the treatment of warts.
    1. Skin tags: Skin tags are small, raised flaps of tissue, which develop in the areas of the skin that rub against each other. They are attached to the skin by a connecting stalk.

    Characteristics:

    • They are completely benign, painless and asymptomatic, until they are irritated, like when rubbing against the skin, clothing or jewellery.
    • In case of pain or other symptoms, a dermatologist must be visited for the removal of skin tags, which can be done by radiofrequency, cryosurgery, electric surgery, or a simple excision with a scalpel or scissors.
    1. Seborrheic Keratosis: Seborrheic Keratoses are common skin growths. Their resemblance to warts or certain pre-cancerous lesions may make them look troublesome, but they are completely benign and harmless.

    Characteristics:

    • They are common in middle-aged or older individuals.
    •  They may be single or multiple, occurring anywhere on the skin, except palms and soles. They are most commonly seen on chest, back, head or neck.
    • They vary in appearance, texture and colour, for different individuals. They begin off as small, rough patches on the skin and proceed to develop a thick, wart-like surface. They are mostly tan or brown in colour, but their colour ranges from white, pale, yellow to black.
    • They are non-infectious and do not spread from person to person. However, a dermatologist must be visited to correctly differentiate and diagnose the lesion from other possible growths suspected.

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your skin growth that has been prescribed by a dermatologist. A dermatologist through Remedico will be able to identify what the growth is. This is very important, especially to rule out a serious underlying condition.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your skin growth from wherever you are, from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    30 Sep, 2017
  • Hirsutism: Excessive hair growth in women
  • In this blog post we explain hirsutism, the causes for it, and the treatment you can initiate if you have this issue.

    Hirsutism is an excessive, unwanted hair growth in areas where hair is usually not present in a female, owing to an underlying hormonal or endocrinal imbalance, especially after puberty. Hirsutism causes hair to grow in a male pattern distribution in a female. The hair growth in women affected by this condition is dark, thick and coarse. The areas in which the unwanted hair is present are- chin, jawline, upper lips, face, neck, chest, lower back and lower abdomen.

    Causes:

    1. Hormones: It is largely due to an increase in male hormones or androgens in a female. The androgens are normally produced by the female body, but in excessive amounts, they cause hirsutism. It may also be an outcome of absence of ovulation.
      • Ovarian cystsThe most common endocrine disorder causing this condition is polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD)Polycystic ovarian disease presents itself with obesity, acne, excessive body and facial hair (hirsutism), patches on skin, disturbances in menstrual cycle which include- irregular menstrual cycles, heavy menstruation or even amenorrhea, along with pelvic pain. Women affected with PCOD also have problems during gestation. PCOD may be due to genetic or environmental factors, other than obesity. It is closely associated with type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, sleep apnoea, mood disorders and endometrial cancer.
      • Cushing’s Syndrome: Another less common cause of hirsutism is Cushing’s Syndrome, caused due to high levels of stress hormone, cortisol, which is secreted by adrenal glands in the body. Excess cortisol is produced by the body in response to stress. It may also be produced in response to medications, like glucocorticoids or steroids.
      • Ovarian tumoursTumours in the adrenal glands or the pituitary gland and birth defects may also be a contributory factor to Cushing’s syndrome, causing excess of androgens.
      • Insulin: Low levels of insulin circulating in the blood, increase the risk of high blood sugar levels and obesity, which are both closely linked to polycystic ovarian disease and thus cause hirsutism.
    2. Genetic or familial: Many times there may be a family history of polycystic ovarian disease, which can cause hirsutism or there might be a genetic influence.
    3. Drug related: Usage of certain drugs interferes with the hormonal system of the body, which then causes hirsutism. The following are those drugs:
      • Minoxidil
      • Anabolic steroids
      • Phenytoin
    4. Idiopathic: Sometimes, the actual cause of hirsutism remains unknown, despite all the investigations.

    Diagnosis:

    Usually one would present with this condition in the view of a cosmetic relief. These women may be looking forward to a permanent hair removal and may have tried waxing, shaving, threading, epilatory creams or devices and plucking to get rid of the unwanted hair.These are temporary methods and the hair always grows back, pointing towards an internal cause that must be identified and treated before permanent hair removal. Laser hair removal may worsen the condition if the cause for excessive androgen production is not treated.

    Investigations include Ferriman-Gallwey score, to evaluate hirsutism on the amount and location of hair growth; blood tests for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin, androgens, testosterone as well as ultrasounds of the pelvic area and ovaries, to ascertain ovulation and the cause of the condition.

    Treatment:

    Depending on the cause, treatment must be initiated. In case of any underlying disorders like polycystic ovarian disease, Cushing’s Syndrome, etc treatment must be along those lines. The various treatment modalities are:

    1. Medications: 
      • Medications mostly include anti-androgens like: Spironolactone, Cyproterone Acetate, Flutamide, which control excessive secretion of male androgens in females.
      • In case of polycystic ovarian disease, which is the most common cause of hirsutism, it must be treated with medications specific to it, which include hormonal contraceptives, which are a combination of estrogen and progestin, and are a functional anti-androgen. Diet and lifestyle changes are also required to eliminate this disease, rooting to obesity.
      • If the cause of hirsutism is under production of insulin, like in a diabetic or obese individual, anti-hyperglycemics must be considered. Oral or injectable antihyperglycemics can be given to control diabetes, depending upon the blood sugar levels. Metformin is the most commonly used oral drug and it also helps to control hirsutism in addition.
    2. Diet and lifestyle changes: Consuming a healthy diet along with regular exercise, helps in weight management and controls obesity, which is the root cause of polycystic ovarian disease, which in turn is the most common reason for hirsutism. A healthy stress-free lifestyle is also equally important to maintain normal cortisol levels. This can be achieved by yoga, meditation and exercise.
    3. Permanent Hair Removal: Only when the excess androgen production is under control, the laser hair removal must be considered. Treatment of the internal condition is a medical necessity while hair reduction serves only the cosmetic purpose. But the psychological impact of facial hair can cause distress in many women. Laser hair reduction is the only way to get rid of the unwanted hair and treat the anxiety associated with it in women. It removes the unwanted hair by exposing them to light, completely destroying the hair follicles. It works in sessions in order to destroy hair follicles in all phases of its growth. A session can be undertaken every 4 to 5 weeks till the hair growth is reduced. 4 to 6 sessions are given, depending on the type of hair and skin colour. With every session, the hair gets thinner and lighter. This also works best for thick and dark hair. White, light coloured hair is not targeted by lasers.

    Do you have hirsutism? With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you regular follow ups and answers to all your questions.

    23 Sep, 2017
  • Oil, Sebum and Everything Wrong with Teenage Skin
  • For some people puberty is a blessing *cough* Neville Longbottom *cough*. But for most of us it’s just a big nuisance where we go from cute and sweet to awkward and unsure. With puberty comes the surge of hormones, and the many, many intricate issues of teenage life, most prominent of which is oily skin.

    The hormones released during our teenage years causes hyper-secretion of oil by our sebaceous or oil releasing glands. This causes our pores to get clogged; allowing bacteria to grow in them and thus causing breakouts, whiteheads and blackheads. Oily skin in general can be due to many reasons: genetic, hormonal, cosmetic or even diet based. Oily skin is marked by a thick, shiny complexion and larger pores.

    Removing all the oil from your skin is not the solution because oil is essential in keeping your skin healthy and waterproof. It is one of the primary defence systems of our body that keeps bacteria and other germs from entering our body directly. It is also a way to remove small amounts of excretory substances. Its varied functions makes it an integral part of having healthy skin. This needs to be kept in mind as people tend to over-do solutions leading to dry skin and other related issues.

    On a general basis, oil is more in the T-zone: forehead, nose and chin. Some people even get it on their cheeks. Each person’s skin is different and a dermatologist can tell you exactly what kind of skin you have and which zones of your face is susceptible to oily skin.

    Here are some tips to help reduce excess sebum production:

    1. Cleanse your face with a gentle foam based soap twice a day. Keep in mind, not to use an alkali based soap, because it will dry your skin right up. Washing more than twice a day will do the same.
    2. Use alcohol free toner on days you feel your skin is too oily. It will gently remove oil and traces of dirt from your skin and prevent your pores from getting clogged. It will also prevent bacteria from entering your pores. Apply it over your face and neck after washing your face with two dampen cotton balls.
    3. Exfoliate once or twice a week with a gentle scrub. It’ll help get rid of the outer layer of grease and oil. It will also help clear out the pores.
    4. Do not apply excess makeup. It will not allow your skin to breathe and cause more breakouts. It will also encourage blackhead formation.
    5. Use a water based makeup remover to remove all traces of makeup before going to sleep.
    6. Carry blotting paper to remove excess oil from your face during the day.
    7. Protect your skin from the sun. Use a light sunscreen when stepping out into the sun.
    8. Avoid dairy products, refined carbohydrates and saturated and trans fats. Keep your diet full of vitamins and enriching minerals.
    9. Drink LOTS of water. Stay hydrated all day through. This will help in the overall health of your hair and skin.
    10. Get a clear understanding on the reason behind the oil collecting over your skin. Consult a dermatologist to keep a check on your skin.

    Oily skin is an issue a lot of teenagers and even older individuals face. With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your oily skin from wherever you are, all from your smartphone. It takes only five minutes to complete our consultation after which we will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

     

    20 Sep, 2017
  • Effective ways to manage your oily skin
  • Oily skin affects people of all age groups, but teenagers experience it the most. The oiliness of your skin is influenced by genetics, hormones and lifestyle. In this blog post we discuss some effective ways to manage oily skin. 

    Sebaceous glands, present mainly in the skin of the face and scalp in humans, secrete an oily, waxy substance – sebum. These oily secretions moisturise your skin, protect it from desiccation, and also prevent premature ageing and wrinkles. However when skin becomes overly oily, this is a result of over-secretion of sebum from the sebaceous glands. It can cause clogged pores, acne and pimples, and can be troublesome. 

    Here are some ways you can manage your oily skin:-

    1. Washing your face regularly: People with oily skin type must wash their face at least twice a day. Washing off the excess sebum adds a freshness to your face. A mild face cleanser, containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or glycolic acid can be used depending on the skin type and needs. You should consult a dermatologist to know the right cleanser for you. Harsh soaps and cleansers must also be avoided, as they cause irritation to the skin, which further increases the production of oil.
    2. Using an alcohol-free toner: A few drops of toner can be applied occasionally. It should be dabbed on a cotton swab and applied only on the affected oily areas of the skin, and not to the whole face, this helps absorb excess oils.
    3. Use of blotting papers: Blotting papers are used to absorb excess oils quickly and effectively, and come in handy throughout the day. However, they just absorb excess oils and do not interfere with the skin’s oil production. They must be pressed against the oily parts of your skin and gently held for 15-20 seconds. Do not rub them into your skin, because this can cause the spreading of oil and dirt, which can cause infections.
    4. Using a mild moisturising cream: Even oily skin tends to get dry sometimes, and needs to be taken care of, to restore its health. Use of a mild, oil-free hydrating moisturiser in small amounts is recommended.
    5. Replacing old towels or face pads daily: Any towels or pads, used on the face, must be replaced each day, since they trap dirt, oil and germs, which might cause infection or irritation to oily skin, if used often.
    6. Cosmetic clays: Cosmetic clays are commercially available products, used to treat skin conditions. French green clay, being highly absorbent, absorbs excess sebum, and is used to treat oily skin and acne. It comes as a powder, which is formed to a paste consistency by adding water or rose water. It is then applied as a mask to the face and left undisturbed until dry. It is later removed with warm water, and pat dry.
    7. Diet and lifestyle changes: Excess sebum production is controlled by various methods but it cannot be treated completely if diet and lifestyle changes aren’t made. These include avoiding unhealthy fried foods, fast foods, limiting oil consumption and exercising regularly. Yoga, meditation and exercise help to keep stress levels in control, thus controlling excessive oil secretions.
    8. Avoiding heavy cosmetics: Use of heavy cosmetics can clog pores which can cause acne if you have oily skin. It also contains chemicals which might induce irritation of the skin, which in turn increases the secretion of oils.
    9. Visiting a dermatologist: If the problem of oily skin is persistent even after taking good care of your skin, a dermatologist must be visited. Various treatment options are available, depending upon the condition of the skin.
    • Topically applied creams: They are applied to the affected oily areas of the face with the help of a cotton swab to control oily secretions.
    • Laser treatment: Laser treatment shrinks pores and thus reduces oil secretions.
    • Oral medications: One such drug is Isotretinoin. It shrinks the oil glands and thus reduces the production of sebum. It should be taken only under the supervision of a registered dermatologist.
    • Chemical treatment: In this procedure called chemical peels, the top layer of skin is removed with the help of certain chemicals. It is used to treat acne, oily skin and skin damage. These should only be performed under the supervision of a registered dermatologist.

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take treatment for your oily skin that has been prescribed by a dermatologist. You can check our previous articles for information about hair fallacne, and  stretch marks. With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your oily skin from wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    15 Sep, 2017
  • 9 Tips for great skin this monsoon
  • Monsoon blues, as goes the term for the season of rains and drizzles, also holds right for all the skin problems caused in this season. Dull and damaged skin, prone to skin infections, is what monsoons give us with its excessive humidity.

    By amping up your skincare routine this monsoon, you can revert your skin to the healthy, nourished and glowing form it always had.

    Here are some steps to take care of your skin this monsoon:

    1. Consuming water and lots of it: Consuming at least 8-12 glasses of water is a must to keep your skin healthy and hydrated, in every season.
    2. Staying dry: Excessive humidity in monsoons takes a toll on your skin. You should try to keep your skin dry at all times. Umbrellas, raincoats, etc. must be carried along, to avoid an unexpected drench in the drizzles. Anytime you do get wet, you should take a shower immediately, to avoid the dirty, acidic rain water from settling on your skin and causing infections.
    3. Cleansing: Cleansing your face twice a day, with a mild cleanser is a must to get rid of all the bacteria, dirt and grime.
    4. Moisturising: Your skin needs moisture even when it’s humid outside. Investing in a good quality moisturiser goes a long way in having soft and smooth skin.
    5. Protecting: Sunscreen with a good quality SPF, protects your skin from damage. Sunscreens must be used even when the sky is overcast with clouds, because UV rays are still present and can damage your skin.
    6. Avoiding heavy cosmetics: Heavy cosmetics, makeup, bleaches, skin treatments, facials must be avoided in this season in order to protect the skin from damage.
    7. Eating right: A healthy, balanced diet is the key to healthy, glowing skin, in every season. A diet rich in proteins, Omega-3 fatty acids, like chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, etc. and Vitamins A, C and E is the best to have glowing skin.
    8. Nourishing skin masks: Use the right skin masks according to your skin type must to nourish the skin and keep it healthy. For dry skin, use glycerine to add moisture to your skin. For oily skin, masks made of milk, honey, chickpea flour can be used to get rid of excess oils. For mixed skin type, masks depending upon the present condition of the skin must be used.
    9. The right footwear: Wearing waterproof footwear in monsoons keeps your feet dry and protects it from any possible fungal infection due to the growth of microorganisms in the moist environment of the footwear. Choose a closed, waterproof footwear to take the best care of your feet in the monsoons.

    If at any time you do experience any skin problems this season, remember getting expert help is a simple and quick process with Remedico. You can start your consultation immediately from wherever you are — answer a few simple questions, upload some images, and you’re done. From start to finish in as little as 5 minutes. You will then receive a personalised treatment plan and follow ups from our team to help you maintain glowing and healthy skin throughout this wet season.

    If you have any additional thoughts, ideas or suggestions with regard to the content above or anything skincare related – do write to us. We are always excited to hear from all of you!

    13 Sep, 2017
  • Tips for healthy skin and hair this monsoon season
  • Monsoon, the season of rains, drizzles and greenery, is also the season for damaged hair and major hair fall due to the excessive humidity in this season.

    Monsoon causes hair to frizz, damage, fall and break and skin to become damp, which causes hair and skin problems. The outer layer of your hair, the cuticle is damaged due to high humidity in this weather. Thus the usual hair and skin care routine is not enough in monsoons and special care is needed.

    Hair care:-

    1.  Keeping your hair dry:

    Keeping your hair dry is essential as rain water is acidic and dirty and causes hair to frizz and dry out. That’s why, hair must be kept away from drenching in drizzles and downpours. Raincoats, caps, umbrellas, etc. must be used, if at all, one has to go outdoors in the rain.

    1.  Washing, drying and styling your hair:
    • Wash your hair twice or thrice a week with a mild, cleansing, shampoo to wash away any dirt or bacteria from rain water. This keeps your hair clean and free from germs and infections. It also keeps the scalp healthy, preventing it from being itchy, dry and sticky due to high humidity levels.
    • Always rinse your hair with cool or lukewarm water, since hot water damages them.
    • After washing your hair, it must be dried with a micro-fibre towel or a t-shirt, as it helps minimize friction between the hair and towel, reducing hairfall. It also absorbs water quicker. Avoid rubbing your hair roughly with a towel.
    • Your hair is already prone to dryness and damage in the rainy season, so a blow dryer must not be used at all and your hair must be air dried.
    • A wide toothed comb must be used to detangle and style your hair.
    • Tight hairstyles such as braids, ponytails, etc. must be avoided, as they damage the hair and cause them to frizz during this season. Hair must be let loose or gently tied to avoid hairfall due to traction.
    • Hot styling tools like curling irons or straighteners and hair colours must be completely avoided in this season.
    • A short, manageable haircut can be taken to take care of hair without any hassles.
    1.  Conditioning your hair:
    • A good quality conditioner must be applied along the length of hair to fight frizz, and to provide nourishment and strength. A wide-toothed comb can be used to spread the conditioner along the length of hair and then it should be rinsed off.
    • Leave-on conditioners can also be used for extra frizzy hair.
    • Natural products such as- eggs, yogurt, aloe vera, etc. can be used as hair masks and then rinsed with a shampoo. They provide extra nourishment to the hair.
    1.  Oil Massages:
    • Massaging your hair with various hair oils like- coconut oil, olive oil, lavender oil, jojoba oil, etc. is beneficial during this season. It adds moisture and strength to the otherwise dry hair caused due to humidity. It also deep conditions the hair.
    • Oils must be massaged very gently into the scalp and (left preferably overnight), kept for a couple of hours on the scalp followed by a rinse. This can be done once or twice a week.
    1.  Diet:

    Having a healthy, nutritious diet, rich in proteins, iron, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins helps in keeping your hair healthy and strong. Green leafy vegetables, eggs, salmon, fresh fruits and grains, walnuts, spinach, yogurt, are essential to hair health. Consuming 8-12 glasses of water a day keeps your hair hydrated and healthy.

    Skin care:-

    For Dry Skin:

    • Keeping your body hydrated by consuming 8-12 glasses of water each day helps to hydrate the skin and adds moisture to it.
    • Moisturising your skin frequently helps in keeping the outer layer of your skin healthy and hydrated, making it soft and supple.
    • Your skin must be kept clean. Use mild cleansers, instead of harsh soaps. Cleansing the skin removes dirt and bacteria and thus prevents any possible skin infections.
    • Alcohol based toners must be avoided, to maintain skin’s pH.
    • Sunscreen with a good SPF must be used to protect skin from damage.
    • Natural products like- rose water, glycerine, etc. can be used to keep the skin healthy, nourished and glowing.
    • Facials and bleaches must be avoided in this season.
    • Artificial jewellery must be avoided because it can be sensitive and irritant to dry skin.
    • Dry lips must be taken care of by moisturising or using lip balms or natural products like- milk cream.

    For Oily Skin:

    • Washing face 3-4 times a day helps to wash away sweat and extra oils off the face, but washing it too much may cause dryness. Cleansing also removes the bacteria and avoids any possibility of skin infections.
    • Gentle facial scrubs can be used to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. It removes dead skin cells and makes the skin healthy. Once or twice a week is more than enough.
    • Water-based moisturisers must be used to keep oil secretions in check.
    • Home remedies like milk, honey, chicpea flour can be used in the form of masks to get rid of the excess oils.

    For Mixed Skin type:

    •  Drinking lots of water helps to keep your skin  healthy and hydrated.
    •  Washing your face 2-3 times a day with an antibacterial cleanser keeps it clean, oil-free and prevents skin infections.
    •  Moisturize your skin regularly to keep it soft and supple.
    •   Your skin must be exfoliated from time to time to get rid of excess oils, dead skin and to unclog pores.

    Other Tips:

    •   Having a healthy, nutritious diet, along with lots of water, helps to keep your skin healthy and nourished.
    •   Waterproof footwear must be worn, to prevent bacterial and fungal infections due to growth of microorganisms in moist environments. Closed footwear must be avoided. Wash your feet as soon as you come home and make sure to dry them well.
    •  Skin must be kept clean to avoid skin infections and gentle pedicures must be taken regularly with clean tools, to keep the feet clean and healthy.

    If at any time you do experience any skin or hair problems this season, remember getting expert help is a simple and quick process with Remedico. You can start your consultation immediately from wherever you are — answer a few simple questions, upload some images, and you’re done. From start to finish in as little as 5 minutes. You will then receive a personalised treatment plan and follow ups from our team to help you maintain glowing and healthy skin and hair throughout this hot season.

    If you have any additional thoughts, ideas or suggestions with regard to the content above or anything skincare related – do write to us. We are always excited to hear from all of you!

    09 Sep, 2017
  • 5 Signs that you have body odour
  • It’s not uncommon to have body odour. However it is important to know when you do. In this post we discuss five signs that tell you that you have body odour.

    Often body odour throws off people, causing them to quietly leave your company or in some cases even run away with squeamish faces because they just can’t stand your natural smell. The fact remains that if you stink, others suffer more than you do.

    Here are some signs to tell you that you might have something fishy smelling about you:

    1. Nobody wants to hang out with you anymore
      Man might be a social animal; but put in some nauseating odours and it’ll make you want to stay in your room forever. If you stink, you’ll notice how people prefer to keep away; no more hugs and kisses, no more intimate talks cuddled up in a cozy place. You might even notice people gagging, or holding their nose. (Not that they would’ve wanted you to notice).If you are a victim to sudden isolation from humans you were otherwise close to, you must either be really rude, or really stinky.
    2. Somebody tells you
      Very few of us are lucky enough to have friends to say things out loud. Directly or indirectly, as long as someone suggests that you do not smell… nice, you might need to take adequate measures to fix it.
    3. Self-assessment
      Take off your clothes and stand under a fan until your nose is clear. Then take your clothes and sniff deeply. If your olfactory senses are even slightly active, you will be able to smell yourself. If you’re not happy with the smell? You need to look into ways to smell better. Smell yourself at random times during the day and use a good antiperspirant so that others don’t have to do the same.If you have a weird taste in your mouth, your breath probably stinks too. Breathe into your palm and smell your breath. If you want a more accurate test for bad breath scrape your tongue with a spoon and smell it. If it smells bad beyond a certain limit, you probably have bad breath. Brush your teeth, wash your mouth with a mouthwash or chew breath mints ASAP. Nobody needs to know what lies inside the deep dark cave of your mouth.If the room smells after you take off your shoes, your feet probably are the source. This rarely requires an outside source’s opinion. Smelly feet are not Happy feet, so make sure you get rid of it.
    4. Greasy hair
      If you haven’t washed your hair in a while and you’re losing friends, you need to run to the shower. Often our hair smells a lot more than our body, and we won’t realize it because it’s our own hair. Our hair extends out of our body and under others’ noses, so it carries smells away from us, but that’s just as worse. Run your fingers through your hair and make sure you don’t have greasy knots. Wash your hair regularly to keep away dust and dirt too.
    5. Timeline history
      What you did all day will tell you what you smell like. If you sit in a shiny squeaky office with AC it is unlikely that you develop bad odour as you don’t sweat. However if you work in a demanding environment, running around you might stink towards the end of the day. If you ate garlic or onions, your breath is going to stink, come what may. If you have been wearing the same socks for a week, your feet and shoes will stink. If you just got out of a high intensity workout session and didn’t shower, you probably stink. What you do effects what you smell like, be aware of such situations.Body odour is very embarrassing, but it can be fixed.  Make sure you know that you’re smelling. The first step to smelling good is knowing that you smell bad. So don’t sweat it!

      Facing skin or hair issues? We can help. With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you regular follow ups and answers to all your questions.

     

    06 Sep, 2017
  • Body odour: a foul enemy
  • Everyone remembers that ONE person in class who hit puberty and started to smell up the entire classroom. Aaaah, one of the many joys of puberty: body odour.

     

     

     

     

     

    All people eventually stink. Valar Stinkaeris. Nobody is going to smell like a bed of roses if you go a week without a good bath, which is normal. And then there are those particular people who smell like a skunk died in their body and was slowly rotting away all the while producing horrendous chemicals.

     

     

     

     

     

    Before we get to the bottom of the issue, let us discuss the issue itself.

    Sweat does not stink. Before you start side-stepping us, hear us out. It is not the sweat that smells, it is the breakdown of the protein in the sweat by bacteria that causes the smell. Apocrine glands in our body, which are activated after puberty, produce sweat which are high in protein. These are broken down by bacteria and releases the foul smell we recognize as B.O.

    Eccrine glands, on the other hand, produce salt-rich sweat, which cannot be broken down as easily by the bacteria. This is why sweat everywhere does not smell; only in certain parts of the body.

    In the animal world, this smell can be useful – for detecting predators, or for attracting mates. Some studies suggest that in humans too, pheromones are released along with sweat. However, civilization has made our natural ability to appreciate such smells disappear.

    If you smell bad temporarily, a good shower will solve your problem. Most people stink after they hit the gym. Just wash your gym clothes regularly and bathe after a good workout, and you’ll be fine.

    For people who sweat all day and start smelling bad during the course of the day, antiperspirants and deodorants can help. Always use antifungal powder or aluminum chloride based antiperspirants before leaving. Apply antiperspirants at night before going to bed to enhance the effect. Wear loose and comfortable clothing, go for cotton over other materials, and basically keep yourself comfortable.

    Now, if you have B.O. even after you shower, then it might suggest a deeper underlying problem that needs medical attention.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Sometimes, people don’t notice that they stink. We can’t blame them, it’s how the body works. The nose picks up smells only for a period of time. Beyond this, olfactory fatigue or adaptation takes place, which makes your nose insensitive to the same smell after a period of time. Often the person who stinks doesn’t notice the smell themselves.

    So instead of making a big deal out of it and holding your nose, or making fun of them, pull them aside and tell them. For all you know, you could even be saving their lives. Prolonged B.O. can be a symptom of various diseases and disorders like TMAU (Trimethylaminuria or the fish odor disease), advanced kidney and liver disorder, and diabetes, to name a few.

    A change in your diet can also help fix B.O. If you’re eating too much onions and garlic, the sulfur is going to reflect in your smell.

    Trim your underarm hair regularly. The bacteria live in your armpits, whether you like it or not. Letting hair grow is like giving the bacteria free accommodation at a five star luxury resort. The least you can do is making their living tough.

    Do keep in mind that genetics play a major role in determining B.O. too. If your whole family has the issue, address it as such, but it’s nothing to panic about.

    Bad physical appearances and bad B.O. can cause you to lose your confidence. Don’t let trivial issues bring you down. Go beat that bacteria and smell like the sweet summer of heavens.

    Facing skin or hair issues? We can help. With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you regular follow ups and answers to all your questions.

    Start your consultation

    03 Sep, 2017
  • The top things to know about body odour
  • Body odour can lead to many awkward situations. Read on to learn more about why it occurs and what you can do to keep it under control.

    In medical terms, body odour is the unpleasant fragrance caused by secretions from apocrine sweat glands and the action of skin flora. It is mostly physiological, and arises in the “axillary” or armpit region, feet, hair, areola, groin, navel, and other body surface areas. Having hair in the axillary region also diffuses the odours through hair follicles.

    Causes of body odour:

    1. Poor personal hygiene: Lacking good personal hygiene is the most common cause of foul body odours. Taking regular showers and cleaning the body washes away sweat and odour-causing bacteria. Sweat is odourless, but upon mixing with the natural flora present on the skin, it produces odour. Neglecting your personal hygiene promotes the growth of bacteria and diseases, which further leads to body odour.
    2. Stress: When you are stressed, sweat is secreted from apocrine glands, which are present in the armpit region and the groin. A milky fluid is released, which is odourless, until it combines with the skin flora. In a healthy, non-stressed individual, sweat is released by eccrine glands present on the surface of skin, and it evaporates into water and electrolytes, without producing any stink.
    3. Diet: Consuming a diet rich in sulfur, which is commonly found in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sprouts, garlic, and onion, can lead you to have body odour. These foods are broken down to malodorous compounds that circulate in the blood stream and are excreted via your sweat, urine and breath.
    4. Genetic influence: Genes are known to affect your body odour. In certain individuals, the ability to break down trimethylamine (TMA) is altered. These individuals suffer from a disorder called trimethylaminuria (TMAU) and have a fishy smell. An excess of TMA – which is found in choline-rich foods like eggs, beans, wheat germ, certain meats, and legumes – leads to body odour.
    5. Alcohol consumption: Alcohol is eliminated through the body via skin pores and breath, producing its characteristic odour. Excessive consumption of alcohol and its metabolism, leads to alcoholic ketoacidosis by over production of ketone bodies which causes you to have body odour.
    6. Diabetes and starvation: Untreated diabetes leads to diabetic ketoacidosis. Similarly, starvation causes starvation ketoacidosis. In both the conditions, there is an excess of ketone bodies in the bloodstream, which produces body odour.

    How to prevent body odour:

    1. Having excellent personal hygiene: Taking a shower once or twice a day washes away sweat and odour causing bacteria. Your body must be cleaned thoroughly but gently, without loofahs or washcloths that cause friction to the areas prone to sweat, like the axillary region. Anti-bacterial soaps must be used in the folds and sweat forming areas, as they wash away all the odour causing bacteria. After the shower, your skin must be pat dried. Odour causing bacteria colonises less on dry skin. The axillary region and groin area must be kept clean and hair in this area must be trimmed, to prevent accumulation of bacteria.
    2. Antiperspirants: Antiperspirants containing compounds like aluminium chloride reduce the production of sweat and also have a fragrance, contrary to deodorants and perfumes, which just have a fragrance to mask the odour. They must be used twice a day, to keep your perspiration in check. Always use alcohol-free antiperspirants to prevent any skin reactions.
    3. A clean wardrobe: Wearing clean, fresh smelling clothes prevents body odour, since they are not laden with sweat and odorous bacteria. If you have foot odour, clean socks must be worn at all times and anti-fungal foot powder can be used to control perspiration. Wearing natural fabrics, like cotton, provides more breathability to your skin, preventing sweat and growth of odorous bacteria.
    4. Diet: A diet rich in sulphur compounds, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic and onion, which are known to release odorous compounds must be avoided. Spicy foods such as chillies and hot peppers, which contribute to sweating must also be avoided. Caffeine also causes sweating, so make sure you consume it in moderation. A proper balanced diet must be consumed because undernourishment and starvation leads to starvation ketoacidosis and causes odour.
    5. Alcohol withdrawal: Alcohol must be avoided, because it is eliminated through the skin and mouth giving a lot of odour. Also, excess alcohol leads to ketoacidosis, which produces stench due to accumulation of ketone bodies.
    6. Treatment of underlying cause or disease: If your body odour is caused by an underlying disease, then that must be determined and treated. In diabetic patients, diabetes must be kept in control to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is an emergency situation, and a physician must be consulted in that case. A healthy, nutritious and balanced diet must be taken, to keep diabetes in check and also to avoid malnutrition. If there is any underlying cause of starvation or malnutrition, like anorexia or bulimia, a physician or counsellor must be consulted. In case of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) or TMAU (trimethylaminuria), make sure to visit a doctor.
    7. A healthy, stress-free lifestyle: Eradication of stress and anxiety reduces the amount of emotional sweating by the apocrine glands, which is responsible for the odour. Yoga, meditation, and exercising help in eliminating stress.

    Interested in getting help for skin and hair problems? With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you regular follow ups and answers to all your questions.

    Start your consultation

    27 Aug, 2017
    dry hair
  • 15 ways to get rid of dry and frizzy hair
  • Dry, frizzy hair is not just a hair “type”, but a symptom of unhealthy hair. Read on to find out why you might be experiencing dry hair, and how you can help fix it.

    Hair fibres, consist of three layers: the cuticle, the cortex and the medulla. When the outermost layer, the cuticle peels away, the hair’s ability to hold moisture is compromised leading to dry, frizzy hair along with split ends. Dryness of hair may also be an outcome of having a dry, flaky scalp.

    These are some of the reasons you might experience dry hair:
    · Washing hair too often
    · Using harsh shampoos
    · Exposure to sun, heat or pollution
    · Hot styling tools
    · Frequent blow drying the hair
    · Chemicals
    · Hormonal or age changes
    · Hot weather
    · Excessive brushing of hair when wet
    · Too many hair products

    There are various ways of restoring the health of your hair and protecting it from further damage, which include modifying hair care routines along with a change in diet and lifestyle.

    Here’s what you can different with your hair care routine:-

    1. Wash your hair less often:
    Washing your hair every day rips them off their natural oils and moisture. Hair must be washed 2-3 times a week to maintain their health.

    2. Wash your hair gently:
    Dry hair is fragile, prone to breakage and split ends if not handled well. While shampooing, care must be taken to gently massage your scalp with your fingers. Cool or lukewarm water must be used since hot water causes damage. Sulphate-free, frizz minimizing shampoo are your best friend and must be used for your hair.

    3. Condition your hair:
    Dry hair must be conditioned each time it’s washed. A good quality conditioner must be applied along the length of your hair and left in for the specified time before gently rinsing it off. For too dry hair, a leave-in conditioner must be considered.

    4. Drying your hair:
    After washing your hair, excess water must be gently squeezed out and your hair must be pat dried with a cloth or a cotton t-shirt instead of a towel. The filaments of the towel are too harsh and damage your hair.

    5. Air dry your hair:
    Air drying is the best way to naturally dry your hair. If at all a blow dryer is to be used, it must be kept several inches from your hair and used at a lower setting.

    6. Combing your hair:
    Dry hair must be combed with a wide toothed comb instead of brushing them to avoid added frizziness. Hair must be combed at the tips first, working your way up the roots to avoid tangles and breakage. In case of tangles, conditioners can be massaged into your hair. Fingers can also be used to gently work out the tangles.

    7. Deep conditioning:
    Deep conditioning your hair once a week can help restore moisture. A deep conditioner must be applied on your hair with your fingers and a wide toothed comb to coat your hair evenly. It must then be covered and left for an hour and rinsed out with a sulphate-free shampoo.

    8. Oiling:
    Various oils such as coconut oil, almond oil, castor oil, lavender oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, etc. can be used as a deep conditioner.The best way to use them is by massaging them into the hair an hour or so before hair wash. Oils can also be used to finish the hair towards the tips when the hair is too dry.

    9. Scalp massages:
    Gentle hot oil massages prior to hair wash are beneficial for dry hair. It also enhances the circulation and thus promotes hair growth.

    10. Protecting your hair:
    While going outdoors, it is essential to protect dry hair from damage by the sun or pollution, at all times. A scarf / hat / cap can help cover the head and protect it from harsh weather (extreme sun / wind). Hair can also be protected from chemicals while swimming by wearing a swim cap.

    11. Regular trims:
    Your hair must be trimmed every 2 or 3 months to get rid of the damaged ends and promote the growth of new healthy hair.

    12. Avoid heat, chemical treatments and too many hair products:
    Avoid heat, chemical treatments and too many hair products:
    Hot styling tools like straighteners, curling irons, blow dryers, hot rollers and chemicals like hair dyes, bleaches, hair colors, perms damage your hair. Hair styling products containing alcohol must be completely avoided, since they add dryness to the hair. Sulfate-free shampoos and silicone-free conditioners must always be preferred.

    13. Avoid tight hairstyles:
    Hairstyles like tight ponies, braids, weaves, etc. pull the hair causing breakage, hair fall and even bald spots. Tight hairstyles must be avoided and dry hair must be let loose.

    14. Diet and lifestyle changes:
    Eating a nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to having healthy hair. Consuming plenty of water and fluids keeps the body hydrated and prevents hair from drying. Having a diet rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, vitamin C and iron promotes hair health. Eggs, salmon, fish, nuts, pulses, leafy vegetables are great foods for gaining the earlier mentioned vitamins. Smoking should be avoided completely. Stress and anxiety also affect hair health. These can be managed by regular exercise, yoga and meditation.

    15. Hair supplements:
    In case of too dry and unhealthy hair, a dermatologist or a trichologist must be visited and hair supplements such as biotin, fish oil must be considered.

    Facing hair problems? With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you regular follow ups and answers to all your questions.

    Start your consultation

     

    20 Aug, 2017
  • Why you should never use fairness creams
  • Indians have always had a fascination with fairness. While in recent times more people have become aware of how wrong and potentially damaging this fascination is, for most Indians, fairness remains a mark of beauty and success. At Remedico, we reject this, and stand firmly against the idea that you need to be fairer to be look better.

    What is less discussed, is the potentially harmful health effects of these fairness creams.

    Why is some skin darker than others?

    Indians usually fall in the skin type 3-4 category, and we have an innate desire to be fairer than what we are.

    One tends to tan (or go slightly darker), when out in the sun, and especially without proper photoprotection like sunscreens. Getting rid of a tan and restoring a person’s natural colour is definitely possible, and protecting yourself from harmful rays is something that we always encourage.

    But making someone fairer than their actual shade isn’t possible with creams. Skin colour is a function of genetics, and it is the amount of pigment (called melanin) produced by your cells that give you your colour. The skin of the people descending from the tropics and closer to the equator (like Indians) has evolved to produce more melanin to protect itself from the sun, compared to the skin of the people whose ancestors lived further away from the equator. It’s as simple as that.

    Why you shouldn’t use fairness creams

    Promoting fairness through a tube is misleading, and can be dangerous – especially with over the counter (OTC) creams, whose contents are not mentioned. Below are some of issues that can arise:

    1. Some fairness creams have hydroquinone, which is a strong composition and ideally should only be used under strict guidance from a certified dermatologist. Overuse of this composition over a long period can cause ochronosis, which is a grey look to the skin, causing more pigmentation issues.
    2. Bleaching agents may be present which may give rise to skin irritation or hypopigmentation.
    3. Some OTC fairness creams can have steroids. Long-term and indiscriminate use of this is harmful for the skin. It can cause thinning of the skin and hypopigmentation if used for a long time.

    How you can improve your skin tone – safely

    There are, of course, certain medicated brightening and lightening creams (different from OTC fairness creams), which can help in removing excess tan and restoring an even, natural colour. But those products should only be taken if prescribed by a certified dermatologist, after assessing a patient’s condition and skin type.

    Remember, there is much more to good skin than colour, and there is nothing about fairness that is either more healthy or more desirable. At Remedico, we believe you should strive for healthy, glowing skin that makes you feel great, no matter the shade or colour.

    If you are experiencing excessive tanning, pigmentation, or just want clearer skin, consult a dermatologist online through Remedico from your phone in just 5 minutes. No appointments, no clinics. Easy.

    Start your consultation

     

    13 Aug, 2017
    Skin essentials
  • 10 Skin Essentials You Must Own
  • With the huge amount of skin care products available, it can be confusing knowing what to use. In this post, our dermatologists tell you their pick of the 10 essential items every person should own. Read on to find out more!

    1. Facewash

    You wake up in the morning, and you wash your face. Before you sleep at night, you wash your face. Instead of grabbing the nearest thing in your bathroom, it pays to use a facewash that’s suitable for your particular skin type and needs. Washing your face rids you of exfoliated skin debris, oil, and grime, and leaves the skin clean. Invest in one that’s ideal for you, and stick to it.

    facewash 2. Moisturiser

    Washing your face often, though essential, can leave your skin slightly dehydrated. Replenish your skin’s thirst by using the right moisturiser – as with your facewash, it’s important that you get the right advice and use one that’s suitable for you. If you have acne issues, avoid heavy moisturisers. If you have very dry skin, make sure to pick up a hydrating one. Supplying the skin with the goodness of moisture will keep it looking fresh and young.

    moisturiser

    3. Sunscreen

    An absolute must for everyone. Whether you get sun exposure or not, protection from UV rays with a sunscreen is an imperative part of any skin routine. Those pesky rays can reach you through clouds and windows, and are even reflected from snow! There is no escape. Prevent sun spots and photo aging by religiously using this product and your skin will thank you for years to come.

    sunscreen

    4. Lip balm

    Many of us love lipstick and lip gloss. While the colour and shine look great, it will work only if your lips are healthy and hydrated. Chapped, dehydrated lips make you look tired, and tempt you to keep licking them, which further dehydrates them. Use a rich and nourishing lip balm to rejuvenate dried lips. Putting some on at night just before sleeping is a good move to ensure they are soft the next day. And for the men who might think it’s unnecessary – you too should use lip balm, at least at night.

    lip balm

    5. Vitamin C

    If you’re looking to upgrade your routine, adding a vitamin C serum helps in brightening and rejuvenation. Applying it in the morning along with your sunscreen is a good idea. Vitamin C is photo-protective and anti-aging. While we chew our vitamin C tablets and drink it in various forms for our general health, add a serum to your daily routine to improve your skin’s glow.

    6. Make-up remover

    Water isn’t enough to remove make-up. Cleansing milk may not remove the particles sufficiently, and may in turn cause it to stick further to your skin. Make sure you’re using a non-oily make up remover if you’re acne prone. And always use one that’s friendly for your eyes, so they don’t burn while taking off kajal or eyeliner.

    7. BB cream

    If you want a “finished” look everyday, but don’t want to use heavy duty make up, a BB cream is a good alternative. It also acts as a mild sunscreen, since all BB creams have tint and give a smooth, non-“cakey” finish to the skin. BB cream is also good for those who get acne, as excess make up can clog pores and worsen pimples.

    8. Firming creams

    Aging is inevitable, and it can start showing as early as our 30s. Invest in a good anti-aging firming cream that you can use on your face as well as on your neck at least 2 or 3 times a week to keep the repairing process going, and slow aging down.

    9. Foot cream

    Being on your feet all day can take its toll. Skin thickening, and cracking of heels can be prevented by keeping your feet moisturised. Make sure you moisturise daily with special foot creams that can help get rid of the excess dead skin.

    10. Calamine lotion

    It’s always good to keep one handy in case of insect bites or random itches and hives. It helps to cool the skin down, and will give you initial relief of the itching until you can get a specific ointment or cream.

    To know what the best products are for you, nothing beats consulting a dermatologist. With Remedico, you can get advice from a certified dermatologist from your phone, and it takes just 5 minutes. Try us out today 🙂

    Start your consultation

     

    05 Aug, 2017
    Understanding dandruff
  • Understanding dandruff
  • Welcome to the latest in our series of blog posts covering various conditions so far. In our previous posts, we explored conditions such as acne, stretch marks, hair fall, and dark circles.

    In this post, we explore one of the most common conditions we encounter in our patients – dandruff.

    What is dandruff?
    Ever experienced those pesky white flakes when you run your fingers through your hair? Dandruff is a common nuisance. It consists of powdery dry loose flakes on the scalp, and is caused  by the fungus malassezia. This fungus is also responsible for the scaling and itching that you’ve definitely experienced if you’ve ever had dandruff yourself.
    In basic terms, dandruff is just excess scaling of the skin on your scalp. It can be the result of an oily scalp that’s not cleansed regularly, or an increase in the fungal counts on the scalp. While it can be controlled, it cannot be totally cured.
    Dandruff generally appears at puberty and is more severe in men than women, which means it has a hormonal component. Some people are just more genetically prone to it.
    It’s important to distinguish dandruff from other conditions which might look similar. A variety of skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis may present as dandruff but are much more than that, as they have an inflammatory component. They will therefore need more specialised treatment than only controlling the dandruff. Thus if you ever experience the symptoms of dandruff, it is important to get it checked by a dermatologist.

    How can I treat dandruff?

    There are a few things you can do to help control your dandruff. Stress is known to aggravate dandruff, so keeping it under control will help. Since oily scalp skin results in more inflammation, you should also avoid excessive oiling of your hair or keeping it overnight. Just leave the oil in for a couple of hours before washing it.

    Regular shampooing is important to get rid of the scales. For very mild dandruff, regular non-medicated shampoos will usually do the trick, but resistant dandruff needs a dedicated anti-dandruff shampoo with anti-fungal ingredients. Shampoos with zinc pyrithione and selenium sulfide also help in reducing scalp fungus. While you may get relief from your dandruff if you use these shampoos, it will often come back if you stop using them. Being regular with these products will ensure your dandruff stays in check.

    If your dandruff is associated with redness and a lot of itching, then it means some inflammation is present. In this case, using anti-inflammatory lotions for a few days to clear it, and then maintaining it using specific shampoos is the best way to go.

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your dandruff that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist from your phone. Fill up a 5-minute questionnaire, and we will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

     

    29 Jul, 2017
  • All about dark circles
  • This is the latest in our series of posts covering various skin and hair conditions. You can check our previous articles for information about hair fall, acne, and  stretch marks.

    In this post, we cover something that many of you have experienced – dark circles.

    What causes dark circles?

    Peri-orbital pigmentation (more commonly known as dark circles), is one of the most common skin problems encountered in India, particularly by girls and women.

    While the condition is usually hereditary, it can also develop or worsen over the years due to underlying health conditions, or for lifestyle reasons. Therefore you should be aware of what habits can contribute to your dark circles, and make sure you take the right steps to reduce them.

    Late nights, inadequate sleep, and strain on the eyes due to excessive use of gadgets are significant contributors. Rubbing of the eyes (often due to dryness) can also worsen dark circles. Those who are regular with their kajal -be careful! Make sure you remove the kohl from your eyelids before you hit the bed.

    Removing eye make-up should be done gently, with minimal rubbing. If you have sensitive skin or dermatoses (like seborrheic or atopic dermatitis, or allergic contact dermatitis), you may be prone to dryness, and especially so around your eyes. Not only does dryness give a brownish appearance to the skin but also makes it itchy. Rubbing and scratching it further contributes to the pigmentation.

    Dark circles can sometimes be a pointer to underlying hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism and insulin resistance, which will usually be picked up by your dermatologist. Those with a green or purple hue under their eyes may have vascular (blood-related) pigmentation. This is due to the prominence of superficial blood vessels under the thin skin in that area.

    Some people may get a hollowing and shadowing under their eyes due to the underlying skin becoming lax with age (this can also appear as wrinkling under the eyes). This can get deeper as you age and with loss of fat under the thin skin. Such patients can partially improve the appearance of their dark circles by the injection of fillers to reduce the shadowing.

    How can I treat my dark circles?

    The causes of dark circles can be many. The best way to treat them is to first determine the underlying cause, and get a prescribed treatment – all from a qualified dermatologist.

    Avoiding the practices that we mentioned in this post, using creams prescribed by a dermatologist, wearing sunglasses to get protection from the sun, and regular moisturizing with a hypoallergenic moisturizer will all help reduce the pigmentation around your eyes.

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your dark circles that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your dark circles from wherever you are, from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    21 Jul, 2017
    Hair fall feature
  • Understanding hair fall
  • In our previous blog posts, we have explored skin conditions such as acne and stretch marks. In this post, we take an in-depth look at hair fall.

    At some time or another, most of us experience hair fall. While the symptoms for many of us may be similar, it’s important to note that hair fall is not just one condition, but a term that includes several different medical conditions, all of which require proper diagnosis, understanding, and different forms of treatment. It’s critical to understand the underlying cause of your hair fall, so that the right treatment can be taken.

    We often hear many people say that hair fall is purely genetic which happens as you get older, and that there’s not much that you can do to treat it. This is absolutely not true! While age and hereditary factors definitely play a role, there is a wide variety of treatments available that can slow down or stop your hair fall, and in some cases even help with regrowing hair that you might have lost. Consulting a dermatologist as early as possible gives you the best chance of improving the quality and quantity of your hair.

    The types of hair fall we see most commonly are androgenetic alopecia (or loss of hair with age) and telogen effluvium (or active hair shedding).

    About androgenetic alopecia (AGA)

    Commonly known as male or female pattern hair loss, this is a genetically determined condition where your hair changes from regular hair to thinner, shorter hair. This leads to a decrease in the thickness and density of your hair. A family history of AGA (especially on your maternal side) will make it more likely that you will develop it.

    As the condition progresses, the “growth phase” of your hair gradually reduces, and the shedding phase increases, leading to your hair becoming shorter, and eventually the appearance of baldness. AGA is a common cosmetic disorder affecting both men and women, but is more commonly seen in men. According to statistics, almost 60% of men aged 30 to 50 years experience this condition.

    AGA starts gradually. Men usually start thinning in the temple area. It then progresses to the frontal forehead area and then the top of the head. Women start with a diffuse thinning of the crown, and progresses to a widening of the centre parting. Women do not experience loss of the frontal hairline, and usually experience gradual overall thinning rather than extreme baldness.

    There is a clear correlation between this type of thinning and the levels of the hormone DHT (dihydrotesterone). Testesterone and weaker androgens (male hormones) are converted to strong androgens like DHT at the skin level.

    hair photo

    The severity of your AGA is described different if you’re male or female:

    • There are seven grades of AGA for males. This ranges from minimal reduction in the hairline (grade 1), to only a narrow band of hair remaining (grade 7)
    • There are three stages of AGA for women. This ranges from thinning seen in the front part of the crown (stage 1), to an almost bald crown (stage 3)

    Once AGA sets in, maintenance of your hair is a lifelong phenomenon. The main goal is to prevent thinning and reversing the shrinking of hair.

    There are several medical treatments that are used to treat AGA:

    • The medication Minoxidil has been the mainstay of treating AGA. At least 6 to 9 months of continuous use is needed before you will be able to assess the results
    • Finasteride is a drug that helps inhibit the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Taken daily for 6 to 12 months, it can help to prevent progression of AGA. As with all medications, this drug should always be taken under medical supervision. It is also not advised for women who are pregnant, or for men or women who are planning a family.
    • Some women with polycystic ovaries or hormonal imbalances can also present with AGA, sometimes with facial hair. In that case, correcting the hormonal imbalance with certain oral contraceptive pills, or with anti-androgens can help. If you suspect that you might have PCOD or a hormonal imbalance, you should get yourself tested.

    3-6 months of continuous treatment to reduce hair fall, and 6-12 months to improve hair coverage are needed. If treatment is stopped, the hair fall can revert to its original level within 6-12 months.

    Hair fall treatments

    Medical management alone is a slow process. Moderate to severe AGA may require other procedures like mesotherapy and platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapies, in addition to oral and application medications. Mesotherapy can be done with rollers or devices, where hair restoration cocktail solutions are applied to the scalp. PRP consists of using the patient’s blood to stimulate growth factors.

    Hair transplant surgery can be done if the donor has sufficient hair. Several surgeries can be planned over time to achieve maximum response. Combining transplant with minoxidil and finasteride gives the best results.

    About telogen effluvium (TE)

    TE is a cause of hair shedding, where the hair is abnormally disrupted in its growing phase, and as a result goes through a phase of shedding. TE which lasts less than 6 months is termed “acute”, and anything longer than this is “chronic”. This type of hair loss does not result in balding.

    In acute TE, hair loss begins within 2 to 3 months of a triggering event. The most common triggering events are:

    • stress
    • states that cause fever such as tuberculosis, malaria, typhoid, surgery, crash diets, post-pregnancy, drugs with arsenic, and selenium
    • A deficiency of vitamins, zinc and especially iron
    • Thyroid problems. These can even become chronic if not corrected early enough
    • Inflammatory states of the scalp like psoriasis, eczema or dandruff. These irritate the hair follicles and can lead to shedding
    • Excessive hair treatments such as frequent use of heat, iron, hair colour. These produce stress on the scalp and hair follicles

    The causes for chronic TE (longer than 6 months) may be the same as the acute, but there is often also a recession of your hairline. Liver and metabolic illnesses, thyroid disorders, cancers, nutritional deficiencies, severe weight loss and various drugs can cause chronic TE.

    In terms of treatment, it’s important to do a thorough history with your dermatologist to identify the cause. Removing the underlying cause of shedding is an important first step. In addition, there are various hair vitamins containing biotin that can be taken as supplements for the hair. Many lotions and serums containing hair peptides, stem cells, caffeine can also help stop shedding and help stimulate hair follicles for growth and improvement in the density of your hair.

    How can I treat my hair fall?

    Since the loss of hair could be due to a number of possible conditions and many more underlying causes, it’s important that you get a diagnosis done by a trained dermatologist, who will also be able to prescribe the right treatments for you. But always remember – hair fall is not inevitable, and the sooner you take action, the better your results will be in improving your hair.

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your hair fall that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    14 Jul, 2017
  • Customer Success Stories: Rahul Goyal
  • In this blog post, we are happy to bring you a story about one of our recent customers, Rahul Goyal. Rahul came to Remedico for his acne problem, and was treated by Dr Abhishek Omchery.

    We spoke with Dr Omchery about his experience with treating Rahul.

    How would you describe Rahul’s condition initially?
    Rahul came to us with severe acne, with big treatment-resistant cystic acne, and swellings. Because of this, he was feeling frustration, low self-confidence and physical pain. He told us that his engagement was coming up in six weeks, and was very stressed that his acne would ruin this occasion for him. He of course wanted to look his best.

     

    What did you prescribe for him?
    Such cases need patience, both from the dermatologist and the patient. The patient must trust the dermatologist and follow the treatment that they prescribe. The dermatologist on the other hand must spend time counselling the patient and be available to answer the patient’s queries.

    I tailored a treatment plan for Rahul, looking at the severity of his acne and scars, along with his skin type. A combination of anti-acne antibiotics, retinoids, and creams were given. We were conscious of keeping his medications as low as possible (without compromising the effectiveness of the treatment), and minimising any side effects.

    How did Rahul’s condition change?
    Rahul did not see an improvement for about a week after his treatment was started. This is a normal phenomenon as medicines do take a little time to act. Patients tend to get frustrated when this happens and due to the desperation of wanting to get rid of such pimples, they end up either going to unqualified doctors, or combine illogical home therapies with prescriptions from multiple doctors to try to get rid of the acne lesions faster. This is a perfect recipe for disaster.

    Rahul showed perseverance by sticking to his treatment plan, and showed brilliant results after about 3-4 weeks. His wide grin in the post treatment photograph is evidence enough about his feelings.

     

    We were able to be there throughout the process to check on his progress, and to guide and support him, just like a friend would. This is the uniqueness of this platform. The patient feels secure since the doctor is available for regular follow-ups, and the Remedico platform makes it very easy to check in with the patient over time.

    I believe the best results happen when medicines are combined with compassion. I’m very happy to have helped Rahul get rid of his acne, and wish him well for his engagement and wedding.

    Like Rahul, you too can consult a dermatologist right from your smartphone, and experience the benefits of Remedico.

    Start your consultation

    08 Jul, 2017
    Dr Gaurangi
  • Meet our Doctors: Dr. Gaurangi Shrawat
  • In a previous blog post, we introduced you to Dr. Abhishek Omchery. In this post, we introduce you to another member of our panel, Dr Gaurangi Shrawat.  An experienced dermatologist, Dr Shrawat completed her MD with first division. Apart from practising as a clinician, she also enjoys teaching junior doctors, and is a prominent researcher.

    Q: What got you interested in pursuing dermatology?
    A: Dermatology is a vast field. It deals with the largest organ of the body and the complex interplay between skin and internal medicine. There are many skin diseases, and just by looking at a patient’s skin and hair, a dermatologist can tell quite a lot about a patient’s overall health.

    The field allows you to be a clinician, a surgeon, and a pathologist all in one day, and thus proves to be constantly challenging and rewarding.

    Q: What is your favourite area of dermatology?
    A: Clinical dermatology is what interests me the most. Most of the patients in this field suffer from chronic conditions, and this has a deep impact on their psyche. When these patients come back happy, it gives me a real sense of job satisfaction.

    Q: What has been the most interesting or unexpected aspect of practising dermatology?
    A: Finding out how important a role our skin plays in regards to our overall health. I frankly never knew the number of conditions related to skin and hair before I started learning about them.

    Q: What is the most important piece of advice you’d give to anyone out there to keep their skin and hair healthy?
    A: Stay happy, eat healthy is what works the best. I always tell my patients that it really helps to take care of your skin and hair from an early age.

    Patience is the key. Always consult a dermatologist, and avoid using over the counter products – expert personal advice about the right products and routine for you is the most worthwhile investment you can make in the health of your skin and hair.

    Q: How is Indian skin and hair unique?
    A: The Indian skin colours, and black, luscious hair are beautiful. The warmer skin colour acts as a natural protector from the sun, thus the conditions seen are different as compared to skin from other parts of the world.

    The care regimen is also slightly different for Indian skin and hair, as we age differently.

    Q: What do you enjoy about being on Remedico?
    A: I have really enjoyed being on Remedico. It is very convenient for patients. It also helps us as doctors to reach out to patients from various cities, and provide them with the right medical care.

    The most important part is that only well qualified doctors are included in the panel. A lot of expertise and effort have also been applied in in preparing detailed questionnaires about various conditions. It is an ideal platform making use of technological advancement in medical care.

    —-

    At Remedico, all the doctors on our panel are selected based on their medical knowledge, experience with treating a range of skin and hair conditions, and above all their strong desire to make an impact on their patients’ lives.

    Consult with one of our dermatologists today, right from your phone. Visit www.remedicohealth.com

    Start your consultation

    04 Jul, 2017
  • Customer Interview - Yash Chokhani
  • We spoke to Yash Chokhani, one of our recent customers about his experience with us. Here’s what he had to say –

    Q1). How did you hear about Remedico?
    A1). I heard about Remedico through a couple of my relatives.

    Q2). Did you have any doubts prior to consulting with a dermatologist online?
    A2). At first, before starting my consultation, I was wondering how a doctor would be able to treat me for my hair fall without seeing me. But my relatives had assured me this was a really thorough process.  After I started the questionnaire, I realised that everything about me is really being understood through the process.

    Q3). How did you find the process?  Were you satisfied with the treatment plan provided?
    A3). The process was simple and fast. It took just 1 day to get the treatment and for just Rs. 350, I was really happy! The follow ups have been super helpful too. After 3 months of treatment, the doctor adjusted my treatment plan based on my progress, and I’ve been seeing great results.

    Q4). What would you say stood out most about our service?
    A4). It’s saves money and time when compared to actually visiting a dermatologist’s clinic. I usually put off seeing a doctor over something like my hair because I barely get the time. But since it was possible to get the advice right from my phone without needing to go to a clinic and deal with traffic, this made it much easier for me.

    Q5). Are you noticing an improvement in your skin/hair condition?
    A5). Yeah, the quality and quantity of my hair has improved ever since I’ve been following the treatment plan prescribed by the Remedico dermatologists. Super happy with the results.

    Q6). Would you use Remedico again and would you recommend us to your friends and family?
    A6). Yes, definitely! I am also happy to recommend it to anyone I know who may need the help 🙂

    Like Yash, you too can consult a dermatologist right from your smartphone. Simply visit www.remedicohealth.com

    Start your consultation

    28 Jun, 2017
  • Understanding Acne - Part 2
  • In our last blog post, we focused on understanding the causes and extent to which acne can affect us. Since the cause of acne can vary from person to person, it’s important that your treatment is also personalised based on your unique skin and lifestyle.

    In this blog post, our dermatologists answer a few common questions you may have about treating and looking after acne.

    How does washing my face affect acne?
    Something as simple as washing your face with the right facewash will help, particularly in younger individuals with high physical activity. Oily skin needs to be washed more often, since the oil build up is quick.

    Rough handling or using scrubs and exfoliation aren’t usually needed, and can sometimes worsen inflammation. With the right face wash for your particular skin, gently washing your face at least twice a day – and once again if you’ve been sweating or exercising – is usually enough.

    Should I moisturise if I have acne?
    Sometimes washing with acne facewashes can leave your skin dry. It is important to not overload the skin with oily moisturizers that clog the pores – this can often lead to even worse acne.

    Opt for lighter hydrating products, which are ” non-comedogenic” or non-acne forming. Sunscreens also come in matte form, which prevent product pile up, but still provide adequate sun protection.

    It’s always advisable to make sure you get the right advice regarding which products to use, from a qualified dermatologist.

    Does my diet and lifestyle affect my acne?

    Newer studies show a direct correlation between what we eat, how it is metabolized, and how our lifestyle choices will impact our acne.

    Since acne has a hormonal aspect, it will always be affected by diet and metabolism. Adult acne is completely hormonal, and dependant to a great deal on lifestyle. Correction of PCOS (polycistic ovarian syndrome) is critical – it is often a major cause of acne in adults.

    Diet control and exercise will also help. If your acne doesn’t settle down through this treatment, it is imperative to do a hormonal check for imbalance (if you’re a woman), especially if the acne is associated with irregular menses, facial hair, or obesity.

    What medical treatment should I undertake?

    Medical treatment options for acne can be either topical (e.g. creams, lotions), or oral (tablets). Depending on the grade / severity of the acne, one or more treatment options can be combined:

    • Mild acne with only clogging, blackheads, and whiteheads will need topical treatment like bacteriostatic and anti-comedogenic agents like Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and topical retinoids
    • Moderate acne can be treated with topical antibiotics like clindamycin, dapsone and Benzoyl peroxide
    • Moderate to severe acne will often need additional oral antibiotics such as azithromycin, doxycycline and minocycline
    • Severe cystic acne requires longer courses of antibiotics and / or oral retinoids. It may also need procedures like drainage of cysts, steroid injections in the cyst or acne surgery for revision of scars
    Procedures like chemical peels, lasers, and lights can always be used in addition at any stage of acne, to improve the treatment.
     

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your acne that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    To better understand your acne condition and receive a personalized treatment plan, you can consult with a certified dermatologist right away, wherever you are, from your smartphone.

    Start your consultation

    17 Jun, 2017
  • Understanding Acne - Part 1
  • In our last blog post, we shared a few ways in which you can take care of stretch marks. Today, we shift our focus to another common skin issue that many of us face – acne, a.k.a pimples.

    Acne vulgaris, commonly known as “acne” is an inflammatory disorder of the pilosebaceous unit (a unit of the hair and oil glands). It is usually seen in adolescence or around puberty, when the oil glands get activated by hormones. However, acne is also experienced by many adults.
    Acne is is more common and more severe in males than in females due to androgens (male hormones). Genetic factors also play a role – if you have a family history of acne, you are more likely to experience it.
    What causes acne?
    Acne is caused by an increase in oil gland activity, combined with the effect of hormones, resulting in inflammation. Hormonal spurts during puberty is one reason that acne is very often seen in teenagers.

    Other factors can also aggravate or worsen acne:
    1. Hot and / or humid climates
    2. Oils or heavy creams, especially for acne-prone individuals
    3. Stress
    4. Diet. Foods that have a high glycemic load like simple carbohydrates, chocolates, and fried foods can contribute to acne
    5. PCOS. The hormonal effects of polycystic ovarian syndrome/disease can often cause acne in females
    How bad can my acne get?
    Acne usually occurs in areas with rich oil gland activity like the face, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms.

    There are four grades of acne:
    • Grade 1 consists of blackheads and whiteheads with occasional raised red eruptions
    • Grade 2 is similar to Grade 1, but with more inflamed red eruptions, some of which may be pus-filled
    • Grade 3 is similar to Grade 2, but with many pus filled eruptions, as well as nodules that can be felt deep in the skin
    • Grade 4 consist of nodules and abscesses along with scars
    Grade 3 and 4 are considered severe forms of acne.
    Do I need to treat acne, or will it stop on its own?
    While acne affects your appearance, it is not only a cosmetic condition. It is an inflammatory disorder with hormonal and metabolic implications, and if not treated in time can leave significant pigmentation (discolouration) and scarring that may be irreversible.
    Even though acne is usually self limiting and stops by a person’s early 20s, finding the cause and treating it is important to prevent or mitigate the pigmentation and scarring, as well as potential relapses as adult acne.
    How can I treat acne?
    In the upcoming Part 2 of our acne series, we will cover some common acne treatment options. Remember, however, that any treatment for acne should only be undertaken on the advice of a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult a dermatologist for your acne problems without having to visit a clinic. Our service is the fastest, easiest way to get healthy skin and hair.

    Start your consultation

    13 Jun, 2017
    Stretch marks
  • Taking care of stretch marks
  • Striae Distensae, more commonly known as ‘stretch marks‘, are scars in the deeper skin (or ‘dermis’) caused due to stretching. In medical terms, stretching can lead to the rupture of collagen which causes stretch marks to appear.

    How do stretch marks form?

    Most commonly, stretch marks are caused by changes in body weight that lead to the skin being stretched. This can be through weight gain, growth spurts (such as during puberty), muscle gain through weight training, and pregnancy (which also causes hormonal changes that can worsen stretch marks). Excessive use of steroids (oral or applications) can also cause stretch marks. If you have a genetic predisposition, then you are more likely to develop stretch marks.

    Stretch marks start out as red wavy bands (known as striae rubra), and later turn white in colour with a wrinkled appearance (known as striae alba) Stretch marks occur most commonly on the arms, thighs, back, shoulders (especially in weightlifters), and breasts and abdomen (especially in pregnancy).

    How can I prevent stretch marks?

    Stretch marks that occur due to natural processes (such as during growth spurts, pregnancy, and because of genetic tendencies) cannot be prevented.

    However keep in mind a few tips which can help you minimize stretch marks:

    • Avoid using oral and topical steroids unless prescribed by your doctor
    • Minimize drastic weight changes, and try to ensure any weight changes occur in a controlled manner. This gives the skin enough time to acclimatize, and reduces the intensity of any resulting stretch marks. The same applies to weight training – large, rapid increases in weights during training can put the skin through a lot of stress, leading to stretch marks
    • In all circumstances, hydrate your skin well with oils and moisturizers. This will prevent the scars from stretching further, and also improve their appearance.

    How can I treat stretch marks?

    Once they are formed, stretch marks cannot be completely reversed. However, some treatment options can improve the texture and lessen the appearance of stretch marks. For the best possible improvement in the appearance of stretch marks, treat them as early as you can. While they are in the red stage (striae rubra), the marks are still forming, and the scarring process is not complete.

    Treatment options for stretch marks can be both medical- and procedure-based.

    Applications like oils, topical retinoids, and scar creams help to improve the texture and tighten the skin of the scars. However, their penetration is limited and so is the potential improvement.

    Procedures such as chemical peels, pulsed dye, Excimer, CO2 lasers and radio-frequency technology can help further. Chemicals peel help with exfoliation as well as improving the texture of the scars. Sublative fractional resurfacing procedures using radio-frequency improve the collagen under the scars, thus reducing their appearance.

    If you have stretch marks, we suggest consulting a dermatologist to get your treatment started. With Remedico, all you have to do is answer a few questions, take some photos with your smartphone, and you’re done. From start to finish in as little as 5 minutes.

    Start your consultation

    02 Jun, 2017
  • Meet our Doctors: Dr. Abhishek Omchery
  • At Remedico, all the doctors on our panel are selected based on their medical knowledge, experience with treating a range of skin and hair conditions, and above all their strong desire to make an impact on their patients’ lives. 

    In this blog post, we introduce you to one of our doctors, Dr. Abhishek Omchery, formerly an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Bharti Hospital in Pune. Dr Omchery completed his MD in Pune, passing with first division.  He is also a published researcher, having written several articles for prominent journals.

    Q: What got you interested in pursuing dermatology?
    A: I pursued dermatology to understand the “largest organ of the human body”, which not only interacts with the external environment (keeping what lies beneath protected), but also has a profound effect on the human psyche due to an interplay in neurological and psychological factors. This fascinated me, and made me decide to choose this field.

    Q: What is your favourite area of dermatology?
    A: The most interesting areas for me are blistering diseases, psoriasis, vitiligo, acne, and hair disorders. Treating people chronically suffering from these diseases provides me the maximum satisfaction, considering how relieved they feel after treatment.

    Q: What has been the most interesting or unexpected aspect of practising dermatology?
    A: Something I’ve noticed while treating patients in the wards is that diseases tend to bring the patients and their family closer. It’s interesting how we’ve seen the dynamics of a family change, almost always for the better, and how everyone comes together to nurse their family member in such a time of adversity.

    Q: What is the most important piece of advice you’d give to anyone out there to keep their skin and hair healthy?
    A: I always advise 3 things:-

    i) Observe your skin but don’t become obsessed. Look for abnormal signs but don’t keep counting the precise number of acne / dark spots / fallen hair strands etc, unless your dermatologist advises you to specifically keep an eye on something. Yes, be alert, but being obsessed will just increase your stress levels, which may even worsen your skin or hair condition.

    ii) Follow a simple skin care regime. Cleanse, even if just with water, and keep it well moisturised. Do not waste your time and money applying ten different types of cosmetics throughout the day. It will do you more harm than good. Stick to products that are recommended by your dermatologist, and don’t experiment or self-medicate with non-prescribed products.

    iii) Your skin and your cousin’s / best friend’s / neighbour’s/ aunt’s skin are very different. Creams which suit them or which help in treating their acne are likely not going to suit you. These are medicines after all, and using a product prescribed for someone else will cause more harm than good.

    Q: How is Indian skin and hair unique?
    A: Other than biological differences, the beauty of Indian skin and hair is that we get to see a wide range of lovely colours and textures. Another interesting thing is how our ancestors have handed down simple DIY natural home remedies which can help with your skin care routine. This is quite unique to our Indian culture. An example, on a lighter note, is the haldi ceremony held before weddings!

    Q: What do you enjoy about being on Remedico?
    A: The first thing is, it has been designed keeping the patient’s hectic schedule and convenience in mind. Second, having a panel of only competent, registered dermatologists ensures both peace of mind and safety. Third, it provides patient with easy access to doctors, at the click of a button, anytime, anywhere.

    As a practitioner, I enjoy being able to reach out to many more patients, and provide them with reliable advice that they might not normally have the time or ability to access, at a very nominal cost. This is what makes Remedico unique for me.

    —-

    We want to revolutionize the whole experience of consulting a dermatologist. The traditional process can often be time consuming and costly. We have been working with several of India’s top dermatologists, such as Dr Omchery to come up with our unique and effective system.

    Consult with one of our dermatologists today, right from your phone. Visit www.remedicohealth.com

    Start your consultation

    29 May, 2017
    summer skin
  • Stay photoprotected this summer - choosing the right sunscreen
  • This is the third in our three-part series on taking care of your skin during summer. Our first post covered how summer heat affects your skin, and in our last blog post, we covered the importance of staying photo-protected. In this final post in our summer series, we cover something essential that we should all include as a part of our regular routine – sunscreen.

    What is sunscreen?
    Sunscreen consists of agents that alter the effect of UV radiation on the skin by reflecting or absorbing a part of the incident radiation.

    Summer Skin Remedico

    How do you choose the right sunscreen?
    SPF is a factor of sun protection – it indicates how much sun exposure we can take before our skin is vulnerable to photo-damage.

    While not providing protection against chronic photo-damage or UVA exposure, a sunscreen of SPF 15 will provide 94% protection against intense UV rays, one with SPF 30 provides 97% protection, and one with SPF 50 provides 98% protection. Ideally in summer you should use SPF50. SPF ratings higher than this don’t provide a significant increase in terms of protection.

    To ensure maximum effect, and to continue their photo-protective benefit, you must apply sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, and reapply it every 2 to 3 hours. Additionally, if you are going to be exposed to water, make sure to get an appropriate sunscreen. Water-resistant sunscreens will retain their SPF for up to 40 minutes in the water (great for if you’re going to paddle at the beach), while waterproof sunscreens will retain their effectiveness for up to 80 minutes in water (best for if you are going swimming).

    Types of sunscreen:

    Sunscreens can be organic (chemical) or inorganic (physical), specific for UVA or UVB, or combined UVA-UVB protection.

    Organic sunscreens are chemical agents that provide protection by absorbing UV rays. Inorganic sunscreens, also called sun blocks, are physical agents that scatter and reflect UV and visible light.

    Earlier formulations of sunscreen left a white screen on the skin, and people often avoided them for this reason. However, newer micronized formulations are available that do not leave a film on the skin, while at the same time providing protection against the sun’s rays.

    Sunscreen Remedico skin care

    Ideally, you should wear an inorganic / physical sunscreen if you are on holidays where you will have consistent exposure to the sun (to protect you from tan and sunburn), and an organic / chemical sunscreen for daily use, to protect you from the sun’s ageing effect.

    Why do we need to wear sunscreen indoors?
    As we mentioned in our previous post, photo-damage can occur even while you are indoors. Depending on how darkly tinted your windows are, it will absorb only some of the UV rays and visible light (darker tints absorb more of the harmful rays).

    Therefore it’s always advisable to wear sunscreen even while indoors, especially if you like natural light streaming through your home!

    Make sunscreen a habit
    To best protect your skin, use sunscreen on a regular basis, but make sure it is part of your daily routine during summer, whether you are indoors or out, at the office or at the beach.

    Have fun this summer and make sure your skin is summer ready!

    ———

    If at any time during this summer you are experiencing sunburn or any skin irritation, or simply want to consult a dermatologist online for any other reason – visit www.remedicohealth.com.

    22 May, 2017
  • Stay photoprotected this summer - the basics
  • This is the second in our three-part series on taking care of your skin during summer. Our first post covered how summer heat affects your skin, and in our third post we discuss how to choose the right sunscreen.

    Summer 2017 is here! While enjoying the outdoors with sports, beaches and holidays, you must remember to stay protected from the intense summer sun. Excessive sun exposure, especially between 10am – 5pm can potentially cause harmful effects on your skin.

    The spectrum of solar induced damage extends from non-threatening conditions like tanning of the skin, pigmentation, freckles, light eruptions and photo-ageing to more severe conditions such as sunburns, photo-toxic reactions, solar induced growths, changes in skin immunity, and even skin cancers.

    The sun emits various types of rays, including ultraviolet (UV) and infrared. To learn more about these, check out our previous blog post. In view of these, it is important to understand how to stay “photoprotected”.

    Natural Photoprotection:

    The ozone layer, along with clouds and pollutant matter in the sky scatter direct rays of sunlight, thus reducing their impact by the time they reach the surface of the earth and your skin.

    Darker skin tones tend to be more naturally photoprotected due to the increased melanin content in the skin.

    Enhancing your photoprotection

    Besides nature’s own ways of keeping your protected from the harmful rays of the sun, there are a handful of things you can do to provide yourself with additional protection.

    • Summer tends to bring out light clothes but when out in the sun, keep your skin covered up as much as possible. Darker and thicker – but comfortable — fabrics provide better protection.
    • Wear sunscreen, hats, umbrellas, scarves, and UV-protected sunglasses, as these are all photoprotective. (Follow our blog for more on sunscreen in our next blog post)

    Also, it’s important to keep in mind the following:

    • If you are reading this from up in the hills and mountains where there are cooler temperatures, you may assume that the summer sun does not affect you as much. However this is not necessarily true. In fact, the burning effect of the sun can be higher at greater altitudes, since light is not naturally scattered as effectively (we explained this scattering effect earlier). You should also note that if you are in very high altitudes, snow reflects large amounts of light from the sun, which can cause photo damage.
    • Similarly, you may assume that being indoors, you are completely protected. While we definitely recommend staying indoors in the middle hours of the day during summer to help minimize the harmful effects of the sun, you can still suffer damage. The sun’s rays are strong enough to hit you through your windows, especially when left open. You can minimize this by using translucent curtains in your home, and applying sunscreen, even if you’ll be inside all day. Tinted windows can also help with blocking UV rays, and darker tints are the most effective.

    Stay protected this summer, and keep your skin radiant and healthy. In case you experience any skin issues, or simply want more advice, visit www.remedicohealth.com and start your consultation now.

    11 May, 2017
    summerskin title
  • Is your skin summer ready?
  • This is the first in our three-part series on taking care of your skin during summer. In our other posts, we cover the basics of staying protected from the sun, and how to choose the right sunscreen.

    Taking good care of your skin is important throughout the year. However, special care must be taken now, as summer heat sets in. Exposure to the sort of heat we experience in India causes sweating, which can clog your pores, often causing your skin to look dull and oily.

    How summer sun exposure can impact the skin:

    UV light from the sun causes photo-ageing in the form of brown spots, coarse skin and wrinkles, whether you have burned your skin or not. When sunlight comes in contact with skin, a cascade of damage results (including the stripping of barrier lipids) causing inflammation, production of reactive oxygen molecules that affect healthy cell growth, and stimulation of collagen destructing enzymes.

    There are three types of UV rays:

    1. Ultraviolet A (UVA): The longest wavelength of the sun, this one penetrates the dermis, your skin’s deepest layer. Sun damage can activate free radicals and promote skin ageing.
    2. Ultraviolet B (UVB): This wavelength of rays penetrates the skin’s upper layer, the epidermis. These rays can cause sunburn, allergic reactions and skin cancers. Skin that has suffered sunburn – especially if the burns are painful – have a risk of developing melanoma (skin cancer) eventually with multiple episodes. Fair skin types are relatively more prone to develop sunburns, and therefore more prone to melanomas.
    3. Ultraviolet C (UVC): Generally these rays are filtered by the ozone layer. They are known to be the most damaging rays.

    Apart from UV rays, the sun also emits Infrared rays. Excessive exposure can negatively impact collagen and your immune system. Infrared rays can also come from sources of heat such as sitting too close to stoves and baking ovens.

    Note: the impact on fair skin tends to be greater as it contains less pigment. The pigment in the skin acts as a natural sunscreen, blocking some of the dangerous UVA and UVB rays.

    Summer skin

    How to stay protected from the summer sun:

    • It is advisable to stay away from direct sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun is almost directly overhead and UV radiation intensity is at its strongest. Stay in the shade as much as possible and wear protective clothing.
    • Wear plenty of sunscreen. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before stepping outside. You should also remember to reapply it after 3 to 4 hours, especially after contact with water, or if you are sweating. Shop for sunscreen that blocks against UVB and UVA rays.
    • Cold Showers: After being exposed to the sun all day, a hot shower could potentially further dry the skin. A cool shower after sweating helps keep the skin unobstructed, decreasing acne breakouts
    • Moisturise your skin: In the summer, it is tempting to ease up on moisturising because your skin may not feel as dry. However, remember that good moisturisers work gradually over time, and must be used consistently.  In case you do get a sunburn, we recommend acting fast and moisturising liberally, preferably with a lotion containing aloe vera. This will keep the burned skin well hydrated, and it will help to soothe the discomfort.
    • Wash your face correctly: Washing oily skin can be tricky. Not washing frequently enough can lead to an onslaught of clogged pores and acne. However, washing oily skin too often can lead to drying up of the skin. Try using blotting papers on areas where excess oil is an issue. Generally, washing your face 2-3 times per day during summer is advisable, but this may vary from person to person depending on the oiliness of your skin, outdoor activity, etc.

    summerskin

    Beyond direct skin protective methods, you can also make certain lifestyle adjustments that can help you maintain healthy skin through the season –

    • Drink lots of water: Drinking water regularly has great benefits. It has a direct impact on your body’s regular functions, as well as on the appearance and health of your skin. It is widely recommended that drinking a minimum of 8 glasses a day is necessary.
    • Don’t cheat on your sleep: Lack of sleep can result in higher levels of stress hormones, which may in turn slow the production of collagen in the skin. As mentioned, when our skin starts slowing down collagen product, it begins to lose elasticity and starts looking tired and worn.
    • Watch what you eat: Vitamin A rich vegetables like carrots, spinach have antioxidant properties, which help promote healthy skin. Go easy on the alcohol, and spicy and fried foods, as they all dilate blood vessels and compound your oily skin woes. If you are tempted, limit yourself to one drink a night, and eat spicy foods no more than once per week.
    • Avoid spraying perfume on your skin in the sun: The alcohol in perfume can irritate your skin when it reacts with the sun. Some people can also develop an allergy and rash which, can lead to pigmentation. Instead, try using your fragrance on your clothes instead of your skin.

    ———
    If at any time you do experience any skin or hair problems this season, remember getting expert help is a simple and quick process with Remedico. You can start your consultation immediately from wherever you are — answer a few simple questions, upload some images, and you’re done. From start to finish in as little as 5 minutes. You will then receive a personalised treatment plan and follow ups from our team to help you maintain glowing and healthy skin and hair throughout this hot season.

    If you have any additional thoughts, ideas or suggestions with regard to the content above or anything skincare related – do write to us. We are always excited to hear from all of you!

    20 Apr, 2017
    Ranjit Bhatia
  • Welcome to Remedico
  • Dear Reader,

    Thanks for visiting Remedico. We are thrilled that you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you with getting the best in dermatology advice, in a way that’s easy and convenient for you.

    We started this company because we truly believe that the current system can be improved with the help of technology. The difficulty associated with seeing a skin specialist (taking time out of your day for an appointment, traveling, waiting in the clinic) means that often people either – (1) spend hours on various medical sites and then self-medicate, leading to bad consequences, or (2) wait until the problem is so bad that they have no choice but to see a doctor, by which time the treatment required can be even more extensive and costly.

    In addition, once they leave the doctor’s clinic they often either forget to start their treatment, or drop off after a few days or weeks as their schedules get hectic. They end up feeling frustrated, and give up on being able to find a solution.

    At Remedico we have a better way. Instead of spending hours visiting a dermatologist, you can spend as little as 5 minutes answering some questions on your phone from your home, office or wherever you are most comfortable.

    Within 48 hours you’ll receive a comprehensive and personalised treatment plan from one of our dermatologists. They will explain in detail their diagnosis, general advice for how you can improve your skin and hair health, as well as as prescription and step-by-step instructions on what products and medications you’ll need to use.

    We’ll also stay with you throughout your treatment, with daily reminders, and regular follow-ups to help you get healthier skin and hair.

    While we are still a young company and early on in our journey, we have been overwhelmed with how positive the feedback has been from our doctors and users. The efficiency we can deliver, while providing supremely high quality service, means that we are well on the way to achieving our aim of democratising medical advice so that more people can access it, and making the advice and treatment more effective in achieving positive outcomes for our customers.

    I’d love for you to experience Remedico for yourself. Give it a try.

    04 Apr, 2017
  • How to get rid of acne scars
  • We’ve spoken about acne in our two part blog post in the past. This week we discuss acne scars and how you can get rid of them.

    Acne scars are the results of inflamed blemishes on the skin, which are left behind after the disappearance of pimple. They may be raised or flat and depressed. They are initially red in colour.  Acne scars are caused due to inflammation within the dermis due to the acne process which causes fibrosis.

    Minor scars heal quickly, but, the deeper ones can get infected further due to the engorgement of bacteria. This can lead to breaks in the wall and cause deep scarring, which is limited by newly formed collagen fibres. New collagen fibres are formed for the repair mechanism of the skin. But, the skin left behind by this process is not as smooth and flawless. There are three types of acne scars, based on appearance, icepick, boxcar and rolling types.

    Acne scars are usually asymptomatic and do not cause any loss of function. The appearance of these disfiguring lesions has psychological impacts and thus must be treated. Treatment is performed in order to get healthier and smoother skin, which is free of blemishes and scars. Treatment of the scars also promotes an overall healthier skin growth cycle.

    Following are the ways to improve the appearance of these disfiguring scars:

    1. Getting rid of your acne: The first line of treatment to get rid of acne scars is the treatment of present case of acne and prevention of any future acne scars. For this purpose, dermatologists prescribe topical creams and lotions like Benzoyl Peroxide and oral medications like Accutane to the patients. Medications must only be taken when prescribed by a professional dermatologist.
    2. Avoiding touching your acne: Avoid touching your acne as dirt and bacteria from your hands and fingernails can irritate the skin of the scar. Irritation of skin causes further infection and the inflammation will result in more scarring within the deeper layers.
    3. Avoiding sun exposure: Sun exposure can cause irritation of the scars, worsening the symptoms. It can also cause the skin to get tanned and appear darker in colour, highlighting the appearance of scars.
      Other than the above methods, which are basically aimed at avoiding the worsening of acne scars, there are various operative procedures, which are carried out by dermatologists to improve the appearance of scars and smoothen the skin. They are performed once the  acne is under control and there is no new acne.  One requires usually more than one kind of treatment for acne scars. Multiple sittings are usually required for this purpose, especially in case of deep acne scars. These procedures are known to improve the appearance of acne scars, however, they do not cause complete disappearance of the scars.

    These procedures are collectively called as skin resurfacing procedures which remove the damaged, scarred layers of skin to leave behind smoother skin which has a healthier growth cycle. Multiple sessions are needed for improvement .

     

    Available treatment modalities:

    1. Microdermabrasion: In this process, the dermatologist uses a fine instrument, like a fine rapidly spinning diamond wheel, wire or a brush, with a rough surface, to finely abrade or wear the skin. This removes the topmost scarred layer which gets replaced with smoother  skin as the healing process proceeds. Healing takes about 10 days to 3 weeks, and new skin is formed.
    2. Chemical Peel: Chemical products and acids are applied to the skin. You should have chemical peels professionally performed by a dermatologist. This procedure involves the application of chemical products to the skin, which cause exfoliation of the top layer of the skin.
    3. Laser therapy: Laser treatment is given by the dermatologist under local anaesthesia to remove the damaged top layer of the skin and tighten the middle layer. This procedure uses tiny beams of intense light which are targeted to the skin. It leaves behind smoother shallower scars.This procedure takes about an hour and the skin heals subsequently within 3-10 days. You need multiple sessions to see effects.
    4. Fractional Laser Therapy: Fractional laser therapy uses laser beams which are directed at a deeper, sub-surface level, as compared to the traditional laser treatment. This keeps the top most layer of skin intact.
      Since the topmost layer of skin is untouched and intact, the healing time is comparatively shorter in case of this therapy. It causes skin discolouration for a few days.
    5. Injections: In some cases, particularly with rolling scars, injections are given just underneath the scar. The injection contains products which elevate the level of scar and bring them at par with the surrounding skin. This improves the appearance of scars.If all the above measures fail to achieve the desired results and do not improve the appearance of scars, surgery and plastic resurfacing must be considered for deeply indented scars.

    A dermatologist through Remedico will be able to identify the cause for your acne even before you arrive at the problem of acne scars. Our online consultation process provides you with a detailed diagnosis, personalized treatment plan and any medicine prescription that you require. It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate. Only take medical treatment for your acne scars that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your acne and acne scars from wherever you are, right from your smartphone! All within 5 minutes! We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    21 Oct, 2017
  • Great skin starts in the gut
  • Food has a significant place in our lives because it is our primary source of nutrition. In this blog post we discuss how great skin starts in our gut.

    Diet is an essential factor in maintaining good skin health. Consuming a nutritious balanced diet, rich in all the essential components, along with ample amounts of water helps in keeping your skin healthy, soft and supple. A nutritious balanced diet keeps your skin moisturised and prevents dry skin and flakiness. In addition to this, it also delays the process of skin ageing and early appearance of wrinkles. A healthy diet also prevents the appearance of acne and inflammation.

    Following are the best foods for great skin:

    1. Proteins:-

    • Proteins contain essential amino acids which are not synthesised by the body and need to be acquired through your diet. They are present in milk and dairy products, like eggs, meat, poultry, fish, soy, tofu, etc. and must be consumed in right amounts, depending on individual’s weight, age and sex, to achieve healthy, radiant skin.
    • Proteins are the building blocks of the body and are essential for proper tissue growth, repair and regeneration.
    • They are also required for the synthesis of collagen, which keeps the skin firm and healthy, avoiding loose, saggy skin.

    2. Vitamins:-

    Vitamin C:

    • Vitamin C, which is present in citrus fruits and vegetables, like oranges, lemons, strawberries, bell peppers, etc. is a powerful antioxidant and protects the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals. This slows down the process of damage to the skin and the subsequent process of skin ageing.
    • Vitamin C also contributes to a stronger immune system which helps to prevent skin infections and blemishes.
    • It improves wound healing in case of any skin injury or blemishes.
    • Vitamin C also protects the skin from sun damage by harmful UV rays.
    • It also helps to produce collagen which keeps the skin tight and firm.

    Vitamin E:

    • Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant which protects the skin from ageing and damage in the same way, thus improving skin health.
    • It is present in foods like- almonds, avocados, pine nuts and various oils like- almond oil, sunflower oil, etc.

    Vitamin A:

    • Vitamin A, which is found in fish oil, salmon, carrots, broccoli, spinach, is essential for normal epithelialisation of skin.
    • In case of deficiency of this vitamin, the epithelial cycle would be disturbed leading to skin disorders like, eczema, psoriasis, etc.
    • Thus, vitamin A is essential for healthy development and maintenance of skin.
    • It also prevents acne, brown spots and wrinkles on the skin.

    3. Omega 3 and Omega 6  Fatty Acids:-

    • Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids belong to the group of essential fatty acids which are not synthesised by your body and must be acquired through your diet.
    • They are present in salmon, tuna, walnuts, flaxseed oil, fish oil, etc. and have anti-inflammatory properties, which prevents inflammatory conditions of the skin, like- acne and psoriasis.

    4. Fresh fruits and vegetables:-

    • Fresh fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants which protect your skin from free radicals, which are known to cause damage to your skin and speed up the process of ageing.
    • Thus, consuming a healthy diet consisting of 4-5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, in various colours helps in protecting the skin from the effects of ageing, and keeping it firm and healthy.

    5. Selenium:-

    • Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and is present in nuts, eggs, tomatoes, fish, broccoli, etc.
    • It protects your skin from sun damage, infections and inflammations.
    • It also slows down the process of skin ageing.
    • Selenium is also known to protect against skin cancer.

    6. Green Tea:-

    • Green tea contains catechins, which are powerful antioxidants and protect your skin from sun damage and the harmful effects of free radicals, which are known to hasten the process of skin ageing.
    • Having green tea helps reduce the redness and inflammation of the skin and also improve its hydration and elasticity.
    • However, it must be consumed without milk, as addition of milk is known to hamper these benefits.

    7. Olive oil:-

    • Olive oil contains powerful antioxidants, like, vitamin E, polyphenols and phytosterols, which protect your skin from the effects of damage and ageing.
    • It also moisturises the skin, keeping it soft and supple.

    8. Additional Tips:-

    • Consume lots of water: Consuming 8-12 glasses of water each day, keeps the skin hydrated and moisturised, which makes it soft, smooth and less prone to dryness, desiccation and flaking. Dry skin is more prone to infections as well as exhibiting of wrinkles.

    Water also helps in digestion, excretion and removal of toxins from the body, which makes the skin healthy and less prone to skin infections, like acne.

    • Avoid fad diets: Crash diets are often deficient in essential nutrients required by the body, which affects the skin health.

    Sticking to crash diets for long adversely affects the skin, causing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The skin also begins to sag down and becomes loose. Appearance of dark circles is also a common association.

    These effects are seen due to rapid weight loss and nutritional deficiencies due to following of fad diets.

    • Avoiding fried foods, junk foods and sugary stuff: Consumption of fried fast foods must be avoided, especially in people with oily skin. Such foods are known to increase the activity of oil glands which causes clogged pores, leading to acne.

    Consumption of foods with high amounts of sugar causes inflammation of the skin, which breaks down elastin and collagen, causing sagging and wrinkles. Thus, foods with excessive oils and sugars must be avoided in order to keep the skin healthy and radiant.

    When you consult with Remedico we help you find a solution for your skin type and lifestyle. Keeping a watch on your diet and eating healthy is a step towards attaining great skin.

    With Remedico, consult with a certified dermatologist for all your skin troubles right from your smartphone. It takes only five minutes to complete our consultation after which we will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    14 Oct, 2017
  • Everything you need to know about stretch marks
  • In our previous blog posts we’ve explored dermatological issues like hirsutism and skin growths. In this blog post we deep dive into the issue of stretch marks.

    Stretch marks are dermal scars caused by tearing of the dermis due to rapid distension or stretching of the skin. Stretch marks, or striae distensae, happens due to rapid fluctuations in weight or due to hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy or puberty. Once formed, stretch marks may gradually diminish in size, but they are not known to disappear completely.

    Prevalence:

    • Stretch marks are a common concern and can occur in anyone. Although, they have a strong female predilection and are seen in 40-90% of women, owing to hormonal factors.
    • They can occur at any age, when there is distension of skin, due to weight fluctuations, particularly a gain in weight. Sometimes, they can also occur due to rapid and quick weight loss.
    • They are occur most commonly during pregnancy and puberty, which are associated with hormonal changes, thus, occurring in about 40-90% of pregnant women (striae gravidarum) and 70% of girls during puberty.
    • In men, they occur due to rapid weight gain, owing to obesity or as a result of excessive weight lifting regimen in order to increase muscle mass rapidly, like in body-builders.

    Appearance, stages and symptoms:

    • They appear as reddish-purple, long, narrow and smooth streaks or bands, occurring particularly in the areas of body with excessive fat storage like, belly, buttocks, thighs, breasts, upper arm, under arms and back.
    • They arise in the dermis layer of the skin.
    • Gradually, the stretch marks begin to atrophy and lose their reddish-purple hue, fading down to whitish, pale or silver-coloured lines, which are soft and empty upon touch.
    • They visibly differ in appearance from the surrounding skin, and are thus an aesthetic concern for most people, causing emotional distress, especially in young women. However, they do not pose any medical threat to the person, and are completely asymptomatic. Though, they can sometimes cause an itching (or burning ) omit sensation, in some people.

    Causes:

    1.   Weight gain-
    • The primary reason for stretch marks is tearing of the dermis due to distension of skin, caused due to weight fluctuations and an increase in cortisone levels, which occurs in response to stress.
    • Higher cortisone levels are known to worsen the gravity of stretch marks by reducing the skin’s pliability. This occurs due to inability of fibroblasts to form collagen and elastic fibres, which help in maintaining the skin’s firmness. Thus, lack of supporting structures of skin, leads to dermal and epidermal tearing, which eventually leads to scarring.
    1.   Pregnancy-
    • In pregnancy, 50-90% of women are affected with striae gravidum due to sudden weight gain and hormonal changes. The more the weight gain and increase in BMI during pregnancy, the more is the risk of developing stretch marks. Higher neonatal birth weight also contributes to the same.
    • Striae gravidum develop due to tearing of the dermis, when estrogen and relaxin hormones combine with higher cortisol levels during pregnancy.
    • This softens the pelvic ligaments, making them flexible, which causes atrophy and loss of rete ridges, particularly in rapidly growing areas during pregnancy, like abdomen and breasts.
    • They are more common in first pregnancies and in women with lower maternal age.
    1.   Puberty-

    In puberty, the body goes through a lot of hormonal changes and rapid growth spurts, leading to the appearance of striae, which occur on breasts, hips and thighs for females, and shoulders and back in case of males.

    1.   Genetic  factors-

    Genetic  factors like genes, race, family history are also determinants in the appearance of striae.

    1.   Medical Conditions-
    • Certain medical and hormonal disorders, like Cushing’s Syndrome or Marfan Syndrome are also known to cause stretch marks.
    • In Cushing’s Syndrome, there is over-production of cortisol, leading to rapid weight gain, especially in abdomen, causing stretch marks to appear in that area. It also causes the skin to become thin and fragile, which makes it more susceptible to scarring.
    • In Marfan Syndrome, there is weakness and decreased elasticity of body tissues, which has the same effects.
    1.   Certain Medications-

    Prolonged usage of topical corticosteroid creams and lotions decreases collagen levels of the skin, leading to thinness of skin and a greater risk of developing stretch marks.

    Diagnosis:

    Stretch marks are easily diagnosed upon the observing the skin of the affected area. A history of weight gain or weight loss, or pregnancy makes the diagnosis clear.

    Stretch marks do not cause any medical threat, but they may sometimes be associated with an underlying medical disorder, like, Cushing’s Syndrome or Marfan Syndrome, which must be identified and treated first. It is always best to consult a dermatologist for stretch marks.

    Prevention and Treatment:

    • Stretch marks are not hazardous to health in any ways but the disfiguring scar is a cosmetic concern, which may cause emotional distress and depression, especially in women. Stretch marks must be taken care of and treated in such cases.
    • Stretch marks often fade away and diminish with time, though they do not completely disappear.
    • When associated with pregnancy, they diminish 6-12 months postpartum. Chances of developing stretch marks during pregnancy can be reduced by taking proper care of the skin during this period. 8-12 glasses of water must be consumed and anti-stretch marks oils and creams must be massaged into the skin, to keep it healthy and moisturised which prevents the development of stretch marks.
    • Almond oil, Tretinoin topical retinoid creams cream and Silicone gel are known to improve the disfiguring appearance of stretch marks.
    • Generally, consuming enough water and maintaining a healthy weight, along with a balanced diet is effective in preventing the appearance of stretch marks. Keeping the skin healthy and hydrated, and avoiding fad diets is also equally helpful.
    • Ointments, creams and gels are available for stretch marks shrinkage, which can be prescribed by the dermatologist.
    •  Surgical procedural methods, which include microdermabrasion and laser therapy, and radiofrequency for the removal reduction of stretch marks, are also known.

    A dermatologist through Remedico will be able to identify the cause for your stretch marks as well as provide you with a personalized treatment plan to reduce your stretch marks. It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your stretch marks that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your stretch marks from wherever you are, from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    07 Oct, 2017
  • Characteristics of common skin growth issues
  • Sometimes unexpected growths can appear on your skin. In this blog post we talk about characteristics of some common skin growth issues. If you see a growth that you haven’t always had, it is best to get it checked by a certified dermatologist.

    Skin is the outermost, soft layer covering the body. It protects the body from mechanical, thermal and electrical stimuli, and also carries the sensations of touch, heat, pain, temperature, etc. Skin is the most vital structure, subjected to all the aforementioned stimuli and thus, it is completely physiological for the skin to develop a variety of harmless outgrowths, as a defence mechanism or otherwise. But, these growths must be properly diagnosed and differentiated from their malignant counterparts, to rule out the risk of malignancy or any serious complications. A dermatologist must be visited for a proper diagnosis and evaluation, in case of encounter with any kind of outgrowths or swellings.

    Following are the most common skin growths seen:

    1. Moles or nevus: They are the most common benign  (disorders) lesions of the pigment-producing cells, melanocytes, with more than 10 million cases per year in our country. They are more common in fair skinned individuals, who can have 10-40 of them on their skin.

    Characteristics:

    • They may be present at birth, or may develop later in life, particularly during childhood or adolescence.
    • They may be flat or raised.
    • They grow in size as the individual ages.
    • They may darken or even lighten in colour, which is a physiological phenomenon.
    • Sudden appearance of multiple new moles in adults, or itching, bleeding and progressive growth of the nevus may be signs of malignant transformation and shouldn’t be ignored.
    1. Warts: They are a common skin growth, caused due to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV affects the top most layer of the skin, causing it to grow rapidly, thus forming a wart.

    Characteristics:

    • They can grow anywhere on the body, in variable shapes and sizes, and they rarely disappear on their own within a few months or a year. However, they have a high tendency to recur, because the virus has not been destroyed.
    • They may be flat and smooth or rough and raised.
    • They are usually painless and require removal as a treatment. It is advisable to get them treated so as to prevent transmission .
    • They are transmissible and can easily spread from one part of the body to another, or from person to person, by direct skin contact, or indirectly through clothing items, towels, razors, etc. Thus, care must be taken to not touch the lesion repeatedly, in order to avoid its spread. A duct tape can be used to isolate the lesion for this purpose.
    • If the wart is unusual, painful or spreading, the diagnosis needs to be confirmed with a biopsy, to rule out other more serious conditions and a dermatologist needs to be visited for the treatment of warts.
    1. Skin tags: Skin tags are small, raised flaps of tissue, which develop in the areas of the skin that rub against each other. They are attached to the skin by a connecting stalk.

    Characteristics:

    • They are completely benign, painless and asymptomatic, until they are irritated, like when rubbing against the skin, clothing or jewellery.
    • In case of pain or other symptoms, a dermatologist must be visited for the removal of skin tags, which can be done by radiofrequency, cryosurgery, electric surgery, or a simple excision with a scalpel or scissors.
    1. Seborrheic Keratosis: Seborrheic Keratoses are common skin growths. Their resemblance to warts or certain pre-cancerous lesions may make them look troublesome, but they are completely benign and harmless.

    Characteristics:

    • They are common in middle-aged or older individuals.
    •  They may be single or multiple, occurring anywhere on the skin, except palms and soles. They are most commonly seen on chest, back, head or neck.
    • They vary in appearance, texture and colour, for different individuals. They begin off as small, rough patches on the skin and proceed to develop a thick, wart-like surface. They are mostly tan or brown in colour, but their colour ranges from white, pale, yellow to black.
    • They are non-infectious and do not spread from person to person. However, a dermatologist must be visited to correctly differentiate and diagnose the lesion from other possible growths suspected.

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your skin growth that has been prescribed by a dermatologist. A dermatologist through Remedico will be able to identify what the growth is. This is very important, especially to rule out a serious underlying condition.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your skin growth from wherever you are, from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    30 Sep, 2017
  • Hirsutism: Excessive hair growth in women
  • In this blog post we explain hirsutism, the causes for it, and the treatment you can initiate if you have this issue.

    Hirsutism is an excessive, unwanted hair growth in areas where hair is usually not present in a female, owing to an underlying hormonal or endocrinal imbalance, especially after puberty. Hirsutism causes hair to grow in a male pattern distribution in a female. The hair growth in women affected by this condition is dark, thick and coarse. The areas in which the unwanted hair is present are- chin, jawline, upper lips, face, neck, chest, lower back and lower abdomen.

    Causes:

    1. Hormones: It is largely due to an increase in male hormones or androgens in a female. The androgens are normally produced by the female body, but in excessive amounts, they cause hirsutism. It may also be an outcome of absence of ovulation.
      • Ovarian cystsThe most common endocrine disorder causing this condition is polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD)Polycystic ovarian disease presents itself with obesity, acne, excessive body and facial hair (hirsutism), patches on skin, disturbances in menstrual cycle which include- irregular menstrual cycles, heavy menstruation or even amenorrhea, along with pelvic pain. Women affected with PCOD also have problems during gestation. PCOD may be due to genetic or environmental factors, other than obesity. It is closely associated with type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, sleep apnoea, mood disorders and endometrial cancer.
      • Cushing’s Syndrome: Another less common cause of hirsutism is Cushing’s Syndrome, caused due to high levels of stress hormone, cortisol, which is secreted by adrenal glands in the body. Excess cortisol is produced by the body in response to stress. It may also be produced in response to medications, like glucocorticoids or steroids.
      • Ovarian tumoursTumours in the adrenal glands or the pituitary gland and birth defects may also be a contributory factor to Cushing’s syndrome, causing excess of androgens.
      • Insulin: Low levels of insulin circulating in the blood, increase the risk of high blood sugar levels and obesity, which are both closely linked to polycystic ovarian disease and thus cause hirsutism.
    2. Genetic or familial: Many times there may be a family history of polycystic ovarian disease, which can cause hirsutism or there might be a genetic influence.
    3. Drug related: Usage of certain drugs interferes with the hormonal system of the body, which then causes hirsutism. The following are those drugs:
      • Minoxidil
      • Anabolic steroids
      • Phenytoin
    4. Idiopathic: Sometimes, the actual cause of hirsutism remains unknown, despite all the investigations.

    Diagnosis:

    Usually one would present with this condition in the view of a cosmetic relief. These women may be looking forward to a permanent hair removal and may have tried waxing, shaving, threading, epilatory creams or devices and plucking to get rid of the unwanted hair.These are temporary methods and the hair always grows back, pointing towards an internal cause that must be identified and treated before permanent hair removal. Laser hair removal may worsen the condition if the cause for excessive androgen production is not treated.

    Investigations include Ferriman-Gallwey score, to evaluate hirsutism on the amount and location of hair growth; blood tests for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin, androgens, testosterone as well as ultrasounds of the pelvic area and ovaries, to ascertain ovulation and the cause of the condition.

    Treatment:

    Depending on the cause, treatment must be initiated. In case of any underlying disorders like polycystic ovarian disease, Cushing’s Syndrome, etc treatment must be along those lines. The various treatment modalities are:

    1. Medications: 
      • Medications mostly include anti-androgens like: Spironolactone, Cyproterone Acetate, Flutamide, which control excessive secretion of male androgens in females.
      • In case of polycystic ovarian disease, which is the most common cause of hirsutism, it must be treated with medications specific to it, which include hormonal contraceptives, which are a combination of estrogen and progestin, and are a functional anti-androgen. Diet and lifestyle changes are also required to eliminate this disease, rooting to obesity.
      • If the cause of hirsutism is under production of insulin, like in a diabetic or obese individual, anti-hyperglycemics must be considered. Oral or injectable antihyperglycemics can be given to control diabetes, depending upon the blood sugar levels. Metformin is the most commonly used oral drug and it also helps to control hirsutism in addition.
    2. Diet and lifestyle changes: Consuming a healthy diet along with regular exercise, helps in weight management and controls obesity, which is the root cause of polycystic ovarian disease, which in turn is the most common reason for hirsutism. A healthy stress-free lifestyle is also equally important to maintain normal cortisol levels. This can be achieved by yoga, meditation and exercise.
    3. Permanent Hair Removal: Only when the excess androgen production is under control, the laser hair removal must be considered. Treatment of the internal condition is a medical necessity while hair reduction serves only the cosmetic purpose. But the psychological impact of facial hair can cause distress in many women. Laser hair reduction is the only way to get rid of the unwanted hair and treat the anxiety associated with it in women. It removes the unwanted hair by exposing them to light, completely destroying the hair follicles. It works in sessions in order to destroy hair follicles in all phases of its growth. A session can be undertaken every 4 to 5 weeks till the hair growth is reduced. 4 to 6 sessions are given, depending on the type of hair and skin colour. With every session, the hair gets thinner and lighter. This also works best for thick and dark hair. White, light coloured hair is not targeted by lasers.

    Do you have hirsutism? With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you regular follow ups and answers to all your questions.

    23 Sep, 2017
  • Oil, Sebum and Everything Wrong with Teenage Skin
  • For some people puberty is a blessing *cough* Neville Longbottom *cough*. But for most of us it’s just a big nuisance where we go from cute and sweet to awkward and unsure. With puberty comes the surge of hormones, and the many, many intricate issues of teenage life, most prominent of which is oily skin.

    The hormones released during our teenage years causes hyper-secretion of oil by our sebaceous or oil releasing glands. This causes our pores to get clogged; allowing bacteria to grow in them and thus causing breakouts, whiteheads and blackheads. Oily skin in general can be due to many reasons: genetic, hormonal, cosmetic or even diet based. Oily skin is marked by a thick, shiny complexion and larger pores.

    Removing all the oil from your skin is not the solution because oil is essential in keeping your skin healthy and waterproof. It is one of the primary defence systems of our body that keeps bacteria and other germs from entering our body directly. It is also a way to remove small amounts of excretory substances. Its varied functions makes it an integral part of having healthy skin. This needs to be kept in mind as people tend to over-do solutions leading to dry skin and other related issues.

    On a general basis, oil is more in the T-zone: forehead, nose and chin. Some people even get it on their cheeks. Each person’s skin is different and a dermatologist can tell you exactly what kind of skin you have and which zones of your face is susceptible to oily skin.

    Here are some tips to help reduce excess sebum production:

    1. Cleanse your face with a gentle foam based soap twice a day. Keep in mind, not to use an alkali based soap, because it will dry your skin right up. Washing more than twice a day will do the same.
    2. Use alcohol free toner on days you feel your skin is too oily. It will gently remove oil and traces of dirt from your skin and prevent your pores from getting clogged. It will also prevent bacteria from entering your pores. Apply it over your face and neck after washing your face with two dampen cotton balls.
    3. Exfoliate once or twice a week with a gentle scrub. It’ll help get rid of the outer layer of grease and oil. It will also help clear out the pores.
    4. Do not apply excess makeup. It will not allow your skin to breathe and cause more breakouts. It will also encourage blackhead formation.
    5. Use a water based makeup remover to remove all traces of makeup before going to sleep.
    6. Carry blotting paper to remove excess oil from your face during the day.
    7. Protect your skin from the sun. Use a light sunscreen when stepping out into the sun.
    8. Avoid dairy products, refined carbohydrates and saturated and trans fats. Keep your diet full of vitamins and enriching minerals.
    9. Drink LOTS of water. Stay hydrated all day through. This will help in the overall health of your hair and skin.
    10. Get a clear understanding on the reason behind the oil collecting over your skin. Consult a dermatologist to keep a check on your skin.

    Oily skin is an issue a lot of teenagers and even older individuals face. With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your oily skin from wherever you are, all from your smartphone. It takes only five minutes to complete our consultation after which we will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

     

    20 Sep, 2017
  • Effective ways to manage your oily skin
  • Oily skin affects people of all age groups, but teenagers experience it the most. The oiliness of your skin is influenced by genetics, hormones and lifestyle. In this blog post we discuss some effective ways to manage oily skin. 

    Sebaceous glands, present mainly in the skin of the face and scalp in humans, secrete an oily, waxy substance – sebum. These oily secretions moisturise your skin, protect it from desiccation, and also prevent premature ageing and wrinkles. However when skin becomes overly oily, this is a result of over-secretion of sebum from the sebaceous glands. It can cause clogged pores, acne and pimples, and can be troublesome. 

    Here are some ways you can manage your oily skin:-

    1. Washing your face regularly: People with oily skin type must wash their face at least twice a day. Washing off the excess sebum adds a freshness to your face. A mild face cleanser, containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or glycolic acid can be used depending on the skin type and needs. You should consult a dermatologist to know the right cleanser for you. Harsh soaps and cleansers must also be avoided, as they cause irritation to the skin, which further increases the production of oil.
    2. Using an alcohol-free toner: A few drops of toner can be applied occasionally. It should be dabbed on a cotton swab and applied only on the affected oily areas of the skin, and not to the whole face, this helps absorb excess oils.
    3. Use of blotting papers: Blotting papers are used to absorb excess oils quickly and effectively, and come in handy throughout the day. However, they just absorb excess oils and do not interfere with the skin’s oil production. They must be pressed against the oily parts of your skin and gently held for 15-20 seconds. Do not rub them into your skin, because this can cause the spreading of oil and dirt, which can cause infections.
    4. Using a mild moisturising cream: Even oily skin tends to get dry sometimes, and needs to be taken care of, to restore its health. Use of a mild, oil-free hydrating moisturiser in small amounts is recommended.
    5. Replacing old towels or face pads daily: Any towels or pads, used on the face, must be replaced each day, since they trap dirt, oil and germs, which might cause infection or irritation to oily skin, if used often.
    6. Cosmetic clays: Cosmetic clays are commercially available products, used to treat skin conditions. French green clay, being highly absorbent, absorbs excess sebum, and is used to treat oily skin and acne. It comes as a powder, which is formed to a paste consistency by adding water or rose water. It is then applied as a mask to the face and left undisturbed until dry. It is later removed with warm water, and pat dry.
    7. Diet and lifestyle changes: Excess sebum production is controlled by various methods but it cannot be treated completely if diet and lifestyle changes aren’t made. These include avoiding unhealthy fried foods, fast foods, limiting oil consumption and exercising regularly. Yoga, meditation and exercise help to keep stress levels in control, thus controlling excessive oil secretions.
    8. Avoiding heavy cosmetics: Use of heavy cosmetics can clog pores which can cause acne if you have oily skin. It also contains chemicals which might induce irritation of the skin, which in turn increases the secretion of oils.
    9. Visiting a dermatologist: If the problem of oily skin is persistent even after taking good care of your skin, a dermatologist must be visited. Various treatment options are available, depending upon the condition of the skin.
    • Topically applied creams: They are applied to the affected oily areas of the face with the help of a cotton swab to control oily secretions.
    • Laser treatment: Laser treatment shrinks pores and thus reduces oil secretions.
    • Oral medications: One such drug is Isotretinoin. It shrinks the oil glands and thus reduces the production of sebum. It should be taken only under the supervision of a registered dermatologist.
    • Chemical treatment: In this procedure called chemical peels, the top layer of skin is removed with the help of certain chemicals. It is used to treat acne, oily skin and skin damage. These should only be performed under the supervision of a registered dermatologist.

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take treatment for your oily skin that has been prescribed by a dermatologist. You can check our previous articles for information about hair fallacne, and  stretch marks. With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your oily skin from wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    15 Sep, 2017
  • 9 Tips for great skin this monsoon
  • Monsoon blues, as goes the term for the season of rains and drizzles, also holds right for all the skin problems caused in this season. Dull and damaged skin, prone to skin infections, is what monsoons give us with its excessive humidity.

    By amping up your skincare routine this monsoon, you can revert your skin to the healthy, nourished and glowing form it always had.

    Here are some steps to take care of your skin this monsoon:

    1. Consuming water and lots of it: Consuming at least 8-12 glasses of water is a must to keep your skin healthy and hydrated, in every season.
    2. Staying dry: Excessive humidity in monsoons takes a toll on your skin. You should try to keep your skin dry at all times. Umbrellas, raincoats, etc. must be carried along, to avoid an unexpected drench in the drizzles. Anytime you do get wet, you should take a shower immediately, to avoid the dirty, acidic rain water from settling on your skin and causing infections.
    3. Cleansing: Cleansing your face twice a day, with a mild cleanser is a must to get rid of all the bacteria, dirt and grime.
    4. Moisturising: Your skin needs moisture even when it’s humid outside. Investing in a good quality moisturiser goes a long way in having soft and smooth skin.
    5. Protecting: Sunscreen with a good quality SPF, protects your skin from damage. Sunscreens must be used even when the sky is overcast with clouds, because UV rays are still present and can damage your skin.
    6. Avoiding heavy cosmetics: Heavy cosmetics, makeup, bleaches, skin treatments, facials must be avoided in this season in order to protect the skin from damage.
    7. Eating right: A healthy, balanced diet is the key to healthy, glowing skin, in every season. A diet rich in proteins, Omega-3 fatty acids, like chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, etc. and Vitamins A, C and E is the best to have glowing skin.
    8. Nourishing skin masks: Use the right skin masks according to your skin type must to nourish the skin and keep it healthy. For dry skin, use glycerine to add moisture to your skin. For oily skin, masks made of milk, honey, chickpea flour can be used to get rid of excess oils. For mixed skin type, masks depending upon the present condition of the skin must be used.
    9. The right footwear: Wearing waterproof footwear in monsoons keeps your feet dry and protects it from any possible fungal infection due to the growth of microorganisms in the moist environment of the footwear. Choose a closed, waterproof footwear to take the best care of your feet in the monsoons.

    If at any time you do experience any skin problems this season, remember getting expert help is a simple and quick process with Remedico. You can start your consultation immediately from wherever you are — answer a few simple questions, upload some images, and you’re done. From start to finish in as little as 5 minutes. You will then receive a personalised treatment plan and follow ups from our team to help you maintain glowing and healthy skin throughout this wet season.

    If you have any additional thoughts, ideas or suggestions with regard to the content above or anything skincare related – do write to us. We are always excited to hear from all of you!

    13 Sep, 2017
  • Tips for healthy skin and hair this monsoon season
  • Monsoon, the season of rains, drizzles and greenery, is also the season for damaged hair and major hair fall due to the excessive humidity in this season.

    Monsoon causes hair to frizz, damage, fall and break and skin to become damp, which causes hair and skin problems. The outer layer of your hair, the cuticle is damaged due to high humidity in this weather. Thus the usual hair and skin care routine is not enough in monsoons and special care is needed.

    Hair care:-

    1.  Keeping your hair dry:

    Keeping your hair dry is essential as rain water is acidic and dirty and causes hair to frizz and dry out. That’s why, hair must be kept away from drenching in drizzles and downpours. Raincoats, caps, umbrellas, etc. must be used, if at all, one has to go outdoors in the rain.

    1.  Washing, drying and styling your hair:
    • Wash your hair twice or thrice a week with a mild, cleansing, shampoo to wash away any dirt or bacteria from rain water. This keeps your hair clean and free from germs and infections. It also keeps the scalp healthy, preventing it from being itchy, dry and sticky due to high humidity levels.
    • Always rinse your hair with cool or lukewarm water, since hot water damages them.
    • After washing your hair, it must be dried with a micro-fibre towel or a t-shirt, as it helps minimize friction between the hair and towel, reducing hairfall. It also absorbs water quicker. Avoid rubbing your hair roughly with a towel.
    • Your hair is already prone to dryness and damage in the rainy season, so a blow dryer must not be used at all and your hair must be air dried.
    • A wide toothed comb must be used to detangle and style your hair.
    • Tight hairstyles such as braids, ponytails, etc. must be avoided, as they damage the hair and cause them to frizz during this season. Hair must be let loose or gently tied to avoid hairfall due to traction.
    • Hot styling tools like curling irons or straighteners and hair colours must be completely avoided in this season.
    • A short, manageable haircut can be taken to take care of hair without any hassles.
    1.  Conditioning your hair:
    • A good quality conditioner must be applied along the length of hair to fight frizz, and to provide nourishment and strength. A wide-toothed comb can be used to spread the conditioner along the length of hair and then it should be rinsed off.
    • Leave-on conditioners can also be used for extra frizzy hair.
    • Natural products such as- eggs, yogurt, aloe vera, etc. can be used as hair masks and then rinsed with a shampoo. They provide extra nourishment to the hair.
    1.  Oil Massages:
    • Massaging your hair with various hair oils like- coconut oil, olive oil, lavender oil, jojoba oil, etc. is beneficial during this season. It adds moisture and strength to the otherwise dry hair caused due to humidity. It also deep conditions the hair.
    • Oils must be massaged very gently into the scalp and (left preferably overnight), kept for a couple of hours on the scalp followed by a rinse. This can be done once or twice a week.
    1.  Diet:

    Having a healthy, nutritious diet, rich in proteins, iron, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins helps in keeping your hair healthy and strong. Green leafy vegetables, eggs, salmon, fresh fruits and grains, walnuts, spinach, yogurt, are essential to hair health. Consuming 8-12 glasses of water a day keeps your hair hydrated and healthy.

    Skin care:-

    For Dry Skin:

    • Keeping your body hydrated by consuming 8-12 glasses of water each day helps to hydrate the skin and adds moisture to it.
    • Moisturising your skin frequently helps in keeping the outer layer of your skin healthy and hydrated, making it soft and supple.
    • Your skin must be kept clean. Use mild cleansers, instead of harsh soaps. Cleansing the skin removes dirt and bacteria and thus prevents any possible skin infections.
    • Alcohol based toners must be avoided, to maintain skin’s pH.
    • Sunscreen with a good SPF must be used to protect skin from damage.
    • Natural products like- rose water, glycerine, etc. can be used to keep the skin healthy, nourished and glowing.
    • Facials and bleaches must be avoided in this season.
    • Artificial jewellery must be avoided because it can be sensitive and irritant to dry skin.
    • Dry lips must be taken care of by moisturising or using lip balms or natural products like- milk cream.

    For Oily Skin:

    • Washing face 3-4 times a day helps to wash away sweat and extra oils off the face, but washing it too much may cause dryness. Cleansing also removes the bacteria and avoids any possibility of skin infections.
    • Gentle facial scrubs can be used to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. It removes dead skin cells and makes the skin healthy. Once or twice a week is more than enough.
    • Water-based moisturisers must be used to keep oil secretions in check.
    • Home remedies like milk, honey, chicpea flour can be used in the form of masks to get rid of the excess oils.

    For Mixed Skin type:

    •  Drinking lots of water helps to keep your skin  healthy and hydrated.
    •  Washing your face 2-3 times a day with an antibacterial cleanser keeps it clean, oil-free and prevents skin infections.
    •  Moisturize your skin regularly to keep it soft and supple.
    •   Your skin must be exfoliated from time to time to get rid of excess oils, dead skin and to unclog pores.

    Other Tips:

    •   Having a healthy, nutritious diet, along with lots of water, helps to keep your skin healthy and nourished.
    •   Waterproof footwear must be worn, to prevent bacterial and fungal infections due to growth of microorganisms in moist environments. Closed footwear must be avoided. Wash your feet as soon as you come home and make sure to dry them well.
    •  Skin must be kept clean to avoid skin infections and gentle pedicures must be taken regularly with clean tools, to keep the feet clean and healthy.

    If at any time you do experience any skin or hair problems this season, remember getting expert help is a simple and quick process with Remedico. You can start your consultation immediately from wherever you are — answer a few simple questions, upload some images, and you’re done. From start to finish in as little as 5 minutes. You will then receive a personalised treatment plan and follow ups from our team to help you maintain glowing and healthy skin and hair throughout this hot season.

    If you have any additional thoughts, ideas or suggestions with regard to the content above or anything skincare related – do write to us. We are always excited to hear from all of you!

    09 Sep, 2017
  • 5 Signs that you have body odour
  • It’s not uncommon to have body odour. However it is important to know when you do. In this post we discuss five signs that tell you that you have body odour.

    Often body odour throws off people, causing them to quietly leave your company or in some cases even run away with squeamish faces because they just can’t stand your natural smell. The fact remains that if you stink, others suffer more than you do.

    Here are some signs to tell you that you might have something fishy smelling about you:

    1. Nobody wants to hang out with you anymore
      Man might be a social animal; but put in some nauseating odours and it’ll make you want to stay in your room forever. If you stink, you’ll notice how people prefer to keep away; no more hugs and kisses, no more intimate talks cuddled up in a cozy place. You might even notice people gagging, or holding their nose. (Not that they would’ve wanted you to notice).If you are a victim to sudden isolation from humans you were otherwise close to, you must either be really rude, or really stinky.
    2. Somebody tells you
      Very few of us are lucky enough to have friends to say things out loud. Directly or indirectly, as long as someone suggests that you do not smell… nice, you might need to take adequate measures to fix it.
    3. Self-assessment
      Take off your clothes and stand under a fan until your nose is clear. Then take your clothes and sniff deeply. If your olfactory senses are even slightly active, you will be able to smell yourself. If you’re not happy with the smell? You need to look into ways to smell better. Smell yourself at random times during the day and use a good antiperspirant so that others don’t have to do the same.If you have a weird taste in your mouth, your breath probably stinks too. Breathe into your palm and smell your breath. If you want a more accurate test for bad breath scrape your tongue with a spoon and smell it. If it smells bad beyond a certain limit, you probably have bad breath. Brush your teeth, wash your mouth with a mouthwash or chew breath mints ASAP. Nobody needs to know what lies inside the deep dark cave of your mouth.If the room smells after you take off your shoes, your feet probably are the source. This rarely requires an outside source’s opinion. Smelly feet are not Happy feet, so make sure you get rid of it.
    4. Greasy hair
      If you haven’t washed your hair in a while and you’re losing friends, you need to run to the shower. Often our hair smells a lot more than our body, and we won’t realize it because it’s our own hair. Our hair extends out of our body and under others’ noses, so it carries smells away from us, but that’s just as worse. Run your fingers through your hair and make sure you don’t have greasy knots. Wash your hair regularly to keep away dust and dirt too.
    5. Timeline history
      What you did all day will tell you what you smell like. If you sit in a shiny squeaky office with AC it is unlikely that you develop bad odour as you don’t sweat. However if you work in a demanding environment, running around you might stink towards the end of the day. If you ate garlic or onions, your breath is going to stink, come what may. If you have been wearing the same socks for a week, your feet and shoes will stink. If you just got out of a high intensity workout session and didn’t shower, you probably stink. What you do effects what you smell like, be aware of such situations.Body odour is very embarrassing, but it can be fixed.  Make sure you know that you’re smelling. The first step to smelling good is knowing that you smell bad. So don’t sweat it!

      Facing skin or hair issues? We can help. With 
      Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you regular follow ups and answers to all your questions.

     

    06 Sep, 2017
  • Body odour: a foul enemy
  • Everyone remembers that ONE person in class who hit puberty and started to smell up the entire classroom. Aaaah, one of the many joys of puberty: body odour.

     

     

     

     

     

    All people eventually stink. Valar Stinkaeris. Nobody is going to smell like a bed of roses if you go a week without a good bath, which is normal. And then there are those particular people who smell like a skunk died in their body and was slowly rotting away all the while producing horrendous chemicals.

     

     

     

     

     

    Before we get to the bottom of the issue, let us discuss the issue itself.

    Sweat does not stink. Before you start side-stepping us, hear us out. It is not the sweat that smells, it is the breakdown of the protein in the sweat by bacteria that causes the smell. Apocrine glands in our body, which are activated after puberty, produce sweat which are high in protein. These are broken down by bacteria and releases the foul smell we recognize as B.O.

    Eccrine glands, on the other hand, produce salt-rich sweat, which cannot be broken down as easily by the bacteria. This is why sweat everywhere does not smell; only in certain parts of the body.

    In the animal world, this smell can be useful – for detecting predators, or for attracting mates. Some studies suggest that in humans too, pheromones are released along with sweat. However, civilization has made our natural ability to appreciate such smells disappear.

    If you smell bad temporarily, a good shower will solve your problem. Most people stink after they hit the gym. Just wash your gym clothes regularly and bathe after a good workout, and you’ll be fine.

    For people who sweat all day and start smelling bad during the course of the day, antiperspirants and deodorants can help. Always use antifungal powder or aluminum chloride based antiperspirants before leaving. Apply antiperspirants at night before going to bed to enhance the effect. Wear loose and comfortable clothing, go for cotton over other materials, and basically keep yourself comfortable.

    Now, if you have B.O. even after you shower, then it might suggest a deeper underlying problem that needs medical attention.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Sometimes, people don’t notice that they stink. We can’t blame them, it’s how the body works. The nose picks up smells only for a period of time. Beyond this, olfactory fatigue or adaptation takes place, which makes your nose insensitive to the same smell after a period of time. Often the person who stinks doesn’t notice the smell themselves.

    So instead of making a big deal out of it and holding your nose, or making fun of them, pull them aside and tell them. For all you know, you could even be saving their lives. Prolonged B.O. can be a symptom of various diseases and disorders like TMAU (Trimethylaminuria or the fish odor disease), advanced kidney and liver disorder, and diabetes, to name a few.

    A change in your diet can also help fix B.O. If you’re eating too much onions and garlic, the sulfur is going to reflect in your smell.

    Trim your underarm hair regularly. The bacteria live in your armpits, whether you like it or not. Letting hair grow is like giving the bacteria free accommodation at a five star luxury resort. The least you can do is making their living tough.

    Do keep in mind that genetics play a major role in determining B.O. too. If your whole family has the issue, address it as such, but it’s nothing to panic about.

    Bad physical appearances and bad B.O. can cause you to lose your confidence. Don’t let trivial issues bring you down. Go beat that bacteria and smell like the sweet summer of heavens.

    Facing skin or hair issues? We can help. With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you regular follow ups and answers to all your questions.

    Start your consultation

    03 Sep, 2017
  • The top things to know about body odour
  • Body odour can lead to many awkward situations. Read on to learn more about why it occurs and what you can do to keep it under control.

    In medical terms, body odour is the unpleasant fragrance caused by secretions from apocrine sweat glands and the action of skin flora. It is mostly physiological, and arises in the “axillary” or armpit region, feet, hair, areola, groin, navel, and other body surface areas. Having hair in the axillary region also diffuses the odours through hair follicles.

    Causes of body odour:

    1. Poor personal hygiene: Lacking good personal hygiene is the most common cause of foul body odours. Taking regular showers and cleaning the body washes away sweat and odour-causing bacteria. Sweat is odourless, but upon mixing with the natural flora present on the skin, it produces odour. Neglecting your personal hygiene promotes the growth of bacteria and diseases, which further leads to body odour.
    2. Stress: When you are stressed, sweat is secreted from apocrine glands, which are present in the armpit region and the groin. A milky fluid is released, which is odourless, until it combines with the skin flora. In a healthy, non-stressed individual, sweat is released by eccrine glands present on the surface of skin, and it evaporates into water and electrolytes, without producing any stink.
    3. Diet: Consuming a diet rich in sulfur, which is commonly found in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sprouts, garlic, and onion, can lead you to have body odour. These foods are broken down to malodorous compounds that circulate in the blood stream and are excreted via your sweat, urine and breath.
    4. Genetic influence: Genes are known to affect your body odour. In certain individuals, the ability to break down trimethylamine (TMA) is altered. These individuals suffer from a disorder called trimethylaminuria (TMAU) and have a fishy smell. An excess of TMA – which is found in choline-rich foods like eggs, beans, wheat germ, certain meats, and legumes – leads to body odour.
    5. Alcohol consumption: Alcohol is eliminated through the body via skin pores and breath, producing its characteristic odour. Excessive consumption of alcohol and its metabolism, leads to alcoholic ketoacidosis by over production of ketone bodies which causes you to have body odour.
    6. Diabetes and starvation: Untreated diabetes leads to diabetic ketoacidosis. Similarly, starvation causes starvation ketoacidosis. In both the conditions, there is an excess of ketone bodies in the bloodstream, which produces body odour.

    How to prevent body odour:

    1. Having excellent personal hygiene: Taking a shower once or twice a day washes away sweat and odour causing bacteria. Your body must be cleaned thoroughly but gently, without loofahs or washcloths that cause friction to the areas prone to sweat, like the axillary region. Anti-bacterial soaps must be used in the folds and sweat forming areas, as they wash away all the odour causing bacteria. After the shower, your skin must be pat dried. Odour causing bacteria colonises less on dry skin. The axillary region and groin area must be kept clean and hair in this area must be trimmed, to prevent accumulation of bacteria.
    2. Antiperspirants: Antiperspirants containing compounds like aluminium chloride reduce the production of sweat and also have a fragrance, contrary to deodorants and perfumes, which just have a fragrance to mask the odour. They must be used twice a day, to keep your perspiration in check. Always use alcohol-free antiperspirants to prevent any skin reactions.
    3. A clean wardrobe: Wearing clean, fresh smelling clothes prevents body odour, since they are not laden with sweat and odorous bacteria. If you have foot odour, clean socks must be worn at all times and anti-fungal foot powder can be used to control perspiration. Wearing natural fabrics, like cotton, provides more breathability to your skin, preventing sweat and growth of odorous bacteria.
    4. Diet: A diet rich in sulphur compounds, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic and onion, which are known to release odorous compounds must be avoided. Spicy foods such as chillies and hot peppers, which contribute to sweating must also be avoided. Caffeine also causes sweating, so make sure you consume it in moderation. A proper balanced diet must be consumed because undernourishment and starvation leads to starvation ketoacidosis and causes odour.
    5. Alcohol withdrawal: Alcohol must be avoided, because it is eliminated through the skin and mouth giving a lot of odour. Also, excess alcohol leads to ketoacidosis, which produces stench due to accumulation of ketone bodies.
    6. Treatment of underlying cause or disease: If your body odour is caused by an underlying disease, then that must be determined and treated. In diabetic patients, diabetes must be kept in control to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is an emergency situation, and a physician must be consulted in that case. A healthy, nutritious and balanced diet must be taken, to keep diabetes in check and also to avoid malnutrition. If there is any underlying cause of starvation or malnutrition, like anorexia or bulimia, a physician or counsellor must be consulted. In case of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) or TMAU (trimethylaminuria), make sure to visit a doctor.
    7. A healthy, stress-free lifestyle: Eradication of stress and anxiety reduces the amount of emotional sweating by the apocrine glands, which is responsible for the odour. Yoga, meditation, and exercising help in eliminating stress.

    Interested in getting help for skin and hair problems? With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you regular follow ups and answers to all your questions.

    Start your consultation

    27 Aug, 2017
    dry hair
  • 15 ways to get rid of dry and frizzy hair
  • Dry, frizzy hair is not just a hair “type”, but a symptom of unhealthy hair. Read on to find out why you might be experiencing dry hair, and how you can help fix it.

    Hair fibres, consist of three layers: the cuticle, the cortex and the medulla. When the outermost layer, the cuticle peels away, the hair’s ability to hold moisture is compromised leading to dry, frizzy hair along with split ends. Dryness of hair may also be an outcome of having a dry, flaky scalp.

    These are some of the reasons you might experience dry hair:
    · Washing hair too often
    · Using harsh shampoos
    · Exposure to sun, heat or pollution
    · Hot styling tools
    · Frequent blow drying the hair
    · Chemicals
    · Hormonal or age changes
    · Hot weather
    · Excessive brushing of hair when wet
    · Too many hair products

    There are various ways of restoring the health of your hair and protecting it from further damage, which include modifying hair care routines along with a change in diet and lifestyle.

    Here’s what you can different with your hair care routine:-

    1. Wash your hair less often:
    Washing your hair every day rips them off their natural oils and moisture. Hair must be washed 2-3 times a week to maintain their health.

    2. Wash your hair gently:
    Dry hair is fragile, prone to breakage and split ends if not handled well. While shampooing, care must be taken to gently massage your scalp with your fingers. Cool or lukewarm water must be used since hot water causes damage. Sulphate-free, frizz minimizing shampoo are your best friend and must be used for your hair.

    3. Condition your hair:
    Dry hair must be conditioned each time it’s washed. A good quality conditioner must be applied along the length of your hair and left in for the specified time before gently rinsing it off. For too dry hair, a leave-in conditioner must be considered.

    4. Drying your hair:
    After washing your hair, excess water must be gently squeezed out and your hair must be pat dried with a cloth or a cotton t-shirt instead of a towel. The filaments of the towel are too harsh and damage your hair.

    5. Air dry your hair:
    Air drying is the best way to naturally dry your hair. If at all a blow dryer is to be used, it must be kept several inches from your hair and used at a lower setting.

    6. Combing your hair:
    Dry hair must be combed with a wide toothed comb instead of brushing them to avoid added frizziness. Hair must be combed at the tips first, working your way up the roots to avoid tangles and breakage. In case of tangles, conditioners can be massaged into your hair. Fingers can also be used to gently work out the tangles.

    7. Deep conditioning:
    Deep conditioning your hair once a week can help restore moisture. A deep conditioner must be applied on your hair with your fingers and a wide toothed comb to coat your hair evenly. It must then be covered and left for an hour and rinsed out with a sulphate-free shampoo.

    8. Oiling:
    Various oils such as coconut oil, almond oil, castor oil, lavender oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, etc. can be used as a deep conditioner.The best way to use them is by massaging them into the hair an hour or so before hair wash. Oils can also be used to finish the hair towards the tips when the hair is too dry.

    9. Scalp massages:
    Gentle hot oil massages prior to hair wash are beneficial for dry hair. It also enhances the circulation and thus promotes hair growth.

    10. Protecting your hair:
    While going outdoors, it is essential to protect dry hair from damage by the sun or pollution, at all times. A scarf / hat / cap can help cover the head and protect it from harsh weather (extreme sun / wind). Hair can also be protected from chemicals while swimming by wearing a swim cap.

    11. Regular trims:
    Your hair must be trimmed every 2 or 3 months to get rid of the damaged ends and promote the growth of new healthy hair.

    12. Avoid heat, chemical treatments and too many hair products:
    Avoid heat, chemical treatments and too many hair products:
    Hot styling tools like straighteners, curling irons, blow dryers, hot rollers and chemicals like hair dyes, bleaches, hair colors, perms damage your hair. Hair styling products containing alcohol must be completely avoided, since they add dryness to the hair. Sulfate-free shampoos and silicone-free conditioners must always be preferred.

    13. Avoid tight hairstyles:
    Hairstyles like tight ponies, braids, weaves, etc. pull the hair causing breakage, hair fall and even bald spots. Tight hairstyles must be avoided and dry hair must be let loose.

    14. Diet and lifestyle changes:
    Eating a nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to having healthy hair. Consuming plenty of water and fluids keeps the body hydrated and prevents hair from drying. Having a diet rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, vitamin C and iron promotes hair health. Eggs, salmon, fish, nuts, pulses, leafy vegetables are great foods for gaining the earlier mentioned vitamins. Smoking should be avoided completely. Stress and anxiety also affect hair health. These can be managed by regular exercise, yoga and meditation.

    15. Hair supplements:
    In case of too dry and unhealthy hair, a dermatologist or a trichologist must be visited and hair supplements such as biotin, fish oil must be considered.

    Facing hair problems? With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, all from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours, and provide you regular follow ups and answers to all your questions.

    Start your consultation

     

    20 Aug, 2017
  • Why you should never use fairness creams
  • Indians have always had a fascination with fairness. While in recent times more people have become aware of how wrong and potentially damaging this fascination is, for most Indians, fairness remains a mark of beauty and success. At Remedico, we reject this, and stand firmly against the idea that you need to be fairer to be look better.

    What is less discussed, is the potentially harmful health effects of these fairness creams.

    Why is some skin darker than others?

    Indians usually fall in the skin type 3-4 category, and we have an innate desire to be fairer than what we are.

    One tends to tan (or go slightly darker), when out in the sun, and especially without proper photoprotection like sunscreens. Getting rid of a tan and restoring a person’s natural colour is definitely possible, and protecting yourself from harmful rays is something that we always encourage.

    But making someone fairer than their actual shade isn’t possible with creams. Skin colour is a function of genetics, and it is the amount of pigment (called melanin) produced by your cells that give you your colour. The skin of the people descending from the tropics and closer to the equator (like Indians) has evolved to produce more melanin to protect itself from the sun, compared to the skin of the people whose ancestors lived further away from the equator. It’s as simple as that.

    Why you shouldn’t use fairness creams

    Promoting fairness through a tube is misleading, and can be dangerous – especially with over the counter (OTC) creams, whose contents are not mentioned. Below are some of issues that can arise:

    1. Some fairness creams have hydroquinone, which is a strong composition and ideally should only be used under strict guidance from a certified dermatologist. Overuse of this composition over a long period can cause ochronosis, which is a grey look to the skin, causing more pigmentation issues.
    2. Bleaching agents may be present which may give rise to skin irritation or hypopigmentation.
    3. Some OTC fairness creams can have steroids. Long-term and indiscriminate use of this is harmful for the skin. It can cause thinning of the skin and hypopigmentation if used for a long time.

    How you can improve your skin tone – safely

    There are, of course, certain medicated brightening and lightening creams (different from OTC fairness creams), which can help in removing excess tan and restoring an even, natural colour. But those products should only be taken if prescribed by a certified dermatologist, after assessing a patient’s condition and skin type.

    Remember, there is much more to good skin than colour, and there is nothing about fairness that is either more healthy or more desirable. At Remedico, we believe you should strive for healthy, glowing skin that makes you feel great, no matter the shade or colour.

    If you are experiencing excessive tanning, pigmentation, or just want clearer skin, consult a dermatologist online through Remedico from your phone in just 5 minutes. No appointments, no clinics. Easy.

    Start your consultation

     

    13 Aug, 2017
    Skin essentials
  • 10 Skin Essentials You Must Own
  • With the huge amount of skin care products available, it can be confusing knowing what to use. In this post, our dermatologists tell you their pick of the 10 essential items every person should own. Read on to find out more!

    1. Facewash

    You wake up in the morning, and you wash your face. Before you sleep at night, you wash your face. Instead of grabbing the nearest thing in your bathroom, it pays to use a facewash that’s suitable for your particular skin type and needs. Washing your face rids you of exfoliated skin debris, oil, and grime, and leaves the skin clean. Invest in one that’s ideal for you, and stick to it.

    facewash 2. Moisturiser

    Washing your face often, though essential, can leave your skin slightly dehydrated. Replenish your skin’s thirst by using the right moisturiser – as with your facewash, it’s important that you get the right advice and use one that’s suitable for you. If you have acne issues, avoid heavy moisturisers. If you have very dry skin, make sure to pick up a hydrating one. Supplying the skin with the goodness of moisture will keep it looking fresh and young.

    moisturiser

    3. Sunscreen

    An absolute must for everyone. Whether you get sun exposure or not, protection from UV rays with a sunscreen is an imperative part of any skin routine. Those pesky rays can reach you through clouds and windows, and are even reflected from snow! There is no escape. Prevent sun spots and photo aging by religiously using this product and your skin will thank you for years to come.

    sunscreen

    4. Lip balm

    Many of us love lipstick and lip gloss. While the colour and shine look great, it will work only if your lips are healthy and hydrated. Chapped, dehydrated lips make you look tired, and tempt you to keep licking them, which further dehydrates them. Use a rich and nourishing lip balm to rejuvenate dried lips. Putting some on at night just before sleeping is a good move to ensure they are soft the next day. And for the men who might think it’s unnecessary – you too should use lip balm, at least at night.

    lip balm

    5. Vitamin C

    If you’re looking to upgrade your routine, adding a vitamin C serum helps in brightening and rejuvenation. Applying it in the morning along with your sunscreen is a good idea. Vitamin C is photo-protective and anti-aging. While we chew our vitamin C tablets and drink it in various forms for our general health, add a serum to your daily routine to improve your skin’s glow.

    6. Make-up remover

    Water isn’t enough to remove make-up. Cleansing milk may not remove the particles sufficiently, and may in turn cause it to stick further to your skin. Make sure you’re using a non-oily make up remover if you’re acne prone. And always use one that’s friendly for your eyes, so they don’t burn while taking off kajal or eyeliner.

    7. BB cream

    If you want a “finished” look everyday, but don’t want to use heavy duty make up, a BB cream is a good alternative. It also acts as a mild sunscreen, since all BB creams have tint and give a smooth, non-“cakey” finish to the skin. BB cream is also good for those who get acne, as excess make up can clog pores and worsen pimples.

    8. Firming creams

    Aging is inevitable, and it can start showing as early as our 30s. Invest in a good anti-aging firming cream that you can use on your face as well as on your neck at least 2 or 3 times a week to keep the repairing process going, and slow aging down.

    9. Foot cream

    Being on your feet all day can take its toll. Skin thickening, and cracking of heels can be prevented by keeping your feet moisturised. Make sure you moisturise daily with special foot creams that can help get rid of the excess dead skin.

    10. Calamine lotion

    It’s always good to keep one handy in case of insect bites or random itches and hives. It helps to cool the skin down, and will give you initial relief of the itching until you can get a specific ointment or cream.

    To know what the best products are for you, nothing beats consulting a dermatologist. With Remedico, you can get advice from a certified dermatologist from your phone, and it takes just 5 minutes. Try us out today 🙂

    Start your consultation

     

    05 Aug, 2017
    Understanding dandruff
  • Understanding dandruff
  • Welcome to the latest in our series of blog posts covering various conditions so far. In our previous posts, we explored conditions such as acne, stretch marks, hair fall, and dark circles.

    In this post, we explore one of the most common conditions we encounter in our patients – dandruff.

    What is dandruff?
    Ever experienced those pesky white flakes when you run your fingers through your hair? Dandruff is a common nuisance. It consists of powdery dry loose flakes on the scalp, and is caused  by the fungus malassezia. This fungus is also responsible for the scaling and itching that you’ve definitely experienced if you’ve ever had dandruff yourself.
    In basic terms, dandruff is just excess scaling of the skin on your scalp. It can be the result of an oily scalp that’s not cleansed regularly, or an increase in the fungal counts on the scalp. While it can be controlled, it cannot be totally cured.
    Dandruff generally appears at puberty and is more severe in men than women, which means it has a hormonal component. Some people are just more genetically prone to it.
    It’s important to distinguish dandruff from other conditions which might look similar. A variety of skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis may present as dandruff but are much more than that, as they have an inflammatory component. They will therefore need more specialised treatment than only controlling the dandruff. Thus if you ever experience the symptoms of dandruff, it is important to get it checked by a dermatologist.

    How can I treat dandruff?

    There are a few things you can do to help control your dandruff. Stress is known to aggravate dandruff, so keeping it under control will help. Since oily scalp skin results in more inflammation, you should also avoid excessive oiling of your hair or keeping it overnight. Just leave the oil in for a couple of hours before washing it.

    Regular shampooing is important to get rid of the scales. For very mild dandruff, regular non-medicated shampoos will usually do the trick, but resistant dandruff needs a dedicated anti-dandruff shampoo with anti-fungal ingredients. Shampoos with zinc pyrithione and selenium sulfide also help in reducing scalp fungus. While you may get relief from your dandruff if you use these shampoos, it will often come back if you stop using them. Being regular with these products will ensure your dandruff stays in check.

    If your dandruff is associated with redness and a lot of itching, then it means some inflammation is present. In this case, using anti-inflammatory lotions for a few days to clear it, and then maintaining it using specific shampoos is the best way to go.

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your dandruff that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist from your phone. Fill up a 5-minute questionnaire, and we will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

     

    29 Jul, 2017
  • All about dark circles
  • This is the latest in our series of posts covering various skin and hair conditions. You can check our previous articles for information about hair fall, acne, and  stretch marks.

    In this post, we cover something that many of you have experienced – dark circles.

    What causes dark circles?

    Peri-orbital pigmentation (more commonly known as dark circles), is one of the most common skin problems encountered in India, particularly by girls and women.

    While the condition is usually hereditary, it can also develop or worsen over the years due to underlying health conditions, or for lifestyle reasons. Therefore you should be aware of what habits can contribute to your dark circles, and make sure you take the right steps to reduce them.

    Late nights, inadequate sleep, and strain on the eyes due to excessive use of gadgets are significant contributors. Rubbing of the eyes (often due to dryness) can also worsen dark circles. Those who are regular with their kajal -be careful! Make sure you remove the kohl from your eyelids before you hit the bed.

    Removing eye make-up should be done gently, with minimal rubbing. If you have sensitive skin or dermatoses (like seborrheic or atopic dermatitis, or allergic contact dermatitis), you may be prone to dryness, and especially so around your eyes. Not only does dryness give a brownish appearance to the skin but also makes it itchy. Rubbing and scratching it further contributes to the pigmentation.

    Dark circles can sometimes be a pointer to underlying hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism and insulin resistance, which will usually be picked up by your dermatologist. Those with a green or purple hue under their eyes may have vascular (blood-related) pigmentation. This is due to the prominence of superficial blood vessels under the thin skin in that area.

    Some people may get a hollowing and shadowing under their eyes due to the underlying skin becoming lax with age (this can also appear as wrinkling under the eyes). This can get deeper as you age and with loss of fat under the thin skin. Such patients can partially improve the appearance of their dark circles by the injection of fillers to reduce the shadowing.

    How can I treat my dark circles?

    The causes of dark circles can be many. The best way to treat them is to first determine the underlying cause, and get a prescribed treatment – all from a qualified dermatologist.

    Avoiding the practices that we mentioned in this post, using creams prescribed by a dermatologist, wearing sunglasses to get protection from the sun, and regular moisturizing with a hypoallergenic moisturizer will all help reduce the pigmentation around your eyes.

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your dark circles that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist for your dark circles from wherever you are, from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    21 Jul, 2017
    Hair fall feature
  • Understanding hair fall
  • In our previous blog posts, we have explored skin conditions such as acne and stretch marks. In this post, we take an in-depth look at hair fall.

    At some time or another, most of us experience hair fall. While the symptoms for many of us may be similar, it’s important to note that hair fall is not just one condition, but a term that includes several different medical conditions, all of which require proper diagnosis, understanding, and different forms of treatment. It’s critical to understand the underlying cause of your hair fall, so that the right treatment can be taken.

    We often hear many people say that hair fall is purely genetic which happens as you get older, and that there’s not much that you can do to treat it. This is absolutely not true! While age and hereditary factors definitely play a role, there is a wide variety of treatments available that can slow down or stop your hair fall, and in some cases even help with regrowing hair that you might have lost. Consulting a dermatologist as early as possible gives you the best chance of improving the quality and quantity of your hair.

    The types of hair fall we see most commonly are androgenetic alopecia (or loss of hair with age) and telogen effluvium (or active hair shedding).

    About androgenetic alopecia (AGA)

    Commonly known as male or female pattern hair loss, this is a genetically determined condition where your hair changes from regular hair to thinner, shorter hair. This leads to a decrease in the thickness and density of your hair. A family history of AGA (especially on your maternal side) will make it more likely that you will develop it.

    As the condition progresses, the “growth phase” of your hair gradually reduces, and the shedding phase increases, leading to your hair becoming shorter, and eventually the appearance of baldness. AGA is a common cosmetic disorder affecting both men and women, but is more commonly seen in men. According to statistics, almost 60% of men aged 30 to 50 years experience this condition.

    AGA starts gradually. Men usually start thinning in the temple area. It then progresses to the frontal forehead area and then the top of the head. Women start with a diffuse thinning of the crown, and progresses to a widening of the centre parting. Women do not experience loss of the frontal hairline, and usually experience gradual overall thinning rather than extreme baldness.

    There is a clear correlation between this type of thinning and the levels of the hormone DHT (dihydrotesterone). Testesterone and weaker androgens (male hormones) are converted to strong androgens like DHT at the skin level.

    hair photo

    The severity of your AGA is described different if you’re male or female:

    • There are seven grades of AGA for males. This ranges from minimal reduction in the hairline (grade 1), to only a narrow band of hair remaining (grade 7)
    • There are three stages of AGA for women. This ranges from thinning seen in the front part of the crown (stage 1), to an almost bald crown (stage 3)

    Once AGA sets in, maintenance of your hair is a lifelong phenomenon. The main goal is to prevent thinning and reversing the shrinking of hair.

    There are several medical treatments that are used to treat AGA:

    • The medication Minoxidil has been the mainstay of treating AGA. At least 6 to 9 months of continuous use is needed before you will be able to assess the results
    • Finasteride is a drug that helps inhibit the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Taken daily for 6 to 12 months, it can help to prevent progression of AGA. As with all medications, this drug should always be taken under medical supervision. It is also not advised for women who are pregnant, or for men or women who are planning a family.
    • Some women with polycystic ovaries or hormonal imbalances can also present with AGA, sometimes with facial hair. In that case, correcting the hormonal imbalance with certain oral contraceptive pills, or with anti-androgens can help. If you suspect that you might have PCOD or a hormonal imbalance, you should get yourself tested.

    3-6 months of continuous treatment to reduce hair fall, and 6-12 months to improve hair coverage are needed. If treatment is stopped, the hair fall can revert to its original level within 6-12 months.

    Hair fall treatments

    Medical management alone is a slow process. Moderate to severe AGA may require other procedures like mesotherapy and platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapies, in addition to oral and application medications. Mesotherapy can be done with rollers or devices, where hair restoration cocktail solutions are applied to the scalp. PRP consists of using the patient’s blood to stimulate growth factors.

    Hair transplant surgery can be done if the donor has sufficient hair. Several surgeries can be planned over time to achieve maximum response. Combining transplant with minoxidil and finasteride gives the best results.

    About telogen effluvium (TE)

    TE is a cause of hair shedding, where the hair is abnormally disrupted in its growing phase, and as a result goes through a phase of shedding. TE which lasts less than 6 months is termed “acute”, and anything longer than this is “chronic”. This type of hair loss does not result in balding.

    In acute TE, hair loss begins within 2 to 3 months of a triggering event. The most common triggering events are:

    • stress
    • states that cause fever such as tuberculosis, malaria, typhoid, surgery, crash diets, post-pregnancy, drugs with arsenic, and selenium
    • A deficiency of vitamins, zinc and especially iron
    • Thyroid problems. These can even become chronic if not corrected early enough
    • Inflammatory states of the scalp like psoriasis, eczema or dandruff. These irritate the hair follicles and can lead to shedding
    • Excessive hair treatments such as frequent use of heat, iron, hair colour. These produce stress on the scalp and hair follicles

    The causes for chronic TE (longer than 6 months) may be the same as the acute, but there is often also a recession of your hairline. Liver and metabolic illnesses, thyroid disorders, cancers, nutritional deficiencies, severe weight loss and various drugs can cause chronic TE.

    In terms of treatment, it’s important to do a thorough history with your dermatologist to identify the cause. Removing the underlying cause of shedding is an important first step. In addition, there are various hair vitamins containing biotin that can be taken as supplements for the hair. Many lotions and serums containing hair peptides, stem cells, caffeine can also help stop shedding and help stimulate hair follicles for growth and improvement in the density of your hair.

    How can I treat my hair fall?

    Since the loss of hair could be due to a number of possible conditions and many more underlying causes, it’s important that you get a diagnosis done by a trained dermatologist, who will also be able to prescribe the right treatments for you. But always remember – hair fall is not inevitable, and the sooner you take action, the better your results will be in improving your hair.

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your hair fall that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult with a certified dermatologist wherever you are, from your smartphone. We will send you a personalised treatment plan within 24 hours.

    Start your consultation

    14 Jul, 2017
  • Customer Success Stories: Rahul Goyal
  • In this blog post, we are happy to bring you a story about one of our recent customers, Rahul Goyal. Rahul came to Remedico for his acne problem, and was treated by Dr Abhishek Omchery.

    We spoke with Dr Omchery about his experience with treating Rahul.

    How would you describe Rahul’s condition initially?
    Rahul came to us with severe acne, with big treatment-resistant cystic acne, and swellings. Because of this, he was feeling frustration, low self-confidence and physical pain. He told us that his engagement was coming up in six weeks, and was very stressed that his acne would ruin this occasion for him. He of course wanted to look his best.

     

    What did you prescribe for him?
    Such cases need patience, both from the dermatologist and the patient. The patient must trust the dermatologist and follow the treatment that they prescribe. The dermatologist on the other hand must spend time counselling the patient and be available to answer the patient’s queries.

    I tailored a treatment plan for Rahul, looking at the severity of his acne and scars, along with his skin type. A combination of anti-acne antibiotics, retinoids, and creams were given. We were conscious of keeping his medications as low as possible (without compromising the effectiveness of the treatment), and minimising any side effects.

    How did Rahul’s condition change?
    Rahul did not see an improvement for about a week after his treatment was started. This is a normal phenomenon as medicines do take a little time to act. Patients tend to get frustrated when this happens and due to the desperation of wanting to get rid of such pimples, they end up either going to unqualified doctors, or combine illogical home therapies with prescriptions from multiple doctors to try to get rid of the acne lesions faster. This is a perfect recipe for disaster.

    Rahul showed perseverance by sticking to his treatment plan, and showed brilliant results after about 3-4 weeks. His wide grin in the post treatment photograph is evidence enough about his feelings.

     

    We were able to be there throughout the process to check on his progress, and to guide and support him, just like a friend would. This is the uniqueness of this platform. The patient feels secure since the doctor is available for regular follow-ups, and the Remedico platform makes it very easy to check in with the patient over time.

    I believe the best results happen when medicines are combined with compassion. I’m very happy to have helped Rahul get rid of his acne, and wish him well for his engagement and wedding.

    Like Rahul, you too can consult a dermatologist right from your smartphone, and experience the benefits of Remedico.

    Start your consultation

    08 Jul, 2017
    Dr Gaurangi
  • Meet our Doctors: Dr. Gaurangi Shrawat
  • In a previous blog post, we introduced you to Dr. Abhishek Omchery. In this post, we introduce you to another member of our panel, Dr Gaurangi Shrawat.  An experienced dermatologist, Dr Shrawat completed her MD with first division. Apart from practising as a clinician, she also enjoys teaching junior doctors, and is a prominent researcher.

    Q: What got you interested in pursuing dermatology?
    A: Dermatology is a vast field. It deals with the largest organ of the body and the complex interplay between skin and internal medicine. There are many skin diseases, and just by looking at a patient’s skin and hair, a dermatologist can tell quite a lot about a patient’s overall health.

    The field allows you to be a clinician, a surgeon, and a pathologist all in one day, and thus proves to be constantly challenging and rewarding.

    Q: What is your favourite area of dermatology?
    A: Clinical dermatology is what interests me the most. Most of the patients in this field suffer from chronic conditions, and this has a deep impact on their psyche. When these patients come back happy, it gives me a real sense of job satisfaction.

    Q: What has been the most interesting or unexpected aspect of practising dermatology?
    A: Finding out how important a role our skin plays in regards to our overall health. I frankly never knew the number of conditions related to skin and hair before I started learning about them.

    Q: What is the most important piece of advice you’d give to anyone out there to keep their skin and hair healthy?
    A: Stay happy, eat healthy is what works the best. I always tell my patients that it really helps to take care of your skin and hair from an early age.

    Patience is the key. Always consult a dermatologist, and avoid using over the counter products – expert personal advice about the right products and routine for you is the most worthwhile investment you can make in the health of your skin and hair.

    Q: How is Indian skin and hair unique?
    A: The Indian skin colours, and black, luscious hair are beautiful. The warmer skin colour acts as a natural protector from the sun, thus the conditions seen are different as compared to skin from other parts of the world.

    The care regimen is also slightly different for Indian skin and hair, as we age differently.

    Q: What do you enjoy about being on Remedico?
    A: I have really enjoyed being on Remedico. It is very convenient for patients. It also helps us as doctors to reach out to patients from various cities, and provide them with the right medical care.

    The most important part is that only well qualified doctors are included in the panel. A lot of expertise and effort have also been applied in in preparing detailed questionnaires about various conditions. It is an ideal platform making use of technological advancement in medical care.

    —-

    At Remedico, all the doctors on our panel are selected based on their medical knowledge, experience with treating a range of skin and hair conditions, and above all their strong desire to make an impact on their patients’ lives.

    Consult with one of our dermatologists today, right from your phone. Visit www.remedicohealth.com

    Start your consultation

    04 Jul, 2017
  • Customer Interview - Yash Chokhani
  • We spoke to Yash Chokhani, one of our recent customers about his experience with us. Here’s what he had to say –

    Q1). How did you hear about Remedico?
    A1). I heard about Remedico through a couple of my relatives.

    Q2). Did you have any doubts prior to consulting with a dermatologist online?
    A2). At first, before starting my consultation, I was wondering how a doctor would be able to treat me for my hair fall without seeing me. But my relatives had assured me this was a really thorough process.  After I started the questionnaire, I realised that everything about me is really being understood through the process.

    Q3). How did you find the process?  Were you satisfied with the treatment plan provided?
    A3). The process was simple and fast. It took just 1 day to get the treatment and for just Rs. 350, I was really happy! The follow ups have been super helpful too. After 3 months of treatment, the doctor adjusted my treatment plan based on my progress, and I’ve been seeing great results.

    Q4). What would you say stood out most about our service?
    A4). It’s saves money and time when compared to actually visiting a dermatologist’s clinic. I usually put off seeing a doctor over something like my hair because I barely get the time. But since it was possible to get the advice right from my phone without needing to go to a clinic and deal with traffic, this made it much easier for me.

    Q5). Are you noticing an improvement in your skin/hair condition?
    A5). Yeah, the quality and quantity of my hair has improved ever since I’ve been following the treatment plan prescribed by the Remedico dermatologists. Super happy with the results.

    Q6). Would you use Remedico again and would you recommend us to your friends and family?
    A6). Yes, definitely! I am also happy to recommend it to anyone I know who may need the help 🙂

    Like Yash, you too can consult a dermatologist right from your smartphone. Simply visit www.remedicohealth.com

    Start your consultation

    28 Jun, 2017
  • Understanding Acne - Part 2
  • In our last blog post, we focused on understanding the causes and extent to which acne can affect us. Since the cause of acne can vary from person to person, it’s important that your treatment is also personalised based on your unique skin and lifestyle.

    In this blog post, our dermatologists answer a few common questions you may have about treating and looking after acne.

    How does washing my face affect acne?
    Something as simple as washing your face with the right facewash will help, particularly in younger individuals with high physical activity. Oily skin needs to be washed more often, since the oil build up is quick.

    Rough handling or using scrubs and exfoliation aren’t usually needed, and can sometimes worsen inflammation. With the right face wash for your particular skin, gently washing your face at least twice a day – and once again if you’ve been sweating or exercising – is usually enough.

    Should I moisturise if I have acne?
    Sometimes washing with acne facewashes can leave your skin dry. It is important to not overload the skin with oily moisturizers that clog the pores – this can often lead to even worse acne.

    Opt for lighter hydrating products, which are ” non-comedogenic” or non-acne forming. Sunscreens also come in matte form, which prevent product pile up, but still provide adequate sun protection.

    It’s always advisable to make sure you get the right advice regarding which products to use, from a qualified dermatologist.

    Does my diet and lifestyle affect my acne?

    Newer studies show a direct correlation between what we eat, how it is metabolized, and how our lifestyle choices will impact our acne.

    Since acne has a hormonal aspect, it will always be affected by diet and metabolism. Adult acne is completely hormonal, and dependant to a great deal on lifestyle. Correction of PCOS (polycistic ovarian syndrome) is critical – it is often a major cause of acne in adults.

    Diet control and exercise will also help. If your acne doesn’t settle down through this treatment, it is imperative to do a hormonal check for imbalance (if you’re a woman), especially if the acne is associated with irregular menses, facial hair, or obesity.

    What medical treatment should I undertake?

    Medical treatment options for acne can be either topical (e.g. creams, lotions), or oral (tablets). Depending on the grade / severity of the acne, one or more treatment options can be combined:

    • Mild acne with only clogging, blackheads, and whiteheads will need topical treatment like bacteriostatic and anti-comedogenic agents like Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and topical retinoids
    • Moderate acne can be treated with topical antibiotics like clindamycin, dapsone and Benzoyl peroxide
    • Moderate to severe acne will often need additional oral antibiotics such as azithromycin, doxycycline and minocycline
    • Severe cystic acne requires longer courses of antibiotics and / or oral retinoids. It may also need procedures like drainage of cysts, steroid injections in the cyst or acne surgery for revision of scars
    Procedures like chemical peels, lasers, and lights can always be used in addition at any stage of acne, to improve the treatment.
     

    It’s important to note that you should never self-medicate – only take medical treatment for your acne that has been prescribed by a dermatologist.

    To better understand your acne condition and receive a personalized treatment plan, you can consult with a certified dermatologist right away, wherever you are, from your smartphone.

    Start your consultation

    17 Jun, 2017
  • Understanding Acne - Part 1
  • In our last blog post, we shared a few ways in which you can take care of stretch marks. Today, we shift our focus to another common skin issue that many of us face – acne, a.k.a pimples.

    Acne vulgaris, commonly known as “acne” is an inflammatory disorder of the pilosebaceous unit (a unit of the hair and oil glands). It is usually seen in adolescence or around puberty, when the oil glands get activated by hormones. However, acne is also experienced by many adults.
    Acne is is more common and more severe in males than in females due to androgens (male hormones). Genetic factors also play a role – if you have a family history of acne, you are more likely to experience it.
    What causes acne?
    Acne is caused by an increase in oil gland activity, combined with the effect of hormones, resulting in inflammation. Hormonal spurts during puberty is one reason that acne is very often seen in teenagers.

    Other factors can also aggravate or worsen acne:
    1. Hot and / or humid climates
    2. Oils or heavy creams, especially for acne-prone individuals
    3. Stress
    4. Diet. Foods that have a high glycemic load like simple carbohydrates, chocolates, and fried foods can contribute to acne
    5. PCOS. The hormonal effects of polycystic ovarian syndrome/disease can often cause acne in females
    How bad can my acne get?
    Acne usually occurs in areas with rich oil gland activity like the face, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms.

    There are four grades of acne:
    • Grade 1 consists of blackheads and whiteheads with occasional raised red eruptions
    • Grade 2 is similar to Grade 1, but with more inflamed red eruptions, some of which may be pus-filled
    • Grade 3 is similar to Grade 2, but with many pus filled eruptions, as well as nodules that can be felt deep in the skin
    • Grade 4 consist of nodules and abscesses along with scars
    Grade 3 and 4 are considered severe forms of acne.
    Do I need to treat acne, or will it stop on its own?
    While acne affects your appearance, it is not only a cosmetic condition. It is an inflammatory disorder with hormonal and metabolic implications, and if not treated in time can leave significant pigmentation (discolouration) and scarring that may be irreversible.
    Even though acne is usually self limiting and stops by a person’s early 20s, finding the cause and treating it is important to prevent or mitigate the pigmentation and scarring, as well as potential relapses as adult acne.
    How can I treat acne?
    In the upcoming Part 2 of our acne series, we will cover some common acne treatment options. Remember, however, that any treatment for acne should only be undertaken on the advice of a dermatologist.

    With Remedico, you can consult a dermatologist for your acne problems without having to visit a clinic. Our service is the fastest, easiest way to get healthy skin and hair.

    Start your consultation

    13 Jun, 2017
    Stretch marks
  • Taking care of stretch marks
  • Striae Distensae, more commonly known as ‘stretch marks‘, are scars in the deeper skin (or ‘dermis’) caused due to stretching. In medical terms, stretching can lead to the rupture of collagen which causes stretch marks to appear.

    How do stretch marks form?

    Most commonly, stretch marks are caused by changes in body weight that lead to the skin being stretched. This can be through weight gain, growth spurts (such as during puberty), muscle gain through weight training, and pregnancy (which also causes hormonal changes that can worsen stretch marks). Excessive use of steroids (oral or applications) can also cause stretch marks. If you have a genetic predisposition, then you are more likely to develop stretch marks.

    Stretch marks start out as red wavy bands (known as striae rubra), and later turn white in colour with a wrinkled appearance (known as striae alba) Stretch marks occur most commonly on the arms, thighs, back, shoulders (especially in weightlifters), and breasts and abdomen (especially in pregnancy).

    How can I prevent stretch marks?

    Stretch marks that occur due to natural processes (such as during growth spurts, pregnancy, and because of genetic tendencies) cannot be prevented.

    However keep in mind a few tips which can help you minimize stretch marks:

    • Avoid using oral and topical steroids unless prescribed by your doctor
    • Minimize drastic weight changes, and try to ensure any weight changes occur in a controlled manner. This gives the skin enough time to acclimatize, and reduces the intensity of any resulting stretch marks. The same applies to weight training – large, rapid increases in weights during training can put the skin through a lot of stress, leading to stretch marks
    • In all circumstances, hydrate your skin well with oils and moisturizers. This will prevent the scars from stretching further, and also improve their appearance.

    How can I treat stretch marks?

    Once they are formed, stretch marks cannot be completely reversed. However, some treatment options can improve the texture and lessen the appearance of stretch marks. For the best possible improvement in the appearance of stretch marks, treat them as early as you can. While they are in the red stage (striae rubra), the marks are still forming, and the scarring process is not complete.

    Treatment options for stretch marks can be both medical- and procedure-based.

    Applications like oils, topical retinoids, and scar creams help to improve the texture and tighten the skin of the scars. However, their penetration is limited and so is the potential improvement.

    Procedures such as chemical peels, pulsed dye, Excimer, CO2 lasers and radio-frequency technology can help further. Chemicals peel help with exfoliation as well as improving the texture of the scars. Sublative fractional resurfacing procedures using radio-frequency improve the collagen under the scars, thus reducing their appearance.

    If you have stretch marks, we suggest consulting a dermatologist to get your treatment started. With Remedico, all you have to do is answer a few questions, take some photos with your smartphone, and you’re done. From start to finish in as little as 5 minutes.

    Start your consultation

    02 Jun, 2017
  • Meet our Doctors: Dr. Abhishek Omchery
  • At Remedico, all the doctors on our panel are selected based on their medical knowledge, experience with treating a range of skin and hair conditions, and above all their strong desire to make an impact on their patients’ lives. 

    In this blog post, we introduce you to one of our doctors, Dr. Abhishek Omchery, formerly an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Bharti Hospital in Pune. Dr Omchery completed his MD in Pune, passing with first division.  He is also a published researcher, having written several articles for prominent journals.

    Q: What got you interested in pursuing dermatology?
    A: I pursued dermatology to understand the “largest organ of the human body”, which not only interacts with the external environment (keeping what lies beneath protected), but also has a profound effect on the human psyche due to an interplay in neurological and psychological factors. This fascinated me, and made me decide to choose this field.

    Q: What is your favourite area of dermatology?
    A: The most interesting areas for me are blistering diseases, psoriasis, vitiligo, acne, and hair disorders. Treating people chronically suffering from these diseases provides me the maximum satisfaction, considering how relieved they feel after treatment.

    Q: What has been the most interesting or unexpected aspect of practising dermatology?
    A: Something I’ve noticed while treating patients in the wards is that diseases tend to bring the patients and their family closer. It’s interesting how we’ve seen the dynamics of a family change, almost always for the better, and how everyone comes together to nurse their family member in such a time of adversity.

    Q: What is the most important piece of advice you’d give to anyone out there to keep their skin and hair healthy?
    A: I always advise 3 things:-

    i) Observe your skin but don’t become obsessed. Look for abnormal signs but don’t keep counting the precise number of acne / dark spots / fallen hair strands etc, unless your dermatologist advises you to specifically keep an eye on something. Yes, be alert, but being obsessed will just increase your stress levels, which may even worsen your skin or hair condition.

    ii) Follow a simple skin care regime. Cleanse, even if just with water, and keep it well moisturised. Do not waste your time and money applying ten different types of cosmetics throughout the day. It will do you more harm than good. Stick to products that are recommended by your dermatologist, and don’t experiment or self-medicate with non-prescribed products.

    iii) Your skin and your cousin’s / best friend’s / neighbour’s/ aunt’s skin are very different. Creams which suit them or which help in treating their acne are likely not going to suit you. These are medicines after all, and using a product prescribed for someone else will cause more harm than good.

    Q: How is Indian skin and hair unique?
    A: Other than biological differences, the beauty of Indian skin and hair is that we get to see a wide range of lovely colours and textures. Another interesting thing is how our ancestors have handed down simple DIY natural home remedies which can help with your skin care routine. This is quite unique to our Indian culture. An example, on a lighter note, is the haldi ceremony held before weddings!

    Q: What do you enjoy about being on Remedico?
    A: The first thing is, it has been designed keeping the patient’s hectic schedule and convenience in mind. Second, having a panel of only competent, registered dermatologists ensures both peace of mind and safety. Third, it provides patient with easy access to doctors, at the click of a button, anytime, anywhere.

    As a practitioner, I enjoy being able to reach out to many more patients, and provide them with reliable advice that they might not normally have the time or ability to access, at a very nominal cost. This is what makes Remedico unique for me.

    —-

    We want to revolutionize the whole experience of consulting a dermatologist. The traditional process can often be time consuming and costly. We have been working with several of India’s top dermatologists, such as Dr Omchery to come up with our unique and effective system.

    Consult with one of our dermatologists today, right from your phone. Visit www.remedicohealth.com

    Start your consultation

    29 May, 2017
    summer skin
  • Stay photoprotected this summer - choosing the right sunscreen
  • This is the third in our three-part series on taking care of your skin during summer. Our first post covered how summer heat affects your skin, and in our last blog post, we covered the importance of staying photo-protected. In this final post in our summer series, we cover something essential that we should all include as a part of our regular routine – sunscreen.

    What is sunscreen?
    Sunscreen consists of agents that alter the effect of UV radiation on the skin by reflecting or absorbing a part of the incident radiation.

    Summer Skin Remedico

    How do you choose the right sunscreen?
    SPF is a factor of sun protection – it indicates how much sun exposure we can take before our skin is vulnerable to photo-damage.

    While not providing protection against chronic photo-damage or UVA exposure, a sunscreen of SPF 15 will provide 94% protection against intense UV rays, one with SPF 30 provides 97% protection, and one with SPF 50 provides 98% protection. Ideally in summer you should use SPF50. SPF ratings higher than this don’t provide a significant increase in terms of protection.

    To ensure maximum effect, and to continue their photo-protective benefit, you must apply sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, and reapply it every 2 to 3 hours. Additionally, if you are going to be exposed to water, make sure to get an appropriate sunscreen. Water-resistant sunscreens will retain their SPF for up to 40 minutes in the water (great for if you’re going to paddle at the beach), while waterproof sunscreens will retain their effectiveness for up to 80 minutes in water (best for if you are going swimming).

    Types of sunscreen:

    Sunscreens can be organic (chemical) or inorganic (physical), specific for UVA or UVB, or combined UVA-UVB protection.

    Organic sunscreens are chemical agents that provide protection by absorbing UV rays. Inorganic sunscreens, also called sun blocks, are physical agents that scatter and reflect UV and visible light.

    Earlier formulations of sunscreen left a white screen on the skin, and people often avoided them for this reason. However, newer micronized formulations are available that do not leave a film on the skin, while at the same time providing protection against the sun’s rays.

    Sunscreen Remedico skin care

    Ideally, you should wear an inorganic / physical sunscreen if you are on holidays where you will have consistent exposure to the sun (to protect you from tan and sunburn), and an organic / chemical sunscreen for daily use, to protect you from the sun’s ageing effect.

    Why do we need to wear sunscreen indoors?
    As we mentioned in our previous post, photo-damage can occur even while you are indoors. Depending on how darkly tinted your windows are, it will absorb only some of the UV rays and visible light (darker tints absorb more of the harmful rays).

    Therefore it’s always advisable to wear sunscreen even while indoors, especially if you like natural light streaming through your home!

    Make sunscreen a habit
    To best protect your skin, use sunscreen on a regular basis, but make sure it is part of your daily routine during summer, whether you are indoors or out, at the office or at the beach.

    Have fun this summer and make sure your skin is summer ready!

    ———

    If at any time during this summer you are experiencing sunburn or any skin irritation, or simply want to consult a dermatologist online for any other reason – visit www.remedicohealth.com.

    22 May, 2017
  • Stay photoprotected this summer - the basics
  • This is the second in our three-part series on taking care of your skin during summer. Our first post covered how summer heat affects your skin, and in our third post we discuss how to choose the right sunscreen.

    Summer 2017 is here! While enjoying the outdoors with sports, beaches and holidays, you must remember to stay protected from the intense summer sun. Excessive sun exposure, especially between 10am – 5pm can potentially cause harmful effects on your skin.

    The spectrum of solar induced damage extends from non-threatening conditions like tanning of the skin, pigmentation, freckles, light eruptions and photo-ageing to more severe conditions such as sunburns, photo-toxic reactions, solar induced growths, changes in skin immunity, and even skin cancers.

    The sun emits various types of rays, including ultraviolet (UV) and infrared. To learn more about these, check out our previous blog post. In view of these, it is important to understand how to stay “photoprotected”.

    Natural Photoprotection:

    The ozone layer, along with clouds and pollutant matter in the sky scatter direct rays of sunlight, thus reducing their impact by the time they reach the surface of the earth and your skin.

    Darker skin tones tend to be more naturally photoprotected due to the increased melanin content in the skin.

    Enhancing your photoprotection

    Besides nature’s own ways of keeping your protected from the harmful rays of the sun, there are a handful of things you can do to provide yourself with additional protection.

    • Summer tends to bring out light clothes but when out in the sun, keep your skin covered up as much as possible. Darker and thicker – but comfortable — fabrics provide better protection.
    • Wear sunscreen, hats, umbrellas, scarves, and UV-protected sunglasses, as these are all photoprotective. (Follow our blog for more on sunscreen in our next blog post)

    Also, it’s important to keep in mind the following:

    • If you are reading this from up in the hills and mountains where there are cooler temperatures, you may assume that the summer sun does not affect you as much. However this is not necessarily true. In fact, the burning effect of the sun can be higher at greater altitudes, since light is not naturally scattered as effectively (we explained this scattering effect earlier). You should also note that if you are in very high altitudes, snow reflects large amounts of light from the sun, which can cause photo damage.
    • Similarly, you may assume that being indoors, you are completely protected. While we definitely recommend staying indoors in the middle hours of the day during summer to help minimize the harmful effects of the sun, you can still suffer damage. The sun’s rays are strong enough to hit you through your windows, especially when left open. You can minimize this by using translucent curtains in your home, and applying sunscreen, even if you’ll be inside all day. Tinted windows can also help with blocking UV rays, and darker tints are the most effective.

    Stay protected this summer, and keep your skin radiant and healthy. In case you experience any skin issues, or simply want more advice, visit www.remedicohealth.com and start your consultation now.

    11 May, 2017
    summerskin title
  • Is your skin summer ready?
  • This is the first in our three-part series on taking care of your skin during summer. In our other posts, we cover the basics of staying protected from the sun, and how to choose the right sunscreen.

    Taking good care of your skin is important throughout the year. However, special care must be taken now, as summer heat sets in. Exposure to the sort of heat we experience in India causes sweating, which can clog your pores, often causing your skin to look dull and oily.

    How summer sun exposure can impact the skin:

    UV light from the sun causes photo-ageing in the form of brown spots, coarse skin and wrinkles, whether you have burned your skin or not. When sunlight comes in contact with skin, a cascade of damage results (including the stripping of barrier lipids) causing inflammation, production of reactive oxygen molecules that affect healthy cell growth, and stimulation of collagen destructing enzymes.

    There are three types of UV rays:

    1. Ultraviolet A (UVA): The longest wavelength of the sun, this one penetrates the dermis, your skin’s deepest layer. Sun damage can activate free radicals and promote skin ageing.
    2. Ultraviolet B (UVB): This wavelength of rays penetrates the skin’s upper layer, the epidermis. These rays can cause sunburn, allergic reactions and skin cancers. Skin that has suffered sunburn – especially if the burns are painful – have a risk of developing melanoma (skin cancer) eventually with multiple episodes. Fair skin types are relatively more prone to develop sunburns, and therefore more prone to melanomas.
    3. Ultraviolet C (UVC): Generally these rays are filtered by the ozone layer. They are known to be the most damaging rays.

    Apart from UV rays, the sun also emits Infrared rays. Excessive exposure can negatively impact collagen and your immune system. Infrared rays can also come from sources of heat such as sitting too close to stoves and baking ovens.

    Note: the impact on fair skin tends to be greater as it contains less pigment. The pigment in the skin acts as a natural sunscreen, blocking some of the dangerous UVA and UVB rays.

    Summer skin

    How to stay protected from the summer sun:

    • It is advisable to stay away from direct sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun is almost directly overhead and UV radiation intensity is at its strongest. Stay in the shade as much as possible and wear protective clothing.
    • Wear plenty of sunscreen. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before stepping outside. You should also remember to reapply it after 3 to 4 hours, especially after contact with water, or if you are sweating. Shop for sunscreen that blocks against UVB and UVA rays.
    • Cold Showers: After being exposed to the sun all day, a hot shower could potentially further dry the skin. A cool shower after sweating helps keep the skin unobstructed, decreasing acne breakouts
    • Moisturise your skin: In the summer, it is tempting to ease up on moisturising because your skin may not feel as dry. However, remember that good moisturisers work gradually over time, and must be used consistently.  In case you do get a sunburn, we recommend acting fast and moisturising liberally, preferably with a lotion containing aloe vera. This will keep the burned skin well hydrated, and it will help to soothe the discomfort.
    • Wash your face correctly: Washing oily skin can be tricky. Not washing frequently enough can lead to an onslaught of clogged pores and acne. However, washing oily skin too often can lead to drying up of the skin. Try using blotting papers on areas where excess oil is an issue. Generally, washing your face 2-3 times per day during summer is advisable, but this may vary from person to person depending on the oiliness of your skin, outdoor activity, etc.

    summerskin

    Beyond direct skin protective methods, you can also make certain lifestyle adjustments that can help you maintain healthy skin through the season –

    • Drink lots of water: Drinking water regularly has great benefits. It has a direct impact on your body’s regular functions, as well as on the appearance and health of your skin. It is widely recommended that drinking a minimum of 8 glasses a day is necessary.
    • Don’t cheat on your sleep: Lack of sleep can result in higher levels of stress hormones, which may in turn slow the production of collagen in the skin. As mentioned, when our skin starts slowing down collagen product, it begins to lose elasticity and starts looking tired and worn.
    • Watch what you eat: Vitamin A rich vegetables like carrots, spinach have antioxidant properties, which help promote healthy skin. Go easy on the alcohol, and spicy and fried foods, as they all dilate blood vessels and compound your oily skin woes. If you are tempted, limit yourself to one drink a night, and eat spicy foods no more than once per week.
    • Avoid spraying perfume on your skin in the sun: The alcohol in perfume can irritate your skin when it reacts with the sun. Some people can also develop an allergy and rash which, can lead to pigmentation. Instead, try using your fragrance on your clothes instead of your skin.

    ———
    If at any time you do experience any skin or hair problems this season, remember getting expert help is a simple and quick process with Remedico. You can start your consultation immediately from wherever you are — answer a few simple questions, upload some images, and you’re done. From start to finish in as little as 5 minutes. You will then receive a personalised treatment plan and follow ups from our team to help you maintain glowing and healthy skin and hair throughout this hot season.

    If you have any additional thoughts, ideas or suggestions with regard to the content above or anything skincare related – do write to us. We are always excited to hear from all of you!

    20 Apr, 2017
    Ranjit Bhatia
  • Welcome to Remedico
  • Dear Reader,

    Thanks for visiting Remedico. We are thrilled that you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you with getting the best in dermatology advice, in a way that’s easy and convenient for you.

    We started this company because we truly believe that the current system can be improved with the help of technology. The difficulty associated with seeing a skin specialist (taking time out of your day for an appointment, traveling, waiting in the clinic) means that often people either – (1) spend hours on various medical sites and then self-medicate, leading to bad consequences, or (2) wait until the problem is so bad that they have no choice but to see a doctor, by which time the treatment required can be even more extensive and costly.

    In addition, once they leave the doctor’s clinic they often either forget to start their treatment, or drop off after a few days or weeks as their schedules get hectic. They end up feeling frustrated, and give up on being able to find a solution.

    At Remedico we have a better way. Instead of spending hours visiting a dermatologist, you can spend as little as 5 minutes answering some questions on your phone from your home, office or wherever you are most comfortable.

    Within 48 hours you’ll receive a comprehensive and personalised treatment plan from one of our dermatologists. They will explain in detail their diagnosis, general advice for how you can improve your skin and hair health, as well as as prescription and step-by-step instructions on what products and medications you’ll need to use.

    We’ll also stay with you throughout your treatment, with daily reminders, and regular follow-ups to help you get healthier skin and hair.

    While we are still a young company and early on in our journey, we have been overwhelmed with how positive the feedback has been from our doctors and users. The efficiency we can deliver, while providing supremely high quality service, means that we are well on the way to achieving our aim of democratising medical advice so that more people can access it, and making the advice and treatment more effective in achieving positive outcomes for our customers.

    I’d love for you to experience Remedico for yourself. Give it a try.

    04 Apr, 2017