Most Asked Queries on Skin Health

Queries on Skin Health

Looking for the best dermatologist in Ludhiana? Contact Dr Jastinder Gill today! Welcome to our comprehensive guide on skin health, where we delve into the most frequently asked queries regarding maintaining and improving the well-being of your skin. Whether you’re concerned about acne, aging, or general skincare routines, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll address these common concerns and provide expert insights to help you achieve a radiant and healthy complexion. If you’re seeking specialized guidance, you can always contact Dr Jastinder Gill. She’ll assist you with personalized advice tailored to your unique skin needs. Let’s embark on a journey towards clearer, more vibrant skin together where I’ve answered most asked queries on skin health.  

Q1. Why am I getting a repeated fungal infection?

Ans. If you suspect a fungal infection on your skin, it’s crucial to consult a qualified dermatologist for accurate diagnosis and treatment of fungal infection. In the last few years I have observed an increase in the number of fungal infections in the patients, not only an increase in numbers but also fungal infections resistant to treatments (do not respond to treatment with antifungals) and patients in a vicious cycle of relapse and remission. There are a number of reasons behind this.

Let’s discuss them one by one –

  • Inappropriate or incorrect treatment, majority of the patients do not take the advice of a dermatologist, they either go to the local chemist or an untrained RMP.
  • Use of OTC creams, which are local steroid creams, here these creams give wonderful immediate results but the moment you stop using them the infection comes back with a vengeance and the patient falls into a trap of using the steroid cream which has detrimental effect on the skin and leads to widespread fungal infection on the body. I always say the steroid creams are working as poison for the fungal infection. 
  • Another case is, the patient visits the dermatologist, starts the appropriate or correct treatment treatment but does not continue for the time duration recommended by the doctor. This leads to resistance to treatment and patients stop responding to the various anti fungal medicines and the infection continues to spread on other body parts.
  • Re infection from other family members or pets.

Q2. What do I do to prevent the frequent relapse of fungal infections?

Whenever I am asked this question, following is the advice to all my patients:

  • Consult a dermatologist doctor to get the correct diagnosis and treatment.
  • Follow the full course of the treatment as advised, complete the full course of the treatment.
  • In case of any problems with the medicines, say it’s causing some irritation or some side effects, go back to the doctor and take his/her advice. Do not stop the treatment by yourself. If the medication is actually causing the problem then the doctor will assess your skin and give alternative medicine to treat your fungal infection.
  • Proper hygiene has to be maintained, daily baths, cleaning of the body folds where the chances of fungal infection is maximum. Clean in between the toes especially if you have infection of the feet or athlete’s foot.
  • Do dry the body well after the bath, especially the body folds and in between the toes. The moist area leads to fungal infection.
  • Change your clothes daily, especially the socks and undergarments. Wash them with hot water. Dry them in the sun, both inside out. In addition, iron all your clothes, including the undergarments daily before wearing them.
  • Use thin khadi based towels as they dry well and can be washed more frequently.
  • In case of foot fungal infections like athletes foot, keep your shoes in the sun to air and dry them.
  • Be extra cautious in Monsoon which is the humid weather, when fungus grows easily. If you get wet in the rains, change into dry clothes and shoes. Keep an extra pair of clothes and shoes in the office for the Monsoons.

These simple skin care measures will keep the fungal infection away.

Q3. I have completed my course of anti fungal treatment, will I get the infection again?

This is another question being asked each time a patient asks me after he/she successfully completes their anti fungal treatment. My advice as always is follow all the steps mentioned above ( 2) regarding your skin care, it’s unlikely that you will get the infection. BUT just like any other infection say cough & cold, fever, dengue fever etc (as we all know, people even had 2 episodes of Covid), you can get the fungal infection. Just as the precautions we follow for any infection mentioned above, (say following healthy lifestyle, and keeping our environment also safe) we can stay away from repeated and frequent infections. Similarly by following healthy and hygienic skin care routine, we can keep a check on the fungal infections.

Sometimes despite all the efforts, we still can be infected, then follow the advice given in Question no 1 and 2.

Q4. Why do I have to use sunscreen? My mother or grandmother never used it?

There are still a few people who are still reluctant to apply sunscreen. They always come up with this question: why should I apply? They say this is just a hype created about sunscreens. We need to understand that our environment has undergone a drastic change over the years because of the harmful effects of the pollution created by vehicles and industry. 

The ozone layer in our atmosphere was protecting us from the UV Rays by filtering them, but because of the environmental hazards, the protective layer has depleted and hence the number of UV Rays reaching the earth has increased phenomenally. 

Hence the damage of the UV Rays on the skin has increased leading to an increase in the incidence of skin cancers (of course the risk of skin cancers in Indians is significantly less because of our dark color, melanin protects the skin) and everyone is seeing the photo damage caused by the harmful UV Rays, by signs of early aging, fine lines and wrinkles, blemishes, age spots/sun spots, dull complexion etc. 

Do remember to apply the sunscreen throughout the year, irrespective of the seasons and weather. If it’s daytime, apply sunscreen. You may not see the sun or feel the warmth of the sun on a rainy/cloudy and foggy day, but the UV rays are reaching the earth.

Q5. Why do I get repeated dandruff?

The white silvery scales that you see falling off from your hair is commonly known as dandruff. Visit a dermatologist to get a diagnosis of your problem. Dandruff is a broad and general term, you need to know and understand your problem well to treat and manage it well. Your doctor will be able to guide you better after your consultation. A few general steps that you can follow. Hydrate your hair at least once a week with a hydrating mask, including healthy fatty acids, rich in omega 3 and 6, say no to hot water showers and keep yourself hydrated with plenty of fluids.

Q6. Which sunscreen to use as I have atopic dermatitis and a very sensitive skin?

If you have sensitive skin or a history of eczema or atopic dermatitis, it’s crucial to exercise caution when selecting skincare products, and this applies to sunscreens as well. Sunscreen plays a vital role in protecting the skin, especially for individuals with sensitive skin, as exposure to UV rays from the sun can lead to skin damage and exacerbate existing skin issues. For those with sensitive skin, mineral-based sunscreens containing ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are generally more suitable than their chemical counterparts.

A good sunscreen for sensitive skin should possess the following qualities:

  • Gentle on the skin
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Free from parabens
  • Fragrance-free
  • Consulting with a dermatologist is advisable, as they can provide personalized recommendations for an appropriate sunscreen that suits your specific needs.

If you want to know more about Sunscreens and their types connect Dr. Jastinder Gill.

Q7.When do I start using a Retinol?

Retinol has gained significant attention on social media, prompting numerous inquiries about its appropriate usage. Retinol serves a multifaceted role in our daily skincare regimen, and the ideal age to commence its application depends on individual skin needs and requirements. Let’s explore the various benefits of Retinol to gain a clearer understanding:

  1. For individuals in their teenage years dealing with comedones, both open and closed, starting Retinol at a younger age is advisable.

2. Those with acne scars or post-inflammatory pigmentation may consider using Retinol in their 20s or 30s.

3. Retinol is an effective exfoliant, making it beneficial for both younger individuals with dead skin buildup and older individuals experiencing a slower skin turnover rate, which often leads to a dull complexion.

4. Retinol also acts as an anti-aging product, stimulating collagen production, tightening the skin, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is recommended to begin using Retinol for anti-aging purposes in one’s mid-30s.

It’s never too late to start incorporating Retinol into your skincare routine. If you haven’t already, consider consulting a dermatologist for personalized guidance.”

Q8.Leucoderma vs Leprosy: Are they the same?

Ans. The white patch of leucoderma was confused with another disease that’s leprosy, which was an infectious disease and used to spread by contact from one person to another person. In ancient times a person with leprosy would have to leave his village and be shifted to a sanatorium which was away from the human population. Families would try to hide their members who developed a white patch, fearing social boycotts and the fear of being shifted to the sanatorium.

Surprisingly at present, there is no stigma attached to leprosy, people no longer try to hide the diagnosis but rather take treatment for it. But the stigma of vitiligo persists. I have seen people being so stressed about it that it interferes with their daily and personal lives. They are ready to take any treatment, especially the indigenous medicines which have no science behind them. They do not worry or enquire about the long-term side effects of the medicine. It is essential to be better informed and educated about vitiligo, for better understanding and management.

Q9.Can a deficiency of vitamins cause dryness of the skin?

Ans. I get a lot of queries about the dryness of my skin, patients often ask me, this year my skin has been dehydrated, and repeated applications of moisturizer are needed. There are multiple reasons for skin dryness; one of them is the lack of certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in our diet. Vitamin deficiency causes dry and dull skin. All vitamins especially A, C, D, and E, play a vital role.

  1. Vitamin A is needed for the repair of skin cells, it leads to a healthy cell turnover. There is constant skin renewal happening, the old skin cells are replaced by new skin cells, and this is where the role of vitamin A comes in. In case of deficiency of vitamin A, there is a build-up of dead skin cells, the old cells are not being replaced by new skin cells, which gives an appearance of dull and dry skin.
    Vitamin A is also an essential antioxidant.
  2. Vitamin C is a potential antioxidant, it’s important for collagen production in the skin and body.
  3. Vitamin D plays an important role in skin barrier function and skin cell growth. Lack of vitamin D in the body disrupts the healthy skin barrier, which leads to dull and dehydrated skin.
  4. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant, that prevents damage from free radicals as a result of oxidative stress.

    If you are persistently having dry skin, make sure you have a diet rich in all essential nutrients which includes all seasonal and fresh fruits and vegetables. If despite of a good diet, sufficient intake of water, and use of a moisturizer regularly, do consult your dermatologist who will assess your skin and advise appropriate vitamin supplements, changes in diet, and of course an appropriate moisturizer for your skin type.

Q10. Why do I have dry skin ?

I am often asked this question, they also have this to say, despite using a moisturizer regularly still my skin remains dry and I feel it to be stretched.
The one observation that I have is, there is a sudden increase in the complaints for dry skin ever since Covid. Even people who had oily skin earlier and even the younger group (older people coming with dryness is understandable, see below) are now visiting the clinic for answers to their dryness. Also what I see is, they may not complain of dryness but I observe their skin to be dehydrated, even those who have an acne prone skin.
What are the causes of dry skin

  • Natural – As we grow older, the oil production, the oil secreted by the oil or sebaceous glands keeps the skin soft and lubricated. As a result of decrease in oil or sebum production, the skin feels dry, rough, uneven and dull. Also the moisture retaining property of the skin barrier decreases, there is a decrease in the lipid layer of the skin barrier. These factors are a part of the normal and natural aging process. So one would observe the skin to get dry as we grow older.
  • ⁠Nutritional deficiencies – The nutritional deficiencies have been discussed in detail earlier, to read more please go through the Question 9. Anyone, young or old can be nutritionally deficient for various reasons, which could be poor or inadequate diet, there could be digestive problems. But nutritional deficiencies are frequently seen in older people because of decreased absorption of nutrients from the gut as we grow older and also there is a decrease in food intake because of poor appetite. Do discuss with your doctor about how to improve diet for naturally increasing your intake of micronutrients and other essential vitamins, your doctor may add oral intake of vitamins. These measures would improve the dry and dull skin.
  • ⁠Dehydration – Indequate water intake especially so in winters, leads to loss of natural hydration of the skin, leading to dry and dull skin. Drink plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated from within. Also remember to add at least one fresh coconut and lemon water in a day, as these provide the other essential minerals and micronutrients for the skin hydration. The older age group should specifically take care of their water intake as it’s observed older generation drinks less water because of multiple reasons. ⁠
  • ⁠Stress – Stress of any kind emotional or physical stress can lead to changes on the skin causing dull and dry skin.
  • ⁠Hormonal Imbalance – Thyroid hormonal imbalance especially hypothyroidism leads to dry skin. People who are hypothyroid, constantly struggle with dry skin problems not only the face but the entire body. They need to use moisturizer meant for dry skin, advice to use cream form rather than lotion. Your dermatologist may recommend special moisturizer with few specific ingredients which help take care of dryness.
  • ⁠Medicines – A few medicines used for different problems can lead to dry skin, to name a few statins, diuretics, antihistamines (anti allergy), laxatives. Chemotherapy and dialysis also make the skin dry.