Doctor, I am 32-years-old and recently developed skin blisters and rash over my chest, which was extremely painful. I consulted a doctor and he prescribed zovirax tablets along with brufen. I also applied calamine lotion. The blisters have subsided but the pain is still persisting. It is more than two weeks now, since the rash came up. How long should I take the brufen tablets? Is there a quick remedy?
I understand how painful it is for you. The condition you suffered from is called herpes zoster which is caused by chicken pox virus. This virus spreads along your nerves, hence the severe pain. Usually the blisters subside in seven to twelve days time but the pain remains for a longer time, sometimes months!
It is always better to start the treatment early in the course; say within 48-72 hours of onset, otherwise the pain may be left as a sequel to the rash. The pain after the rash subsides and it is usually called post herpetic neuralgia. Instead of pain killers there are other medications which reduce the neuralgic pain better, like amytryptaline, gabapentine and other medications. Kindly consult your dermatologist for appropriate evaluation and prescription of medication.
Doctor, I have been suffering from asthma since an early age. Now I am 27-years-old. Since the last one-and-a-half months I am getting an allergic rash when I eat certain food. Sometimes it emerges on its own. I am worried. Kindly suggest a food diet. Are there any tests that I need to take?
The rash you have is called urticaria. Common allergens which could induce urticarial rash, include waste products from dust mites (tiny bugs you cannot see), proteins found in pet dander, saliva and urine, molds inside and outside your home, tree, grass and weed pollen and cockroach droppings. Other possible substances that can cause allergic reactions include venom from insect stings, certain foods, food additives, natural rubber latex or drugs. Tests to diagnose the allergen include challenge test, radioallergosorbent test (RAST) test and skin prick test.
A RAST is an allergy test that involves collecting blood. A RAST can be performed to test for food allergies and in other circumstances when a skin test - the more common allergy test - cannot be done. Both tests are highly specific, although a skin test is more sensitive, less expensive and produces immediate results. But it is not always necessary that the allergens positive in the test are allergic in clinical circumstances and may require to be confirmed by challenge test under expert guidance. I suggest, you consult your dermatologist because some urticarias may not have an identifiable cause; and such are called “idiopathic urticarias”. These have to be diagnosed and managed by a dermatologist.
Doctor, I’m 22-years-old and still getting pimples. I am taking treatment and it is working well. I would like to know, how else can I take care of my skin?
Skin is a delicate organ and influenced by both internal factors such as hormones or genetic influences and external factors such as chemicals, sunlight, weather, bacteria and other microbes. Hence it is implicit that we take adequate care, though by nature we are bestowed with adequate protection.
Clean Skin Gently
If you have acne, you should gently wash your face with a mild cleanser, once in the morning and once in the evening, as well as after heavy exercise. Wash your face from under the jaw to the hairline and be sure to thoroughly rinse your skin. Ask your doctor or another health professional for advice on the best type of cleanser to use.
Using strong soaps or rough scrub pads is not helpful and can actually make the problem worse. Astringents are not recommended unless the skin is very oily, and then they should be used only on oily spots. It is also important to shampoo your hair regularly. If you have oily hair, you may want to wash it every day.
Avoid Frequent Handling of the Skin
Avoid rubbing and touching skin lesions. Squeezing, pinching or picking blemishes can lead to the development of scars or dark blotches.
Men who shave and who have acne should test both electric and safety razors to see which is more comfortable. When using a safety razor, make sure the blade is sharp and soften your beard thoroughly with soap and water before applying shaving cream. Shave gently and only when necessary to reduce the risk of nicking blemishes.
Avoid a Sunburn or Suntan
Many of the medicines used to treat pimples can make you more prone to sunburn. A sunburn that reddens the skin or suntan that darkens the skin may make blemishes less visible and make the skin feel drier. However, these benefits are only temporary, and there are known risks of excessive sun exposure, such as more rapid skin aging and a risk of developing skin cancer.
Choose Cosmetics Carefully
While undergoing pimple treatment; you may need to change some of the cosmetics you use. All cosmetics, such as foundation, blush, eye shadow, moisturizers, and hair-care products should be oil free. Choose products labeled noncomedogenic (meaning they don't promote the formation of closed pores). In some people, however, even these products may make acne worse.
For the first few weeks of treatment, applying foundation evenly may be difficult because the skin may be red or scaly, particularly with the use of topical tretinoin or benzoyl peroxide.