last update: 02 January 2018

Skin problems

Learn everything about the most comonn skin problems. What is the treatment, what are the symptones, how to prevent? Every information that you need for you have an amazing skin.



Atopic Dermatitis

What is it?

Atopic dermatitis, also known by the term eczema, is a chronic skin disease that often is associated with other allergic diseases, particularly bronchial asthma and rhinitis, normally appearing before the respiratory disease. Preferably reaches the pediatric age groups and 80% of cases manifested during the first year of life. 

what is it

What is the frequency of dermatitis?

In Portugal, it is estimated that about 10% of children are affected by the disease, with this age group the most common chronic skin disease, although only 1-2% suffer from serious complaints. In most situations, the disease tends to greatly improve and even disappear with age, although it may remain for life; the persistence of this entity is most frequently observed in cases where the onset is later. 

what is the frequency of dermatitis?

How is the atopic dermatitis?

The diagnosis is based on the presence of itching ("itching") associated with cutaneous signs such as redness, exudate, dryness and desquamation of the skin and, more entrained situations, there may be scarring caused by persistent itching. The location of these lesions varies by age group: the smallest children have preferred achievement of the head, sometimes just behind the ears, and the extensor surfaces of the limbs, while older children and adults tend to express disease in surfaces flexion (behind the knees and in front of the elbows); teenagers are also often hit the eyelids and peri-labial region. 
Confusion with other conditions of intense itching entities should be properly evaluated, not only with the aim of excluding but also the probability of simultaneous occurrence, especially infections. The clinical evaluation carried away allows these situations, as well as to characterize complications. 

How is the atopic dermatitis?

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnostic tests pass by performing skin tests, if any intact skin and by blood assays of antibodies, in particular for environmental allergens and food allergens, allowing the characterization of some of the aggravating factors. 

How is it diagnosed?

What is the treatment of atopic dermatitis?

In the treatment of atopic dermatitis general measures should be considered: 

  • only use cotton clothing to avoid sweating (sweat increases the itching)
  • wash new clothes before first use (prevent irritating reactions)
  • avoid large exposures to dusty environment (dryness and irritation effect).

In a situation in which it has identified food capable of causing the onset or worsening of skin lesions, these should be avoided; however, beware of misguided generalized diet, the nutritional risks and associated costs. It should also be avoided contact with allergens from the environment to which is sensitized (examples: house dust mites, pets).

Very important is to carry out the hydration of the skin, using such an emollient (moisturizer) which should be applied immediately after the shower (warm water) in order to avoid evaporation of water retained on the skin for the same. They must then be preferred emollients in the composition there is a predominance of fatty acids (omegas) and not water, which, like the multiple washes may even be a prerequisite skin dryness and aggravation of the disease. 7






Most situations will respond to such measures; it is maintained although they pruritus (although without damage), he must be controlled to avoid itching itself condition worsening of the disease and therefore more itching. This cycle can then be minimized by skin moisturizing, while maintaining the well-cut and nails, using oral antihistamines, which can also be used daily, for extended periods, in order to stabilize the disease. In more severe exacerbations or arise forms corticosteroids to be used in the form of a cream or ointment (using the lowest possible power, the face preferably 1% hydrocortisone); The intensity and extent warrant oral corticosteroid may be administered for very short periods.

Note: Because corticosteroids in tablet and capsule can cause serious side effects, doctors use them only as a last resort for individuals difficult to treat. These oral drugs may deter, weaken bones, inhibit the function of the adrenal glands and cause many other problems, especially in children. Moreover, its beneficial effects are only temporary. 
In some cases, the anti-infectious therapy may be required. In particular conditions, the expert may propose the use of other treatments.


Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis

What is it?

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammation of the superficial skin layers that causes scales on the scalp, face and occasionally other areas. 
Seborrheic dermatitis usually affects several members of the same family and the cold weather often make it worse. 


what is it?

What are the symptoms?

Seborrheic dermatitis usually appear gradually, resulting in a dry or greasy scalp scaling (dandruff), sometimes itchy, but no hair loss. In more severe cases appear yellowish or reddish papules over hairstyle risk, behind the ears, the ear canal, on the eyebrows, on the bridge of the nose, around the nose and chest. In infants less than one month, seborrheic dermatitis can cause lesion with crust, thick yellow (infant cap), and sometimes a yellow scaling behind the ears, and red papules on the face. Often with the eruption of the scalp also appears another very persistent in the diaper area. The older children can develop thick skin lesions, persistent and large scales. 

what are the symptoms?


In adults, the scalp can be treated with shampoos containing zinc, selenium sulfide, salicylic acid, sulfide or tar. The person generally uses these shampoo to control dandruff daily and then twice a week. Generally, treatment should continue for several months. If dermatitis reappear after stopping treatment, it can start up again.






The lotions also containing corticosteroids are used in the head and in other affected areas. On the face only should not use lotions with very potent corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone 1%. Even the weak corticosteroids should be used with caution, under medical or pharmaceutical advice, because prolonged use can reduce the thickness of the skin and cause other problems. If therapy with corticosteroids do not eliminate the lesions in some cases to use a cream with ketoconazole. 
In infants and small children with a thick crust on the scalp - see article on cradle cap. 


Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis

What is it?

Contact dermatitis is an inflammation caused by contact with a substance. The eruption is confined to a specific area and usually well defined. 

Substances that cause contact dermatitis can cause inflammation of the skin by one of two mechanisms: irritation (dermatitis, irritant) or allergic response (allergic dermatitis). Even mild soaps, detergents and certain metals can irritate the skin after frequent contact. Sometimes repeated exposure, including water, can dry and irritate the skin. The strong irritants, such as acids, alkalis (such as stain remover) and some organic solvents (such as acetone, used to remove nail polish) may cause changes in skin within minutes. 
In an allergic reaction, the first exposure to a particular substance (or sometimes, the first exposure) causes no symptoms, but the following exposure can cause burning and dermatitis within 4 to 24 hours. People can use (or be exposed to) certain substances for years without problems and suddenly develop an allergic reaction. Even ointments, creams and lotions used to treat dermatitis can cause this reaction. About 10% of women are allergic to nickel, the most frequent cause of dermatitis caused by jewelery. It is also possible to develop dermatitis from any material that a person while working ring (occupational dermatitis). 
A dermatitis that occurs when touching certain substances and then exposes the skin to sunlight is called dermatitis Photoallergic or phototoxic contact. Among these substances are sunscreens, lotions after-shave, certain perfumes, antibiotics, tar (coal tar) and oils. 

what is it?

What are the symptoms?

The effects of contact dermatitis range from redness, mild and transient, severe inflammation and blistering. The rash often consists of tiny bubbles which cause intense itching (vesicles). At first the lesions are limited to the contact area, but can later spread. The affected area may be very small (for example, the earlobes, the earrings to cause dermatitis), or can cover a large area of ​​the body (for example, if the dermatitis is caused by a body lotion). 
When it suppresses the substance that causes the rash, redness usually disappears in a few days. The blisters may ooze and form crusts, but dry quickly. The residual scaling, itching and temporary thickening of the skin may last for days or weeks. 


what are the symptoms


It is not always easy to determine the cause of contact dermatitis because the possibilities are endless. Also, most people are unaware of all substances that touch on your skin. The location of the original rash is often an important factor. 
If the doctor suspects contact dermatitis but does not discover the cause through a careful process of elimination, you can proof the adhesive. For this test, are placed on the skin for two days small adhesive plasters with substances that often cause dermatitis, to see if it turns eruption under any of them. 
Despite being very useful, this adhesive proof is complicated. The physician should decide to test substance, which amount to apply for each substance and when it should take the tests. In addition, the test results may be difficult to interpret. The testing may be falsely positive or negative. Most people can find out the origin of their dermatitis without this adhesive test, systematically eliminating possible causes. Anyway, this is a test that can provide important data to identify the cause. 



The treatment is to eliminate or avoid what is causing contact dermatitis. To prevent infection and prevent irritation, the affected person should regularly clean the area with mild soap and water. Blisters should not be split. Dry bandages may also help prevent infection. 
The corticosteroid creams or ointments usually alleviate the symptoms of mild contact dermatitis, unless the person presents many bubbles as in the case of reaction to poison ivy (Poison ivy). The tablets with corticosteroids (such as prednisone) sometimes administered in cases of contact dermatitis. Although in some situations antihistamines relieve itching, they are not particularly beneficial in most cases of contact dermatitis. 
In the case of the causative allergen to be identified and to be an object with which the person contact in a small area of ​​skin, for preventing the as new contact, contact dermatitis, can be used so-called barrier creams or films which isolate the skin. The Sweetcare has several alternatives. 

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Common causes of allergic contact dermatitis

  • Cosmetics: chemical depilation, nail varnish, acetone, deodorants, moisturizers, after-shave lotions, perfumes, sunscreens
  • Metal compounds (in jewelery): Nickel
  • Plants: several varieties of sumac, ragweed, Primrose
  • Drugs contained in skin creams: antibiotics (penicillin, sulfonamides, neomycin), antihistamines (diphenhydramine, promethazine), anesthetics (benzocaine), antiseptics (thimerosal), stabilizers
  • Chemicals used in the manufacture of garments: Paint for shoes, impermeabilizadores and antioxidants in gloves, shoes, underwear and other garments. 

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