ECZEMA

There are 3 key ingredients that need to be in a cream to effectively repair the skin barrier. Ceramides, Cholesterol and Fatty Acids. Not only does it need all of these but they also need to be in the right proportions, being a 1:1:3 ratio.

So why does the skin of an eczema sufferer have so much trouble repairing itself?

Well it all comes down to genetics. Eczema sufferers have a mutation in the gene called Filaggrin. Filaggrin provides moisture and is an essential component of restoring the skin barrier. Eczema sufferers only have one copy of this gene, instead of two. Eczema sufferers have tiny cracks in the skin barrier that predisposes to the condition, allowing irritants to penetrate and set off an inflammatory cascade.

People prone to eczema have a much thinner skin barrier than people with normal skin and this can be seen under a microscope, even if they do not have obvious eczema lesions. This is why daily application of a moisturizer containing the 3 key ingredients is vital, because genetically eczema sufferers don’t have a normal skin.

DEFINING ECZEMA

Can mean a family of skin conditions that causes the skin to become swollen, irritated, and itchy. Many types of skin conditions are considered a type of eczema, or dermatitis. Diaper rash, dandruff, contact dermatitis. For the most part in dermatology and skin care, “eczema” refers to atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition. It causes dry, itchy, irritated skin that requires daily care. Both Atopic and non-atopic eczema show up as the same itchy rash, but only atopic involves the body’s allergic responses.

TRIGGERS

Many external factors can trigger an eczema flare-up. These are some to look out for:

  • Low humidity
  • Psychological Stress
  • Dry skin
  • Excessive heat
  • Sweating
  • Skin infections
  • Diet
  • Certain medications
  • Linens
  • Skin care products
  • Over washing skin

INGREDIENTS TO AVOID

  • Artificial fragrance
  • Artificial colors (D&C)
  • Soap or harsh detergents
  • Formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasing agents
  • Alcohol

DEFINING PSORIASIS

Psoriasis is a skin disease that has been confused with many other skin diseases like leprosy, eczema, lupus, boils and vitiligo. Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory multi-system disease affecting 1-3% of the world’s population. Characterized by itchy and sometimes painful, thickened skin lesions that can occur anywhere on the body, including the face. This complex disease involves the immune system, genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle.

CAUSES OF PSORIASIS

A single cause is still undefined, but these are the latest findings Genetics – Scientists believe there is a genetic predisposition toward developing psoriasis. A single gene leading to the disease is yet to be identified.

Abnormal immune function – The immune system is somehow mistakenly triggered, causing inflammatory T-cells to become hyperactive on the skin. This results in skin cells growing too fast. Instead of a 30 day skin cycle, psoriasis skin cells mature in 3-4 days. They pile up instead of shedding off.

In Psoriasis, the skin cells are turning over at too high a rate, resulting in the cellular corneocyte envelope not forming properly. This results in inadequate NMF in the skin. In a normal skin the rate of proliferation of cells is from basal to desquamation 311 hours. In psoriasis it is 36 hours.

With psoriasis the skin cells are turning over so fast that the corneocytes does not get to fully mature and so the corneocytes envelope does not develop properly which leads to barrier impairment. Psoriatic skins have also been shown to have reduced levels of ceramides. There is an inverse relationship between clinical severity of psoriatic lesions and ceramide deficiency. They also have raised stratum corneum cholesterol levels as well.

TRIGGERS

Many external factors can trigger a psoriasis flare-up. Including but not limited to

  • Cold or Dry Weather
  • Psychological Stress
  • Dry Skin
  • Tattoos or Injections Skin Infections
  • Diet
  • Certain Medications

INGREDIENTS TO AVOID

  • Artificial fragrance
  • Artificial Colors (D&C)
  • Soap or harsh detergents
  • Formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasing agents Alcohol

ROSACEA

Much of the previous work on the pathophysiology of Rosacea has focused on attempts to make sense of associations between triggers of the disease and its clinical manifestations. Most patients report flushing episodes, thus leading to a common hypothesis that vascular hyper-reactivity and increased blood flow play a role in susceptibility
to this disease. Some factors that trigger flushing, such as emotional stress, spicy food, hot beverages, high environmental temperatures, and menopause, worsen rosacea.

The disease affects mostly facial skin and is characterized by flushing, non-transient erythema, papules, pustules, inflammatory nodules and telangiectasia. Secondary features that often occur include burning and stinging of the face, occasional dermatitis or scaling of the face, and edema. In many sufferers, rosacea can be worsened or triggered
by factors that initiate flushing, such as exercise, emotion, menopause and alcohol.

Triggers

  • Sun Exposure 73%
  • Alcohol Intake 24%
  • Heat 10%
  • Stress 8%
  • Hot Beverages 5%
  • Spicy Foods 1%
  • Smoking 1%
  • Temperature Changes 1%

PIGMENTATION

There are 3 Main Types of Pigmentation:

  1. UV Induced
    Changes in skin pigmentation are often the most readily recognized indicators of exposure of skin to damaging agents, especially to natural and artificial radiation in the environment. Melanocytes themselves are especially sensitive to ROS and prolonged excessive exposure quite often results in irregular pigmentation and may even
    cause the apparition of white patches (vitiligo).
  2. Post Inflammatory Hyper-Pigmentation
    The appearance of pigmentation in the skin in post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation and melasma is related to the location of melanin. It appears tan, brown or dark brown when in the epidermis, whereas it appears blue to bluish gray if in the dermis. Cutaneous inflammation may result in damage to the basement membrane and basal keratinocytes. PIH can also be induced through the use of some medications. Anti-depressants and anxiety medications can worsen the production of pigmentation due to physiological changes in the body system.
  3. Melasma
    Melasma, commonly seen in pregnant women or in women taking oral contraceptive agents, usually presents with hyper-pigmented macules and patches on the face. It is more common among darker skinned races. Melasma can last up to 7 years post baby, contraceptives, menopause.