Terminology in the field of dermatology is used to describe functions, aspects, and problems associated with the skin. The skin is the largest organ in the human body responsible for a variety of regulative and protective functions. Throughout the course of a lifetime, from childhood to adulthood, a person’s skin can go through a number of changes that require treatment by a dermatologist. If you do require a visit to your dermatologist, there is a chance you will hear a number of terms that you are unfamiliar with. In this article, we will go over some of the most common dermatology terms so that you can be informed prior to your trip to the doctor.
All scars are the result of a complex and dynamic wound healing process that passes through several distinct stages: hemostasis, inflammatory, proliferative, and maturation (or remodeling). The way our scar looks after the wound heals depends on a number of genetic and environmental factors. Some smaller wounds will heal nicely and leave only a small white scar that is barely noticeable. Other, more serious wounds, can lead to excessive scarring known as keloids or hypertrophic scars. Atrophic scars, which result from severe acne, may be visible for a lifetime without proper treatment. While most scars are permanent, there are ways to help them fade over time.
We don’t normally associate the practice of physical therapy with managing one’s post-surgical scars, but there are a number of instances where therapy is beneficial. The stretches and exercises performed in therapy can help soften scar tissue that has become tight and burdensome over time. Some scars can impinge on one’s range of motion in certain areas, such as near the knees or elbows, so some moderate exercise can help restore mobility. Physical therapy can help realign the collagen fibers that have haphazardly structured themselves after the initial wound, which may help restore strength to the scar tissue. In addition to physical therapy, medical silicone gel can be used to reduce the size and appearance of your scars.
People use prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications to help treat underlying conditions or temporary illnesses. It’s estimated that more than 131 million people, or 66% of adults, are actively taking prescription drugs. And this doesn’t account for the medications that we can purchase without a prescription, including common pain killers or cold and flu remedies. It’s important to be aware that many medications have side-effects, some of which can interfere with the way our bodies heal themselves. When wounds take longer than normal to heal, then there may be an increased risk for scarring down the road.
People of any age can scar as a result of wound healing, but not everyone’s scar looks the same throughout the course of their lifetime. While scarring always follows the same wound healing process, age can play a vital role in the formation of abnormal or aggressive scar types. It is commonly thought that as we age, our skin becomes weaker and more prone to injury and scarring. While this is one part of the story, it doesn’t reveal the full picture. It may surprise you that children and adolescents are at higher risk for severe scarring, but probably not for the reasons you think.
The skin is the largest organ in the human body that supports a number of bodily functions related to our immune system, sensory perception, and homeostasis of the body. The skin consists of three main layers, in addition to a number of sublayers, that all perform different actions that all play a role in keeping us healthy. As we go through some of these important functions, we will gain a better understanding for why we should maintain our skin and keep it healthy for as long as we age.
Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins needed for optimal bodily functioning and is understood to relay many health benefits. Our bodies do not create vitamin D on their own; we must attain it through sunlight or the foods that we eat. This is why vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” Most of us will get enough sunlight throughout the year, so we don’t have to worry about taking extra supplements to fulfill our needs. However, if you spend a lot of time indoors or live in an area that doesn’t see much sunlight you may be wondering if your body is getting enough vitamin D.
Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is a highly contagious viral infection that causes an itchy, blister-like rash that appears on the face, body, neck, arms, and legs. The blisters that form on the skin can break and bleed, triggering a wound healing response at the site. If the wound is severe enough, or if left untreated, it may form into a scar later on. The scars from chickenpox may fade on their own in some cases. However, if you are left with excessive and abnormal scarring, you may need to treat is with clinically-proven scar therapy products.
Understanding Skin Flora The skin is the largest organ of the human body that comprises about 16-18% of the total weight of the body. The skin is made up of three main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat, as well as several sublayers that comprise the epidermis. The epidermis (uppermost layer) plays an important role in protecting the body against infection, UV radiation, and losing water and important nutrients from the body. What many of us don’t know about this layer of skin is that it is a biome for what is known as skin flora. Skin flora, also known as microbiota, refers to the microorganisms that reside on the skin. That’s right; our skin is home to millions of bacteria, fungi, and mites, many of which aren’t harmful to our health.
It’s no news that children get dirty quickly because they are constantly playing outside and touching things with their hands. Children are taught from a young age by their parents, teachers, and other adult figures that keeping their hands clean can keep them from getting sick and spreading germs. Now more than ever, during the time of COVID, children and adults alike are urged to wash their hands and carry sanitizer with them wherever they go. While it’s a good thing that we are becoming more health conscious, it’s also important to be aware of how to safely and productively use sanitizers.