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Oral Care

Every tooth you have is more valuable than a diamond.

With proper care, your teeth and gums can stay healthy throughout your life. The healthier your teeth and gums are, the less risk you are prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

What are the signs of poor oral hygiene? (1)

There are several warning signs that could indicate oral health problems. The most common symptoms of poor oral hygiene include:

  • Bleeding gums.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Chronic bad breath.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Gum recession.
  • Mouth sores that don’t go away.
  • Toothache.
  • Swelling of the jaw.
  • Gingivostomatitis is an infection of the mouth caused by certain bacteria or viruses.

How Should I Care for My Teeth and Gums? (2)

 

There are four basic steps to caring for teeth and gums:

1. Brushing

2. Flossing

3. Rinsing

4. Eating right

5. Visiting the dentist

1. Brushing:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas easily. (3)
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months if the bristles are frayed sooner. A worn toothbrush won’t do an excellent job of cleaning your teeth.

The proper brushing technique is to:(3)

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

Electric toothbrushes clean teeth and gums much better than a manual toothbrush, according to the findings of a new study.

Scientists found that people who use an electric toothbrush have healthier gums, less tooth decay, and also keep their teeth for longer, compared with those who use a manual toothbrush. (4)

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2. Flossing

Flossing is an important oral hygiene habit. It cleans and dislodges food stuck between your teeth, which reduces the number of bacteria and plaque in your mouth. Plaque is a sticky film that builds on teeth and contributes to cavities and gum disease.

Flossing instructions:(5)

  • Break off about 18 to 24 inches of dental floss. To hold the floss correctly, wind most of the floss around both of your middle fingers. Leave only about 1 to 2 inches of floss for your teeth.
  • Next, hold the floss taut with your thumbs and index fingers.
  • Place the dental floss in between two teeth. Gently glide the floss up and down, rubbing it against both sides of each tooth. Don’t glide the floss into your gums. This can scratch or bruise your gums.
  • As the floss reaches your gums, curve the floss at the base of the tooth to form a C shape. This allows the floss to enter the space between your gums and tooth.
  • Repeat the steps as you move from tooth to tooth. With each tooth, use a new, clean section of floss.

Some dental floss is easier to use in more expansive spaces, whereas other types of floss are easier to use in tighter spaces.

Different types of dental floss include:(5)

  • Dental tape. This type of dental floss is broader and flat like a ribbon, making it easier to handle if you have braces, gaps, or large spaces between your teeth.
  • Standard floss. This is a thin nylon strand that can fit in between teeth. It comes flavored or unflavored as well as waxed or unwaxed. If your teeth are crowded or closer together, dental floss with a wax coating can make it easier to get in between them.
  • Super flosses. This dental floss threader can work with braces, bridges, and gaps. It has three components: a stiffened end for flossing underneath appliances, spongy floss to clean around your devices, and regular floss to eliminate plaque underneath your gum line.

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You may prefer to use a Waterpik instead of floss if you:(6)

  • Wear braces
  • Have nonremovable bridgework
  • Have crowns
  • Have dental implants
  • A Waterpik may also be easier to use than standard floss for people with arthritis or for anyone who finds string floss challenging to maneuver and work with.

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3. Rinsing

The third part of your daily oral care routine should be mouthwash -- but not just any mouthwash(1)

  • Rinse a mouthwash daily with an antiseptic (also known as antibacterial) to help kill bacteria that cause plaque, early gum disease, and bad breath.
  • Fluoride-containing mouthwash helps prevent tooth decay. Some mouthwashes have both antibacterial ingredients and fluoride.
  • Swish the rinse around in your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • You can use a mouthwash before or after you brush and floss.

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4. Eating right

For good dental health, eat various foods, avoiding those that contain sugars and starches. These foods produce the most acids in the mouth, and the longer they stay, the more they can damage the teeth. Hard "sucking candies" are especially harmful because they remain in the mouth long.

Snacking on sugary foods can lead to tooth decay because most people don't brush after snacks. Starchy snack foods, like potato chips, stick to the teeth. Avoid snacking on:(1)

  • Candies, cookies, cakes, and pie
  • Sugary gum
  • Crackers, breadsticks, and chips
  • Dried fruits and raisins

You can control gum bleeding by taking vitamin C daily

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5. Visiting the dentist

Visit your dentist at least once every six months. To maintain healthy teeth and gums, regular check-ups and professional cleanings are essential. You should also see your dentist if you have pain in your teeth, mouth, bleeding, or swollen gums.

What conditions are linked to oral health?

Research shows that gingivitis and periodontitis can contribute to specific health conditions, including (1)

  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Stroke.
  • Endocarditis (infection of your heart’s inner lining).
  • Pneumonia.
  • Pregnancy complications, such as premature birth and low birth weight.

Conversely, certain health conditions can have a negative impact on your teeth and gums, including:

  • Diabetes.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.

If you or a loved one has any of the conditions listed above, ask your dentist how to promote and support overall health through proper oral hygiene.

Oral problems

Dry mouth:

Your mouth needs saliva to be able to work correctly. Saliva keeps your mouth moist, and it helps to break down your food and helps you to swallow. It also acts as a cleanser. It is constantly washing around your mouth and teeth, fighting tooth decay, and helping to keep your teeth clean. A dry mouth or ‘xerostomia' is a condition that affects the flow of saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. (7)

How can I tell I have a dry mouth?

There are several symptoms to watch out for. The most obvious one is, of course, a dry mouth. Some people feel their saliva has become thick and sticky, making it difficult to speak or swallow. Some people also have a ‘prickly' or burning sensation in their mouth and become sensitive to certain foods. The mouth can become sore, and there is a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. In some cases, the mouth can also become red and shiny. If you have any of these symptoms it doesn't necessarily mean that you have a dry mouth. But it may be best to talk to your dental team or doctor about it. (7)

Bad breath:

Lots of minor signs can show that you have bad breath. Have you noticed people stepping away from you when you start to talk? Do people turn their cheek when you kiss them goodbye?

If you think you might have bad breath, there is a simple test that you can do. Just lick the inside of your wrist and sniff - if the smell is terrible, you can be sure your breath is too.

Some medical problems can also cause bad breath. 'Dry mouth (xerostomia)

If you suffer from dry mouth, your dental team may be able to recommend or prescribe an artificial saliva product. Or they may be able to suggest other ways of dealing with the problem. (8)

If you do have bad breath, you will need to start a routine for keeping your mouth clean and fresh. Regular check-ups will allow your dentist to watch out for places where plaque is caught between your teeth. Your dental team will be able to clean all those areas that are difficult to reach. They will also be able to show you the best way to clean your teeth and gum and show you any areas you may be missing, including your tongue.

Can I prevent bad breath? (8)

To keep your breath fresh, you must get rid of gum disease and keep your mouth clean and fresh. If you have bad breath, try keeping a diary of all the foods you eat and list any medicines you take. Take this diary to your dentist, who may be able to suggest ways to solve the problem.

  • Brush your teeth and gums last thing at night and at least once during the day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Don't forget to brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper. Cut down on how often you have sugary food and drinks.
  • Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.
  • Clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental' brushes or floss at least once a day - brushing alone only cleans up to about 60 percent of the surface of your teeth. There are other products you can buy to clean your teeth.
  • Use a mouthwash - some contain antibacterial agents that could kill bacteria that make your breath smell unpleasant.

  Dental Veneers 

Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. (9)

Veneers are routinely used to fix:(9)

  • Teeth that are discolored because of:
    • Root canal treatment
    • Stains from tetracycline or other drugs
    • Excessive fluoride
    • Large resin fillings
    • Other causes
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Teeth that are chipped or broken
  • Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
  • Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)

Veneers offer these advantages:(9)

  • They provide a natural tooth appearance.
  • Gums tolerate porcelain well.
  • Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant.
  • A color can be selected to make dark teeth appear whiter.
  • They generally don't require as much shaping as crowns, yet they are more robust and look better.

Veneers typically last between 7 and 15 years. After this time, the surfaces would need to be replaced.

References:

1. Oral Hygiene: Best Practices & Instructions for Good Routine [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16914-oral-hygiene

2. Teeth and Gum Care: Tips for Proper Brushing And Flossing [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/teeth-gum-care

3. Brush Teeth - American Dental Association [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth

4. Pitchika V, Pink C, Völzke H, Welk A, Kocher T, Holtfreter B. Long-term impact of powered toothbrush on oral health: 11-year cohort study. Journal of Clinical Periodontology [Internet]. 2019 Jul 1 [cited 2022 Aug 15];46(7):713–22. Available from: https://www.dentalhealth.org/news/electric-toothbrushes-win-the-head-to-head-against-manual-in-record-breaking-new-study

5. How to Floss Properly: Step-by-Step Guide to Flossing Teeth [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-floss#how-to-floss

6. Mazhari F, Boskabady M, Moeintaghavi A, Habibi A. The effect of toothbrushing and flossing sequence on interdental plaque reduction and fluoride retention: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Journal of Periodontology [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2022 Aug 15];89(7):824–32. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/waterpik-vs-flossing

7. Dry mouth - Oral Health Foundation [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://www.dentalhealth.org/dry-mouth

8. Bad Breath - Oral Health Foundation [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://www.dentalhealth.org/bad-breath

9. Dental Veneers: Porcelain Veneer Uses, Procedure, and More [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/veneers#1

 

Know Your Skin Type and It’s Care Routine

Know Your Skin Type and It's Care Routine

You may have heard about different skin types but do you know what is your skin type, and what is the right skincare routine to keep your skin glowing and healthy?

Skin layers

The epidermis:

The outermost layer of skin provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone.

The epidermis produces keratin (protects against harmful substances and controls water released from the body). It also produces melanin which gives the skin color.(1)

The dermis:

Beneath the epidermis contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.

The dermis is also composed of matrix components such as collagen (which provides strength) and elastin (which provides elasticity) (1)

The deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.(1)

There are different skin types: normal skin, combination skin, oily skin, dry skin, and sensitive skin.

There are different skin types: normal skin, combination skin, oily skin, dry skin, and sensitive skin.

Normal Skin Type

Not too dry and not too oily, normal skin has:(2)

  • No or few imperfections
  • No severe sensitivity
  • Barely visible pores
  • A radiant complexion

Combination Skin Type(2)

Your skin can be dry or normal in some areas and oily in others, such as the T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin). Many people have this type. It may need slightly different care in different areas. (2)

Combination skin can have:

  • Pores that look larger than normal because they’re more open
  • Blackheads
  • Shiny skin

Dry Skin Type (2)

You may have:

  • Almost invisible pores
  • Dull, rough complexion
  • Red patches
  • Less elastic skin
  • More visible lines

Your skin can crack, peel, or become itchy, irritated, or inflamed. If it’s very dry, it can become rough and scaly, especially on the backs of your hands, arms, and legs.(2)

Dry skin may be caused or made worse by:

  • Your genes
  • Aging or hormonal changes
  • Weather such as wind, sun, or cold
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds
  • Indoor heating
  • Long, hot baths and showers
  • Ingredients in soaps, cosmetics, or cleansers
  • Medications

These tips can help alleviate dry skin:

  1. Take shorter showers and baths, not more than once daily.
  2. Use mild, gentle soaps or cleansers. Avoid deodorant soaps.
  3. Don't scrub while bathing or drying.
  4. Smooth on a rich moisturizer right after bathing. Ointments and creams may work better than lotions for dry skin but are often messier. Reapply as needed throughout the day.
  5. Use a humidifier, and don't let indoor temperatures get too hot.
  6. Wear gloves when using cleaning agents, solvents, or household detergents.

Oily Skin Type

You may have:

  • Enlarged pores
  • Dull or shiny, thick complexion
  • Blackheads, pimples, or other blemishes(3)

Oiliness can change depending on the time of the year or the weather. Things that can cause or worsen it include:

  • Puberty or other hormonal imbalances
  • Stress
  • Heat or too much humidity

Taking care of oily skin:(3)

  • Wash it no more than twice a day, and after you sweat a lot.
  • Use a gentle cleanser and don't scrub.
  • Don't pick, pop, or squeeze pimples. They'll take longer to heal.
  • Look for the word "non-comedogenic" on skincare products and cosmetics. This means it won’t clog pores.

Sensitive Skin Type

It can show up as:

  • Redness
  •  Itching
  • Burning
  • Dryness

If your skin is sensitive, try to find out what your triggers are so you can avoid them. There are many possible reasons, but often it's in response to particular skin care products. (2)

So after you know what your skin type is, now you should learn how to take care of your skin.

For Oily skin:

Step1:  Cleanser

Most people should be washing their face morning and night, it’s especially important for those with oily skin to give their face a complete cleanse in the morning. Even though you might feel like your skin is still clean from the night before, during the night your skin is busy shedding skin cells and producing oils. (4)

That’s why washing with a good exfoliating cleanser, both in the morning and evening, is recommended.

You should use a cleanser or wash it with salicylic acid.

This is going to really help clear away excess oil and dead skin to prevent buildup in the pores. (4)

You can buy Cetaphil – Oily Skin Cleanser online from here:

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Step 2: Toner

Once your skin is clean and free from any makeup, dirt, and oil, you follow with an exfoliating toner that contains either:(4)

Salicylic acid

Glycolic acid

Lactic acid

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Step 3: Treat your skin

This step will depend on your specific skin concerns. But in general, if you’re prone to acne, you should be using benzoyl peroxide or sulfur in the daytime to help curb oil production and prevent breakouts.

In the evening, it recommended a retinol product to help keep pores clear and skin glowing.

Like:  BP Lotion, Sulfur Lotion, and Retinol Serum.

Other popular over-the-counter retinol products include La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Pure Retinol Serum, Rexsol Retinol.

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One quick note for people with oily skin: People with oily skin that they’re actually lucky.

If you have more oils in your skin, you’re likely to ward off wrinkles and fine lines for a bit longer than someone with dry skin.(4)

Step 4: Moisturize 

Moisturizing is a very important step if you have oily skin.

There is some belief that if you have oily skin, you don’t need to or shouldn’t moisturize,” But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

All skin types need moisturizers, but if you have oily skin, you should be more careful with what kind of moisturizer you’re using.

Look for a moisturizer that’s:

  • Lightweight
  • Free of oils
  • Water-based

Any moisturizer that’s formulated for acne-prone skin should meet these criteria.(4)

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Developing a daily skincare routine that works for you is the first step toward managing oily skin.

Once you’ve made this a habit, you may want to consider incorporating other, less frequent steps into your routine, like those outlined below.

Use blotting papers

If your skin seems to shine all day long, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using blotting papers to control excess oil.(3)

To do this, gently press the paper against your skin for a few seconds. This should help absorb most of the oil. Repeat throughout the day as needed.

Wash after exercise

In addition to your morning and evening routine, the AAD recommends washing your face after you exercise. This is especially important if you don’t plan on showering soon.

Washing your face will help remove sweat, oil, and dirt that may build up while you’re exercising.

This doesn’t have to be an elaborate four-step process. Simply wash your face with your regular cleanser and apply a light layer of moisturizer.

The sooner you can do this after exercise, the better.

Choose products wisely

When it comes to purchasing skincare products, you should choose wisely.

Avoid any products with alcohol, which can cause a paradoxically increased amount of oil secretion. Also, avoid anything thick or greasy, like cocoa butter, butter, and Vaseline. (3)

Step 5: Sunscreen

When outdoors, be sure to wear sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30.

Use sunscreen that contains either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These ingredients can help prevent acne breakouts. (5,6)

You should wear sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather or season, to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays. This is even true when you’re indoors when ultraviolet A (UVA) rays can filter in through the windows. (5)

You can help treat oily skin by (3)

  • Washing your face with a gel cleanser twice a day, especially after exercise
  • Using a toner to help absorb any leftover sebum and remove dead skin cells
  • Applying a retinoid-based serum or benzoyl peroxide spot treatment, especially if you have regular acne breakouts
  • Following up with a moisturizer, or any one of the dual moisturizers on this list
  • Gently blotting your skin throughout the day to absorb excess oil
  • Make sure all your cosmetics are labeled oil-free and non-comedogenic
  • Asking a doctor about medications, such as isotretinoin or oral contraceptives if you have severe acne

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For Dry Skin:

Step 1: Cleanser 

Your first step is to choose a hydrating cleanser. You want a cleanser to remove dirt and oil without causing a disruption to the outer skin layer.(7)

A good ingredient to look for is hyaluronic acid, as in Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser

You can buy Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser online from here:

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Step 2: Toner

Many toners use alcohol as the main ingredient, which dries out the skin. Look for an alcohol-free toner with active ingredients that restore the pH levels of your skin(7)

You can buy Cetaphil Bright Healthy Radiance Refresh Toner online from here:

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Step 3: Target

This step helps to target specific skin concerns. Focus on hydration with a pure hyaluronic acid serum such as Esthederm Intensive Hyaluronic Cream

You can buy Esthederm Intensive Hyaluronic Cream online from here:

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Step 4: Moisturize

A good moisturizer will lock in the benefits of a serum. Use a moisturizer daily that’s specifically designed for the face.

Facial moisturizer needs to be really nourishing and hydrating but avoid products that might clog your pores. It’s a safe bet to look for “non-comedogenic” on the label.(7)

You can buy Bioderma Atoderm Cream online from here:

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Step 5: Protect

Daily sunscreen use prevents harmful UV rays from damaging the skin.

It recommends wearing sunscreen to protect your skin from harsh UV rays regardless of your skin type.(7)

you can buy Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF-100 Cream online from:

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There are plenty of natural remedies for dry skin, and some work great for the face.

Coconut oil is an emollient that can be used on sensitive areas, like the under-eyes, and around the mouth.

Oatmeal is another soothing ingredient that can help relieve redness and itching.

Increasing your intake of omega-3s is another great way to combat dryness. Try adding flaxseeds, salmon, and walnuts to your diet.

Best skincare routine for dry skin on the body(6)

A skincare routine for your body will be similar to your face routine. The main difference is the products you’ll use for each.

The first step is cleansing. Choose a product that includes hydrating ingredients like Ego QV Intensive Moisturizing Cleanser

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Then move on to moisture, ideally applying while the skin is still damp.

Look for creams and ointments that include one or more of the following:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • shea butter
  • Ceramides

What not to do if you have dry skin(8)

  • Don’t overdo the caffeine

Try not to overdo the caffeine intake. Too much caffeine and not enough water will dry you out in a heartbeat.

  • Go easy on the hot water

Hot showers or baths can strip the skin of natural oils. This can cause irritation, dryness, and sometimes even damage to the skin.

Instead of a steamy shower or bath, keep it just warm enough to soothe and relax without drying your skin out.

  • Avoid harsh products

Some products may make dry skin worse, like:

  • chemical peels
  • harsh exfoliating products like retinoid
  • glycolic acid
  • benzoyl peroxide
  • salicylic acid
  • alcohol
  • fragrance
  • preservatives

For combination skin

It’s a combination of oily and dry skin that can appear in different ways and in different amounts.(2)

You’ll need to pay attention to figure out exactly how your combination presents itself.

Signs of oiliness may include:

  • shiny skin
  • larger-looking pores
  • acne

Signs of dryness may include:

  • flaking
  • redness
  • feelings of tightness or roughness

Step 1: Cleanser

It’s important to remove any buildup that occurs overnight.

If you have acne, use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid and double-cleanse at night if you wear makeup.(9)

You can buy Bioderma Sebium Moussant Gel online from:

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Step 2: Toner

Toner removes any oil that your cleanser didn’t and balances your skin’s pH levels. Make sure to grab an alcohol-free toner.

You can buy Bioderma Hydrabio H20 Micellar Water online from here:

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Step 3: Serum

Serums, or treatments, hydrate and protect your skin. It’s best to opt for a serum with hyaluronic acid.(9)

You can buy Vichy, Mineral 89 online from:

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Step 4: Moisturizer

With combination skin, you’ll want two moisturizers. For dry areas, choose a creamy formula. For oily parts, choose a lightweight, water-based formula.

(9)

You can buy Bioderma Sebium Hydra online from:

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Step 5: Protect

Choose a lightweight formula with at least SPF 30.

Staying away from products that overlap (or do the same thing), like putting acids and retinoids on the skin together. This will make your skin go from combo to dry.

Some ingredients to consider:(9)

  • Hyaluronic acid is ideal for your face, as it hydrates your skin without the greasiness that could aggravate oiliness.
  • Salicylic acid may regulate oil production and help keep pores unclogged.
  • Lactic acid acts as a mild exfoliant that removes dead skin cells from dry areas and gently clears pores.
  • Antioxidants protect you from environmental damage. Make sure to choose a product with vitamin C for general skin health.

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Now let's talk about some infections and diseases that may affect your skin and how to treat it:

1- Acne vulgaris:

Acne vulgaris is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles are blocked with dead skin cells, bacteria, and oil (sebum). The blocked follicles cause blemishes on the skin, including pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts. (1)

About 85% of teenagers are affected by acne, but it can occur in any age group with many cases persisting into adulthood.

Symptoms: (1)

Most acne occurs on the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe.

If you have mild acne, you will probably have an open comedo (blackhead).

If you have moderate acne, you’ll have closed comedo (whitehead) and papule.

Severe acnes include pustule and nodule/ cyst.

Causes:(2)

Acne is largely a hormonal condition that’s driven by androgen hormones, which typically become active during the teenage and young adult years. Sensitivity to these hormones — combined with surface bacteria on the skin and fatty acids within oil glands — can result in acne.

Certain things can cause acne and/or make it worse:(2)

  • Fluctuating hormone levels around the time of a woman’s period.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Clothing and headgear, like hats and sports helmets.
  • Air pollution and certain weather conditions, especially high humidity.
  • Using oily or greasy personal care products (like heavy lotions, creams, or hair pomades and waxes) or working in an area where you routinely come in contact with grease (such as working at a restaurant where there are greasy food surfaces and frying oil).
  • Stress, which increases the hormone cortisol, can also cause acne to flare.
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Some foods like wheat, milk, and coffee
  • Genetics.

Treatment:(3)

Your healthcare provider may suggest some non-prescription medications for your condition. Depending on the condition’s severity, your age, the type of acne you have, and how effective the over-the-counter remedies have been, you may need stronger prescription medications.

1- Benzoyl peroxide: is available as an over-the-counter product (such as Akneroxidl®, Benzac AC®) as a leave-on gel or wash. It targets surface bacteria, which often aggravates acne. Lower concentrations and wash formulations are less irritating to your skin. Irritation (dryness) is a common side effect.

2-Salicylic acid is available over the counter for acne, as a cleanser or lotion. It helps remove the top layer of damaged skin. Salicylic acid dissolves dead skin cells to prevent your hair follicles from clogging. It works by easing inflammation and unclogging pores. It can be found in OTC brands like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Facial Wash

You can buy La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Facial Wash online from:

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3-Retinoids are available over the counter (e.g., La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Pure Retinol Serum, Rexsol Retinol + C Cream). They help to break up whiteheads and blackheads, as well as prevent blocked pores.

Most patients are candidates for retinoid therapy. These medications are not spotting treatments and must be used on the entire area of skin affected by acne to prevent the formation of new pimples. The most common side effect is irritation, which usually improves with moisturization and time on the medication.

You can buy Rexsol Retinol + C Cream online from:

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You can buy La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Pure Retinol Serum online from:

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4-Antibiotics (topical types include clindamycin and erythromycin) control surface bacteria that aggravate and often encourage the swelling of acne. Antibiotics are more effective when combined with benzoyl peroxide.

5-Isotretinoin (Curance®, Oratane®), an oral retinoid, is an especially effective drug used only for the most severe cases of acne. Isotretinoin shrinks the size of oil glands, which contributes to acne formation. The most common side effect is dryness but can also cause birth defects. Some evidence suggests a possible increased risk of ulcerative colitis and depression.

6- Diet

  • High glycemic index diets may be associated with acne.
  • A low glycemic load (LGL) diet had significant improvement in acne severity
  • Certain dairy products may aggravate acne.
  • Some studies have examined the role of antioxidants (including oral zinc), probiotics, and fish oil on acne

7- Chemical peels:  is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin

8- comodo removal: a dermatologist or cosmetologist may extract blackheads using gentle pressure around the pore opening and whiteheads by incision with a large needle or a blade.

9- Laser and Light devices:

Some laser and light devices may be beneficial for acne.

2- Dermatitis:

Dry skin also known as xerosis is a common condition that the skin loses too much water or oil, loses moisture and it may crack and peel. (4)

Extremely dry skin can be a warning sign of dermatitis

The types of dermatitis include but are not limited to:(4)

  • Contact dermatitis: results from direct contact with certain substances called allergens.

Common allergens include rubber, costume jewelry, perfume, cosmetics, hair dyes, and poison ivy.

  • Neurodermatitis: occurs because of repeated scratching.

Typically occurs on the scalp, neck, wrist, upper forearm, and ankle 

  • Perioral/Periorificial dermatitis usually affects the area around the mouth, but can also affect the areas around the nose, cheeks, and eyes.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff, cradle cap): often found on oily areas of the body, such as the face, upper chest, back, and scalp.
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema): occurs in the folds of the elbow, backs of the knees, or the front of the neck.

It tends to flare periodically and then subside for a time, even up to several years.

How to manage dermatitis and feel better:(5)

  • Moisturize your skin.
  • Use anti-inflammation and anti-itch products. Hydrocortisone cream might temporarily relieve your symptoms. Oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, may help reduce itching. These types of products are available without a prescription.
  • Apply a cool wet cloth. This helps soothe your skin.
  • Take a comfortably warm bath. Sprinkle your bathwater with baking soda or a finely ground oatmeal that's made for the bathtub (colloidal oatmeal).
  • Use medicated shampoos. For dandruff, use OTC shampoos containing selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, coal tar, or ketoconazole.
  • Avoid rubbing and scratching. Cover the itchy area with a dressing if you can't keep from scratching it. Trim your nails and wear gloves at night.
  • Choose mild laundry detergent. Because your clothes, sheets, and towels touch your skin, choose mild, unscented laundry products.
  • Avoid known irritants or allergens. Try to identify and remove allergens and other factors in your environment that irritate your skin. Avoid rough and scratchy clothing.
  • Manage your stress. Emotional stressors can cause some types of dermatitis to flare. Consider trying stress management techniques such as relaxation or biofeedback.

3- Sunburn:

Sunburn is red, painful skin that feels hot to the touch. It usually appears within a few hours after too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from sunshine or artificial sources.(6)

Sunburn signs and symptoms can include:(6)

  • Changes in skin tone, such as pinkness or redness
  • Skin that feels warm or hot to the touch
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Small fluid-filled blisters, which may break
  • Headache, fever, nausea, and fatigue, if the sunburn is severe
  • Eyes that feel painful or gritty
  • Ultraviolet radiation increases the risk of three types of skin cancer: melanoma, basal-cell carcinoma, and squamous-cell carcinoma.
  • Extreme sunburns can be painful to the point of debilitation and may require hospital care. (7)
Ultraviolet A (UVA) Ultraviolet B (UVB)
  • Wavelength range 320 to 400 nm.
  • Only 5% is blocked by the ozone layer.
  • More uniformly throughout the day.
  • Deep skin penetration and absorbed by the epidermis and dermis and can cause cellular damage.
  • Causes skin Aging
  • Wavelength range 280 to 320 nm.
  • 95% is blocked by the ozone layer.
  • Not uniformly throughout the day.
  • Poor skin penetration and absorption by epidermis only.
  • It is required for vitamin D activation

Risk factors for sunburn include:(6)

  • Having light skin, blue eyes, and red or blond hair
  • Living or vacationing somewhere sunny, warm, or at a high altitude
  • Working outdoors
  • Swimming or spraying your skin with water, as wet skin tends to burn more than does dry skin
  • Mixing outdoor recreation and drinking alcohol
  • Regularly exposing unprotected skin to UV light from sunlight or artificial sources, such as tanning beds
  • Taking photosensitizing medications such as certain antibiotics (Tetracyclines, Fluoroquinolones, and Sulfonamides), certain antifungals, NSAIDs, diuretics, retinoid, sulfonylureas, statins, and neuroleptic drugs.

Sun exposure and repeated sunburns accelerate the skin's aging process, making you look older than you are. Skin changes caused by UV light are called photoaging. The results of photoaging include:(6)

  • Weakening of connective tissues, which reduces the skin's strength and elasticity
  • Deep wrinkles
  • Dry, rough skin
  • Fine red veins on your cheeks, nose, and ears
  • Freckles, mostly on your face and shoulders
  • Dark or discolored spots (macules) on your face, back of hands, arms, chest, and upper back — also called solar lentigines (len-TIJ-ih-neze)

How to treat sunburn? (8)

  1. Take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain. As soon as you get out of the bathtub or shower, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin. Then, apply a moisturizer to help trap the water in your skin. This can help ease the dryness.
  2. Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin. If a particular area feels especially uncomfortable, you may want to apply a hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription. Do not treat sunburn with “-caine” products (such as benzocaine), as these may irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.

You can use Bioderma Cicabio Cream, Beesline After Sun Repairing Milk

You can buy Bioderma Cicabio Cream online from:

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  1. Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness, and discomfort.
  2. Drink extra water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water when you are sunburned helps prevent dehydration.
  3. If your skin blisters, allow the blisters to heal. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters, as blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection.
  4. Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. Tightly woven fabrics work best. When you hold the fabric up to bright light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through.

Prevention: (6)

  1. Avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm.
  2. Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds.
  3. Use sunscreen frequently (SPF of 30 or greater and board-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays)
  4. Wear sunglasses (with UVA and UVB protection) when outdoors
  5. Be aware of photosensitizing medications.

Sunscreen

  • Sunscreen (also known as sunblock, sun cream, or sun lotion) is a lotion, spray, gel, or other topical product that absorbs or reflects some of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and thus helps protect against sunburn. (9)
  • Sunblock (physical sunscreen) typically refers to opaque sunscreen that is effective at blocking both UVA and UVB rays and uses a heavy carrier oil to resist being washed off.(9)
  • Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are two of the important ingredients in sunblock.
  • Sunscreen (chemical sunscreen) is more popular than sunblock (due to sunblock having a greasy appearance).

Physical sunscreen (sunblock):(10)

  • It acts as a physical barrier to reflect and scatter about 99% of light but is less cosmetically accepted than chemical sunscreen because it has a greasy appearance.
  • There is no chemical reaction, and no free radicals are produced.
  • Examples: Titanium Dioxide, Red Petrolatum, and Zinc Oxide.

Chemical sunscreen (sunscreen):(10)

  • Protect the skin by absorbing light particles.
  • When this energy is absorbed, the molecules of the sunscreen are chemically reacting and destroyed it.
  • The chemical reaction generates free radicals; secondary free radicals may accelerate the skin aging process after a long period of application → potential for secondary damage.
  • Sunscreen contains exceptionally powerful antioxidants to reduce free radical activities and the potential for secondary damage. These antioxidants such as grape extract, vitamin E, green tea, etc.
  • Sunscreen is usually applied 20-30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours, after heavy sweating or after being in the water.

Measurements of protection:(11)

  1. Sun Protection Factor (SPF): the SPF of a sunscreen is a laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen; the higher the SPF, the more protection a sunscreen offers against UVB.(11)
    The SPF scale:(11)SPF 15: protect 93% of UVB raysSPF 30: protect 97% of UVB rays

    SPF 50: protect 98% of UVB rays

    SPF 100: protect 99% of UVB rays

  2. Sunscreen spectrum: broad-spectrum sunscreens are designed to protect against both UVB & UVA.
  3. Substantively: the ability of the sunscreen to adhere to the skin while swimming or perspiring.
  4. Water resistance: indicate that the formula retains SPF after 40 min of activity in water, sweating, and perspiring.
  5. Very water resistance: indicate that the formula retains SPF after 80 min of activity in the water, sweating, and perspiring.

How to choose sunscreen according to your skin type?

If you have oily, acne-prone skin, specifical sunscreen for oily skin is recommended as it will be water-based instead of oil-based thus a sunscreen gel is recommended for oily skin like La Roche Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid SPF-50+

You can buy La Roche Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid SPF-50+ online from:

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If you have dry skin, look for sunscreens that have hydrating ingredients such as Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF-100 Cream

You can buy Bioderma Photoderm Max SPF-100 Cream online from:

https://makkahpharmacy.ae/product/bioderma-photoderm-max-spf100-cream-40-ml/

The best sunscreen for kids should be at least 50, but you should aim for 70+. Choose sunscreens specifically made for kids as adult sunscreens can irritate their gentle skin. Babies need even stronger sun protection, as their skin is thinner and more sensitive like Bioderma Photoderm Kid SPF50+ Sun Foam for Delicate Skin

You can buy Bioderma Photoderm Kid SPF50+ Sun Foam for Delicate Skin online from:

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4-Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation isn’t necessarily a condition but a term that describes skin that appears darker. It can:(12)

  • occur in small patches
  • cover large areas
  • affect the entire body

While increased pigmentation usually isn’t harmful, it can be a symptom of another medical condition.

Types of hyperpigmentation(12)

There are several types of hyperpigmentation, the common ones being melasma, sunspots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

  • Melasma: is believed to be caused by hormonal changes and may develop during pregnancy. Areas of hyperpigmentation can appear on any area of the body, but they appear most commonly on the stomach and face.
  • Sunspots: Also called liver spots or solar lentigines, sunspots are common. They’re related to excess sun exposure over time. Generally, they appear as spots on areas exposed to the sun, like the hands and face.
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is a result of injury or inflammation of the skin. A common cause of this type is acne.

How to treat?(13)

Use Sunscreen:

  • A physical blocking sunscreen, preferably with zinc oxide as the main active ingredient
  • At least an SPF of 30 to 50
  • Broad spectrum coverage

Topical creams:

Many people use topical treatments to treat hyperpigmentation. Topical treatments will include ingredients that can lighten the skin, such as:

  • Azelaic acid
  • Cysteamine cream
  • Vitamin C
  • Hydroquinone
  • Corticosteroids
  • Kojic acid
  • Retinoids, such as tretinoin
  • Arbutin
  • Glycolic acid peels
  • Niacinamide
  • N-acetyl glucosamine

Cosmetic procedures:

  • Laser therapy: pulsed CO2 laser & Q-switched alexandrite laser
  • Mechanical peeling: microdermabrasion & dermabrasion
  • Chemical peels: Trichloroacetic acid (TCA), salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and phenol.

5-Skin aging and wrinkles

  • Skin aging is influenced by many factors including ultraviolet radiation, excess alcohol consumption, tobacco abuse, and environmental pollution. (14)
  • Within the skin, aging is associated with a loss of fibrous tissue, a slower rate of cellular renewal, and a reduced vascular and glandular network.(14)
  • Wrinkles, a natural part of aging, are most prominent on sun-exposed skin, such as the face, neck, hands, and forearms due to underlying alterations in the dermal collagen and elastic fibers.(14)

Causes: (14)

  • As you get older, your skin naturally becomes less elastic and more fragile. Decreased production of natural oils dries your skin and makes it appear more wrinkled.
  • Fat in the deeper layers of your skin diminishes. This causes loose, saggy skin and more-pronounced lines and crevices.
  • Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Ultraviolet radiation, which speeds up the natural aging process, is the primary cause of early wrinkling. Exposure to UV light breaks down your skin's connective tissue — collagen and elastin fibers, which lie in the deeper layer of skin (dermis).

Without supportive connective tissue, your skin loses strength and flexibility. The skin then begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely.

  • Smoking can accelerate the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles. This may be due to smoking's effect on collagen.
  • Repeated facial expressions.Facial movements and expressions, such as squinting or smiling, lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Each time you use a facial muscle, a groove forms beneath the surface of the skin. And as skin ages, it loses its flexibility and is no longer able to spring back in place. These grooves then become permanent features on your face.

Management: (15)

  • Use sunscreen with dual protection against UVA & UVB
  • Use a light daily moisturizer and intensive nighttime moisturizer
  • Essential fatty acid intake: fish oil rich in omega 3 oils (EPA &DHA) inhibit the production of inflammatory metabolites.

*Supplemental nutrients to support skin health:(16)

Curcumin 400-800 mg daily
Trans-Resveratrol 250-500 mg daily
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) 100-200 mg daily You can order it from:

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Selenium 200-400 mg daily You can order it from:

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Vitamin E 400 IU daily You can order it from:

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Vitamin A 5000 IU daily
Fish oil 1400 mg EPA & 1000 mg DHA daily You can order it from:

https://makkahpharmacy.ae/product/21st-century-alaska-wild-fish-oil-softgels-90-count/

Lycopene 15 mg daily
Vitamin D 5000-10000 IU daily You can order it from:

https://makkahpharmacy.ae/product/vita-d-10000iu-tablets-30s/

Green tea, standardized extract 725-1450 mg daily
Grape extract 150 mg daily
Blend of dark berry extracts 700-1400 mg daily

 

 

  • Anti-aging cosmetics: anti-aging cosmetic preparations include conventional moisturizing with a specific anti-aging ingredient such as (15)
  • Retinol: reduce fine lines and pores
  • Epidermal growth factor: stimulate cell renewal and collagen production
  • Hyaluronic acid: promote collagen synthesis, repair, and hydration
  • Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid or other chemical peels: enhance the exfoliation of the epidermis and exposes new skin cells and can help improve the appearance
  • Vitamin C: antioxidants and it is also thought to help the healing process.

You can order vitamin C online from:

https://makkahpharmacy.ae/product/puritans-pride-vitamin-c-500mg-100/

  • Chemical peeling: such as AHA, TCA, salicylic acid, and phenol
  • Mechanical peeling: dermabrasion & microdermabrasion
  • Augmentation therapy by filler injection: by injection of soft tissue filler into the skin to help fill in facial wrinkles, restoring a smoother appearance

Fillers such as Hyaluronic acid, collagen, calcium hydroxylapatite, polycaprolactone, polymethyl methacrylate, and polylactic acid.

  • Botulinum toxin type A (Botox®) injection therapy:(17)

it blocks the chemical signals that cause muscles to contract. Botox is injected into the muscles whose contractions cause wrinkles, such as between the eyebrows (frown lines) and the lines that radiate from the corner of the eyes (crow's feet). The effects of Botox usually last for three to four months. When the Botox wears off, the muscles again become active, and the wrinkles will begin to reform. The treatment would then be repeated. If you choose not to repeat the injections, your wrinkles will return to no worse than they were initially. There might be temporary redness, bruising, or stinging around the Botox injection sites. In extremely rare cases, there might be a slight lid droop for several days after the injection, but all reported side effects have been temporary.

  • Skin tightening by laser or energy-based devices: removes thin layers of skin and stimulates collagen production.
  • Skin lifting by threads or surgical operations (Facelift surgery): the face-lift procedure involves removing excess skin and fat in the lower face and neck and tightening the underlying muscle and connective tissue.

References 

  1. The Skin (Human Anatomy): Picture, Definition, Function, and Skin Conditions [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 29]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-the-skin
  2. What’s Your Skin Type? [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 29]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/beauty/whats-your-skin-type
  3. Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin: Key Steps for Healthy Skin [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 29]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-care-routine-for-oily-skin-2#other-steps
  4. Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin: Key Steps for Healthy Skin [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 29]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-care-routine-for-oily-skin-2#cleanse
  5. Sunscreen and Prevention of Skin Aging. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2013 Jun 4;158(11):I.
  6. Dry skin - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 29]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353891
  7. The Ultimate Skin Care Routine and Best Products for Dry Skin [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 29]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/skin-care-routine-for-dry-skin#all-natural
  8. Kim S, Ly BK, Ha JH, Carson KA, Hawkins S, Kang S, et al. A consistent skin care regimen leads to objective and subjective improvements in dry human skin: investigator-blinded randomized clinical trial. Journal of Dermatological Treatment. 2022;33(1):300–5.
  9. The Ultimate Skin Care Routine for Combination Skin [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 29]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/skin-care-routine-for-combination-skin#combination-skin-care-routine

 

  1. Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, Alikhan A, Baldwin HE, Berson DS, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 May 1;74(23):945-973.e33.
  2. Acne [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-causes
  3. Acne: Treatment, Types, Causes & Prevention [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12233-acne
  4. Dermatitis: Types, Treatments, Causes & Symptoms [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/4089-dermatitis
  5. Dermatitis - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dermatitis-eczema/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352386
  6. Sunburn - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sunburn/symptoms-causes/syc-20355922
  7. UV Radiation - The Skin Cancer Foundation [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://www.skincancer.org/risk-factors/uv-radiation/
  8. How to treat sunburn [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/injured-skin/burns/treat-sunburn
  9. Sunscreen vs. Sunblock: What’s the Difference, and Which One Is Better? [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://www.health.com/beauty/skincare/sunscreen-vs-sunblock
  10. The difference between physical and chemical sunscreen [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/the-difference-between-physical-and-chemical-sunscreen
  11. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) | FDA [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/center-drug-evaluation-and-research-cder/sun-protection-factor-spf
  12. Schalka S. New data on hyperpigmentation disorders. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 2017 Sep 1;31:18–21.
  13. Hyperpigmentation: Types, treatment, and causes [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323808
  14. Krutmann J, Bouloc A, Sore G, Bernard BA, Passeron T. The skin aging exposome. Journal of Dermatological Science. 2017 Mar 1;85(21):152–61.
  15. Ganceviciene R, Liakou AI, Theodoridis A, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis CC. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol [Internet]. 2012 Jul 7 [cited 2022 Jun 17];4(21):308. Available from: /pmc/articles/PMC3583892/
  16. The 14 Best Anti-Aging Supplements [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anti-aging-supplements
  17. Wrinkles and Aging Skin [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 17]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10984-wrinkles
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Maintaining the health of the digestive system

Maintaining the health of the digestive system is an important thing to do, so how do we maintain the health of the digestive system?

Here is a group of advice that we have collected specifically for you, which will help protect the digestive system from various health problems:

Diet plays an important role in maintaining your digestive health, so you should start with your diet, for example;

1- Yogurt:

Yogurt is made from fermented milk, usually by lactic acid bacteria.
It contains friendly bacteria known as probiotics, which are good bacteria that live in your digestive tract and can help improve digestion. (1)
Probiotics can help with digestive issues, such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. (1)
Probiotics naturally occur in your gut, you should boost your intake of food like yogurt or supplements that can ease your digestion. (1)

2- Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds are a source of fiber. They work like a prebiotic, supporting the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and improving your healthy digestion.
Their fiber content also helps promote bowel regularity and healthy stools.(1)

3- Whole Grains:

Whole grains like oats and quinoa can improve your digestion as fiber helps add bulk to your stool and can reduce constipation, and some grain fibers act like prebiotics that help feed healthy bacteria in your gut. (2)

4- Salmon:

Salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3. Omega-3s found in salmon, decreases inflammation in your gut, thus improving your digestive process. (3)

5- Peppermint:

Peppermint and peppermint oil can decrease symptoms of IBS; including bloating, stomach discomfort and bowel movement issues. (4,5)

6- Apple: 

Apple is a rich source of pectin (soluble fiber). It will help you resolve constipation and diarrhea. (1)

Now that we have outlined recommended food for improving digestive health, here are the some diets and food you should avoid:

1- Acidic food: 

Tomato sauce and citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit, are acidic and can irritate the stomach lining, causing digestive problems. (6)
High acidic food and drink:(7)

  • certain dairy products, including cheese
  • processed meats, such as corned beef and turkey
  • carbonated beverages, such as soda
  • high protein foods and supplements with animal protein

2- Dairy products: 

Dairy products can be hard to digest for some people, mainly because of lactose. This case is called lactose intolerance.

What is lactose intolerance? (8)

Lactose is a type of sugar that occurs naturally in the milk of most mammals.
Within humans exists an enzyme called lactase, which is the enzyme that breaks down and digests lactose. The majority of people lack the proper enzyme to digest lactose, making them lactose intolerant.
It may still be okay to eat yogurt and lactose-free milk.
The signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance usually begin from 30 minutes to two hours after eating or drinking foods that contain lactose.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea, and sometimes, vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Gas

When to see a doctor:
Make an appointment with your doctor if you frequently have symptoms of lactose intolerance after eating dairy foods, particularly if you're worried about getting enough calcium.

3- Fatty foods:

Fatty foods stimulate contractions in the digestive tract, which can slow down the emptying of the stomach and worsen constipation or speed up movement, leading to or worsening diarrhea (9).
You should put low-fat foods on the menu and eat small meals spaced throughout the day, which can put less pressure on your stomach. Avoid high-fat food, like butter, ice cream, red meat, and cheese.
You can get your fat needs from healthy fat sources.
Foods that contain healthy fats:(10)

  • Avocado
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole eggs
  • Salmon
  • Raw nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Yogurt

4- Fried food:

The problem with fried food is the same as with fatty foods. Fried foods are low in fiber and take time to digest, so they slow down the digestive process. (9)

5- Processed food:

Processed food should be generally avoided in all cases but specifically, if you have chronic constipation because it contains preservatives, artificial colors, lactose, and is low in fiber. (11)
Some examples of processed foods include:(11)

  • frozen or ready meals
  • baked goods, including pizza, cakes, and pastries
  • packaged bread
  • processed cheese products
  • breakfast cereals
  • crackers and chips
  • candy and ice cream
  • instant noodles and soups
  • reconstituted meats, such as sausages, nuggets, and fish fingers
  • sodas and other sweetened drinks

6-Artificial sweetener:

The artificial sweetener that causes digestive problems is Sorbitol. (9)
Sorbitol has a different name on food labels like D-sorbitol, 50-70-4, E420, and D-glucitol.
So If you have diarrhea, read food labels so that you can avoid Sorbitol.
Processed food products that contain Sorbitol:

  • sugar-free candies for those with diabetes
  • sugar-free chewing gum
  • sugar-free jams and marmalades

Sorbitol can also be found in the juice forms of the high sorbitol fruits such as pear juice and plum juice. Be sure to check the label carefully for such ingredients in food products such as pre-prepared smoothies, trail mixes, cereals, and sauces. (12)

7- Caffeine:

Coffee stimulates gastrin release and gastric acid secretion, leading to heartburn and GERD. Excessive amounts of caffeine can give anyone diarrhea. It’s not recommended to switch to decaf coffee because it still has some caffeine. So if you have heartburn or any digestive problems, try to control coffee, chocolate, soda, and energy drinks. (13,14)

8- Spicy food:

Spicy foods can trigger abdominal pain. For people with inflammatory bowel disease (or IBD — Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), spicy foods can also trigger some symptoms. (15)
If you are suffering from IBS, there are a few tips to deal with IBS:

  • Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms
  • Eat high-fiber foods
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough sleep

Are you aware of gluten intolerance?
Do you know what gluten is?

Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains, including wheat, rye, spelled, and barley. Wheat is the most common grain that contains gluten. (16) When flour mixes with water, the gluten proteins form a sticky network that has a glue-like consistency. This glue-like property makes the dough elastic and gives bread the ability to rise during baking. It also provides a chewy, satisfying texture. (16) People may experience the following symptoms for several hours or days after they consume gluten:(17)

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Anemia.
  • Anxiety.
  • Bloating or gas.
  • Brain fog or trouble concentrating.
  • Depression.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Joint pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Skin rash.
  • Many people with gluten intolerance also have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Probiotics help increase the good bacteria in your gut. They may reduce symptoms of bloating, gas or constipation.Foods high in gluten that you should avoid:(18)

  • wheat
  • rye
  • barley
  • bread
  • pasta
  • cereals
  • beer
  • cakes, cookies, and pastries

Gluten-free grains that should be in your diet:(18)

  • rice
  • oats
  • quinoa
  • flax
  • millet
  • sorghum
  • arrowroot
  • amaranth

Gluten-free foods:(18)

  • meat
  • fish and seafood
  • eggs
  • dairy products
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • tubers
  • fats, such as oils and butter

A person should always consult with a healthcare professional before adopting a gluten-free diet.

When to Seek Emergency Care

Severe abdominal pain should never be ignored. Go to your nearest emergency room or call 998 if you have any of these symptoms:(19)

  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Pain accompanied by the inability to have a bowel movement (especially if you are vomiting)
  • Abdominal pain while vomiting blood
  • Profuse or continual bleeding from the bowels
  • Gastric pain accompanied by shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Pain that is severe and sudden
  • Severe tenderness when you touch your abdomen
  • Skin that appears yellow
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Pain during pregnancy (or if you suspect you are pregnant)

References 

  1. The 19 Best Foods to Improve Digestion [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-foods-for-digestion#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3
  2. The Whole Truth About Whole Grains [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-whole-truth-about-whole-grains
  3. Is Salmon Easy To Digest? The Definitive Guide - Foods Fact [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.foodsfact.org/is-salmon-easy-to-digest/
  4. Sinagra E, Pompei G, Tomasello G, Cappello F, Morreale GC, Amvrosiadis G, et al. Inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome: Myth or new treatment target? World Journal of Gastroenterology [Internet]. 2016 Feb 21 [cited 2022 Feb 14];22(7):2242. Available from: /pmc/articles/PMC4734999/
  5. Cash BD, Epstein MS, Shah SM. A Novel Delivery System of Peppermint Oil Is an Effective Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms. Digestive diseases and sciences [Internet]. 2016 Feb 1 [cited 2022 Feb 14];61(2):560–71. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26319955/
  6. Are acidic foods harmful to health? [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322557#the-acid-ash-hypothesis
  7. Acidic Foods: What You Need to Know [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/diet/what-to-know-about-acidic-foods#091e9c5e8218ec9d-2-5
  8. di Costanzo M, Berni Canani R. Lactose Intolerance: Common Misunderstandings. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism [Internet]. 2019 Feb 1 [cited 2022 Feb 14];73(Suppl 4):30–7. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lactose-intolerance/symptoms-causes/syc-20374232
  9. 11 Foods to Avoid During Digestive Problems and Disorders | Everyday Health [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health/diet/foods-to-avoid-during-digestive-problems/
  10. 9 High-Fat Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-super-healthy-high-fat-foods#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4
  11. Processed foods: Health risks and what to avoid [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318630#what-is-processed-food
  12. Sorbitol intolerance: an unappreciated cause of functional gastrointestinal complaints - PubMed [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6847853/
  13. Coffee and gastrointestinal function: facts and fiction. A review - PubMed [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10499460/
  14. Boekema PJ, Samsom M, van Berge Henegouwen GP, Smout AJPM. Coffee and gastrointestinal function: facts and fiction. A review. Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology Supplement [Internet]. 1999 [cited 2022 Feb 14];230(34):35–9. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10499460/
  15. A hot topic: Are spicy foods healthy or dangerous? - UChicago Medicine [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/health-and-wellness-articles/spicy-foods-healthy-or-dangerous
  16. Biesiekierski JR. What is gluten? Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia). 2017 Mar 1;32:78–81.
  17. Gluten Intolerance: Symptoms, Test, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21622-gluten-intolerance
  18. Gluten: What is it, gluten-free diet, intolerance, and sensitivity [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318606#gluten-free-diet
  19. When to See a Healthcare Provider for Abdominal Pain [Internet]. [cited 2022 Feb 14]. Available from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/when-to-see-a-doctor-for-abdominal-pain-770762
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