Frequently Asked Question
Scalp folliculitis is a common skin condition and can be due to mainly bacterial infection, but can sometimes be due to fungal infection, ingrown hair, clogging of the hair follicle, long term use of certain medications like steroid preparation, or low immune system.
Dermodex folliculorum mites are considered as a harmless commensal, which means that these organisms live on our skin usually in the hair follicle without causing any problems. Rarely, due to infestation, it can cause eyes condition like blepharitis with associated itch eyes, or worsening of rosacea. Demodex is not a common cause of scalp folliculitis. There are treatments in the form of creams and in severe cases, tablets.
Yes. Depends on the severity and whether it affects the fingernails, it can be treated by topical solution applied twice a day on the effected areas for a few weeks to a few months or antifungal tablets to be taken for about 6 weeks , or taken at what we call pulse dose, 1 week of higher dose antifungal, stop for 3 weeks then another 1 week dose of antifungal tablets again .
To answer this question , you need to know why you shampoo your hair routinely before in the first place. People shampoo their hair to get rid of odour, after a sweaty activity, to get rid of excess oil when the hair becomes oily, to feel fresh amongst some of the reasons. So you shampoo your hair for the same reason even when you are cooped up at home. In general , if you have really oily hair you may want to wash your hair more frequently compared to those of you who have dry hair. People who have dandruff ,or psoriasis of the scalp may have to wash their scalp and hair frequently.
If you and your family are at home, then yes – You can reduce the number of times you hand wash or use sanitizer provided you keep your surfaces like table tops and doorknobs, clean by using antiseptic cleansers. lWe should not forget that there are other organisms like other viruses, bacteria and fungus not just coronavirus that we should protect ourselves against. Whilst at home, particularly for those who have dry skin or sensitive skin, or skin conditions like hand eczema , you should use gentle non perfumed cleansers instead of harsh soaps.
Skin routine should always include facial wash and moisturizer at the very basic. Use products that are suitable for your skin depending on your skin type.
Sunblock should be the third most important product even when you are indoors most of the time, particularly if you have to wash clothes and hang them out during the hot sun. During that time your skin is exposed to bright sunlight. And those who do gardening too. Sunblock slows down the skin ageing process produced by exposure to the UVA and UVB light. Some studies have even produced evidence that visible light like the ones we have indoors can prematurely age the skin although the adverse effect is not as great as sunlight.
Other products may include serums that are tailored to what kind of effect or skin issues that you may have, can help to resolve or prevent from happening.
Toner, in my opinion, is optional. If you have dry skin you may need to avoid using toner as it generally dries up the skin.
Facial scrubs are usually used to gently exfoliate the old dead skin from the surface of our skin so your skin feels smoother. They usually come in cream or gel form, containing particles within the scrub made either from salt, sugar, ground coffee, almond etc. The size of the particles can be course, medium or fine. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to use the fine scrub. On the other hand, if you have large pores, you may want to avoid fine scrubs as this can get trapped into the skin pores or hair follicles. Scrubs should be done 2-3 times a week.
Drink enough water. We may forget to do that whilst indoors as we do less activity perhaps and we don’t sweat, and so forget to hydrate ourselves enough. This is made worse if we are staying in an air conditioned environment , which dries up our skin even more, and hence we may have to moisturise even more than usual.
Eat a healthy balanced diet. This is perhaps the time when we can really look into what we eat as we are preparing our own meals more often compared to when we are busy working. Try to refrain from snacking too much on junk food and sweet stuff ( I know this is very difficult!) as some of these will increase possibility of acne.
Enough sleep at night helps to keep skin healthy. Try not to stay up too late to play games or watch tv as poor sleep can ruin skin health too.
Exercise within the safety of your home helps to increase the blood circulation to the skin and keeps skin healthy.
And finally, this may be the best time to try to stop smoking mainly because the possible detrimental effect on the lungs and thereby increased risk of worse covid 19 infection in smokers. And for the skin, nicotine actually dulls the skin and increase the premature ageing of the skin due to the constriction of blood vessels. This will in turn, reduce the blood supply carrying the nutrients to the skin and increases accumulation of free radicals. For more details please refer to our blog article on Giving your immune system, a fighting chance against Covid-19.
If you have chapped lips , you need to drink more water ( if you think you are not drinking enough) and use lip balm frequently. Stop lip licking and lip smacking ( when the individual smack the top with the bottom lips together) as this will certainly exacerbate the problem. The saliva introduced onto the lips and surrounding skin by lip licking and lip smacking will make the lips even dryier and the enzymes within the saliva will irritate the lips further. You also need to stop picking and pulling the dead skin off the lips as this will damage and wounding the lips further. Instead you can very carefully trim off the excess dry skin from the lips instead of shearing it off.
For dry hands, you need to use gentle non perfumed cleanser, with less preservatives to wash your hands followed by the application of moisturiser each time after hand washing. The type of moisturizer will depend on how dry your hands are. Use creamier or thicker moisturizer if your hands are extremely dry, and use it often. Avoid direct contact with detergent and therefore, house cleaning activities like dish washing will require the use of gloves.
During the MCO, you may be indoors more than usual. Therefore you may need vitamin D supplements as not enough sun exposure can lead to Vit D deficiency. Dietary Vitamin D sources include oily fish, eggs, and mushrooms, cheese, and foods fortified with Vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
Vitamin C is important for immune system and skin health too. Vit C supplement at 500-100mg dose per day or can be found in broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, peppers, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes, to be eaten raw when possible.
Dear LC Tan . Fuh ! You gave me a scare there with that picture. My advise is , just don’t look at yourself in the mirror , then you won’t scare yourself too much. Just picture your skin as it was 10- 20 years ago and you start feeling better already . In the meantime, you can use moisturizing cream and antiageing serum. We do have them in our clinic and we can deliver them if you are interested. We have creams for ageing skin on the neck too. And make sure you get your Botox again once the MCO is lifted! ?
There are many reasons for hair fall. For example, it could be due to stress, major illness a couple of months before, having delivered a baby recently, thyroid problem, low iron level, fungal infection, alopecia areata and other autoimmune diseases. Medical problems causing alopecia need to be investigated and treated at the same.
There are topical solutions that can be applied in the form of minoxidil, growth factors etc onto the scalp. There are also pills to control hair loss and promote new hair growth but this is only suitable for men and postmenopausal women. Vitamins like magnesium, selenium, zinc and iron promote hair growth. Please visit your dermatologist before taking any supplements especially if you are concomitantly taking medications for other conditions. Avoid combing your hair when it is still wet as they break more easily when wet. If you have long hair, do not tie your hair too tightly, because that will pull on the more fragile hair on the frontal hairline and induced traction alopecia leading to receding hairline.
Also check out our sales centre at Lazada and Shopee for Foltene Hair Treatment range. The range includes shampoos and conditioners for men and women for hair loss and treatment. We will also be introducing Foltene Hair Serums soon.
Over the last few weeks, there have been many reports of exacerbation of hand eczema in those who have pre existing eczema or past history of eczema, due to the constant hand washing and the use of sanitizer. My advice to your daughter when she wants to clean her hands is, to wash her hands instead of using sanitizer, and to use a gentle hand wash instead of harsh ones. I usually advise patients who have eczema to use gentle cleanser /body wash for showering too, because we still use our hands to spread the body wash to the surface of the skin. If she is helping you around the house with cleaning and washing the dishes, she should wear gloves to reduce direct contact with detergents as much as possible which can potentially cause irritation or allergy reaction. Equally important is the use of moisturizer after every hand washing.
For her dry face, avoid the using drying facial wash which is commonly being used amongst teenagers when they start having acne. You may want to change her facial wash to a non-drying, non-perfumed, gentle facial wash. And she will need to apply some moisturizer too for her face after face washing and after ablution (wudhu).
Many people forget to continue this routine when they are better. These habits should be maintained even when her skin is clear of eczema to reduce the likelihood of recurrence.
If her eczema is bad, it is best for her to see a dermatologist as she may need to use medicated creams or take tablets for a short time.
Hi Aliah. Oily skin happens when there is too much sebum (oil) production by the sebaceous glands in the skin. Sebaceous filaments develops when the pores are being clogged by the combination of excess oil and dead skin. So in order to reduce both factors, we need to take steps to reduce oil and remove the excess dead skin cells that still lingers on the surface of our skin.
Washing the face regularly and the use of blotting paper reduces the amount of oil on the skin, helps to minimize the shine and grease. Clay, honey or oatmeal facial mask once or twice a week helps to absorb excess oil. There are facial wash with ingredients such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid helps to remove the dead skin. The us of astringent toner also helps to reduce excess oil, to be used once a day or alternate days depending on the level of oiliness. There are also cosmeceutical preparations for instance in a form of glycolic acid lotion that can be used twice a day to further remove excess oil and dead skin. Use light lotion or gel type moisturizer instead of rich creamy ones.
Using acne gel for the whole face will be too drying and irritating and therefore, not advisable. However some people may be able to tolerate using a drop of certain acne gel containing salicylic or glycolic acid or tretinoin cream when it is mixed or diluted with moisturizer. Apply this at night, as exposure to the sun of some of these ingredients may cause sensitivity.
It is important not to ‘overdry’ your skin as this can lead to flaky, itchy and irritated skin. You may want to try new products on a small area first for about a week before applying for the whole face if you have a history of sensitive skin.
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