The predominant narrative surrounding skin has mostly to do one’s visage, whereupon people will jump through hoops to achieve an immaculate, flawless complexion. This translates to a multitude of resources — both online, and off — that are widely available to us beauty buffs. Think store-bought and home-made solutions to correct acne, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and other facial annoyances, all of which can be readily purchased from Sephora or a drugstore. Funnily enough, this comprehensive treatment is hardly extended to, well, just about everywhere else that harbours skin. That is, your body.
Let’s be real: Skin issues to do with rashes, welts, or even acne on the body are rarely talked about or shown on social media. This, in turn, makes it a pain to identify and remedy. Lucky for you, we at Buro. Singapore are not the squeamish-sort — and so, have provided a rundown of said afflictions to look out for. Here’s what ya gotta know:
What are they: Just like normal facial acne, this is caused by excessive oil production; intense sweating; and poor hygiene. They don’t differ in appearance from your typical zits, either. Back acne is very common for those who partake in a lot of physical activity and do not shower as quickly as possible. Acne mechanica is also another form of body acne that is triggered by heat, pressure, and the rubbing of clothing on the skin, thus irritating the hair follicles and causing them to be inflamed.
How to treat ’em: Invest in a loofa or a scrub with a long handle to reach the tough spots on your back if you’re not flexible enough. Try body washes that contain salicylic or glycolic acid as they will be able to exfoliate your skin gently and remove dead skin cells. If your condition does not improve in a month, see a dermatologist for stronger topical products.
What are they: This variant of rashes usually appear suddenly and in a red, itchy strip or patch. The cause of this is actually an allergic reaction to something that happened to have contact with your body — perfumes, body lotion, detergent, jewellery, or plants, even Don’t worry, it is non-contagious and non-lethal.
How to treat ’em: Do not scratch the area as you could tear the skin. Apply a cold compress to the area to soothe it, or use over-the-counter rash creams to stop the itching. See a doctor if the itching is so unbearable that it prevents you from sleeping.
What are they: This rash appears in circles on your chest, abdomen, and back — ranging from small patches to big patches that are measured at around 10 centimetres. The causes for this type of rash are unclear and typically affect those aged 10 to 35-years-old. You might experience headaches, sore throat, or fever when dealing with this.
How to treat ’em: Seek a doctor immediately for medication as this is a sign of viral infection.
What are they: These guys come in the form of raised welts that are red or flesh-coloured, and they are often itchy and hurt when touched. Hives are a typical side effect of allergic reactions to food and environmental irritants such as pollen or pet dander. But occasionally, it can be caused by extreme temperatures or infections.
How to treat ’em: See a doctor for prescription medications appropriate to the root cause of the rash. To relieve the itching, wrap some oats in a cheesecloth, place it into a bathtub filled with warm water and soak in it.
What are they: Also known as liver spots and sun spots, they are caused due to excess melanin production in areas that are constantly exposed to sunlight. These spots tend to appear more frequently as we age due to our weakening skin barrier and a lowered tolerance to UV radiation.
How to treat ’em: Home chemical peels can be used as a spot treatment. Certain dermatology clinics also use light therapy, cryosurgery (liquid nitrogen), and dermabrasion to fade the spots much faster than any topical product. You might want to see a doctor first to ensure that the spot is not melanoma (skin cancer).
What are they: Otherwise known as chicken skin, they appear as patches of rough bumps on the skin that are usually red or brown and caused by dead skin cells or a buildup of keratin that plugs up hair follicles. This is commonly experienced by those with eczema or dry skin.
How to treat ’em: See a dermatologist for a prescription of retinoid creams, microdermabrasion, or chemical peel treatments. Take warm baths and exfoliate often to prevent the chicken skin from returning.
What are they: These large red bumps are raised scars that did not heal properly after an injury or lesion on the body. This condition happens frequently for those with darker skin and can affect any part of the body, including our faces.
How to treat ’em: Keloids can be surgically removed by a medical practitioner with the use of liquid nitrogen, corticosteroid injections, and laser treatment — but removal is tricky as it may return at any given time. Using a pressure or silicone gel pad after incurring an injury might help the healing process and prevent more keloids from forming.
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