Eczema treatment: Eliminating this from your diet may lead to skin improvements

Eczema is a general term for itchy, dry skin conditions and the most common is atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. According to the NHS, atopic eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, cracked and sore. “Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread inflamed skin all over the body,” explains the health body.

White flour products give a lighter texture to muffins, cakes and cookies and a flakier crust to pies and pastries, according to medical website LiveStrong.

“Also called refined flour, white flour has had many of its nutrients and most of its fibre removed during processing, the health body said.

The survey also found that people reported improvements in their skin when excluding gluten and nightshades.

Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are all common nightshades.

“It may not be healthy to cut these foods from your diet, especially in young children who need the calcium, calories and protein from these foods,” says the health body.

As it explains, if a GP suspects a food allergy, you may be referred to a dietitian (a specialist in diet and nutrition).

They can help to work out a way to avoid the food you’re allergic to while ensuring you still get all the nutrition you need.

Alternatively, you may be referred to a hospital specialist, such as an immunologist, dermatologist or paediatrician, adds the NHS.



Type 2 diabetes: Shiny, smooth skin on a certain body part could mean blood sugar is high

The pancreas is responsible for making the hormone insulin, which enables the glucose in the blood to enter the cells and fuel our bodies. However, your body may be struggling with high blood sugar levels if your skin turns shiny.

Sugar, i.e. glucose, comes from the foods you eat. Normally, the pancreas is able to sense when glucose is in the body and it releases an adequate amount of insulin.

However, people with type 2 diabetes don’t have the luxury of this bodily response from functioning well.

Instead, the amount of sugar in the bloodstream continues to increase, leading to symptoms and complications.

People with the condition may experience more bouts of thrush and genital itching.

Moreover, it can lead to blurred vision; cuts and wounds may heal more slowly too.

Speaking of which, lengthy periods of high blood sugar (i.e. hyperglycemia) can lead to wounds or sores that don’t heal on your feet.

Hyperglycaemia can lead to serious foot problems so, with the next opportunity you get, take the time to carefully inspect your feet.

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You’ll need to book a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible if you see shiny, smooth skin on your feet.

Other causes for alarm include numbness, a burning pain, a dull ache, and loss of feeling in your feet or legs.

Also, take note if you’re suffering from hair loss on your feet or legs, or if your feet are swollen or don’t sweat.

Look out for a foul smell coming from an open wound, or blisters and cuts that you can see but can’t feel.

In severe cases, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to foot amputations, so you really do need to alert a doctor of any of the above signs.

High blood sugar levels can damage the nerve cells, hence why feelings in the feet may become non-existent.

On top of this, high blood sugar can damage the circulation in the body, which is why sores and cuts take longer to heal.

There are other serious consequences of type 2 diabetes, which is why it’s important for the diagnosis and management of the condition.

Other health complications of the condition include a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke.

In addition, one with uncontrolled diabetes may be at more risk of kidney disease.

As kidney disease progresses, you’re likely to have swollen ankles, feet and hands.

In addition, you may feel nauseous, as the kidneys struggle to clear waste from your body.



Eczema treatment: Sweet-smelling moisturising cream to avoid dry and itchy skin at home

Eczema is a long-term condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, red and cracked, according to the NHS. But, moisturising the affected skin with a lavender oil mixture may help to relieve your eczema symptoms, it’s been claimed.

Young children are most at risk of developing eczema symptoms, but it could also develop in later life.

If you have eczema, your symptoms can vary between small patches of dry skin, to widespread, inflamed areas of cracked skin.

You could lower your risk of dry skin at home by using certain natural moisturisers.

Lavender oil is one of the best natural remedies for eczema, it’s been revealed.

READ MORE: Eczema – the best bad sheet material to ease dry, itchy skin

“Lavender essential oil is the most used essential oil in the world today, but the benefits of lavender were actually discovered over 2,500 years ago,” he said.

“Because of its powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, sedative, calming and anti-depressive properties, lavender oil benefits abound and it’s been used both cosmetically and therapeutically for centuries.

“Most likely due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics, lavender essential mixed with a carrier oil [like coconut, jojoba or grapeseed oil] has profound benefits on your skin.

“Lavender oil’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to ease skin conditions and reverse signs of aging.”



Ovarian cancer symptoms: The ‘patchy’ rash on your skin you should never ignore

Ovarian cancer is one of the most common cancers to be diagnosed in women, but it’s rarely spotted in its earlier stages. You may be at risk of the disease if you develop an unusual skin rash.

Ovarian cancer is a serious disease that affects the ovaries in women.

The ovaries are a pair of small organs that store a woman’s supply of eggs.

But, the cancer is often missed until its later stages, which lowers the chances of a full recovery.

That’s because the symptoms of ovarian cancer are often similar to less serious conditions.

READ MORE: Ovarian cancer warning: How often do you poo? Signs in the toilet

“It’s easy to overlook the early symptoms of ovarian cancer because they’re similar to other common illnesses or they tend to come and go,” it said.

“Ovarian cancer can also cause other symptoms, such as fatigue, back pain, [and] dermatomyositis (a rare inflammatory disease that can cause skin rash, muscle weakness, and inflamed muscles).

“These symptoms may occur for any number of reasons. They aren’t necessarily due to ovarian cancer.

“Cancers are best treated when detected early. Please consult with your doctor if you experience new and unusual symptoms.”

But just because you develop a new rash, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have ovarian cancer.

Dermatomyositis is a rare skin condition, and not all patients go on to develop ovarian cancer.

The rash is usually the very first sign of dermatomyositis, and can appear on the face, eyelids, chest, knuckles, knees or elbows.

You should speak to a doctor if you’re worried that you may have dermatomyositis.

Dermatomyositis is more likely to be caused by ovarian cancer if it’s accompanied by any of the more common warning signs.

Common ovarian cancer symptoms include stomach bloating, pelvic pain, and passing more urine than normal.

The exact cause of the disease isn’t entirely known, but you’re more at risk of the cancer if you’re over 50 years old, and have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer.

More than 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year in the UK.



Type 2 diabetes symptoms: The sign on your skin you could have the chronic condition

How to manage your blood sugar levels

Eating a healthy diet and keeping active are some of the best ways to manage blood sugar levels.

The NHS advises: “There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.

“You should eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum, and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not skip meals.”

You should also aim to do 2.5 hours of activity a week, as physical exercise can help lower blood sugar levels.



Liver cancer: Warning of deadly disease which lies in colour of your skin and eyes

Liver cancer is a cancer which is found anywhere in the liver. The liver is a large organ at the top right side of your tummy and helps to digest food and remove toxins. Liver cancer may not have any symptoms, or they may be difficult to spot but if your eyes and skin have changed colours, it could indicate an early warning sign of the deadly disease.

With liver cancer, bilirubin sometimes builds up in the blood, said Cancer Council.

The site continued: “This occurs because the cancer has blocked a bile duct, the liver is not working properly (progressive liver function failure), or the liver has been replaced by widespread tumour.

“The build-up of bilirubin in the blood is known as jaundice.

“It can cause yellowish skin and whites of the eyes, itchy skin, pale faeces or dark urine.”

READ MORE: Breast cancer breakthrough – Blood test hope for better treatments

In a study published in JAMA Network, jaundice in cancer was further investigated.

The study noted: “Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and white of the eye, also called hyperbilirubinemia because the blood contains too much bilirubin, the yellow pigment that causes the discoloration.

“When red blood cells break down, bilirubin is formed. Bilirubin is part of the bile fluid produced by the liver.

“A normal liver metabolizes bilirubin to keep blood levels low.

“When liver cells are damaged or when cancer has spread to the liver or bile ducts, the function of the liver is reduced.

“The bilirubin level in the blood then increases, which causes jaundice. 

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One of the liver’s main functions is to remove toxic substances from the body.

When the liver cannot work well, toxic ammonia builds up in the bloodstream and it can go to the brain, leading to poor brain function.

This is known medically as hepatic encephalopathy, which causes confusion, fatigue, and drowsiness.

 

Anyone can get primary liver cancer, said the national health body.

It continued: “It’s not always clear what causes it.

“You might be more likely to get it if you:

  • Are over the age of 60, it’s most common in people over 85
  • Are a man
  • Have certain medical conditions, such as hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, gallstones, diabetes, a parasite in the liver (liver flukes), and HIV
  • Have a brother, sister or parent who had primary liver cancer

“Secondary liver cancer is caused by cancer cells from a cancer somewhere else in the body spreading to the liver.

“Many liver cancers are also linked to your lifestyle.”

Diagnosing liver cancer

A blood test will reveal if there are any liver function abnormalities.

A doctor may recommend imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, CT and MRI.

If your GP suspects you may have liver cancer, a piece of your liver may be removed for laboratory testing in order to make a definitive diagnosis of liver cancer.

If you have noticed a yellow tinge in your eyes and skin, it’s important to discuss this with your GP.



Eczema: The best bed sheet material to ease dry, itchy skin during autumn

Tossing and turning throughout the night is no fun – even more so when your skin is sore, itchy and inflamed. If you’re suffering from atopic dermatitis, one material could trump them all for a peaceful rest.

What’s atopic dermatitis?

The National Eczema Society noted that atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema.

The chronic condition can seemingly disappear and then flare-up without a warning.

It’s the result of an overactive and “disorder” immune system, whereby inflammation damages the skin barrier.

This leads to dry, itchy skin that is prone to rashes that can look red, purple, brown or grey in colour – depending on your skin tone.

Research suggests that people with atopic dermatitis have a mutation of the gene responsible for creating filaggrin.

Filaggrin is a protein that helps our bodies maintain a healthy, protective barrier on the epidermis – the top layer of skin.

Inadequate amounts of filaggrin means that the skin barrier is defective.

READ MORE: Hay fever tablets: How many hay fever tablets can you take in one day?

Moisture is able to easily escape from the top layer of skin (hence dryness).

And the fragile top layer of skin can be penetrated by viruses and bacteria, leading to inflammation.

The hallmark of the condition is itchy skin, with poor sleep being reported by sufferers.

Certain fabrics can irritate the skin, as confirmed by the health platform Atopic Dermatitis.

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The organisation proclaim that “lightweight, smooth and breathable” fabrics are best suited to sensitive skin.

So which bedsheet material fulfils this criteria? The answer is cotton.

Other materials may result in the skin getting too hot during the night; this becomes a problem when sweating results in an atopic dermatitis flare-up.

Moreover, abrasive materials rubbing against the skin can also be a culprit for flare-ups.

Also try to stay away from duvets and pillows that are filled with feathers or polyester.

Polyester doesn’t allow for any breathability, while feathers could cause additional allergic reactions.

There are quilts and duvets that are filled with cotton, which will be a better option for people with atopic dermatitis.

Another tip provided by the organisation is to perform a skin care routine that includes moisturising every night.



Eczema treatment: Apply this natural oil to improve skin hydration and boost skin barrier

Eczema is an umbrella term for conditions that causes inflamed, itchy, cracked, and rough skin. Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is the most common form of eczema. As the NHS explains, there are usually periods where the symptoms improve, followed by periods where they get worse – these are known as flare-ups.

Moisturising your skin can help prevent the skin becoming dry, flaky, irritated and itchy.

Speaking to The Sun Online, Dr Anton Alexandroff, spokesman for the British Association of Dermatologists, said: “The most important part of treating eczema is moisturising.

“Sometimes you’ll need something else, like a topical steroid, but usually you just need a good moisturiser.

“Sunflower oil is a moisturiser and is actually included in some moisturisers.”

The skin eventually thickens into leathery areas as a result of chronic scratching, it says.

How to solve it

To resist scratching, you could try gently rubbing your skin with your fingers instead, advises the NHS.

“If your baby has atopic eczema, anti-scratch mittens may stop them scratching their skin,” says the health body.

It adds: “Keep your nails short and clean to minimise damage to the skin from unintentional scratching.”



Skin cancer symptoms: The one piece of information that could save your life

Melanoma is very dangerous, as the cancer is more likely to spread to other body parts if not caught early enough. What’s the one piece of life-saving information you need to be aware of?

There are three layers of the skin, known as the epidermis, dermis and subcutis.

The epidermis – the top layer of skin – has three main type of cells: squamous cells; basal cells; and melanocytes.

The melanocytes make the pigment melanin, the American Cancer Society pointed out.

So, how can you tell if your mole is cancerous or not? The one piece of information that could save your life is revealed next.

The key questions to ask yourself is: “Does this spot look different from all of the other spots on my skin?”

This is known as looking for the “ugly duckling”, whereby the mole looks drastically different to other moles on your body.

Another key observation to undertake when looking for cancerous moles is called the ‘ABCDE rule”.

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Be on the lookout for any spots/lesions/moles that have any of the following features:

  • A – Asymmetry This is where one half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
  • B – Border The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • C – Colour The colour isn’t the same all over and may include different shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
  • D – Diameter The spot is larger than 6 millimetres across
  • E – Evolving The mole is changing in size, shape, or colour.

Do keep an eye out for new moles, especially if it’s changing in size, shape or colour.

There are other warning signs to be aware of, including a sore that doesn’t heal.

A sign of melanoma includes the spread of pigment from the border of a spot into the surrounding skin.

An alternative warning sign could be redness, or a new swelling beyond the border of the move.

There may be a change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness , or pain.

Or a change in the surface of the mole could appear, such as scaliness, oozing, bleeding or the appearance of a lump or bump.

If you’re concerned about any markings on your skin, book an appointment with your GP.

In order to lower your risk of developing melanoma in the first place, there are actionable steps you can take.

For instance, limit your exposure to UV (ultraviolet rays) by staying out of the sun and avoiding tanning beds.

This is because UV rays are the main cause of skin damage, which can alter the DNA inside skin cells.

When DNA damage affects the skin cell growth, melanoma skin cancer occurs.



Heart attack symptoms – the ‘painful nodules’ on your skin that you should never ignore

The most common heart attack symptoms include severe chest pain, having a radiating pain in your arm, and suddenly feeling very dizzy.

But you can lower your risk of a heart attack by making some small diet or lifestyle changes.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet will lower your chances of fatty deposits in your arteries.

If you think you, or someone you know, may be having a heart attack, it’s crucial that you dial 999 straight away.