Cradle Cap in Babies – Causes and Remedies

If you are first time mother, you may be worried about your baby’s thick, greasy scalp. But it usually is nothing to worry about. Most likely, it is due to a common but harmless and temporary condition that many babies develop called cradle cap. Although it might look worrisome, it rarely causes any discomfort to the child and is totally harmless that resolves on its own after few months.

What is Cradle Cap?

Cradle cap is relatively common harmless condition of the scalp presenting in the first 3 months of the baby’s life. Cradle cap appears as patches of thick, greasy, yellowish, crusty, scaly rash over the soft scalp. The vertex and the frontal area are commonly involved. However, cradle cap is not limited to the scalp, it can occur on face and other parts of the body too. Cradle cap is basically the infant form of seborrheic dermatitis, so called as “Infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis” that is limited to the scalp.

Other names given to cradle cap

  • Infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis
  • Honeycomb disease
  • Pityriasis capitis
  • Milk crust
  • Crusta lacteal
What Causes Cradle Cap?

The exact cause of cradle cap is not clear, but it is clear that it is not due to any allergies, infections or lack of hygiene. Experts agree that it is probably due to overactive sebaceous glands that produce excess sebum, which prevent the old skin cells from drying and falling off, as a result they stick to the scalp giving a thick greasy look. It is believed that babies have high level of mother’s hormones in their body even after several weeks or months following birth that is responsible for excess sebum production. Another factor like yeast infection (commonly malassezia) may also play role in the development of cradle cap.

Symptoms of Cradle Cap

Not all cases of cradle looks the same, it may look different on every baby. However, there are some common signs and symptoms that are usually present with the cradle cap, some of which are listed below:

  • No itching
  • Greasiness
  • Thick, scaly and flakey scalp
  • White, discolored or yellow crusts
  • Reddening of the affected skin
  • Temporary hair loss

 

Cradle Cap Pictures
Cradle Cap Treatment

Cradle cap usually doesn’t require any medical treatments which may disappear on its own after few weeks or months. It can sometime take more than a year for cradle cap to go. In the meantime, there are several remedies that can help loosen the scales and prevent scale buildups. Some of which are discussed below:

Cradle Cap Remedies

Home remedies of cradle cap

  • Gently massage your baby’s scalp with the mineral oil (baby oil will do) and leave it overnight, then wash your baby’s scalp with mild baby shampoo next morning.
  • Gently rub your baby’s scalp with finger to loosen the crusts and scales. You may also use soft brush to loosen the crusts.
  • Repeat this process every day until you see improvement and continue using every few days to help prevent scale buildups.
  • You may use mild anti-dandruff shampoo if above option is not working but these dandruff shampoo can irritate the baby skin and eyes. To be on the safe side, you may go to the nearest pharmacy and ask for cradle cap shampoo.

 

  • Maintenance therapy with mild shampoo every few days is a must as baby’s skin will continue to produce sebum several months after birth.
  • If frequent shampooing is not helping, it’s time to visit your doctor. He/she may prescribe stronger shampoo containing antifungal medications or hydrocortisone cream.
  • If your baby’s cradle cap looks red, inflamed or swollen, this could be suggestive of infection. Visit your doctor immediately; he/she will manage accordingly with antifungal and antibiotics.

Things you should avoid

  • Never pick cradle cap off your baby scalp; you may end up with the infected scalp.
  • Be sure not to use adult strength prescription dandruff shampoos.
  • Never use over the counter steroids and antifungal creams without talking to your doctor, as some products can harm your baby.
  • Avoid shampoo containing salicylic acid that can be absorbed through skin and irritate the baby.

Remember, most of the babies might looks funny in the beginning as they have been through 9 months journey. They need some time to adjust to the new world. Some might have oddly shaped head as a result of narrow vaginal canal; some might have cradle cap that might look scary. The good thing is, these initial imperfections are temporary and you know your baby is always beautiful.

Swimmers Ear Home Remedy

When you have swimmers ear it can really ruin your wonderful perfect summer day at the pool or at the beach. Luckily, there are several home remedies for swimmer’s ear that can bring relief within a few days.

What is swimmers ear?

Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear canal that usually occurs after water gets trapped in the car canal. This moist environment creates favorable condition for bacteria breeding. Although bacterial infection is most common, fungal infection has also been reported.

Swimmers ear symptoms

Most of the initial cases are mild but can get worse if left untreated. Itching or tingling sensation in the ear is the first sign of swimmer’s ear. It may also be associated with slight redness, discomfort and sometimes clear odorless fluid may also be seen.

If left untreated the disease may advance to moderate stage. In this stage there may be more severe itching with accompanying pain and excessive discharge of the fluid as well as pus. The ear may be partially blocked due to swelling or debris. Rubbing and digging of the ear may further lead to infection

If the disease is still ignored it may progress to late stage where there may be complete blockage of the ear canal, hearing loss, excessive redness and swelling of the ear and fever. Pain may be severe that radiates to side of the head, face and neck. One may also experience swelling of the neck lymph nodes.

Preventing Swimmers Ear

Avoid dirty pools and water
Avoid swimming in the pools, rivers, lakes that are dirty. Dirty water means more chances of bacterial infection.

Keep your ear dry
Don’t forget to get the water out of your ear after bath. Shake your head in the affected side to drain the water out of your ear. You may use soft towel or cotton to wipe the water out of the ear. You may also use blow dryer with lowest setting and dry it thoroughly.

Avoid foreign objects in the ear
Always avoid foreign object like fingernails or other instrument that may scratch and cut your inner ear canal.

Wear ear plugs during bath or swimming
Always wear ear plugs during swimming and bathing, these can be bought over the counter easily.

Avoid irritants
Avoid irritants to the ear; you may use cotton balls to protect from irritants.

Wear a tight swim cap
A tight swim cap will also help block the water into the ear. So, always try to wear tight swim cap while you swim.

Swimmers Ear

Swimmers Ear

Swimmers Ear Home Remedy

Before trying any home remedies make sure your eardrum is not punctured. If everything is ok than you may try home remedies.

Mix one part of white vinegar and one part rubbing alcohol and apply few drops to the affected ear after bathing. This will promote the dryness and prevent bacterial growth that can cause swimmer’s ear. If you are lazy, similar over the counter solutions are also available in the market.

Previously hydrogen peroxide was widely used in the management of swimmer’s itch, but recently experts agree that in addition to bad bacteria it also kills good bacteria and cells. Although you may find hydrogen peroxide as a good remedy, its side effects limit its use.

Although these drops are safe if used properly as suggested, it may sometime be dangerous leading to complications if not used properly. Never use the drops if you suspect eardrum injury or had previous ear surgery.

Take pain medications if you experience the pain. These can be bought over counter. You may also use heating pad that will help control the pain.

Topical antibiotics drops with mild steroids may also be used to limit the infection and inflammation. Oral antibiotics may also be need if the infection is severe.

Insect Bites During Summer- How Dangerous are They?

Summertime is always fun, traveling, visiting beach, having campfires and all those stuffs. However, it is almost impossible to avoid bug bites, stings and rashes. Insect bites and stings are common and can be very bothersome and sometimes even dangerous. In this article we’ll try to discuss the most common insect bites and ways to identify and avoid the complications.

Insect bites are not of much concern unless there are multiple stings or stings to head, neck and genital areas which may require prompt management. However, when you are not sure about what insect really bite you or it was due to spider and scorpion stings, you should get prompt medical help. Some scorpion and spiders can be very dangerous, even fatal.

Why do insect bite you?

There is surely a cause why insect bite you. Some insects like ticks, mosquito and chiggers bite you because they are hungry. They pierce the skin and suck the blood. Some insects like bees, hornets, wasps, spiders and scorpion only bite you when they feel threatened. They are just trying to defend themselves by stinging.

What are the most common bites?

The most common bites are that of mosquito bites. Other common bites are bed bugs, tick bites, bees and wasps, stings. Some type of spider bites (black widow and Brown Recluse spider) and scorpion bites are considered as medical emergency.

Mosquitoes
Mosquito are all around the world and are commonly seen during summer months. Mosquito bites are very common which might not cause any concern to people beside annoying itch , but they can be a carrier of many diseases like malaria, dengue and west Nile virus that can be transmitted from human to human through mosquito bites.

Tick bite

Tick bites are also commonly encountered all around the globe. Tick can also transmit disease like lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Both the diseases are usually common during summer months. The disease can be treated with appropriate medications, but if untreated the disease progress to more chronic conditions and can be very fatal. Early administration of antibiotics and proper management is very important.

Flea bites

Fleas are also very common causes of allergic rashes and wounds. Flea bite causes itchy raised spots with puncture in the center. As it may be very itchy, scratching the area can result in wound or infection. In addition to sucking the blood they can also lead to serious illness acting as a transmitter of life threatening disease like murine typhus, myxomastosis, bubonic plague and tapeworm. However, the risk of contracting such disease is very rare at present day. If you have pets in home, it is better to get rid of all fleas on pets and keep pets out of your beds and room. You may also spray insecticides on the infected areas.

Insect Bites Pictures

Chiggers
Chiggers, commonly known as redbugs, are found in grass, bushes and trees. Chiggers can cause severe itching. Chiggers inject the enzymes into the skin of their host that lead to destruction of the tissue which they feed on.

Bee, wasp stings

Although bees and wasps don’t transmit any diseases, they can cause serious allergic reaction and even life threatening anaphylactic reactions in some people. If it is just a sting, you may remove the stinger and apply ice on the area. For itching pain you may take antihistamines and ibuprofen respectively. If it was several stings on head and neck areas or if you find difficulty breathing or any other symptoms get immediate help, if possible get epinephrine shot immediately.

Fire Ants

Fire ants looks like ordinary ants but their stings can be very painful and sometimes may cause life threatening reaction in case of multiple stings. They don’t really bite you without any reason, but if you disturb them they will attack you. The lesions are usually itchy and burning like pain sometimes associated with painful pus-filled lesion. Antihistamines, icepacks and pain relievers can soothe the discomfort. If it was multiple stings do get immediate medical help.

Black widow spider bite

Female black widow spider is very poisonous. Black widow spider bite has one or two red fang marks and is associated with tenderness, and a nodule at the bite site. Pain may be stabbing and also associated with nausea vomiting, muscle cramps, seizures and increase in blood pressure may occur. Get immediate help if you think it was black widow spider so anti-venom can be administered early. If possible bring the spider with you so it can be identified correctly.

Brown Recluse Spiders bite

Brown recluse spider can also be fatal. Although you may not feel any pain when the spider bites but they can be extremely poisonous. Their bites can cause local tissue death and serious wounds and infection. Initially the bite area is red which then turns white and develop “bull’s-eye” appearance, the area then blisters and becomes very painful. Never delay to seek prompt help from the doctors. If possible bring the spider for identification.

Scorpion sting
Although every scorpion is venomous, certain type of scorpion (that of the Buthidae family) can be very fatal. Life threatening symptoms may include intense, burning pain, numbness and tingling of the whole body, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, blurred vision, slurred speech, difficulty breathing or swallowing and shock. If you develop any of these symptoms get immediate medical help. If you are not sure about the type of scorpion call the emergency immediately and if possible take the scorpion with you for identification.

Management of bites and stings

You should get immediate help if:

  • You develop severe allergic reaction
  • If you have history of previous severe reaction
  • If the stung area is head and neck and with multiple stings
  • If there is difficulty in breathing

If the bite is not severe and you are comfortable with it then you may use the following treatment

  • Apply icepacks or cold compress to the affected areas
  • Apply calamine lotion that will soothe the pain and itch.
  • Apply topical hydrocortisone that will help with the inflammation and soothe the itching.
  • If itching is severe oral antihistamines may be helpful
  • Remove the stinger immediately if was a sting.
  • Wash the area with soap and water

Minor bite and stings are not of concern, but if you have the following, do consult the doctor.

  • If the lesion is infected
  • If there are multiple bites
  • If you have previously developed severe allergy to insect bites
  • If you have been in a malarial area or you have flu-like symptoms

How to not Sweat

Excessive sweating affects millions of people worldwide and can be very embarrassing. Aside from embarrassment and discomfort, it can also stain clothes, ruin your romantic life and even limit your day to day social interaction. In some severe cases it can even make people quit their jobs. There are several unknown causes of excessive sweating, so treatment is not always successful. However there are several ways to help control and manage excessive sweating and live a more comfortable life. We’ll try to suggest some options on how to not sweat.

Medical term for excessive sweating is called as hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating of the underarms is called axillary hyperhidrosis and those of palm and soles is called palmoplantar hyperhidrosis. Palm and soles sweating can start as early as 12 (on average) while underarms sweating occur later during late adolescence, both may continue throughout life.

Get checked for systemic disease

Most cases of hyperhidrosis starts during early life, however when it starts after thirties, it might be due to systemic cause. Make no mistake to consult a dermatologist and exclude all possible systemic cause for excessive sweating. When your dermatologist gives you green light then you can proceed with other symptomatic treatment.

Lifestyle changes

Loose fitting clothes and breathable shoes: Try to wear clothes with a loose weave, such as clothes made of linen. Wear shoes that have absorbent insoles and holes in the soles so your feet can breathe easily.

Lose weight: Obesity is one of the causes of excessive sweating; losing weight might help decrease excessive sweating.

Regular bath: Bathing twice daily with cool water might help reduce excessive sweating and odor associated with it.

Avoid alcohol: If you drink alcohol, avoid it. Chronic alcoholic tends to sweat much more than normal people.

how to not sweat

how to not sweat

Antiperspirants

There are several over the counter antiperspirants available in the market which might be helpful for some people with mild cases of sweating. When these regular OTC antiperspirants fail, you may use prescription antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride. For best result it must be applied every night for at-least 10 days then may be decreased gradually to 2-3 times to once a week maintenance dose. This might work wonder for underarm sweating but not effective for palm and soles sweating.

Glutaraldehyde solution

Glutaraldehyde solution is another option for excessive sweating. It can be used in concentration of 2% as Cidex every night for 2-3 weeks. For palm and feet, concentration can be increased to 5-10% for effective result. Glutaraldehyde solution is not as effective but is less staining than other solution.

Anticholinergic medication

Oral anticholinergic medications may also be prescribed by your doctor. Individuals who work outdoors and athletes should avoid such medications as your body needs to sweat to maintain body temperature. Unable to sweat means your body is unable to rapid cool.

Botox

Botulinum toxin (Botox), has also been used as a temporarily remedy for excessive underarms sweating and palmoplantar sweating. Results are good but its expensive therapy and might last 4-6 months, which means it has to be repeated every 4-6 months.

Iontophoresis

Iontophoresis has also been used widely with mixed results. This involves a device which passes low direct electricity across the skin. It is more effective for excessive sweating on palms and soles. In some cases it can be so effective that single session iontophoresis might reduce more than 80% of the sweating. In most cases several session are required. Please consult your dermatologist before you go for iontophoresis machines.

Alternative therapy
One may also try acupuncture, hypnosis and yoga. This can also help with excessive sweating especially those due to stress and anxiety.

Subcutaneous liposuction
Subcutaneous liposuction is another method for removing the sweat glands that are responsible for axillary hyperhidrosis. Compared with sympathectomy, this option has fewer side effects.

Sympathectomy

When nothing is working, the last resort is to go for surgery. A procedure called thoracic sympathectomy can be performed as a permanent cure for excessive sweating. It involves destruction of sympathetic nerves responsible for sweating. Although it is very effective methods it has some risks too.

 

You may also be interested in the following article
Excessive Underarm Sweating
Trichomycosis Axillaris: A Reason Behind Smelly Armpits
Smelly Armpits and Body Odor: Causes and Remedies

How to Apply Sunscreen?

Everyone knows how to apply sunscreen, but have you ever imagine if you’re using it in a right way? Is your sunscreen giving you adequate protection? Although many of you might find it simple and boring, let’s begin it anyway.

Choose a Sunscreen
Yes, first step is to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that can protect both UVA and UVB rays. It is wise to choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 or above. Look for sunscreen with active ingredients containing physical blocker like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and chemical blockers like avobenzone

Shake well before use
Always remember to shake the bottle well before you use, just to make sure that all the particles are mixed up evenly in the container.

Try before you use
You may try small portion of your sunscreen around your wrist to make sure you are not allergic to it.

Apply 30 minutes before sun
Apply your sunscreen at-least 20-30 minutes before going out into the sun (or as directed by the manufacturer). This will give enough time for the ingredients to attach to the skin and shield your skin from harmful rays. Apply it in adequate amount covering all your exposed parts. Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen, don’t be greedy in applying sunscreen, more won’t harm. Do not forget to apply on lips, ears, back of the neck, hands and feet. To get adequate protection you should apply at least an ounce of sunscreen.

Repeat every 2 hours
Repeat sunscreen every 2 hours, some experts says to reapply every 30 minutes to make sure you’ll not miss any places, resulting in total protection. Reapply sunscreen immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating heavily.

Watch out for expiration
Most sunscreens that may or may not be labeled with expiration date have around 3 year’s shelf life. Sunscreens that expire before 3 years are usually labeled with expiration date. After its expiry date sunscreen starts to degrade and separate and is less effective. You may notice crystals or clump separated with water after your sunscreen expires.

How Can I Maximize My Sun Protection?
  • Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen. Reapplication is as important as first application
  • Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds
  • Look for broad-spectrum and higher SPF
  • Try to minimize excessive sun exposure during mid-day (10am to 3 pm).
  • Always wear protective clothing, hat and sun glasses during the day.
  • Most of the sunscreens are not water proof as they claims, so reapply sunscreen after activities like swimming and sweating.
  • Insect repellents can reduce a sunscreen’s SPF by up to one-third. If you are using a sunscreen and insect repellent together, use a higher SPF and reapply more often.
Articles you might be interested in

Home Remedies For Sunburn
How To Stop Peeling From Sunburn
Does Sunscreen Expire?
What to do for Sunburn
Find the Sunscreen that Perfectly Match your Lifestyle
SPF and PA+++ Rating in Sunscreen: What does it Indicate?

Find the Sunscreen that Perfectly Match your Lifestyle

Are you confused with all the sunscreen emerging on the market like a mushroom? All those detail about the ingredients used, water resistant, sun protection factor and all those stuffs, confused about what really look for in the sunscreen. The answer is simple and we have it.

Many day to day moisturizers and after-shave lotions have sunscreen in them (around spf-15+), which might be sufficient for indoor activities or here and there for few minutes in the sun. However, if you are looking for outdoor activities you may need stronger broad-spectrum sunscreen with higher SPF with added “water-resistant” or “very water resistant” according to your need. Most of the sunscreen available today in the market combines several physical and chemical blockers to give better broad-spectrum protection.

Look for highly effective ingredients

Although there are several ingredients in the sunscreen, always look for “active ingredients”. Above all highly effective ingredients include physical blocker like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and chemical blockers like avobenzone. Look for the sunscreen that contains above ingredients as active ingredients.

Go for Broad-Spectrum

Most of the sunscreens that protect both UVA and UVB are labeled as broad-spectrum sunscreen. Always choose the sunscreen that is labeled as broad-spectrum. May also be labeled as total protection or complete protection.

Go for Higher SPF

When you buy any sunscreen always buy sunscreen with at-least SPF of 30+, the more the better. Although some people may not agree on this fact, but since most individuals don’t apply adequate amount of sunscreen as tested in the lab for specific SPF, they can only get half of the protection. It’s a fact that if the sunscreen with SPF 30 can protect you 96% than SPF 45 can protect you 97%, just little difference, but this difference in long run can make a major impact on your skin.

Watch out for UVA protection PA+++ Rating

Currently many of the sunscreen uses Japanese rating standard which are marked with PA and plus sign, PA+. PA simply means Protection Grade of UVA rays. Protective grade of sunscreen is often leveled as PA+, PA++, PA+++ with the more plus sign the more protection from UVA rays. This article will detail you more on UVA and PA+ grading system.

SPF and PA+++ Rating in Sunscreen: What does it Indicate?

 

sun exposure

sun exposure

Check for expiration date

Although a bottle of sunscreen usually don’t last more than a year if used properly, it is very important to check for expiration date before you purchase any sunscreen. Most sunscreens that may or may not be labeled with expiration date have around 3 year’s shelf life. Sunscreens that expire before 3 years are usually labeled with expiration date. See more for details

Does Sunscreen Expire?

To insure that you get full SPF of your sunscreen, it is very important to apply a thick layer of sunscreen to any areas that are exposed to sun. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Most of the people ingnore the reapplication part, but this is very important, so don’t forget to reapply the same amount every two hours. You must also reapply immediately after swimming, toweling off, or excessive sweating so you get total protection.

Here are few tips related to sunburn

What to do for Sunburn
Home Remedies For Sunburn
How To Stop Peeling From Sunburn

Final words:
Try to avoid the sun during peak hours between 11 am to 4 pm and always wear protective clothing like hats, sunglasses and long sleeves if possible when you are out in the sun.

Smelly Armpits and Body Odor: Causes and Remedies

Everybody sweats; it’s a natural phenomenon and not a big issue. Although sweating can be minor issue for most individual, unpleasant body odor like smelly armpits can be a matter of considerable concern for both the sufferers and to others around them as well. Although sweating is naturally odorless, it can sometimes cause an unpleasant smell when it comes into contact with bacteria on your skin.

Our body has two types of sweat glands; the eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Apocrine sweat glands mainly activated only after puberty and located predominantly on underarms and ano-genital region, and the rest of the body is covered by eccrine glands. We have all experienced that it’s the area of apocrine sweat glands that smells, not the eccrine sweat glands. How does this happen, let me explain; the eccrine sweat glands produce clear, odorless and watery fluid that primarily contain water and salts. On the other hand, apocrine sweat glands produce oily fluid rich in protein, lipids and steroids that the bacteria love to feed on. Although the sweat is odorless, but when it reach to skin surface, bacteria that normally live on the skin feed on the sweat and excrete the strong smelling waste that is associated with smelly sweat.

Body odor usually starts with the puberty as a result of increase in androgen hormone. When you were just a kid these hormones were not active so you had no problems with the odor. Experts say that any unusual change in body odor and sweating may also be a sign of medical problem and need immediate attention. However, for normal body odor and sweating, change is lifestyle and few home treatments might work wonder. In some severe cases prescription medications might be needed.

Smelly Armpits

Smelly Armpits

Today there are vast majorities of products and home remedies that can effectively fight smelly armpits. Below are some lifestyle changes and home remedies in the management of abnormal body odor or bromhidrosis

Shower or bath every day; especially your underarms, groin and feet where there are more sweat glands. Regular washing with antibacterial soap removes sweat and reduces bacteria. For people who sweat a lot, two times daily shower might be beneficial.

Always dry yourself before wearing any undergarments or clothes. Also remember to dry the area before you apply deodorant.

Always keep your armpits and groin area dry. Bacteria love dump and moist areas, don’t give them the chance. You may use over the counter powders to help absorb the sweat.

Avoid fatty foods, garlic, onions curry and other strong spices. Avoid cigarette, caffeine and alcohol. These foods and beverages tend to increase body odor.

Apply antiperspirant before bed on regular basis. This gives the product a chance to work while you sleep and are not sweating. Both antiperspirants and deodorants should be routinely used. Make sure to use extra strong deodorants that can overcome your smell. Keep in mind that deodorants do not prevent sweating; they just mask the smelly sweat.

Shave your armpits that will prevent sweat to accumulate in the hair for longer time.

Wear natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool and silk, which allow your skin to breathe. When you exercise, you might prefer high-tech fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin.

Wash your clothes thoroughly especially undergarments and shocks that comes in frequent contact with sweat.

If you are prone to excessive sweating, avoid wearing yesterday’s clothing. How much you clean your body yesterday’s clothing will ruin your body odor.

Try to avoid stress and anxiety that might aggravate perspiration. You may try some relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or biofeedback.

Get some antibacterial or antiseptic solution (chlorhexidine 0.05%) from your nearest pharmacy and apply on regular basis. Although it won’t prevent sweating, it will prevent bacteria colonization that causes the smell.

Mix 1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of water and wipe the armpits, groin and feet using cotton. This may help destroy some of the bacteria that creates odor

Trichomycosis Axillaris: A Reason Behind Smelly Armpits

The summer almost near and with it starts warm and hot weather resulting in excessive sweating. Summer is lovely if u can maintain yourself but what if your underarms smells like hell? Body odor is a common issue and most of you might have already faced such problems. You already know that excessive sweating is the culprit for smelly armpits but the sweat itself doesn’t cause underarm odor. Most of the causes of smelly underarms are due to bacterial colonization on such sweaty areas.. One of such is trichomycosis axillaris which is caused by bacterial infection due to excessive sweating and poor local hygiene.

Trichomycosis axillaris is a superficial bacterial infection of the hair shaft. This is more commonly seen in men since most women shave their underarm hair. Trichomycosis axillaris usually involves underarms hair and pubic hair. Besides malodorous sweat, there are no any symptoms, so most of the individuals don’t visit dermatologist.

What causes Trichomycosis Axillaris?

Trichomycosis axillaris is caused by overgrowth of corynebacterium and not by fungus as the name may imply. As these bacteria loves moist environment they colonize commonly on underarms and pubis (especially scrotum hair). Hot, moist environment, excessive sweating and poor local hygiene are most common cause of trichomycosis.

What are the signs and symptoms of Trichomycosis Axillaris?

Besides malodorous sweaty underarms, there are no any other specific symptoms. On closer view, 1-2 mm yellow, black or red granular nodules or concretions can be seen attached firmly to the hair shaft. The concretions consist almost exclusively of tightly packed bacteria. Studies have shown that changes in chemical environment of these bacteria produces various pigment,giving the nodules with different colors. Yellow color is most commonly observed and may stain clothing. Rarely, there may be breakage of hair shaft. Trichomycosis may be associated with erythrasma, which is superficial bacterial infection commonly involving axillary and inguinal area.

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosed is usually made clinically based on direct examination and findings. The bacteria in the concretions can be visualized using a potassium hydroxide preparation.

Treatment of Trichomycosis Axillaris

The simple and effective treatment is to shave the affected hair. Washing the hair with vigorous rubbing is also another way of removing the colonization of bacteria. Washing with benzoyl peroxide wash is another effective treatment option. Other effective options include topical applications of creams, ointments and gels containing clindamycin, erythromycin or benzyl peroxide. Regular use of drying powders and ammonium chloride solution will fight against perspiration preventing Trichomycosis axillaris.

Vaginal Itching During Pregnancy

Pregnant women usually experience itching in vaginal area during pregnancy. Although most vaginal itching during pregnancy may be due to pH level changes in the vagina that causes local irritation, it can sometimes be a sign of vaginal infection. Pregnant women are prone to yeast infection and may persist throughout the pregnancy.

What causes Vaginal Itching during Pregnancy?

As mentioned above there are several condition that can cause vaginal itching during pregnancy, few are discussed below:

Vaginal itching due to pH imbalance

Slight changes in pH level of vagina can cause local irritation and itching. This is the most common cause of itching during pregnancy, but the good thing is that there are several remedies you can try to lower the pH level of vagina. Few are listed below:

Baking soda baths: You may apply the paste of baking soda mixed with water to the affected area and leave it for few minutes before washing off. This helps lower the pH level, relieving you from itch.

Sexual intercourse: This may sound funny but is true, having sexual intercourse helps lower pH of vagina. It is due to the lower pH of semen that comes in contact with vagina. But remember, as it is unprotected sex; always get checked for your partner, you don’t want another infection during pregnancy.

Cold compress: Sometimes cold compress will also help soothe the itch, you may give it a try.

Vaginal itching due to infection

Sometimes vaginal itching can be due to several infectious causes, most common being yeast infection. Candida is a type of fungus that is normally found in small amount in vagina and other parts. It usually doesn’t cause any harm because there is balance between good protective bacteria and other yeast and germs. But when good bacteria are suppressed either by antibiotics or decrease immune as in case of pregnancy, yeast start to over-grow leading to yeast infection.

For mild cases applying topical anti-fungal medications will work. For moderate and severe cases of yeast infection always seek professional help and don’t try to treat yourself with oral medications. Remember it may harm your baby. If itching is severe you may apply over the counter local anesthetics gels and creams like lidocaine gel that will help to relief vaginal itching. Never use corticosteroids to the vaginal areas as they may further aggravate itching or infection.

Other causes of vaginal itching
  • Bacterial infection
  • Chemical irritants
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Excessive dryness
  • Stress
Vaginal itching during pregnancy

Vaginal itching during pregnancy

Try to avoid treating yourself during pregnancy if you are unsure or don’t know what you are doing. This can be risky to you as well as for the baby. Get help from doctors and get tested for any sexually transmitted disease or any systemic cause.

How to Prevent Vaginal Itching during pregnancy?

There are several ways you can prevent itching during pregnancy, few of which are listed below:

  1. Take plenty of water which helps flush out the bacteria by urinating
  2. Take vitamin C on regular basis in addition to other iron and calcium
  3. Always keep the vaginal area clean and dry
  4. Don’t forget to dry yourself thoroughly after taking a bath
  5. Avoid bubble baths and products with fragrance that may cause irritation to the vagina
  6. Take warm water bath and use mild hypo-allergic fragrance free products while bathing
  7. Stay away from vaginal douches.
  8. Yeast and bacteria often love damp and tight places so avoid wearing tight panties and always wash and dry the area clean after urinating
  9. When cleaning genital areas either by water or soft tissue papers always wash or wipe from front to back to prevent bacterial entering the vagina from anal areas.
  10. Wash under garments and dry in the daylight
  11. Always wear loose fitting cotton panties, avoid nylon or polyesters that causes local irritation

Venereophobia, Am I having Sexually Transmitted Infection?

Venereophobia is an unrealistic, exaggerated or irrational fear and interpretation of having venereal disease. In simple term it is a fear of having sexually transmitted infection (STI) without actually having it. Young sexually active adults are commonly affected with it. One may consult several doctors without any improvement.

What causes Venereophobia?
The most common causes of Venereophobia are usually emotional issues, anxiety and guilt associated with sexual behavior that one has been infected with a sexually transmitted infection. Some of the factors leading to venereophobia are;

  • Masturbation
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Pre-martial and extra-martial sexual contact
  • Use of sex toys;
  • Sharing common toilet, bed, etc.

Symptoms of Venereophobia:

  • One may complain of pain, itching and burning sensation of genital.
  • Some may complain of urethral discharge (which is in most cases normal), color change and rash.
  • Male patients may also complain of decrease in the size of penis.
  • Decrease sexual arousal
Will there be any abnormal findings?

There won’t be any abnormalities, all the laboratory result will be within normal limit.

Venereophobia

Young Man with Venereophobia

How can it be Treated?
As this is not the actual disease, so, all the management strategies lies on the patient hand. Trying to learn and recognize all sexually transmitted diseases in detail, self-loving, self-motivation, and avoiding the anxiety and throwing up any guilt from mind are some of the positive things that can hugely impact on one’s fear which can help reassure that he/she is free of disease.