Tag Archives: skin

8 Foods for Healthy, Happy Skin

Just as our diet is an integral part of overall health and can help lessen the risks of serious illness, it also has a part to play when it comes to the health of the body’s largest organ: the skin. Certain foods help fight the effect of aging, protect the skin from damage as well as fight inflammation. Let’s take a look at a few great choices for good skin health:

  1. Oil up – Extra virgin olive oil can all benefit your skin by providing omega-3 fatty acids. Olive oil is particularly beneficial for the skin as it also contains antioxidants and vitamin E (which helps fight the effects of aging). Flaxseed oil, canola oil and soybean oil may also provide some skin perks.
  2. Water it down – Yeah, yeah, we know water doesn’t technically classify as “food”, but it is just as important for the skin as it is for the rest of your body, so we had to include it in our list. Water helps hydrate your skin and purge toxins, so start drinking up and stocking up on foods that have high water content (like celery or watermelon).
  3. Get nuts – Nuts are mini powerhouses when it comes to skin health. Not only are they rich in beneficial omega fatty acids, but certain types (especially brazil nuts), also contain selenium, a mineral that provides front-line defence against harmful free radicals, helping protect the skin against tissue damage (and possibly even skin cancer!). Selenium also plays a part in reducing wrinkles.
  4. Berries for beauty – While all fruits will help replenish your skin with essential nutrients (like vitamin C), berries bring all kinds of awesome to the table. Berries are rich in antioxidants, which work hard to help fight oxidative damage to the body, helping protect your skin from harm.
  5. Add some spice – Many spices have medicinal properties. Some help fight inflammation, some have slight analgesic effects, and some help support good skin health. Some of which include: cinnamon, cumin, ginger and chamomile.
  6. Fish for it – Fish are great for your health in general, but can also provide some skin-specific benefits. Many types of fish (such as tuna or mackerel) contain an antioxidant called coenzyme Q10 (you probably recall seeing this as an ingredient in some skincare products). Q10 helps fight the effects aging has on the skin and helps keep your skin healthy and fresh. Fish are also great sources of good fatty acids like omega-3 that help provide beneficial oil to prevent your skin from drying out.
  7. Go for the green – Leafy green veggies are good sources of vitamin A (a key nutrient that helps prevent and decrease the appearance of skin blemishes and wrinkles). They also contain another helpful nutrient for your skin: vitamin E, which helps decrease inflammation and protect the skin. That’s not all leafy greens do for your skin, but remember, all vegetables are healthy for your body. Carrots are another great choice for healthy, glowing skin.
  8. Finish with cocoa – It turns out that even certain dessert foods can help your skin! Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) is rich in flavanols that help protect the skin against the sun and help give the skin a better, smoother texture.

So, stock up your cabinets with these goodies today, and be sure to get plenty of exercise and sleep for healthy, glowing skin! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you check back again soon.



8 Reasons Some People Bruise More Easily Than Others

There are many potential causes of easy bruising, some of which can be serious, but most are not a threat to your health. Let’s take a look at some of the potential reasons that people to bruise more easily:

  1. Advanced age – Aging causes your skin to produce less collagen. This leads to skin thinning and the protective fatty layer of your skin starts to slowly to break down.
  2. Your genetics – you may be predisposed to weaker, more easily damaged skin if a close relative also bruises easy.
  3. Nutritional deficiencies –Vitamin C deficiency can especially cause easy bruising because one of its main duties in the body is repairing damage and helping heal contusions. Other deficiencies that may contribute to delicate skin include: low iron, vitamin K or bioflavonoids.
  4. Too much sun – While some sun is essential for healthy vitamin D levels, too much can lead to less resilient skin which blemishes and bruises much easier than stronger, healthy skin.
  5. Medications – Certain medications can lead to easily bruised or blemished skin as well, such as blood thinners, NSAIDs (which also thin the blood), cancer treatments and long term use of corticosteroids (they can lead to skin thinning).
  6. Alcohol – speaking of blood thinners, alcohol also has this effect on the body because it causes vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels). This can cause blood vessels under the skin to break.
  7. Obesity – people who have high body fat percentages are at greater risk for easy bruising, partially because the skin is stretched thinner in some areas and this causes tiny blood vessels to stretch or break.
  8. Certain health conditions – those who suffer from certain diseases or conditions may bruise easier and worse than others, or heal much slower. Some of those conditions include:
  • Purpuric dermatosis
  • Diabetes
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Autoimmune conditions (such as lupus)
  • Haemophilia (and other blood-related conditions)
  • Some types of cancer such as leukemia (don’t panic – this is a very rare cause of easy bruising)

These are a few of the many reasons a person may experience easy bruising or slow healing. Thanks for visiting DocChat!



8 Facts About Rosacea

Rosacea is a common, chronic auto-inflammatory skin condition that causes red facial flushing and acne-like bumps. Even though nearly 16 million Americans have the condition, many of them are completely unaware of it. People often tend to attribute their constant rosacea blushing to sensitivity, allergies or rashes. Let’s take a closer look at rosacea so people can better identify the condition:

  1. The main symptoms of rosacea include: red or pink flushing of the facial skin (predominantly the nose and cheeks) from dilated blood vessels, small bumps and cysts or rashes.
  2. The tiny red lines that appear on the faces of many rosacea sufferers are called telangiectasias. Telangiectasia is a prominent feature of other types of skin conditions such as scleroderma as well.
  3. Rosacea cannot be cured but it can be easily managed with medications and creams such as antibiotics. Laser surgery may help in some cases.
  4. Other complications or characteristics of rosacea may include: an enlarged, bulbous nose, intermittent facial inflammation and frequent eye problems such as conjunctivitis.
  5. Rosacea ‘flares’ are often brought about by certain triggers such as medications, temperature fluctuations, alcohol, certain foods (like strong spices) or stress.
  6. Famous people that have rosacea include former president Bill Clinton, Renee Zellweger and Prince William.
  7. Rosacea predominantly occurs in fair-skinned people. It strikes women more often, but men more severely. Rosacea can hit at any age but it most often surfaces between 30 and 50.
  8. Though it is most often an independent condition, there have been correlations drawn between rosacea and various autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. It has also shown links with such disease as heart disease, depression and high cholesterol.

That concludes our closer look at this widely misunderstood skin condition. If you have questions about rosacea or any other medical inquiries, our board-certified DocChat physicians are standing by 24/7/365. Thanks for visiting!

12 Potential Causes of Skin Itching

Do you experience recurrent skin itching? There are many potential causes of itchiness, some may be surprising! Let’s look at a few:

  1. Allergies trigger the release of histamines which can lead to urticaria (hives) and itching. This type of itching can be caused by virtually any type of irritant and can be remedied by OTC allergy creams or medications.
  2. Ringworm or hookworm may cause a scaly rash of round red dots that can be very itchy.
  3. Eczema leads to very dry, itchy and uncomfortable skin. There are various medicinal topical treatments available to treat eczema, talk to your doctor (or one of ours!) about eczema itching today.
  4. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition whereby excess skin cells lead to reddish plaque-like formations that can be itchy and uncomfortable. If you have psoriasis, you may benefit from UV therapy, or may require special prescription cream to help the itching.
  5. Dermatitis means inflammation and redness of the skin. It can have various underlying causes and usually results in itching.
  6. Chronic kidney disease may not have many early signs, but it can cause such symptoms as lower-limb edema, urination problems and generalized, pervasive itching (pruritus).
  7. Run-of-the-mill dry skin can cause terrible itching as well. If your skin is lacking moisture, itching may be one of the first signs it is too dry.
  8. Hepatitis can raise bilirubin levels which can lead to intense itching, especially during the nighttime.
  9. Bug bites (especially from bed bugs) can cause localized or widespread itching of the skin, often accompanied by a rash of little bumps. If you are noticing patches of tiny bug bites appearing on your body, see your doctor to get tested for bedbugs.
  10. Bacterial or fungal skin infections of almost any kind can cause itching along with other unpleasant symptoms such as rashes, pus, a fever or illness.
  11. Scabies is a contagious skin disease that causes small red bumps that are very itchy. It requires a doctor’s visit to identify and treat.
  12. Angioedema is swelling that occurs in the dermis (lower layer of skin). As it is a relative of allergies, it can cause similarly unpleasant symptoms such as patches of discolored, itchy skin.

Is your skin crawling yet? Hopefully not! These are only a few of the many causes of skin itching. If you have persistently itchy skin, our board certified DocChat physicians are standing by 24/7/365 to assist you. Feel free to check out our Amazing Facts About Your Skin next, thanks for visiting!

12 Amazing facts about the skin

The skin is made up of its outermost layer, epidermis, a deeper layer called dermis, as well as subcutaneous tissues. Weighing in at an average of 6 pounds, it is the body’s largest organ. Let’s check out some other neat facts about the body’s protective casing:

  1. If it were to be stretched out, the skin would span nearly 20 square feet.
  2. The thin skin covering your eyeballs is only about 02 millimetres thick!
  3. There are 4 major receptors in the skin that respond to different kinds of touch.
  4. The skin is largely responsible for regulating body temperature to keep you more comfortable.
  5. Skin cells that produce melanin are called melanocytes. They are responsible for skin (and eye) coloring.
  6. There is a disease called Vitiligo that causes the body to attack its own melanocytes, causing uneven skin coloring.
  7. Your skin sheds about 30,000 dead skin cells a minute!
  8. Your skin cells renew themselves approximately once a month.
  9. Certain types of skin bacteria that mix with sweat are actually to blame for body odor, not sweat itself.
  10. The moist environment provided by certain areas of your skin, such as your belly button, genitals, underarms and between your toes encourages countless types of fungi and bacteria to thrive.
  11. Over 1,000 species of bacteria reside on your skin – ewww!
  12. Fat deposits in the subcutaneous tissues lead to dimpled skin called cellulite.

Check out neat facts about the lungs next. Thanks for visiting DocChat! Hope to see you again soon.

Sunburn Care 101

Sunburns are among the most commonly suffered summer afflictions. They can range from minor burns causing irritation for a couple days, to severe sunburns which may consist of painful blisters. It is important to know the dangers of sunburns, and to be able to properly assess your sunburn to determine if you need medical treatment or can simply take care of it with remedies and basic first-aid-kit measures.

Can Sunburns Cause Skin Cancer?

Yes, sunburns can contribute to the development of skin cancer. A sunburn (or even suntan) results from overexposure to harmful ultraviolet rays, usually from the sun. Severe sunburns cause irreparable damage to skin cells which can lead to skin cancer. Even minor sunburns can cause problems down the line if UV ray overexposure continues. According to the American Cancer Society, a person’s risk of contracting skin cancer nearly doubles if they have sustained 5 or more sunburns in the past. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Over 3.5 million cases are treated annually in the United States, many of which can be attributed (at least in part) to sun damage.

What Other Risks Can Sunburns Pose?

Aside from increasing your skin cancer risk, sunburns can also cause other serious complications such as severe skin blistering and burns, dehydration, loss of fluids and even skin or systemic infection if left unchecked. In rare and extreme cases serious sunburns can even lead to shock or death if not treated.

When To Seek Medical Attention for a Sunburn

If your sunburn goes beyond the usual redness and irritation, it may be worth getting a checkup. According to Mayo Clinic physician Dr. Lawrence E. Gibson, if you are experiencing fever, chills, headache or pain, vomiting or diarrhea, excessive sweating, pus or other signs of skin infection be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Tips To Soothe The Burn

Luckily most sunburns do not require medical attention and respond well to at-home treatments. Some remedies that have proven effective for treating minor sunburns include:

  • Retreat from the sun’s wrath – This may seem like an obvious one, but sometimes people don’t take the hints their bodies give them. If you notice you’ve been burned, get inside as soon as you can as further sun will only worsen the burn.
  • Cold on Hot – Apply a cold compress (not ice cold) to the effected skin to help reduce or prevent inflammation. A cold shower is also a good idea to help cool off the skin.
  • Aloe Vera to the rescue – You’ve probably already heard that Aloe Vera, known as the “burn plant” can actually help reduce severity and speed up sunburn recovery.
  • Moisturize – It can help to replenish some of the moisture lost by your skin by applying a gentle skin moisturizer.
  • Reach for the NSAIDs – Try OTC anti-inflammatories to help bring down some of the inflammation and help decrease pain and discomfort in the first couple days of healing.
  • Hydrate – Bad sunburns can suck moisture and even electrolytes from the body so it is important to replenish lost fluids!
  • Be gentle as you heal – Try wearing loose fitting clothing, and patting your skin dry after a shower instead of rubbing it. Being gentle will help your skin heal faster.
  • Try cucumber or green tea – Cucumber and green tea both have soothing, anti-inflammatory properties, so applying a cooled green tea compress or sliced cucumber piece to the effected area may help reduce discomfort.
  • Take extra precautions Since your skin has been damaged, you definitely want to avoid future sunburns or irritation to that area, be sure to apply 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen to exposed skin whenever you are outside, reapplying every 2 hours. For more sunburn prevention tips check out our Summer Skincare

Thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any questions about sunburns or are concerned about how your burn is healing feel free to sign up today for a video consultation with one of our highly qualified, board certified DocChat physicians.