Contagious Skin Conditions
Your skin is the largest organ of your body both regarding weight and surface area. It skin performs many functions like – protection (barrier against radiations, chemicals, bacteria, and virus), regulation (body temperature via hair and sweat), and sensation (via a network of nerve cells).
Skin conditions are never amiable; rather they are unpleasant when infectious. The following article intends to get you aware with some of them.
It is a viral infection of the skin, that result in the formation of small, shiny, firm, round and painless bumps. These bumps are normally painless but they may be itchy and scratching will spread the infection to the surrounding skin. They are contagious and spread through contact with a contaminated object such as towels, clothing, etc or an infected person via direct contact during handshake and hugs.
Children are more prone to this viral infection. Small bumps or lumps do not need any treatment if you have a healthy immune system because it is normally a self- limiting and benign condition. They usually fade away without any medical intervention. These bumps resolve anywhere between 6 to 12 months. In a few cases, it may take up to 4 years. Maintain proper isolation and hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus to others. Avoid scratching because these lesions heal without scarring.
Large lesions located on the face and neck can be treated with the help of cryosurgery, peeling with the help of creams, curettage and laser therapy. There are many home remedies suggested for this disease, like – tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, iodine and hydrogen peroxide
Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicle; it is precisely caused because of bacterial and fungal infection. It may resemble acne pimples. It is not a life-threatening condition,but it requires your attention because it may cause a burning sensation, irritation, and itching. Folliculitis may appear as a cluster of red bumps; they may also resemble as white-headed pimples.
Folliculitis is usually caused because of an infection of the hair follicle with bacteria known as Staphylococcus aureus. It is more common in people with low immunity like – diabetic, chronic illness, AIDS/ HIV. Regularly wearing the same clothes, which trap sweat, and soaking in an un maintained water tub.
You easily prevent Folliculitis with the help of following measures –
•Avoid tight clothes
•Always dry out your sports gears like rubber gloves, helmets etc.
•Follow hygiene while Shaving – wash your skin with warm water, use anti-bacterial soaps, apply a good amount of shaving creams/lotions, avoid sharing of razors and blades.
Mild Folliculitis can be easily treated with the help of home remedies.
•Apply moist and warm compress, you can do this 4 -5 times a day.
•Apply soothing lotion
•Wash the affected area with antibacterial soap
Genital warts are tiny, fleshy soft growths that appear on the genitals. They are STI, i.e. sexually transmitted infection. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can cause itching, pain, and discomfort. Genital warts can easily transmit via oral, vaginal and anal sex.
They can affect both men (may appear on the following area – penis, inside or around anus, scrotum, groin, thighs) and women (may appear on following areas – cervix, inside and outside vagina or anus), but in women, genital warts can progress to cancer of cervix and vulva. People under the age of 35, smokers, compromised immunity are more prone to genital warts. Children can also develop genital warts, in case their mother was carrying HPV during childbirth. Genital warts can also be seen around mouth, lips or throat because of any oral contact.
Genital warts may be invisible to the human eye; they are tiny and resemble a cauliflower in shape. They may have the same color as your skin and may feel bumpy or smooth. They may present as a cluster or single wart. Few symptoms like – burning, vaginal discharge, itching, and bleeding may be present.
Treatment of genital warts requires consultation with a healthcare professional, avoid taking over the counter medicine. After evaluating your condition, the doctor will evaluate treatment options like – topical drugs like- trichloroacetic acid, podophyllin, and podofilox.
In case the warts are visible and cause pain and discomfort your Doctor may advise minor surgery, electrocautery or burning with electric current, laser therapy, excision(cutting), or freezing (cryosurgery),. Women with genital warts should always have pap smears every 3 – 6 months after treatment. This will help your healthcare professional in diagnosing any abnormal changes in the cervix at an early stage. Avoid any form of home remedies, because they may aggravate the condition and do more harm.
Research suggests certain essential oils like tea tree oil may give you some relief, but always talk to your doctor before using such home remedies. Multivitamins and folate supplements will help in increasing your immunity. Normally these warts vanish by themselves, they are self-healing, but the person will carry the virus and also remain a source of infection for his/her partner.
Dr Reena Prajapat is a dentist, she post graduated in hospital management from Apollo Institute of hospital Administration, Hyderabad. Her strong belief in natural and home remedies lead her to Pursue bachelor in naturopathy.