What are those red patches on your skin?

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Each person’s skin texture is different, but one of the most common skin problems that exist today is that of redness of the skin. If you are wondering what causes this unexplained redness, here’s your answer. We got in touch with Dr Sirisha Singh, a leading dermatologist to explain the commonly occurring problem and this is what she had to say.

The most important part of tackling redness of the skin and irritation is to diagnose the problem. When the skin appears red, it most commonly is due to an infective process, allergic cause or an irritant reaction on the skin. Very rarely, it may be a sign of a more sinister underlying process which due to the rarity of occurrence, we don’t need to worry about too much.

The infections may be fungal or bacterial and very rarely viral in nature. These are usually simple to identify, easy to treat and have a fantastic outcome as once treated they usually disappear completely and in most people the chances of recurrence are slim.

When the rash is allergic in nature, it tends to be recurrent and needs management on a long term basis. Allergies of all sort tend to have a very similar appearance and it is virtually impossible to identify the allergen in most people. This then needs to be managed to minimise discomfort to the afflicted individual.

The common principles to be followed are:

Keep the skin moist and well hydrated. This requires use of a mild pH balanced cleanser to avoid skin irritation, frequent use of a moisturiser to hydrate the skin. Drinking plenty of fluids is also important.

Avoid any irritants on the skin like fleece, wool or other synthetic garments.

Avoid contact with pets like Dogs and Cats as a lot of people tend to be allergic to Animal dander protein.

Stay in a cool room with good air circulation to minimise itching of the skin.

Try and identify the allergen (not always possible) and avoid it. Dietary allergens often cause a specific type of allergy called urticaria. This tends to be prolonged and can cause intense discomfort. Maintaining a good diet chart may help to identify the triggers and avoid them.

Anti allergy tablets may be helpful in certain types of allergies. This however should be taken only after a dermatologist consultation.

Steroid ointments or tablets may be needed in some cases. This should be done only under expert guidance from a dermatologist.

The other causes of skin irritation like internal medical problems, drug rashes etc need to be treated professionally.

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