Dr Ian Webster
Dr Ian Webster

Inflammation of the Skin

There are two types of skin inflammation.

Acute inflammation

This category includes allergic reactions to insect bites or irritant contact dermatitis due to a harsh cleansing or incorrect products as well as aggressive aesthetic treatments.

Chronic inflammation

This includes conditions such as rosacea, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Inflammation of the skin may be caused by external factors such as excessive sun exposure, pollution or allergic reactions to various chemicals or active ingredients on the skin.

Prescription Treatments for Skin Inflammation

Medically prescribed treatments for inflammation include oral and topical corticosteroids and oral antibiotics such as the tetracyclines. Topical prescription anti-inflammatory medications include Metronidazole which is used for rosacea.

Non-prescription Treatments for Skin Inflammation

Non-prescription, over-the-counter, topical anti-inflammatory include some French thermal spring waters, Azelaic acid, Bisabolol derived from the chamomile plant, Niacinamide, Borage Seed Oil, Resveratrol and Shea Butter.

Rosacea

In patients with milder forms of rosacea, the combination of a number of the non-prescription, topical anti-inflammatory ingredients in cream could adequately manage the rosacea.

Studies have shown that these non-prescription anti-inflammatory topical agents are useful when combined with topical prescription medication such as Metronidazole gel or oral tetracyclines. In other words, these products may be used on their own for mild rosacea and in conjunction with prescription medication for the treatment of more severe forms of rosacea.

Darker Skin Types & Skin Inflammation

In people with darker skin types, acute and chronic inflammation, if not correctly treated, may lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. To prevent this from occurring a high factor, broad-spectrum sunscreen should be used at the site of the inflammatory condition.

If you are in a high-risk category for hyperpigmentation (PIH), then it is very important to be meticulous about the use of sunscreens and to avoid sun exposure where possible. Picking and fiddling with lesions as in acne or after skin treatments can cause inflammation and PIH. You should proceed cautiously when it comes to aesthetic treatments such as chemical peels and lasers, as in the wrong hands those at risk of pigmentation can end up worse off. A proper assessment needs to be done and the correct aesthetic treatment protocol needs to be followed.

Posted in LEARN / SENSITIVE SKIN on May 23rd, 2019.

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