All Posts Tagged: skin

Eczema Melbourne

What is eczema, what causes it and how can you get help?

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a recurring, non-infectious, inflammatory skin condition affecting one in three Australians at some stage throughout their lives.

The condition is most common in people with a family history of an atopic disorder, including asthma or hay fever.

Atopic eczema

This is the most common form of the disease. The skin becomes red, dry, itchy and scaly. In severe cases, it may weep, bleed and crust over, causing the sufferer discomfort.

Although eczema affects all ages, it usually appears in early childhood (in babies between two-to-six months of age) and disappears around six years of age. In fact, more than half of all eczema sufferers show signs within their first 12 months of life and 20 per cent of people develop eczema before the age of five.

Most children grow out of the condition, but a small percentage may experience severe eczema into adulthood.

What causes eczema?

Eczema is caused by a person’s inability to repair damage to the skin barrier. Once the skin barrier is disrupted, moisture leaves the skin and the skin will become dry and scaly.

Environmental allergens (irritants from the person’s surrounds) can enter the skin and activate the immune system, producing inflammation that makes the skin red and itchy.

You are more likely to get eczema if your family has a history of eczema or allergic conditions, including hay fever and asthma.

In most cases, eczema is not caused or aggravated by diet. If you feel that food is to blame, see your doctor or a dietitian for proper allergy testing and dietary advice.

While eczema causes stress, and stress may increase the energy with which you scratch, stress does not in itself cause eczema.

What are the symptoms of eczema?

  • Moderate to severely itching skin
  • Rash – dry, red, patchy or cracked skin. Commonly it appears on the face, hands, neck, inner elbows, backs of the knees and ankles, but can appear on any part of the body
  • Skin weeping watery fluid
  • Rough, ‘leathery’, thick skin.

How does eczema affect people?

Although eczema is itself is not a life-threatening disease, it can certainly have a debilitating effect on a sufferer, their carers and their family’s quality of life. Night-time itching can cause sleepless nights and place a significant strain on relationships. Eczema ‘flare-ups’ can often lead to absenteeism from work and school.

Is there a cure for eczema?

Although there is no known cure for eczema and it can be a lifelong condition, treatment can offer symptom control.

Have a chat with your PVH Medical doctor about the treatment available. In some cases you may be referred to a dermatologist (skin specialist).

If you have any questions about eczema, please come and see us. To make a booking online, tap on ‘Book an Appointment’ at the top of the screen or download the Appointuit app on your phone.

 

Source: Eczema Association of Australia and BetterHealth Channel

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Get your skin checked by a doctor in Pascoe Vale.

It’s ‘Melanoma March’

Melanoma March is an annual awareness and fundraising initiative that funds life-changing melanoma research.

This year, there are numerous Melanoma March events taking place across the country. Some participate to remember a loved one whilst others are on their own melanoma journey. All come along in support of finding a cure for melanoma.

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which usually occurs on the parts of the body that have been overexposed to the sun. Rare melanomas can occur in parts of the skin or body that have never been exposed to the sun.

Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in Australia, which along with New Zealand has the world’s highest incidence rate for melanoma.

Melanoma is more commonly diagnosed in men than women. The risk of being diagnosed with melanoma by age 85 is 1 in 13 for men compared to 1 in 22 for women.

This year, more than 14,000 Australians will be diagnosed with melanoma. Sadly, around 1,800 will die from the disease.

Melanoma symptoms

Often melanoma has no symptoms. However, the first sign is generally a change in an existing mole or the appearance of a new spot. These changes can include:

  • Colour – a mole may change in colour or have different colour shades or become blotchy
  • Size – a mole may appear to get bigger
  • Shape – a mole may have an irregular border or may increase in height
  • Elevation – the mole may develop a raised area
  • Itching or bleeding.

Other symptoms include dark areas under nails or on membranes lining the mouth, vagina or anus.

New moles and spots will appear and change during childhood, adolescence and during pregnancy and this is normal. However, adults who develop new spots or moles should have them examined by their doctor.

Shannan’s story

Shannan Ponton, from television program The Biggest Loser, thought he was invincible. He wasn’t. But his melanoma battle ended up saving more than his own life.

His melanoma story began on a beach in Bali when his wife spotted a suspicious looking mole on the back of his thigh. She booked him in for a skin check immediately on his return to Sydney. It was melanoma.

Despite undergoing two rounds of surgery and now sporting a 20cm scar, his melanoma hadn’t spread. He was so rattled by his melanoma diagnosis that he immediately called an ‘intervention’ with his mates, inviting 15 of them around to his house for a BBQ.

“I said boys, we all lead a similar lifestyle. I’ve just been diagnosed with melanoma. I want all of you to go and get a skin check,” Shannan recalls.

All 15 mates at Shannan’s intervention that afternoon booked themselves in for skins checks – 2 were subsequently diagnosed with melanoma.

“If it wasn’t for that intervention and that feeling in my gut to go beyond trying to just help, and actually making a difference, those two guys could not be here now,” Shannan added.

Watch Shannan’s story below.

 

Visit the Melanoma March website for more melanoma stories, events and to donate.

Get your skin checked at PVH Medical

If you’ve noticed a change in an existing mole or the appearance of a new spot, or you just want a general skin check for your peace of mind, make a booking with a doctor today.

Having a regular skin check could save your life!

 

Source: Melanoma Institute Australia and Cancer Council Australia

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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