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Frequently Asked Questions about Skin & Hair Health

Skin health questions

What causes acne?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with dead skin cells and oil. Acne often causes pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads. It can appear on your face, chest, upper back, and shoulders. Though acne affects people of all ages, it’s most common among teenagers.

Acne can be persistent, cause emotional distress, and even scar the skin, but effective treatments are available.

How do I get rid of sunburn redness overnight?

Relaxing in cool water can help soothe inflammation, so try a cool bath or shower, then gently pat yourself dry and apply an unscented moisturizer with aloe vera, soy, or calamine. You can also try a hydrocortisone cream. To reduce inflammation further, apply ice packs for a maximum of 20 minutes or cold compresses to sunburnt areas. Damaged skin in these areas will be sensitive, so always wrap ice packs in a towel before using them.

How long does it take for a sunburn to heal?

It depends on how severe the sunburn is. A mild sunburn can take approximately 3 days to heal. A moderate sunburn lasts for about 5 days and is often followed by peeling skin. A severe sunburn can last for more than a week, and you may need to seek medical advice.

Pain is often at its worst 6 to 48 hours after a sunburn occurs.

Are skin infections contagious?

Viruses, bacteria, or fungi can penetrate the skin and cause infections, some of which can be contagious. The most common contagious infections include impetigo, molluscum contagiosum, fungal infections, athlete’s foot, scabies, ringworm, and shingles.
If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of a contagious skin infection, make sure to schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional.

Does diet affect acne?

The link between diet and acne has been controversial, but research shows that it can play a role in the development of acne. Foods that can affect the development of acne include dairy products, fast food, foods rich in Omega-6 fats, chocolate, and foods rich in refined carbohydrates.

Many factors other than diet also contribute to the development of acne, including sebum and keratin production, acne-causing bacteria, hormones, blocked pores, and inflammation.

Is spray tanning bad for you?

Topical sunless tanning products are generally considered safe alternatives to sunbathing when they're used as directed.

If you're spray tanning at home, follow the directions on the label and don't get the product in your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Some sprays also contain ingredients that can cause skin rashes or affect people with chemical sensitivity syndromes.

How do you keep your skin healthy?

If you don't have time for an intensive skin care routine, there are still simple things you can do to keep your skin healthy and prevent various health problems. For a happy, healthy skin, protect yourself from the sun when you go out by wearing sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 and protective clothing, don’t smoke, treat your skin gently by limiting your bath time, avoiding harsh soaps, and moisturizing your skin when it’s dry, eat a healthy diet, and try to keep your stress levels under control.

What are the different skin types?

There are five basic skin types – normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive.

Normal skin is neither too oily nor too dry. Oily skin tends to have a greasy appearance and is prone to acne breakouts. Dry skin tends to have a rough, flaky texture. Combination skin is a mix of dry skin and oily skin.

If your skin flushes when you have spicy food or tends to react negatively to new products, you may have sensitive skin.

What are the types of skin cancer?

There are three major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma can appear as a pearly or waxy bump, while squamous cell carcinoma can appear as a firm, red nodule.
Signs of melanoma include a large brownish spot with darker speckles, a mole that changes in colour or size, a small lesion with an irregular border, a painful lesion that burns, itches or bleeds, or lesions on your palms, soles, fingertips, or toes.

Hair health questions

What causes dandruff?

Dandruff can have several causes, including not shampooing enough, having an irritated, oily skin, dry skin, sensitivity to hair care products, or skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema.

Almost anyone can have dandruff, but some factors, like age, being male, or certain illnesses, can increase your risk.

What causes hair loss?

While anyone can lose hair on their head, hair loss is more common in men. Hair loss can be temporary or permanent, and can affect only your scalp or your entire body. It can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions, or simply a normal part of aging.

If you’re concerned about hair loss, talk to a healthcare professional. They can give you more information about the cause of your hair loss and your treatment options.

How much hair loss is normal?

Losing anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair per day is perfectly normal. There are 100,000 hair follicles on the average person’s scalp, so losing 100 or so strands per day shouldn’t make a big difference in your appearance.

If you’re experiencing hair loss that’s unusual for you, including bald spots, patchiness, and clumps of hair falling out, make sure to consult a healthcare professional.

Do dandruff cause hair loss?

In most cases, dandruff doesn’t directly cause hair loss. That being said, the itchiness it causes can lead to scratching, which can injure your hair follicles, leading to some hair loss. Dandruff can also increase hair loss for people with androgenic alopecia, a condition that causes pattern baldness.

To prevent dandruff-related hair loss, focus on eliminating as much itchiness as possible.

What causes an itchy scalp?

An itchy scalp is a common problem that can cause scratching and discomfort. The most common cause of an itchy scalp is dandruff. It can also simply be the result of a sensitive scalp or it can indicate an underlying medical condition like diabetes, an allergic reaction to medications, or head lice.

Your scalp coming into contact with something new, like a new shampoo, can also cause irritation and an itchy scalp.

Do hair vitamins work?

Hair needs a variety of nutrients to be healthy and grow. Some vitamins you can take include a B-vitamin called biotin, vitamin A, and vitamin C, which can help your body absorb iron.

Vitamin D can help your body create new follicles, and vitamin E, like vitamin C, is an antioxidant that can prevent oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which can block growth and cause your hair to age.

Does shaving increase hair growth?

Shaving hair doesn't change its thickness, colour, or rate of growth.
If you notice a sudden increase in your body or facial hair, make sure to consult a healthcare professional. This could be a side-effect of a medication you’re taking or a sign of an underlying medical condition.

How do I regain hair loss caused by stress?

If your hair loss is caused by stress, your hair could grow back in time. The rate of regrowth is different for everyone. Managing your stress could be the key to regain hair, but adjusting your diet and nutrition and trying out topical creams like topical Minoxidil or topical corticosteroids could also help.

Is colouring your hair bad for your health?

Based on current research, it appears unlikely that dyeing your hair significantly increases your cancer risk, though some studies are contradictory or inconclusive.

Hair dye products contain thousands of different chemicals. The body can absorb these chemicals through skin contact, which can pose other health risks like allergic reactions, skin irritations, and even hair loss.

Dermatology questions

What is dermatology?

A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in treating hair, skin, nail, and mucous membrane diseases and disorders.

A dermatologist can treat over 3000 types of issues, including acne, eczema, fungal infections, psoriasis, and more. They can address cosmetic issues, helping you revitalize the appearance of your hair, skin, or nails. Many skin conditions can be treated using medications and noninvasive interventions.

Do I need a referral to see a dermatologist?

You can use Maple to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist without a referral. For an in-person appointment, you need a referral from a general practitioner or primary care physician to see a dermatologist, which can sometimes take months.

What are the most common procedures performed in dermatology?

Dermatologists use a range of cosmetic and medical procedures to manage issues that are affecting your nails, skin, or hair.

Many skin conditions can be treated using medications and noninvasive interventions. Depending on your needs, dermatologists can also treat your condition using chemical peels, cosmetic injections, cryotherapy, dermabrasion, hair removal, laser surgery, skin grafts, biopsies, and more.

What are the most common skin conditions that dermatologists treat?

Dermatologists can treat over 3000 conditions, including acne, dermatitis, eczema, fungal infections, hair loss, warts, nail problems, psoriasis, rosacea, shingles, and skin cancer.

If you’re experiencing skin, hair, or nail symptoms that are not responding to home treatments, make sure to consult a dermatologist. Various internal health problems can cause skin symptoms, so consulting a professional can help you address complex issues.

What should I expect for a skin check with a dermatologist?

A skin check can take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Your dermatologist will meet you into the exam room and ask if you have any moles, spots or areas of concern. They will then perform a head-to-toe examination using their eyes and expertise to evaluate your skin.

A skin check is a good time to mention any spots you are worried about. Your dermatologist can educate you about what to look for, such as any changes in the size, color, borders, or shape of a mole. Any notable change in a mole should be evaluated.

When should I see a dermatologist?

If you’re experiencing skin, hair, or nail symptoms that are not resolving themselves or responding to home treatments, don’t wait. Talk to your doctor about a referral to see a dermatologist or use Maple to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist without a referral.

What are dermatologist procedures covered by insurance?

It depends on your plan, so make sure to check with your provider first to see if your procedure is covered. Some insurance plans also cover the cost of a consultation with a dermatologist through an online platform.

How do I see a dermatologist without a referral?

You don’t need a referral to see a dermatologist on Maple. You can use our platform to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist in days, rather than months.

What does a dermatologist do at an appointment?

Your first consultation with a dermatologist will begin like a typical visit to a primary care physician. You’ll be asked about your medical history, medications, and health problems. Your dermatologist might check your skin for things other than acne, like suspicious moles, for example. Depending on your needs, your dermatologist may write you a prescription and you may be asked to come back for a follow-up appointment to make sure you’re progressing well.

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