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Dermatology

Hyperhidrosis – Don’t let overactive sweat glands cramp your summer style

When we think of sweating, words like hot and sticky come to mind but there are numerous health benefits to sweating. Most of the time, sweating serves its purpose rather quickly. We cool down, stop sweating, and give it no further thought.

But if you’re one of 365 million people worldwide who live with excessive sweating, known in medical terms as hyperhidrosis, you sweat more than you need to. Keep reading for tips on how to stay dry this summer.

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Halloween Scary Skin Stories

At Halloween, some of the most frightening costumes include skin concerns that dermatologists deal with every day. From witches’ warts to shocking scars and blistering boils, the scary skin issues you see on Halloween are typically all in good fun.

More terrifying to dermatologists are potentially dangerous skincare mistakes we see our patients making. Here are some of the most spine-chilling…

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What has PCOS got to do with my Skin?

PCOS – you’ve probably vaguely heard about it: something to do with ovaries and fertility. So what on earth is a dermatologist writing about it for?
Well, hormones and skin are a biggie and PCOS is one of the biggest culprits.
Considering that 1 in 10 women of childbearing age suffers from PCOS – the bigger question should be: why aren’t we talking MORE about it?

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This Winter – Reduce your chances of getting Skin Cancer

You might shrug off the idea of skin cancer and assume it won’t happen to you- or if it does, you’ll just have a mole removed. No big deal, right?

Not so fast.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in South Africa. In fact, each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.

And treatment may involve a whole lot more than a mole removal. Skin cancer, particularly melanoma, the most serious form, can spread to other parts of the body and become fatal.

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Patient Diary: Mrs H and the Reason I became a Dermatologist

This month in celebration of World Vitiligo Day on 25 June, I would like to share with you a patient’s story who is very close to my heart. Not only was she the match which kindled my fascination into holistic integrative dermatology but she was the reason I spent two years studying the pigment cell condition of vitiligo and developing a test which would predict a patient’s response to treatment.

My mentor Prof Gail Todd always told me that my greatest teachers would be my patients. Mrs H – you were my first and greatest teacher and one of the reasons I became a dermatologist. Thank you for allowing me to share your story and for changing the trajectory of my life.

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Five early warning signs you may have an autoimmune skin disease

Autoimmune diseases are a group of diseases where your immune cells (that should be fighting infections) start to attack your normal cells. For example, in vitiligo, your immune cells are attacking the colour cells in your skin, leaving you with a light patch. Or in alopecia areata, your immune cells are attacking your hair follicles, and you lose that patch of hair. In some autoimmune diseases like lupus (also called SLE – systemic lupus erythematosus), your immune cells attack various organs leading to all kinds of symptoms.

The skin (what a wonderful organ) is a very visible organ. So it’s easier to spot early signs that your body might be ‘attacking’ itself and that you might have an autoimmune disease. Dr Lerinza teaches us the 5 early warning signs that you should look out for…

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