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Dear women, don't ignore dark circles, itchy skin

March 08, 2017 11:20 IST

This Women's Day, put health first.

IMAGE: Your skin can tell you a lot about your health.
Photograph: Kind courtesy cuncon/

Between playing roles of a mother, wife and juggling responsibilities at home, women tend to ignore their bodies and health.

Dark circles, itchy skin and rashes are often treated very casually.

Dr Vandana Punjabi, consultant dermatologist, cosmetologist and trichologist tells you what these seemingly casual signs could mean and why you shouldn't ignore them.

1. Recurring infections

If you have been facing repeated fungal or bacterial infections and haven't been responding positively to treatment, don't ignore it.

If the infection reappears as soon as medications are stopped, it may well be a sign of diabetes mellitus

2. Dry, dull skin

If you have dry, dull or lustreless skin with or without persistent itching, it may be a sign of thyroid hormone dysfunction.

3. Dark circles

Having dark circles is a sign of poor health.

If you have been getting poor sleep and your skin is not responding to regular creams and brightening treatments, it indicates that you may be suffering from iron deficiency anaemia.

4. Acne

Getting acne when you are a teen can be blamed on sudden change in hormones.

But adult acne in women over 30 years of age, especially with history of pre-menstrual flare of their acne, with a predilection for lower face, may indicate polycyclic ovaries

5. Deposits around the eyes

Flat, yellow deposits around the eyes (Xanthelesma) may be a manifestation of hyperlipidaemia -- raised serum levels in your cholesterol.

6. Dark underarms, neck folds

Analyse yourself clearly in the mirror.

Do you have darkened, velvety pigmentation in your underarms, neck folds, and  face (Acanthosis nigricans)?

This is commonly seen in overweight or obese individuals and may be a marker of insulin resistance.

Don't ignore this skin condition as this is a risk factor for development of diabetes in the future.

7. Itchy skin around your nipples

If you have been feeling itchy around the nipple ( with no underlying lump in breast), with oozing and discharge don't mistake it for eczema and ignore it.

It could be a sign of ductal breast cancer ( Paget's disease). Get yourself examined to confirm the possibility.

8. Facial rash

Having a butterfly rash on the front of the face, particularly affecting the nose and cheeks could be the effect of sun's exposure.

An unexplained facial rash, especially in young to middle-aged women, may be sign of Lupus Erythematosus -- a painful condition that affects your joints.

9. New moles

Most moles on your body look similar to one another.

Moles that may have changed into skin cancer are often irregularly shaped, have ragged borders, contain many colours, are larger than the size of a pencil eraser and may itch or bleed.

10. Severe itching

Some conditions like iron-deficiency anemia, kidney disease, thyroid disorders, diabetes and multiple sclerosis can also cause severe itching on the body, without development of rashes.