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Ashley Metcalfe

Syrinx ZA Chief Executive Ashley Metcalfe is responsible for marketing and business development. Ashley is as passionate about cricket as he is skin care. Drop Ashley a line if you have any skin related questions. Why not Circle Ashley Metcalfe on Google+

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Psoriasis on the Scalp

Scalp CleanserPsoriasis on the scalp is a relatively common skin condition that is thought to affect as many as half of the estimated 7.5 million Americans that suffer with psoriasis. Most of the time, an individual that suffers with scalp psoriasis will also suffer with the condition on other parts of their body but this is not always the case.

Scalp psoriasis can affect a sufferer of any age and can range from mild irritation to severe pain, affecting day to day activities such as sleep and work and prove to be quite an embarrassing condition to contend with.

Symptoms of Psoriasis on the Scalp

Symptoms of scalp psoriasis can vary from slight scaling in mild cases to more serious symptoms in severe cases.

Reddish plaques with white scaling may occur on the surface of the scalp and may cause dandruff-like flaking. A dry scalp that can be itchy or irritated may also be a symptom of scalp psoriasis.

More uncommon symptoms such as a burning sensation, a strong pain or hair loss may also occur in more severe forms. Please note, however, that hair loss is not a direct symptom of scalp psoriasis, but it can happen as a result of frequent scratching, harsh treatments and stress related to the condition.

What are the Causes?

Scalp psoriasis is most likely to occur in individuals that already suffer from psoriasis on other parts of their body, so it is generally a hereditary condition.

Sometimes scalp psoriasis can be worse than others depending on factors such as stress, infection, changes in temperature/weather and harsh treatments.

Ouch! How can I treat it?

The best way to treat Psoriasis on the Scalp at home is to opt for an all-natural, moisture-rich scalp shampoo, conditioner and prewash such as the Syrinx Za Scalp Combination.

The 3 piece treatment all contain natural, hydrating ingredients that can help to ease the symptoms of scalp psoriasis and soothe the associated scaling, redness, irritation, inflammation and flaking using antiseptic properties, allowing you to live a more comfortable, psoriasis-free life.

Picking at Acne

Best Soap to Use for Treating AcneWhen you start to get symptoms of acne, the likelihood is that you’re not going to think they look particularly appealing. Acne has the unfortunate habit of making otherwise clear, healthy skin look damaged and red.

Many of us cannot resist picking at acne in an attempt to make it disappear, you think to yourself I will just squeeze and pick at this one, but then you can’t stop, its almost addictive, you cannot help it! Knowing the risks you are putting your skin at may suppress the urge to pick a little…

What happens when you pick your acne?

Acne occurs when bacteria, dead skin cells or bacteria builds up within the skin. When a lesion does not contain bacteria (non-inflammatory) they are known as whiteheads or blackheads. Bacteria-filled lesions (inflammatory) include pimples, pustules and nodules.

When acne lesions are picked or popped, the material is released and can cause even non-inflammatory lesions to become inflammatory. So, you are certainly at a strong risk of making your acne much worse than it was to start off with.

Picking at acne can cause swelling, increased redness, a prolonged healing time and, very often, pain. Even once it has finally healed, you could be left with a nasty brown or red scar that can last for several months or, in more extreme cases, a lifetime.

When it becomes a habit…

It is thought that around 5% of people do pick at their acne to the point of injury. So, in other words, they pick at their skin until it bleeds or rips off.

If you find you are picking your acne more out of regular habit than an occasional mistake, you may want to consider the possibility that you have a condition known as dematillomania. This is characterised as an obsessive need to continuously pick at the skin to the point of damage. You might want to visit your local GP or psychologist if you suspect this may be the case.

Treating acne

Of course, you can try to get yourself to stop picking at acne, but the best solution all round is to simply treat the acne so there is nothing to pick at in the first place!

There are 3 things you need to focus on when treating acne: detoxifying, moisturising and soothing.

Syrinx Za has formulated their Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar to achieve these key results as effectively and naturally as possible.

Wash with the Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar twice a day and leave the rich lather to soak into the skin as opposed to washing it off as you would a normal soap. The bar is completely natural and free from steroids and additives. It contains antiseptic qualities that have shown to relieve skin conditions thanks to its key natural ingredient Sapropel.

Reasons for an Itchy Scalp

Scalp Treatment CombinationThere are a variety of potential Reasons for an Itchy Scalp. 

The skin of the scalp is exceptionally sensitive and so can be vulnerable to irritation more so than just about anywhere else on the body.

For many, an itchy can be quite embarrassing and affect their self-confidence. Scratching your head could be seen as quite socially unacceptable and even further embarrassment could be caused if flaking occurs after the scalp is scratched.

Possible causes of an Itchy Scalp

An itchy scalp may or may not be a result of a skin condition or a rash.

The most common cause of an itchy scalp is dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis), which brings symptoms such as flaking and, of course, itching. Factors such as emotional stress, chemical filled products, excessive washing, lack of washing, skin conditions such as eczema or a generally weak immune system can lead to the onset of dandruff. It can range in severity and so sometimes all that is needed are simple lifestyle changes while other times, in more extreme cases, treatment is required.

Psoriasis on the scalp is also a potential cause of an itchy scalp, which generally will mean the itching scalp is quite long term and there are visible scaly, red patches of skin on the surface of the scalp.

Other Reasons for an Itchy Scalp include more serious conditions such as infection, inflammation or allergies (particularly allergic reactions to chemical-filled hair products).

Seek advice from your local GP if you suspect your itchy scalp may be due to serious underlying problems such as the above.

How to treat an Itchy Scalp

Syrinx Za’s Hair and Scalp Combo are formulated to treat and reduce the symptoms of an itchy scalp, whatever the reason for it may be.

The 3 piece products are based around our key ingredient, Sapropel. Sapropel has the unique ability to detoxify the scalp, drawing out impurities that may be causing the problem, and provide a moisture-rich array of vitamins and mineral that work to restore the scalp back to its optimum health. It has been clinically proven to calm itching and dramatically eradicate flaking.

So, now you know the possible Reasons for an Itchy Scalp and how to treat it!

Dry Skin in Ears

dryskin on earIf you have eczema you may often suffer from flaky or dry skin in the ear canals, although many people that suffer from sensitive skin may find that they also fall victim to the wrath of dry skin in ears or even on top or at the back of the ear.

This type of dry skin surprisingly quite common but why? And are there any risks involved with this type of dry, flaky and sometimes painful skin?

How can we treat it simply and effectively?

Dry Skin in Ears

Suffering from dry skin within the ears is by no means a particularly bad, or rare, condition to contend with.

If dry skin is quite persistent within your ears it is highly likely to actually be seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammation of the skin that is fairly common and relatively harmless.

It has the appearance of itchy, flaky, almost scaly dry skin, so is quite easily ignored or disregarded by the sufferer who will just think of it as annoying dry skin. Which it kind of is really, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks that come with it…

Are there any Dangers of this?

Generally speaking, dry skin within the ears is just an annoying yet harmless condition.

However, sometimes it can lead to a bacterial infection. This is indicated when the skin turns wet and itchy, sometimes with pain and a foul odour. This may then spread to the face and cause red sores. Not particularly pleasant!

People that suffer from dry skin in their ears are also likely to suffer from dry skin on other parts of the body including the scalp, face, chest, neck, back and even the groin areas.

So, while this type of dry skin is usually nothing to worry about, it is certainly worth treating just to be on the safe side.

How can I Treat it?

Syrinx Za have a range of natural balms and lotions for dry skin problems.

Syrinx Za Hydrating Balm and Ultra-Sensitive Cream are both designed to rehydrate dry skin on any part of the body including the ears, leaving it smooth, healed and moisturised.

Everyone’s skin is different so why not try both to find which works best for you to combat dry skin in ears? Alternate between using the balm and the cream twice a day and see results in just two weeks.

Natural Treatment for Psoriasis

PsoriasisPsoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can be characterised by red, scaly-like patches covering the skin. It is thought to affect around 3% of the American population and 125 million people worldwide according to psoriasis.org,
While it may have an aesthetically unattractive nature, psoriasis is by no means simply a cosmetic problem – 60% of sufferers claim the condition causes significant problems in their day to day lives, so they constantly seek the best natural treatment for psoriasis.

Why choose Natural Treatments?

Unlike skin conditions that are the result of external causes, psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder, which basically means it is a genetic condition. This means that most drug treatments designed for psoriasis contain steroids and biologics that can actually depress the immune system, and come with long term side effects that can eventually weaken the skin, making it more vulnerable and susceptible to psoriasis than it was to start with. As well coming with long term risks, the prohibitive cost of steroid-based treatments puts them out of reach of many people.

Natural treatments means the symptoms of psoriasis can be controlled for a longer period of time. Natural treatments are very beneficial because they do not cause any side effects and reduce the risk of causing further damage to already sensitive skin.

Natural ingredients such as Argan Oil are extremely useful when treating psoriasis. Argan Oil’s combination of nutrients and vitamins and abilities in moisture retention mean that the nasty dry symptoms of psoriasis can be alleviated. The oil’s antiseptic properties can help heal the damage psoriasis has caused the skin, meaning the redness and white patches become considerably reduced when it is used on the skin consistently and frequently. Sufferers of psoriasis may have generally more sensitive skin, meaning they are more vulnerable to adverse side effects when using chemical-based treatment. Using natural products that uses natural ingredients as effective and minimal-risk as Argan Oil is undoubtedly the best option.

While this condition is not life threatening, it has a profound effect on daily life, self-esteem and confidence and so treating it in the gentlest yet most effective way possible is crucially important for a sufferer.

Our recommendation

Both the Syrinx Za Natural Emollient and Syrinx Za Skin Revitaliser contain Argan Oil among a variety of other natural ingredients that work as a blend to relieve psoriasis and in our opinion is the best Natural Treatment for Psoriasis.

 Because we know that everybody’s skin is different, we strongly recommended initially using both these products to treat your psoriasis and find which works best for you. You could start the day by applying the Ultra-Sensitive Therapy Cream, using the fingertips to work the cream into the affected areas gently but firmly, and then end the day with the Emollient, or vice versa. For best results, apply every morning and night – and during the day if patches flare up.

What does Eczema Look Like?

EczemaEczema is a skin condition in which the skin becomes red, inflamed or itchy, amongst other symptoms. It can form anywhere on the body, from arms to ears to feet. There are a few types of eczema but atopic eczema is by far the most common.

Sometimes people write to us and ask; How do I know if I have eczema? What does eczema look like?

Eczema’s Appearance

How do you know if you’re suffering from eczema? Is the red patch on your arm eczema or something else? The key to working out whether you have eczema or not is simply by checking your symptoms. Eczema is quite a common condition to suffer with so if you suspect you may have it then there’s a solid chance you may well do.

Eczema has many faces depending on its severity but there are a few tell-tale signs.

Firstly, the skin may appear red or inflamed. This is probably the first sign for sufferers that their skin has a bit of a problem and that it needs treating. All eczema, no matter how severe, tends to have a reddened appearance caused by inflammation.

Dryness of the skin is another early indicator that you may be suffering from eczema. Anything that dries out your skin can cause eczema as it is essentially an advanced version of dry skin. This means that affected areas of eczema are often itchy, cracked and flaky.

Eczema may lead to the formation of blisters and oozing lesions in its more severe stages. The itchiness of the condition could also lead to thickened, crusty skin and an increased risk of infections occurring.

Treatment for Eczema

Syrinx Za Natural Emollient Cream is a natural chemical-free emollient containing Sapropel (Zander) and Argan Oil, ingredients that are able to work together to draw impurities from the skin and relieve the symptoms of eczema.

Our Emollient uses the ancient healing powers of Sapropel (Zander) and Argan to soothe and rehydrate the skin, whilst removing any toxins. It is a gentle emollient for the face, ears, neck and other sensitive areas, and ideal for sensitive, immature skin. Now you know the answer to “What does eczema look like” you can go ahead and start treating it.

However, of course, there is a chance the above symptoms could well indicate a different problem, so it may be worth a trip to your local GP if you are unsure before commencing any treatment.

Are Skin Tags Dangerous?

Image of Skin Tags on the NeckSo, you have a skin tag. But what exactly does that mean?

Skin tags come from a root stalk of cells that grows out of the skin and takes form in a growth, often skin coloured and varying in size. They can appear just about anywhere on the body although are most commonly found in the folds of skin such as armpits, eyelids and behind the knees.

What are the risks of Skin Tags

Generally speaking, no, skin tags are not dangerous.

That is because most skin tags are benign and will never become a problem, more a mere inconvenience. Many people believe that skin tags can be cancerous but this is incredibly unlikely.

The most trouble that benign skin tags can bring you is chafing or catching on your clothing, which can cause pain, discomfort and bleeding. Once pulled off, it is quite unlikely the skin tag will grow back, but you may be left with slight scarring. In fact, for many people they accidentally pull a skin tag off without even knowing it was there in the first place.

While health problems are very rare when it comes to skin tags, they may well indicate an underlying issue. Skin tags that appear in large numbers could point towards diabetes or an insulin problem, so it’s worth taking a trip to your local GP to find out if this is a possibility for you.

Complications with skin tags can often arise if you choose to have them surgically removed for cosmetic purposes. Where the surgery has torn the skin can provide an access point for bacteria and therefore cause an infection. Before you have any form of surgery, it is important to find out whether your suspected skin tag is actually a skin tag – moles and other skin growths should be treated in a very different way to skin tags and may react differently if removed, causing riskier complications.

How can I treat them

The Syrinx Za Therapy Bar has been found to be extremely effective in the natural removal of skin tags without the need for surgery and any complications it may bring.

Simply use the soap every morning and night for a minimum of two weeks to see results. When you use the bar create a thick lather and then use the bar to scrub the skin tag. Leave the lather on the skin to dry naturally (about 30 minutes) to allow it time to work.

To learn more about treating skin tags, visit Skin Tag Removal


Side Effects of Topical Steroids

What is the best treatment for eczema?If you walk into your local pharmacy, chances are you’ll see a variety of skincare treatments containing Topical Corticosteroids, but many of us don’t actually know what they are nor why they are something to avoid.

Let us explain…

What are Topical Steroids?

Topical Corticosteroids are creams, ointments and lotions that contain steroid medicines. They aim to reduce skin inflammation and are used for various skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.

Sounds great right? Well, unfortunately not. Topical Corticosteroids do not come without their quite extreme side effects…

Why are they Dangerous?

Topical corticosteroids can cause many local side effects to the areas of skin skin they are applied. Once Topical Corticosteroids are absorbed into the skin over a long period of time, systemic complications can also arise.

Thinning of the skin (Skin Athropy) is perhaps the most common danger of Topical Corticosteroids, which has been proven by many different studies and research. This, in turn, can damage the skin even further, making it even more vulnerable than it was to begin with and even more susceptible to skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.

Thanks to Topical Corticosteroids, the formation of stretch marks becomes more likely. The Topical Corticosteroids break down the connective tissues of the skin which can then cause stretch marks, which of course will take a considerable amount of time to disappear.

Topical Corticosteroids can make the blood vessels dialate and become visible undernearth the sufferer’s thinned skin, particularly when they are used long term. Acne and Rosacea is also a known side effect of Topical Corticosteroids – so, using these treatments to cure one skin condition may actually make you end up suffering a whole other one! Not a very good deal…

Other complications such as infections and an interference with the body’s own steroid production and glucose management can also occur as a result of treating the skin with Topical Corticosteroid based remedys.

What Alternatives are there?

The best way to take control of your skin’s health and protect yourself against the Side Effects of Topical Steroids is to be clued up on the ingredients in every skin care product you buy.

The best, easiest and safest way to avoid any adverse risks is to opt for all natural products that use only pure, natural ingredients to treat skin conditions. That’s where Syrinx Za come in…

All our products are completely free of Topical Corticosteroids so you can treat your skin with the comfort of knowing it is being looked after and kept safe, protected and effectively treated.

Read more about Syrinx Za Skincare Products

Note: Do NOT get Topical Corticosteroids (used to reduce skin inflammation) confused with Anabolic Steroids (used by athletes and body builders to improve their physical abilities). Two very different types of ‘steroids’ with VERY different purposes! (so lads, if you use a Topical Corticosteroid based emollient unfortunately your muscles will not be affected…)

Warts on Children

Image of Wart on the handWarts can be an unsightly condition for anyone to deal with but they can be particularly distressing for children to cope with.

In fact, as much as 15% of children get warts, so it is by no means an uncommon problem. Many children that suffer with warts may be embarrassed of their condition or be the subject of playground bullying, while others may be very uncomfortable particularly if the warts are on the soles of their feet.

What causes Warts?

Warts are noncancerous skin growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Warts appear when this virus invades the skin, usually when the skin is broken or cut, which then causes a rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of skin, also known as Warts!

The HPV can be passed on by close skin-to-skin contact with other Wart sufferers, as well as through contact with towels or shoes.

This virus can be spread to other parts of body by scratching a wart, sucking fingers, biting fingernails or shaving.

Warts come in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colours. They are usually quite small and skin-coloured but can be large and dark, rough or smooth. They are quite easy to detect but it may be worth taking your child on a trip to your local GP if you are unsure.

Are they dangerous?

While Warts are contagious, they will generally be no danger to your child’s health.

Warts are not cancerous and generally not harmful because they are small benign growths. There are, however, some types of warts that can become painful in nature and are certainly not the most comfortable condition for your child to contend with.

Chances are your child’s Warts will disappear by themselves thanks to their strong immune system. However, there are treatments you can try in the meantime…

How can I treat Warts?

The Syrinx ZA Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar is able to effectively treat warts and reduce both their appearance and the pain they may be bringing your child.

It’s a cold processed, all natural soap that cleans the skin by drawing out heavy metals and impurities, freeing the immune system to use its natural defences against warts and other infections.

Due to its natural properties, the bar is very safe to use on children and is unlikely to provoke adverse reactions in sensitive skin as normal soap might.

See our Wart and Verruca Removal page to learn more about how we can help your child’s condition.


Oily Skin Soaps

Best facial scrubIf you’re a sufferer of oily skin, you will appreciate just how irritating it can be.

Oily skin is the result of the body’s sebaceous gland overproduces oil and cause excessively oily skin.

However  if you have oily skin, its not all bad, you might have some shininess, blemishes and spots but  you are less likely to get wrinkles early or other signs of aging.

How does Soap affect Oily Skin?

If you have particularly oily skin you may feel the urge to scrub your skin raw with soap until the oil is gone, right? Well, wrong.

Soap can actually harm the sebaceous glands and cause them to secrete even more oil, worsening your original problem and giving you a bit of a catch 22 situation.

But, of course, you can’t (more to the point, shouldn’t!) avoid soap forever and so, luckily, there are options.

What Soaps should I avoid for my Oily Skin?

Soaps that change the pH of your skin should be absolutely avoided at all costs.

A normal, chemical-based soap is quite alkaline, meaning the skin can become very irritated and cause the glands to secrete excessive amounts of oil in a bid to protect itself.

Believe it or not, oily skin can actually be worsened by skin-drying. Chemical-based, non-natural soaps can very easily dry out the skin with their harsh properties, again causing the glands to become irritated and produce more oil.

So, if you feel like using standard soaps is the cause of your oily skin, then immediately cease use and start looking for alternative options.

What Soaps should I choose for my Oily Skin?

Here at Syrinx Za, we recognise the problem sensitive skin sufferers are met with when using soap. It harms your skin but there’s no way around it – or is there?

Opting for an all-natural soap such as Syrinx Za Deep Cleansing Therapy Bar is highly recommended. It may work wonders on dry skin but it is also extremely effective at treating oily skin and a perfect alternative to harsh normal soaps.

The bar combines natural ingredients in a cold process to cleanse, draw out impurities and protect skin of all types. Just add water to work the bar into a gentle lather and let it soak in (without rinsing). It only takes a couple of weeks to see results.
Try it for yourself!