Mom of Toddler Who Is Allergic to Water Says Her Condition Is 'Getting Worse'

The mother of the 21-month-old Minnesota toddler who has a rare and serious allergy to water says that while her daughter’s condition is worsening, she’s “grateful” for the dozens of people who have supported her daughter since the family first opened up about their story earlier this year.

In October 2017, Ivy Angerman, of Hastings, Minnesota, was diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria, a rare condition in which urticaria [hives] develop rapidly after the skin comes in contact with water, regardless of its temperature, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.

“It’s something we still can’t wrap our heads around,” Ivy’s mother, Brittany Angerman, told PEOPLE in February. “It’s just heartbreaking.”

Everything from Ivy’s own tears to her sweat can cause a reaction. Brittany says even touching snow (something the family has had a lot of this winter in Minnesota) will make her daughter break out in hives.

The reaction can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, but if she takes an antihistamine — her only treatment — the reaction time is less. Brittany says the hives her daughter experiences have recently begun to feel hotter — Ivy is also starting to say how “hot” they are now.

“She used to love bath time and wanted to play in the snow,” she says of Ivy, who was diagnosed eight months ago. “But now she hides and doesn’t want to go into the bathroom or outside.”

For now, Ivy’s reactions happen after direct contact with water, but Brittany is frightened she could become allergic internally one day.

“There are so many unknowns,” she says. “It cause a lot of stress, but we get through it because we have to focus on Ivy.”

The lease on Angerman’s house — which was built in 1901 and needs major improvements— is up this month and the family is in a race against time to find a new home that has air conditioning and a better water system. Brittany is already dreading the warm weather that’s coming because the hot sun will cause her daughter to sweat, which will result in even more rashes and blisters.

Seeing her daughter afraid of her own body breaks her heart and makes her feel helpless, says Brittany. But creating a GoFundMe page and seeing the support they’ve received from strangers has raised her family’s spirits. They’re still hoping to raise money for a new home that will be better suited for Ivy.

“We can’t put into words how happy it makes us to know that strangers care,” she says. “It makes you realize how there are a lot of good people in this world.”

Brittany, 27, and her husband, Dan, 31, a truck driver, are also in awe of the 300 people who have written them offering words of encouragement and advice on what might help Ivy.

“People really want her to get better,” says Brittany. “We have a list of everyone’s suggestions that we are starting to try.”

The couple went from being able to give Ivy a bath twice a week to just once a week now. Her bedroom, which is on the top floor of the house, gets so hot that she’s starting to break out in hives in the middle of the night.

“She starts to kick under the covers like something is on her,” says Brittany. “It’s so hard to watch.”

One of the parents’ biggest struggles is trying to keep the almost 2-year-old calm so she doesn’t cry and create tears.

“The more she cries, the worse the reaction is,” she says, “but she’s too young to understand that.”

Brittany adds: “We don’t know what will happen, but we thank everyone for their support. It means the world. We don’t feel like we’re in this alone.”

This Man’s Callus

The Internet is full of totally disgusting—yet strangely entertaining—images of bumps and lumps getting popped and lopped. The latest to go viral? This 20-minute callus-shaving clip posted by the YouTube channel Never Ending Callus. It takes the cake as one of the yuckiest and most fascinating videos to ever hit social media feeds.

In the stomach-churning scene, an unidentified man takes a razor blade to his extremely callused foot, shaving off chunks of dead, hardened to reveal yellow skin underneath. We’re warning you, this video is graphic.

Amazingly, the man appears to accomplish his goal: he gets rid of the callused skin and doesn’t cut the softer skin around it at all. Still, this kind of DIY skin treatment is not a wise option. “This is very dangerous,” says Hillary Brenner, DPM, a podiatrist in New York City. “You could cut your skin with a rusty razor and get an infection which can lead to sepsis,” a virulent and potentially deadly bacterial infection. 

A much better idea when it comes to getting rid of a callus is to hightail it to a podiatrist’s office and have a professional remove it with a sterile blade, says Brenner. Your podiatrist will continue to manage it on a monthly basis, making sure it heals properly and doesn’t return. Another tactic is to have a podiatrist do a chemical peel on the callus, then use a special machine to sand it down.

RELATED: 7 Days to Sandal-Ready Feet

Bottom line: there’s no need for a hack job. But if you’re hell-bent on handling your calluses at home, you have options. Dr. Brenner suggests trying BabyFoot, a milder chemical peel that can remove calluses—which develop for a number of reasons, such as repeated friction against foot skin, or walking barefoot or in ill-fitting shoes.

In some cases they’re caused by a genetic condition. “The calluses in this video appear to be from the hereditary condition called ichthyosis vulgaris, in which your skin doesn’t shed its dead skin cells,” says Dr. Brenner. “It’s difficult to say from just this video, but regular calluses usually aren’t that bad.”

For most people, there are ways to prevent calluses from forming at all. Look for supportive shoes with inserts, moisturize your feet two times a day, and exfoliate (Dr. Brenner suggests Dr. Brenner’s Rx Foot Care System). Visiting a podiatrist regularly is also a smart prevention strategy.

4 Skin Conditions That Can Signal Other Health Problems

Itchy, irritated, or inflamed skin is certainly no fun, but did you know that skin troubles could be related to other health problems?

In many cases, skin conditions are linked to processes occurring throughout the body, and this means they can become risk factors that set you up for other types of illness or injury, says Jonathan Silverberg, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University. “The connections are not something patients should ignore or overlook.”

Here are four ways skin conditions can go deeper.

RELATED: Can a Vacation Solve Your Skin Problems?

 

Eczema

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory condition known for causing red, itchy patches of skin, but it’s also been linked to sleep disturbances, joint problems, and other injuries. Dr. Silverberg was co-author of a JAMA Dermatology study published earlier this year that found that people with eczema who’d experienced a flare-up in the last year were more likely than those without the condition to have experienced a bone or joint injury, like a fracture, as well.

“There’s a well established association between eczema and sleep disturbances, as a result of its chronic itch, and patients who are sleep deprived are generally at higher rates of traumatic injuries like falls or automobile accidents,” which might explain why they were more likely to experience a bone fracture, Dr. Silverberg says.

But it’s not just drowsiness from a lack of zzzs: “If you’re crossing the street and you’re distracted by itching—or you’re in a fog because you’ve taken a sedating antihistamine to treat that itch—you’re going to be at higher risk for these types of things,” Dr. Silverberg adds.

On top of that, in severe cases, eczema is treated with oral steroids, which over time can affect bone density, possibly contributing further to the possibility of injury. Thankfully, Dr. Silverberg says that intermittent treatment with over-the-counter topical steroids, which is far more common, doesn’t pose the same risks.

RELATED: What’s That Rash?

Psoriasis

An autoimmune disorder in which cells multiply too quickly and form shiny scales on the skin’s surface, psoriasis often occurs alongside arthritis or other joint diseases, in particular psoriatic arthritis. “They’re all related to a common inflammatory pathway,” Dr. Silverberg says. “The good news is that a lot of the newer treatments that are remarkably effective for psoriasis also work well for psoriatic as well as rheumatoid arthritis.”

Recent studies have also linked psoriasis to heart disease, stroke, and poor blood pressure management. While doctors aren’t sure of the exact relationship between these conditions, they suspect that inflammation plays a role here, too.

People with psoriasis—along with eczema and other skin conditions like scleroderma, which causes hardening of the skin—are also more likely than people without psoriasis to be smokers, heavy drinkers, or to suffer from depression or anxiety. “These disorders are potentially the effects of having a chronic, debilitating, and very visible disorder, and they may actually trigger disease or worsen prognosis,” Dr. Silverberg says.

RELATED: 10 Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Stasis dermatitis

This is a darkening or discoloration of the skin on your legs and ankles caused by varicose veins or another circulatory problem that leads to swelling that blocks blood flow to the skin. Stasis dermatitis can be a symptom of underlying diabetes and its effects on your body’s circulatory system, Dr. Silverberg says.

Diabetes can also cause skin infections, intense itching, slow wound healing, and diabetic dermopathy, also known as shin spots; in fact, patients with ongoing unexplained itching or skin troubles are often tested for diabetes. “That just emphasizes the importance of following up with your doctor if you have a rash or a [skin] issue that’s not improving on its own,” Dr. Silverberg adds.

RELATED: 12 Skin Care Tips for People With Diabetes

 

Vitiligo

People suffering from vitiligo, an auto-immune disease that causes white spots (basically spots with zero pigmentation) to appear on the face and body, can have symptoms get worse when they are under stress. “I tell patients that stress is not causing their skin disease; certainly there’s some underlying predisposition to begin with,”Dr. Silverberg says. “But once those risk factors are there, stress can certainly be a trigger.”

The stress-skin connection is perhaps most well documented with vitiligo, but stress is a factor in psoriasis, eczema, and possibly even run-of-the-mill acne. (Though Silverberg cautions that it’s difficult to prove the link between stress and pimples because they’re both so common.)

Finally, there’s some good news for vitiligo sufferers, too: According to a 2010 discovery by University of Colorado researchers, they may have a lower risk of developing melanoma.

The bottom line: your skin can tell you a lot about your health risks, so be sure to listen.

 

How ‘Power Rangers’ Star Jennifer Yen Overcame Acne, Psoriasis, and Rosacea

After battling , rosacea, and psoriasis (blame years of heavy TV makeup), Power Rangers star Jennifer Yen set out to heal her complexion, and successfully turned her grandma’s Asian beauty secrets into a new skincare line, Pur-lisse. Here’s what Health learned after speaking with the beauty boss:

When it comes to skincare, prevention is essential

“It’s not like, ‘Let’s fix this.’ It’s about maintaining balance and not allowing skin to get irritated. The key: Keep inflammation at bay, both internally and externally. That’s why blue lotus is a signature ingredient in my products. It’s a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits.”

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She takes beauty cues from her Grandma

“My grandmother doesn’t live at high stress levels. She always ate healthy; I think that let her keep a simple beauty regimen. But she’ll still tell me to ‘put some makeup on.’ As natural as she is, she believes it enhances your features. I love the Blue Lotus BB Cream with SPF 30 ($10 for 0.34 oz.; purlisse.com). It makes skin glow.”

Her advice? Always add grit to that passion

“If you want to accomplish something, you need to have determination. People use the word ‘passion’ so much, but you can’t be afraid of hard work. There’s a Chinese saying that you need to be able to withstand suffering. If not, you’re never going to experience true victory.”

Montgomery Tubercles: What to Know About Small Bumps on Your Nipples

Yes, it is totally normal to have small bumps on the dark skin around the nipple (the areola). The bumps are called Montgomery tubercles; they secrete oil (produced by glands beneath the skin) that helps lubricate the areola and nipple during and lactation. The oil also has antibacterial properties, and research has suggested that infants may even detect the smell of the secretions, helping direct them to the breast to latch onto for feeding. The number of bumps varies from person to person. Some may have just a few, while others may have dozens.

RELATED: Here’s What Inverted Nipples Say About Your Health

The bumps sometimes become more prominent when the nipple is stimulated or during pregnancy and breastfeeding. (The bumps, as well as the rest of the nipple, may become a darker, more intense shade during pregnancy and breastfeeding, too.) In general, you should leave these bumps alone—they’re nothing to worry about. But if a bump looks inflamed or is painful, it’s possible that a gland is infected or clogged, and you should get it checked out by your doctor, who can prescribe antibiotics or drain the gland if necessary.

 

Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.

Are Armpit Tattoos Safe?

You can get a tattoo pretty much anywhere on your body, and the underarm ink trend is living proof. Intricate tats in this sensitive area have been popping up all over Instagram lately, and it’s hard to stop scrolling through the #armpittattoo pics. But we couldn’t help but wonder, is it safe to get inked in your armpit?

To find out more, we spoke with Pauline J. Jose, MD, a clinical instructor in UCLA’s Department of Family Medicine. It turns out there is one real risk associated with prettied-up pits, and it has to do with your lymph nodes: “Tattoo pigments travel through the lymphatic system,” Dr. Jose explains. “Since lymph nodes are abundant in the armpit area, [an armpit tattoo] can pigment those lymph nodes, and mimic—or confuse—a cancer diagnosis.”

Armpit tattoos can be especially problematic for people who develop , she says, because pigmented lymph nodes can look like metastasis. “All those pigmented lymph nodes, and the skin supplied by them, may need to be biopsied when looking suspicious.”

RELATED: 7 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Skin

If you’re considering a tattoo, the armpit isn’t the only body part to avoid. Moles should never be inked over, because doing so can make it harder to detect any changes that could be a sign of skin cancer. And getting a tattoo near your eyes is also a bad idea, since the ink can pigment the eyes, says Dr. Jose. 

With any tattoo, it’s important to remember that ink is a foreign object in the body—and your body may react to it with inflammation, pain, itching, or in other ways that can be hard to predict. If you have an autoimmune condition, or if you experience many allergic reactions to food and medications, “it may not be a good idea to get inked,” says Dr. Jose.

On a brighter note: Infections from unsanitary tools or facilities are rare these days, because tattoo parlors practice universal precautions. If you’re planning to get a tattoo, just be sure to avoid parlors that use heavy metal-based inks, says Dr. Jose.

A Hiker Developed a Near

 

Foot blisters are a common side effect of hiking, running, and breaking in a new pair of sandals. But one man’s blisters nearly ended his life after they became infected with so-called flesh-eating bacteria—which spread quickly through his body and attacked his internal organs.

Miami resident Wayne Atkins, 32, developed the annoying swellings while hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, according to a news report from New Hampshire TV station WMUR.com. He didn’t pay much attention to them, though, until he’d returned to Florida and noticed that they were not healing—and that he’d begun to feel ill.

RELATED: 50 Day Hikes You Must Add to Your Bucket List

Worried, Atkins went to the hospital. There, doctors diagnosed him with necrotizing fasciitis, a condition in which bacteria eats away at the muscle and soft tissue directly underneath the skin. The culprit? Group A streptococcus, the same bug that causes strep throat.

Atkins had to be placed in a medically induced coma because his liver, kidney, and lungs were starting to shut down, his mother told WMUR. Thankfully, doctors were able to cut away the affected tissue and administer antibiotics, which helped put the brakes on the infection. He faces a long road to recovery, but “he has his life, he has his leg,” his mother said. “There are many more worse-case scenarios.”

Luckily for the rest of us, necrotizing fasciitis is rare­—and not something people should worry much about when they develop blisters or other small wounds, William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center tells Health. But there are some things we can learn from this frightening story, says Dr. Schaffner, who has not treated Atkins. Here’s what he thinks everyone should know about how to stay safe, and when to see a doctor.

RELATED: Beat 16 Summer Health Hazards

Strep bacteria can be harmless—or extremely dangerous

The bacteria that caused Atkins’ infection, Group A streptococcus, is extremely common; it lives in noses and throats and on skin. Even though it can cause strep throat, for many people, it has no symptoms at all.

But if that same bacteria gets into an open wound—even a “remarkably trivial one” like an insect bite, a scratch, or a blister, says Dr. Schaffner—it can result in a serious infection. “It can be breathed out and get on a person’s fingers, and then if they’re touching their blister it can get beneath the surface,” he says.

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‘Flesh-eating’ isn’t entirely accurate, but it’s close

For an infection like the one Atkins developed to occur, some type of skin tear or puncture is typically involved; this type of bacteria won’t eat through healthy skin all on its own. (The same goes for similar infections that can be caught while swimming with open wounds.)

The term “flesh-eating” can also be misleading because in most cases, the damage is largely done under the surface of the skin. “It’s a nasty infection that causes destruction of the muscle tissue, but it’s not always visible right away,” says Dr. Schaffner. “It can be surprisingly subtle in its early stages.”

Pain is usually the main symptom

Necrotizing fasciitis can trigger redness and swelling, but it’s not always easy to distinguish normal wound healing from a potentially fatal infection, says Dr. Schaffner. The condition can also cause fever, but maybe only a degree or two above normal—not necessarily enough to raise red flags, especially because your temperature tends to naturally fluctuate throughout the day.

Usually, he says, the most telling symptom is pain. “And I mean serious pain, beyond what you would expect just looking at the surface, which often doesn’t look so bad,” he adds.

Patients should seek medical care if a minor wound is beginning to hurt more than it should, says Dr. Schaffner. It’s important you let your doctor know how much pain you’re really in. Otherwise, an infection could be missed—or its seriousness could be underestimated—until it progresses and the prognosis is much worse.

RELATED: Here’s Why a Man Died After Swimming With a New Tattoo

Treatment involves surgery and medication

The first step when treating necrotizing fasciitis is for surgeons to cut away the damaged tissue, which can require several operations over several days. “Surgery sounds surprising, since we’re talking about infection,” says Dr. Schaffner, “but to truly get rid of this bacteria, the infected tissue needs to be literally removed.” If the condition isn’t caught very early, entire limbs may need to be amputated.

Patients will also require antibiotics, which kill any bugs that remain and keep them from spreading to other organs. They’ll also need supportive care (like fluids, nutrition, and pain relief) at the hospital. Atkins will require skin grafts and rehabilitation sessions to help regain his strength and ability to walk.

Take steps to protect yourself

Hikers in New Hampshire shouldn’t worry about stumbling onto the same strain of strep bacteria that caused Atkins’ illness, says Dr. Schaffner. “It’s very unlikely this came from the environment,” he says. “Nine times out of 10 the person is unaware they have strep in their own body and they inoculate themselves with their own bacteria.”

Even though serious infections like this are rare, it’s still smart to wash off any breaks in the skin with a disinfectant, and to cover them with a bandage to keep out foreign material, says Dr. Schaffner. “And if there’s anything to suggest it’s not getting better the way it should, especially if there’s a lot of pain, have the site examined—and don’t hesitate to ask if the doctor thinks there might be something going on beneath the surface.”

Game of Thrones, Greyscale and the Real History of Leprosy

This article originally appeared on Time.com. 

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Season 7 of Game of Thrones

Nobody said it would be easy to cure greyscale, the fictional condition from which Game of Thrones characters shrink in fear. Highly contagious and characterized by a gradual hardening of the skin that eventually turns sufferers into “stone men,” the disease is almost always fatal and causes insanity in its later stages. Those who show signs of greyscale are often exiled to live out their days in quarantine, but the careful surgical work performed at the Citadel by Samwell Tarly on Jorah Mormont on this season of Thrones has shown that sufferers can live to tell the tale.

The idea of exiling people who suffer from a skin-related condition to a far-away and terrible place is likely to make viewers think of leprosy, which remains one of the most famous diseases associated with the Middle Ages, the real-world historical period on which Game of Thrones often draws.

While it’s easy to see why the fictional condition might be linked to the real (but medically very different) disease, recent scholarship reveals that many of the popular ideas that have endured about leprosy aren’t quite accurate. The real history suggests that, if greyscale and leprosy are in fact analogous, Sam’s decision to attempt to treat Jorah would have been more fully in keeping with his role as a healer than the Archmaester’s reaction would suggest.

The key question is how ostracism fits into the history of leprosy in Europe. Thanks in part to biblical injunctions that command those with leprosy to dwell outside the main camp — even though some scholars now believe that those words don’t actually refer to the specific infection — leprosy in Christian societies has long been linked to separation of some sort. But, as Elma Brenner of the University of Cambridge explored in a 2010 paper in the journal History Compass, research has challenged the “predominant view” that sufferers in medieval Western European society were “excluded and stigmatized” the way the show’s “stone men” are.

For one thing, Brenner explains that, though leprosy was certainly present in Western Europe before the medieval period, it wasn’t until after a 14th century wave of plague swept Europe that people at the time began to really worry about sick people spreading their illnesses. And, though leprosaria — hospitals or group homes for people with leprosy — were usually placed just outside the boundaries of cities and towns, they were not actually all that separate. Especially through charity and religion, leprosaria were part of society. Even after early ideas about contagion became common, people with leprosy were often allowed to come and go from the leprosaria where they lived. As for the infamous “clapper” noisemakers that are often associated with leprosy, and which have been long seen as a way of warning people to stay away, they may actually have have served the opposite purpose: attracting those who might give charity.

As Luke Demaitre put it in the book Leprosy in Premodern Medicine: A Malady of the Whole Body, though “[incurability] was the ultimate characteristic of leprosy, and its most constant attribute from late antiquity into the twentieth century,” there is evidence that people with leprosy were not seen as beyond treatment. Rather than abandon patients to their inescapable fates, healers — whether trained physicians, quacks or religious leaders — attempted to treat patients or at least make them comfortable.

Even after quarantine became a more common idea — something that the scholar Jane Stevens Crawshaw traces to the post-plague period in Italy — it was not synonymous with ostracism. Rather, she argues that people with leprosy, especially those without money to pay for expensive personal doctors, would often bring themselves voluntarily to leprosaria. After all, that was where care was most accessible. And as plague-related quarantine regulations took hold, the epidemic of leprosy in Europe was already on the wane. There are exceptions (in periods of societal crisis, especially later in the Middle Ages, authorities might enforce mandatory quarantine) and life wasn’t easy for those with leprosy, especially after ideas about separation spread. In some places, laws barred those with leprosy from inheriting property, for example. But overall, more recent historical work debunks the idea that complete exclusion from society was the dominant response to leprosy.

Get your history fix in one place: sign up for the weekly TIME History newsletter

So why is still common to believe that people with leprosy were banished?

One argument, from scholar Carole Rawcliffe, is that the idea was promoted in the 19th century by people — scientists, governing authorities and religious leaders alike — who were looking back at the Middle Ages through the lens of their own time. As Rawcliffe posited in a 2012 lecture on the topic, several factors could have converged to lead to this “leprophobia.” For one, doctors in the late 1800s mistakenly came to the conclusion that the disease was far more infectious than it really is. Secondly, as colonialism spread, Western leaders who encountered the disease in the colonies came to fear that leprosy, which had tapered off in Europe, would return in force. They misread the medieval evidence to show that the segregation of the sick was a common and effective tack to take, Rawcliffe argues, and that interpretation conveniently meshed with their own 19th-century ideas about germs as well as their interest in forcing the segregation of the sick.

Whatever the origins of the misconception, experts see correcting it as crucial. After all, though medical understanding of leprosy has advanced significantly, the bacterium that causes it does still exist. And, though the condition no longer has to be fatal, stigma and ostracism remain major barriers for those who are dealing with what is now known as Hansen’s disease.

But the medical side of things isn’t the only reason to look to leprosy in relation to Game of Thrones. As the saga is, after all, just a story, the social and symbolic history history of the disease is perhaps where the comparison holds up best.

In medieval literature, says Robert Rouse, who teaches the subject at the University of British Columbia, leprosy is a disease with heavy connotations. Generally, in the context of Christian morality tales, disease was often linked to sin. And, as a hold-over from classical traditions, leprosy in particular was linked to Venus and thus to venereal sins. In stories like the Middle English romance Amis and Amiloun or the 15th century Scottish The Testament of Cresseid, leprosy is visited on characters after they commit acts of betrayal. The disease is, Rouse says, a sort of “shorthand” for medieval poets to quickly communicate something to their readers about a character’s morality.

But this idea that someone with leprosy has committed a sin isn’t mutually exclusive with the more recent research that suggests people with leprosy were not separated from society as much as we may think. In fact, being tested with something like leprosy, as Job was tested, could actually increase a person’s spiritual standing. Even the drastic-sounding 13th century “Mass of Separation,” which effectively declared a person with leprosy to no longer be alive in the eyes of the community, doesn’t mean people with the disease were sent away from society. Such an interpretation, Rouse points out, reflects a lack of understanding of a medieval Christian mindset. In the Middle Ages, the idea that a person with leprosy had moved on from temporal life to a kind of purgatory, in which they were “already paying for their sins,” would have a very specific and not necessarily negative moral meaning. Moreover, though modern society tends to put death out of sight, in medieval Europe that was not the case.

Rather than send them away, sinners and their possible salvation could be a focal point for society.

And Jorah Mormont? He contracted greyscale after breaking an oath to the woman he loves, and now, thanks to the cure, has renewed hope of redeeming himself rather than facing a lifetime in exile. The idea of that salvation sounds like something he could appreciate.

What to Know About the Skin Condition That Forces Sarah Silverman to Shield Her Face From the Sun

Leave it to Sarah Silverman to let the world in on her skin struggles while showing off her bikini bod on a sandy beach. 

In a hilarious, body-confident Instagram post that went up yesterday, the comedian proved that even though she’s “melasma-ridden” and “has to wear two hats, zinc and a bandana” over her face, she’s “still got it.”

We totally agree she looks awesome. But what the heck is melasma, and what’s with the face wrapping?

Covering up like this is part of living with this skin condition, which is characterized by brownish patches on areas of the body that tend to get a lot of sun exposure.

“The face is most commonly affected by melasma, with symmetric patches appearing on the cheeks, forehead, nose, upper lip, and chin,” explains Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, a medical and cosmetic dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

The patches develop when skin cells called melanocytes go into overdrive, producing excess pigment that presents as dark spots. 

“Ninety percent of melasma cases occur in women,” says Dr. Khetarpal. The disorder is often called “the mask of ,” as up to 25% of women experience melasma when they’re expecting.

RELATED: 7 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Skin

The exact reason melanocytes go haywire isn’t known, but it may be triggered by a combination of sun exposure and hormone changes, says Dr. Khetarpal, which certainly happen during pregnancy. Birth control pills can also cause melasma, she adds.

People with darker skin tones are more commonly affected with the condition, since their melanocytes tend to be more active than those in people with lighter skin.  

When it comes to treating melasma, Silverman knows what she’s doing. “The most important thing is strict sun protection and wearing daily sunscreen, specifically one that contains the ingredient iron oxide,” says Dr. Khetarpal.

RELATED: 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation

First-line therapy for melasma also includes a prescription cream that contains tretinoin (a derivative of vitamin A), a skin-bleaching agent called hydroquinone, and a topical steroid that reduces inflammation. Chemical peels and laser therapy can also help.

But even with all of these options, the condition may never really go away. “Despite the numerous therapies available, high recurrence rates and inconsistent results remain the challenge,” says Dr. Khetarpal, adding that even though patches can get lighter over time, it’s unusual for them to disappear entirely on their own.

This Man’s Callus

The Internet is full of totally disgusting—yet strangely entertaining—images of bumps and lumps getting popped and lopped. The latest to go viral? This 20-minute callus-shaving clip posted by the YouTube channel Never Ending Callus. It takes the cake as one of the yuckiest and most fascinating videos to ever hit social media feeds.

In the stomach-churning scene, an unidentified man takes a razor blade to his extremely callused foot, shaving off chunks of dead, hardened to reveal yellow skin underneath. We’re warning you, this video is graphic.

Amazingly, the man appears to accomplish his goal: he gets rid of the callused skin and doesn’t cut the softer skin around it at all. Still, this kind of DIY skin treatment is not a wise option. “This is very dangerous,” says Hillary Brenner, DPM, a podiatrist in New York City. “You could cut your skin with a rusty razor and get an infection which can lead to sepsis,” a virulent and potentially deadly bacterial infection. 

A much better idea when it comes to getting rid of a callus is to hightail it to a podiatrist’s office and have a professional remove it with a sterile blade, says Brenner. Your podiatrist will continue to manage it on a monthly basis, making sure it heals properly and doesn’t return. Another tactic is to have a podiatrist do a chemical peel on the callus, then use a special machine to sand it down.

RELATED: 7 Days to Sandal-Ready Feet

Bottom line: there’s no need for a hack job. But if you’re hell-bent on handling your calluses at home, you have options. Dr. Brenner suggests trying BabyFoot, a milder chemical peel that can remove calluses—which develop for a number of reasons, such as repeated friction against foot skin, or walking barefoot or in ill-fitting shoes.

In some cases they’re caused by a genetic condition. “The calluses in this video appear to be from the hereditary condition called ichthyosis vulgaris, in which your skin doesn’t shed its dead skin cells,” says Dr. Brenner. “It’s difficult to say from just this video, but regular calluses usually aren’t that bad.”

For most people, there are ways to prevent calluses from forming at all. Look for supportive shoes with inserts, moisturize your feet two times a day, and exfoliate (Dr. Brenner suggests Dr. Brenner’s Rx Foot Care System). Visiting a podiatrist regularly is also a smart prevention strategy.