Skin can be considered the plastic wrap of the human body, keeping out bacteria and locking in freshness. Skin is the largest organ of the body and consists of three layers. It protects your organs from germs, regulates body temperature, and produces much-needed vitamin D. Lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, drug, alcohol abuse, stress, and too much sun can expose your skin to many common skin diseases. Most skin diseases present themselves as rashes, welts, blisters, and sores. Some are chronic but manageable, and others are temporary.
Acne is one of the most common skin diseases and never fails to appear at the worst moments. The disease strikes in adolescence more often but adults are not immune. Acne develops as sores on the skin when the follicles in the layer called the Dermis become clogged by debris from dead skin cells, dirt or if the glands have an increase in secretion of oil called Sebum.
Acne usually occurs on the face but can also be found on the chest, neck, back, and shoulders. There are several types of acne which include
Though acne is not serious, it can cause profound and pitted scars if not removed correctly and treated appropriately.
If you look like you are always blushing for no reason you may have a common skin disease called Rosacea. This condition is another form of acne affecting the central part of the face such as the chin, nose, cheeks, forehead, and in some cases, the eyes. Flare-ups present as redness, with pimples and might include noticeable blood vessels.
There is no cure for Rosacea, but the symptoms can be controlled with medications and creams. Identifying and avoiding the triggers for Rosacea flare-ups will also help manage the condition. Triggers can include sun exposure, stress, some types of food or even cosmetics. If this condition is left untreated, it can lead to thickening of the skin, raised blood vessels and eye damage.
Does your skin remind you of a patchwork quilt? Psoriasis may be the culprit. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease which develops from a hyperactive immune system. The immune system causes skin cells to multiply at an accelerated rate, these cells then move to the surface, creating a thick, discolored patch with a silver coating. This condition is called Plaque Psoriasis, which is the most common. Psoriasis is usually found on the knees, elbows, and scalp, but the rest of the body is not immune to this condition.
There are several types of Eczema, however; the most common is Atopic Dermatitis or AD. This skin condition affects a person within the first six months of life but will disappear as a person reaches adulthood. Some people may have an occasional flare-up throughout life. Eczema manifests as a red, itchy rash on the cheeks, arms, and legs and can be associated with Asthma and hay fever. Atopic Dermatitis is not a transmittable disease and is usually treated by applying cream to relieve the itch and keep the skin moist to prevent infection.
A secretion of Melanin into skin cells determines the skin's color. When these cells are damaged, it affects the pigment of the skin. This disorder is called Hyperpigmentation. The condition is not contagious and is very common especially in older adults. The excessive Melanin causes the skin to darken in patches which are known as liver or age spots. Several factors contribute to this condition these include sun exposure, skin injuries or diseases that have left the skin damaged.
Erythema Nodosum is a skin disease which produces red, painful lumps below the knee and in the front of the leg. This condition can be associated with Crohn's Disease, pregnancy, cat scratch disease or medications such as birth control. Treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone and the treatment of the health condition contributing to the condition. The lumps will subside after a few weeks and don't leave permanent scarring.
Molluscum Contagiosum is a skin disease that is contagious. This condition is usually spread by sharing towels, clothing or skin to skin contact. An indication that the disease is present is the discovery of pink or flesh color bumps on the skin. Most people only get 10 to 20 bumps unless the immune system is low. If the Immune system is not working; a person can get over 100 bumps. These nodules usually appear on the face, hands, armpits, arms, and hands, however; they can appear in other parts of the body. This condition clears typically on its own, but treatment is available.
Warts do not always come from frogs. Typically warts are growths - usually on the hands that are contagious. They occur when the Human Papillomavirus or HPV invades the skin through an open cut or wound. Warts usually go away on their own, but a dermatologist or doctor can also treat warts with painting, freezing or burning.
Moles are very common. It's not unusual for a person to have 10 to 40 moles by adulthood. Moles will change and grow over time some will get lighter, some darker, they may shrink or get larger. There are several types of moles, the one most susceptible to melanoma, severe skin cancer, is called Atypical moles. It's important to watch the changes in these moles and see a physician if one looks suspicious.
Melanoma is a dangerous skin cancer that can be successfully treated if found in the early stages. This disease is not as common as other forms of skin cancer, but it can be deadly if not diagnosed before spreading to internal organs. Skin self-examinations are essential in catching this early. Looking for the warning signs such as unusual changes in moles, new spots or patches on the skin that grow, look for thickening skin that looks like a scar enlarging or dark bands or streaks around toenails and fingernails. When in doubt always have it checked out.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.