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Skin conditions are one of the most common reasons for visiting a doctor. There are many different skin problems that require a doctor’s treatment. Here are the most common ones, their causes, and what you can do about them.
Probably the most common skin condition in the world, eczema affects hundreds of millions of people and is very common among young children and babies. This skin condition is a non-contagious inflammation on the surface of the skin. There are a few different types of eczema, but most people suffer from atopic eczema, which is also called atopic dermatitis. There is no definitive cause for eczema, though it is considered similar to an allergic reaction, and breakouts can often follow exposure to a new substance that irritates the skin. Stress can also cause eczema.
The skin becomes dry and itchy, and often small red or white bumps appear on the surface. Scratching patches of eczema-affected skin irritates it further, so it is important to prevent this in children. It can affect any part of the body, but it is most common on the arms and legs. Babies can sometimes have eczema on their face too, but this is rare in older children and adults.
Treatment comes from a variety of creams, or in extreme cases steroids. The best type of treatment for eczema is prevention, but this can be difficult. Try keeping a diary of when you use products that come into contact with affected areas and what they were. This should include detergents used to wash the clothes you wear. This can help you to identify potential triggers for eczema outbreaks.
This skin condition also affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. It is an auto-immune disease that is non-infectious and can usually be found on the knees and elbows, scalp, and lower back. Psoriasis on the scalp is probably the most common.
Psoriasis is the body’s immune system attacking its own skin, much like an allergic reaction. This is usually a response to an irritant such as a new soap or shampoo but like eczema, psoriasis can also occur without an irritant to trigger it. Stress is a common cause of psoriasis in many people.
Skin affected by psoriasis becomes very red and flaky, with large flakes often coming off the surface. This can be very noticeable which can make sufferers very self-conscious, especially when their psoriasis is affecting their scalp. In very rare cases, psoriasis can lead to psoriatic arthritis. This condition is an inflammation in the joints that causes a lot of swelling and can be very painful.
There are many treatments such as creams and medicated shampoos that can be bought without a prescription to help alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis. These can be effective, but often only at the early stages. They may also help soothe the symptoms but not treat the condition itself.
If you have persistent symptoms of psoriasis, you should make an appointment with your doctor and work with them to find a treatment that suits you and your skin. There may be other treatments, such as light therapy, that could help you.
This skin condition is an infection that can become dangerous as it progresses. If you think you have shingles, you should seek medical attention immediately from your doctor. You may even have to visit the accident and emergency unit of your local hospital if symptoms advance and become painful.
This disease affects people who have had chickenpox in their childhood. The virus that causes chickenpox, called the varicella-zoster virus, remains inactive in the body for years after the infection. The virus can reactivate in adulthood and cause shingles.
Shingles begin as a painful, tingling sensation on the skin, and you may have a headache or feel sickly. This is followed by an intense rash, usually on one side of the torso though it can also affect the face, eyes, and genitals in some cases. At first, the rash will be red and blotchy and cause itchiness, but as it progresses it will turn into itchy blisters that may pop and ooze fluid.
As soon as you see symptoms you should see a doctor. If treated within the first three days the medication can be incredibly fast-acting and effective, but as the infection progresses it becomes harder to treat and can last up to 4 weeks. The visible symptoms may not appear immediately, so it is important you seek medical advice right away to prevent it from progressing further.
This skin condition predominantly affects the face and is more common in women than men, though is more severe in the men who suffer from it than women. People with fair skin types are more likely to experience rosacea.
The exact cause of rosacea is unknown. There may be many different factors influencing rosacea breakouts, including environmental factors, genetics, and the body’s immune system. Some sufferers associate breakouts with triggers such as alcohol, dairy products, spices, chillies, and also stress, sunlight, and physical exercise.
Rosacea often looks like blushing, with redness across the nose and under the eyes and also red cheeks in some cases. The forehead and chin can also redden. Tiny red spots can often be seen in the red patches, and these are often broken blood vessels in the skin or small bumps that contain pus. In some cases, there can be swelling around the eyes, irritated eyelids, and thickened skin around the nose.
Most people who have rosacea experience a mix of these symptoms, and sometimes the combination of symptoms changes between breakouts. This may be the result of different triggers. There is a range of medical treatments for rosacea, but no cure. Your doctor can help you to find the treatment that works best for your skin. The best treatment is prevention. Work out what your triggers are and avoid them.
This can affect the skin at any age but is mostly associated with the teenage years of a person’s life. Though most people will experience it at this age, it can affect adults even if they did not have acne as a teenager. In some cases, young children can have acne, but this is very rare.
Though we think of it as a facial skin condition, acne can also be found on the back and chest. There are two types of acne; inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Each has their own unique set of symptoms, and it is possible to experience both at the same time.
Non-inflammatory acne symptoms are small blackhead and whitehead spots. Inflammatory symptoms are a range of different-sized pus-filled spots and red or white bumps beneath the skin that are tender to touch and can ache.
Most acne can be treated with mildly medicated face washes that clear the blocked pores that cause acne. The face should not be washed more than twice a day. Repeated washes can irritate the skin further, making the problem worse. Severe cases of acne should be treated by a doctor.
Food can also influence acne. Many people have reduced or eliminated their symptoms by removing refined sugars and processed foods from their diet. Most human beings experience one or more of these skin conditions in their lifetime. Knowing the symptoms and what to do about them should help you save yourself or a loved one the pain and discomfort of eczema, psoriasis, and many other conditions.