Everyone wants to own smooth, radiant and flawless skin. But let’s face the fact, it not so easy to get rid of those pimples and scars which make you feel unattractive and ugly. Although we always dream about acne-free or scar free beautiful face, it’s important to understand that these skin problems are part of our daily life. And there are a number of factors responsible for their appearances such as genetic problems, harsh weather conditions, improper nutritious diet and use of too many cosmetics on your skin which make them prone to various skin related problems.
Skin is the largest organ of our body and hence is susceptible to a number of ailments, irritations, and allergies. Sometimes it’s really annoying to see those pimples spoiling your beautiful face, but we need to understand that there is some reason behind their occurrence. And if we can’t prevent them, we definitely can minimize their effect by following proper healthy lifestyles. This article will thus give an overview of the most common skin problems experienced by people and their causes.
Acne (Acne vulgaris)
Acne, the most common skin disorder in the world, can be a concern for every teen, and the incidence of acne is also growing in adults. Acne is caused by blocked hair follicles and oil (sebaceous) glands of the skin, often triggered by hormonal changes.
The term acne refers to not only pimples on the face, but blackheads, cysts, and nodules as well. Some people get acne on other parts of their body too, such as the back and chest.
Atopic dermatitis (Eczema)
Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common forms of eczema seen in children. The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not known, but researchers believe it may involve genetics, the environment, and/or the immune system.
Atopic dermatitis can appear on the face (especially in infants), hands, feet or in the creases and folds of the skin. Dry, scaly and itchy skin are the norm, and constant scratching may lead to a thickened area. While eczema often occurs in people with allergies, allergies do not cause eczema. Topical steroids are often used to lessen symptoms. Other forms of eczema include contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis.
Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Shingles virus (herpes zoster) results in a red, blistered rash that may wrap around your torso or appear anywhere on your body. A fever, fatigue and headache may occur, too.
Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox – the varicella-zoster virus. If you’ve had chickenpox, you’re at risk for shingles as the chickenpox virus lies dormant (not active) in your nervous system for years. Seniors and people with an impaired immune system are at highest risk. Shingles can be painful, but early treatment with antivirals like oral valacyclovir (Valtrex) can lessen symptoms. A shingles vaccine, Zostavax, is available and recommended for people 60 years or older.
Hives are the familiar welts (raised, red, itchy areas) that can occur on the skin. Common causes of hives include medication, food, and bug bites or stings. Hives usually go away in 2 to 4 hours; however, in some people, hives may persist for months or years. This is known as chronic urticaria.
Avoiding the trigger, whatever it may be, is the best tactic. When that is not possible, OTC antihistamines like loratadine (Claritin) or fexofenadine (Allegra) can be used to control itching.
There’s no doubt – it’s better to prevent a sunburn than to treat one. Sunburns occur when there is too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or sunlamps. The skin turns red, painful, hot to the touch, and may even peel away. It’s hard to know how much time is safe in the sun, though, even with sunscreen protection. Repeated sunburns, especially as a child, can boost the risk of skin cancer later in life.
The first step in treating a sunburn is to get out of the sun and cool the skin down. Take a cool bath or shower with a mild soap. Drink plenty of fluids and moisturize the skin with a light, oil-free moisturizer or aloe vera while the skin is still damp.
Most of us have had contact dermatitis – when we touch something that evolves into a skin reaction. Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema and may come from plants (poison ivy, sumac, oak), jewelry, latex gloves, and irritants like bleach or soaps. To prevent contact dermatitis, avoid the object. If your doctor suspects you have contact dermatitis, and the cause is unknown, they may suggest patch testing. In patch testing, allergic substances are applied to your skin. In a few days, your doctor will check for a reaction. To control symptoms, antihistamines, oral or topical steroids, and colloidal oatmeal baths are often helpful.
Anyone who has a child knows about the common problem of diaper rash. A wet or soiled diaper left on too long can lead to red bumps and rash in the diaper area, the buttocks, genitals, and skin folds. Urine and stool can break down skin, and chemicals in a disposable diaper can dissolve out and irritate the skin. Candida or bacteria can also take advantage of the inflamed, broken, skin and complicate the rash.To help prevent diaper rash, change diapers as needed to keep the area dry and expose the baby’s bottom to fresh air when possible.
Rosacea is a chronic swelling of the face, with redness, prominent blood vessels, and pimples. Rosacea is most common in women over 30, but men can be affected too. Problems with the immune system, vein problems and/or environmental issues can cause the condition. Depending upon the symptoms, there are several effective treatments. If antibiotics don’t work, your doctor might suggest the acne drug isotretinoin.
Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)
It’s an unfortunate fact, but your feet are prone to fungal infections. Athlete’s foot can lead to extreme itching, redness, and cracked skin on the feet and in between the toes. A type of fungi called dermatophytes is commonly found in warm, moist areas like pool decks, shower stalls, and locker rooms.
It can take weeks for the infection to clear; check with your doctor if symptoms do not improve. You can help prevent athlete’s foot by keeping your feet clean and dry, changing wet socks and shoes, and wearing sandals in public pool or shower areas.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer in the World. BCC grows in the upper basal cells of your skin but rarely spreads and is curable. You may be prone to BCCs if you spend lots of time in the sun or use a tanning bed frequently. Growths commonly occur on the head, ears, nose, and neck. They can look shiny, red and scaly, or like an open sore.
Treatment for BCC may involve surgery, skin medicines for smaller areas, or radiation for larger ones.To prevent BCC, avoid long periods of sun exposure, use sunscreen, protective clothing, and visit your dermatologist annually.