The most common skin disorder is acne, also known as acne vulgaris. Anxiety can be a huge source of social anxiety for teenagers, though there is a growing problem in adults.
Acne is caused by blocked hair follicles and sebaceous glands of the skin. Our sebaceous glands manage the oil in our skin. Hormonal changes are the most common reason for acne and can result in pimples and blackheads, cysts, and nodules. The acne appears most troublesome on the face but is also likely to impact the back and chest.
Getting treatment for acne is important, as left untreated can lead to permanent scarring and dark facial spots. For moderate cases, there are over-the-counter creams and ointments you can buy without a prescription. However, more serious acne may need the intervention of a dermatologist who can prescribe stronger ointments. Be aware that some skin ointments can impact pregnant women and should always be sought by a doctor.
Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis, can affect children most commonly. The reasons for this condition are not well known, but researchers believe it is a mix of genetics, the environment, and the immune system’s strength.
The dry, scaly, and itchy skin can appear on the face, hands, feet, and creases and folds of the skin. With constant scratching, the skin can thicken and harden and become painful.
The usual treatment for eczema is topical steroids, which can be sought from your doctor. If you do not want to use steroids, there are hemp creams that have also proven effective. It is also a good idea to keep track of what causes a breakout, so you can manage the potential environmental factors that cause problems.
Shingles are caused by the same virus as chickenpox – the varicella-zoster virus. If you have had chickenpox and it lies dormant in your nervous system, you are at risk of shingles in later life. The consequence of this is a red, blistering rash that can wrap around your torso and cause fever, fatigue and headache. You will notice that this will impact only one side of your body.
Shingles can be painful, so treatment is essential for ease of living. There are topical creams that be applied.
There are also vaccines available for those who feel they may be susceptible, such as those with impaired immune systems.
Hives are the welts we all get at some point that can result from ingestion of medication and food or as a result of bites or stings. These red, itchy areas usually go away after 2 – 4 hours are highly localised. Chronic hives are known as chronic urticaria and can last for months and years.
However, if hives cover a huge part of your body and feel your throat and face swelling, you should seek immediate medical attention. Hives to this degree can begin to impact your breathing.
The best way to deal with hives is to avoid the trigger. If you know you have a reaction to certain foods, then these should be removed from your diet. Equally, you should inform your doctor if you have a reaction to medications. If you are affected, taking over-the-counter antihistamines should control the itching and relieve the swelling.
One of the easiest conditions to avoid is sunburn, but it is still common, and the consequences can be serious.
Sunburn occurs when you are exposed to too much UV, and it is not just the light from the sun, as this burn can happen in cloudy conditions too. Your skin will turn red and painful and then begin to peel away.
Prevention is essential to avoid long term damage, using sun creams with an SPF of 30 and above. You should reapply every two hours. When the sun is particularly strong, you should cover up with a t-shirt and a hat.
While there are aftersun lotions and over the counter painkillers that will ease some of the discomfort, you still increase your long-term chances of suffering from skin cancer.
Our skin is an organ that requires as much care as our heart, liver, and kidneys. It is exposed to all the challenges of our life, and we should do what we can to protect it from harm.