Being the largest organ of the human body, your skin is subject to any number of health risks. Your skin provides the initial defense against infection and disease, as it is one of the many components of your immune system. Young and old alike can expect some type of skin problem, large or small, in their lifetime. The following are the 5 most common skin disorders, in many cases preventable and always treatable.
The majority of acne cases are experienced between the ages of 12 and 30. The largest grouping of occurrences is in the preteen and teen years. Acne and pimples usually develop on the face, shoulders, chest, back and neck, though this skin disease can pop up anywhere. Acne occurs when your hair follicles become clogged and a small bump is raised on your skin, called a pimple.
Acne is not a serious physical health concern. However, acne both mild and severe can lead to a person withdrawing from society, and experiencing low levels of self-esteem. It is thought that acne is most active during the teen and preteen years because this is a period of hormonal upheaval. As new hormones are produced and a growth spurt occurs, excess oil development can cause follicles to become stopped up, and acne can develop.
Acne is treatable in every case. When it is experienced in the preteen and teen years, it often disappears after a few years. Topical creams and applications both prescribed and over-the-counter are the most common treatment methods. In severe cases, lifelong scarring may occur.
Itchy, red, dry skin caused by inflammation could be a sign of eczema. Eczema is actually a medical term used to identify a group of conditions that cause the skin to become irritated. The most common of these conditions is Atopic Dermatitis, also called Atopic Eczema. Many times when eczema is present, this skin disorder is a warning sign that allergic conditions like hay fever and asthma will develop as well.
Eczema is nearly always itchy, and an itching sensation in a particular, focused part of your skin will begin before a physical rash appears. The rash is most common on the backs of the knees, the wrists or the hands, the feet or the face, though eczema can attack anywhere on your body. Your skin will appear dry, thick and scaly, and the cause of eczema is not known. Medical treatment seeks to prevent and relieve itching, which can lead to infection and other health problems. Creams and lotions are available to treat eczema, and you should also avoid irritants to the affected area.
Sometimes called seborrhea, this is a very common skin disease. It causes an itchy, red rash with white scales. Seborrheic dermatitis is known as cradle cap when it occurs in infants, and adults are not immune. If you avoid this skin disorder as a child, it usually doesn’t pop up until you are between the ages of 30 and 60.
Men develop seborrhea more frequently than women, and if you have oily skin your risk rises. Dermatologists believe it may be caused by stress, genetic disposition, a yeast which lives on your skin, cold, dry weather and specific medical conditions and medicines.
Melanoma is the most dangerous skin cancer, though it is only the third most common type. Melanoma can spread when not detected early, but when it is found in its earliest stages it is most often curable. The most consistent cause of melanoma, and many other skin cancers, is overexposure to the sun.
Melanoma kills between 50,000 and 100,000 people worldwide each year, so if you see a discolored spot or bump on your skin, have it checked out.
Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are the two most common types of skin cancer, also frequently caused by too much exposure to the sun.
Psoriasis a common and chronic skin condition. It occurs when your immune system is overactive, and appears as thick, flaky, red or silver patches of skin. What happens is some of your skin cells begin to grow roughly 5 times faster than normal. The exact reason for psoriasis is unknown, but there are simple and effective treatment methods. Light therapy, oral medications and steroid creams are common treatment protocols.