Skin Disorders - Types, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Skin Disorders can be temporary or permanent based on the severity and symptoms of the same. Skin diseases can also be painless or painful, and life-threatening, or something minor.
Most skin disorders are minor, while others can indicate a severe issue. Contact a dermatologist if you think you might have skin problems.
Skin Pigmentation generally affects the color of your skin. Our skin draws its color from the pigment called melanin. Some skin pigmentation disorders affect just patches or parts of the skin. At the same time, others affect your entire body. Too much melanin production means darker skin. Pregnancy, sun exposure, and Addison's disease can make your skin darker and cause hyperpigmentation at certain places. On the other hand, little melanin production makes your skin lighter. Vitiligo is a condition that causes patches of pale skin.
A few types of skin diseases are listed below:
- Acne - Breakouts on the skin consisting of blackheads, pimples, whiteheads, or deep painful cysts and nodules, leaving scars or darkening the skin if left untreated. These are commonly located on the face, upper chest, back, and neck.
- Eczema – Hair loss may occur in the affected area, predominated by yellowish or whiteish patches of skin that flake off. Affected patches may be greasy, oily, red, or itchy.
- Psoriasis – Psoriasis may be asymptomatic or itchy, silvery, scaly, sharply defined skin patches commonly located on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back.
- Melanoma - Is the most significant form of skin cancer which is much more common in fair-skinned people. A mole that has changed gets more significant or in color over time— a mole anywhere on the body has an asymmetrical shape, irregularly shaped edges, and multiple colors.
- Lupus – a disc shaped scaly rash that doesn't' hurt or itch. General symptoms include swollen or painful joints, headaches, fever, fatigue, etc. Red, the warm rash that spreads across the bridge of the nose and cheeks like butterfly wings and worsens in the sun.
- Basal cell carcinoma – Easy oozing or bleeding wound that doesn't heal or heals then reappears with visible blood cells on the growth along with firm, raised, and pale areas that may resemble a scar.
- Squamous cell carcinoma - Reddish patch of scaly skin progresses to a raised bump that continues to grow, often occurring in areas exposed to UV radiation, such as the ears, face, and back of the hands.
- Vitiligo - Loss of melanin in the skin due to autoimmune destruction of the cells that give skin its color. Depigmentation on one side of the body
- Age or skin spots are flat, small, and dark areas on the skin which vary in size and usually appear on the areas exposed to the sun, such as hands, face, shoulders, arms, etc.
Treatment and Diagnosis of Skin Disease
Treatment of skin disease starts with proper diagnosis and detection of the condition you have. Tests may be included such as:
- Tzanck test – involves the drawing of fluid from a blister to examine for herpes zoster or simplex
- Biopsy – A small piece of skin is examined under the microscope.
- Dermoscopy – Is used to detect skin lesions using a hand-held device called a dermatoscope.
- Culture – A small sample of skin is taken to test viruses, bacteria, or fungus.
- Diascopy – It is examined if the skin slightly changes color under a microscope
- Skin patch test – Small amount of substances are applied to check for possible allergies.
A lot of skin diseases respond well to treatment. Depending on your condition, your doctor or dermatologist (doctor specializing in the skin) may recommend:
- Surgical procedures
- Steroids pills, injections, or creams
- Laser skin resurfacing
- Oral medication (taken by mouth)
- Medicated creams, ointments, or gels.
You may also avoid flare-ups and symptoms of skin disorders:
- Avoid excessive smoking or use of alcohol
- Avoid or limit dairy or sugar or as suggested by your doctor
- Manage stress
- Wash your hands with soap and water, and sanitize at regular intervals
- Avoid sharing cosmetics, personal items, or utensils
- Eat a nutritious diet and drink lots of water
- Disinfect and sanitize objects you use in public places regularly
- Use sun protection to avoid sun damage
- Limit contact with harsh chemicals and harsh irritants
- Sleep for seven to eight hours.
Skin disorders include conditions that clog or damages or irritate your skin. You may genetically inherit a skin condition or develop a skin disorder. Many skin disorders cause dry skin, itchiness, or rashes. However, you can manage these symptoms with medication, lifestyle changes, and proper skincare. However, treatment can often reduce symptoms and may even keep them at bay for months or years at a time. Many skin conditions like psoriasis never get cured and go away completely. Also, remember to monitor your skin for any new symptoms, including non-healing spots or new or any changes in moles and their appearance. Often, skin cancers can be cured if diagnosed and treated at the earliest.