FIVE Skin Conditions You Should NOT Ignore
At one point or another, our high-speed, stressful lifestyles can leave us with skin conditions that are embarrassing or annoying. We might try to deal with them with over-the-counter medications, creams, and cosmetics that mask the problem. However, there are some skin conditions that we should not ignore. These are serious, even life-threatening, conditions that should be treated by a medical professional.
Our skin is second only to our intestines in size, comprising approximately 20 square feet, and is our body’s first line of defense against many pathogens and other substances. Our skin’s condition can reflect a number of health conditions, as described below.
Common Skin Conditions
- Dehydration – a very common condition which manifests as dry skin that doesn’t bounce back when pinched.
- Hives – this can be on one part of the body or a whole-body allergic reaction. It is also very treatable.
- Eczema – also called atopic dermatitis, it can be caused by a combination of genetics and the environment. It can be treated with oatmeal baths and/or cortisone creams.
- Seborrhea/Psoriasis – a condition that can cause dandruff and cradle cap, it is also found on the body. Red, scaly patches can be brought on by stress; a yeast may also contribute. It can be treated in a number of ways including special shampoos, sunlight, etc.
When Skin Conditions Require Immediate Medical Attention
- Redness, warmth, pain and swelling – This clearly points to an infection like cellulitis or other medical condition that requires immediate treatment.
- Peeling skin – This often occurs when the outer layer of skin has been compromised, as with severe sunburn or other serious burn. Scrapes from falls can also create an infection, and should be treated professionally.
- Changes in a mole’s color, shape or size – This is indicative of potential skin cancer. Do not wait; have your mole checked by a physician to rule this out.
- Open sores – This indicates that the skin’s integrity has been severely compromised. Things like bed sores, stasis dermatitis, or another medical condition can raise the potential for a serious infection.
- Any skin discoloration – This can be indicative of a wide variety of medical conditions, from frostbite to necrotizing fasciitis to gangrene. Please see a medical professional right away.
Our skin is not just there to make us beautiful; it is designed to protect us. If we recognize the warning signs, we can keep our skin and bodies healthy for many years to come.
Disclaimer: This blog post is meant to provide information; it is not intended to diagnose or treat disease. Please see your medical professional if you have questions about a skin condition.
Healthline article on skin disorders
Wikipedia article on human skin
Article by American Family Physician on Seborrhea