Unlike other bodily issues, problems with our skin can become very apparent in just a matter of days. Walked past the mirror and happened to notice something off with your skin? Have you been itching a particular area more than often recently? Did you see a part of your body covered in a strange rash or spots that weren’t there before?
Rest assured that you’re not alone because skin issues are prevalent and currently affect or have affected sixty percent of the UK’s population. Some skin issues can be transmitted to you by your parents or contact with an allergen or an irritant. In contrast, others might be triggered by lifestyle factors such as anxiety, stress, a weakened immune system, feeling ill, etc.
These diseases may cause your skin to break out in rashes, inflammation, itchiness, changes in color or texture, spots, etc. Many skin issues are harmless and can be treated with antibiotics or medicated creams/gels; however, others can be serious and can point to more serious medical problems.
Those suffering from a skin condition may feel afraid to confide in a health professional, as they might feel embarrassed or face judgment. So, we’ve created this article outlining several skin issues that can quickly spread to other parts of the body so that you know what to look out for and when to consult a health professional for advice.
Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Although more common in adults aged fifty plus and upwards, Shingles is a skin issue caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is more widely known for being the virus that causes chickenpox in small children. Providing that you’ve already been exposed to chickenpox, Shingles cause the development of painful fluid-filled blisters on the one side of your face or body.
Like chickenpox, most people who develop this skin issue commonly only suffer from it once in their lifetime – although it can be contracted more than once. Generally, people over the age of fifty and those who have never had chickenpox or the vaccine are more susceptible to contracting Shingles.
Shingles are transmitted from person to person by directly contacting the fluid from the blisters on your face or body. Typically, these blisters will scab over in seven to ten days, preventing you from transmitting the issue to anyone else, and will be completely healed within two to four weeks.
Those who contract Shingles will typically experience pain, itching, or tingling in the area before the painful fluid-filled blisters appear. If this is synonymous with any of the symptoms you’ve noticed happening to your skin, we recommend doing online research for more information. There will be specialized medical experts that will be able to tell you more about Shingles, the treatment process, and what to do if you suspect that you have a skin issue.
Hives, also known as Urticaria, are a series of painful pale red bumps or welts that can sting, burn, or itch and suddenly develop on the skin. It can affect both adults and children and appear anywhere on the body in various shapes or sizes and even meld together. Usually, hives are triggered when your skin is subjected to a high level of histamine and other chemicals. Some common triggers are as follows:
- Ingesting certain foods.
- A reaction to an insect sting, bite, or medicine.
- Wearing tight or itchy clothing for long periods.
- Problems with your immune system.
- When your skin becomes hot and sweaty, either from working out, eating spicy food, or stress.
- Contact with certain plants, animals, chemicals, materials, and many more.
Fortunately, hives are not considered a severe skin condition and can clear up in a matter of days or even minutes. You can treat this skin issue from home using skin creams and antihistamines prescribed by your GP.
However, suppose the hives persist even after utilizing medicinal creams or antihistamines. In that case, you might be referred to a skin specialist, otherwise known as a dermatologist, to help discover the root of the problem and how best to treat it.
Psoriasis is arguably one of the most well-known skin issues, often confused with eczema, but the two are completely different skin issues with varying treatment plans. Psoriasis is commonly identifiable by thick, red, bumpy patches of irritated skin covered by a silver scale. Patches can appear anywhere over the body but are usually found on the scalp, behind the knees, backs of the elbows, and the lower back.
Cases of Psoriasis are caused by the body triggering new skin cells too quickly, which means that instead of growing within three to four weeks as they would in an unaffected person, the whole process takes around three to seven days. As a result, the newly generated skin cells build up on the skin’s surface, causing the red, thick, bumpy patches that make psoriasis identifiable.
Research suggests that this happens due to a fault with the affected individual’s immune system; however, it is also known to be transmitted genetically between family members. Or, if a member of your family has psoriasis, you are more likely to be susceptible to it. There are many reasons that an individual can develop psoriasis; some of the most common reasons are as follows:
- The Koebner response suggests an injury causes it to the skin such as a scrape, cut, insect bite, or sunburn.
- Smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.
- Hormonal changes.
- A different type of psoriasis can develop after contracting a streptococcal throat infection, but this can be rare.
- Other immune disorders such as HIV can cause a flare of psoriasis or cause it to appear after time and many more.
Now, there is no known cure for psoriasis. Still, it can be controlled using GP-issued, including medical creams, ointments, gels, IV, oral medications, injections, and much more. Flares of the skin issue can crop up throughout a person’s lifetime, just for them to ease then return.
Rosacea is another common skin issue identifiable by red patches across the cheeks, nose, forehead, and nose. People who suffer from rosacea tend to flush, blush, or have visible blood vessels on their face, which can get redder and produce small, pus-filled bumps. More rosacea symptoms include making the affected area feel hot or tender, dry, swollen eyelids or eyes, and as the skin around the nose area thickens, it can appear bulbous.
As a result of rosacea, your skin may become thicker or bumpier, and these signs/symptoms may continue in a cycle of flaring up and then relaxing for weeks or months at a time. Anyone can become susceptible to the signs or symptoms of rosacea. Still, it is more commonly known for affecting middle-aged women, those who smoke or drink heavily, those who burn easily in the sunlight, or have a history of rosacea in their family.
Currently, the cause of rosacea is unknown. Still, it has been thought that an overactive immune system, genetics or environmental factors or a combination of all three could play a part. Any of the following could trigger signs and symptoms of rosacea:
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Spicy food.
- High levels of emotion.
- Hot drinks.
- Extreme temperatures.
There is no cure for rosacea, but it can be controlled using oral medication and medicated creams or gels prescribed by your GP. Those affected could also consider visiting a doctor who can treat broken blood vessels and red, thickened skin using lasers.