Many of us suffer from skin conditions whether stemming from our genetics or otherwise. The skin is the largest organ of our body and has the largest surface area fully exposed to the elements. Therefore, it is no surprise skin conditions are common.
Skin conditions can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, redness, irritation, inflammation and growths. Depending on where they are on the body and the severity, they can cause emotional and mental anguish, embarrassment and even depression.
Your first port of call is always to see your primary doctor or dermatologist, oftentimes skin conditions manifest because of an inner issue, such as in the case of psoriasis. The doctor or dermatologist will help allay your fears if it isn’t serious, but if it turns out to be serious, they’ll be able to start treatment straight away.
Let’s discuss the three most common skin conditions that affect us.
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions suffered by tweens and teens, however some adults also suffer from it. It occurs when the pores become continuously clogged with bacteria, dead skin cells, dirt and oil, causing the formation of pimples or zits. The condition is mainly found on the face, however, it can occur on the back, buttocks, chest and shoulders.
- Wash your face daily with a mild cleanser, pat dry with clean cotton face cloth, and tone the area with toner that includes salicylic acid. Salicylic acid has been shown to improve the appearance of acne.
- Keep your hair clean, and out of your face. Dirty hair can cause clogged pores.
- Use light moisturisers to balance the skin’s moisture and reduce overproduction of oils.
- Don’t squeeze the pimples. It may seem satisfying, but squeezing can cause bigger problems such as cyst formation or making the acne spread
- Don’t touch your face. You can transfer dirt to your already vulnerable skin when you touch it repeatedly.
- Don’t wear a lot of makeup. Allow the skin to breathe, some makeup used in layering, may block the pores.
Common warts are small growths that usually show up on your hands. They may be rough to the touch, small and grainy. They are caused by a virus that is transferred by touch, and can take up to six months for the growth to form from first contact. Though they are harmless and rarely cause other symptoms beyond the growth, and will eventually go away on their own, some people choose to remove them.
Treatments with salicylic acid are helpful in sloughing away the hard skin and ridding the area of the wart.
- Wash your hands after coming into contact with warts
- Groom with care, be careful not to brush or cut the wart
- Don’t share towels or flannels
- Don’t bite nails or suck fingers with warts
- Don’t scratch or pick the wart
Eczema or as it is known scientifically, Atopic Dermatitis, is a chronic condition that flares up periodically. It presents as red, inflamed and itchy skin, with dry patches and small raised bumps. There is no known cause of eczema, however genetics is a main factor. For most people, eczema starts before the age of 5 and all the way through adolescence, in some cases it clears up on its own; however, it can persist into adulthood.
- Moisturise at least twice a day with thick occlusive creams; moisture will relieve the need to itch
- Identify what triggers a flare up and eliminate it
- Don’t use harsh soaps, they remove beneficial oils
- Don’t take long hot showers or baths, take short, warm baths. Always moisturise after your showe or bath
Skin conditions, though commonplace, can be not just physically, but emotionally scarring. Whilst some conditions are harmless and clear up on their own, some stay for a lifetime, with chronic physical symptoms. Enough cannot be said about how important your diet is when you have these conditions. Staying away from cow’s milk and sugary substances have been reiterated over and over by scientist, as these two substances create the perfect environment for the continuance of these conditions.
Drink plenty of water, boost up your vitamin intake, whether via your food or from supplements and have good physical hygiene. Use mild cleansers and natural, plant based moisturisers to cleanse and re-balance the natural lipids that the body use as its defence. These simple steps can rid your system of toxins from the inside out.
Do you suffer from a skin condition? Please share in the comments what has helped you and what hasn’t, your experience could help another person suffering from a similar condition.
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Be great x.
Mayo Clinic – Atopic Dermatitis June, 2020
HealthLine – Acne July, 2020