The skin is the body’s largest organ. It’s also the most exposed to pollution, allergens, and other substances that can cause inflammation, rashes, and other problems.
Most skin conditions can be treated with natural remedies, creams, ointments, or prescription medicines. But it must be noted that there are also chronic skin conditions that require long-term care and regular consultations with doctors.
What are the most common skin conditions, and what are the best approaches for treating or managing their symptoms? Let’s go through them in this overview below:
Millions of people all over the world suffer from eczema. This skin condition is characterized by inflammation and dry and scaly skin, as well as itching on the affected parts. Depending on the type of eczema that a person has, their skin tone, and other relevant factors, their eczema can also cause redness, hyperpigmentation, and patches of yellow or white skin that flake off.
Eczema is also sometimes referred to as atopic dermatitis. However, this isn’t 100 percent correct because atopic dermatitis is just one of the many forms eczema can take. Other types of eczema include contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, neurodermatitis, and nummular eczema. If you suffer from eczema, it’s important to narrow down which type you have. This will determine the best possible course of treatment for your condition.
Treatment for Eczema
There are many possible treatments for eczema, including the use of skin creams made from sustainable ingredients like coconut oil. These are formulated to hydrate the skin, soothe irritation, and reduce inflammation. Such products have also been found to strengthen the skin’s defenses against bacteria.
Your doctor or dermatologist may also prescribe a steroidal cream for your eczema to manage extreme flare-ups. In case topical treatments don’t work, there are injections that can help reduce eczema symptoms.
Acne is yet another common skin condition that’s experienced by many, regardless of their skin types. It’s caused by the blockage of hair follicles and oil glands, which is usually a result of hormonal changes. That means that teenagers are quite prone to acne due to the changes brought about by puberty and growth spurts. All the same, many adults also suffer from the occasional breakout.
Note that the term “acne” doesn’t refer to pimples alone. It also encompasses blackheads, nodules, and whiteheads. And while acne is most commonly experienced on the face, you can also get acne on other parts of your body where there’s a higher concentration of oil glands, like on your chest and shoulders.
Treatment for Acne
Some of the most common treatments for acne include creams or gels that contain tretinoin or adapalene. If you’re prone to acne, you can also use facial washes with salicylic acid to help reduce inflammation and to unclog your pores. For more severe cases of acne, you may be prescribed oral antibiotics or oral isotretinoin.
To prevent clogged pores, it’s best to use skin care products that are advertised as non-comedogenic or that have low to medium comedogenicity, with CocoMCT as an example of the latter. You can also explore products with skin care ingredients that have additional antibacterial properties, like coconut oil with lauric acid, if it’s line with the treatment prescribed by your dermatologist.
Lastly, when washing your face, it’s best to use gentle strokes using your fingers rather than scrubbing with washcloths or similar items that can cause irritation. You should also ask your dermatologist about the most suitable products for your skin type. Finally, resist temptation and avoid pricking, popping, or squeezing your acne. This can cause further irritation, as well as scarring and hyperpigmentation.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition which causes your skin cells to build up faster. This results in the scaling of your skin’s surface. Depending on your skin tone, psoriatic scales can appear silvery, dark brown, or purplish. You may also notice redness around the affected area, and in the worst cases, the scales can crack and bleed.
Treatment for Psoriasis
Unfortunately, because psoriasis is a chronic condition, it doesn’t have a cure. However, there are many treatments that can help reduce the symptoms, remove skin plaques, and slow down the production of new skin cells.
Topical treatments like creams and ointments work well for mild to moderate psoriasis. Aside from corticosteroids and retinoids, doctors may also recommend that their patients with psoriasis take salicylic acid and vitamin D analogues. It’s also advisable to keep the skin hydrated with moisturizers.
If you have severe psoriasis or don’t respond to other treatments, your doctor may prescribe oral or injected medications. These include cyclosporine, methotrexate, and oral retinoids. However, these can only be used for short periods to avoid side effects.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition in which the face becomes swollen and flushed. It’s accompanied by prominent or more visible blood vessels on the face, as well as pimples. It can also cause skin dryness and sensitivity. For those with darker skin, the redness can instead present as a brown discoloration.
While rosacea is most common in women, especially those over age 30, it can affect anyone. Moreover, the condition is known to have cycles of remission and relapse. Sometimes, a person with rosacea can go for months without experiencing any flare-ups.
Treatment for Rosacea
Some of the most effective treatments for rosacea include oral and topical antibiotics. If pimples are among your rosacea symptoms, you may also be prescribed some gels or oral medication to reduce inflammation. Finally, to control the redness, beta blockers, small doses of estrogen, and topical vasoconstrictors may be prescribed to you.
When fungi called dermatophytes find their way into the spaces between your toes and under your toenails, you can get a fungal infection called tinea pedis or athlete’s foot. This skin condition causes redness, itchiness, and cracked skin in the foot area. You may also experience increased sweating on your feet, as well as an unpleasant foot odor.
Make sure to watch out for toenails that are crumbly or discolored (usually brown or yellow), which are indications that the fungal infection has spread to your toes. This needs more extensive treatment if you have underlying conditions like diabetes or autoimmune diseases.
Treatment for Athlete’s Foot
There are many over-the-counter treatments for athlete’s foot. Simply look for creams or sprays that contain clotrimazole, miconazole, or terbinafine. If nothing changes, consult your doctor for stronger prescription medications.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
There are various types of skin cancer, with the most common one being basal cell carcinoma. This is a condition in which bumps form on the basal cells of the skin, which is responsible for producing new skin cells. Often, these bumps or growths are seen on the face, ears, and neck, which are often exposed to the most ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma
Fortunately, basal cell carcinoma doesn’t spread and can be cured more easily compared to other types of cancer, as long as it’s detected early. Some treatment options include surgery to remove the growths, radiation therapy, and even topical medications.
These are just a few of the many skin conditions that can affect you or your loved ones. In case you notice any unusual symptoms, make sure to consult your doctor immediately so that you can get the right diagnosis and treatments as soon as possible.