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10 Most common skin problems

May 19, 2012  by: Sarika  Points: 12   Category: Health  Earning $0.80   Views: 1121

This article is about some of the most common skin problems dealt with in day to day life.


10 Most common skin problems:

Skin is the largest organ of the body. Skin protects the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organ from injury and external environment. It is layer covering entire body and provides protection against harmful pathogens and prevents excessive water loss. Skin also regulates body temperature, provides insulation and helps in Vitamin D synthesis. The branch of medicine which deals with the study of skin and its diseases is known as Dermatology. Some of the most common skin diseases are:


Acne is the most common skin disease characterized by scaly red skin, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and scars. It affects both the sexes of all racial and ethnic groups around the world. It is mainly caused by hormonal changes during adolescence and may continue into adulthood. The hormones released during adolescence leads to enlargement of the sebaceous glands leading to increased sebum (naturally occurring oil in skin) production. In time the glands become clogged with sebum and Propionibacterium acnes (a commensal bacterium) causes inflammation leading to inflammatory lesions. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used Sulphur to treat acne. Benzoyl peroxide is the drug of choice these days to treat mild and moderate acne. A variety of antiseptics, antibiotics, retinoid and anti-inflammatory agents are used to treat acne. Apart from drugs Dermabrasion, phototherapy, hormonal therapy and surgery are other methods of treatment for acne.


Eczema is a Greek word which means “to boil over”. It is used to describe a range of skin conditions which are involved in inflammation of the outer layer of skin called epidermis. These skin conditions are characterized by redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, blistering, oozing, or bleeding. The exact cause of Eczema is unknown but it is thought that it might be an overactive response of body’s immune system towards an antigen or foreign material or an irritant. Eczema is always itchy regardless of the body part involved. Till today there is no cure for Eczema and treatment strategies are mainly concentrated on reducing inflammation and relieving itching. Many corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, Anti-itch drugs, moisturizing lotions are available in the market to help reduce the symptoms and relieve the patient.


Vitiligo is a skin condition which causes depigmentation of sections of skin. The pigment Melanin which gives the color to the skin is synthesized by melanocytes. In Vitiligo the melanocytes either die or are not functional anymore and therefore the body areas appear white due to lack of melanin. Vitiligo may appear at any age. The exact cause is unknown however research suggests that it might occur due to oxidative stress, autoimmune disorders, genetic reasons, neural or viral causes. The disease starts as small depigmentation patches which appear mainly on the extremities and later enlarge and change shape. It is very difficult to treat vitiligo. Early treatments include phototherapy (where a skin section is exposed to UV light), topical application of corticosteroid creams or immunosuppressant ointments. In extreme cases skin grafting or melanocyte transplantation is performed. Several cover-up makeups and skin dyes are also used to treat vitiligo. It is important to remember that depigmented areas of the skin are highly sensitive to skin burns and certain types of skin cancers.

Age spots or liver spots:

Age spots as the name suggests are spots appearing on skin at old age. They start to appear after 40 years of age and can increase in number. Initially they were falsely believed to be caused by liver problems and hence they are also called as Liver spots. They appear mainly on the skin areas which are more prone to sunlight and UV exposure. The color of the spots varies from light brown to red or black and depends upon the amount of melanin produced in the skin in response to sunlight exposure. Normally these spots are harmless however some people get them removed either by electro-surgery, laser surgery or cryotherapy.


Dermatitis is a word derived from Greek language which literally means skin inflammation. There are many types of Dermatitis for example contact dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and so on, classified based upon the nature of the initiating event or agent. Sometimes it could be an allergen or it can be an autoimmune response which leads to dermatitis. Symptoms vary with each type of dermatitis and the region of the skin involved. The most common symptoms include redness of the skin, swelling, itching and sometimes involve oozing and scarring. Creams containing corticosteroids, moisturizing lotions, anti-histamine drugs are the common methods of treatment.


These are generally a small, rough and painless growth of the skin caused by the infection of Human Papillomavirus. There are about 10 types of warts of which most are harmless. Normally these are painless but some can itch and pain. These are contagious and spread from person to person and from one part of the body to other of the same person. The virus enters from a broken part of the skin and makes the skin cells to grow rapidly causing an outgrowth of skin called wart. The treatment of common warts is mainly based upon the topical use of salicylic acid solution on the wart. Salicylic acid is a keratinolytic medication which breaks the protein keratin which makes up the wart and its dead tissue layer. Other treatments involve the use of silver nitrate, zinc sulfate and other chemicals. Apart from medicine, cryotherapy, duct tape occlusion therapy, surgical removal, laser treatment and infrared treatment are the methods of choice for wart treatment and removal.


Psoriasis is a non-contagious auto immune disorder in which the immune system sends wrong signals against body’s own cells which speeds up the growth of skin cells. Psoriasis has been classified into five different types: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic. Plaque is the most common type of psoriasis characterized by raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells. This recurring disease can appear anywhere on the body, usually at the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. It is difficult to treat psoriasis due to its recurring nature. Treatments include topical application of creams and lotions including moisturizers, phototherapy with UV light, oral medications and injections or infusions.


Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by the redness of the face and may cause swelling skin sores. It is a harmless condition but often leads to lower self-esteem. It primarily affects people with fair skin and is three times more common in women than men. It can be caused by exposure to temperature extremes, sunlight, stress, anxiety, food rich in histamine, caffeine, alcohol etc. Treatment includes medications as well as surgical procedures such as laser therapy and dermabrasion.


It is one of the most common bacterial infections of the skin in children. It is characterized by itchy blisters filled with pus which are easy to pop and when open releases the pus and leaves a red raw base. It is mainly caused by Staphylococcus aureus, and sometimes by Streptococcus pyogenes. Impetigo is highly contagious and can spread through close contact or by sharing towels, sheets, clothing, toys, or other items. Earlier it was treated with antiseptic gentian violet solution but now days it is treated with topical or oral antibiotics against the involved bacterial species.


Urticaria or hives are allergic reactions characterized by pink, raised, itchy bumps on the skin. The hives are itchy and in some cases have stinging and burning sensation. The exact cause of hives is unknown and a variety of stimuli can lead to an allergic reaction. Hives form when a chemical called histamine is released by specialized cells known as mast cells. Histamine acts as a vasodilator and thus increases the flow of fluids in the surrounding areas causing swelling, redness and heat production. Hives vary in size and may join together to form larger hive areas. They may appear anywhere and lasts for minutes or days. Normally treatment is not needed as most cases are mild but in extreme cases antihistamines are prescribed to the patient to provide relief.


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