Not everyone will experience skin conditions in their lives, but those who do will find that they are often unavoidable and impossible to ignore once they flare up. Experiencing skin complaints can have a big impact on anything from your physical wellbeing to your mental and emotional wellbeing, so it is important that you are able to identify and manage some of the more common skin complaints out there. Here’s some information on a few and how to get by while experiencing them!
Eczema is one of the most common skin complaints that affects both children and the adult population. Believe it or not, roughly 30% of people will experience eczema and its symptoms at some point during their lifetime. This means that almost one in three people you know will have experience, or are currently experiencing, this condition! As we briefly mentioned, eczema can affect you at any point of your life. If you had it in childhood, it could flare back up. Those who didn’t have it in childhood could experience it out of the blue down the line. So, be aware of it and its symptoms at all times.
Now, if you think that you may be struggling with eczema, it is important that you speak to a medical professional for an official diagnosis, as there are a whole host of types of eczema and it’s good to know exactly what you’re experiencing in order to follow the right course of treatment and action. The most common form of eczema is “atopic dermatitis”. Common signs of eczema include patches of skin that have become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked or rough. You can find plenty of images online to look at as examples.
Some people experience eczema on an ongoing basis, seemingly regardless of any changes that they may make to their lifestyle. But it is important to consider that, for many, eczema outbreaks and flare ups are triggered by a number of things in your environment. Some people are set off by environmental allergens ranging from pet hair to pollen, mould, dust mites and more. You may be able to identify these triggers yourself (for example, if you find that you suddenly experience a flare up every time you visit a home with a cat in, you can probably gather that you have an allergy to pet hair), but for more complex options, there are tests that your doctor will be able to carry out to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Do what you can to avoid environmental allergens, such as opting for hairless or non molting pets, dusting regularly to reduce exposure to dust and more. Some people find that rather than environmental allergens, they experience contact allergies. If you find that eczema develops in a specific area that regularly touches something else – for example, you get sores and rashes where the button on your jeans rests against your skin – you may have a contact allergen – in this case, the metal of the button.
Of course, it’s impossible to avoid all triggers at all times while maintaining a normal and healthy quality of life. So, most of us will still experience eczema symptoms regardless of how hard we try to avoid our triggers. During these flare ups, it’s important to be kind to yourself and care for yourself. Start out by practicing restraint and avoid scratching your eczema. This is easier said than done, but scratching only results in further itching and can even create scratches or open wounds. Then, you should make sure to be kind to your skin. Use gentle and soap free washes when showering or bathing and avoid dyes or perfumes. You may want to use emollients that your doctor has prescribed and some find that applying bandages to the affected areas (once dried) helps too.
Psoriasis is another common skin complaint that many people experience. This is a form of skin disease that is identified by patches of a rash across different areas of your body. It may be itchy, develop scaly patches and tends to be worst around your knees, elbows, the trunk of your body and your scalp. Psoriasis is a long-term (or chronic) disease and, sadly, there’s no outright cure for it. If you have psoriasis, it is likely something that you will experience on a regular to occasional basis throughout the course of your life. Of course, due to its symtpoms, psoriasis can often be uncomfortable or even painful. It’s important to bear in mind that if you do experience psoriasis, it can be triggered by a variety of common causes of psoriasis, such as infections, cuts, burns, stress, specific medications that you may be prescribed for other illnesses and more.
Hopefully, you won’t find yourself in need of the information above, but it is extremely useful to know. This way, if you notice particular symptoms in yourself or others, you can take action and give advice that will greatly improve comfort, happiness and more.
Types of Psoriasis
Like many medical conditions, psoriasis is a broad term that covers a variety of different types of psoriasis. You may be able to work with your doctor to whittle down your symptoms and identify which specific type of psoriasis you’re experiencing. Here are some of the more common types.
- Plaque psoriasis – if you are experiencing plaque psoriasis, this is the most common form of psoriasis. This is a type of psoriasis that will result in “plaques” of raised patches of skin. They will be dry, itchy and generally uncomfortable or even painful.
- Nail psoriasis – the clue for this type of psoriasis lies in its name. It is a form of psoriasis that specifically affects your nails on both (or either) your hands and your feet. This comes with a number of problems for your nails, such as pitting, abnormal growth or even discoloration. In severe cases, the psoriasis can cause nail crumbling or nail loss.
- Guttate psoriasis – this is a form of psoriasis that is most likely to impact children and young adult and is usually set off by bacterial infections such as strep throat.
- Inverse psoriasis – if you are experiencing psoriasis around your groin, buttocks or breasts, you may be experiencing inverse psoriasis. Avoid friction and sweating in these areas where possible, as fungal infections resulting from sweat in the folds of your skin can set this type of psoriasis off.
- Pustular psoriasis – this rare form of psoriasis sees regular symptoms paired with pus-filled blisters. This can be uncomfortable or painful during flare ups.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis – erythrodermic psoriasis is the rarest form of psoriasis. It comes with a peeling rash that can itch or cause an intense burning sensation.
Dealing with Psoriasis
If you feel that you are experiencing psoriasis, it’s important to reach out to your doctor, who will be able to diagnose the condition and provide you with some guidance. As we mentioned above, this skin condition has no cure, but it is important that you work with your doctor to find ways to manage and soothe flare ups. This can include identifying and avoiding triggers, using specific washes and products on your skin and more.
These are just two skin complaints, but they are two of the most common, so it’s good to know what they are and how to deal with them. Hopefully, if you do experience them at any point in your life, some of the information above will help you out!