Whether you are 3, 13, or 25, irritating and unsightly skin conditions can be a hindrance to your daily life—or at least a nuisance you wish you would disappear. Even the most minor of skin ailments can lower your self-esteem. If this is the case for you, know that you are not alone. I know in our household each of us has suffered from one or more of many of the most common skin conditions and your family probably has too. Many people suffer from eczema, pesky acne, moles that make your eyes roll, annoying rosacea, or psoriasis. Of course, it is important to love your body for what it is, flaws and all, but it is also okay to want to make a few healthy changes. Below are some of the most common skin conditions and how you can treat them. However, be sure to consult a certified dermatologist to find the treatment right for you.
This is probably the first image that popped in your head when you thought of skin conditions. With a tween in the house it’s something this family is dealing with. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects up to fifty million Americans annually—that accounts for teens and adults alike. In all likelihood, you have dealt with it at some time in your life and you may find yourself comforting your child who is also suffering from the same condition at an already trying time in their life. Have you ever asked yourself: what type of acne do I have? The most common kind is called Acne Vulgaris, and it appears on the face, chest, shoulders, and back. The condition can vary from mild to severe. There are many factors that can be the cause of acne; genetics, hormones, medication, stress, menstruation, and even diet. Mild acne will respond well to gentle skin treatment such as gently washing the areas twice daily. Most dermatologist will recommend staying away from exfoliates as well. Many people find that these simple habits will do the trick. Severe acne may need professional treatment.
Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is most likely found in children, although adults can have it too. Eczema symptoms are identified by itchy, dry, and red patches caused by inflammation. Without treatment, eczema causes painful and unendurable irritation for the sufferer, and later in life, it will cause deep scarring. The causes of eczema are more than skin deep—conditions such as hay fever, food allergies, heart disease, and asthma can also play a role. Most eczema patients are treated with oral medications and steroid creams. Your dermatologist may advice you to seek another doctor to test for these other disorders.
Similar to eczema, contact dermatitis is a skin reaction; however, it usually comes from touching an object. Some types of jewelry, like nickel, will cause irritation. My oldest daughter suffers from contact dermatitis when exposed to certain metals. Even just the metal of the button on jeans can cause a severe reaction. It was recommended that she try finding jewelry that is labeled “Nickel Free” which may help avoid this sensitivity. If the cause is unknown, a doctor will perform a patch allergy test to determine the cause.
Hives are annoying welts that raise on the skin and cause urgent itching, much like eczema, minus the dry patches. The very first time I encountered hives as a parent I admit was a very scary one. I had switched my laundry detergent. One morning both of my youngest daughters woke up with hives all over their bodies! Throughout the day it just got worse. Not knowing what was going on it was the emergency room for us. We found out that while most hives will go away within twenty-four hours, not all do and hives that last more than six weeks are called chronic hives. Hives are usually a result of allergies to medications, foods, or the environment. It took some thinking to determine what was the cause of the hives as there are frequent changes like laundry detergent or even shampoo in a busy household. If you have hives that affect your entire body, you should go to a doctor immediately to treat the condition. This too, can be treated with steroid creams, oral medications, and if further investigation is necessary, blood allergy tests.
Although you and your child may love tanning in the sun, dermatologists will always warn you against it, and for good reason: exposure to the sun’s UV rays will burn your skin and contribute to potential skin cancer. It is important to treat a sunburn—or any type of burn—with cool water, mild soap, and aloe vera while the skin is damp. If you experience a fever, chills, or severe blistering, you must see a doctor right away; this can be the symptom of a second or third degree burn.
Moles, skin tags, and freckles are a common ailment that will not usually irritate the skin but will still irritate the sufferer psychologically. A mole occurs when the skin grows in a cluster instead of spreading out evenly. If you are worried about cancer, note that most moles are not considered to be dangerous. However, it is wise to monitor your moles for any alterations. If the shape, color, or size changes, you may want to seek a dermatologist.
Don’t resign yourself to a life of simply dealing with your skin ailments letting them affect your every day life. Determine what you can do for your skin today. And, remember only a doctor can truly determine what these skin conditions are as well as help you determine the cause of them and the best possible treatment. Always consult a medical professional before beginning any course of treatment.
Disclosure/Disclaimer: This is a information is based on my experiences with these common skin conditions. This is not to be considered medical advice, simply our family’s experiences with these common types of skin conditions. You should always consult a physician for diagnosis and medical treatment.