The skin is the largest and one of the most complex organs of the body. Adults may suffer from a variety of skin disorders with tremendous variation in symptoms and severity. The causes of adult skin disorders may be genetic (hereditary), infectious, degenerative, or allergic. A great deal of adult skin disorders are benign (not life threatening), but some may be life threatening. Others may warrant referral to a dermatologist (a specialist in the treatment of skin disorders) for treatment that may entail medications, minor office procedures, or invasive surgery.
Sensitive skin can present itself in a variety of ways. Patients typically experience a combination of irritation, discomfort, bumps, redness and inflammation of the skin. Dermatitis (commonly referred to as eczema), rosacea and psoriasis are classified as sensitive skin conditions. While it is unclear what specific factors lead to a person having truly sensitive skin, it is possible for skin to become sensitized from over-exposure to harsh topical ingredients or climate. Fragrances, lanolin, formaldehyde, latex and menthol are common irritants that contribute to sensitization of the skin and can lead to contact dermatitis. The use of aggressive chemical and mechanical exfoliants can also increase skin irritation. Always consult a licensed professional for a treatment plan tailored to address the underlying causes and symptoms of your unique sensitive skin.
- An impaired barrier leads to constant moisture loss
- Dry, flaky skin is common
- Visible redness is a sign of underlying and superficial inflammation
- Blood vessels are larger and, therefore, more visible
Hyperpigmentation is described as areas of abnormal darkening of the skin. This darkening can either be one spot or large patchy areas, depending on the cause. This condition is a result of inflammation and can be triggered by sun exposure, hormone fluctuations or skin injuries (acne lesions, a cut or a burn). Some skin types are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation than others. It is important to consult with a licensed skin health professional prior to using products to even skin discoloration, as high percentages of strong ingredients can cause further irritation and a worsening of the condition instead of improvement.
- Inflammation (caused by sun exposure, acne, hormonal shifts, or a cut or burn)
- Melanocytes produce pigment
- Packets of pigment travel from the melanocyte to the skin cells
- The pigment is distributed like an umbrella to protect the skin cells’ DNA from damage
- On the surface, the skin may have one small dark spot or be uniformly darker (as with a suntan)
Aging of the skin can be put into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging happens naturally over time and is determined by a person’s genetics. Mild facial wrinkling, expression lines, and dry, sensitive skin are likely a result of intrinsic aging. Extrinsic aging is a result of external factors like unprotected sun exposure, smoking, alcohol use, pollution and other lifestyle choices. Extrinsic factors are thought to be responsible for 85% of visible aging and are highly avoidable. Sun exposure is the leading cause of extrinsic aging; the suns damaging rays breakdown the skins support structure, leading to discoloration of the skin, wrinkles, sagging and, in some cases even cancer. When treating visible facial aging, it is important to use products that not only treat existing conditions, but also protect the skin from future damage.
- Collagen and elastin break down and their production decreases
- Fine lines and wrinkles appear due to a lack of collagen and elastin support
- Cell turnover rates and hydrating components decrease, leading to dry, flaky skin
- Sun-induced skin discolorations often occur.
Affecting nearly 45 million Americans each year, acne is the most prevalent skin condition in humans. Typically, acne develops where there is an abundance of oil glands, like the face, scalp, chest, back and neck. Normally caused from clogging of the pore, Increased oil production, Bacteria, Inflammation and hormonal.
While acne is common, it also varies and can be made up of a complex combination of needs to treat. Seeing a professional is the best way to ensure that this condition is treated appropriately and specific to each person’s unique needs. Find out more about ACNE and what different kinds there are by clicking HERE
Is your skin itchy, oozing, or breaking out? Moles, rashes, hives, and eczema are just a few of the more than 3,000 skin disorders that affect people every day. Changes in color or texture can result from inflammation, infection, or allergic reactions anywhere on the body. Some skin conditions can be minor, temporary, and easily treated — while others can be very serious, and even deadly. Read on to see signs and symptoms of the most common skin disorders and learn how to identify them.
Herpes zoster, also known as shingles, is caused by the return of a chickenpox infection from latently infected nerve cells in the spinal cord or brain. It begins as a painful sensation which is often mistaken for a musculoskeletal injury or even a heart attack.. It is soon followed within one or two days by a red, blistering unilateral (one-sided) rash distributed to the skin supplied by a sensory nerve (a dermatome). Zoster tends to occur most often in the elderly and can be largely prevented or made less severe with a vaccination. Treatment with antiviral drugs within 48 hours of the onset of the eruption may limit the development of a persistent, severe pain (neuralgia) at the site of the eruption.
Hives, also known as urticaria, is a very common allergic skin condition most often due to antibodies in the bloodstream that recognize foreign substances. This eruption appears suddenly anywhere on the body as elevated blanched bumps surrounded by an intensely itchy red rash. There may be many lesions, but each one only exists for eight to 12 hours. As older ones resolve, newer ones may develop. Most of the time, urticaria resolves spontaneously within eight weeks and is treated with oral antihistamines for symptomatic relief.
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory genetic condition in which patients develop scaling red bumps that coalesce into plaques and typically occur but are not limited to the scalp, elbows, and knees. Psoriasis is not curable; it can come and go by itself. There are a variety of treatments depending on the severity and extent of involvement, which vary from topical creams and ultraviolet light exposure to oral drugs and injectable medications. Patients with psoriasis more commonly develop cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which may be attributable to system-wide inflammation.
Atopic dermatitis (called eczema) is a genetic condition that presents in early childhood with a chronic itchy, weeping, oozing dermatitis. It tends to localize to the arm creases opposite the elbow and on the leg opposite the knee. Many patients also have inhalant allergies such as asthma and hay fever. The condition improves with age. Treatment involves the application of emollients to wet skin and the use of topical steroids.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition of the face that is characterized by redness, dilated blood vessels, papules, pustules, and occasionally by the overgrowth of nasal connective tissue (rhinophyma). It superficially resembles teenaged acne, but it occurs in adults. Persistent facial flushing is an early sign of the skin’s uncontrolled sensitivity to certain naturally produced inflammatory chemicals. Treatment of rosacea involves topical and oral drugs.
Herpes labialis (cold sore) is caused by the herpes simplex virus. Cold sores commonly appear on the edge of the lip. This virus exists in a dormant state in the spinal cord nerve cells, and after certain environmental triggers like a sunburn or a cold, the virus is induced to travel along a peripheral nerve to the same skin site over and over again. The eruption is self-limited to about seven to 10 days so that treatment is unnecessary unless the eruption becomes too frequent.
In allergic individuals, the development of a linear blistering eruption occurs within 24-48 hours of exposure to a member of the poison ivy or poison oak family of plants. Since the plant contains highly allergenic chemicals, most people will become allergic after a single priming exposure. The eruption will resolve within three weeks but will occur again the next time the skin comes in contact with the plant.
The repeated application of cool wet compresses to the blisters followed by evaporation of the water can be soothing and speed healing. Treatment with steroids creams or even oral steroids may be required in severe cases. Once a person is allergic, this is permanent; it is important to avoid this plant family assiduously so this very unpleasant allergic reaction will not recur. Many of those allergic to poison ivy or poison oak (Toxicodendron) are also sensitive to mango skin and cashew nut oil.
This eruption occurs in areas of the skin in which hairs have been recently cut or extracted. This is commonly present in the beard area of individuals with very tightly coiled hair. When the hair is cut off or plucked out below the level of the follicular pore, it tends to curl into the side of the follicle and cause an inflammatory bump. Not shaving closely is very important in preventing this skin condition.