Skin Issues 101
Imperfections of the skin can cause our minds to feel bad about ourselves and how we’re presenting ourselves to the world. It causes frustration and can lead to social withdrawal and feelings of inadequacy.
Rashes, eczema, dandruff and warts are skin conditions which reflect that something is wrong internally. These conditions may also signal that we’re under stress or that we’re thinking of ourselves as inadequate.
There are so many skin conditions that it would be impossible to list them all in this report, but some of the more common ones include rashes such as hives, rosacea, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema and other conditions such as moles, chickenpox and acne.
Skin is our most visible organ – and it’s out there for all to see, along with the emotional trauma from diseases and conditions of the skin that can be very damaging to our minds and bring about feelings of self-doubt and other insecurities.
When we’re nervous or stressed out about a visible condition such as skin issues, the problems can compound. Skin conditions become worse and we feel worse about it, starting a vicious cycle that’s difficult to break.
Blushing, breaking into hives when stressed or afraid, depression and other psychological problems may cause breakouts of eczema, alopecia, acne, rosacea, psoriasis and vitiligo – proving that the skin and the nervous system are closely intertwined.
Skin Conditions Causes and Symptoms
There are so many causes and symptoms surrounding the skin and all of the conditions that can manifest within it that it’s virtually impossible to list them all in this report. Some are temporary, such as pimples and acne on teenagers, while others may be a permanent skin disorder that plagues you through the years off and on, or continually.
Genetics may play a part in some skin conditions while others are based on situations such as stress or exposure to the elements. Some skin problems may be life-threatening, such as skin cancer.
One common skin condition which affects many teenagers and even adults is acne. Acne is manifested by papules (bumps caused from infected hair follicles), nodules (hard and painful bumps beneath the skin), cysts (infections signified by pus beneath the skin) and pustules (small pimples with pus).
Causes for acne include changing hormones such as the androgen hormones, which increase during puberty. The sebaceous glands produce excess amounts of sebum and become enlarged.
Eczema is a common skin condition where the skin becomes dry, itchy and inflamed. It’s characterized by gray or red patches on the skin and could have small bumps that secrete fluid.
Causes of eczema are numerous, including your environment. Smoke from cigarettes, pollen, the clothes you wear and even extreme cold may cause an outbreak of eczema. If needed, change your wardrobe and your home décor to fabrics made from cotton and natural fibers rather than synthetics and rough-textured fabrics.
Psoriasis is characterized by several issues. You may have thick, inflamed patches of skin (plaque), a red and shiny rash in the skin folds (inverse), a rash that looks like bad burns and appears on many areas of the body (erthrodermic), white pustules which are surrounded by reddish skin (pustular) or tiny red spots on the face, scalp, limbs and other body parts.
Psoriasis may be caused by certain triggers such as those which affect the immune system. For example, infections in the form of skin or throat issues, cold weather, consuming large amounts of alcohol, stress, injuries of the skin including a cut, sunburn or bug bites can all be contributors to this skin disorder.
Smoking is also a culprit that causes psoriasis – as is excessive alcohol consumption and medications like those for high blood pressure, antimalarial drugs, lithium and iodides.
Psoriasis is an issue that is thought to be an immune system problem originated from your body’s cellular system. It can be not only painful, but embarrassing for those who suffer from it as well.
The T cells in your body are used to fight off harmful bacteria or viruses, but with psoriasis, the T cells tend to attack healthy skin cells as if they were infectious or need healing.
Rosacea is characterized by flushing, redness of the skin and broken blood vessels, acne-type breakouts, bumps and thick skin on the forehead, skin, nose, chin, cheeks and ears and perhaps watery and itchy eyes that are bloodshot.
The exact causes of rosacea aren’t clear, but there are several factors that might exacerbate the problem. For example, some foods such as spicy foods or dairy can trigger symptoms of rosacea as can issues with the blood vessels – especially of the face.
Shingles are one of the most irritating and annoying of skin issues. They may appear as a rash that surrounds the torso and spine or itchy, fluid-filled blisters or red patches. Those who suffer from shingles may experience headache, fatigue, fever and chills with the breakouts.
One skin condition that is a chronic inflammatory disease is lupus. Lupus can severely affect the joints, skin and organs within the body, cause red, scaly lesions on the head and face and a number of other issues including sores within the mouth and nose.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease which causes the immune system to attack and damage healthy tissues rather than viruses and harmful bacteria. Lupus lasts for a lifetime and can cause severe symptoms.
Dandruff is a skin condition marked by the flaking of skin on the scalp. It’s not a serious condition – nor is it contagious, but it can be embarrassing because of the white skin flakes on your dark clothing.
Oil on the scalp causes skin cells to clump and then flake. Causes of dandruff include conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, allergic reaction to hair products and dry skin. Too much yeast in your system may also cause dandruff.
Treatment for Skin Conditions
Some skin conditions may be treated with oral antibiotics while others may respond best to other types of treatment such as creams or ointments. Acne might respond best to treatments such as a topical gels and creams.
Retin-A, Renova, Differin and Tazorac are topical creams and gels and all work to unclog pores. Sometimes dermatologists will use oral antibiotics along with a topical retinoid to kill the bacteria around the pores.
Eczema is best treated by first diagnosing the type. Although the treatments are varied, ointments and creams used to control inflammation and infections are usually recommended.
Sometimes antihistamines may help with itching and it’s best to avoid using anything that might irritate the skin. Wearing natural fiber clothing such as cotton is also recommended.
Psoriasis does best with treatments that care for the skin. Topical ointments and light therapy may cause some relief and medications such as steroids, anti-inflammatories, immunosuppressive drugs and vitamin A keep skin cells from rapid regrowth.
Rosacea can usually be treated by antibiotics or the same medications used for acne treatments. These treatments can reduce the severity of the condition, but if it goes untreated, rosacea can worsen over time.
You can use light therapy, moisturizer and sunscreen to keep the symptoms of rosacea at bay and artificial tears help if it enters your eyes. Vitamin A and topical antiseptics are also used in many cases.
Shingles treatment includes medications or ointments for pain relief. Often used are antiviral meds such as valacyclovir and acyclovir. If you received a chickenpox vaccine when you were a child – or had a shingles vaccine as an adult, you can reduce the risk of getting shingles.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, analgesics, nerve pain medications, anesthetics and antiviral drugs are sometimes recommended to relieve the pain and alleviate the symptoms of shingles.
There is no cure for lupus, but treatments to improve quality of life are available and will help alleviate symptoms and flare-ups. Lifestyle changes may be necessary, including changing your diet and protecting your skin from the damaging rays of the sun.
Medications such as steroids and anti-inflammatories may also be used to help manage the disease. The main goal is to reduce the inflammation that lupus causes in the joints and flare-ups of the skin.
Dandruff may be cured or alleviated by home remedies such as baking soda which helps to balance the scalp’s pH levels to lessen the growth of dandruff-causing fungi. Simple wet your hair and run some baking soda into your scalp. Rinse it out after 2 minutes with warm water.
Another remedy might be to massage a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice into your scalp, rinse and then rinse your hair with a solution of a teaspoon of lemon juice and a cup of water. The acidity in the lemon helps to keep dandruff from recurring.
Sometimes you may have to try several treatment types before finding one that will alleviate the symptoms of a skin condition you might have. Don’t despair if one or more treatments don’t work at first. Sometimes it takes awhile for the skin issue to react to treatments.
How to Prevent Future Skin Issues
One way to prevent most skin issues is to avoid certain triggers. For example, extreme cold may cause a breakout of eczema when the skin becomes dry. Make sure you use lots of moisturizer – especially on exposed areas of the skin such as hands and face.
A humidifier is a necessity for adding moisture to the dry air indoors. Try to keep the humidity levels at around 50 percent. Also, try to prevent dust mites in the home. Dust mites can trigger outbreaks of eczema – especially in children.
You may help prevent dust mites by keeping your home free of carpeting, blinds and rugs. Make sure you wash your bed linens and curtains in hot water each week and thoroughly clean rooms.
Try to choose clothing made of natural fibers and wear loose-fitting clothing so that you don’t restrict air flow to the skin. Synthetic fibers tend to cut off the oxygen to the skin and cause bacteria to form.
Lifestyle changes, such as choosing the proper diet plan, drinking more water, exercise and avoiding sugar may do wonders for almost any skin condition. Also make sure you wear sunscreen outdoors and protect yourself from extreme cold.
Stress and Skin Issues
Stress and anxiety are two of the main causes of most skin conditions. When your stress levels are high, the hormone levels become imbalanced and the nervous system sends panic signals to the adrenal glands, which then deluge the system with cortisol and adrenaline – two main stress hormones.
When stress occurs and the body is flooded with stress hormones, the skin reacts to the stressors. It can no longer be a shield and protect the body, but instead breaks down and possibly develops some type of skin issue.
Often, when a person addresses his or her stress issues with proper management, the skin condition goes away or the symptoms are greatly alleviated. Most dermatologists recognize that addressing stress and anxiety can help with the overall treatment of most skin conditions and will recommend it along with topical and oral meds.
Gaining power over stress not only helps with various skin conditions – it also helps to benefit your lifestyle and outlook for the future. Some things you may be stressing about might be irrational, but you could need help in recognizing this.
Deep breathing exercises, yoga stretches and meditation, visual imagery and guided relaxation are important to keeping your immune system healthy – which, in turn helps to naturally treat skin conditions.
Consider stress and anxiety as a determining factor for your skin condition if the conventional treatments aren’t working as a solution to your problem. The body and mind connection when it comes to skin issues is a fact and when properly treated, both can play a huge part in alleviating and even curing the condition.
Research more about how skin conditions may result from stress and anxiety in your life and you’ll find much information about how to manage and treat your own skin issues without suffering the side effects of damaging chemical products.