Skin Disease

Your skin acts as a protective barrier that protects delicate tissue, nerves and organs from environmental exposure. Because of this, it is exposed to several harmful organisms and substances, like germs, bacteria, chemicals, pollutants, allergens and so on. There are more than 7 million pores on your skin and it is important for you to follow strict hygienic measures, so that your skin stays clean and your pores remain open at all times. Almost all of us do this by taking showering or bathing daily. A lack of adequate hygiene could increase your risks of various skin diseases significantly.

Many skin diseases are caused by environmental factors like the presence of bacteria or viruses. However, genetic factors could also contribute to the development of a number of problems. Some of the skin diseases are relatively minor, as they do not lead to any pain or discomfort. However, in several instances, a skin disease could be quite serious and perhaps even life threatening. Some diseases are barely noticeable, whereas others may cause embarrassment because they bring about drastic changes in the appearance of the skin. Skin diseases can be mainly of four types:

Bacterial Skin Diseases: A bacterial skin disease occurs when bacteria enter your skin, through a cut or a break. Most of the bacterial skin diseases in humans are caused by the Staphylococci or staph bacteria. Studies indicate that bacteria belonging to this genre are responsible for more than 40% of all skin diseases in humans. Some of the most common examples of bacterial skin diseases include:

  • Acne vulgaris
  • Impetigo
  • Acne rosacea
  • Viral Skin Diseases Viral skin diseases, like the name suggests are caused by certain types of viruses. While these diseases may last for a short period of time, the symptoms can be a lot more severe and uncomfortable. Some of the most common example of viral skin diseases or rather viral infections that cause skin rashes include:

    • Chicken pox
    • Measles
    • Herpes (herpes simplex and herpes zoster)
    • Warts
    • Verrucas
    • Fungal Skin Diseases: The presence of microscopic fungi on the skin can lead to fungal infections in case there is an overgrowth. These diseases are not usually a cause for concern, but they could become a problem, if they are not controlled in time. Given below are some of the most common types of fungal skin diseases:

      • Tinea corporis, manus, pedis
      • Folliculitis
      • Boils and furuncles
      • Congenital Skin Diseases These are common types of skin diseases affecting people of all ages. They are usually caused by genetic or environmental factors. Given below are some of the most common types of congenital skin diseases:

        • Dermatitis
        • Psoriasis
        • Eczema

        While these are the most common types of skin diseases, there are others too. Skin cancer is an example of other types of diseases affecting the skin too.

        Symptoms of Skin Disease

        There are several different types of skin diseases that can affect you and the symptoms for each are different. In case of superficial skin disorders, the symptoms are usually visible and can be identified by sight. Given below are some of the most common symptoms for skin diseases:

        • Appearance of sores on the skin, which may ooze, rupture or crust over
        • Itchiness on the skin, which may increase in intensity during the night
        • Fluid-filled blisters appearing on the skin
        • Changes in the color of the skin
        • Tiny bumps or pustules
        • Blood vessels that seem visible on the cheeks and nose
        • Gritty or burning sensation in the eyes
        • Easy flushing of the skin
        • Eruption of small white spots with a bluish-white center, found mainly within the mouth, especially on the inner lining of the cheek
        • Patches that are brownish or grayish in color
        • Scaling or thickening of skin, with the formation of cracks in them
        • Rawness or increased sensitivity in the skin because of itching
        • Swelling on certain patches of skin
        • Bleeding from cracks and dry patches on the skin
        • Discoloration on the nails, fingertips and certain parts of the skin

        In many cases, skin diseases can trigger off symptoms that are not visible. There are several other signs and symptoms too that could accompany skin diseases, such as:

        • Stiffness in the joints
        • Fever, which could vary from moderate to high
        • Running nose
        • Dry cough
        • Soreness and irritation in the throat
        • Conjunctivitis or inflammation in the eyes
        • Increased sensitivity towards light

        Causes of Skin Disease

        Skin diseases are widely prevalent all over the world, even though most of them can be prevented. In many instances people suffer from skin diseases, because it runs in their family. However, many a times, skin diseases are a result of environmental factors. The causes for each type of skin disease could vary. Some of the common causes of skin diseases include:

        • Exposure to harmful chemicals that can damage the skin and lead to severe disease, such as skin cancer. You could be at a high risk of a skin disease, in case you deal with substances like coal, creosote, tar, arsenic, paraffin or radium on a regular basis.
        • Getting a cut, scrape or a wound on the surface of the skin. Bacteria can enter the body through these open lesions and can lead to an infection or a disease
        • Close contact with a person who already suffers from a skin disease and has open sores on the skin.
        • Sharing personal items, like food, utensils, clothes, linen, towels, combs and toys with an infected person, because of which the disease-causing germs spread

        There are several other day to day factors too, that could aggravate or even trigger off skin diseases, infections and disorders. These everyday factors include:

        • Consumption of hot food and beverages
        • Being under a tremendous amount of stress
        • Eating high amounts of spicy food
        • Engaging in unhealthy practices like smoking
        • Sitting in the hot sun for a long period of time and getting too much sunlight
        • Exercising strenuously for longer periods than is recommended
        • Spending too much time in saunas and hot tubs
        • Using certain drugs and medication, like corticosteroids
        • Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol

        Remedies for Skin Disease

        While most skin conditions are not a major concern, many people choose to undergo treatment, mainly because some of the symptoms are visible and lead to a significant amount of embarrassment. In case it is determined that the skin disease is not serious and does not need to be treated professionally, you could try to use home and natural remedies for treating the problem first. Given below are some of the common remedies for skin diseases:

        • Prepare a mixture using one teaspoon of milk powder, a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a teaspoon of honey and half a teaspoon of almond oil. After mixing all the ingredients thoroughly, apply them on to your face and leave them on for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse the skin with cool water and use a mild soap if necessary. This helps to reduce most of the symptoms and adds a natural glow to the skin
        • Take two tablespoons of unflavored yogurt and add an equal amount of plain oatmeal to it. Mix the ingredients together and then apply the mixture on to the affected parts of the skin. Keep this on for around 10 minutes or so and then rinse your skin with cold water. This also gets rid of the tan and lightens the skin
        • Apply some fresh Aloe Vera gel directly on to that part of the skin, where the symptoms are most evident. This gel don’t only soothes the skin, but is believed to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, which is why it helps to get rid of the problem at a faster pace
        • Follow a workout routine, where you get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Exercising is important not just for the body, but also for your skin. This is because it improves the circulation of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the skin, thereby improving its immunity and the way it functions.

        Diet for Skin Disease

        People have known for a while now that there is a correlation between dietary problems and skin deficiencies. However, clinical studies are still on to prove the exact effects and benefits that a diet can have on a skin disease. It is absolutely essential to follow a healthy and nutritious diet at all times, to reduce the risks of any health problems, including skin diseases.

        Make sure that your diet contains a high amount of fresh fruits and vegetables at all times, as these food items are loaded with vitamins and minerals and can therefore minimize the chances of suffering from a nutritional deficiency. Other food items that are also rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals include whole grains, nuts, seeds, dairy products, beans, legumes, cereals and lean meat.

        However, in many cases a skin disease could be caused by repeated food allergies and intolerance. Therefore, before adding any food to your diet, it is important to consult a doctor and get a go ahead.

        Suggestion for Skin Disease

        Skin diseases are not usually serious, but this does not mean that they can be just left unchecked and ignored. Patients suffering from skin diseases usually have difficulties in coping with the problem, especially when they are all alone. To make it easier for them, an effort should be made by the entire family to treat skin diseases and prevent them from recurring.

        Skin Disease - Frequently asked questions