5 Common Skin Conditions To Know

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By admin

Areas of the skin that are irritated, swollen, red, or painful may be affected by any one of the many common skin diseases and conditions that affect over 25% of the population in the United States. If your skin has developed notable symptoms or signs of a potential illness, it’s important to know what to look for to detect a skin disease and when to seek professional medical care. Read on to discover common treatable skin conditions that range from temporary to long-lasting in duration. 

1. Ringworm

Despite its name, ringworm is actually a skin infection caused by a fungus likely contracted from a contaminated person or surface, such as a blanket, towel, or article of clothing. One of the first signs of ringworm in patients is a peculiar red circle on skin surfaces. This ring-like circle may be itchy, red, painful, or flaky, and can appear as late as two weeks after initial exposure to the fungus that causes the infection. 

Ringworm is highly contagious but can be treated with a topical antifungal cream. In order to diagnose a ringworm infection, providers may perform a physical examination or gather a sample for further imaging tests. 

An untreated ringworm infection may be contagious for weeks, so it is important to avoid spreading the infection by seeking treatment and avoiding the sharing of towels, clothing, brushes, blankets, and other potentially contaminated items with others.

2. Psoriasis

Some of the symptoms of psoriasis look remarkably similar to other skin conditions, including red spots on the skin, dry patches, discoloration, rashes, or pustules. However, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that tends to relapse and enter periods of remission, flaring up for a few weeks at a time. 

Treatment options for psoriasis involve both topical ointments and internal medications, including steroids and vitamins. The goal of psoriasis treatments is to slow the growth of skin cells that cause the scaly appearance that is the hallmark of the disease. Treatment may also include stress reduction, as well as measures to ensure skin is hydrated and adequately nourished.

Psoriasis cannot be passed from one person to another, but there may be a genetic factor that triggers the condition. 

3. Eczema

Most commonly seen as a dry or red rash on the skin, eczema is a skin condition marked by inflammation and scaly patches, particularly on some regions of the body. 

This disease typically shows up in early childhood, and appears most often near the elbows, behind the knees, on the arms and on hands and feet. Because it is not an infection or a sign of poor hygiene, eczema is not considered contagious. 

Eczema can be incredibly irritating and itchy, so treatment aims to reduce swelling and irritation to inhibit scratching that may make the condition worse. Topical creams and ointments that include hydrocortisone are popular and come in varying degrees of strength depending on the severity of the condition. 

4. Contact Dermatitis

Skin that becomes red and itchy after coming into contact with a particular substance may have developed contact dermatitis. This condition is the result of exposure to a particular irritant or an allergic reaction to a substance such as fragrances, plants and flowers, soaps or lotions, and some cosmetics. Poison ivy rashes or nickel-made jewelry allergies are common forms of contact dermatitis. 

The most effective way to treat contact dermatitis is to avoid whatever irritant has caused the reaction. While the condition is present, however, it can be treated by washing the skin and applying soothing creams, cold compresses, or antihistamines to reduce inflammation and itching. 

5. Rosacea

The signs and symptoms of rosacea include red, flushed skin, visible blood vessels, and small bumps on the skin. Rosacea is thought to be caused by an overreaction of the immune system, as well as environmental and genetic factors. 

The condition can flare up after exposure to certain triggers, including in hot temperatures, during times of stress, after consuming certain beverages or spicy foods, and when exposed to the sun. 

Some medications exist that have been designed to constrict the blood vessels and reduce flushing, but treatment primarily consists of addressing the cause of the flare-up. Acne medications, topical ointments, antibiotics, and laser therapy are common treatments for rosacea symptoms.