Common Skin Disorders

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Skin is, without a doubt, the most sensitive and vulnerable organs of the body. Though most skin disorders are rarely life threatening, they can be uncomfortable and the cause of chronic disability. Many skin disorders will require clinical care, while others can be treated with over the counter products. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common skin disorders and problems.

Acne - what is acne? - It is a chronic disorder affecting the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The most common of all skin disorders, acne usually begins at puberty, when hormones called androgens increase the production of oil. When hair follicles are blocked by dead skin cells, dried oil or bacteria, bacteria grows in the plugged hair follicles causing inflammation. Mild cases, usually seen on the face, can be treated with over the counter products, but more severe cases, found on the face, chest, shoulders and back, and can appear as black-heads, pus-filled lesions or nodules, should be treated by a dermatologist.

Calluses are protective extra layers of skin that form when an area is constantly rubbed, while corns are small calluses that form on the top of the toes due to pressure or rubbing from shoes or other toes. While calluses are usually painless and can be eliminated by using a pumice stone, corns can be quite painful and can be treated by applying pads around the affected area or wearing more comfortable shoes.

Dry skin is usually characterized by itching and irritated skin. Seen most frequently in the winter in areas where the weather is very cold and dry, dry skin is very easy to treat, by avoiding harsh soaps and using a good moisturizer. It is important to protect dry skin because, if left untreated, can develop into xerotic eczema.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by red, inflamed, raised areas of the skin that often develop as scales on the lower back, knees, elbows and scalp. It is thought to be caused by fast growing and shedding skin cells. This disorder is not contagious, although it is hereditary. Psoriasis can be treated with a variety of creams, light exposure, or other medicaments under the direction of a dermatologist.

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