Skin problems come in various forms and degrees. Some are temporary, while others persist. Learn when medical help is necessary. Here is your ultimate guide.
A little itch there. A little scratch here. More scratches upward, then downward. That is normal. That is, until those scratches become wounds. Then, these wounds can get infected. That is when the problem begins.
Skin itchiness or pruritus may seem harmless at first. This condition is usually caused by dry skin or insect bites, and it can be temporary or prolonged. Moreover, the itching can range from mild to severe. Depending on the situation, skin itchiness could be treated at home or may require medical attention.
There are different kinds of skin itchiness and their causes. But just how prevalent are they? Here are some figures:
- Xerosis – Out of 5,547 middle-aged participants tested in one study, 60 percent had dry skin.
- Eczema – It affects 15 to 20 percent of children and 1 to 3 percent of adults.
- Psoriasis – 100 million individuals worldwide suffer from this condition.
- Scabies – 200 million people are infected all over the world.
- Urticaria – This condition affects 1 to 14.5 percent of children and 0.5 to 5 percent of adults.
While some skin problems could be temporary, some are more persistent. Therefore, what are the conditions that warrant immediate medical attention from your dermatologist?
Chronic mouth ulcers
These are also called canker sores. They are caused by the loss of the mucous membrane. These mouth ulcers are usually harmless and disappear within 10 to 14 days. If they have not disappeared after this period, then you need to set an appointment with your dermatologist.
Changes in moles and skin growths
Moles are skin growths that are either black or brown. They usually grow in clusters and spread anywhere in the body. Skin tags, on the other hand, are benign growths common among older people. They are often found in skin folds, like the groins and armpits. They have the same color as your skin. Pregnant women could have them due to hormonal changes.
Moles and skin tags are extremely common and mostly harmless. However, if you note any changes in their color and size, then you need to consult your skin doctor as soon as you can.
A wound that doesn’t heal
Have you noticed a wound that is taking too long to heal? Wounds normally heal within a week. But if two weeks or a month have passed and they don’t show any sign of healing, then it is a cause for worry.
Adolescents usually experience acne growth due to the following reasons:
- hormonal changes
- active oil glands
- poor hygiene
- unhealthy diet
- environmental factors
Ordinary blackheads and pimples are treated through over-the-counter prescriptions. However, persistent acne needs thorough examination due to the accompanying pus. They also leave deep scars, causing permanent damage to the skin. These are reasons enough to see your dermatologist immediately.
Extremely dehydrated skin
Serious skin dryness is either due to changes in the weather or other underlying skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Extremely dry skin manifests the following symptoms: redness, scaly patches, extreme pain, fine lines, cracks, flaking, or peeling. If you observe these symptoms, then your skin doctor needs to perform an extensive examination.
Skin cancer diagnosis
This is done to diagnose a type of skin cancer called melanoma. The earlier it is diagnosed, the higher the chance of healing. Avoiding prolonged exposure to UV rays and using sunscreen can counter this type of cancer.
Any changes in your skin, like abnormal growth, color, and shape, should be quickly reported to your dermatologist.
Perspiring is our body’s way of cooling and detoxifying. Strenuous exercises, such as jogging, running, and biking, lead to excessive sweating. However, if you sweat even under normal conditions, then raising this concern to your dermatologist would be beneficial.
Profuse sweating is found to be caused by hyperhidrosis, thyroid problems, and diabetes.
Unexplained hair loss
People usually shed hair between 50 and 100 strands per day. If bald patches are appearing or your hair is thinning for no obvious reason, then consulting a skin doctor could save the day. Modern dermatological treatments are winning the war against baldness and hair loss.
However, not all unexplained hair loss is a cause for alarm. Postpartum causes hormonal changes leading to hair loss.
Sudden changes in your fingernails
Bacteria, fungus, yeast, and viruses cause nail infections. Check your fingernails for any sign of discoloration, itching, pus, warts, flakiness, or brittleness. They are indicative of psoriatic arthritis or iron deficiency.
Unsightly varicose veins and spiders
Varicose veins are bulging veins on your legs or other parts of your body. Tiny veins, on the other hand, are called spiders. Both are classified as harmless and benign. However, if you experience pain, the dermatologist could help you manage it. Persistent pain could mean serious circulatory problems.
Different skin problems require specific treatments. Your dermatologist is the best person who could recommend the best options. Therefore, visiting a professional and experienced skin doctor is a must before a skin problem gets worse.