The skin is a delicate and sensitive organ that can be affected by our diet, aging process and even emotions. When little care is given to the skin, it becomes susceptible to a wide range of diseases and health conditions that can damage its structure or alter its color and texture. Nonetheless, not all of these diseases or health condition stems from negligence or lack of hygiene. Some are known to be caused of hormone changes or genetics. Regardless, we’ve pick 10 of these conditions are considered common.
Birthmarks are among the most common of skin irregularities. They appear on the body shortly after birth and can occur anywhere on the skin including arms, back and face. Birthmarks vary in shape, texture and color. Some could be flat or while others raised. The color of birthmarks may range from shades of brown, red, pink, black, pale blue or purple.
There are two known types of birthmarks:
- Vascular birthmarks: red or purple in color. They are often raised and sometimes confused with tumor.
- Pigmented birthmarks: brown or dark in color and flat in appearance.
There are no medical explanations of why birthmarks appear in infants. However, birthmarks generally pose no health risks and most of them shrink and disappear overtime. Nonetheless, some birthmarks can be associated with other health conditions. In this case, it’s highly recommended to seek a medical advice to determine the cause of such association.
7. Skin bruises
A bruise is skin injury that occurs when the blood vessels under the skin rupture due to a blunt trauma, causing the blood to leak into the skin tissues. Bruises often appear as black or purple marks on the injury site that are results of skin discoloration caused by red blood cells. Most bruises are harmless and will vanish on their own along with the skin discoloration.
Sunburn is reddening of the skin caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light waves emitted from the sun or other sources. Besides reddening of the skin color, sunburn also makes it sore, tender and occasionally itchy for about a week. The skin type is the main factor that determines susceptibility to sunburns. In general, people with lighter skin tone have a greater risk of sunburn. Age also affects how skin reacts to sun: the skin of children younger than 6 and adults older than 60 is more sensitive to sunlight.
5. Tinea versicolor (Fungal infection)
Some fungal infections such as tinea versicolor are known to cause skin discoloration due to a yeast that lives on the skin and become increasingly active with heat and sweat. The infection results in the appearance of patches on the skin of lighter and sometimes darker color. This condition is very benign and easily treated, yet it has a high recurrence rate over time.
Known as Malassezia, the yeast causing Tinea versicolor commonly lives on the skin residing in the oilier areas of the body such as the back, chest and shoulders and proliferates due to heat and sweating and becomes activated. It is believed that the malassezia produces patches of light skin by producing a substance known as azelaic acid which inactivates the pigment producing cells in the skin. The end result is patches of lighter skin residing next to skin of the normal color.
One of the widely common skin conditions, vitiligo is a genetic disorder in which a loss of pigment causes the skin to appear white or significantly lighter than the skin surrounding it. The condition may also affect mucous membranes and the retina of the eye. The hair that grows in areas affected by vitiligo might also turn white. Vitiligo may affects people of any age or ethnicity, more than half of those affected develop it before the age of 20.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that takes form on the skin as dark patches, similar to moles, appearing on any part of the body including face, chest and back. The cancer starts in melanocytes cells that produce melanin which is the pigment that gives our skin and eyes their color. Melanoma is considered the most serious of all skin cancers. If left untreated, it might spread to other parts of the body causing serious and potentially life threatening complications.
Among the risk factors that contribute to the disease is possessing a light skin tone and being exposed to sunlight in prolonged periods with little or no protection. If diagnosed in early staged, melanoma can be treated via surgical removal of the tumor or chemotherapy.
Psoriasis is abnormal chronic skin disorder that causes skin cells to grow rapidly, resulting in the formation of thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin on certain parts of the body. Naturally, skin cells grow and die off and become replaced with new cells every 4 weeks. But in psoriasis, new skin cells grow very fast and move to the surface of the skin in a matter of days rather than weeks. After building up, and new skin form thick patches called plaques. The patches range in size from small to large. They most often appear on the elbows, scalp, hands, knees, feet, or lower back.
Psoriasis is most common in people between the age 15 and 35. It often causes patients to feel embarrassed to expose their affected body parts to others. There is no cure for psoriasis yet, however, there are a variety of medicines and traditional treatments including creams, vitamins and even tropical plants that can relieve the disease’s symptoms and keep it under control.
Melasma is a skin discoloration described as brown or gray patches that appear on the facial skin of women. The disorder is common in women during their reproductive years; between the age 20 and 50 years. Melasma can be triggered by external factors such as exposure to sun or chemical substances or internal such as changes in the hormone level which often occurs during pregnancy.
A large percent of the individuals with melasma are those with darker or olive skin, such as Hispanic, Asian and Middle Eastern. Except the discoloration, Melasma is has no other additional symptoms. However, it causes the patient to feel self-cautious about their facial appearance. In most cases, Melasma fades on its own, nonetheless, a variety of treatments and supplements are available to accelerate the process including antioxidant supplements, skin whitening creams as well as laser surgeries.