What is skin disease? Symptoms, causes and prevention

Skin disease refers to skin disorders, which considerably vary in nature and severity. Skin disease can be temporary or permanent, can occur at any age for a number of reasons, and can present certain symptoms which sometimes may include pain. While some skin disorders are minor, they may sometimes indicate a more serious health condition. Furthermore, chronic conditions can affect a person’s lifestyle whether there is an underlying health issue or not, as symptoms can be visually and/or physically distressing for the person experiencing them. This guide will explore the most common skin diseases, highlighting the causes, symptoms, and prevention/treatments available.

What is skin disease?

Skin disease refers to disorders affecting the skin. These can include:

  • Contact dermatitis: red, itchy rash caused by external factors for instance contact with substances the skin is allergic to.
  • Acne: red pimples caused by inflamed and/or infected sebaceous glands.
  • Hives (urticaria): an itchy rash of round, red bumps and/or welts.
  • Warts: a small, hard growth caused by a virus.
  • Cold sores: an inflamed blister in or near the mouth, caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus.
  • Keratosis pilaris: tiny bumps and dry/rough skin patches.
  • Atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema):
  • Rosacea: redness and visible blood vessel on the face. It can also cause small, red, pus-filled bumps.
  • Psoriasis: scaly, itchy, crusty patches of skin covered in silvery scales.
  • Vitiligo: pale white patches of skin.

What are the symptoms of skin disease?

Symptoms of skin disease vary depending on the condition experienced. However, the most common symptoms of skin disorders include the following:

  • Red or white bumps
  • Rashes
  • Peeling
  • Scaly / rough skin
  • Ulcers
  • Flushing
  • Open sores / lesions
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Moles that change colour and/or size
  • Skin pigmentation or loss of pigment

What are the causes of skin disease?

Skin disorders can occur due to a number of reasons. These include:

Microorganisms, parasites and viruses Bacteria trapped in pores, Bacteria trapped in hair follicles, Fungus, Parasites, Viruses.
External factors Allergens and irritants
Health conditions Illnesses affecting the thyroid, Illnesses affecting the immune system, Illnesses affecting the kidneys, Diabetes, Inflammatory bowel disease, Lupus.
Lifestyle Stress and sun exposure
Other Pregnancy and genetic factors

How to prevent and treat skin disease

Skin problems aren’t always preventable, particularly when they are caused by medical conditions or genetics. However, the following lifestyle changes can help:

  • Using moisturiser
  • Gently washing face and body every day
  • Avoiding dietary allergens
  • Avoiding environmental allergens, irritants or harsh chemicals
  • Protecting the skin from extreme weather
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet

Skin disorders do still occur despite taking prevention measures and may require the attention of your GP in order to be diagnosed and treated accordingly. Common treatment methods include:

  • Medicated creams, makeup, and ointments
  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Laser therapy
  • Dietary changes
  • Hygiene routine changes

It is important to note that some skin conditions can subside without treatment whilst others may be resistant to treatment. Therefore, skin disease can be difficult to treat. It can also be difficult to keep a skin disorder at bay in the long term, as skin problems may reappear due to the person’s triggers and sensitivities or the nature of the underlying problem.

How long does it take to recover from skin disease?

This depends on the type of condition you are experiencing. It may take a few weeks to a few months for the condition to improve and it may take a while to find the correct treatment to effectively treat your condition.

Some skin conditions cannot be cured. However, there are a number of treatments that may alleviate the condition and allow the person to live a normal life.

How can I keep my skin healthy naturally?

Looking after your skin is important to avoid certain conditions and unwanted problems that could have been avoided by keeping a healthy skin routine. The following may help to maintain healthy skin naturally:

  • Wash regularly: make sure you use mild cleansers to avoid skin irritation, and avoid a water temperature that is too hot.
  • Use sunscreen: you can help avoid premature ageing and dark spots by wearing sunscreen daily on all areas of your body that aren’t covered. Also, make sure you avoid sunbeds as these cause skin damage through harmful UV radiation.
  • Drink plenty of water: this will help avoid dry skin.
  • Reduce stress: various conditions flare up due to stress, so make sure you take some time to relax and reduce your stress levels.
  • Don’t smoke: smoking contributes to premature ageing of the skin including wrinkling and dry skin. It can also give your skin an uneven tone and stain your fingers yellow.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Include at least 5 portions a day of a variety of vegetables and fruit.

How can a health assessment help me improve the health of my skin?

Our comprehensive Nutritional Therapy Plan provides you with key readings pertaining to your body’s vitamin and nutritional status. This will help ascertain whether your diet is right for you and is providing the nutrients needed for healthy, glowing skin. The test comes with nutrition coaching to help you make the right changes for you, which can help both your skin and general health in the long term.

The health check itself consists of an in-depth, face-to-face appointment with a Health Assessment Specialist, which you can easily book online at one of over 2,000 mobile clinics available nationwide. You will receive a wide array of other key health markers and a detailed results report sent through the post.