Skin changes you should never ignore
Most probably, you might have experienced some issues with your skin over the years. It might be acne or dry skin. But did you know that your skin can tell you a lot about your health? At times, it can alert us to potentially serious illnesses like lupus, diabetes etc.
Suppose you start itching all over: the line-up of suspects ranges from dry air to kidney failure (and the former is more likely). It is always smart to ask a skin doctor about anything out of the ordinary. Spare yourself unnecessary anxiety, do not jump to the scariest conclusion right off the bat.
Here are some skin changes you should never ignore.
- Sensitive skin, chronic dryness and rashes
Many conditions can produce reactions in the skin, from allergies to atopic dermatitis (eczema) to HIV infection. Common triggers for a sensitive skin reaction comprise heat, cold, stress, sun exposure, pollution, wind, chemicals and fragrances like those in your lotion or laundry detergent. Did you notice recurrent sensitive skin, rashes or dryness? Visit your doctor to determine the cause.
- Dry, itchy plaques
Psoriasis occurs when your body produces too many new skin cells before the older cells have shed off. This causes raised, red, scaly and itchy patches. It can be mild or severe. But sometimes psoriasis is associated with psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include pain in the joints, either on one side only or all over, swelling in the joints and back and foot pain. Do you have psoriasis and started to have an unexplained joint or back pain? Talk to your doctor to understand if it is psoriatic arthritis.
- Butterfly rash
This rash across the nose and cheeks is a tell-tale sign of lupus. It is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks the organs and other body tissues. Did you notice this rash? Talk with your doctor, especially if you have other lupus symptoms, such as joint pain, photosensitivity, fever, dry eyes and headaches.
- Itchy bumps and blisters
Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a chronic skin condition that manifests as a result of celiac disease. You might have it if you keep getting penetratingly itchy clusters of bumps and blisters on your elbows, forearms, knees or buttocks. You should not let DH go unconfirmed and uncontrolled. A doctor can take a skin biopsy to check for tell-tale antibodies.
- Thicker palms
Do your palms become thick and velvety? And their lines and ridges become extra pronounced? It is probable you have tripe palms. This name is because of the sufferer’s hands’ resemblance to boiled beef tripe.
- Yellow skin
Yellowing of the skin and eyes is common among new-born babies, where it usually means that their liver isn’t doing its job optimally yet. But among adults, the most common causes of jaundice include liver disease (such as hepatitis or cirrhosis), a gallstone or tumour blocking the bile duct or a drug – or supplement induced liver injury. Don’t delay a visit to your doctor.
- Skin patches
Acanthosis nigricans refers to thick, dark velvety skin patches and often show up in places where your skin creases, such as your neck or armpits. They could be benign or caused by something you’re taking, such as high doses of niacin, but they are more frequently a sign of insulin resistance. In short, you might be at risk of diabetes. Acanthosis nigricans is one of the most common ways that diabetes and prediabetes manifest on the skin. Others are:
- Brown spots on the shins
- Yellowish, pea sized bumps on the body
- Thick, tight skin on the fingers, hands and toes
- Sores that are slow to heal
This can be a pointer or complication of diabetes, resulting from high or fluctuating blood glucose levels. You might also notice fungal infections and tan or brown areas on the neck, under your arms or inside the creases of your elbows and knees. See your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms so you can be evaluated for diabetes or discuss changes to your diabetes treatment.
- Bluish tinge to your skin
If your skin has a bluish or purplish colour, it can indicate a problem with circulation, meaning not enough oxygen-rich blood is reaching your skin. This can be the consequence of a heart or lung disease. This must be assessed by a doctor. If you or anyone else is blue in the face or lips, this is a medical emergency, particularly if it is accompanied by difficulty in breathing or chest pain. Visit the nearest skin clinic if you see these sudden symptoms.
Do you have sensitive skin? You should consult a skin doctor. He or she can assess your case history and diagnose your skin condition. Thus, a tailored homeopathic treatment plan can be proposed. You need not worry at all as homeopathy comes with absolutely no side-effects!