5 Common Skin Conditions and How to Treat Them

woman with itchy rash on her arm

Our skin is a big part of our first impression of the world.

While we all know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and beauty is only skin deep, so many of us put a great deal of pride into how we present ourselves each day. Some of us wear makeup, others do not. Some have tattoos, others avoid them completely.

Yet it’s the choices we cannot make for ourselves that often make us the most self-conscious. There are hundreds of skin conditions that affect millions of people every day. Many of them are life-long afflictions, but the others will clear up on their own or with the help of an over-the-counter medication. In this article, we’ll discuss a few skin conditions you may run into in your own life.

Here Are 5 Common Skin Conditions and How to Treat Them

  1. Acne

This well-known skin condition is common among teenagers whose hormones are changing rapidly. Recently, however, cases of adult acne have been on the rise. This is most likely caused by high levels of stress, eating processed and sugary foods, and not drinking enough water. While this temporary skin condition can be treated with many over-the-counter ointments, there are many levels of prescription drugs that may also be used depending on the severity of the case.

  1. Dermatitis

This is one of those words that gets thrown around without much specificity. Dermatitis is the general term for “inflammation of the skin” and includes everything from diaper rash to the redness that comes along with varicose veins in your legs. For most of us, dermatitis happens when we come in contact with a skin irritant such as chemicals, allergens, or itchy fibers.

Unfortunately, many forms of dermatitis now are caused by chemicals in soaps, laundry detergents, and body washes. This makes diagnosis difficult and treatment even more difficult. Options for treatment are based on severity and range anywhere from eliminating the allergen, to antihistamines, or in some cases, steroid creams and antibiotics.

  1. Hives

If you find yourself with red, itchy, raised skin, you might have hives. Often caused by an allergy to something in your environment, hives affect about a quarter of the population at some point in their lives. A treatment of antihistamines should knock out the rash, but for many, the original cause is often unknown. With causes ranging from stress to food allergies, to a side-effect of insomnia, it’s no wonder this skin condition is so common.

  1. Warts

This incredibly common skin condition appears most often on joints, hands, and feet. Caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), warts are contagious. One more reason to wear flip-flops at the pool in the summer. While warts should eventually go away on their own, in some instances it could take more than a year.

  1. Moles

Moles appear and disappear throughout life. Most are harmless and are caused by bunching skin cells. If you notice a new mole, it’s important to keep an eye on it. If it gets to be an irregular shape, size, or color, have it checked immediately by a medical professional.

Moles that have ragged edges or seem otherwise abnormal, could be melanoma, or skin cancer. While skin cancer can be treated, it must be caught and treated early.

No matter what your skin condition may be, do what you can to decipher the cause as quickly as possible.

Your body is communicating with you and warning you that something is off balance. While treatment may be as easy as a change in diet, it may be much more severe. Always look to a medical professional to help diagnose any skin condition that does not get better.

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*Originally published on May 8, 2019

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