Common Skin Conditions and How to Treat Them
Skin disorders can be a nightmare. It’s estimated by the American Academy of Dermatology that over 85 million Americans suffer from skin conditions, and that’s only what has been reported! When you think of skin conditions, you might recall the more common ones like acne, dry skin, oily skin, rashes, and fungus infections, but there are many more less-common ones to consider. The question is: Just how many more are there?
During the pandemic, when mask use is at an all time high, more and more people are dealing with blemishes caused from sweat accumulating in the area, furthering these skin problems because of the discomfort and anxiety that comes from having them in the first place!
The 9 Most Commonly Endured Skin Ailments
- Dry Skin/Oily Skin
It should go without saying that your skin is invaluable to you. We’re born with this most precious commodity, yet we often don’t know how to treat it or care for it beyond washing ourselves on a consistent basis. But how do we deal with skin conditions that just won't disappear on their own? It's this question, and the value of its answer, that has sent a billion dollar industry searching.
As a teenager, you were told that acne is temporary, the result of a surge of hormones as your body begins changing. Yet, as an adult, you’re still suffering from this frustrating condition, whether that’s due to ingrown hair follicles or unhealthy eating habits. You can usually treat acne with household items, such as honey, oatmeal, green tea, or even garlic. It’s important to be mindful, though, that these remedies might be better suited for people with more mild acne.
If your acne needs are more severe, ingredients that utilize salicylic acid as an active ingredient might better suit your needs. Salicylic acid works twofold, as a treatment for psoriasis and other dry skin conditions. So, if your acne is as a result of dry skin, this could be the perfect solution for you!
You may not know this, but some anti-dandruff shampoo is a treatment for ringworm, athlete’s foot, and other fungal infections growing on your skin. Cleaning your ringworm with a reputable brand of anti-dandruff shampoo will save you from this itchy and easily transmissible ailment, and it’ll be easier on your wallet compared to other treatment options!
Look for selenium sulfide as an active ingredient and apply the shampoo at least twice a day, then follow by rinsing with cold water. If your fungus persists despite these efforts, your doctor can prescribe oral medication to help you get rid of it once and for all.
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases reports that atopic dermatitis, or eczema as it’s commonly known, is a chronic condition that results in scaly, dry skin. The dry and itchy red patches that come with eczema can be incredibly uncomfortable to deal with, but there are many over-the-counter and DIY remedies for this common skin condition, ranging from lotion made specifically for eczema or oatmeal baths to soothe damaged skin. Medical professionals often recommend antihistamines, corticosteroids, and antibiotics to prevent flare-ups if you suffer from eczema consistently.
Dry skin can be caused from any number of things, such as cold weather, washing your hands too frequently, having an aptitude for flaky skin, viral infections like pityriasis rosea, and many other reasons. Much like with eczema, oatmeal is a commonly used treatment as an additive for baths, lotion, and topically when combined with water, but products rich in antioxidants will also help your skin much needed moisture.
Oily skin is a similar, but different issue. Most oily skin sufferers know that acne can often accompany this issue, and should stay away from sunglasses, hats, goggles, and hairbands that touch the skin and can retain unwanted moisture. A night-time routine that includes exfoliating products is probably your best bet here, but there are a number of home ingredients like almonds, lemons, yogurt, and aloe that can help treat greasy skin and leave you feeling confident and ready to embrace the sun again!
Melanoma is becoming more common and is an incredibly serious skin cancer. If you notice that a mole or patch of skin has changed, follow the ABCDE’s (asymmetry, border, color, diameter, or evolving) to determine whether you need to contact your doctor immediately!
Women commonly find melanoma on their legs, whereas men commonly find it on their backs. People with lighter skin tones, as well as people who have had serious sunburns, suffer from melanoma more frequently, but everyone can be impacted by this condition, and there is no home treatment. The best thing you can do is have it inspected, removed, and monitored by a professional.
Blisters show up in numerous forms and for various reasons, whether it’s as a result of coming in contact with a wet or coarse surface that literally rubs you the wrong way, or more permanent forms like cold sores and the human papillomavirus (HPV). Most blisters will go away on their own, but you should never pop them! Popping a blister could lead to infection and make the vulnerable skin more difficult to manage. To speed your blister care along, you can apply petroleum jelly and a bandage to it to protect the skin while it heals!
Hives are the immune system's response to an allergic reaction. If you come into contact with an animal you don’t know you're allergic to, or if your skin touches a surface, plant, or chemical, you’ll experience like-symptoms as if you had just had a brush with poison ivy. For quick treatment, wash the area as thoroughly as possible. If any further help is required, use antihistamines or contact a dermatologist. Identifying what triggered your hives will help you avoid any further outbreaks!
Warts are absolute monstrosities. Luckily though, treatments for warts have only improved as more studies are done around the topic. Professional treatment includes electrosurgery (burning the skin), curettage (removal with scalpel), and laser surgery (destroy the tissue with light); or, you can always purchase over-the-counter solutions, like patches and freeze-away wart remover.
Understanding Melasma is no simple task, especially since no one wants dark patches forming or staying on their skin! Fortunately, it can clear on its own, without treatment, but this solution takes time to really work. Skin lightening creams that contain glycolic acid can help remove these unwanted skin patches and lighten them with repeated application. Additionally, using a moisturizer with sunscreen in the morning can help prevent any future Malasma spots from forming.
Skin conditions shouldn’t be something you need to deal with regularly, and identifying common factors of these disorders will allow you to reclaim your clear, comfortable skin. Over-the-counter solutions and DIY remedies only do so much though and cannot possibly take the place of any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, so if after reading this you’d like to know more, contact a dermatologist to speak about next steps!