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A Comprehensive Overview Of Different Skin Ailments

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You might not be aware of this, but your skin is your body’s largest organ. It functions as a protective barrier against environmental hazards. However, it is susceptible to various ailments.

Understanding the different skin ailments is the first step toward proper diagnosis and treatment. This comprehensive overview will explore different skin ailments, their causes, symptoms, and treatments.


Most of you have probably encountered acne during your teenage years. This is because your hair follicles are expanding to match your growth rate during this time. However, acne is one of the most common skin ailments affecting people at any age. As mentioned above, it occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. It is most prominent when you undergo hormone changes, have a fatty diet, or experience high levels of stress.

The main symptoms of acne can include:

  • whiteheads
  • blackheads- pimples
  • nodules
  • cysts

You may experience all of these symptoms at the same time, or you can only adopt a couple of these symptoms. Acne mostly appears on the face and back, yet it can also appear all over your body. Treatments for any stage of acne can include over-the-counter creams and gels, antibiotics, and in severe cases, isotretinoin.

Photo by Eric Vieira


Most medical professionals are still stumped by the skin ailment known as eczema. This is because the term eczema is used to describe a group of conditions that cause your skin to turn red itchy or inflamed. In most cases, you will experience all three symptoms at once.

Where it appears on your body seems to be random as the exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it is thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to an irritant. To discover if you actually have eczema, you can have an assessment at The Independent Pharmacy. If you are diagnosed with this particular skin ailment, treatment includes moisturizing creams, prescription medications, and light therapy.


Psoriasis is a little different from most other skin ailments as it is an auto-immune disease. This means that it is caused by an overactive immune system that attacks your skin cells by mistake. As such, you will only contract psoriasis if you are genetically predisposed to the disorder.

Although psoriasis is quite different in origin from other ailments like eczema, the symptoms can be quite similar. This is because the most common symptoms include red patches covered with thick, silvery scales, dry and cracked skin, and itching or burning. Of course, the scales are a direct indicator that you have psoriasis instead of another skin ailment. If you find that you do have this auto-immune disease, then you should treat it with topical creams, light therapy, and medications to suppress the immune system.


Another skin ailment that is familiar to most adults is hives. These are red and itchy welts that occur because of a skin reaction. Like acne, this reaction could be a result of stress, medication, or diet. However, a lot of those who suffer from hives do so because of an allergic reaction to a substance.

The welts you experience as a result of hives can vary in size and shape. They can also appear on any part of your skin. You can treat these hives with either antihistamines, anti-inflammatory medications, or avoiding triggers. Your treatment will all depend on what brings out your hives.


Vitiligo is a skin ailment that causes a loss of your skin’s colour and it appears in blotches. The main cause of this illness is that the cells which produce melanin in your body die or stop functioning. The reason why these cells die like this is not known; however, the leading theory is that vitiligo is another form of autoimmune disease.

The symptoms of blotchy colourless skin will first appear in places that receive exposure to sunlight. Although, vitiligo symptoms can appear anywhere on the body. While vitiligo is a painless skin ailment, you can seek treatment. These treatment options include light therapy, medications, and sometimes surgery to even out skin tone.

Photo by Hanen BOUBAHRI


Melanoma is quite a serious illness that should be viewed as more than just an average skin ailment. That is because melanoma is known as a form of skin cancer. It occurs because of a mutation in the skin cells that produce melanin usually because they have been exposed to intense UV rays. The first sign of this type of melanoma presents itself in sunburn. Once the sunburn fades or heals, inspect your body for any new moles or previous moles that have become misshapen.

The reason for this inspection is that melanoma manifests as a new or changing mole. Important signs include asymmetry, border irregularity, colour changes, diameter enlargement, and evolution of a mole’s characteristics. The main treatments for melanoma are identical to that of cancer. Your options will change based on the severity and can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy.


Not all skin ailments are caused by your body’s behaviour. Some can be caught and passed onto others in the form of a virus. For example, shingles are a viral infection that causes a painful rash.

The main symptoms of this illness include a red rash with blisters, itching, and pain. While these symptoms may seem normal for a skin condition, shingles are often accompanied by a fever. Treatment includes antiviral medications, pain relief, and sometimes corticosteroids.

Contact Dermatitis

You can also contract some skin ailments by touching various substances. For instance, contact dermatitis is an allergic or irritant reaction that causes a noticeable skin rash. It is triggered by contact with substances such as:

  • Cleaning detergents
  • Bleach
  • Cosmetics
  • Poison ivy
  • Nickel

You will know if you are experiencing contact dermatitis as the symptoms include redness on the skin, itching, swelling, and sometimes blisters. You can stop experiencing contact dermatitis by identifying and avoiding the substances that trigger your condition.  You can also treat contact dermatitis with soothing creams and by taking anti-inflammatory medications.


While shingles are a skin ailment that is passed on through a virus, cellulitis is a potentially serious bacterial skin infection affecting deeper layers of the skin. It is very common in young children and is usually caused by Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria entering through a break in the skin.

Like most bacterial infections, you may encounter cold or fever-like symptoms if you are infected with cellulitis. However, it presents itself on the skin with redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. Fortunately, treatment for cellulitis is common and easy to obtain. This is because you can treat it with oral antibiotics. Although some severe cases may require the use of intravenous antibiotics.


Skin ailments can range from minor irritations to severe conditions requiring immediate medical attention. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of various skin disorders is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment. Regular skin exams and consultations with a healthcare professional are essential for maintaining skin health and effectively managing skin conditions. Additionally, leading a healthy lifestyle and taking preventive measures such as using sunscreen can play a significant role in safeguarding your skin.

Information sourced by the author for All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only.

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