Did you know that the skin is the largest organ in our body? Some even claim Skin to be the third kidney. That would explain why our skin is a window to our health. Our skin is like a large canvas on which our body expresses itself in various forms.
Soft, glowing, beautiful skin is only the side effect of a maintaining a healthy body. And skin ridden with blotches, pimples and blemishes is only a reflection of poor nutrition and hormonal imbalances.
There are hundreds of ways in which the body expresses itself through the skin. Some skin conditions could be clearly avoided if we kept an eye out, for ourselves.
Some Common Skin Conditions to watch out for:
Most people think that Acne woes are something to do with puberty and teenage phase, but ain’t always the case. At that age, acne showed up due to all the raging hormones. Besides hormones but there-there are other factors that could trigger the body into crazy-acne-mode.
Going by the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is one the most skin condition across the United States (1). Tens of millions of Americans of all ages experience acne breakouts. Acne vulgaris, quite aptly, is the term used by the professionals to describe the condition. While there are various forms of acne, from black & white heads to inflaming pustules, all of these could be nipped in the bud if one just paid attention. There are two main forms in which Acne presents itself:
Non-Inflammatory: These could be either open or closed blackhead and whiteheads caused by debris that clogs the pores of the skin.
Inflammatory: These could be closed lesions also called papules or papules that rupture which is also known as pustules. Alternatively, they could be nodules that erupt below the surface of the skin. These leave behind the worst scarring.
Acne typically affects the parts of our body that are closely packed with oil-producing glands, such as the face, upper chest and back. These glands are associated with hair follicles. They release oil aka fatty substances on to the surface of the skin through hair follicles. Acne is the result of oily skin, hormone fluctuations, poor diet and bacterial infections (2). The best way to stay clear of acne would be watching your diet, stay hydrated and keep your skin squeaky clean.
2. Actinic Keratosis:
Have you noticed crusty, scaly warts on your skin? The docs refer to these warts as Actinic Keratosis or AK in short. It is believed that recurring exposure to UV or ultraviolet radiation and tanning beds are the main cause for Actinic Keratosis. These are usually found on the lips, ears, back of the hands, forearms, neck, scalp and face.
This is one such condition where you feel it before you see it. Way before there are any changes in the way the skin looks you will be able to feel a sandpaper texture over the region. Over time, when it gets worse, you see that the skin near the lesion has pigmentation alterations. At times it becomes yellow or pale in colour, with some areas becoming darker, having deep wrinkles and a coarse, dry texture.
This is one skin condition you really need to keep your eyes open for because these warts are at times precursors to cancer (3). So make sure you feel yourself up just to be on the safer side!
Eczema is a term used to describe a range of skin ailments. The symptoms usually inflamed, rough, red and itchy skin which usually results in blisters.
Over 10% of the population of the United States has some form of eczema (4). A few of us are able to outgrow this condition as children while some retain the condition through adulthood. Eczema is more frequently seen in kids as opposed to adults and symptoms vary with the age. One common symptom of the various forms of eczema is recurring skin itching.
Eczema could be at times be the body’s response to foods such as nuts or dairy products (5). Eczema could also be triggered by other factors such as smoke or pollen. The next time you have recurring bouts of itching, remember that it could be more than just an itch.
4. Non-Cancerous Skin Growths –
More often than not we have tiny little growths on our skin which serve no purpose at all. These are referred to as non-cancerous skin growths or benign tumours. They are quite harmless on when they are not pressing against vital structures such as blood vessels or nerves. And depending on where they occur they at times need treatment and sometimes don’t.
There are a number of coinciding factors that contribute to such growths such as:
- Toxins present in the environment,
- Exposure to radiation
- Bad-luck Genetics
- Diet and lifestyle practices
- Physical, mental or emotional stress
- Local trauma or injury
- Skin infections
Either way, it is best to make sure these are checked by a physician at the earliest stage. In all such cases, one must keep in mind that ignorance isn’t bliss.
5. Hair and Nail Disorders
Our hair and nails do not have a mind of their own, they are very much a part of our skin. Both these keratin based skin appendages hold a number of clues to our health and well being. Strong, thick, lustrous hair and healthy nails are only a by-product of a healthy physical body.
Hair may thin or fall out, break off or just grow slow. Besides just the hair itself changing form, there are times when the scalp may have itching or flaky dandruff. All these are little signals that we need to pay attention to in order to keep ourselves fit as a fiddle.
Always watch out for tiny changes in the colour, shape of nails. These minor charges are usually indicative of problems related to various organ systems. Like for example, changes in the colour of the nails is indicative of problems related to the liver and kidney. Nails at times also show abnormalities in shape or structural problems such as ingrown toenails or warts.
Keeping our hair and nails dry, clean and well groomed is the best way to avoid most of these issues.
So make sure to keep your mirror close and your hands busy just so that you are able to nip these little issues in the bud.
Disclaimer: The above article is sponsored by Thyrve, the world’s first Gut Health Program that incorporates microbiome testing and personalized probiotics to ensure a healthier gut, happier life, and a brighter future.
3. Actinic Damage https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20467391