Eighty-five million Americans have skin disorders according to a 2017 study from the American Academy of Dermatology. Most issues are minor, but there are a few serious skin conditions that require immediate treatment.
These are nine of the most common skin problems.
9 Common Skin Disorders
From minor annoyances to deadly diseases, keep an eye out for any changes in your skin that could indicate a common skin disorder.
Fifty-million Americans are affected by acne annually, making it the most common skin condition in the U.S. Acne often appears on the face, neck, shoulders, chest and upper back. Breakouts occur when pores become clogged and inflamed by oil and dead skin buildup. Acne materializes during puberty and can last well into middle age.
#2 Cold Sores
More than half of Americans between the age of 14 and 49 carry the highly contagious herpes simplex virus (HSV), which is the most common cause of cold sores. Cold sores appear as a cluster of blisters on the lip or mouth, are not serious and tend to clear within two weeks. HSV carriers should avoid contact with others during a cold sore breakout.
Hives are a result of an allergic reaction. They often appear as itchy welts on the skin and can be as small as a pen tip or as large as a dinner plate. A hive typically disappears within 24 hours, though a bout can last close to six weeks. Antihistamines and skin creams can be used to ease any itchiness people experience.
Approximately 16 million Americans are affected by rosacea. The disease begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than others. Redness, skin dryness and sensitivity, and raised, red bumps can spread beyond the nose and cheek area to the forehead, chin, ears, chest and back.
Atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, is a common disease among children. Eczema is characterized by dry, scaly patches on the skin. It appears on the scalp, forehead, face, cheeks and hands. Eczema can be long lasting and should be treated with creams and antihistamines to relieve itchiness.
About 7.5 million people in the U.S. have psoriasis, the most common form being plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis causes the body to generate new skin cells within days. These cells pile on the surface of the skin and create scaly patches. Plaques most often appear on the knees, elbows, lower back and scalp.
#7 Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris appears as tiny bumps on the skin akin to goosebumps or small pimples. The bumps are harmless plugs of dead skin cells, often on the arms and thighs. Treating dry skin helps minimize the appearance of the bumps and eases any itchiness they cause.
Melanoma frequently looks like a benign mole on one’s skin but tends to grow at a rapid rate. As the most serious form of skin cancer, it can be deadly if not caught early. On average, one American dies of melanoma each hour. Melanoma is highly treatable if caught early during a screening by your dermatologist.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks parts of the body, including the skin, kidneys and lungs. Lupus often appears as a widespread rash on the back, thick scaly patch on the face, sore in the mouth or nose or sunburn-like flare-up. Lupus is frequently triggered by sunlight, ultraviolet light and stress, among other environmental factors.
Comprehensive Health Services at St. Hope Foundation
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