The Most Horrible Skin Diseases Ever
No “if” or “why” as these horrible-looking skin diseases may have occurred in your life! Earlier treatment is always recommended to treat them while the attack is still mild.
Like others, we all dream of having a beautiful skin and body, an ideal body shape and of being tip-top health. However, these horrible-looking skin diseases have made our dreams not come true. They’re always viewed as miserable “aliens”. Though they’re not a life-threatening problem but their existence can be both embarrassing and nuisance. Skin itching, skin inflammation, undesirable and strange “spots”, breaking out in rashes, skin changes in texture or color, may be early signs of precancerous or cancerous skin conditions, or may be the result of infection due to the direct contact with an irritant or an allergen, and may also be a manifestation of certain chronic skin conditions. The most important approach to deal with these skin conditions is to treat them when the attack is still mild. Now, let’s look on some of these horrible-looking skin conditions.
Seborrheic keratosises are non-cancerous growths which appear as sharply demarcated and slightly raised skin lesions. These benign growths may develop with age. Most of them have a grainy or a verrucous surface that are usually easy to crumble, but some of them may have a waxy and smooth surface. They may be black, multi-colored, or brownish in appearance. They are seen around the chest or back. As they seldom cause problem, and thus no treatment is recommended. Unless irritation develops or their existence is concerned for moles or skin cancers, then a proper diagnosis by a dermatologist is deemed necessary and appropriate.
Psoriasis is a non-contagious rash which is characterized by dry red patches, silvery scales or thick red plaques covered with silvery scales on the scalp, elbows, knees, arms, legs, face, lower back and around the belly-button. Psoriasis can appear in a variety of forms. Of all types of Psoriasis, Plaque psoriasis or Psoriasis Vulgarise is the most common type. When Psoriasis occurs on the scalp (which can creep onto the forehead or the skin beyond the hairline), or more commonly as part of a widespread condition, it is always accompanied by involvement in the gluteal fold of the buttocks which may go and come. People who suffer from a rare type of psoriasis may feel uncomfortable, usually have a fever and a high white blood cell count, and may occasionally die from this situation. Some patches are very itchy and may last for months to years. In severe cases, the treatment can be difficult. Psoriasis is always treated with medications, light therapy, retinoid creams or steroid.
Shingles or herpes zoster (zoster here means “girdle” that forms a belt around the thorax) can develop after the infectious period of chickenpox due to the reactivation of an earlier varicella (chicken pox) infection under stress or with immune suppression. This is because the virus may migrate to the ganglia associated with areas in which it is actively replicated. Shingles may also start with chronic burning or itching pain (called post-herpetic neuralgia) among the elderly. In other cases, Shingles develop with very sensitive skin, tingling and burning. They can be seen developing around the buttocks and trunk, and may also appear anywhere. Though the rash may have recovered, the itching, numbness and the pain may last for months, years or throughout the life. Shingles are always cured with antidepressants, steroids and antiviral drugs.
Eczema (in Greek means “bubbling or boiling through” while in Dermatitis means “inflammation) is a generic term that defines non-contagious skin conditions, in which the skin is red, dry, and itchy. Eczema can attack anyone at anytime and may affect the whole body or part of the body. Eczema can also be seen on the “bending” areas (such as inside the elbows), elbows and on the hands. Due to its visible appearance to other people, having Eczema is not only uncomfortable and itchy but also it can cause social embarrassment. Allergens, irritants (particularly soaps), stress, climate change have been identified as causes that may trigger Eczema. While there’s no permanent solution for Eczema, this ailment can still be controlled and relieved by the treatment include antibiotics, pills, phototherapy, antihistamines and cortisone creams.
Razor Bumps (Pseudofolliculitis Barbae) are tiny and irritated bumps that occur after shaving, and they are very common among men with tightly curved (or curly) hairs. The tip (or shape edge) of closely shaven hair can curl backward and grow under the skin or into the hair follicle (which is also called ingrown hair), causing a reaction in the skin (such as skin irritation and pimples, and even scarring), which can be very painful. When you’ve a close shave, avoid stretching the skin tight while shaving, using multi-blade razors, and shaving against the “grain” or direction of hair growth. To reduce razor bumps, you should wet your hair for at least two minutes with warm and soapy water before shaving. Use a good shaving cream to minimize irritation and friction. Prior to applying moisturizer, make sure you rinse it with cold water.
Rash appears on the surface of the skin when someone contacts with sap from poisonous plants such as poison sumac, oak and ivy. In most people, rash starts as redness and swelling on the exposed area, which is then accompanied by an intense itchy. Blistering may appear after few hours or a few days. Rash usually lasts up to 2 weeks. Oral cortisone is always given to treat a severe rash while antibiotics may be essential when the skin becomes infected with the rashes.
Athlete’s foot is a mildly contagious skin problem that is caused by fungal infection. Athlete’s foot is always characterized by conditions include redness, itching, burning, peeling, scaling, flaking, and sometimes blisters, sores and cracked skins exposing raw tissue, pain, inflammation and swelling. In severe cases, oral medications or topical antifungal lotions are used for treating Athlete’s foot.
Acne is a common skin disease among teenagers and young adults that causes pimples (a plug of fat, skin and keratin) that form when hair follicles under the skin clog up. When the pimples are opened, the plug is called a blackhead, closed, and a whitehead. They can often be seen on the neck, face, back, shoulders, and chest. While acne cannot be cured, since it is to some extent influenced by hormonal changes within your body, the ailment can be controlled and relieved by three proven effective medications which include antibiotics, retinoids and benzoyl peroxide. To help reduce acne, one should keep oily areas clean and avoid squeezing pimples as this may cause scars and infections. Acne should not be viewed as miserable “scars” that you’ve to be forever resigned to.
Hives (urticaria) is one of the skin rashes caused by allergic reaction that looks like welts. Often, they’re notable for raised, itchy and reddish bumps, burning, or stinging. Hives can appear anywhere on the surface of the skin and lasts minutes, days or less than 6 weeks as in the case of acute urticaria. However, in chronic urticaria which is rarely caused by allergic reaction can last longer than 6 weeks. In general, severe hives can result in difficult breathing which will prompt you to get an immediate medical treatment. Apart from allergic reaction, hives can also be caused by temperature extremes, infections (such as strep throat), foods, food additives, friction, sunlight, exercise or medications. Hives are observed to be more obvious among those with fair skins. Antihistamines are always given to relieve Hives.
Rosacea is a common skin disease that is always mistaken for seborrhoeic dermatitis and/ or acne vulgaris. Rosacea affects over 45 million people worldwide and thus it has been named as “curse of the Celts” in Ireland and Britain. Rosacea affects males and females, but it’s almost three times more significant in women, whose age is between 30 and 60. Rosacea begins as flushing and redness (also called erythema) on the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, face, even in the eyes, and may also affect the ears, chest, scalp, and neck. Rosacea takes a ruddy appearance when the redness is intensified over time. If left ignored, the nose and oil glands may become bulbous due to the development of bumps and pus-filled pimples. When Rosacea progresses over time, one may also get other symptoms like red gritty eyes, pustules, red domed papules (small bumps), semi-permanent erythema telangiectasia (dilation of superficial blood vessels on the face), a red lobulated nose (rhinophyma), burning and stinging sensation. The treatment for Rosacea often includes surgery to eliminate blood vessels or correct nose disfigurement, as well as medications.
Pityriasis Rosea (PR) is a non-contagious skin disease or a harmless rash that appears as a single, scaly pink patch with a raised border, numerous patches of red or pink oval rash. They may be seen as salmon-colored ovals appearing on the legs, chest, abdomen, back, or on the arms after days to weeks later. Some patches may appear to your naked eyes in “Christmas tree” shaped. Pityriasis Rosea can affect anyone at any age. As Pityriasis Rosea is normally doesn’t itch, no treatment is needed as it’ll go off in 6 to 8 weeks.
Ringworm (tinea corporis) occurs when fungus affects the skin of the body due to the parasitic infection (Dermatophytes). The parasitic fungi (called Dermatophytosis) have caused parasitic infection by feeding on keratin, the material found in the outer layer of hair, nails and skin. They particularly prefer to dwell on the moist, hot, and dry skins that are shaded from the light. Ringworm in general, has a light “ring” appearance in its centre and hence its name “ringworm”. This reddish to brownish raised or bumpy patch of skin may also have an “active” outer border as it grows gradually over the time. In fact, ringworm can appear anywhere on the body. It is known as tinea cruris or “jock itch” when occurs on the groin area; tinea pedis or “athlete’s foot” when on the feet and tinea capitis when on the scalp. It is important to distinguish between Ringworm with other common types of rashes so that appropriate treatment can be given appropriately.
Most people think that age or liver spots (lentigines) are caused by aging, but this is not always the case. The existence of these age spots may be a result of sun exposure, and thus they are seen appearing on sun-exposed areas, such as the chest, face, shoulders, arms and hands. These flat, gray, brown or black spots may multiple as you age. Though age spots are usually commonly seen among people age 40 and above, they can also be seen among young adults. Generally, these cancerous growth-looking growths are harmless and thus no treatment is needed. To maintain your youthful skin appearance and to avoid these dark skin spots, you should avoid exposing sunlight using sunscreen when you’re out. Their appearance can be lightened with bleaching creams, acid peels, and light-based treatments. It’s always advisable to check with a dermatologist for proper identification of chronic precancerous skin conditions (such as melanoma).
Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by a viral infection in the top layer of the skin. They’re usually seen skin-colored visually and have a rough sensation when touched, but sometimes they appear to be flat, dark and smooth. The appearance of warts depends on the location, in which it’s growing. Warts can be seen growing on the fingers, around the nails, on the back of the hands and on the soles (plantar area) of the feet (also called plantar warts) and anywhere on the body. Warts are primarily caused by contact with the contagious Human Papillomavirus Virus and thus warts can spread from one to another or via contact with something used by a person with HPV or those contaminated by HPV as this virus can survive outside the living host for as long as 8 days or more. To prevent warts from spreading, you should cover them with bandages, and make sure that they’re dry. Even though certain warts are harmless and painless, and go away on their own. If the conditions persist, you’re advised to check with a doctor so that prompt medical attention can be given.
Cold sores or commonly known as fever blisters are small, painful, fluid-filled blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus and are seen around the nose or mouth. Cold sores are contagious skin disorder that normally lasts 7 to 10 days. Over exposure to sunlight, stress, menstruation and fever are some of the factors identified to trigger Cold sores. They’re usually treated with creams or antiviral pills. If you accidentally come across your sores contain pus, plus you’ve a fever with temperature goes up to 100.5°C, or your eyes feel irritated, please see your doctor immediately.
If you’ve symptoms of skin diseases as stated above, it’s always better to check with a doctor or a dermatologist for further diagnosis. The chances for cure and treatment are always better when earlier treatment is approached. Never take things for granted!
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