Skin is one of the most important parts of our body. You may think that skin just covers our body, but in reality, it does a lot more than that.
It protects our body from outside bacteria and viruses, regulates body temperature, and retains moisture in the skin.
This is why it is very important to take good care of it. The skin becomes prone to common skin conditions if proper care and attention are not provided.
This blog will help you understand some common skin diseases and how to manage them effectively.
It is important first to understand what skin diseases are. Skin diseases are commonly referred to as skin conditions and are scientifically called dermatological disorders. These are the medical issues that affect the skin.
These skin conditions can vary in severity and manifest symptoms such as redness, inflammation, rashes, itching, flaking, scaling, blisters, and discomfort.
Skin diseases can be caused by several reasons, such as allergies, autoimmune disorders, genetics, environmental factors, and viral infections.
Proper diagnosis of these skin conditions is essential to manage these conditions and treat them. Some conditions may look similar to others, so if you are unsure about which skin disease you are experiencing, consult your dermatologist.
Importance Of Understanding Skin Diseases
Besides giving proper treatment, there are several other reasons why it is important to understand common skin conditions.
- Understanding and recognizing a skin disease at an early stage will help you manage that condition more effectively.
- Some skin conditions can be prevented. By knowing about them, you can reduce the risk of developing them.
- Understanding the condition will help you provide the right treatment plan for it.
- Some skin diseases, like skin cancer, can be life-threatening, which is why it is important to understand them and diagnose them at an early stage.
- Conditions like eczema run in families, and understanding it will help you make protective healthcare decisions.
Some occupations can cause skin diseases like contact dermatitis, so knowing about them is essential to take extra safety measures and prevent them.
Understanding And Managing Common Skin Diseases
What is Cradle Cap?
Cradle cap is a common skin disease in babies. It usually appears in the first few months of their life, around 3 months of age to 12 months. It causes greasy, crusty, flaky scales on the body and scalp.
A cradle cap is more common on the baby’s scalp but can also appear on the eyebrows, behind the ears, armpits, and around the diaper area. Some other names for cradle cap are pityriasis capitis, honeycomb disease, and milk crust.
Cradle cap scales may look similar on everyone, but the redness caused by inflammation under these scales might appear as pink or red in lighter skin tones and purple or brown in darker skin tones babies.
Some other common symptoms to identify cradle cap in babies are:
- Mild inflammation
- Greasy, thick scales on the scalp
- Crusty flakes
- Scales are of yellow and brown color
Causes Of Cradle Cap
The exact cause of cradle cap is not known, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of factors.
- Overactive sebaceous glands
- Overproduction of Malassezia yeast
The sebaceous glands on the baby’s body and scalp produce an oily substance called sebum. Either due to the mother’s hormones being transferred to the baby’s body after birth or naturally, these sebaceous glands produce excess sebum.
Malassezia yeast thrives in oily environments when the glands are producing excess sebum, the production of Malassezia yeast also increases. When the sebum and yeast mix, they cause inflammation, scaling, and flaking.
How To Get Rid Of Cradle Cap?
Cradle cap usually resolves on its own within a few weeks or months, but sometimes it may persist. There are a few simple things you can do to alleviate its symptoms.
- Cleansing: Use a cradle cap shampoo to cleanse the scalp and affected area gently. If the scaling and flaking is severe, use it daily. Once the symptoms start getting better, use it 2 to 3 times a week. Choose a cradle cap shampoo that contains pyrithione zinc. It is known to be effective in managing cradle cap.
- Brushing: Use a cradle cap brush or comb to brush and remove the excess scales from the scalp gently. The best time to do this is during a bath while shampooing. Gently brush the baby’s scalp, and do not forcefully remove stubborn scales.
- Consult a dermatologist: If the cradle cap does not get better with the use of cradle cap shampoo and brushing, consult a dermatologist. The doctor may prescribe topical steroids to relieve cradle cap symptoms.
What Is Eczema?
Eczema, usually called atopic dermatitis, is a common chronic skin condition. People who have a family history of eczema, asthma, or allergies are more prone to developing it.
Anyone can experience eczema, but it is more common in children under the age of 5.
It usually causes red, dry, itchy rashes on the cheeks, forehead, hands, inside and outside of knees and elbows, and on the legs.
Some common symptoms of eczema are:
- Itchy skin
- Dry skin
- Scaly patches on the skin
Skin oozing (in severe cases)
What Causes Eczema?
Eczema is believed to be caused by a combination of factors:
- Genetics: Genetics plays an important role in the development of eczema. People who have a family or health history of eczema are more likely to develop it.
- Skin barrier dysfunction: The skin acts as a protective barrier, but for any reason, this barrier does not work properly. The skin is unable to retain moisture in it and becomes dry more often. This leads to itchy, dry, irritated skin.
- Allergens: Some allergens such as pollen, nickel, metals, poison ivy, and chemicals in skincare products can cause an allergic reaction to the skin, which can cause itching, redness, and rashes associated with eczema.
Eczema may resolve with proper care, but sometimes it may persist and appear again and again in the form of eczema flare-ups. You can easily alleviate eczema symptoms by following a proper skincare routine that includes.
- Cleansing: Cleansing is essential in any skincare routine it helps in removing bacteria and makes way for moisture to penetrate into the skin. Clean the affected area with an eczema shampoo and body wash daily. Use lukewarm water instead of hot water as it can worsen the condition.
- Moisturizing: Eczema causes itchy, dry skin, which is why moisturizing is very important. Moisturize the skin with an eczema cream at least twice daily. Make sure to moisturize after taking a bath because the skin can absorb more moisture at that time.Use an eczema cream or eczema moisturizer that contains natural ingredients like oatmeal extract, glycerin, and licorice root extract. Ensure that the moisturizer is free from fragrances, parabens, sulfate, and dyes.
What Is Fungal Acne?
Fungal acne, also known as pityrosporum folliculitis or Malassezia folliculitis is a common skin condition in adults. Fungal acne appears as papules and pustules similar to those of teenage acne. It appears around the hair follicles on the face, upper back, chest, and on the arms.
Some of the common symptoms of fungal acne are:
- Stinging sensation
What Causes Fungal Acne?
Fungal acne is believed to be caused by the same yeast that causes cradle cap, seborrheic dermatitis, and dandruff, ‘Malassezia yeast.’ This yeast makes its way to the hair follicles and sebaceous glands and overwhelms this space as a reaction, the skin becomes inflamed. This leads to small, itchy, red bumps on the skin.
How To Get Rid Of Fungal Acne
Fungal acne can be treated with the help of a gentle cleanse and some medications.
- Cleansing: Cleansing is important to manage the symptoms of fungal acne. Use a gentle, mild cleanser to clean the affected area. Cleansing will help remove excess oil from the skin, reducing Malassezia yeast production.
- Medication: Another way to get rid of fungal acne is through medication. Consult your dermatologist they will prescribe antifungal creams such as Econazole and Ketoconazole to alleviate the symptoms. In severe cases, they may recommend the use of oral antifungal medication such as Fluconazole and Itraconazole.
In conclusion, the skin is an important and sensitive part of our body., It can easily be affected by outside allergens and irritants. This is why taking proper care of it is important to prevent common skin diseases such as fungal acne and seborrheic dermatitis.