There’s a period of anxiety that occurs when we notice a change in our wellbeing, and especially if the issue is pronounced. Skin conditions are certainly part of this, as hot flushes, rashes, scabs, or flaky and dry skin can be tiring and painful to deal with.
Of course, skin conditions can take many forms. From facial eczema, body eczema to rashes, reactions, and even damage caused by issues such as sun exposure, noticing a skin condition can be worrying, but don’t worry, by identifying the cause and seeking professional assistance, you can begin working on a solution. Even if the recuperative effort is more pronounced, it’s better to understand what you’re working with and to seek assistance as soon as possible.
While it’s always essential to defer your understanding to the medical opinion of a physician, or the trained perspective of a skin doctor, it can be helpful to consider the possible causes. In this post, we’ll discuss several reasons why you may be experiencing a skin flare-up. Perhaps this can help you identify lifestyle changes that may have contributed, helping you work from there.
Your Personal Genetics
It’s important to recognize that skin conditions may be a case of personal genetics. We all have predispositions to certain conditions based on our general genetic makeup. Note that just because this might be the case, it doesn’t guarantee you will experience one condition over another, just that the likelihood is increased.
For example, if a parent has bad eczema, then the chances of you one day managing the condition is higher. This doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong to exacerbate, but that can be the case. It also doesn’t mean no recuperative measures are available to you, as getting an opinion from a skin doctor may help you with a course of treatment. In the case of eczema, creams, sensitive lotions, and direct treatments (as well as resisting the urge to scratch it), can make a big difference.
This condition is highly manageable even if it can be difficult to experience, helping you sustain your quality of life, even if it might disqualify you from certain life opportunities such as serving in the military.
You don’t need a genetic predisposition to encounter certain difficult skin conditions. For example, exposure to the sun without protection commonly leads to sunburn, can age you prematurely, and even lead to increased skin cancer.
This is why the frequent use of sunbeds for tanning is discouraged, and it’s also important to rehydrate your skin with lotions before and after sun exposure. This is true even for those who have darker skin, as while melanin can offer its own protection, you may still be at risk of skin cancer, hyperpigmentation and other sun damage.
However, it’s not just exposure to the sun that can cause environmental damage to your skin. Cold weather can exacerbate eczema, and humid weather can cause breakouts or fungal infections (especially on your feet). Moreover, exposure to chemicals at work, or pollution in busy inner-city or industrial environments may need to wear protective equipment and wash well every day. Consider what exposure you deal with on a regular basis, as this will help you design better self-care efforts.
Of course, if you have allergies, this can also cause you to break out in hives or rashes. For some people, they may not realise they’re even allergic to something, which is why it’s important to work with a skin doctor to try and identify the issue.
Changes In Hormones
Hormonal changes are fairly natural for the most part, but they can also cause issues in your skin. We see this as teenagers go through puberty, causing one of the most common skin conditions at that age – acne, which can come in various levels of intensity. Moreover, hormonal changes during pregnancy or the menopause later in life can cause flare-ups, which may need to be addressed.
Moreover, the general levels of testosterone decrease in men as they get older, which can cause less elastic and drier skin. Skin can also change if using steroids, be that in a medical context or not. Be mindful of your hormonal changes, as this may help you explain the difficulties you’ve experienced.
Many medications stipulate skin changes in their list of side effects. After all, your skin is the largest organ in the body by far, and this means any intensive medication you use is likely to cause an effect.
In some cases, medications can cause allergic reactions such as hives, itching, or larger rashes. This is common in medications used to treat high-blood pressure, often leading to issues such as temporary eczema. Moreover, anti-seizure drugs is sometimes known to cause a painful set of blisters and rashes called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. It’s always best to read the label of each medication you take, and if you notice any changes, tell your physician immediately.
They may help you mediate the effects of your skin condition, or alternate your medications entirely. After all, damaging skin conditions are rarely considered tolerable or acceptable to suffer for prolonged periods of time, except in specific circumstances. Communication is key.
Our dietary influences can have a pronounced effect on the wellbeing of our skin. Perhaps the most obvious example is that of alcohol intake, which can dry out our skin and leave us looking older than we may be, as well as causing inflammation and swelling. Perhaps the most egregious example of this is rhinophyma, where the nose becomes swollen and red after years of heavy drinking. It’s not just alcohol, however. Dairy has been linked to acne development in some people, while sugar can spike insulin levels which can lead to a similar outcome.
Luckily, your diet also has the chance to have a real positive effect on your skin. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation which is good for your skin, joints and even brain health. Staying hydrated will help you avoid dryness, rashes and flakiness. On top of that, anti-oxidants, such as those in vegetables or green tea, can help counter free radicals, allowing for healthier skin.
If you’re encountering a skin issue, consider if your diet has changed. After all, this can be the easiest scenario to fix yourself.
Exposure To Bacteria
Exposure to bacteria and infections can effect your skin, but luckily, can betreated. Of course, bacterial infections such as cellulitis and folliculitis can be treated with antibiotic treatments, as well as pus drainage and warm compresses to help reduce swelling.
Moreover, the reason we dress and clean wounds is so skin conditions aren’t caused by exposure to bacteria. In some cases, exposure to toxins can also cause skin issues. For example, those who may live in damp or moldy apartments can often find themselves suffering with skin and respiratory issues, as this damp must be addressed capably.
When the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your healthy tissues, this can be a problem in many ways, and of course, in skin too. Some autoimmune disorders can specifically engage the skin, which can lead to issues like lupus, rashes, thickened skin , and psoriasis. On top of this, it can cause inflammation, or cause secondary infections as a result of some medications.
Autoimmune disorders are often treated via a complete recuperative effort, but it can be important to highlight any changes in skin health so your doctor can offer the correct course.
Depending on where you live, insect bites may be more or less common. Perhaps the most frequent exposure someone can have is when experiencing bed bugs, which not only cause bloody bites but can lead to restless sleep, and mental health issues as a result.
If you regularly notice small drops of blood on your sheets, or growing bite areas you have to scratch, it can be healthy to address this issue as well as you can, be that having your property addressed by pest control efforts, dry cleaning your clothing, replacing your mattress, and most frequently, a combination of all the above.
Obesity can lead to issues such as skin tags and stretch marks, and sometimes inflammation which can lead to issues, too. Keeping a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your skin, especially as it relates to anti-aging. This is a lifestyle choice that takes a little while to implement, of course, but the results can be very important and worthwhile.
To summarize, your skin is a fundamental organ and can be affected by external and internal changes. For this reason, it’s important to pay attention to it, and if you do notice issues, to report them as quickly as possible. While not all courses of treatment are effective, and some may need to address a deeper issue, being able to chart the course of your skin health can be enlightening in itself.
While this post discusses a less-rosy topic, we hope some of the above causes can help you identify your own skin issues more easily, or at least give you the ability to communicate with your doctor effectively, who should always remain the authority.