Have you ever noticed that your skin somehow feels different? Maybe it feeling dryer than usual, maybe you are having an unexpected breakout or it’s looking redder than usual. I’m here to tell you to stop right now instead of continuing with your same-old, typical skin care routine. Though your first instinct is to probably ignore the issue, the truth is there is usually an underlying cause to changes in the skin.
So what exactly is your skin trying to tell you? If you think it’s not speaking to you then think again. Your skin’s only mode of communication with you is via change. So if you notice something different it’s important for you to stop and listen to your skin’s voice because it is crying out for help. By simply listening to our skin when it desperately needs some TLC we can not only make the appropriate changes but also make changes that positively impact our health.
Here are some common skin problems and the usual cause:
WHEN YOUR SKIN IS PIMPLY
First thing to note about pimples is: It’s actually not your fault. Contrary to popular belief, zits aren’t caused by external factors such as what you eat. Instead they are caused by a combination of physiological factors that exist far beneath the skin’s surface and are beyond our control.
The Main Causes of Pimples
For most blemish sufferers, skin problems start at puberty around the teenage years. This can sometimes persist well into adulthood and hormones are often responsible for flare-ups during the menstrual cycle and, for some people during pregnancy.
- Extra sebum
The presence of extra sebum in the follicle increases the chances of clogging which can cause pimples. It is often caused by not removing your makeup or cleansing properly.
Bacteria exists in all skin types however once a follicle is plugged, bacteria rapidly multiplies. End result? Pimples! As above make sure to cleanse and remove your makeup properly.
WHEN YOUR SKIN IS RED
Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition which usually affects the face. Rosacea worsens over time if left untreated and can often be misdiagnosed as eczema or a skin allergy.
If you have rosacea here are some things to avoid:
- Spicy foods and dairy products
- Alcohol or hot drinks (although alcohol doesn’t cause rosacea, but it can be a trigger for people with the condition)
- Extreme changes in temperature
- Sunlight and humidity
- Hot baths and saunas
WHEN YOUR SKIN IS ITCHY
If your skin is itchy there is a wide change of possible causes for this:
- Dry skin. Dry skin is usually caused by environmental factors such as hot or cold weather with low humidity, long-term use of air conditioning or central heating, and washing or bathing too much.
- Skin conditions and rashes. Many skin conditions itch, including eczema, psoriasis, chickenpox and hives. The itching is usually accompanied by other signs, such as red, irritated skin or bumps and blisters.
- Internal diseases. If your whole body is repeatedly itchy then this could be indicative of an internal disease such as liver disease, celiac disease, kidney failure, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid problems and cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma. Investigate this further if you are repeatedly scratching without a known cause.
- Irritation and allergic reactions. If you are allergic to something then some itchiness is to be expected if you come into contact with the allergen. Wool, chemicals, soaps, antibiotics and other substances can irritate the skin as can some foods and cosmetics.
WHEN YOUR SKIN SWELLS
If you wake up with a swollen, puffy face all may be well if it’s simply a case of too much pressure being placed on the face while sleeping. However facial swelling can be caused by lots of other medical conditions. For example:
- Allergic reaction
- Eye infection (such as conjunctivitis or sty)
- Side effect of medication
- Cellulitis (bacterial infection of the skin of face)
- Hormonal disturbance (such as thyroid diseases)
WHEN YOUR SKIN HAS FRECKLES/PIGMENTATION/
I think we all know that the sun is to blame for many different skin disorders. Some like wrinkles are common and harmless (except to the ego!). Others are, however, rare or life threatening.
Here is a list of conditions that may be caused or aggravated by sun exposure:
- Skin cancer (such as melanomas, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma)
- Age or sun spots
It is absolutely essential that you see your doctor immediately if you suspect a skin cancer or wish to have a spot, freckle or mole investigated further.
HOW TO TREAT SKIN DISORDERS
Thankfully many skin disorders may be helped by using a topical or oral treatment. These treatments include the following:
- steroid cream and pills
- vitamin or steroid injections
- laser therapy
- targeted prescription medications
HOW TO PREVENT SKIN DISORDERS
Some skin disorders cannot be prevented, especially if it is a genetic condition or disorder that is brought on by other illnesses cannot be avoided. However, it’s possible to prevent some skin disorders by doing the following.
- Maintain a proper hand and skin-washing hygiene
- Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and avoid excessive physical or emotional stress
- Eat a nutritious diet and drink lots of water
- Avoid environmental and dietary allergens
- Avoid contact with harsh chemicals or other irritants
- Avoid overexposure to water (from swimming or washing too frequently)
- Finally PROTECT your skin from excessive cold, heat, dryness, and wind
In conclusion when we simply listen to what our skin is telling us day in day out, we take the precious opportunity of addressing our internal health, which is often neglected. As they say beauty is indeed skin deep…