As the largest organ of our bodies and one of our best protections, the skin plays a vital role in terms of helping us determine the state of our overall health; especially when doing merely a quick once over.
While skin is generally considered the major barrier against external threats such as bacteria, viruses, and fungus, its main role is also to help us absorb essential vitamins and minerals and to regulate internal functions. Your skin is also full of nerve endings, which allow you to experience the world. Overall, your skin is a very important part of your body and you should do what you can to take care of it.
The skin can sometimes experience dryness, inflammation, allergies, aging, and other conditions that might otherwise irritate it and which are often caused by various environmental factors. While these ailments are bad, ranging from inconvenient to deadly, in many cases, they can let us know about other adverse health situations. Let’s review a few conditions we should really watch out for:
Cysts, Boils, and Abscesses
Many people flock to YouTube channels that feature videos of individuals squeezing out their own cysts and boils; this is somehow thought of as being strangely satisfying to watch, but such actions can actually be very dangerous.
What we refer to as boils are actually skin abscesses caused by staph bacteria, which can be found in the lining of your nose or on your skin and have no problem normally but can be a problem if it enters a wound on your skin. If you notice multiple boils or cysts appearing over a few days, this could be a sign of systemic infection.
Treatment can include simply keeping the area clean and applying warm compresses to promote natural drainage. However, your doctor could recommend drainage or incisions, in which case it’s best to allow a medical professional to take care of treatment in order to avoid infection.
Chronic Plaque Psoriasis
The autoimmune condition known as psoriasis is of an inflammatory nature, and it often features painful flare-ups with hard scales or plaque found along the body and scalp. These flare-ups can be caused by things such as stress, the weather (especially dry weather), other infections ranging from strep throat to skin infections, or injuries to the skin such as cuts or wounds. There is currently no cure for chronic plaque psoriasis, but there are methods of treatment.
These treatments depend on the severity of your condition and would involve the use of different medications or vitamins, most notably Corticosteroids, which come in many different topical forms such as creams, oils, or even shampoos. The major risk involved with corticosteroids is that over time the medication can thin the skin, and may stop working altogether.
Psoriasis is related to rheumatism, but it can also mask or become confused with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, which is a type of blood cancer. If you notice psoriasis lesions that do not heal, and if you feel pain or swelling near your lymph nodes, you should ask a doctor about getting lymphatic cancer screening instead.
Cystic Acne of the Upper Lip and Nose
Even the most severe acne episodes can be alleviated and managed with visits to a dermatologist, one like Advanced Dermatology of Northern California. However, there is one specific situation that can turn this skin condition into a major health issue.
When cystic acne develops in the region known as the “triangle of death,” it covers the area of your skin covering your nose to the corners of your mouth. Having an open lesion, such as popped pimples, cuts, or other wounds or skin issues, in this area of the face can quickly attract a staph infection, which in this part of the body can devolve into major cellulitis episodes and even paralysis.
Skin Rashes and Allergic Reactions
Topical allergies are pretty common, but if you ever notice rashes that suddenly appear along with dizziness, mental confusion, and difficulty breathing, there is a chance that you may be going through a histamine episode. Histamine is a chemical found in your body released by white blood cells directly into the bloodstream in order to defend the body against allergens.
How you react to the histamine in your body can include how severe the reactions are. A doctor can identify if this is simply a strong reaction to an allergen or a more complicated deficiency of histamine function in your immune system.
In the end, we can consider the skin to be a barometer of our overall health and how well or poorly we’re doing. Paying close attention to the state of your skin and the conditions listed herein is something you want to do often, especially if you begin to feel odd or different in ways that make you feel uncomfortable.
Also keeping in contact with either a dermatologist or your doctor can help in identifying certain skin conditions early on or at the very least the warning signs that you’re on your way to developing something.