Symptoms of Skin Problems

itchy skin

21 Jul Symptoms of Skin Problems

The body’s largest organ, the skin, is like a canvas. When something is wrong, you’ll see it and feel it: sudden spots, dryness, itchiness are all signs that something might not be right. But because our skin is so exposed — and there are so many benign spots and marks that can be confused for something serious — it is helpful to know what symptoms may point to a skin disease or disorder.

Red, Blistering Rash

Rashes are a common complaint, but because they can be attributed to multiple causes it can be difficult to pinpoint the source. New laundry detergent can cause rashes on sensitive skin, while brushing up against some poison ivy will lead to an itchy patch of skin. If you have a persistent, blistering red rash — and you can’t think of anything that could have caused it, such as a bug bite or new soap — you should visit a dermatologist.

A blistering red rash can be a sign of shingles, also called herpes zoster, an infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles is generally not fatal, but the condition can be extremely painful, and the skin can take weeks, if not months, to fully heal. Other skin conditions that can cause blistering rashes include impetigo (a contagious bacterial infection) and scabies (caused by mites and treated with oral or topical medication), among others.

Dry, Patchy Skin

Dry skin is a common complaint, especially in the wintertime when the air is cold and, naturally, dry. However, persistently dry, patchy skin can be a sign of a skin condition. Psoriasis, for example, is a common autoimmune disease where the body speeds up the process of creating new skin cells, resulting in scaly patches.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is another disorder that causes dry skin, though it is often accompanied by redness and itching. There are no cures for either skin disorders, but there are soothing treatments that can keep the symptoms at bay.

A Spot That Won’t Go Away

Many people have moles, freckles or other spots on the skin that have been there for their entire lifetime or show up after a little sun exposure. If a new spot shows up, however, and it seems to be growing and changing color, it may be cause for concern as these types of spots can be a sign of skin cancer.

Check your ABCDEs: asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolution to determine whether you should get your moles, freckles and warts checked. When in doubt, however, always opt for a trip to the dermatologist to stay on the safe side.

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