The skin is the largest organ in the human body and one that deserves just as much care as we dedicate to our other vital organs. Our skin is susceptible to a plethora of different conditions, and diseases, making it that much more important to invest in skin health. Believe it or not, there are more than 3,000 skin disorders in dermatology! While it would be impossible for us to cover every single one in this blog post (we’d be here a very, very long time!), we think it’s important to discuss some of the most common conditions, how you can treat them, and when to see a doctor. Some common skin conditions we will be covering in this blog will Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema, Rosacea, Contact Dermatitis and Sun Burns
If you’re like the rest of us, chances are you have suffered a bout of acne at some point in your life. Acne isn’t just for teenagers either – adult acne affects many people all around the world and can range from mild to severe, depending on individual circumstances. For the most part, the same factors that cause acne in teenagers are at play in adult acne. The four main factors that directly contribute to acne are clogged pores, excess oil production, bacteria, and inflammation. Other factors that may also contribute to adult acne include hormonal changes (the cause of painful, cystic acne in the chin area), stress and humidity.
How You Can Treat Acne
If you are suffering from severe adult acne, it is imperative that you consult a dermatologist in order to explore treatment options and to reduce the chances of permanent scarring or dark facial spots. For milder cases, Adapalene topical (Differin) cream is now available over-the-counter without a prescription. Tretinoin topical treatment is also available in creams, gels and lotions, but always discuss the use of this drug with your doctor. Tretinoin should not be used when pregnant in most instances.
Lastly, adopting a good skincare routine is paramount. Make it a priority to cleanse your face at least twice a day, especially if you use makeup. All the usual advice applies as well – keep your hands away from your face, know your skin type, stay hydrated and eat healthily to lessen the chances of a breakout.
Fun fact: Our personalised 4 week skin program is ideal for anyone who is suffering from acne or scarring. Each program involves an in-depth skin consultation and analysis with a customised treatment program!
Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease which can cause patches of itchy, dry skin to form all over the body. In a nutshell, psoriasis is caused by a dysfunctional immune system which over produces skin cells, thus resulting in the formation of scaly, silvery patches of skin. The severity of psoriasis varies from person to person, and outbreaks can be triggered by factors such as the weather, stress, smoking and heavy alcohol consumption
How You Can Treat Psoriasis
Unfortunately, there is no current cure for psoriasis. However, symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter and prescription topical creams, phototherapy (or light therapy), and immunosuppressant drugs. It is always recommended that you work closely with a dermatologist to explore treatment options. Diligent moisturising, daily baths and avoiding smoking/alcohol can also help in controlling the severity of your outbreak.
3. Eczema (Dermatitis)
Also referred to as dermatitis, Eczema is a condition that hundreds of thousands of people suffer from. Eczema is characterised by scaly, dry patches that appear on the cheeks, hands, elbows, face, and scalp. These patches are often very itchy and can have a significant impact on one’s quality of life. Picking or scratching at spots of eczema can lead to bleeding, infections and scarring that become a problem unto itself. Currently, the exact cause of eczema is unknown, but researchers believe that it may involve a combination of genetics, the environment, and/or the immune system.
How You Can Treat Eczema
First and foremost, if your eczema is significantly impacting the quality of your life, you must consult with a dermatologist as soon as possible. The use of topical prescriptions and oral medications can be extremely helpful in managing your condition, on top of a balanced diet and healthy bathing/moisturising routine. People with eczema should avoid deodorant soaps that usually contain skin-irritating scents.
Rosacea is a daily common skin disorder that can be characterised by prominent blood vessels, chronic facial redness and swollen, red bumps all over the skin. Rosacea occurs primarily in the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Signs and symptoms of rosacea vary and may change over time. Symptoms can also flare up for anywhere between weeks to months before disappearing entirely for a prolonged period of time. Although rosacea can affect anyone, it is most common seen in women over 30. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown but thought to be due to genetics and environmental factors.
How You Can Treat Rosacea
Similar to Psoriasis and Eczema, there is no current known cure for Rosacea. However, treatment as prescribed by a dermatologist can control and reduce symptoms. In most cases, treatment will entail the use of topical or oral prescription medication, on top of a good skincare routine, diet and lifestyle changes. For clients who suffer with Rosacea, we offer programs that include a combination of skin care products and in-clinic treatments that will significantly reduce and control the appearance and assist clients with feeling more confident within themselves.
5. Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is often referred to as an “allergic reaction”. Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema that can occur when you come into close contact with certain plants, jewellery, soaps or irritants.
How You Can Treat Contact Dermatitis
If the cause for your contact dermatitis is unknown, your doctor may suggest a patch test. In patch testing, allergic substances are applied to your skin and the doctor will check for a reaction. If you know what has caused your contact dermatitis, antihistamines or topical steroids can be helpful in easing symptoms.
Although sunburn is not a disease or auto-immune response, it is not something that should be taken lightly. Sunburn is caused when too many UV Rays reach the skin, whether that be from a tanning session at the beach or the use of sun lamps. Afflicted skin may turn red, painful, hot to the touch, and may even peel away. There is no doubt that preventing sunburn is a much easier option to treating it, so we cannot stress enough how important it is to apply sunscreen any and every time you head outdoors. Repeated sunburns are known to boost the risk for skin cancer later in life and exposure to UV radiation causes 95% of melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
How You Can Treat Sunburn
The first and most important thing you can do if you are suffering from sunburn is to relocate to a cool and shaded area in order to allow your skin to cool down. Once your skin has cooled down, take the following steps:
- Take a cool bath or shower with a mild soap.
- Hydrate by drinking plenty of water and moisturise skin with a light, oil-free moisturiser or aloe vera while skin is still damp.
- In more severe cases, an over the counter topical product with lidocaine might help.
- If you are still hurting, be sure to utilise ibuprofen which can help with any pain or swelling.
- If you develop a fever, chills or severe blistering, be sure to visit a doctor as soon as possible.
- Avoid scratching or popping blisters as this may lead to infection.
How We Can Help You
At VC Dermal Clinics, we have years of experience in treating and helping to prevent common skin conditions amongst patients of all skin types and backgrounds. Whether you are suffering from acne scarring, pigmented skin patches or discolouration, we offer a variety of treatments designed to boost your confidence and improve your skin health. Call us today to find out more.