04 May Chronic Skin Conditions: Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea and Acne
Eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne are chronic, nagging skin problems that don’t go away. They can, however, be managed with excellent results. Medications and lifestyle changes can work together to get chronic skin problems under control.
Eczema affects about 10% to 20% of infants, and about 3% of adults and children in the U.S. Most infants who develop the condition will outgrow it. Eczema is a term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. The most common type of eczema is known as atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema. What atopic refers to is a group of diseases that has an inherited tendency to develop other allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.
The symptoms of eczema almost always involve itching. Sometimes the itching will start before the rash appears, but when it does, the rash most commonly appears on the face, back of the knees, wrists, hands, or feet. It may also affect other areas as well. Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened, or scaly.
Psoriasis usually starts as small, red bumps, which grow bigger and form silvery scales. The skin appears thick but may bleed easily if you pick or rub off the scales.
Rashes may itch, and skin may become cracked and painful. Nails may form pits, thicken, crack and become loose.
Unfortunately, no one knows the exact cause of psoriasis. Some experts believe that it’s a combination of things. Perhaps something went wrong with the immune system causing inflammation and triggering new skin cells to form too quickly. Normally, skin cells are replaced every 10 to 30 days. With psoriasis, new cells grow every 3 to 4 days. The buildup of old cells being replaced by new ones creates the silver scales.
Rosacea is a very common disorder that usually affects the skin on the face. It causes extreme redness on the nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead. Over time, the redness can intensify, taking on a ruddy appearance. It is also common that blood vessels may become visible.
In many cases, rosacea appears on the chest, back, or neck. It is possible that rosacea can affect the eyes, causing them to feel irritated and to appear bloodshot or watery. Rosacea can also cause people to develop solid red bumps and pus-filled pimples. The disorder can cause the nose to take on a bulbous, swollen appearance called rhinophyma.
Although acne remains mostly a curse of adolescence, it is a fact that about 20% of all cases occur in adults. Acne most commonly starts during puberty between the ages of 10 and 13 and tends to be worse for people who have oily skin. Teenage acne usually lasts for five to 10 years, normally going away during the early 20s. Acne occurs in both sexes, although teenage boys tend to have the most severe cases. Women are more likely than men to have mild to moderate forms into their 30s and beyond.
Contrary to popular belief, a bad diet, poor hygiene, or an uncontrolled sex drive does not cause acne. Simply stated, it is heredity and hormones that are behind most forms of acne. Swearing off chocolate or scrubbing your face ten times a day won’t change anything if you have a predisposition to this unsightly, sometimes painful, and often embarrassing skin problem.
Ask Scottsdale Dermatologists at Spectrum Dermatology
Perhaps you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to deal with one of these troublesome skin issues. You may be feeling “why me?” However, there is help, and there are many treatments available that can improve the symptoms and many times do away with them completely. For more information contact Spectrum Dermatology at (480) 948-8400. Our staff is experienced and successful in dealing with these difficult skin issues. We can help you find a way to improve your skin.