5 Signs You Have A Skin Condition, Because It's More Common Than You Think
It's the largest organ on your body, but people often pay less attention to their skin than they should. Whether it's skipping regular visits to the dermatologist or forgetting to apply SPF, people forget that keeping your skin safe is one of the most important things you can do for your health. But what about the things you can't control? Skin conditions are more common than you think, and you may have one without even knowing it.
First off, I should point out that while the phrase "skin conditions" may sound a little scary, the chances are you'll have one at some point during your life. The important thing is recognizing the signs. "All skin conditions are better addressed earlier rather than later," says Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, a New York-based cosmetic dermatologist. "There is a lot that can be done in regards to minimizing skin conditions and their recurrence, keeping them at bay with basic skincare instruction. Education is two-thirds of the battle, and then medication can be prescribed if necessary."
Most rashes or bumps are ultimately harmless annoyances, but there are some times when a red spot or dry patch of skin could indicate something more serious going on. It's important to note changes to your skin and consult a dermatologist if you see something strange pop up. But if you're curious, these are five signs you may have a skin condition.
1. You Get Red Bumps All Over (And Not Just Where You Shave)
Razor burn is common, and it can happen if you use a dull razor, skimp on shaving cream or have sensitive skin. However, red bumps that look like razor burn (or pop up place you don't shave, like your face), could be rosacea. "Rosacea can present as little red bumps that flare after exposure to certain triggers, such as heat or alcohol — and some acne medications may actually make it worse," says Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group. "Don’t just assume you’re breaking out into pimples, and have a dermatologist evaluate you. Long-term untreated rosacea can cause breakage of blood vessels and lead to permanent damage of your skin."
2. You Have Super Dry Skin (And So Do Your Mom And Grandma)
Incredibly dry skin is a sign of eczema, one of the most common skin conditions there is. However, having dry skin doesn't necessarily mean you have eczema. But, if a family member has it, it's likely you may. "It does run in families," says Dr. Frank "Although it is associated with allergies, such as hay fever, the rash itself is rarely caused by an allergy to something." Eczema can severely affect skin tone and texture, so if you suspect you may have it, get to the derm.
3. You Have A Scab That Just Won't Heal
Everyone gets the occasional scratch or bruise, but a scab that won't heal could be a sign of something worse. "Injuries happen, and occasionally you may not even remember how you injured yourself, but any persistent area of skin bleeding needs to be checked out by a professional, no matter how tiny the spot," says Dr. Nazarian. "If you’re noticing an area that keeps scabbing up after several weeks, you should be closely evaluated for a potential skin cancer. Early signs of skin cancer formation include bleeding: Cancerous skin is more fragile than normal healthy skin and tends to break even with slight trauma."
4. You Always React To New Products
If you love trying new beauty products, you know some just don't jive with your skin sometimes. But if that's happening to you every time you try something new (or with products you used to love), it could be a sign you have sensitive skin. "It's usually caused by overly dry or injured skin that can no longer protect nerve endings," says Dr. Frank. "It can lead to to skin reactions; excessive exposure to skin-damaging environmental factors such as sun, wind, excessive heat or cold; and product over-usage." Luckily there are products designed for sensitive skin, so you can figure out what works for you.
4. You Have Little Clusters Of Blisters
Although the most common times I get blisters is when I'm breaking in a new pair of shoes, they can be a sign of something else. "Most people associate blisters with getting a cold sore when they appear around the lips — something common and benign," says Dr. Nazarian. "But if you ever notice little tender blisters forming elsewhere on your skin — anywhere from your back, to your arm, or even on your face — these may be the early signs of a viral condition called shingles, which is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus. Shingles tends to have a little cluster of blisters together, and is typically accompanied by the sensation of skin burning or tingling, even in areas outside of where the blisters are forming." If that's the case, get to the doctor ASAP.
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