What are skin conditions?

Skin conditions include any disease, disorder or condition that affects the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body and is the first line of defense against invading pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses. The skin is also an important sense organ, helps retain nutrients and water, and helps regulate the body’s temperature.

Some of the most common skin conditions include:

  • Acne

  • Dry skin

  • Eczema and dermatitis

  • Hair loss

  • Hives and swelling

  • Psoriasis

  • Rosacea

  • Shingles

  • Skin cancer

  • Sunburn

  • Warts

Skin Problems Spotlight

Skin has significant importance in our society as a sign of health and attractiveness, so skin conditions can greatly impact self-image and self-esteem. In addition, some conditions, such as skin cancer, can be serious and life threatening. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in his or her lifetime (Source: Skin Cancer Foundation).

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions can help reduce or delay the onset of serious complications, such as loss of skin, disfigurement, spread of infection, or metastasis of cancer to other regions of the body. Seek prompt and regular medical care throughout your life to reduce the risk of serious complications of skin conditions. Seek prompt medical care if you have a change in your skin or a mole that is larger than the size of a pea, has irregular borders, seems to be growing rapidly, or has changed color. This may be an indication of skin cancer.

Skin conditions include reactions to allergic substances. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, your child, or someone you are with, have symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction, such as hives, facial or mouth swelling, shortness of breath, or rapid breathing (more than about 16 breaths per minute for an adult).

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of skin conditions?

Skin conditions can cause a variety of symptoms that can affect a small or large area of the body and may affect other body systems. Symptoms vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.... Read more about skin conditionssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes skin conditions?

There are many causes of skin disorders, including infections, malignancies, allergies, and other inflammatory conditions. Skin conditions can also be caused by physical or environmental factors, such as fire and trauma, sunlight exposure, and inherited factors.... Read more about skin conditionscauses

TREATMENTS

How are skin conditions treated?

Treatment of skin conditions varies depending on the type and stage of the skin condition and other factors.... Read more about skin conditionstreatments

Medical Reviewer: McDonough, Brian, MD Last Annual Review Date: Jun 14, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Skin, Hair and Nails


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