Can You Identify These Well-Known Skin Conditions?
- Test Your Skin SavvyYour body’s largest organ—your skin—is bound to have a problem or two during the course of your life. Since skin conditions like rashes are relatively common, it’s not surprising that many people ask a close friend or family member if they’ve ever seen it before or if they know what it might be. But some skin conditions are more recognizable than others. Before you head to the doctor for a professional diagnosis and the most effective treatment, test your skills in identifying these well-known skin problems.
- Mystery Condition No. 1: Thick, Scaly PatchesOne in 50 Americans have the white, silvery or red raised patches of thick, scaly skin that this condition produces. The elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back are the most frequently affected body areas. This condition is linked to genetics—most people who have this have a family member who has it too. People with this skin condition tend to have a higher risk of developing heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes as well.
- Answer: PsoriasisWith psoriasis, your immune system signals your skin to grow too quickly. The body is unable to shed the excess skin cells, so they layer on top of each other in thick, scaly patches. It’s a chronic inflammatory condition that calls for a long-term treatment plan. Your dermatologist may suggest light therapy, prescription or over-the-counter cream, and oral or injected medicine to treat psoriasis symptoms.
- Mystery Condition No. 2: Facial FlushingFlushing and redness of the face are the primary symptoms of this skin condition. Other symptoms may include swelling, visible blood vessels, thickened skin, small red or pus-filled bumps, and eye irritation. Symptoms may come and go. Triggers of a flare-up can include sun exposure, certain food and skin products, alcohol, and extreme hot or cold.
- Answer: RosaceaRosacea affects 16 million Americans, mainly people older than 30. It’s a chronic condition that flares up and goes into remission repeatedly without ever fully going away. Although there is no cure, your doctor can work with you to customize a treatment plan. It may include oral medications, creams, and minor surgical procedures that can improve your appearance.
- Mystery Condition No. 3: The Bull’s-Eye RashThis rash can show up anywhere on the body, and ranges in size from a few inches to two feet around. Sometimes the rash looks like a bull’s-eye. Other times it’s solid red in color, and on dark skin it may look like a bruise. This rash may feel warm, but usually it does not hurt or itch. It tends to grow slowly then fade. Flu-like symptoms and joint pain are common with this rash.
- Answer: Lyme DiseaseLyme disease is the infamous cause of this rash. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by ticks. The infection causes widespread inflammation. Other symptoms of Lyme disease can include body aches, headache, fever, joint swelling or pain, fatigue, sore throat, and facial weakness. Doctors treat Lyme disease with antibiotics. Treatment is most effective in the early stages of disease.
- Mystery Condition No. 4: An Itchy RashThis common skin condition has many triggers, including contact with certain chemicals, rubbing or chafing, cold and hot weather, and conditions that dry the skin. It causes itchy patches of dry and scaly skin. Symptoms tend to come in go in episodes called “flares.” Scratching during a flare may cause the skin to crack and blister, exposing the skin to infection.
- Answer: Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)Atopic dermatitis, also called AD or eczema, most frequently affects babies and young children. But adults get eczema, too. The exact cause of eczema is not known, but genetics appears to play a role because it tends to run in families. Moisturizing the skin on a daily basis or whenever it feels dry or itchy will help control eczema. A dermatologist can prescribe medication and recommend proper skin care and other lifestyle changes to manage eczema flare-ups.
- Mystery Condition No. 5: Itchy WeltsOne in 5 people experience this skin condition at least once in their lifetime. These itchy welts can appear suddenly anywhere on the body, and disappear just as quickly. They vary in size from tiny spots to large weals. The bumps can be red or skin-colored. They often turn white for a moment when you press them. Exercise, drinking alcohol, scratching, and stress can make these bumps even itchier.
- Answer: HivesHives, also called urticaria, are usually caused by an allergic reaction—to a bug bite, a certain type of food, medication, or some other trigger. A dermatologist or allergist will most likely suggest treatment with over-the-counter oral antihistamines, and cold compresses or anti-itch creams. These can reduce itching, swelling and other symptoms. For severe symptoms, your doctor may prescribe an oral steroid medication or prescription-strength antihistamine.
Can You Identify These Well-Known Skin Conditions