The skin is one of the most visible parts of the human body. It is also the body’s largest organ and helps retain water and protect internal organs. The average adult has about 22 square feet of skin, which weighs around 8 pounds, according to National Geographic.
The skin can be affected by any number of conditions. While many are not overly harmful, certain conditions can affect appearance, and impact a person’s self-confidence. Here are some common conditions and how to address them.
Acne. Acne can occur on the shoulders, face, neck, and upper back. Breakouts may include whiteheads, red pimples, blackheads, and deep cysts which, if left untreated, can cause scarring. Clogged pores cause acne, according to Healthline, due to bacteria, hormones, dead skin cells, and excessive oil production. Non-inflammatory acne can be helped using salicylic acid, found in cleaners and toners, which exfoliates the skin. Inflammatory acne can cause infection deep beneath the skin’s surface. Products containing benzoyl-peroxide may help reduce bacteria and swelling.
Large pores. Large pores are extremely common, and often accompany oily skin. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends treating the skin gently, along with cleansing and exfoliating, to help minimize the appearance of pores. The AAD says retinol, which is a derivative of vitamin A, can unclog pores and restore the skin’s natural appearance.
Redness. Skin redness may occur due to sunburns, allergic reactions, dry skin, acne, and irritations. Identifying the root of redness can help individuals avoid it from happening. Long-term redness often is linked to seborrheic dermatitis or rosacea. A dermatologist may recommend certain medications and skincare products to address these issues. Color-correcting makeup can also help camouflage redness.
Eczema. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common skin condition that produces red, itchy, dry, and irritated skin. It tends to start in early childhood, and doctors believe an overactive immune system may trigger symptoms. A dermatologist usually treats eczema with over-the-counter antihistamines, a prescription medication, or steroid cream.
Psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that results in the excessive shedding of skin cells. Psoriasis causes scaly, silvery defined patches on the skin, and usually occurs on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Healthline says plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the condition. Light therapy, moisturizers, topical retinoids, and biologics may be prescribed to manage psoriasis.
Scars. Scars are a natural result of the healing process from an injury to the skin. Many scars fade over time, but deep scars may be permanent and visible. Dermatologists may recommend applying vitamin E, silicone gel, or other creams or oils to help minimize scarring after a surgery or injury. A prescription retinoid can be helpful when it comes to acne scarring. Steroid injections and laser treatments can also help reduce the appearance of scars, according to medical dermatology and cosmetic experts.
Common skin conditions can be a nuisance, but various over-the-counter remedies and prescriptions can help.