Skin Diseases – Types and Causes

There are a number of skin diseases, and they all frequently affect people of all ages from the neonates to the elderly, and cause harm in a number of ways. Maintaining healthy skin is the best prevention for skin diseases, however, many people may develop diseases that affect the skin including cancer, herpes, and cellulitis.

The skin is susceptible to more than a thousand conditions that may affect it but most skin diseases can be categorized into ten common types.

Rashes: A rash is an area of red, inflamed skin or a group of individual spots. The cause could be irritation, allergy, infection, an underlying disease, as well as by structural defects; for example, blocked pores or malfunctioning oil glands. Rashes may, or may not itch. Examples of rashes include acne, dermatitis, eczema, hives, pityriasis rosea, and psoriasis.

Viral Infections: These occur when a virus penetrates and infects the inner layer of the skin. Examples of viral infections include herpes simplex, shingles (herpes zoster) and warts.

Bacterial Infections: Of course these are caused by bacteria, the most common type being staphylococci streptococci. Bacteria may infect the top-most layers of the skin, the hair follicles, or the deeper layers of skin. If not treated properly, these infections may spread throughout the body. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.

Fungal Infections: Fungi are always present on the surface of the skin. They are harmless infections which occur when these organisms enter into the body. These infections are usually superficial, affecting the skin, hair, nails and include athletics’ foot, lock itch, and ringworm.

Parasitic Infections: Exposure to parasites such as lice and scabies cause these infections.

Pigmentation Disorder: The pigment of the skin is the coloration of the skin which is determined by the amount of melanin being produced by the body. Loss of pigmentation (hypo pigmentation) can be caused by the absence of melanocytes, malfunctioning cells, exposure to cold or chemicals, or some types of infection: vitiligo is an example of hypo pigmentation.

An increase in pigment (hyper pigmentation) may be caused by skin irritation, hormonal changes, aging, a metabolic disease, or any other underlying problem. Spots, freckles and melasma are examples of hyper pigmentation.

Tumors and Cancers: The process of cell change sometimes leads to cancers. Not every skin growth is cancerous. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer cases affecting 800,000 American’s each year. Exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun is responsible in 90 per cent of cases. There are three types: basal cell cancer (the most curable), squamous cell cancer (which may grow and spread) and malignant melanoma (the most deadly form).

Other common skin problems: Stretch marks are lines that develop on the surface of the skin with an off-color hue. They are caused by a sudden stretching of the skin – stretching which occurs during pregnancy, weight gain, or extreme weight loss.

Wrinkles are lines on the skin caused by a breakdown of collagen and elastin within the dermis layer of the skin.

Rosacea is a chronic disorder in which the skin of the face becomes red and develops pimples, lesions, and more rarely enlargement of the nose.

Spider veins and varicose veins are protruding veins on the surface of the skin which becomes visible when blood vessels enlarge.

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