We all have skin problems from time to time. It could be something minor like a hive or a scratch or it could be something more serious like shingles or a skin cancerous mole. Sometimes you may come across a spot or bump on your skin and have no clue what it could be. Learn the warning signs of something more serious and know what to do when a common skin woe catches you by surprise.
Do you remember having chicken pox as a kid? This itchy but very common infection is often found in children. If you had chicken pox, you can get shingles as an adult. Shingles is a rash that starts with burning, tingling and sensitive skin that can develop into very painful blisters that are numb and itchy. Some people may be hospitalized with shingles and they are treated with antiviral drugs, steroids, antidepressants or topical agents.
Allergic to something? Hives might pop up. Hives are an itchy allergic reaction that look like welts. They can vary in size and can appear anywhere. If you see a hive, take an antihistamine right away. They should only last for a few minutes but they could last a number of days. Medications, foods, temperature extremes or infections can cause hives. Your skin could also be sensitive and develop hives to outside elements.
Dry, red, itchy and inflamed skin can mean eczema. It is a non-contagious condition but can require topical or oral medications and sometimes shots. Stress, irritants, allergens and climates can irritate your skin and it often occurs on elbows and hands.
Some people have another common but not dangerous skin problem called rosacea. Rosacea causes redness on the face, especially nose, cheeks, chin, forehead and sometimes even the eyes. In extreme cases, thickened skin, bumps and pus-filled pimples can occur. You can be treated with medications and even surgical procedures to fix certain affected areas.
Another common but painful and annoying skin difficulty is a cold sore. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus but it does not necessarily mean you have genital herpes. Cold sores are very contagious and last about 10 days. They can occur on your mouth or nose and are trigged by the sun, stress, hormonal changes or fevers. There are many creams or pills available to treat cold sores.
Another very common skin irritant are razor bumps or irritation. Sometimes closely shaven hair can curl back and grow into the skin, causing irritation and a red bump. People often have more razor bumps in the summer when they shave more often. To minimize getting razor bumps, use hot water while shaving, shave in the direction of hair growth and apply moisturizer. If you have razor bumps, soak a washcloth in hot water and put on skin for a while.
Skin tags appear on skin as a small flap of flesh-colored or slightly darker colored tissue that hangs off skin with a connecting stalk of skin. Usually they are found on the neck, chest, back, armpits or under the breasts or groin area. These are not dangerous but can be removed by a doctor if the appearance is bothersome to you.
Lastly, moles are another very common skin problem in adults. Moles can be simply bothersome to look at or dangerous containing skin cancer. Moles are usually brown or black and can be found anywhere on the body. You definitely need to get a mole checked out if the mole changes color or shape, has irregular borders, starts itching or bleeding or changes in any way. See a dermatologist if you have any concerns about moles and get checked for any moles you may not find on your body by yourself yearly.
Do you have any of these common skin problems? What kind of treatment did you seek? Let’s talk in the comments!