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  5. Permanent & Temporary Skin Disorders: How To Manage

According to dermatology, there are two kinds of skin disorders – temporary and permanent. While the former can be treated through various options, the latter can recur on and off and may need medication for a lifetime.

It is important that you identify the symptoms of each disorder and opt for suitable treatments accordingly. This is why we have decided to give you a detailed explanation of common skin disorders in this blog.

Main Causes Of Skin Disorders

Skin problems that occur very commonly are acne, rosacea, rashes and moles. Some like acne can be treated, while others like moles may need medical attention. Conditions like rosacea and eczema [1] are permanent. The causes of these disorders can range from blocked pores and over-active sebaceous glands leading to acne, bacterial infections and even genetic disorders. Some skin disorders like lupus are due to an autoimmune disease.

Permanent Skin Disorders

There are some skin conditions that can last a lifetime. Most have a pattern of flaring up due to triggers and then subsiding before disappearing. Others, like vitiligo are permanent and can only be managed, not completely treated. Here are the most common ones:

1. Moles And Melanoma

These are growths that can appear anywhere on the skin when skin cells and tissues bunch up. They are very common. Abnormal moles can lead to melanoma [2], a serious form of skin cancer.

Severity:

Most moles are harmless unless one picks on them or if there is an injury and consequent infection. If a mole changes colour, shape, size and is unevenly red or brown, or appears abnormal, it needs to be checked by a dermatologist.

Treatment Options:

Moles can be removed with laser treatments. Larger moles need to be removed surgically. Topical creams can diminish and eradicate moles, but they work slowly. Melanoma might need surgery or other related cancer treatments.

2. Lupus

Lupus [3] is an autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. When it affects the skin, it leads to a red, butterfly shaped rash on the cheeks which is not itchy or painful.

Severity:

The rash on the skin may be one of the signs; joint pains, inflammation and fatigue are other symptoms. Since lupus patients are photo-sensitive, being in the sun can aggravate the rash.

Treatment Options:

Anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal medication is usually prescribed. For the butterfly rash, a topical anti-inflammatory immunosuppressant cream and a sunscreen with high SPF is prescribed.

3. Eczema/Atopic Dermatitis

Different types of swelling on the skin are classified as Eczema. Symptoms include dry, itchy or scaly skin and rash on the face or on the wrists and ankles. It is not contagious, but its causes are unknown. The most common form is known as atopic dermatitis.

Severity:

Scratching the itchy skin can make it worse and lead to inflammation. It can get healed over time, but needs to be managed. People with eczema often suffer from asthma as well in some cases.

Treatment Options:

Treatments include dermatologist prescribed medicines, skin creams to control the itching and a strict skin and hair care regimen. The use of hypoallergenic products for the skin and hair are recommended.

4. Rosacea

Rosacea [4] is a skin condition commonly affecting women more than men. Its causes are attributed to immunity issues, veins and the environment. The skin goes red and at times is accompanied with inflammation and pimples.

Severity:

One type of rosacea causes swollen eyelids, with symptoms similar to a stye. Another causes the typical redness associated with rosacea. Other forms of rosacea include swelling, breakouts and thickening of the skin.

Treatment Options:

There is no known cure for rosacea. But antibiotics like doxycycline or a metronidazole cream prescribed by a dermatologist can be used. Other topical treatments are also available.

5. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis [5] can affect babies, children or adults. It is known as cradle cap in babies where scaly patches are formed on the skin, mostly on the scalp. In adults, it can appear anywhere and flare up at any time.

Severity:

When seborrheic dermatitis affects babies, it is known to disappear on its own. With adults however, the affected part of the skin or scalp is greasy, swollen and reddish. It can even have a pale yellow crust and can flare up anytime.

Treatment Options:

Topical treatments like selenium sulphide, or shampoos containing ketoconazole or pyrithione zinc are prescribed. A dermatologist might even prescribe topical corticosteroids based on the severity of the condition.

6. Psoriasis

Psoriasis [6] is a permanent and autoimmune disorder. Scaly and itchy red patches that can occur anywhere on the body in this condition. Known to affect children, it can continue into adulthood.

Severity:

The rash varies from a shiny red one to pustules. It occurs mostly on the face and neck, arms, ankles and scalp. It can change colour and cause extremely dry skin, which is often itchy.

Treatment Options:

The treatment options only help to manage the condition; though it may clear up on its own. Topical creams and medication prescribed by a dermatologist help to control psoriasis.

7. Vitiligo

When the skin loses its pigmentation, it leads to vitiligo [7]. It is a permanent condition when the skin cells that make colour are attacked and destroyed. The skin turns white as a result. It affects the hair as well sometimes.

Severity:

The white patches appear more commonly where there is sun exposure, and it can spread slowly over the years. In extremely severe cases, the skin loses its pigment all over the body and hair.

Treatment Options:

There is no known cure for vitiligo till date. There are a few medical and surgical procedures, which may not suit everyone. Some treatments help in offering a more even skin tone.

Temporary Skin Disorders

1. Acne

Acne is one of the most common and temporary skincare conditions. It can occur due to excess oil and sebum production, blocked pores and sometimes even diet.

Severity:

Acne can lead to pimples that have pus in them. Infected hair follicles and nodules (painful bumps under the skin) are forms of acne. The larger pimples, often painful and full of pus, are known as cysts

Treatment Options:

Most acne can be treated with topical creams, lotions and regular use of toners. In some cases, medication may be necessary. Dark red acne often requires a change in diet with reduced consumption of meat.

2. Sunburn

This is a skin condition that usually occurs when the skin is exposed to the UV rays of the sun. The skin turns red and looks burnt. It can largely be prevented by avoiding exposure to the sunlight.

Severity:

Sunburn can get quite painful as the skin dries out and tightens up. It also turns red and is painful to touch. It peels away as the condition improves, but that is painful too.

Treatment Options:

Treatment includes a shower with cold water, drinking plenty of fluids, aloe vera gels or non-oily moisturisers. Cold milk applied on the skin is also an effective home remedy.

3. Contact Dermatitis

Though it is a form of eczema, contact dermatitis is a temporary skin condition. It can occur due to contact with plants like oaks and poison ivy. Even irritants such as bleach or chemicals in detergents can cause it.

Severity:

It can lead to itchy or red skin that starts in one part of the body and spreads all over like an allergic reaction. In severe cases, there is blister formation, itching and even swelling in extreme cases.

Treatment Options:

Antihistamines and oral or topical steroids are usually prescribed to treat this condition. Oatmeal baths or a shower with an oatmeal soap also helps as does the application of a calamine lotion.

4. Cold Sores

A cold sore is a type of blister, red and full of fluid, commonly found in the region of the mouth. It is painful to touch and can last for up to two weeks. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus.

Severity:

A cold sore can be very painful and usually comes with a burning sensation in the affected area. Sometimes, it can even be itchy. They can recur and last for a long time.

Treatment Options:

There is no known cure for the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores. Treatment includes the use of topical cream and prescribed medicines for relief.

Wrapping Up

If a skin condition you have is temporary, it is best to have it treated as soon as possible. However, if it is a permanent condition, avoiding triggers and seeing a dermatologist for the right treatment option goes a long way in managing the disorder.

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