The skin is the largest organ of the body with a total area of nearly two metres square. Our skin acts as a barrier protecting us from the elements, helps regulate body temperature, allows us to sense touch, and also helps to prevent excessive water loss.
But, just like any other part of our body it can sometimes need a little extra care. These are some of the more common skin conditions:
Acne: This is the common cause of spots, mostly affecting adolescents but older and younger can also be affected. It often starts as the result of hormone changes during puberty and usually affects the face. The neck, back and chest may also be affected.
Dermatitis: A term for skin inflammation which can be caused by a substance outside the body irritating the skin (contact dermatitis). There can also be a genetic influence where certain people are more prone to their skin becoming inflamed (atopic dermatitis). Dermatitis is also known as eczema.
Rash: Some rashes are caused by simple skin irritation whereas others result from medical conditions or allergies.
Psoriasis: This is a common condition where there is inflammation of the skin, typically developing as patches (plaques) of red, scaly skin. Psoriasis tends to come and go throughout life but a flare-up can occur at any time.
Infections: Skin infections can be fungal such as ringworm or athlete’s foot, bacterial such as impetigo, viral such as warts or cold sores or parasitic such as lice or scabies.