Most Common Skin Problems for Adults and How to Treat Them

Many people assume skin problems will stop, or at least lessen, once you leave adolescence behind. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. If you have noticed redness, irritation or itchy patches, it could be one of these skin irritations that commonly affect adults.

Eczema

Also known as dermatitis, this condition is characterized by patches of dry, itchy and scaly skin. It often develops into small blisters or pustules that can burst. Repeated itching of eczema rashes can lead to the thickening of the skin in certain areas.

There are two main types of eczema, contact and atopic dermatitis. The contact variety is caused by touching something that causes irritation or an allergic reaction. Symptoms can often be relieved by using antihistamines.

The cause of atopic dermatitis is not fully understood. It may be genetic or linked to a problem with the immune system. Although it is common in individuals with allergies, it is not an allergic reaction. Many people find relief by applying topical creams and natural ointments, such as those containing CBD oil. There are also prescriptions available for more serious or widespread cases.

Psoriasis

This chronic condition is caused by an inflammatory disorder that accelerates cell turnover. The body makes new skin cells faster than it can shed old ones, resulting in itchy patches of skin. These often appear red, raised or scaly. Symptoms tend to appear as flares, and are commonly found on the knees, scalp, and elbows but are not limited to those areas.

There is no cure for psoriasis; however, many patients find relief through topical creams. UV exposure from natural sunlight or light therapy lams is also very effective for mild or moderate symptoms. Medications to suppress immune function are available for severe cases.

Acne

While acne is most prevalent during puberty, it can also occur throughout adulthood. Despite a common misconception, adult acne is not caused by dirty skin. Rather, hormonal fluctuations resulting in increased oil and sebum production, which clog pores.

If left untreated, acne can result in permanent scarring. Luckily, most cases can be treated with widely available topical products. In extreme cases, prescription cleansers, creams or topical treatments may be necessary. There are also oral medications for certain types of acne.

Hives

Hives are the result of an allergic reaction. They appear as raised welts that are generally red or pink and very itchy. Hives can be treated with oral or topical antihistamines.

They usually resolve within a few hours of exposure; however, if hives cover a large part of your body, are causing swelling on your face or throat or are affecting your breathing, you should seek medical attention right away.

Rosacea

Rosacea affects the skin on your face. It is a chronic condition characterized by redness and swelling. Pimples and prominent blood vessels are two other features generally associated with a rosacea flare-up.  Although it can affect anyone at any age, rosacea most commonly appears in women after the age of 30. It is believed to be caused by immune factors; environmental conditions may also be involved.

There are several different approaches to treating rosacea. Antibiotics can be used to treat infected areas and mild acids are often applied to pimples. A topical vasoconstrictor can reduce the appearance of blood vessels. There are also several other prescription options for severe cases of rosacea.

Shingles

Shingles is an incredibly painful, blistered and itchy rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same one responsible for chickenpox. That is why anyone who has ever had a case of chickenpox is at increased risk of developing shingles. The rash can be accompanied by a fever, headache and fatigue. Severe cases can result in permanent neurological damage.

Most topical treatments do not provide substantial relief from shingles; however, if started early, antivirals can usually lessen the symptoms of an infection. There are also vaccines available that can greatly reduce your chance of developing a case of shingles.

From contact dermatitis that resolves with a topical treatment to shingles that can leave lasting effects, there are numerous conditions that can affect adult skin. If your symptoms don’t clear up or if they get worse, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention.

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