One of the most common complaints of non-specific redness, itching, and rashes of the skin is also often one of the hardest to diagnose. There are a number of different reasons why these symptoms could occur and it may not be possible to diagnose the exact cause with certainty each time.
Of course, it is not necessary to know the exact cause each time since symptomatic treatment is all that is necessary in a large majority of cases.
Some common causes include the following conditions.
Typically one of the most common causes for redness, dry, scaly skin is psoriasis. Almost anyone can be affected by Psoriasis, although the most common ages of developing this disease seem to be between 15 and 35.
The basic pathology affecting people suffering from psoriasis seems to be an alteration of the life cycle of their skin cells. This cycle of a new skin cell traveling up the different layers eventually being shed off should take 4 weeks under normal conditions. In psoriasis patients it takes 2 and thus causes an accumulation of the dead skin cells. The patches that are seen on the skin are due to an inflammatory response to the accumulation of the dead skin cells.
Psoriasis outbreaks usually are seen after an increased bout of drinking, long exposure to sunlight, stress or a direct injury to the skin.
Some of the symptoms of the condition include the presence of a pinkish-red color to the skin, constant itching sensation and a dry, scaly appearance.
The treatment of this conditions ranges from symptomatic treatment like the use of skin lotions and moisturizers to the use of steroid medication that suppresses the inflammatory response in the individual. For cases that do not respond to any of the above, immunosuppressive drugs may be needed to bring the condition under control.
Use of UV light or phototherapy has also yielded positive results in the treatment of Psoriasis.
The exact cause of the occurrence of vitiligo is unknown although it is recognized as a disorder of the immune system. The most distinguishing symptoms of the disease are the development of whitish (sometimes reddish) patches on the skin.
Almost any area of the skin can be affected by vitiligo but the most common areas where lesions are seen include the armpits, the groin region, below the eyes, nostrils, and rectal areas.
These patches may remain the same in size and location or may spread to other areas of the body. There is no way to predict with certainty what course the disease will take. Treatment for the condition includes the use of sunscreen on a daily basis, UV light therapy, medication to try and suppress the adverse reaction of the skin and surgical grafts to provide cosmetic cover for the affected areas.
Another common adult condition which is chronic in nature and can be managed quite easily although never completely treated. The main presenting symptoms of rosacea are a reddish, pinkish coloration of the facial skin and the appearance of small raised bumps that may or may not contain pus.
The most commonly affected people are those with a light skin color originating from colder areas where they are not exposed to the sun for long periods of time. The management of this condition includes applying sunscreen, photodynamic therapy, cosmetic measures to cover up the redness, avoiding alcohol and the use of steroid topical creams to minimize the inflammation on the face.
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