20 Things To Know About What Your Skin Says About Your Health 2018
Your skin can be a window to your underlying health. When most people think about their bodily organs, they think about things like their heart, liver, intestines, and kidneys. Few include their skin on that list. However, your skin is actually the largest organ in your body—and, it is also the most visible, so its quality is easy to assess. Let’s discuss what your skin says about your health.
Skin protects against invasive bacteria, regulates body temperature, and picks up information from the stimulation of touch, pressure, pain, heat, and cold. Little wonder, then, that when there’s something wrong with you on the inside, your skin sometimes sends up the first warning flare. For most of us, these blemishes may seem random – appearing on the cheek, chin, forehead or nose without a clear reason. But to a trained dermatologist, each zone marks a clear representation of a certain health concern.
Listed below are 20 things about what your skin says about your health:
1. Moles – Skin cancer
Moles are growths on the skin that are usually brown or black. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. Most moles appear in early childhood and during the first 25 years of a person’s life. It is normal to have between 10-40 moles by adulthood. The vast majority of moles are not dangerous. Moles that are more likely to be cancer are those that look different than other existing moles or those that first appear after age 25. If you notice changes in a mole’s colour, height, size, or shape, you should have a dermatologist evaluate it. You also should have moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, or become tender or painful.
2. Hives – Allergies
Hives and itchy skin often mean we have an allergy to something in our environment. Hives are raised, blotchy, red areas all over the body. Hives can be caused by anything we’re allergic to – like medication, food, pets, insect stings, or pollen from flowers. So, if you’ve discovered that you break out every time you are around dogs, ask your dog lover friend to meet you out rather than going to her place. Hives can pop up right away or even hours after interacting with the little furballs, so try to avoid getting too close.
3. Unwanted Facial Hair – PCOS
Want to get rid of your unwanted facial hair? Once you know the exact reason causing your facial hair growth, it is easier to get rid of it. When you see a woman with unusual hair growth on her face, she is probably suffering from hirsutism. Women who are from the Indian sub-continent, Mediterranean countries are more likely to have unwanted hair growth than women from European, East Asian or Native American origin women. There are certain medical conditions that could cause excess production of male hormones in women and lead to hirsutism. The most common cause of hormonal imbalance is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.
4. Allergy reaction, inflammation – Extreme anger or anxiety
Do you feel like your body is boiling and you are about to blast at someone when you’re angry? Believe me, your skin feels the same. You may be wondering about the cause of the allergy reactions on your skin but the cause was in your head. Anger not only makes you hot-headed, it also makes your skin itch and burn. Your anger causes your body to release hormones that encourage inflammation and decrease blood flow to the skin.
5. Redness and Rashes – Anxiety
Anxiety is more than just a psychological issue and can manifest itself in a myriad of different ways. One unusual physical symptom sometimes attached to anxiety is the way fear can cause you to itch or break out with a rash or hives. The rashes can be related to skin problems that anxiety makes worse, or caused by anxiety directly. Anxiety also causes sweating, and sweating can lead to a sweat rash, otherwise known as a heat rash. This type of rash is non-threatening, but can be extremely itchy and may take as long as two weeks or more to disappear.
6. Acne – Stress
Exams coming up, deadlines are nearing and you’re basically stressed about everything and anything right now? You don’t need to tell us about it because the acne on your skin is telling us how stressed you are. When you’re under stress, rosacea, acne, and psoriasis flare-up. The body responds to stress by directing blood flow and oxygen to areas vital for fighting the stress, and withdraws from other areas, including the skin. The skin subsequently becomes starved of blood and oxygen, becoming dehydrated, dull, lifeless, and prone to clogged pores and breakouts.
7. Flushing – Rosacea
Feeling embarrassed about your flushing? A chronically red forehead and cheeks could be caused by dilated blood vessels due to the chronic skin condition called as Rosacea. Extreme flushing can also be caused by hormonal changes in women such as menopause. If your skin suddenly becomes very flushed and it won’t go away and it is accompanied by any other swelling, you could also be having an allergic reaction, so seek medical attention.
8. Sensitivity, dehydration and dryness – Chronic long-term stress
Is your skin suddenly feeling too sensitive, dehydrated and dry? It could be because you have been stressed for too long and haven’t really got time to focus on your skin. When we are stressed, our brain sends a signal to our nervous system to go into a ‘fight or flight’ mode. When this happens, the body releases hormones and chemicals into the bloodstream that have a direct effect on the way skin functions and heals itself. When skin is stressed, it does not act properly, it’s out of balance and exhausted, irritable, drained and depleted.
9. Red Bumps – Rosacea
Don’t assume all red bumps are pimples. Acne – like lesions, a ruddy complexion, redness and dry skin can all be symptoms of rosacea. This chronic skin condition is caused by both environmental and genetic factors and is often triggered by the weather, spicy foods, exercise and stress.
10. Dry Skin – Suppressed or unacknowledged anger
If you are suppressing your anger and think no-one will know about it, you’re wrong. Angry or stressed skin has a very low lipid (protective) barrier, so fluids evaporate more easily. In addition, cortisol also reduces the skin’s ability to retain water, leading to excessive dryness. Even though the people around you don’t know about your anger, your skin sure does!
11. Thickened skin areas or darkened skin tone – Diabetes
Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. A dark patch (or band) of velvety skin on the back of your neck, armpit, groin, or elsewhere could mean that you have too much insulin in your blood. Hard, thick, and swollen-looking skin can spread, appearing on the forearms and upper arms. It can also develop on the upper back, shoulders, and neck. Sometimes, the thickening skin spreads to the face, shoulders, and chest. This skin problem usually develops in people who have complications due to diabetes or diabetes that is difficult to treat.
12. Patchiness on the cheeks – Poor Metabolism
Patchiness or discolouration on the cheeks can indicate poor metabolism and low absorption of nutrients, such as folic acid and iron. Additionally, cheeks are linked to lung function (think about how red your face gets during a strenuous workout that has you breathing hard), so pay attention to the quality of your breath and consider breathing exercises.
13. Dry, itchy skin – asthma
If your moisturizer just isn’t cutting it, it’s time to look deeper. Chronically dry skin is commonly caused by two things – eczema and general dryness or climate. Eczema, a chronic inflammatory skin condition, can cause dry, itchy, inflamed and cracked skin. It has immunological, genetic and environmental components and is also related to asthma.
14. Chin and jawline breakdowns – hormone imbalance
Pimples popping up along your jawline and chin again? Breakouts in these areas could signal a possible hormone imbalance. This kind of adult acne is very common in women who may not have had acne as teenagers. But don’t worry or you could exacerbate the problem – hormonal acne in women can get worse in times of stress, during your period or during menopause.
15. Dark circles – Nutrient deficiency
Before you slap on concealer, consider all the factors that could be causing your dark circles. Dark under eyes can be a combination of genetics, age or lifestyle factors. Anatomically as you age, the fat pads and structural support around your eyes changes so you can see more of the hollows. Dark skin under your eyes can also be caused by a nutrient deficiency, a lack of hydration or not getting enough sleep.
16. Sallow complexion – Dehydration
Sallow means unhealthy in appearance often yellow in colour and is almost invariably used to describe someone’s complexion. Dehydration can cause your skin to lack lustre and your face can become sallow looking. Dry winter weather can also play a role in a sallow complexion. Drinking enough water and getting ample sleep can improve the look of your skin.
17. Visible veins – Blood flow
Unsightly veins aren’t merely cosmetic. Your veins are an important indicator of your circulatory health. Spider veins or varicose veins on your legs can be a signal of deeper issues with your blood flow caused by age, weight and genetics and could indicate future health concerns. Spider veins on your face can be caused by excessive straining or Rosacea.
18. Cuts that won’t heal – skin infection
If a cut or wound is slow to heal, it could signal a possible skin infection. Other causes of slow wound healing include skin cancer (basal or squamous cell carcinoma), a blood clotting disorder or diabetes.
19. Premature ageing – Stress
During times of crisis, our body redirects the flow of blood to areas that are vital for reacting to stress – such as lungs and heart. This leaves the skin without essential blood and oxygen. The result? Increased production of free radicals and tissue-damaging oxidants, which speed up wrinkles, lines and other signs of premature ageing.
20. Red itchy rash- Fungal Infection
Rashes are commonly caused by contact dermatitis, meaning the skin comes into contact with something irritating and the skin has an immune response. But rashes in warm, moist areas of the skin can also be caused by a fungal infection, common in individuals whose diabetes is not being properly managed.
Your skin is always telling you something about your health. Understanding what it’s trying to tell you will make a lot of difference in how you treat it! We hope you liked our guide to What Your Skin Says About Your Health.