Common Adult Skin Problems

Common Adult Skin Problems?

Is your skin itchy, broken out, or covered in a rash or strange spots? Skin inflammation, changes in texture or color, and spots may result from infection, a chronic skin condition, or contact with an allergen or irritant. If you think you have one of these common adult skin problems, have your doctor check it out. Most are minor, but others can signal something more serious.

Acne

Acne breaks out when a pore clogged with oil and dead skin cells gets inflamed. Pores that stay open and turn dark are called blackheads; completely blocked pores are known as whiteheads. Bacteria and hormones trigger acne, which most often shows up on your face, chest, and back. You can also get pus-filled pimples and cysts. To control acne, keep oily areas clean and don't squeeze (this may cause infection and scars). 

Eczema

Eczema is a blanket term for several non-contagious conditions that cause inflamed, red, dry, and itchy skin. Doctors aren't sure what makes eczema start in the first place, but they do know that stress, irritants (like soaps), allergens, and climate can trigger flares. In adults, it often appears on the elbows, hands, and in skin folds. Several medications treat eczema. Some are spread over the skin, and others are taken by mouth or as a shot.

Razor Bumps

Razor bumps pop up after you shave, when the sharp edge of a closely cut hair curls back and grows into your skin. This can cause irritation, pimples, and even scars. To minimize razor bumps, take a hot shower before you shave, pull the blade in the direction your hair grows, and don't stretch your skin while you pull the razor across it. Always use a shaving cream or foam. Rinse with cold water, then apply moisturizer.

Hives (Urticaria)

Hives look like welts and can itch, sting or burn. They vary in size and sometimes join together. They may appear on any part of you and last anywhere from minutes to days. Causes include extreme temperatures, infections like strep throat, and allergies to medications, foods, and food additives. Antihistamines and skin creams can help.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

A rash of raised dots that turns into painful blisters, shingles causes your skin to burn, itch, tingle, or become very sensitive. Shingles often shows up on your trunk and buttocks, but can appear anywhere. An outbreak lasts about two weeks. You’ll recover, but pain, numbness, and itching might linger for months, years, or even the rest of your life. Treatment includes creams for your skin, antiviral drugs, steroids, and even antidepressants.

Psoriasis

Thick, red patches of skin covered with white or silvery scales are signs of psoriasis. Doctors know how psoriasis works -- your immune system triggers new skin cells to grow too quickly -- but they don't now what causes it.  The patches show up on your scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. They can heal and come back throughout your life.  Treatments include creams and ointments for your skin, light therapy, and medications taken by mouth, injection, or IV.


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