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Acne causes spots to develop on the skin, usually on the face, back and chest. It is most common in teenagers and young adults.
Acne is caused when tiny holes in the skin, known as hair follicles, become blocked. The hair follicle becomes plugged and bulges outwards causing whiteheads to form or exposes the hair follicle causing blackheads. Bacteria that normally live on the skin can infect these follicles leading to collections of pus.
Wash the area with mild soap not more than two times per day. Washing too often can irritate the skin making the symptoms worse. Don't squeeze spots as this can lead to permanent scarring. Most people who develop acne will resolve naturally in time. Some however need treatment;
Medications take at least three months till you see noticeable effects. There are also stronger medications that may be used if the above fail to make a difference.
Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked
It is caused by a mixture of inherited and environmental factors. Some people are likely to develop as they have close family members with eczema.
There is no cure for eczema but there are things you can do and treatments to ease the symptoms. Try not to scratch your skin as this irritates it and makes it more itchy. Eggs, nuts and milk have been found to make symptoms of eczema worse in some people. Although it may not be healthy to entirely cut these out without medical advice, it may be worth asking your GP for food allergy test.
Your GP can also offer you two forms of treatment
A condition that causes flaky, red patches on the skin. They can look shiny and cause itching or burning. They can be anywhere, but are more common on elbows, knees and the lower back.
Some of the body’s antibodies attack skin cells by mistake, causing them to reproduce too quickly and build up on the skin. Certain things may make symptoms worse, including alcohol, smoking and some medicines (such as ibuprofen)
There is no cure for psoriasis, but treatment will usually help keep the condition under control. Treatments are determined by the type and severity of your psoriasis and the area of skin affected. Your doctor will probably start with a mild treatment, such as topical creams (which are applied to the skin), and then move on to stronger treatments if necessary.
Ringworm is not a worm but a number of fungal infections that grow in a patch or circle on the skin. It can be a few millimetres to a few centimetres across. The patches or circles look red or silvery and can blister and ooze.
Fungal spores enter the skin through a break, such as a scratch or a patch of eczema. Ringworm can be passed on through direct contact and sharing items such as towels, bedding or combs. It can also be passed on from the floor of shower or swimming pool areas. Pets can pass it to people.
Antifungal creams, powders or tablets, available from the pharmacy, can be effective.
Vitiligo causes pale, white patches on the skin. These patches can occur anywhere, but are more noticeable on areas that are exposed to sunlight, such as the face and hands, and on dark or tanned skin. On the scalp, vitiligo can cause hair to turn white. Patches can be small or large, stay the same size or grow. Vitiligo cannot be passed on through close contact.
It is caused by a lack of melanocyte cells, which colour the skin. These cells can be missing because:
Treatment aims to restore skin colour and control the spread of vitiligo. Treatment can include:
If vitiligo affects more than 50% of the skin, treatment may involve lightening the healthy skin using prescription creams.
Warts are flesh-coloured lumps, which can be 1mm to over 1cm across. Warts can appear anywhere, but usually affect the hands and feet. A wart on the foot is called a verruca. Genital warts appear around the genitals or anus.
They are caused by infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can be passed on through skin-to-skin contact and sometimes through surfaces such as floors and towels. If you have a wart, you can spread it to other people through close contact and also to other parts of your own body.
Most warts go away by themselves, but this can take up to two years. Treatments include:
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Acne - Wikimedia Commons (Attribution not needed)
Eczema - Openstax College
Psoriasis - John D. Peter
Ringworm - Wikimedia Commons (Attribution not needed)
Vitiligo - Wikimedia Commons: Produnis
Warts - John D. Peter
Date of last review 08/04/14
Date of next review 08/04/17