What is Skin Disease?
A skin disease is a disease which involves the skin. Specialists in these diseases are known as dermatologists, and diseases of the skin are quite diverse, making plenty of work available in the field of dermatology. Many people experience a skin disease at some point in their lives, since the skin is the body's largest organ and it is rather exposed, greatly increasing its risk of becoming diseased or damaged.
Because the skin is a highly visible organ, diseases are often caught early by sharp-eyed patients who take note of changes in their skin. Skin disease can also unfortunately be a cause of humiliation or embarrassment, thanks to its highly visible nature.
Some skin diseases are congenital, meaning that they are caused by genetics. Harlequin ichthyosis, a painful disease which causes the skin to blister, discolor, and scale, is an example of a congenital skin condition. Management of such diseases is often focused on keeping the patient comfortable and dealing with the symptoms, as the disease may not be curable.
Other skin diseases are acquired, as in the case of infections which target the skin. Bacteria and fungi are especially fond of causing skin infections, which can vary from impetigo on the face to athlete's foot between the toes. These conditions can typically be treated with the application of medications. Insect bites, contact with various substances, and allergic reactions can all cause diseases of the skin.
Skin diseases can also reflect more serious medical problems. Eczema, for example, is a common problem for people with allergies, as are hives. Skin diseases can be caused by cancers, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and a host of other problems. All told, there are thousands of recognized skin conditions in the world, although only a fraction of this number routinely pop up. Variations on acne, for example, are a leading cause of trips to the dermatologist.
Depending on the nature of the skin disease, a variety of symptoms may manifest. The skin may change color or texture, or it may become hot, swollen, or slimy to the touch. Changes in the skin should be closely monitored, as some diseases can be very dangerous, and can also be a sign of an underlying medical problem. If a condition appears to be growing rapidly worse or it does not resolve within a week, a trip to a dermatologist or general practitioner is highly advised to determine what is causing the disease, and how it can be treated.
I'm really glad that you wrote about how serious skin disease can be -- so many people try to write off their skin disease as "just a rash" or "just a fungus" and don't get the treatment they need as soon as they can.
This can lead to very serious side effects, so if you're one of those "walk it off" kind of people, then you definitely need to change that habit when it comes to skin diseases.
The general rule of thumb is two weeks -- if you are trying a treatment for a skin disease that doesn't clear it up in two weeks, then you really need to contact someone with a knowledge of dermatology and skin disease -- it's simply not worth risking your health over.
Sure, you can catch skin disease early, but in the case of genetic skin diseases, or those that do not respond to treatment, like rosacea or psoriasis, skin disease can be a lifetime problem.
Take the bullous skin disease, for example. I think that this is one of the saddest diseases that anybody can get, because it's a genetic autoimmune disorder. In bullous skin disease, large blisters form on the body as the skin which periodically erupt, and may become infected. Sufferers can experience them anywhere on the body, even the inside of the mouth!
Unfortunately, there is no one cure for bullous skin disease, though there are some treatments. Most people can see significant results with a steroid cream, though some people have to do a variety of injections, and may even have to take an immune suppressant.
Although bullous skin disease can certainly be one of the more serious ones out there, all chronic skin diseases are a serious thing -- easily diagnosed or not.
Although skin diseases can be very embarrassing for those who contract them, the good thing is that the vast majority of them are caught very early. I mean, it's not like you can really ignore a skin rash disease or scabies! Skin disease is going to make you pay attention to it, whether you like it or not.
This makes it possible to treat the disease quickly and effectively, before it can cause any more damage. And this is really a very good thing, since some skin diseases can have serious side effects if not treated quickly.
So just remember that next time you fall into despair over a skin disease -- in most cases, you can at least see it, catch it early, and treat it before it can do any permanent harm.
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