There are so many different skin conditions out there. In fact, there’s one for every letter of the alphabet! It can be important to know about these skin conditions and how to deal with them. This post explores 26 different skin conditions (including some of the most common conditions), as well detailing how to prevent and treat them.
Acne is a very common condition in which the pores of the skin get blocked with oil and dead skin cells. This can lead to pimples, blackheads and even cysts, along with inflammation. While good hygiene can reduce the risk of acne, it is often the result of hormones or genetics. There are many treatments for acne that a doctor may be able to recommend. Learn more about acne here.
Blisters are caused by friction – the upper layer of skin tears away from the layers beneath, and fluid collects below forming a painful lump. Most people get them on their feet after walking long distances in new or uncomfortable shoes. Always leave a blister alone to stop it getting infected – it should heal by itself.
A cold sore in a painful lump on the lips caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, a cold sore can keep returning (usually triggered by temperature changes or stress), however you can reduce them with antiviral creams.
Dermatitis is a general term for any kind of skin irritation. There are two main types: atopic dermatitis (caused by allergies and genetic mutations) and contact dermatitis (caused by physical contact with chemicals). Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema, which is explained below…
Eczema is a condition that causes areas of skin to become itchy, dry or cracked. The cause is unknown and there is no cure, however flare-ups can be prevented by moisturizing, reducing stress, reducing allergy triggers and avoiding long hot showers.
Folliculitis occurs when hair follicles get swollen and infected. This can be caused by all kinds of things from bacteria to a virus. Soothing lotions and hydrocortisone creams can be used to treat this condition
A raised rash or bumps in a ring pattern is known as granuloma annulare. The exact cause is unknown with theories linking them to everything from sun exposure to trauma. There is no cure, however these rashes will usually disappear on their own with time.
Heat rash is small red bumps caused by sweat glands becoming blocked. It is common in babies and people who sweat a lot. There are topical creams you can buy to ease heat rash.
This highly contagious but fairly harmless skin infection typically results in sores and blisters on the skin. The infection usually gets into the skin through a cut or insect bite. Prescribed antibiotics can clear up this infection, although it may go away on its own.
Yellow-tinted skin is a condition called jaundice. This is actually not a skin condition, but the result of a problem with the liver, pancreas or gallbladder, which results in a build-up of bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice can be serious and is something you should get immediate medical attention for.
Keloid scars are raised scars caused by overgrowth of scar tissue. Quite why scars turn into keloid scars is unknown – it’s most common with ear piercing, surgery scars and insect bites. There are many different treatments available to remove keloid scars.
Lupus is a condition that causes the immune system to attack healthy parts of the body. It can cause all kinds of skin changes including a butterfly-like rash on the face and white/blue coloring of fingers, as well as joint pain and headaches. There is no cure for lupus, but you can get medication prescribed to reduce symptoms.
A melanoma is a type of skin cancer that looks a bit like a blotchy mole, usually with rough or scaly patches. It is important that you see a doctor immediately if you suspect you may have a melanoma, as this cancer can spread to other parts of the body if not treated. Melanomas can be easily removed if caught early. Unprotected sun exposure or sunbed usage is believed to be a major cause.
Nappy rash (AKA diaper rash) affects many babies and toddlers. These rashes occur from wearing a dirty diaper for too long. There are creams that can help to get rid of nappy rash.
Commonly known as ‘swimmer’s ear’, otitis externa is inflammation and infection of the skin in the ear canal caused by constant moisture contact. If you swim a lot, it is recommended that you wear ear plugs or a swimming cap to prevent otitis externa. It can be cleared up using ear drops (different ear drops may be recommended depending on the type of infection).
Psoriasis is a disorder in which the skin creates too many skin cells leading to hard, flaky scales around the body. It can have many triggers from injuries to stress. Although there is no cure, flare-ups can be greatly reduced through prescribed medication.
Quinquads folliculitis decalvans
This bacterial infection causes hair follicles to become blocked and inflamed, causing pustules. It typically affects the scalp, and can result in hair loss and scarring. Various medicines such as antibiotics can clear it up. Fortunately, this is a very rare condition (there aren’t many skin conditions beginning with Q!).
Rosacea is a condition that causes inflammation of the skin (usually the face) resulting in a deep-red blushed appearance. It may cause thickening of skin and acne in some cases. The root cause is not certain, but those who experience it usually have specific flare-up triggers such as alcohol or sunlight exposure. Medications can reduce the pain and redness.
Shingles is an infection that causes painful red blotchy rashes to appear around the body. A less serious variant of this infection that mainly affects kids is chickenpox. Shingles mainly affects adults and can go away on its own, but is generally still worth seeing a doctor for (especially if it’s on the face).
After a traumatic event, some people may experience temporary hair loss known as telogen effluvium. It is caused by hair follicles in the skin going into a premature resting state due to extreme stress. Fortunately, providing the stressful event has been overcome, hair will usually grow back.
More commonly known as ‘hives’, urticaria is a rash consisting of small itchy bumps triggered by high levels of histamine following an allergic reaction. This may be accompanied by other allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, itchy sinuses, swollen tongue or breathing problems. Hives can usually be easily cleared up by taking antihistamines. Avoiding allergy triggers can prevent hives flare-ups.
Vitiligo is a common condition that occurs when areas of skin cannot produce melanin, causing pale white patches. While skin grafts can be used to treat vitiligo, many people simply learn to live with this condition. White patches should be protected from the sun as they are very susceptible to sunburn.
Caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV), warts are small growths of skin that can occur around the body. They are spread through contact with other people who have warts. When occurring on the feet, they are usually called verrucas. Although generally harmless, warts can be unsightly, and some people like to get them removed (usually by freezing them).
Xerosis is the medical name for dry skin. There are many causes from bathing too often to cold weather. Some people naturally have less oily skin and are more susceptible. It is also very common among older people who begin to lose the ability to produce oils in their skin. Fortunately, there are many forms of dry skin treatment – the most common being moisturiser creams.
Yaws is a skin infection that causes lumps and ulcers in the skin. It is common in a few tropical countries but rare throughout the rest of the world, and is passed through skin contact with someone who is infected. It affects mainly children and can be disfiguring, so should be treated as quickly as possible.
Finally, there’s the most common skin condition, zits (more commonly known as ‘pimples’ or ‘spots’). Zits are a symptom of acne and are caused by blocked pores. There are spot treatment creams you can use to help get rid of them. If you can resist, try not to pop zits, as this can cause infection and scarring.