The Most Common Adult Skin Issues

There are many different types of skin disorders out there, and changes are we have experienced, or will experience, at least one in our lifetime.  From acne to psoriasis, skin conditions are commonplace for many.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common skin disorders affecting adults in America:

Acne: this skin condition effects many more people than just those going through puberty, although acne is a classic sign of adolescence. It is formed by oil and dead skin clogged pores, most prominently on the face and upper back.  These clogged pores become inflamed and form whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts, or deep nodules.

For some, acne starts as a teen and persists into adulthood.  For others, a much smaller portion, acne presents itself for the first time as an adult.  The main cause is fluctuating hormone levels, stress, and beauty products which may be having an adverse effect on the skin.  A proper skin cleansing regiment is usually enough to treat those unsightly pimples, but for severe cased, prescription medication is available.

Eczema: Eczema is a common skin condition in adults, and affects up to 3% of adults. Atopic dermatitis, another name for the skin condition, leaves the skin with inflamed, red, dry, and itchy patches. The patches of skin can appear anywhere on the body, but are most common in skin folds, hands and elbows. But don’t worry, this skin condition is not contagious.

About 70% of these who are diagnosed with eczema also have a family history of the skin disease, but the exact causes are unknown.  Eczema has no cure, but may be controlled with topical creams, antihistamines, and immunosuppressant drugs.

Hives: Hives, are raised, red bumps that appear suddenly on the skin’s surface. The can occur anywhere on the body, and tend to cause itching, stinging and burning on the site where they appear.  When pressed, these welts turn white.  Hives are typically caused by an allergic reaction to some type of food or medication, but can also appear when the body is affected by an infection.  Antihistamines, like Benadryl, are the common treatment recommended for hives.

Psoriasis: Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition of unknown origin that results in the overproduction of skin cells. These dead cells build up creating thick, red patches and whitish, grey scales on the skin.  This causes severe itching at the site of the skin patches.  The patches of psoriasis are most likely to appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

It is estimated that about 7.5 million people in America are affected by this skin disease.  And although psoriasis has no cure, but can be treated with oral medications, immunosuppressants, and topical ointments. 

Vitiligo: Vitiligo is different from other skin conditions on this list because it is not a surface skin reaction.  Instead, this common skin condition is where the melanin, or pigment in the skin is lost.  The skin disorder is characterized by white patches of skin from the loss of melanocytes, and subsequent skin pigment. The most common areas to be affected are those most exposed to the sun like the hands, face, arms, and feet.

Like most of these disorders on this list, the exact cause of vitiligo is unknown, but there does seem to be a hereditary link. There is also no cure for this condition, but topical ointments, immunomodulators, or depigmentation of the body may be used as treatment.