It is a gift to feel “comfortable in your own skin”. On the one hand in the figurative sense, because it means that you feel good all around. But on the other hand it is also true in the literal sense. A healthy skin radiates health and well-being. You can actually tell how you feel from your skin, health problems show up on the surface.
Not only because of this visibility, skin diseases and problems can be quite stressful for those affected. “People with a skin disease often suffer greatly from the stigma associated with it,” explains dermatologist Tatiana von Bayern from the Dermatology Department at the Schlosspalais in Munich. It is therefore important that you know what skin problems you are prone to and what you can do about them. We show you here which 8 skin diseases you should know about and how to avoid them.
The 8 most common skin diseases:
- perioral dermatitis
- Melanoma/black skin cancer
- athlete’s foot and nail fungus
That’s what your blood results say.
Why does one get a skin disease?
Every skin is different. Depending on your skin type, personal habits or living conditions, your skin is more susceptible to certain skin diseases. Either the cause is genetic or the skin texture changes when something else in life changes, be it the seasons, hormones, diet or even stress.
But also wrong care routines or an unhealthy diet can cause your skin problems. Depending on your genetic predisposition, your skin may overreact and you may develop pimples or itchy spots on your body.
Let your doctor clarify which skin disease you really have © Andrey Popov / Shutterstock.com
Which skin diseases are there?
“Most skin diseases are relapses of a chronic, genetically predisposed skin problem”, explains dermatologist Eva Bachmeier from the Dermatology Department at Sendlinger Tor in Munich. “Contagious skin diseases, however, are rather rare.” According to both dermatologists these 8 skin diseases occur most frequently:
“Most of our young patients suffer from acne,” explains the dermatologist. In this skin disease caused by predisposition, the sebum in the skin cannot drain properly through the pores because they are clogged or horny. This leads to the reddish inflammations and purulent pimples that are difficult to hide in the face. The conspicuous skin appearance can be very stressful for those affected.
This is how you recognize acne: Even as a teenager, you have seen what acne looks like in the schoolyard: red spots on the face, purulent pimples and impure skin. This is not only painful, but can also lead to scars that you can hardly get rid of.
You can do that for acne: Wash your face regularly with a washing lotion with a low pH value and peel yourself regularly, for example with a fruit acid peeling. This will cleanse the pores and bacteria that can cause inflammation will no longer feel comfortable on your skin. “The redness can also be treated with a laser and made less noticeable,” explains von Bayern.
If you suffer from acne as an adult, you should have your sex hormones checked, they influence sebum production, and an imbalance can cause acne.
These body odors reveal diseases
You should avoid this if you have acne: Keep your hands off greasy creams! “It is best to use a gel with glycerine and no additives or fragrances for daily care,” advises the expert. Also, do not try to open or squeeze the pustules yourself, as this can cause painful inflammation and scars. Also try to avoid dairy products for a while. “Milk contains hormones that can have an effect on the skin,” explains the dermatologist.
So avoid dairy products for about a quarter of a year and see if your skin condition improves. Drinks or foods with a lot of carbohydrates and especially sweets can also aggravate pimples.
If your skin is not too oily as in acne, but tends to become dry and flaky and prone to itching, you may have neurodermatitis. “Especially in the change to the cold season, in stressful phases of life, but also due to certain foods, a thrust of this disease can occur”, says Tatiana von Bayern. The skin barrier of the affected persons is defective. As a result, moisture is lost, the skin becomes dry and allergens can penetrate the skin. Especially allergy sufferers often have such problems.
That’s how you recognize neurodermatitis: Neurodermatitis can occur throughout the entire body, typically affecting the elbows and hollow of the knee. Here the skin starts to itch, becomes red and flaky. Those affected also have dry skin all over their body.
You can do that for neurodermatitis: Most important is the consistent basic care of the entire skin, preferably with as few additives as possible. “Care products with glycerine and urea support the natural skin barrier”, explains the dermatologist. To inhibit the inflammation, you can also apply natural preparations such as calendula, chamomile or pansies to the eczema. In worse cases your doctor can prescribe cortisone or tacrolimus.
You should also drink enough to moisturise your skin from the inside out.
You should avoid this with neurodermatitis: Especially in winter you should take special care of your skin, because cold, heated air or too hot showers dry out the skin. “Many of our patients also get neurodermatitis attacks in phases when they are under a lot of stress”, reports von Bayern. Relaxation exercises such as yoga or autogenic training can therefore also be useful.
This immediately makes the skin smoother
3. perioral dermatitis
For a long time, the so-called “stewardess disease” (yes, a sh*** name) was considered to be the result of over-care of the facial skin, especially in women. “But that is now outdated,” explains Bachmeier. “Men and children can also get this problem, and they usually don’t care for their skin as intensively as many women do. Nevertheless, a connection with care products is possible.
This is how you recognize a perioral dermatitis: “Typical of perioral dermatitis in women is the reddened skin around the mouth and nose, while directly around the lips an apparently free edge can be seen”, explains von Bayern. In addition, small, painful pimples can occur, which do not heal by themselves like normal pimples and sometimes last for months.
You can do this for perioral dermatitis: Less is more here too. So you can try a “zero-therapy” and completely do without all creams, soaps or other care products. For some women, such a complete renunciation can certainly solve the skin problem,” says von Bayern. However, since overcare is not the only possible cause, the doctor can also prescribe creams that contain antibiotics, for example.
In order to support the regeneration of the skin, you can put compresses with cold black tea on the affected areas. “The tanning agents in these will dry out your skin a little and also extract the skin care substances.”
Often a contact allergy is behind the annoying symptoms. Therefore, an allergy test often makes sense here. You do not have an allergy and yet are constantly plagued by redness around the mouth? Then go and see your doctor and get tested for a candida infection. “The symptoms of this gastrointestinal disease can be very similar to perioral dermatitis,” explains dermatologist from Bavaria.
You should avoid that: Even if it is difficult: do not over-make the red areas excessively and avoid facial treatments. Too much care can aggravate the symptoms!
The spot of a pimple on your health
If you are over 30, you should know about rosacea. Sometimes it is also called “late acne”, but the cause is quite different from classic acne. “In this skin disease, small blood vessels visibly dilate in the area of the cheeks and the nose. This usually happens in women who already had a rather sensitive skin before”, says dermatologist Bachmeier. However, the course of the disease can be aggravated with the wrong care.
This is how you recognize rosacea: Your cheeks often glow red, even though you have not done any sport, come from the cold or are excited? Then this could be the first sign of rosacea. The first stage are the visible blood vessels on your nose and cheeks. “In the second stage, small pustules and papules appear like tiny nodules in the skin. In the third stage, the connective tissue of the nose can thicken and become a ‘red bulbous nose’,” explains Tatiana von Bayern.
You can do that for rosacea: Rosacea should be treated as early as possible, then you will not enter the second or third stage at all. “Here, as in inflammatory acne, lasers or flashbulbs are used to destroy the dilated vessels,” says von Bayern. You can also make compresses with cold chamomile tea, which soothes the skin
You should avoid that: “Handle care products with care: Aggressive cleansing foams, high-fat creams or facial tonics can aggravate rosacea. Avoid things that increase your facial blood flow. Sauna visits, pungent spices or alcohol, but also UV -radiation dilates the blood vessels and also increases the symptoms.
Black skin cancer can also develop in parts of the body that are rarely exposed to the sun © Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com
5. melanoma/black skin cancer
This is actually a bigger problem. “Every year, about 21,000 people in Germany contract black skin cancer, and theoretically it can strike you at any time,” warns von Bayern. The older you are, the higher the risk of developing melanoma, i.e. skin cancer. Therefore, go to a skin cancer screening every two years from the age of 30 at the latest because this cancer is easy to recognize and can be treated very well in its early stages.
This is the right sun protection in winter
How to detect black skin cancer: “Dermatologists always follow the so-called ABCDE -rule to assess moles”, explains the dermatologist. A stands for asymmetry, because a healthy birthmark is usually symmetrical. B is the border – if the borders of the spot are blurred, it is observed. C stands for “Colour”, because healthy birthmarks should be monochrome. D is the diameter and E is the raised part, if these change noticeably, the birthmark is also observed or even removed.
You can do that for skin cancer: Take regular precautions and protect yourself from intensive UV -Radiation! Especially if you are a sun-sensitive skin type or even have a case of skin cancer in your family, you should be especially careful.
You should avoid that: Never go unprotected into the blazing sun! Your skin never forgets intensive sunbathing and sunburn. Even on holiday or on the balcony, protect your skin and don’t let it sizzle like roast chicken. This also makes your skin age very quickly.
6. foot and nail fungus
“Skin diseases that are contagious are caused by bacteria, viruses and by fungi, especially athlete’s foot”, explains von Bayern. Almost every woman catches this fungus at some point in her life, especially in swimming pools, changing rooms or saunas, it lurks and settles between the toes when the spaces between them are moist. Although it is not dangerous, it is very annoying, and the longer you carry it around with you, the harder it goes away again.
In this way you can detect foot and nail fungus: “With athlete’s foot the affected skin between the toes becomes soft and swollen”, says the dermatologist. In addition, the skin areas often itch or hurt. Nail fungus, on the other hand, often leads to a change in the shape, colour or thickness of the toenail.
You can do that for athlete’s foot: Always wear flip-flops or flip-flops at the above mentioned places. Also keep your feet as dry as possible and take special care to dry the space between your toes. If you are still affected, go to the doctor or pharmacy, where you can get medication or creams that kill the fungus.
You should avoid that: Do not wear damp shoes or socks for too long, because the fungus feels particularly good in a damp environment. In public places or even in hotel rooms you should not walk around barefoot, because the fungus spores are especially present where many people walk around without shoes.
How to get rid of athlete’s foot
With psoriasis, your skin renews itself about 8 times faster than normal. “The disease can be acute or chronic and can be triggered by a genetic disposition, an infection or certain drugs,” explains von Bayern. In contrast to neurodermatitis, those affected do not otherwise have dry skin.
This is how you recognize psoriasis: The skin becomes very flaky and red in individual areas, especially on the elbows and knees or even on the scalp. Itching is less frequent than in neurodermatitis, and the affected areas are clearly defined. Many people find the scales on the scalp particularly unpleasant, because they associate this with a lack of hygiene. “Those affected have a strong sense of suffering,” explains the dermatologist.
You can do that for psoriasis: Take special care of your skin and go to a dermatologist regularly if you have this problem. “UV -radiation and salt water also alleviate psoriasis,” explains Bachmeier. So if you are just planning your next holiday, how about a few days at the beach?
You should avoid that: When it comes to scaly patches, the first thing many people think of is peeling. “But they don’t help against the itchy feeling or the psoriasis itself,” says Bachmeier. Also try to avoid red meat and dairy products, which can stimulate inflammatory processes in the skin.
8. genital warts
Genital warts, also known as condylomas, occur in the genital area. They are caused by the human papillomaviruses (short HPV ) and often affect the skin around the genitals. “An alarming number of people are hardly aware of this viral disease,” reports Bachmeier. Young women are now frequently vaccinated against it. However, if you have not been vaccinated, you run the risk of catching an infection during sex for the rest of your life.
“Unfortunately, even condoms only help to a limited extent because the infection can affect the entire pubic area, which condoms do not cover sufficiently”, explains the dermatologist.
That’s why there are more STDs
This is how you recognize condylomata: If you have caught genital warts, you will only notice this when they spread. “There is no such thing as a pre-test like for other venereal diseases here,” says the expert. When the disease appears, you will get small brownish or skin-coloured changes that slowly spread and become larger.
You can do this for condylomata: See a doctor immediately! “Some high-risk types of HP -viruses can cause cervical cancer,” warns Bachmeier. If you notice the skin changes, you should have your gynaecologist examine the cervix and, if necessary PAP -…swabbed. If you have genital warts, your doctor will prescribe special creams against viruses or remove them under local anaesthetic. To avoid infection in advance, you can ask your gynaecologist for advice on vaccination.
You should avoid that: “Shaving the genital area makes it easier for the viruses to settle in the skin and spread,” said the doctor. That is why it is best to leave the razor in place in the near future. Above all, you should dispose of the old blade as soon as you discover the genital warts on you. Remember that this is a venereal disease that you can also infect other people with. You should therefore refrain from having sex until the infection has completely healed.
“However, it is impossible to predict how long the healing process will take,” says the dermatologist.
The best care routine for your skin
If you cleanse your skin thoroughly and according to its type, you effectively prevent skin diseases © George Rudy / Shutterstock.com
What basically helps your skin?
Even if you are prone to one of these skin problems, you can keep your skin healthy with a few simple tricks. “No matter what skin disease you have, the most important thing is consistent, appropriate basic care and a healthy lifestyle,” emphasizes Bachmeier. Both dermatologists give the following tips for healthy skin that is less susceptible to any skin disease:
- Cleanse the skin properly!
Depending on your skin type, you should wash your face once or twice a day. Except in case of an acne attack, lukewarm water and a mild soap is sufficient. When showering, the water should not be too hot and soap should be used sparingly. “Clear water will do almost anywhere. Shower gel or soap should only be used where the skin is dirty or greasy or where it smells, i.e. on the head, hands, under the arms and on the buttocks,” explains von Bayern. Especially in the genital area you should only use water, otherwise you will destroy the self-cleaning vaginal environment.
- Cream correctly!
Find the right cream for your skin type and your tendencies to the above mentioned problems. “Make sure that your skin care contains as few additives as possible”, advises von Bayern. She also warns against body oils: “If oils are applied to dry skin, they are more likely to dry out! When sunbathing, you should also never forget sunscreen, as it is the most effective protection against skin cancer. It is even better to avoid the sun during the midday hours.
- Eat and drink healthily!
Many people can quickly see the greasy pizza or the few cocktails of the previous evening on their skin. In the same way you can make your skin shine from the inside with vitamins, trace elements and enough liquid. Alcohol or even smoking irritates the skin, so keep it under control.
- Get enough rest!
“Beauty sleep is not a myth,” emphasized von Bayern. During sleep, the skin also regenerates, becoming cleaner and more beautiful and also more resistant to skin problems. If, on the other hand, you are constantly tired or even suffer from constant stress, this can even trigger a surge of a skin problem.
The biggest skin care mistakes for your care
Almost every woman is prone to some kind of skin problem. However, most of them can be avoided or alleviated by living a healthy life and taking proper care of your skin. If you do get a skin disease, take it to your doctor quickly so that you can feel comfortable in your skin again as soon as possible.