5 Common Chronic Skin Conditions: Symptoms & Treatments

Oct 19, 2015
5 Common Chronic Skin Conditions: Symptoms & Treatments
Chronic skin conditions are quite common. It’s a fact that many people find comforting. That’s because it’s so easy to feel alone when they first notice an abnormality with their skin.

Chronic skin conditions are quite common. It’s a fact that many people find comforting. That’s because it’s so easy to feel alone when they first notice an abnormality with their skin. It’s natural to feel concerned about the seriousness of the condition and how skin disorders can affect quality of life. Fortunately, many skin conditions can be treated. Just as encouraging is the knowledge that other people are living with skin disorders too.

A number of chronic skin conditions are diagnosed by dermatologists every day. These skin conditions vary with regard to symptoms and severity, but it’s reassuring to note that treatments are available for each of these skin disorders. If you believe that you may have one of these five common chronic skin conditions, contact a board-certified dermatologist. You may be a good candidate for a treatment that will reduce or eliminate the symptoms you experience.

Chronic Skin Condition 1: Psoriasis


Nearly 7.5 million people in the U.S. have symptoms of psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that usually causes red, scaly, itchy patches on the skin. While these troublesome patches of skin can appear anywhere on the body they are most often seen on the knees, elbows and scalp. Psoriasis is not contagious, and researchers aren’t precisely certain why some people end up with this condition while others do not. However, a deficiency in the immune system appears to cause the body to produce too many skin cells too quickly. Several treatment methods are available, including a variety of topical treatments. Dermatologists may also try light therapy or various injected or oral medications to treat psoriasis. It is also recommended that patients learn to identify and avoid their psoriasis triggers to minimize the number of flare ups they experience. With consistent treatment, it’s possible to significantly limit the number and severity of these events.

Chronic Skin Condition 2: Eczema


Eczema is actually classed as several different chronic skin conditions that all cause inflamed and irritated skin. Most patients are diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, which essentially means that the tendency toward redness and irritation is an inherited trait. Eczema is seen in approximately 10 to 20 percent of all infants in the U.S. Many infants appear to outgrow the condition, which means that only three percent of adults and older children exhibit the symptoms of eczema. Skin conditions known as eczema are all recognized for causing severe itching. Sometimes the itching begins before the rash even appears. Most cases of eczema show up on the hands, wrists or feet. However, the backs of the knees and the face may also be affected. The symptoms of eczema are most often treated with topical corticosteroid creams and antihistamines. Patients can also learn to avoid certain irritants that may cause their eczema to flare up. With treatment by a dermatologist it is possible to control symptoms and minimize or eliminate problems.

Chronic Skin Condition 3: Acne


It’s a common misconception that only teens suffer from acne breakouts. The reality is that acne can affect anyone at any age. It is also true that pretty nearly everyone has an acne flare up at least once in their life. Unfortunately, most people dealing with acne experience it as an ongoing skin care concern that may last for months or years. This makes it one of the most common and concerning chronic skin conditions. Researchers know that hormones and heredity are the main risk factors when it comes to acne. Regardless of how often they wash their face or swear off greasy foods, many people still suffer from acne because of these inescapable risk factors. Acne occurs when the skin’s natural oils plug hair follicles. The debris trapped in the pore essentially causes an infection that leads to redness, tenderness and swelling. Your dermatologist can suggest a number of acne treatments. These include topical preparations containing ingredients like retinoids, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Oral medications may also be prescribed. Dermatologists can also suggest in-office treatments with lasers, chemical peels or extractions that may bring relief.

Chronic Skin Condition 4: Rosacea


Rosacea is another of the most common chronic skin conditions. Like psoriasis and eczema, scientists have yet to define precisely what causes rosacea. Nonetheless, there are a number of effective treatments that your dermatologist may recommend. Rosacea symptoms usually affect the face, causing it to appear reddened. Blood vessels that are typically invisible may begin to show. Some people suffering from rosacea may start to see red patches appearing in other areas like the neck, chest or back. Rosacea is also known to affect the eyes in some cases, making immediate medical treatment imperative. Approximately 14 million people in the U.S. deal with rosacea every day. Many of them do not realize that their flushing, bumps and visible blood vessels are actually a medical condition. However, being diagnosed with rosacea by a dermatologist opens the door for effective medications and procedures that can bring the condition under control.

Chronic Skin Condition 5: Vitiligo


People who notice unusual white patches on their skin may have vitiligo. The condition occurs when pigment cells known as melanocytes are destroyed. Telltale white patches frequently appear around the eyes, nostrils and mouth. The armpits, navel and groin may also be affected. Vitiligo patches may spread to affect larger areas of the body. Researchers don’t know precisely what causes vitiligo, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder. People of nearly any age may be diagnosed with vitiligo, and people of both sexes and all races seem to be susceptible. There is evidence that vitiligo may have a hereditary factor. Topical and oral treatments are available for vitiligo. In addition, your dermatologist may recommend a light therapy.

While these chronic skin conditions are certainly common they can still cause a great deal of stress for the people who suffer from them. For these people, it is helpful to know that there are others who deal with the same skin disorders. Finding an effective treatment for these chronic skin conditions is even better. Schedule an appointment with Soine Dermatology today to learn more about treatment for these skin conditions.