Your skin is not just the protective barrier for your body, it’s also the first thing that people tend to notice. Because of that, there are so many emotions tied up in how we feel about our skin, especially the skin on our faces.
Yet skin, like the rest of you, is alive and susceptible to ebbs and flows. Sometimes this results in skin conditions.
Even though they’re a natural part of being human, skin diseases and problems like acne and Rosacea can bring down your self-esteem, and sometimes – your mental health, even though these conditions are completely normal.
But not to sweat! You’re here for a reason. Because you’re ready to put in a little bit of work and give your skin the TLC it deserves – just like you!
Common Skin Problems
When something isn’t going how you want it to, or how you think it should go, it’s easy to think of it as a “problem.”
Let’s just clear something up – instead of “problem,” let’s think of these things as conditions or unique skin qualities.
Your skin is an incredible tool for the inside of your body to communicate with you. Skin imbalances and skin problems often are an indicator of some sort of imbalance inside your body.
Skin conditions are an incredibly brilliant form of communication!
Still, that knowledge can’t totally change how you feel when you look in the mirror. While common skin conditions may not be the most convenient thing to deal with, they don’t make you any less of a person, any less beautiful, or any less YOU.
You deserve to shine bright and feel secure in your skin.
It can feel isolating to experience skin conditions and irritations, but it’s something that nearly everyone goes through at some point in time.
You’re not alone in this. Everyone is unique, but we also share a lot of things in common, including what we experience with our skin.
Not only are you not alone, but people have spent plenty of time figuring out how to treat these common skin conditions, and now you get to learn from their experience.
We’re here to talk about five of the most common skin problems; acne, eczema, rosacea, vitiligo, and psoriasis – and how to live your best life with them.
One of the most common skin diseases that come to mind is acne. Pimples, zits, cysts, oh my! How common is acne?
There are so many different types of acne and it’s something that most people can relate to. From pesky pimples to hormonal acne to gut imbalances, almost everyone experiences acne at some point in their life.
Even though most people have had at least a few breakouts in their life, it’s easy to feel embarrassed about acne and want to hide. This sometimes creates a cycle of wanting to cover with makeup, which can further irritate the skin.
How do you get acne?
This is a pretty broad question and is different for everyone. For some people it’s caused by hormonal changes, these people often tend to get breakouts right around their period. For others, it’s a matter of gut imbalances.
Gut inflammation and imbalances are often caused by food sensitivities or excess sugar and processed foods. People who have a family history of acne or who are on certain medications may have a higher chance of getting regular breakouts.
If you’re struggling with acne, we understand what you’re going through. To feel like you’re not yourself, that you did something wrong, that you should hide.
Old, young, and everyone in between, you should never feel shame for acne. It can take time, but there are ways to help clear up your skin.
How to Clear Up Acne
Acne woes got you down? There is a way out.
One of the first steps to clearing up your acne is getting to the root of it. Do you have hormonal imbalances? Gut problems? Are you neglecting your skincare routine? Could a certain medication be the culprit? Understanding what’s triggering your acne can help guide you to the right steps towards treating it.
Your skincare routine is important, so having a proper skin care routine, protecting your skin from sun exposure with SPF, and avoiding harsh chemicals is critical.
But the buck doesn't stop there.
In addition to that, most skin conditions start from the inside out. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of produce and minimally processed foods can help you feed your body and your skin what it needs. Another aspect of feeding your skin is staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is one of the most vital parts of giving your body what it needs so that your skin can thrive.
After you’ve got your insides taken care of, it’s time to address your skincare routine. How you treat your skin and what you put on it can make a world of difference when it comes to treating acne.
It’s important to keep a clean face, washing with a gentle cleanser twice a day, to keep pores from getting clogged with gunk, makeup, and environmental toxins. Be sure to look for clean skincare products with natural ingredients like squalane and CBG.
Be sure to keep in mind that new treatments, even with the best quality products can sometimes make your skin go through an adjustment period.
This “skin purging” can be blamed on the acne cycle. Acne starts to form weeks, sometimes a month before the pesky pimple actually makes an appearance.
While it can be frustrating to see pimples pop up after dropping your hard-earned money on a new product, give it a bit of time and watch the magic happen!
During the adjustment period, you may be tempted to pop or pick at your skin. Picking at your skin keeps it irritated and inflamed while introducing new bacteria to it, which can make acne much worse.
One of the most overlooked tips when it comes to keeping acne at bay is to stop popping pimples! Instead, reach for a spot treatment, and stick with your routine. Put those hands down!
We all need a little help sometimes. A dermatologist may just be the missing piece for you. For acne that just doesn’t seem to budge, talk to your dermatologist and see how they can help you clear up your skin!
It’s a bump, it’s a rash, no it’s eczema. Ouch! Eczema is one of the most common skin diseases others face, affecting more than three million people in the US each year, in fact. Just because it’s extremely common, doesn’t mean it’s not a total pain in the butt (or face, or wherever it pops up).
If you deal with eczema, you certainly know what it looks and feels like, but what is it exactly? Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a term for several different types of skin swelling. This usually leads to dry, scaly skin and itchy rashes on the face as well as on the hands and feet, inside the elbows, and behind the knees.
Eczema can be incredibly uncomfortable and cause itchy skin, but be careful before scratching. Scratching eczema can make your skin turn red, and cause it to itch and swell even more. A vicious cycle!
Eczema usually develops in childhood and is most common in babies and children, but adults can certainly have it too. It also tends to be more common in females. Like acne, eczema is more common if you have a family history of it – although it’s not contagious.
What are some other common eczema triggers? Anything that irritates your skin can lead to an eczema outbreak like certain fabrics, lotions, soaps, and even stress. If you have allergies to certain things like animals, food, and pollen, these can also trigger eczema.
Eczema is uncomfortable and inconvenient, but it can be kept at bay for the most part. All you need is the right set of tools.
How to Help With Eczema
One of the first steps to helping treat your eczema is to avoid triggers like the ones listed above. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, and sometimes rashes seem to pop up without warning. What do you do in that case? We’ve got some proper skincare tips for you to get your eczema under control.
Eczema is a skin disease and immune response to certain irritants and allergens. You can help prevent rashes from occurring through a balanced diet, time in nature, and managing stress levels.
If eczema does pop up, you can help the discomfort by being gentle with your skin. Keep your skin moisturized with a cream or ointment. Lotions don’t always work well for people with eczema.
If you’re especially itchy, you may want to opt for an anti-itch cream. Again, avoid scratching at all costs. We know it’s hard, but it’s just prolonging the cycle!
Another way you can help tend to your eczema is by taking lukewarm baths and showers as hot water can be irritating. Wash with mild, fragrance-free soap and labeled either “hypoallergenic” or “for sensitive skin.” If the air makes your skin dry, you may want to invest in a humidifier for your room.
If you’re still struggling with eczema, you can ask your healthcare provider about prescription medications.
Another common skin disease that often gets swept under the rug is rosacea. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect a large number of people. There are more than three million cases of rosacea in the U.S. each year.
This condition often gets mistaken for acne because of the facial redness it causes, typically on the face.
They’re separate things though. What’s the difference between the two skin problems, rosacea and acne? With acne, redness typically just occurs around the areas with pimples.
In the case of rosacea, redness may occur all over the face, being more concentrated on the nose, chin, forehead, and cheeks.
Some other common symptoms of rosacea includes:
- Patches of dry, rough skin
- Bumps on your eyelids, or problems with seeing
- Larger pores
- Broken blood vessels on your eyelids
- A swollen, bulb-shaped nose
- Skin that stings or burns
Rosacea is more common in middle-aged women with fair skin. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, but there are a few factors that may contribute to it like a family history of rosacea, problems with the blood vessels on your face, gut bacteria, and tiny insects called mites that live on your skin – don’t worry, these are normal, but can cause a reaction in some people.
How to Help Rosacea
Treatment can help minimize the symptoms of rosacea, however, it can’t be totally cured. That being said, if you have rosacea it’s important that you do seek medical care. When left untreated, the redness and swelling can become permanent.
Some of the treatments your doctor might recommend are different topical medications that tighten the blood vessels, clear up bumps, swelling, and redness.
That might also recommend an antibiotic to kill the bacteria on your skin or acne medications to minimize skin bumps. In some cases, they may recommend lasers to reduce enlarged blood vessels, or dermabrasion to remove the top layer of skin.
Again, one of the best things you can do, especially after using intense medications is to create a holistic skincare routine that supports your skin’s health in every way.
Next on our list of somewhat common skin conditions is vitiligo. Although you may not have heard of it if you don’t have it, vitiligo affects between 0.5% to 1% of people.
People with vitiligo have patches of skin around their body, including the skin, hair, and mucous membranes that have lost their color. It typically starts on the hands, forearms, face, or feet.
The smooth, white areas that are left behind are called macules or patches.
Vitiligo occurs when pigment-producing cells in the skin die or stop functioning, this is why it tends to be more noticeable on people with darker skin. Melanocytes, the skin cells that produce pigment creating melanin, are destroyed by the body’s immune system.
This can also show up in people’s hair.
Vitiligo typically starts with seeing a few small patches of a different skin color that develop over a few months. Over time, the patches may change and move around the body, causing certain areas to lose and regain their pigmentation.
No one knows exactly what causes Vitiligo, but genetics, autoimmune disorders, nerve endings, and stress may all contribute to it.
How to Help with Vitiligo
What do effective treatments for vitiligo look like? Since the skin cells in your body create a reaction, there is no real cure. Luckily outside of possible itching around the patches, vitiligo causes few other symptoms.
It is important to use extra sun protection on the lighter areas, as these may be more prone to sunburns. Some people with vitiligo may be more likely to develop or have an autoimmune disorder like hypothyroidism or diabetes, so it’s important to keep tabs on your health.
Still, it can lead to issues with self-confidence and just not feeling like yourself. There are some treatments and surgeries that can help cover it up if you feel strongly about it, but these are unnecessary.
One of the best ways you can help your Vitiligo is by embracing your beauty and loving the skin that you’re in. We know that can be a lot easier said than done, but it’s an ongoing process, one that you will get through. We’re seeing more and more representation of people with vitiligo in pop culture, especially with fashion models. Who knows – you and your journey of self-discovery might inspire someone else to love themselves even more!
Last on our list is psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects about 2-5% of people around the world. This disorder causes skin cells to multiply up to ten times faster than normal.
When skin cells build up, it causes bumpy red patches of skin that may have white scales. These patches can be dry, itchy, and incredibly uncomfortable.
Psoriasis tends to appear most often on the lower back, scalp, elbows, and knees, typically appearing in early adulthood.
It’s thought to be triggered by the immune system, which is why infections, stress, and cold weather can make patches pop up faster. Although it’s not contagious, people often have a genetic predisposition to psoriasis.
How to Help with Psoriasis
As uncomfortable and inconvenient as psoriasis disease can be, luckily there are many treatments available.
It’s important to consult a dermatologist or doctor because treatment varies depending on your age, where the rash occurs, the size and type of rash, and your overall health.
Treatment may include a combination of topical medications that slow the growth of new skin cells and others to relieve dryness and itchiness.
Some of the most common treatments include retinoid creams, coal tar, steroid creams, moisturizers, and Vitamin D-based ointments. They may also recommend ingestible medications, along with light therapy, and treatments.
We’re in This Together
As frustrating, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful skin conditions can be, you’re not alone. No matter if it’s acne, psoriasis, rosacea, vitiligo, eczema, or another skin disease or common skin problem – you deserve to feel comfortable and confident in your skin.