Skin is the largest organ in your body, and the only one that you can physically see and touch at all times. Your skin often serves as an early indicator of other issues that your body may be exhibiting. Of course, it is true that many things like dry skin, rashes, and other minor skin problems are, many times, caused by simple, treatable things like allergic reactions and the weather. Many other skin issues are often indicative of severe diseases like diabetes and liver failure. Taking advantage of this information could mean more than just gaining awareness, it could also save your life. If your skin has started exhibiting any of the issues below, we encourage you to see your doctor.
8. Rash on The Back of Neck Could Be Diabetes
Poison Ivy, harsh fabric softener, even your sunscreen are all things that can cause a pretty nasty rash to raise up on your skin. While these rashes are definitely an annoyance, they are also easily treatable and typically disappear in as little as a few days. However, if your rash exhibits itself as dark, velvety skin on the back of your neck, your armpits, or your groin, it may be an early indicator of diabetes. This rash, which discolors and dries out skin, is often found on obese people, and while many times is just a slight annoyance, it is advised that you get your blood sugar checked by your doctor if you notice it on yourself or any of your loved ones.
7. Rosacea Could Be Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a disease that currently affects more than 5 million Americans today. It is also the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and is said to be the official cause of death of 1 in 3 senior citizens. As such, we are always attempting to find early warning signs of the disease so that we can seek to treat it earlier and more accurately. Studies even show that women with Rosacea have as much as a 28% increase in their risk of dementia, which makes getting properly diagnosed and treated for the skin disease extremely important, especially if you are over the age of 60.
6. Yellow Discoloration Could Be Liver Failure/Jaundice
Jaundice, which causes a yellow discoloration in the skin and eyeballs, is typically associated with newborn babies. The liver disease occurs in preemies when their livers aren’t mature enough to rid the excess of bilirubin out of their bloodstreams. In most cases, treatment of Jaundice is unnecessary as the disease disappears on its own in as little as a couple weeks. In adults, however, this same discoloration may indicate some serious liver issues. If found, your doctor may conduct a series of urine tests to help determine the functionality of your liver.
5. Psoriasis Could Be Heart Disease
While still incurable, Psoriasis remains one of the most common, treatable skin conditions out there. Psoriasis exhibits itself as scaly, itchy patches of skin that cause extreme discomfort and can even lead to joint pain. Psoriasis is typically treated with topical prescription medications that help stop the skin cells from growing and clustering so rapidly and work to smooth and soothe the skin. There is still no known official cause of psoriasis, but the skin condition has often been linked to more complex complications like extreme stress and heart disease. Studies show that those with severe forms of psoriasis are 58% more likely to experience serious heart complications. Scientists say that the buildup of plaque in the arteries and the buildup of skin cells in psoriasis may even be linked in some way.
4. Raised, Scaly Skin on Knuckles Could Be Dermatomyositis
If you have been experiencing raised, scaly skin, and bumps on your knuckles, you very well may be experiencing warning signs of dermatomyositis. Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory muscle disease that is often marked by skin inflammation and muscle weakness. The disease shares many common characteristics with other serious auto-immune diseases, and causes your body’s tissues to be attacked by your own immune system. About 20% of dermatomyositis cases are associated with the development of internal cancer. If you develop signs that indicate this disease as well as things like extreme weight loss and general unwellness, consulting your general practitioner is the best course of action.Related: 12 Changes in Your Skin and What They May Mean
3. Eczema Could Be Anxiety and Depression
Most commonly found in small children, eczema is a skin condition that causes things like inflamed, dry, itchy, red skin. Along with having a higher risk of developing other skin conditions, adults with eczema are also much more likely to exhibit signs of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues as well. While many people fail to make the connection between their mental health disorder and their eczema flare ups, studies show that those who successfully treat their eczema with topical medications and home remedies often see their mental health improve as well.
2. Lower Leg Rash Could Be Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is an infection that is spread through contaminated blood. While it is not unusual for the virus to go largely asymptomatic, things like fatigue, nausea, skin discoloration, and a rash on the lower legs and feet are also common indicators of the disease. Of course, not every rash that develops in this area is related to Hepatitis C. However, if you suspect that you have been infected due to the unsterile needles or something of the nature, and if your rash is combined with other flu-like symptoms, it may be best to seek out your physician.
1. Dry, Itchy Skin Could Be Underactive Thyroid
Dry, itchy skin typically isn’t a huge issue. Mostly caused by things like cold weather and adverse reactions to foods or chemicals, the affliction can be treated with some intensive, heavy-duty lotion and a bit of self-care. There are other times, though, when uncomfortable itchy, dry skin is indicative of other issues like an underactive thyroid. The thyroid gland, which controls your body’s hormones, can cause serious problems with both your skin and hair when it is functioning improperly. If your dry, itchy skin is accompanied by hair loss, depression, and weight gain, you may need to pay special attention to your thyroid.Related: Sun Spots and Skin Damage: Risk Factors, Prevention, and Treatment