There are many common skin conditions that can cause pain and discomfort. A skin condition can be a concern to the sufferer, particularly if the problem is in a visible place like the face or hands. As well as a decrease in self-confidence and anxiety, a skin condition could also be a sign of another health problem. Most skin conditions, however, are not a cause for concern and can be treated at home as a good example of self-care.
Treating common skin conditions
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are quite common – which means there are many home treatments out there. Most sufferers know when a cold sore is about to hit, with a familiar tingling beginning around the mouth area. While uncomfortable and unsightly, they tend to go away within 7-10 days and your pharmacist will be able to recommend some great over the counter treatments to help you clear it up.
Eczema affects around 1 in 12 people in the UK, causing dry and itchy skin that can become cracked and sore. Some people suffer with it from infancy, and others begin to develop symptoms as an adult. While it can be chronic, many people find that their symptoms ease by making some lifestyle changes. These can include avoiding perfumed skin care products and using ones designed for sensitive skin instead and trying hypoallergenic laundry items. Eczema can also be triggered by an allergic reaction to something like dairy or other types of food, and if you suspect that is the cause, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Warts and verrucas
Warts and verrucas are small bumps that can appear anywhere on the body, but typically affect the hands and feet which can get moist and provide a good base for warts and verrucas to grow. They are generally nothing to worry about, as they can be treated easily using topical products and by keeping the area dry. If you have a verruca, you should avoid swimming pools unless you’re wearing a specialist sock. If the wart or verruca is causing you some discomfort or isn’t going away, you can seek treatment for your doctor.
Itchy skin and rashes
Itchy, irritated skin can be uncomfortable, and people can feel embarrassed to be caught scratching in work or in public. If you develop a sudden, itchy rash, you should check to see if you’ve been bitten by an insect or come into contact with an irritant that may have caused the problem. It’s worth ruling out some other common conditions that could be responsible. If the area becomes swollen, visit your pharmacist who can recommend some antihistamines to bring the swelling down and relieve itching. Meanwhile, any symptoms such as shortness of breath will warrant a call to 111.
A skin condition doesn’t usually signal a cause for panic, and you should avoid a trip to A&E as you could be taking up valuable time that should be reserved for genuine emergencies. If you do suffer other symptoms alongside the skin condition and are concerned, call 111 to be directed to the right service. If however, you suspect meningitis, you should head to your nearest A&E department. If you’re unsure of when you should visit A&E, you should take a look at the NHS’ recommendations here or visit our own website about the different out of hours services available to you.