6 Skin Conditions That Affect Women Of All Ages
Skin conditions can develop on anyone regardless of their sex. Over 84 million Americans have some skin disease, with very few seeking medical help. However, there are some common skin conditions and health issues that women are more likely to have. According to skin experts, factors like genetics, pregnancy, lifestyle, and hormones tend to be the usual suspects for these conditions. It’s always good to understand some of the common health issues out there. So, here are some of the skin conditions that women are more likely to contract:
Studies show that melanoma is the most prevalent cancer affecting women of all ages, especially those under 40. This disease is more likely to show up when the skin is badly sun-damaged. It appears as a dark spot that changes over time, spreading to other organs in the body. Melanoma is perhaps one of the most invasive skin cancers ever to develop, with the highest risk of dying, if left untreated. While it is serious, it is easily curable if detected early. Nearly 30% of all melanomas start in existing moles on the skin. That’s why you must pay special attention to sudden skin changes.
Some risk factors for contracting this disease include having fair skin, bad sunburns, and constant exposure to harsh UV light. Having too many moles or unusually looking ones, a family history of melanoma, and living in areas much closer to the equator are other risk factors to be aware of. To reduce your risk of contracting this deadly disease, spend as little time as possible under the sun, wear sunscreen religiously, cover up with protective clothing, and avoid tanning beds.
Intertrigo is a very common skin rash that is caused by skin-to-skin contact. It tends to occur in areas on your body where your skin rubs together. The constant friction and rubbing cause the affected area to look like a bumpy and inflamed rash. Wearing tight underwear or leggings for a full day can also lead to intertrigo in the groin area. Intertrigo itself is not an infection. In more severe bouts of this disease, too much fungal or bacteria overgrowth can cause a secondary infection. Most patients with candida, yeast, or fungal infection often develop the disease due to intertrigo.
Common areas that tend to be affected include between your inner thighs, belly folds, buttocks, armpits, crease of your neck, and beneath or between your breasts. To prevent this condition from developing, you must change out of wet clothes as quickly as possible, apply powders to high-friction areas, and wear loose clothing.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes rashes with scaly patches around the scalp, elbows, and knees. It is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout the body. Unlike some skin diseases, it has no cure and, in severe cases, can be very painful, making it hard for patients to perform certain everyday tasks.
People with psoriasis have visible signs of the disease, such as plaques and scales on the skin. Some people develop psoriatic arthritis, which includes symptoms such as swelling and joint stiffness. Psoriasis risk factors include skin injury, obesity, medications, genetics, and viral or bacterial infections. Because there is no cure for this skin disease, many patients work toward reducing the rate of cyclical flare-ups. You can use moisturizing lotions to prevent dry skin and lock in moisture, use a humidifier to keep your skin moist, and avoid certain medications that cause flare-ups. Although there’s no direct correlation between your diet and psoriasis, many people say they have improved their condition after switching to a high-balanced diet.
Often called the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma is a skin disease that appears in either blue-gray or brown patches or freckle-like spots on the face. It occurs when there is an overproduction of the cells that make your skin color. Melasma is a common condition, often harmless, and tends to fade out on its own after a few months.
People with fairer skins are at more risk of contracting melasma. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of getting this condition. You are also at risk if you take oral contraceptives or are on any hormone treatment.
- Lichen sclerosus
Lichen sclerosus is a chronic skin disease that creates patchy, thin skin, especially around the genital and anal areas. While this condition can develop for anyone, it is usually at risk for postmenopausal women. Women with mild versions of the condition usually have no signs or symptoms. But it would help to look out for any redness, itching, pain, white patches, or painful sex to know if you might have lichen sclerosus.
The cause of this disease remains unknown to date. However, many specialists believe that hormonal imbalances or overactive immune systems might play a crucial role. Left untreated, lichen sclerosus can lead to urinary retention and constipation.
- Adult acne
Teenagers are not the only ones prone to developing acne. It is common to see many adults, especially women, develop acne as they age. Adult acne is a type of acne that develops after the age of 25. It could be due to many factors, but the most common factors include excess oil production, clogged pores, inflammation, and bacteria. Other indirect causes include stress, hormonal changes, diet, and the types of hair and skin care products that women use.
Developing adult acne can also be a sign of having an underlying condition. Suppose you have adult acne and suffer from other conditions like hair loss, irregular menstrual cycles, and rapid weight gain. In that case, it could be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome or other endocrinological disorders. Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut route to treating adult acne. However, you can prevent breakouts from occurring, such as taking off all makeup before bed and using oil-free products.
These are some skin conditions or diseases likely to affect women of all ages. While most of them result from lifestyle habits, you must always seek professional help when you notice any changes in your skin. You can treat your conditions before they get out of hand.