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Skin can signal Health Problems

Posted on 22nd May, 2019

Skin, the largest organ in the human body, can tell more about a person’s health. The changes, ranging from discoloration to new growth, give you a clue that some transformation is taking place inside your body. Some such changes which demand your immediate attention are:

Rashes and Patches

Rash along with fever, joint pain and muscle aches can indicate an internal problem or infection. A velvety rash on the back of the neck or around the arms, with a colour slightly darker than the person’s normal skin tone, is an indication that the patient might have an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

In some cases, the velvety rash, also called acanthosis nigricans, could be a warning sign of cancer in an internal organ, such as the stomach or liver. A purple rash on the lower legs that does not react to topical medication can be a sign of hepatitis C infection.

Bronzing of the skin and other discolorations

In people with diabetes, bronzing of the skin can indicate an issue with iron metabolism. A yellowing of the skin along with the yellowing of the whites of the eyes may signal liver failure. A darkening of the skin in scars and skin folds, as well as on joints, such as elbows and knees can be a sign of hormonal diseases, such as Addison’s disease, which affects the adrenal glands.

New growths

New growths on the skin can be a symptom of skin cancer and may sometimes indicate internal disease or a genetic syndrome. For instance, yellow bumps on the arms, legs or rear, can be a result of high triglyceride levels, indicating uncontrolled diabetes and can result in a condition called eruptive exanthemas.

In women, acne that appears along the lower face or jaw line can indicate polycystic ovarian syndrome. This condition may lead to other symptoms like weight gain, thinning of hair and increased hair growth on the face.

Changes in the Nail

Changes in nail colour or shape can be an indication of deficiency or organ system issues. Nails looking like they are fungal infected can be a result of psoriasis which typically affects the skin. Also, there are chances for people with joint pain to develop a form of a arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. Sometimes liver and kidney problems can also cause changes in the nail colour.

Hardness and dryness

The thickening of the skin on the shin can be a sign of high blood pressure and kidney problems. Very dry, itchy skin can indicate hormonal problems, such as an underactive thyroid. An autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis causes the swelling and hardening of the skin. In severe cases, this might even lead to hardening of internal organs, such as the lungs or heart.

On the contrary, very loose and silky skin is a symptom of a rare connective tissue disease, called acquired cutis laxa, which might indicate blood cancers such as lymphoma or multiple myeloma, and could even affect internal organs.

So, never miss any signal your skin sends you. It might want to convey something about your health. Visit your dermatologist and make sure you understand your issue.

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