Eczema, Acne & Psoriasis
If you're one of these people living with a skin condition, whether it's itchy-as-hell eczema, flaky psoriasis or the permanent flush of rosacea, you'll know it's not just skin deep.
Millions of women in the UK are living with skin conditions that impact their lives every day - physically and emotionally.
Eczema (also called dermatitis) is very common and has numerous forms, including atopic, seborrheic, contact or discoid. It may develop as a result of damage to the skin's natural barrier, which increases dryness and cracking. This allows infection and allergens in. A tendency to atopic conditions (eg. eczema, hay fever, asthma) runs in families.
Acne is very common in adolescents due to hormonal changes, but it can affect anyone and appear in many different ways. Whether it's blackheads, whiteheads, spots or under-the-skin bumps, acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum and dead skin cells trapped within pores. This can then be exacerbated by lifestyle factors such as stress, poor nutrition, and medication.
Psoriasis affects about 2% of the population and runs in families. The skin is inflamed and skin-cell turnover rate increases from three to four weeks to three to four days. It can be triggered by an infection, stress or an injury to the skin, such as a cut or graze. There's no cure, but it can be put into remission so you don't have flare-ups as often and your quality of life improves.
Rosacea is most common in middle age, in those with fair skin but more young people are presenting with it. As well as flushing, complications can include spots, broken blood vessels, inflammation on the eyelids and thickening of the skin on the nose. The cause is unknown, but infestation with a tiny skin mite called Demodex may be involved. Triggers include alcohol, caffeine, spicy food, heat, hot drinks, stress and sunlight.