Acne is a skin condition caused by the pores of the skin becoming clogged up with oil, old cells and bacteria. It commonly occurs on the face, shoulders, back or chest. It may start as a few raised white bumps and develop into small pustules. In severe cases, firm, painful lumps called cysts can develop under the skin.
A blister is a raised area of skin that is filled with a clear liquid, or occasionally blood, over which the skin is intact. They form when that area has been damaged by pressure, chemicals that have been applied to the area, burns, insect bites, allergies, fungal or viral infections.
Developing bunions is very painful as they change the shape of your foot. Painful feet affect you every time you stand, walk or run, so bunions can seriously limit your quality of life. Any foot pain needs prompt referral to a doctor.
Chilblains are burning red areas that occur on the end of fingers, toes and other areas of the skin that have been exposed to the cold. They generally occur a few hours after the exposure so you may not always recognise what is causing the itching and burning that usually always follows the damage from the cold.
Dandruff is the term used to describe the shedding of large amounts of flakes of scalp from the scalp. It is particularly noticeable when we wear dark clothing because it shows as a shower of small white flakes.
Although about five percent of the population suffer from atopic eczema, this chronic inflammatory skin condition has no known cure.
Atopic eczema commonly affects areas like the inner side of the elbows, knees, wrists and ankles and when exposed to aggravating factors, the condition will flare-up and the skin will become itchy, red and inflamed.
Ingrown hairs appear as small coloured bumps under the skin. They may be either pink or brown coloured and may occur in clusters in areas where the skin is shaved or removed by waxing or other depilatories.
Burns are caused when your skin comes into contact with something too hot or too cold causing damage to one or more layers of skin. They may be caused by liquids (generally called scalds) or by being exposed to radiation, such as sunburn, as well as by electricity or chemicals.
Ringworm is a fungal infection caused by the tinea fungus, not a worm. It is spread by skin contact with someone who has the infection, or from a pet that also has this skin infection. The ringworm fungus can spread from one area to another if not treated, or from person to person.
Shingles or herpes zoster is a contagious viral infection that is related to chicken pox. Generally it affects people under stress or with poor immunity. Often those infected with shingles are already performing below their best and the pain from shingles is a further blow. It can take some time to recover from the condition.
Living in New Zealand we are often bombarded with messages about the dangers of sun exposure. And rightly so. With our high rate of skin cancer (melanoma in particular) it is often hard to fathom why we go out into the sun at all - especially during the summer months as we get enough vitamin D by doing outdoor activities outside of peak Ultraviolet Index (UVI) times.