Your skin, the largest organ of the human body, is the outer layer that protects the body, regulates body temperature and provides sensaton of touch. It reflects everything that is going on inside your system while also acting as a protective barrier from harmful micro-organisms in our environment. Our skin tells us everything we need to know about our physical and mental health, but not everyone knows how to read these signs that could be pointing out to more serious underlying health issues.
What we do need to do is watch our skin closely to pick up early indicators of an underlying internal medical issue that needs immediate attention.
Simal Soin, founder of AAYNA Clinic, points out a few of these telltale signs:
In some cases, skin eruptions like acne, rashes, itching and swelling, pigmented spots and patches could be signs of allergies, liver diseases, hormonal imbalances, drug reactions or certain auto-immune conditions. For example, a butterfly rash across the face is often the first sign of Lupus. It could also be either rosacea or contact dermatitis, nevertheless, it must be checked by a medical practitioner. Itchy, violet rash on the wrist is called Lichen planus and is made up of reddish-purple, flat-topped itchy bumps. This usually appears on the wrists or ankles but could also erupt in the mouth or on the lower back, neck, legs, and genitals. If you find this on your body, you may need to get liver tests done as it is often linked to Hepatitis C.
You might suddenly find discolorations dotting the skin on your legs. Is this a leg rash or have you just been too clumsy? If you're bruising often and very easily, it could sometimes be a sign of Leukemia. It is a known fact that a low blood platelet count can make you more susceptible to bruises. Of course, this doesn't have to cause worry, but if the problem persists, you must visit a doctor and get your blood cell count tested.
Cirrhosis, a liver disease, is another cause for itchy skin that is not related to pregnancy. Early damage to the organ often has zero symptoms. Later, however, people have reported experiencing constant itching all over their body accompanied by a yellow cast to their skin often associated with jaundice. Luckily, after diagnosis, you can prevent further damage by eating healthy and exercising.
A Leg Plaque
It can first appear as a dull, reddish coloured patch that then becomes shinier with a distinct border. Sometimes, the affected skin may crack and become itchy or painful. Doctors call it necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum. As the name suggests, it is a distinctive but rare sign of diabetes.
According to Soin, not all skin conditions are cause of concern! "A majority of skin problems do not reflect serious health conditions and can be cured with an effective skincare routine, healthy diet and exercise. You can take care of your skin by gently cleansing daily, keeping it hydrated, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen and periodic mild exfoliation to get rid of the dead skin build-up. It is, however, advisable to always get tested if a skin issue is troubling you over a period of time. Prevention is better than cure and early detection is key to staying healthy," says Soin.
Note - Use only dermatologist-recommended/ approved skincare products for a home-care regimen. - IANS