Melanoma has received quite a lot of attention in the last few years. It has become a matter of concern as an increasing cause of death derived from a skin condition, especially among the white populations, who are the most likely to develop this kind of cancer.
Melanoma is a skin tumour, one of the deadliest types of cancer of all. Risk factors include a large amount of moles on your skin, white skin and excessive UV ray exposure, including sun exposure and tanning beds. It takes the shape of a mole on the skin, which is often odd-shaped or coloured, and changes fast in a matter of days or weeks. This type of cancer can spread to other organs and threaten the life of the person. However, if early detected, it can be removed and treated successfully.
Sunburn is one of the most common skin problems and most population, especially fair-skinned people, have experienced it at some point of their lives. Skin becomes sunburnt when excessively exposed to sun rays. Unlike melanoma, which is a tumour and sunlight exposure is a risk factor, in this case exposure is the direct cause. UV rays damage and kill skin cells. Common symptoms include a burning feeling, especially when becoming in contact with other surfaces, red skin and dead cells peeling off a few days after exposure.
Sunburn can be prevented with sunscreen. The incidence of sunburn has increased in the last years due to atmospheric changes in our planet. Repeated sunburns may also increased the risk of melanoma and other sorts of skin cancer, as well as speed up the rate of skin aging. It is advisable to hydrate the skin after prolongued exposure to the sun in order to prevent it from getting dry and cracked.
Eczema is a word that englobes a wide range of skin conditions, most of them also known as dermatitis. They are gathered under the same name because they share the same basic traits and most of their causes. Eczema is a very common skin condition that can affect any person from their first months of life to adulthood. It is not dangerous for your life but it can be very uncomfortable and lead to skin lesions.
Eczema is an irritation of the skin that causes a reddish or dark colour and often itches. Though the itch is usually mild, it can be very severe and lead to skin lesions due to excessive scratching. Eczema can appear in any part of the body but in the case of little children the most common places are cheeks and chin, and in adults it's the back of the neck and the insides of knees and elbows. Causes are multiple but most are linked to allergic reactions or emotional distress.
Psoriasis is on many lists of psychosomatic diseases; in other words, it is widely accepted that it responds to emotional distress. Altough the causes of psoriasis and the mechanism behind it remained a mistery at first, now scientists know that it is heavily linked to the immune system and how skin cells and white cells interact in an unhealthy way.
The main symptom of psoriasis is hard and dark/greyish patches that form on the skin, often in arms, legs or face. These patches are very itchy and sometimes bleed or peel off. Psoriasis cannot be healed but there are medicines that help control it and keep it at a minimum. This condition often has strong emotional consequences because it affects the appearance of people and may be a cause of bullying, segregation and lack of self confidence.
In many respects, vitiligo is similar to psoriasis. The root of the disease is an abnormal interaction between skin cells and white cells from the immune system. However, instead of te accumulation of dead skin cells that is typical of psoriasis and the cause of all its symptoms, in the case of vitiligo the result is the progressive depigmentation of the skin. White patches appear in several parts of the body and spread around at a different rate depending on the case.
Just as psoriasis, vitiligo is not dangerous to the patient's overall health and bears no complications to other organs or systems, but it does have a strong impact in the subject's social and emotional spheres. Altough there are emotional factors involved, genes that increase the probabilities of developing vitiligo have been identified. This condition doesn't cause any pain, itch or swelling, and so far it has been linked to no complications in other areas.