Last week, we talked about how your hair can be telling you things about your health – but what about your skin? It’s definitely talking to you, too! In this article, we’ll go over what it’s trying to stay, plus some steps you can take to improve your health and your skin.
What is Your Skin Telling You About Your Health?
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, you may want to make some lifestyle changes or schedule a discussion with your doctor.
It’s Itchy or Dry
Itchy or dry skin can point to a few different problems, including dehydration, allergies, or eczema. It could also be due to your climate, but if moisturizer simply isn’t cutting it, it may be time to visit your doctor.
In addition, if your itchy or dry skin is accompanied by sensitivity to cold, weight gain, or other health issues, it could point to hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). And if your lips are cracked and dry, this might mean you have an allergy to a product you’re using, such as lipstick, or you’re deficient in vitamins.
You’re Experiencing Acne
Acne can be caused by hormonal changes, especially close to your period, or general hormonal imbalances. In more serious cases, it can be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Acne can also be worsened by stress, certain facial products, too much sugar, or food allergies or intolerances.
You Have Rashes
The cause of rashes can be anything from a bug bite to an underlying condition. For example, contact dermatitis, a common rash, can be a reaction to something you touched. Topical treatments can help with some rashes, but not all.
Others can be the sign of more serious underlying conditions. If you have any of these skin changes, it’s time to talk to a doctor:
Butterfly rash on the face
This is often a sign of lupus (SLE). They can appear as red or purple.
A random cluster of bumps, rashes, or blisters
This is sometimes a sign of celiac disease.
A rash with puffy eyelids
These are signs of eczema or contact dermatitis
Scaly skin rash
These types of rashes can mean contact dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, fungal infection, or Hepatitis C.
Not all red bumps are pimples, but instead could be signs of rosacea, stress, spicy foods, and environmental factors.
Appearing as a thickening of the skin and a hyperpigmentation, this can point to diabetes or another illness. They often appear in the neck, groin, and armpits. These can also be accompanied by yellow nodules.
These are also signs of diabetes. They appear on the legs and are red on the edge, gold in the center. Left unchecked, they can ulcerate.
For cuts that are slow to heal, it can be another sign of diabetes or point to an infection, skin cancer, or blood clotting disorder.
The main causes of complexion changes are dehydration or not getting enough sleep.
Small red, itchy circles
Itchy, inflamed patches of red or pink circles can mean psoriasis, an immune-related disorder.
We tend to bruise more easily as we age, but if you’re younger or getting several bruises you simply can’t explain, this could mean a bleeding disorder. However, blood thinners can lead to more bruises, too.
Your Skin is Discolored
Discoloration of the skin could be the result of a rash, but could also be a sign of another underlying condition. Where the discoloration is found and what it looks like can point to different things. Here are just a few examples:
Dark circles under your eyes can be from lack of sleep, genetics, age, or other lifestyle factors. It could also be caused by dehydration or lack of nutrients, including iron.
If you spent too much time in the sun, whether recently or when you were younger, without sufficient sunscreen, you could experience sun spots. These should be examined by a doctor to ensure they aren’t cancerous, especially if they appear as lesions or moles.
A change in your skin pigmentation could be a sign of Addison’s.
Red flushing in the face can point to hormonal changes, menopause, and rosacea.
Dark patches can be caused by hormones, including pregnancy, or exposure to the sun.
Also known as jaundice, this can point to hepatitis as well as gallstones, tumors, and liver issues. It’s important to see a doctor right away if you are experiencing yellowing skin.
Unwanted Hair Growth
Unwanted hair growth, such as on the face of women, can be a sign of hormonal issues, including PCOS. Too many fine white hairs can actually point to internal problems, too, such as lung and colon cancer.
How Can You Improve Your Skin Health?
Thankfully, there are plenty of steps you can take to improve your skin health! This checklist will help you get your skin glowing again.
Drink plenty of water
Many of our skin problems are related to dehydration! Just a few more glasses a day may help you see a decline in acne and an increase in brightness.
Change out products if you believe you are having a reaction
If you think a skin product or makeup is causing a reaction, try not using it for two weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
Take vitamins and eat a healthy diet
Some skin issues are caused by vitamin deficiencies, so keeping on top of those habits and eating healthily can make a difference.
Easier said than done, but reducing stress can cut back on acne and dark circles under the eyes
Use sunscreen and wear hats
This can’t be overstated! Too much sun exposure can lead to dark spots and skin cancers.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep will also cut down on dark circles under your eyes and give your skin (and entire body) time to recover.
Use the right products
Choosing mild cleansers that don’t irritate is essential.
Talk to your doctor
If you have a problem with your skin health that you can pinpoint or is a sign of a more serious underlying condition, it’s important to have a conversation with your doctor as soon as possible. It’s easy to schedule an appointment with Unlimited Health Institute to go over your skin concerns and questions. Get started here.
“Adult Jaundice: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention.” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15367-adult-jaundice.
Greer, Melissa. “24 Things Your Skin Reveals about Your Health.” Best Health, Best Health, 23 Mar. 2021, https://www.besthealthmag.ca/list/20-things-your-skin-says-about-your-health/.
“Scaling Skin: Pictures, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323967.
“What Your Skin Can Tell You about Your Overall Health.” American Academy of Dermatology, https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/skin-overall-health.
“Why Are My Legs Itchy? Causes, Symptoms, and Relieving the Itch.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326398.