Acne is the most common skin disorder seen by doctors. It will affect almost every one of us at some time in our lives. Teenagers are the ones who get it most often and if it is really bad it can lead to sufferers becoming depressed, which can lead to withdrawing from friends and performing poorly at school or at work.
The exact cause of acne is unknown, but some factors are considered important; when the skin surface and its pores are blocked, pores are described as being occluded. The factors that may cause occlusion include some cosmetics, oils, grease, and hairsprays. Hats, helmets and pads used in sports may also contribute to this problem as can humidity, sweating and the prolonged effect of contact with damp clothing.
Eczema is a distressing skin condition characterised by red scaly, often intensely itchy patches in various parts of the body. In severe eczema this can extend all over the body. It often has a basis of sensitivity to a whole range of possible causes such as dust, dust mite and indeed in some cases foods. It can also be dependent upon the lifestyle that the patient and may be down to such factors as airborne moulds and spores. We certainly have significant success in treating eczema and we have means of de-sensitizing patients’ to, for example, dust and dust mites, moulds and spores.
Psoriasis is a distressing condition in which the outer layer of the skin divides too quickly, it often has an hereditary basis. This is a condition that we cannot cure, but we can help psoriasis with a whole range of approaches which don’t have the downsides of steroid based skin creams. Treatment can take many months, but it’s certainly worth considering, especially in patients in whom extensive use of steroid based creams has resulted in skin thinning.