Chronic Illness – What Your Skin May Be Trying To Tell You

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Have you ever noticed a change in your skin, like an unusual rash or bump? We often disregard these changes as “flukes” and think that our skin will soon go back to normal.

 

However, these changes could actually be our bodies trying to tell us that there are more serious health conditions that need to be addressed.

 

Here are examples of skin conditions and what your body may be trying to tell you:

 

Yellow Skin

If you notice your skin turning yellow, this could be a sign of jaundice. Jaundice is a discoloration of the skin caused by an increase of one’s bilirubin level. This condition is often associated with babies, but the truth is, jaundice can occur in adults, too.

 

When an adult develops this condition, it could mean there is something wrong with the person’s metabolism, and a series of medical evaluations need to be completed in order for a physician to fully identify the cause.

 

Dark, Velvety Rash

You will often find this at the back of the neck and sometimes in the armpits and groin area. They are thickened patches that appear dark and dirty. This is known as Acanthosis nigricans.

 

Most people with this skin condition are overweight. It is not contagious, but it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as diabetes.

 

Skin Tags

Skin tags are growths that hang off your skin. Anyone can develop skin tags at some point in their lives, and they can grow on the neck, eyelids, groin folds, armpits, and under the breasts. They are benign and harmless, although some people get annoyed by them.

 

Skin tags are common in middle age (and older) people and those who are overweight. These skin growths are often associated with problems with the hormones or with the blood sugar level, so discuss skin tags with your doctor to address any underlying medical conditions.

 

Eczema

This is a skin condition where your skin becomes itchy, inflamed, and rough. Blisters can form and sometimes the itch is so unbearable, you may scratch until you bleed.

 

People with eczema often experience sleep disturbances because of the itch. Although the symptoms of this condition can be treated with steroids, it is important to understand the possible cause of the problem.

 

It could be that your body is telling you that you are sensitive to certain foods and/or that you may have issues with your gut.

 

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Our small intestines allow nutrients to enter the bloodstream while toxins and other foods that were not properly digested stay behind. When we eat foods that our body can’t tolerate, however, this affects the gut’s permeability and as a result, the toxins and bits of undigested food enter the bloodstream.

 

This could lead to a wide range of inflammatory conditions, including eczema.

 

Psoriasis

Red patches, scaly, inflamed skin, itchiness, and joint pain – these are the symptoms of psoriasis. This condition can be triggered if you experience a stressful event like the death of a loved one.

 

And, importantly, you should know that psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that can be set off by gut dysfunction.

 

Psoriasis is also linked to metabolic syndrome. It is best for people with psoriasis to see a physician in order to identify what’s causing the inflammation. Most often, this can be addressed by a change in diet, such as cutting out inflammatory foods, and a change in lifestyle.

 

Acne

This is perhaps one of the most common skin conditions where one develops pimples, cysts, blackheads, and whiteheads as a result of the body’s increase in skin oil production.

 

This can also be a sign of hormonal imbalance, food intolerances, and problems with the gut. Most often, increasing your intake of vegetables and avoiding foods that trigger inflammation can help clear the skin.

 

Meditation or other forms of regular relaxation are also recommended.

 

Skin Dryness

You might think that skin dryness is caused by the cold weather or that you just need a really good moisturizer. However, if you are experiencing dry skin with an intense itch or your skin starts to crack or peel, this could be manifestations of hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, or a disorder of the circulatory system.

 

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Skin Bumps

Itchy, yellow, little bumps on your skin that often form in clusters are not your ordinary bumps, especially if you are also experiencing the need to drink and go to the toilet more often.

 

They can be a sign that your cholesterol level and insulin resistance is high. Have your blood sugar checked immediately as this could be a sign of diabetes.

 

Our skin does more than just cover and protect us, it can also be a strong gauge of our overall health. Isn’t it about time we paid attention to it? When we catch the signs early, our skin can even save our lives!

 

See also:

Why Cosmetics and Chronic Illness Don’t Mix

 

Is Your Food Making You Sick?

 


Guest Author Bio:

Shannon loves all things outdoors such as hiking, camping, and bike riding. After her second child, Shannon was left with large stretch marks and is now passionate about helping others prevent and help reduce their own stretch marks as well as reduce other skin spots & blemishes. She can be found at SkinHealthBody.com.

 

Original photo of screaming woman courtesy of Flickr/Claus Rebler

About Author: Jaime A. Heidel