Improving The Health Of Your Skin: Common Skin Complaints And Steps To Treat Them

Our skin is the largest organ of our bodies, and like any other organ, it’s important to make sure your lifestyle and habits are not causing it to become damaged or unhealthy. It’s also important to know what signs you’re looking for when it comes to skin conditions or health concerns.

In this article, we’ll be covering some of the most common skin conditions and skin-related health concerns for you to be aware of. This can help you to get medical help sooner rather than later and receive more effective treatment. We’ll also be finding out more about how you can change your lifestyle to help reduce damage to your skin and overall health.

Common Skin Conditions, Their Potential Causes, And Treatment Options

Skin conditions are as diverse as they are common, affecting millions of people worldwide. They can range from temporary annoyances to chronic issues, impacting not just physical health but also emotional wellbeing. Understanding these conditions, their potential causes, and exploring treatment options can empower individuals to seek appropriate care and management strategies. Here’s an overview of some prevalent skin conditions, what might cause them, and the current treatment avenues available.


Acne is a widespread condition that affects people of all ages, though it’s most common during puberty. It manifests as pimples, blackheads, and cysts, primarily on the face, chest, and back. Causes include hormonal changes, bacteria, and excess oil production. Treatment options vary from over-the-counter topical treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, to prescription medications, including retinoids and antibiotics. Lifestyle modifications, such as a balanced diet and proper skin hygiene, can also play a crucial role in management.


Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is characterised by red, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin. It’s often seen in children but can continue into adulthood or start later in life. The exact cause of eczema is unknown, but it’s believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as irritants, allergens, and stress. Treatments for eczema focus on relieving symptoms and may include moisturisers, hydrocortisone cream, and avoiding triggers. For severe cases, systemic treatments or phototherapy may be recommended.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin becomes inflamed due to direct contact with an irritant or allergen. Symptoms include redness, itching, and blisters. Identifying and avoiding the trigger is a crucial step in management. Treatment typically involves topical steroids to reduce inflammation and creams or lotions to soothe the skin.


Psoriasis is a chronic condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells, causing them to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. These extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful. Psoriasis is thought to be an immune system problem that causes inflammation, triggered by factors such as stress, infections, and cold weather. Treatments include topical agents, light therapy, and oral or injected medications that reduce inflammation or suppress the immune system.


Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in the face. It may also produce small, red, pus-filled bumps. The cause of rosacea is not fully understood, but it could be due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Triggers like hot drinks, spicy foods, alcohol, and temperature changes can exacerbate symptoms. Treatment options range from topical creams and gels to oral antibiotics and laser therapy.

Sun Damage

Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause various skin problems, from premature aging (photoaging) to skin cancer. Preventative measures are paramount, including using broad-spectrum sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding peak sun hours. Treatments for sun damage vary depending on the severity and include topical antioxidants, retinoids, and procedures such as chemical peels, laser therapy, and cryotherapy for precancerous conditions or skin cancers.

Skin Infections

Skin infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Examples include cellulitis (bacterial), warts (viral), athlete’s foot (fungal), and scabies (parasitic). Treatment depends on the type of infection and may involve topical or oral antimicrobials.


Vitiligo is a condition in which the skin loses melanin, the pigment that determines skin colour, resulting in white patches. The exact cause is unknown, but it may involve autoimmune, genetic, or environmental factors. While there’s no cure, treatment options aim to restore colour to the affected skin. These may include topical corticosteroids, light therapy, and, in some cases, surgery.

Seeking Treatment

For any skin condition, consulting a dermatologist or healthcare provider is essential for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Over-the-counter products may offer relief for mild conditions, but more severe or persistent issues often require professional intervention.

Skin conditions can be complex, with causes that range from genetic to environmental. Understanding these conditions and their treatment options is the first step toward managing symptoms and improving quality of life. While over-the-counter treatments can be effective for mild issues, professional guidance is crucial for more severe or chronic conditions. Skin health is an integral part of overall wellbeing, and taking proactive steps towards managing skin conditions can lead to better health outcomes.

Steps You Can Take To Improve The Overall Health Of Your Skin

While specific conditions require specific treatments, there are lifestyle changes you can make that improve the general health and appearance of your skin.

Improving Hydration

Hydration is key to making sure your skin is healthy and looks great. Drinking more water and moisturising daily can help. When your skin has more hydration your skin cells are healthier and better able to heal from scratches and bruises.

Boosting Nutrition

Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps to improve the health and appearance of your skin, as do zinc and vitamins A, C, D, and E. If you’re struggling to get enough of these vitamins in your diet, then you can use supplements specifically designed to improve the health of your skin, hair, and nails.

Beauty Products

If you have sensitive skin, then you might not always react well to certain products such as makeup, soaps, lotions, or perfume. Try different beauty products to find ones that work well with your skin, perhaps products specifically designed for sensitive skin. Doing patch tests before using a new product can help you to tell whether your skin will react well without too much exposure. When you find products that work well for you, try, and remain consistent with them to avoid reactions to new products.

Medical Check-Ups

If you notice changes to your skin such as changes in moles, new colouration, dryness, or sore patches, then it’s a good idea to book an appointment with your GP or a dermatologist. They will be able to assess your skin and tell whether the changes are a sign of something more serious or not.

Changes to your skin don’t always mean anything, but they can sometimes be a warning sign of skin cancers or a developing skin condition. It’s always best to get skin changes checked out by a medical professional just in case, as the earlier conditions are treated, the better the reaction can be to treatment.

Staying Out Of The Sun

Although being out in the sunshine in moderate amounts is good for boosting levels of vitamin D, it’s best to stay in the shade on particularly hot days to avoid damaging your skin from harmful UV rays. Use high protection sunscreen on sunny days, and even use SPF on cloudy days as your skin can still get damaged from UV rays without strong sunshine.