Skin diseases can take many shapes and sizes. They also vary greatly in severity from person to person.
Perhaps the most well-known skin condition is acne, which typically occurs in teens and young adults. (More than 75 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 experience breakouts.) According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne usually pops up on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. The condition can be caused by overactive oil glands, blocked follicles or bacteria growth within follicles. Hormonal changes can also trigger breakouts. Statistics from 2004 show that the total annual cost associated with acne treatment was over $2 billion.
Another common skin disease is rosacea. It is a facial skin condition that affects about 16 million people in the United States. Rosacea gives the face a red, bumpy, inflamed and/or flushed appearance. According to the National Rosacea Society, fair skinned people of English, Irish and northern European descent are most likely to develop rosacea, which is not contagious. Aside from skin issues, rosacea is also associated with vision problems in some people.
Eczema is another common skin disease. It is characterized by patches of inflamed skin that are often red and/or itchy. The cause of eczema remains unclear at this point, but the condition is especially common among infants. In many cases, young children outgrow it. While stress doesn’t cause eczema, it does appear to exacerbate it. Eczema can take many forms. For example, dandruff is considered a type of eczema.
Psoriasis is a skin disease that’s actually the most common autoimmune disorder in the country. It causes painful, scaly and itchy rashes that can pop up anywhere on the body. In the most severe cases, these rashes can actually crack and bleed. In normal skin, new skin cells begin deep within the skin and then rise to the surface over the course of about a month. But for people with psoriasis, this cycle is accelerated. As a result, skin cells accumulate on the surface of the skin. Approximately 7.5 million American suffer from psoriasis.