Skin disorders & diseases: blue skin, EB, common, rare, picking, vitiligo.

Common skin disorders

Most people have heard of the common skin disorders such as acne, eczema, even Psoriasis but there are plenty of others more unusual and obscure.

List of skin disorders

The skin is an exceptionally important part of the human body. It protects internal organs, regulates temperature, reflects our ethnicity and it is hugely demonstrative of our cultural self-identity and personal image. An exhaustive list of skin disorders in humans would be far too long for this article. Instead, here is just a flavour of some of the more exotic and rare including itchy skin disorders and skin disorders in children along with clear, sometimes graphic skin disorders pictures to help you identify them.

Blue skin disorder

Skin is surprisingly versatile in the colours it can exhibit one of which is blue. Blue skin disorder is a bucket label for a number of illnesses and diseases which can cause your skin to change colour to blue. This skin discolouration is called Cyanosis and there are a number of possible contributory factors. We all know that bruises can appear blue in colour but poor circulation is one factor attributed to blue skin disorder or inadequate oxygen levels in the circulating blood.

Oxygen saturated blood is a rich, red colour when levels are depleted the blood has a bluish tinge which is reflected in the skin. Any systemic disorder affecting the cardiovascular system may present with Cyanosis and it can be the presentation of some quite serious conditions requiring prompt medical intervention. A drug called Amiodarone can change your skin tone to a blue/grey hue. It makes skin sensitive to sunlight and this alteration may not reverse even after cessation of the medication.

What is picking skin disorder?

This is actually a mental condition with a physical manifestation, continual picking at the skin creating lesions, spots, abrasions. Skin picking disorder may be known as Excoriation disorder or Dermatillomania and it is a relative of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the repetitive behavioural group of mental disorders. It may commence with individuals picking scabs or pimples or just plain healthy skin. Picking skin disorder is a chronic condition which is characterised by periods often long of complete remission but these individuals retain a propensity to start again usually triggered by stress or anxiety or life trauma. It is also commonly associated with substance abuse.

Meth skin disorder is a widely reported side effect of chronic usage of meth in the same way that diamorphine can make you itch. Usually, skin picking first appears in the teenage years and seems to affect women more than men according to the website, Mental Health America. Skin picking disorder is not usually accompanied by an underlying physical health condition and effective treatment centres around Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT, which aims to restore normal human function.

Is Chromhidrosis one of the rare skin disorders?

Chromhidrosis is a condition which causes human sweat to be an abnormal colour, notably, yellow, green, blue, brown or black. This is certainly on the list of rare skin disorders. Morgellons Disease is a funny one as doctors believe this is actually more of a mental health issue although it does produce physical symptoms, the sensation that a tiny insect is crawling on your skin, stinging or biting. Lesions may appear. And of course, that old Biblical favourite, Leprosy for which centuries ago people were cast out as unclean, identified by the wearing of a bell around their neck. Leprosy does still exist and is contagious but perfectly treatable now with modern antibiotics. You can also catch it from handling an Armadillo!

I have heard of Vitiligo Skin Disorder, what is it?

Within the skin pigmentation disorders family, Vitiligo is one of the complaints that most people seem to have heard of. It is essentially a lack of melanin in the skin leading to pale or white patches. The cells that create pigment called Melanocytes are destroyed leading to the lack of skin pigment. Vitiligo is considered to be an issue for ethnically dark-skinned races but only because it is more visible; it actually affects all ethnicities.

If you type Vitiligo Skin Disorder into the Google search bar, the most commonly searched hit is Michael Jackson, the former pop singer who was known to have used treatments to lighten his skin. However, whether he bleached his skin or not, the icon certainly suffered from Vitiligo which may have accounted for his strange behaviour of wearing a sole white glove. This is not the skin disorder that Seal suffers from; this is actually DLE – Discoid Lupus Erythematosus – the aftermath of a type of Lupus.

There is a range of topical and light-based treatments for those who suffer from Vitiligo. It can cause health issues as well as psychological problems and needs management by a suitably qualified dermatologist.

EB skin disorder

EB stands for Epidermolysis Bullosa one of a group of genetic skin disorders that create a propensity for the skin and mucous membranes to easily blister. This can be caused by a number of triggers, something as seemingly harmless as friction from clothing or a small cut or scratch. EB skin disorder can vary from annoying to fatal. EB skin disorder has a considerable impact on the quality of life. There is currently no cure and treatment revolves around managing symptoms and promoting quality of life.

 

 

Article References:

  1. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/excoriation-disorder-skin-picking-or-dermatillomania
  2. https://www.umassmed.edu/vitiligo/blog/blog-posts1/2016/01/did-michael-jackson-have-vitiligo/
  3. https://blackdoctor.org/884/pop-star-seal-skin-lupus/

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