Science of Skin

Skin Conditions

Common skin conditions

The most common afflictions of the skin.

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Pigmentary skin conditions

Conditions affecting pigment (melanin) production in skin.

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Rare skin conditions

Skin afflictions affecting fewer than 1 in 2,000 people.

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Skin cancer

Pre-malignancies and malignancies of the skin.

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Viral skin conditions

Skin afflictions caused by viral infections.

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Snapshot Other common terms: HPV, papillomavirus, warts (symptom) ICD-10 classification: B97.7 Prevalence: Very common; exact incidence of HPV is unknown. Causes: Direct contact. Symptoms: Warts Treatments/cures: A vaccine for certain strains of HPV has been developed in recent years. General warts are treated with a range of topical medications or minor surgery. Introduction Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) typically infects the cells of the skin and results in warts. Warts are an abnormal skin growth on the skin, taking on a variety of different appearances, and in any region of skin.…
Snapshot Other common terms: HV, Bazin’s Hydroa Vacciniforme ICD-10 classification: L56.8 Prevalence: Rare. Prevalence data is scarce, reported as 0.34:100,000 in Scotland. Mainly presents in children aged 3-15. Causes: Exact cause unknown; there is correlation between diease symptoms and exposure of skin to UV (particularly UVA) radiation. Symptoms: Eruption of fluid-filled blisters on the skin following exposure to UV radiation. Treatments/cures: No known cure, HV commonly resolves in late adolescence. Phototherapy, fish oil and various drugs may reduce symptoms. Differential diagnosis: Porphyrias (erythropoietic protoporphyria, congenital erythropoietic protoporphyria), Polymorphous Light Eruption,…
Incidence Melanoma skin cancer The incidence of melanoma varies geographically. Australia has the highest incidence, with 1 in 25 people succumbing to the disease in their lifetime, compared to 1 in 5000 in the USA and European countries. Causes High peaks to sun exposure (eg. sunburn in childhood) and overall lifetime overexposure to ultraviolet radiation contributes substantially to melanoma Symptoms Melanoma skin cancer Melanomas can present themselves as moles in areas all over the body, from both areas that are constantly, and never, exposed to the sun. Along with being…
Snapshot Other common terms: Polymorphic Light Eruption, PLE, PMLE, sun sickness, sun allergy ICD-10 classification: 56.4 Prevalence: Between 5-20% reported in fair skinned populations, but can occur in any skin type Causes: Exact cause unknown; believed to be delayed hypersensitivity to sunlight. Symptoms: Non-scarring, itchy or burning, red papules, vesicles or plaques appear on sun-exposed skin 30 minutes to several hours following exposure to sunlight. Treatments/cures: Sun avoidance to prevent disease onset, including broad spectrum sunscreens. Topical steroids and phototherapy can be used. Differential diagnosis: Solar urticaria, erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP),…
Snapshot Other common terms: PCT ICD-10 classification: E80.1 Prevalence: Uncommon; 1:25,000 Causes: Inherited disease; defective enzyme causes inability to properly produce haem (heme). Symptoms: Skin photosensitivity causing extremely fragile skin and changes in pigmentation (melanin). Discoloured urine. Treatments/cures: Cannot be cured. Avoidance of sunlight and certain artificial lights. Differential diagnosis: Erythropoietic protoporphyria, polymorphous light eruption Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is the most frequently seen disease of a group of disorders (the Porphyrias) that can be acquired or inherited. It is caused by low levels of an enzyme (uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase or…
Snapshot Other common terms: None ICD-10 classification: L40 Prevalence: Common; 2-3% of the global population, estimated 125 million affected globally Causes: Thought to be a genetic disease. Symptomatic onset can be due to a range of environmental factor such as infections, stress, skin trauma and certain medications. Symptoms: Reoccurring outbreaks of distinct red areas of skin, covered by silvery-white flaky skin. Five different sub-types have their own specific symptoms. Treatments/cures: Treatments vary according to psoriasis type and location. Topical emollients and steroids are often used, with immunosuppressants and phototherapy used…
Snapshot Other common terms: Acne rosacea ICD-10 classification: L71 Prevalence: Common, more common in Caucasian population. Approx 14 million Americans are affected by rosacea Causes: Sunlight and UV, certain food and drinks (including alcohol), stress, environmental factors Symptoms: Frequent or prolonged flushing/blushing; spider veins (usually on the nose); papules and pustules (acne like appearance); facial burning and stinging; swelling of facial areas; enlargement of sebaceous glands giving the nose a bulbous appearance; dry and flaky facial skin. Treatments/cures: No known cure. Avoidance of stimulants is key. Topical steroids and oral…
Snapshot Other common terms: SD, seborrhoeic dermatitis eczema, cradle cap ICD-10 classification: L21 Prevalence: Very common; affects approximately 3-5% of the global population Causes: Exact cause is unknown. Environmental factors contribute to the onset of symptoms. Symptoms: Reddish or pink patches of skin, accompanied by greasy, yellowish flakes or scales. May become inflamed, itchy or infected with scratching Treatments/cures: Anti-inflammatory agents, topical steroids, keratolytic agents and antifungals. Differential diagnosis: Atopic dermatitis Seborrheic Dermatitis Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is a form of eczema and a common, inflammatory skin disorder that affects infants…
Snapshot Other common terms: SU ICD-10 classification: L56.3 Prevalence: Very rare; 3.1:100,000 individuals globally. Solar urticaria is more likely to affect women Causes: Exposure of skin to light. Exact allergen is unknown. Symptoms: Systemic: anaphylaxis, breathing difficulty, nausea and headaches. Immediate localised reactions on skin: characteristic ‘wheal’ formation, erupting flares on exposed skin sites and to swelling of soft tissues. Treatments/cures: No known cure. Anti-histamines and topical steroids may be useful in some cases. Immunosuppressants and plasmaphoresis in extreme cases. Differential diagnosis: Polymorphous light eruption, drug induced photosensitivity, other allergies/physical…
Snapshot Other common terms: SCC, SCC skin cancer, non-melanoma skin cancer, NMSC ICD-10 classification: C44 Prevalence: Second most common form of skin cancer. Causes: Chronic exposure of skin to UV radiation. Immunosuppression and certain medical conditions are known to dramatically increase the risk of SCC skin cancer Symptoms: Vary dramatically from patient to patient. May present as firm, flesh-coloured, red or brown scaly papule or plaque, however they may also present as a non-healing ulcer, smooth nodule, conical horn or wart like growth. t;strong>Treatments/cures: Surgery is mainstay of treatment, particularly…
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