The human skin is the outer covering of the body. It is the largest organ of the human body. The largest organ in the body, the skin, is sometimes said to be a window into a person’s general well-being, because it can carry clues about the health of other organs. Changes in the skin, ranging from discoloration to new growth, may sometimes be early signs of more serious underlying health problems, dermatologists say.
A handful of skin changes have been commonly associated with internal diseases. When people spot these signs, they might need to see their doctor.
The skin has multiple layers of external tissue and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Human skin is similar to that of most other mammals. Though nearly all human skin is covered with hair follicles, it can appear hairless. There are two general types of skin, hairy and glabrous skin. Because the skin interfaces with the environment, skin plays
• an important immunity role in protecting the body against pathogens and excessive water loss.
• Its other functions are insulation,
• temperature regulation,
• synthesis of vitamin D, and the protection of vitamin B folates.
• Severely damaged skin will try to heal by forming scar tissue. This is often discolored and depigmented.
In humans, skin pigmentation varies among populations, and skin type can range from dry to oily. Such skin variety provides a rich and diverse habitat for bacteria, and there are several bacterial present on the human skin.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, with a total area of about 20 square feet. The skin protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.
Good health often is reflected in an attractive, youthful appearance. So you might be tempted to blame aging and stress for facial lines, unsightly fingernails, or hair loss when, in fact, these flaws can signal underlying health issues. This starts by whispering, then it’ll start talking, and, if you don’t pay attention, it’ll start yelling and shouting, and then you’ve got an illness.
Skin has three layers
The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone. The skin’s color is created by special cells called melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin. Melanocytes are located in the epidermis.
The dermis, beneath the epidermis, contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.
The deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.
There are various tell tales physical signs that trouble may be lurking beneath the skin’s surface.
What to look out for.
Tell tale signs
Lines around the mouth: A primary concern for many women is ageing lines around the mouth, which can be caused by smoking. The effects can be lessened by regularly applying lip balm. And quitting smoking, of course.
Sores around the mouth: Sores in the corner of the mouth may indicate a deficiency of B vitamins. Try introducing more whole grains into your diet, along with green vegetables and meat – all are full of vitamin B. Alternatively, you could try taking a vitamin B supplement.
Dry lips: Dry lips show possible internal dehydration, vitamin B deficiency or you could be low in iron intake. Hydrate your skin by drinking plenty of water.
Dry skin/inflammation on the chin: These are sure signs there’s a problem with the digestive system and bowels. Gently massaging in circles and pinching and releasing the chin can help with constipation.
People who see new growths on the skin should always have them looked at by a doctor, as they could be skin cancer, and are sometimes also a sign of internal disease or a genetic syndrome,
Horizontal lines on the forehead: This may indicate digestive issues. They can be combated by drinking warm water mixed with lemon juice first thing every morning.
A pronounced frown line: A pronounced line between the eyes shows the liver is under pressure. This could be for physical, environmental and emotional reasons, an allergy to foods/substances or loss and grief . This leads to adrenal overload, known as burnout. Try gently massaging the area with circular moves.
Pimples on the forehead: This could indicate internal symptoms, such as problems with the liver and stomach congestion, Robinson says. “Drink plenty of water to flush out any toxins. You should also eat more liver-friendly foods, such as leafy green vegetables, and cut out processed foods, as well as caffeine.
Rashes and patches on the skin
In general, a rash that does not respond to treatment, and is accompanied by other symptoms — such as fever, joint pain and muscle aches — could be a sign of an internal problem or infection. A rash may also occur due to an allergy or signal a reaction to a medicine.
A velvety rash on the back of the neck or around the arms, usually with a color slightly darker than the person’s normal skin tone, is a sign that the patient may have an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, Day said. “When I see that, I warn the patient to get their blood sugar checked, and watch their diet.”
Less commonly, the velvety rash — called acanthosis nigricans — could be a warning sign of cancer in an internal organ, such as the stomach or liver, purple rash on the lower legs that does not respond to topical medication can be a sign of hepatitis C infection.
• Ears and jawline:
Itchy ears: Itchy ears are often the sign of an allergy or low tolerance. Psoriasis and eczema here are signs that the person is depleted in vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin. [Spending] 10 minutes with the arms and face exposed will give the body vital sunshine and plenty of vitamin D.
Acne on the jawline: Acne here may result from eating lots of dairy, sugar and refined foods, such as burgers, chips, crisps and fizzy drinks. Eat more fresh foods and replace fizzy drinks with water to flush out toxins. Ensure the affected areas are cleansed thoroughly.
Acne around the jawline: Oestrogen is a friend to our skin, suppressing sebaceous activity, but when levels reduce as women get older, skin lacks lustre and you may experience acne cysts deep in the dermis and commonly found on the jawline and hairline. Try eating apricots, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and mangos as they all contain vitamin A to normalise the production and life cycle of skin cells.
Changes in skin’s hardness and dryness
High blood pressure and kidney problems sometimes result in a thickening of the skin on the shin, Day said. Moreover, very dry, itchy skin could be a sign of hormonal problems, such as an underactive thyroid, she said.
Bags and dark circles under the eyes are typically a telltale sign of one too many late nights (and not enough sleeping in). But if you’re getting plenty of shut-eye and still can’t shake the basset-hound look, you might want to take a look at your diet.
Eye bags and puffiness are caused by fluid buildup in the thin, loose skin that sits below your bottom eyelid. Lots of things—from allergies to crying jags—can cause fluid to accumulate there, but one of the main culprits is eating too much salt. High-sodium foods promote water retention throughout the body, and the sensitive under-eye area is no exception.
Dark circles under the eyes: Dark circles that persist despite regular and restful sleep may be a result of food intolerances. Remove dairy and wheat from their diet and see if the circles lighten. Another culprit is alcohol – even in moderate amounts this can cause darkness around the eyes. Try to reduce alcohol consumption.
Dark circles on the eyes: This indicates a possible deficiency of iron in the blood. Try reducing the amount of stimulating drinks you have, including fizzy drinks, coffee and tea.
White spots on the eyes: A series of white spots near the outer rim can indicate a chronic congestion of the lymphatic system. You should avoid lactose and cow’s milk products.
• Spots on the cheeks: “These can be caused by not cleaning foundation away properly so the skin becomes congested. This might be from using a water-based cleanser that doesn’t remove make-up fully. Use an oil-based cleanser and take a break from wearing make-up to let the skin breathe.
• Dry skin
Everyone experiences dry skin from time to time. Usually it’s a minor nuisance caused by cold air or overly hot showers, but in some cases parched, brittle skin is a sign of dehydration or serious health problems. Hypothyroidism and diabetes can both leach moisture from the skin, for instance, as can nutrient deficiencies associated with a poor diet or eating disorders.
Atherosclerosis, the narrowing of arteries that leads to heart disease, can affect skin as well—especially on the feet, legs, and shins. If the tiny arteries that carry blood to the extremities become blocked, they can deprive the skin of oxygen, producing dry, shiny patches.
Small bumps under the skin: You may be using too strong a product on the skin. Use the right cleanser. A milder one would be more suitable if you suffer from this.
• Dark patches: These can be caused by medication or illness so please see your doctor. Age spots, on the other hand, may be the body’s way of ridding itself of toxins. Eat more fresh foods, drink more water and massage a small amount of castor oil on to existing age spots.
Oily skin: Oily skin can be caused or worsened by your diet. Pay attention to your diet. As you get older, your skin produces less sebum. Choose the right cleanser to keep it under control and use a face mask regularly.
Puffy skin: The skin may be trying to protect itself from a beauty product that’s too strong for it. Drink lots of water to help drain the lymph system.
Although wrinkles are inevitable, they also may be a sign of osteoporosis. Is your furrowed brow and grooved mouth ratting out your bones? Research reveals an association between wrinkles and bone health in early-menopausal women. The worse the wrinkling, the greater the risk of lower bone density. Most wrinkles are the result of aging, but excessive exposure to cigarette smoke or the sun can speed the process.
It is advised that you pay particular attention , to your body, even though your skin is a very good and reliable telltale and alarm, that there is something wrong with your health. Indicators can be assured, if you do know that you are eating healthy food, do moderate good exercise , a living sensibly.
Do not overlook any signs at any time, as it is easier to treat a disease or illness, if it is picked up early enough.