Dermatology is the science that is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair and nails. A dermatologist is the medical expert you should consult if you have any significant problem with your skin.
How many people get skin disease?
The skin is the largest and most visible organ of the body. It reflects the health of the body and acts as a barrier against injury and bacteria. Unfortunately, at one time or another, nearly everyone has some type of skin disease – infants, children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. One in six (15%) of all visits to the family doctor (GP) involves a skin problem.
What are the most common skin disorders?
- Skin cancer
- Fungal infections
- Acne affects every teenager to one degree or another
- Hand dermatitis, resulting from external contact with detergents and household chemicals, affects most women with young families
- One in six of all children develop atopic eczema
- One in five persons suffers from cold sores (herpes simplex)
Arrange to see a dermatologist as soon as possible when symptoms of skin disease appear.
It is vital to protect your skin and eyes from the damaging effect of the sun. No matter what the weather, or what you are doing, protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation. Take particular care in summer.
You should also be careful to protect your skin if you are at high altitude in any season, particularly when in the snow because it reflects extra ultraviolet radiation onto your skin. Make sure your children are protected as well as yourself.
- Wear closely-woven clothing. Long sleeves, long trousers, or a long skirt should be worn. Look out for clothing with a label stating its UPF (protection factor) is greater than 40. Tests have shown sun clothing blocks ultraviolet radiation very effectively (much better than sunscreens).
- Put on a broad-brimmed hat.
- Try to keep in the shade.
- Apply a sunblock lightly to all uncovered skin before you go out.