Treatment Options For Scaling Skin
Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and the cause of the scaling skin. In cases of allergic reactions, discontinuing use or contact with the allergen can solve your problem. You should still see an allergist to confirm what is triggering the scales.
Many times, skin conditions that lead to scaling can be treated with a simple topical cream. Oral medications are sometimes needed to address issues that are more than skin deep, however. Depending on the diagnosis, your healthcare provider may refer you to a dermatologist for specialized treatment.
Diagnosis Can Be Difficult And Acting Fast Is Key
There are many infections that look similar to necrotizing fasciitis in the early stages, which can make diagnosis difficult. In addition to looking at the injury or infection, doctors can diagnose necrotizing fasciitis by:
- Performing a biopsy
- Looking at bloodwork for signs of infection and muscle damage
- Looking at imaging of the damaged area
However, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible. Therefore, doctors may not wait for test results if they think a patient might have necrotizing fasciitis.
Symptoms Of Sjs And Ten
Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis usually begin with fever, headache, cough, keratoconjunctivitis , and body aches. If caused by a drug, these symptoms usually appear 1 to 3 weeks after the start of the drug. Then the skin changes begin, with a flat red rash on the face, neck, and trunk, often spreading later to the rest of the body in an irregular pattern. The areas of rash enlarge and spread, often forming blisters in their center. The skin of the blisters is very loose and easy to rub off, often with just a gentle touch or pull, and the blisters peel off over a period of 1 to 3 days. The affected areas are painful, and the person feels very ill with chills and fever. In some people, the hair and nails fall out. The palms and soles may be affected.
The extensive skin loss in toxic epidermal necrolysis is similar to a severe burn and is equally life threatening. People are very ill and may be unable to eat or open their eyes. Huge amounts of fluids and salts can seep from the large, raw, damaged areas. People who have this disorder are very susceptible to organ failure. They are also at risk of infection at the sites of damaged, exposed tissues. Such infections are the most common cause of death in people with this disorder.
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Why People With Vitiligo Are Joining The Body Positive Movement
While some people with vitiligo seek treatment to cover up or repigment their skin, others choose to embrace the condition however it shows up. Ash Soto falls into that camp. The twentysomething from Orlando, Florida, documents her experience with vitiligo on her , which is over 150,000 followers strong.
Soto was diagnosed with vitiligo at age 12 after she saw a white spot on her neck and then noticed another one appear within a few months. I remember being really scared and confused, she says.
Soto admits she was teased at school for the way her skin looked and says her vitiligo hurt her self-esteem and made her feel insecure. By her late teens, however, she had decided to embrace her skin and use it as a canvas for art, which she shares photos of on Instagram. Her photos are accompanied by inspirational captions that promote a love-yourself mentality.
The body positive movement is all about self-acceptance, so its been a natural fit for people who want to embrace their vitiligo. Some well-known people have been open about their vitiligo including the model Winnie Harlow, the ballet dancer Michaela DePrince, Breanne Rice from The Bachelor, and actor Jon Hamm and this has helped bring vitiligo into the spotlight, notes the Vitiligo Society. With this raised awareness, people may become more accepting of those living with the condition.
Inverse Lichen Planus Pigmentosus
Inverse lichen planus pigmentosus is an inflammatory condition that causes discoloration and itchy bumps where skin folds.
Mostly affecting people from Asia, only around 20 cases have been documented worldwide. No one knows what causes it.
Flat lesions, or macules, of discolored skin form in small clusters. They dont usually contain pus, but they sometimes can. Some peoples skin clears up naturally over time, while others may have symptoms for years.
This condition is moderate, not fatal, and can be treated with a topical cream. Corticosteroids are the go-to treatment options for healing and can even help with pigmentation in some cases.
Dowling-Degos disease is a genetic disorder that causes darkened skin, particularly in places that fold, like the armpit, groin, and joint areas.
Although less common, pigment changes can also affect the neck, hands, face, and scalp.
Most of the lesions are small and look like blackheads, but red spots resembling acne can develop around the mouth.
The lesions can also appear as fluid-filled bumps on the scalp. Itching and burning sensations can occur.
Just like HS, skin changes occur in late childhood or early adolescence.
However, some people dont have any outbreaks until adulthood. Dowling-Degos isnt life threatening, though people with the disease can experience distress and anxiety.
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Necrotizing Fasciitis: All You Need To Know
Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare bacterial infection that spreads quickly in the body and can cause death.
Accurate diagnosis, rapid antibiotic treatment, and prompt surgery are important to stopping this infection.
See a doctor right away if your skin becomes red, warm, swollen, or very painful soon after an injury or surgery.
On This Page
How Does Epidermolysis Bullosa Affect My Body
Severe cases of EB may cause blisters in your eyes, which can result in vision loss. It may result in severe scarring and deformities of your skin/muscles, making it difficult to move your fingers, hands, feet and joints. Some people with EB are at an increased risk of developing a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Death can sometimes occur during infancy due to severe infection , breathing problems due to blocked airways, dehydration and malnutrition.
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Causes And Risk Factors For Vitiligo
Researchers now understand that vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder, in which the body destroys parts of itself. It happens when a part of the immune system starts to attack and kill the pigment cells melanocytes in the skin, resulting in the formation of white patches, says Michelle Rodrigues, MBBS, a dermatologist in private practice in Melbourne, Australia. Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin, hair, and eyes their color, per MedlinePlus.
So why might the bodys immune cells attack healthy skin cells in the first place? That question is still not entirely settled among researchers, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But it seems likely that genetics and environmental triggers both play a role.
These factors are known to increase risk for vitiligo:
How Do I Take Care Of My Child If They Have Epidermolysis Bullosa
Your childs needs are unique, and they may not yet have the ability or vocabulary to express whats bothering them. The following tips will help make your child as comfortable as possible:
- Thoroughly wash your hands before handling your childs skin.
- Avoid wearing latex gloves. They may create friction.
- Gently bathe your babys skin in sections rather than putting their whole body in a shallow tub.
- Consider laying your newborn baby on absorbent pads instead of putting them in diapers.
- Use diapers with Velcro® straps. Adhesive straps can accidentally stick to your childs skin.
- Cut the elastic off of the diaper leg holes.
- Place silicone gel sheets in the diaper lining to prevent skin from sticking to open blisters.
- Be careful how you pick your child up. Avoid putting your hands under their armpits . If their thighs and back are free from blisters or sores, wrap one arm around their thighs and use your other arm to support their back.
- Encourage them to be as active as their EB allows them to be. Inactivity may cause other complications, including constipation and muscle loss . Swimming is a great form of exercise that has minimal impact.
- Discourage rough, physical activities or play, especially any that cause your childs body to heat up and sweat.
It may be difficult treating your childs symptoms, and you may feel overwhelmed or stressed. Ask your healthcare provider about any other tips or suggestions on how to keep your child and you as comfortable as possible.
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What Is Epidermolysis Bullosa
Epidermolysis bullosa is a group of genetic disorders that causes your skin to be fragile and blister and tear easily. Blisters and sores form when clothing rubs against your skin, or you bump your skin. Mild cases of the disease usually cause painful blisters on the hands, elbows, knees and feet. However, tears and blisters can appear anywhere on the body. EB symptoms can range from very mild to very severe.
In some cases, blisters form inside the body in places such as the mouth, esophagus, other internal organs or eyes. When the blisters heal, they can cause painful scarring. In severe cases, blisters and scars can harm internal organs and tissue enough to be fatal.
Symptoms Of Epidermolysis Bullosa
The symptoms of epidermolysis bullosa vary depending on the type you have. Everyone with the disease has fragile skin that blisters and tears easily. Other symptoms, by type and subtype, include the following.
- Epidermolysis bullosa simplex is the most common form of the disease. People who have a mild subtype develop blisters on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In other more severe subtypes, the blisters occur over the entire body. Depending on the subtype of the disease, other symptoms may include:
- Thickened skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
- Rough, thickened, or absent fingernails or toenails.
- Blisters inside the mouth.
- Changes in the pigmentation of the skin.
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Diagnosing The Underlying Cause Of Scaling Skin
When you initially recognize scaling skin, you may simply apply lotion and not give it much thought. After all, its very common for skin to sometimes scale during periods of cold, dry weather or after prolonged sun exposure. However, if your scaling skin doesnt improve, spreads, or worsens, you may want to see your healthcare provider.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and your symptoms. If you can pinpoint when the symptoms first appeared, it may help your healthcare provider determine a cause. Whether or not your skin itches or if anything provides relief could also help in diagnosing the problem.
The diagnosis is made based on the appearance of your skin, your history of exposure to any irritating or allergenic substances, and any accompanying symptoms.
Vitiligo And Skin Cancer Risk
People with vitiligo like the rest of the population are encouraged to wear sunscreen . Part of that is because skin without its natural color is more likely to burn in the sun. A function of melanin is to help block out some of the suns dangerous ultraviolet rays, so skin without it may be more vulnerable to sun damage, according to the American Cancer Society. But sun protection is also important because avoiding getting tan can make vitiligo patches less noticeable, and some vitiligo treatments can be disrupted by sun exposure, notes the AAD.
Since the skin in the vitiligo-affected areas can burn more easily, it may be surprising to learn that instead of increasing skin cancer risk, vitiligo is associated with lower risk. A University of Amsterdam study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found a threefold lower risk for melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers in people with vitiligo compared with those without it.
There are a few theories for why this might happen. The same genes associated with vitiligo may also lower the risk of malignant melanoma, suggested a study published in Genome Medicine a second theory posits that whatevers causing the immune system to destroy melanocytes also causes it to destroy cancerous cells, notes the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts.
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How Do I Take Care Of Myself
The following tips will help you take care of yourself:
- Sleep on sheets and bedding made of soft, natural fibers, such as silk or satin.
- Wear loose, comfortable shoes.
- Avoid standing or walking on your feet for long periods.
- Avoid scratching or rubbing your skin.
- Apply anti-itch medications to reduce itching.
- Be aware of your surroundings to avoid accidentally hitting or scratching your skin.
- Moisturize your skin frequently to reduce friction.
- Pop blisters with a sterile needle or clean scissors.
- Use nonadhesive bandages, or apply petroleum jelly or skincare ointments to your bandages to prevent them from sticking.
Serious Complications Are Common
It can also result in life-long complications from loss of limbs or severe scarring due to surgically removing infected tissue.
Looking at data from the most recent five years:
- Even with treatment, up to 1 in 5 people with necrotizing fasciitis died from the infection
- Up to 1 in 3 people who got both necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome at the same time died from their infections
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Types Of Epidermolysis Bullosa
The 3 main types of EB are:
- epidermolysis bullosa simplex the most common type, which can range from mild, with a low risk of serious complications, to severe
- dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa which can range from mild to severe
- a rare form of EB that ranges from moderate to severe
The type reflects where on the body the blistering takes place and which layer of skin is affected.
There are also many variants of these 3 main types of EB, each with slightly different symptoms.
Read more about symptoms of different types of epidermolysis bullosa.
Are There Any More Causes To Know
Finally, there are some situations in which peeling skin is a symptom of a much more severe conditionone that may require immediate medical care. In particular, Dr. Boh points to Steven Johnson syndrome, a severe reaction to a new medication whereby the skin breaks out into a painful rash and blisters before shedding. And Dr. Tiernan notes that toxic shock syndrome often comes with peeling skin, too, as well as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and confusion.
Again, its unlikely that one of these conditions will sneak up on you, but if your skin is peeling off in large sheets or if the shedding skin is accompanied by extremely tender skin or a fever, see a doctor right away.
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Are There Any Home Remedies For Flaky Skin
You may be able to alleviate dry, flaky skin at home. Home remedies and steps you can take to reduce dry skin include:
- moisturizing with an alcohol-free cream twice a day, particularly after bathing or showering
- applying products that contain glycerin, urea, hyaluronic acid, or ammonium lactate
- washing with cool or warm water rather than hot water
- patting skin dry rather than rubbing it
- staying hydrated
- topical corticosteroids to alleviate pain and inflammation
- oral antihistamines to reduce itchiness
- topical barrier creams, such as Tetrix, which may be useful if flaking occurs due to frequently washing hands
- medicated bandages to soothe and protect skin
Your doctor or dermatologist will be able to advise on which treatments they recommend.
Vitiligo And Other Autoimmune Disorders
Up to one-quarter of patients with vitiligo have another autoimmune disease. If you have vitiligo, you may be at risk for an autoimmune disorder. So its important to discuss any new or unusual health issues youre experiencing with your primary care practitioner. Vitiligo does not cause other autoimmune conditions, but it may share a genetic basis with one.
Here are some of the most common autoimmune diseases associated with vitiligo:
- Autoimmune thyroid disease
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
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How Is Epidermolysis Bullosa Diagnosed
Doctors diagnose EB with a test called a skin biopsy. In this test, a doctor removes a small skin sample and studies it under a microscope.
A genetic test can confirm the type of EB by identifying the defective gene. A prenatal genetic test can confirm if parents are at risk for having a baby with EB.