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Thursday, January 29, 2015

What is Your Skin Saying to You?

Photo courtesy to Flickr user briteside913

What Your Skin Has To Say
The body’s largest living organ weighs anywhere from six to nine pounds and has a total body area of about 20 square feet. It’s your skin. And it has a lot of room to talk! Your skin does an extraordinary amount for your health and well-being, and one of its most fundamental responsibilities is communication.

Skin loves to talk. But are we always listening? Here a few examples of how your skin communicates when it experiences compromising conditions and when it’s time for you to speak up on your body’s behalf.

Blue and purple veins running up your legs
Do not be alarmed, as varicose veins are very common in women, people older than 50 and during pregnancy. They occur when the blood does not circulate as it should, causing it to back up and gather into the vein. This backup is the reason it pools and bulges.

A few ways to prevent or help varicose veins is to exercise regularly and wear compression hose. If the veins become warm and tender to the touch, let your health care provider know.

Dark red lines on your palms
You do not need to be a fortune teller to read these signs that may appear on the palms of your hands. Dark red lines on your palms and other areas of skin may indicate an adrenal insufficiency or endocrine disorder commonly known as Addison’s disease. An endocrine disorder will usually display itself on skin folds, lips, scars and pressure points. It has many signs and symptoms ranging from low blood pressure to severe pain. Make sure you are listening to your body and contact your health care provider as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.

Yellowish skin or orange palms
When your thyroid does not produce enough important hormones, it upsets the chemical balance of your body and causes hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism may be detected by a yellowish skin tone, orange palms, dry and cold skin, a swollen face or thinning hair. This condition can be easily fixed with the right medication, but be sure to contact your health care provider for the best treatment for you.

Super pale skin, blue-tinged nails
This is your skin telling you that you may be suffering from severe anemia caused by an iron, folate or B12 deficiency, which causes a lack of red blood cell production. This condition will likely present itself by a bluish tint in your mouth and on your gums and lips. It is a common issue, but if it is accompanied by fainting or vomiting blood, you need to consult your health care provider immediately.

Tingling and rash
Just like your skin told you, and all of your friends, that you were suffering from chicken pox as a child by a flashy display of red bumps and itchiness, shingles (also known as Herpes Zoster) is commonly called the adult form of chicken pox. And it’s just as flashy with its display. Shingles appear as a rash of red bumps on one side of your face, neck, trunk or legs. It is a virus caused by stress, infection and by certain medications. It’s actually caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox in children, so be especially wary if you had chicken pox already.

Your skin is always willing to communicate. It often communicates through change of color and sensitivity. Be sure to examine your skin often and keep an eye out for anything it may be trying to say. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave them in the comment box below or call 901-759-2322 to make an appointment with our dermatology staff. 

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