Your skin is a barrier between you and a variety of health threats, from annoying irritants to bacteria that could cause serious infection. Your skin — the largest organ in your body; it bears the brunt of exposure to UV rays from the sun and maintains a healthy temperature despite changing temperatures around you. Just as healthy skin contributes to your overall health, a key skin benefit is its ability to raise the red flag when your body becomes sick through changes in texture and color and through itching.
Here are 5 skin changes that could be a sign that something internal is going on.
Take note of any potential connection to your meals if you have been suffering from skin rashes. Gluten intolerance may cause itchy skin rashes that affect the arms, torso, face, buttocks, elbows, or hairline.
But a rash which is affecting your feet and lower legs may indicate something beyond a diet-related cause if it does not respond to topical steroids or anti-fungals.
High levels of stress can trigger inflammation in the body, which in turn can cause flare-ups of skin problems like eczema and acne.
Of course, a breakout may be triggered by any number of things from dietary pattern to birth control pills. If you are breaking out, pay attention to possible triggers such as your menses. Acne that mostly appears along the lower face or jawline could be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome in women
Hypothyroidism (thyroid hormone deficiency) may lead to thickening of the skin and other textural changes. Additionally, dark and thick areas on skin (especially on the neck) can be a sign of high blood sugar.
Any persistent textural changes in the skin should prompt a visit to your healthcare provider.
Has your skin developed a yellowish tint? It is a good idea to get it checked as this is a possible sign of problems with the liver. However, this could also be the result of a harmless condition known as carotenemia, caused by excessive consumption of foods like carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes.
On the other hand, if you have noticed that your skin has become paler than usual, you might be experiencing a symptom of anemia — a condition where your blood does not have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin. Sometimes, it may also be accompanied by brittle nails and hair loss.
Most moles (nevi) are harmless. However, it’s important to check your skin for suspicious moles once a month and report anything unusual to your health care professional. Remember the ABCDE rule:
- Asymmetry (one half of the mole doesn’t match the other
- Border irregularity
- Color that is not uniform
- Diameter greater than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
- Evolving size, shape or color
Skin care is self-care, take good care of your skin and it will take good care of you!
Here’s to your perfect skin!