Dermatology Series: Uncategorized Skin Disorders

There are some disorders that are not formally categorized, unlike tumors or infections, but can unexpectedly arise in many people. This article helps shed some light on those!

Sunburns

Indeed a sunburn is a form of skin disorder. Sunlight, or more specifically ultraviolet B radiation, causes damage to the skin's DNA (big topic for upcoming articles) and also causes a type of cell to die (keratinocytes). A sunburn is ultimately the result of excessive ultraviolet radiation exposure.

Acanthosis Nigricans

Generally, the neck & armpit become quite dark. This can happen to diabetics, those who are obese and also anyone who has cancer.

Actinic Keratosis

Melanoma isn’t the only skin cancer that is caused by sunlight exposure, there is also squamous cell carcinoma. Actinic keratosis is a type of skin lesion that may later develop into squamous cell carcinoma. The main cause? Sunlight. These tend to be somewhat brown and also small & rough.

Erythema nodosum

“Fat lesions” which occur under the skin. They are quite painful and tend to occur in the shins. May be associated with several different diseases or may have no specific cause at all.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

The result of an adverse drug reaction (generally very unlikely though!). The skin begins to “die” & the person gets a fever along with other symptoms. Risk of death is quite high in the patient but again this is a rare reaction to many drugs.

Dermatomyositis

A rare condition that affects both the muscles and the skin. The affected individual will experience weakness in their shoulders & thighs (usually) and experience skin issues along with other systemic problems that involve other organs. The two main rashes that occur are heliotropes & Gottran’s sign. They tend to worsen with sunlight exposure and can become quite painful & itchy.

Psoriatic Arthritis

As covered in a previous article, psoriasis is a type of skin condition involving patches of red & itchy skin. A percentage of those with psoriasis will develop arthritis that accompanies their psoriasis and therefore have stiff & painful joints which hinders their movement.

Melasma

Greater levels of pigment in the skin during pregnancy. This gives the woman a darker skin tone. 

Albinism

Most people are familiar with this condition. Albinism is when the skin makes far less than normal amounts of pigment (melanin). It is strictly the production levels that are the problem given that there are a normal amount of melanocytes.

Vitiligo

In this condition, the immune system attacks the melanocytes themselves. The outcome is that the affected individual has skin regions that lack pigment whereas other areas are completely normal

 

So many of these conditions are caused or worsened by sunlight exposure. That makes it seem like sunlight is a bad thing to exposure your skin to. Well that’s because it is! Tune into our next article which covers various skin tumors.