If you have issues going on inside your body, or are getting too much exposure to toxins in your environment, it will show up on your skin and give you a heads up.
Here are eight signs your skin can show you as an indicator of a potential health risk:
1. Freckles and Moles
If you get new freckles or moles, it may be a sign you are spending too much time in the sun and your skin is getting damaged. If your freckles or moles get larger or have irregular shapes, then you may want to get checked immediately as it may be a sign of skin cancer.
2. Acne Breakouts
In adults with acne, it is usually an issue with hormones that causes the breakouts. Stress and certain foods can cause inflammation and cystic acne in the pores. In women, menstrual periods can cause flare-ups as well. If you experience irregular periods, weight gain and unwanted hair growth, it could be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome which can be diagnosed by an endocrinologist.
3. Red Thickened Skin with Silvery Scales
This is a sign of psoriasis, an autoimmune disorder whereby skin cells are not shed fast enough because the skin is growing too fast, and they pile up on the skin. Immunotherapy has been shown to cure some cases, and there are many homeopathic treatments to lessen the symptoms.
4. Pale Skin
Pale skin, combined with fatigue and shortness of breath, could be a sign of anemia. Anemia is an iron deficiency in your blood. Anemia can be treated with increasing foods in your diet high in iron or taking iron supplements. If you experience a sudden paleness of skin, then you should take time to rule out more life threatening conditions like internal bleeding or Leukemia, which is a cancer of the blood.
5. Dark Patches
When your skin darkens and takes on a velvety texture, it could be a sign of insulin resistance in the body, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Your doctor can test your fasting blood glucose levels to rule it out. Once you get your blood sugar under control, it can help to remove the dark patches from your skin.
6. Itchy Skin
Everyone gets an itch, but when you itch constantly, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction. If you have recently eaten something you don’t normally eat, or changed laundry detergents, you could be having an allergic reaction. Even if it is mild, then try to identify the cause and remove it to see if the itchiness goes away. If it doesn’t, then you can check to see if it is something more serious like Celiac disease or diabetes.
7. Dry Patches
Cold weather, dehydration and a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can cause your skin to dry. Drink more water, use a skin moisturizer and eat more walnuts and edamame, and the dryness should go away. If you also have fatigue, weight gain and constipation, then it could be a sign of an under-active thyroid gland. You can rule out a thyroid condition with a simple blood test.
8. Red Cheeks
Red cheeks could be a sign of rosacea. Rosacea could be brought on by cold weather, spicy foods, booze and stress. No one really knows why people get rosacea, but a doctor could prescribe some medications to limit the severity, and you could eliminate the burritos, margaritas and that stressful game of curling you had planned for this weekend.
Your skin is pretty easy to maintain if you limit sun exposure, limit stress and drink plenty of water. The things you can’t control like psoriasis and acne can happen, but they are manageable with proper self-care. If you think your skin is in any way out of the ordinary, you may want to get it checked out. It doesn’t hurt to get an expert opinion and it may be nothing at all. But if it is something, then getting it checked out early could make all the difference.