The skin is our largest organ with just under two square meters. It has many tasks: Among other things, it protects us from heat and cold, is a sensory organ and delimits our body against the environment. In addition, it shapes the appearance of each individual very much - why are skin diseases for those affected so unpleasant.
Skin: structure and function
The skin is our largest sensory organ and consists of several layers (upper, leather and lower skin). It protects us from pathogens, the outside temperature and sets us apart against the environment. It can store water and nutrients, absorb medication or even toxins and affect our body temperature, eg through sweating.
Birthmarks give the skin an individual appearance - whether freckles, blemishes or liver spots. The appendages of the skin - hair and nails - are remnants of evolution and have no real function anymore. But they are all the more important for the aesthetic overall appearance of humans.
If the skin does not feel well, it can express this in many different ways. Too much or wrong care can lead to dry skin or in extreme cases to itchy, red skin (eczema), also pimples or acne can arise. Excessive sweating is not only annoying, but indicates a dysfunction of the sweat glands.
While wrinkles and pigment spots are more of an aging condition, skin blisters can occur at any age - as a profane skin blister, when the shoe presses, as a cold sore or cold sore or as a painful shingles. Warts are particularly annoying, which often stubbornly refuse any therapy.
We come to the area wounds and injuries: flea bites and lice are usually visible to the naked eye and a burn or scald is often so painful that immediate help is needed. Even the sunburn falls into this area, because it represents a skin injury that would be easy to avoid with sufficient sun protection. On the other hand, frostbite is luckily much rarer. Nail and athlete's foot are also unpleasant, because it usually takes a while to get rid of these symptoms.
Hair is a particular topic: whether too much like hirsutism, too little hair loss or hair dandruff - hair is often a cause of complaint and seems to grow faster and faster with increasing age.
method of investigation
Anamnesis (ask the medical history): All complaints can be further limited by specific questions. For example, in the case of a suspicious-looking mole, the history of itching, bleeding, or alteration of the surface is indicative of benignity or malignancy.
Inspection (observation) and palpation (palpation): Skin lesions can be detected better with the aid of a magnifying glass or a special microscope (incident light microscope) than with the naked eye.
Smear, biopsy and hair analysis: If a skin infection is suspected, a smear of the skin area is made and a tissue sample is taken from an unclear tumor. In alternative medicine, hair analysis plays a greater role than in conventional medicine.
Allergy test and skin function tests: Rash may be a reaction to an allergy-causing substance - straight detergents or cosmetics are common causes of itchy, dry skin. There are various skin function tests, for example, with which an abnormal sweat activity is tested or an excessive tendency to react, as it occurs in hives.
X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): These examinations are only used if it is suspected that internal organs are also affected. Thus, in an atopic dermatitis patient, one will also control the lung function and look for a possible asthma component.
Allergies can occur at any age - so you can be allergic to the sun and plants or even after a tattoo against the tattoo ingredients. Psoriasis affects more than 2 million people in Germany. This chronic disease is extremely debilitating for the person affected.
Although the condition porphyria is rare, it can lead to massive skin changes without consistent therapy and avoidance of direct sunlight - it is believed that Count Dracula was suffering from porphyria! Many diseases are associated with a more or less pronounced scarring, which in turn requires treatment.
Skin disorders in children
Diaper dermatitis is often the first skin rash that a new citizen of the world receives, in addition to the cradle cap. Unfortunately, cowslip is often the first sign of atopic dermatitis. Measles, rubella, scarlet fever are typical childhood illnesses with a house rash, even as an adult you can be affected. In addition to these known childhood diseases, there are also more rare diseases such as the Kawasaki syndrome, in which scarlet skin lesions occur.
Skin disorders in adults
The most important, because most dangerous skin disease is skin cancer with all its forms dar. A moderately known precursor is the actinic keratosis, which is understood as a flaky reddened skin lesion, which usually arises in light-irradiated areas of the body. More rare are the chronic diseases rosacea and white spot disease (vitiligo). But both are psychologically very distressing for sufferers - in the rosacea, the face is red and swollen, the vitiligo alternate normally pigmented and "white" skin.
The skin changes with age: it becomes thinner and more sensitive, its care more demanding. Eczema, open spots or even pressure points (decubitus ulcers) occur much more frequently. Chronic, often disfiguring skin diseases mean that many changes in the life of the person affected. Since 2002, there is a special point of contact for people with skin diseases: the team of the patient consultation for diseases of the skin (PBEH). Skin conditions may affect the condition of the person so badly that they trigger emotional problems.
Of course, there is a special procedure for every illness with medication or surgery - you will find that with the respective illness. For psoriasis, for example, swimming and bathing are easier on the scalp, there is a special comb that directs UV light to the psoriasis, and novel substances such as fumarins are an alternative to the well-known therapy methods.
When choosing your care products, have you ever wondered what "dermatologically tested" means? Proper skin care - even after your vacation - and healthy diet help the skin to fulfill its functions. Special tips for athletes, against environmental pollution, scrubs etc. can be found under Fitness and Wellness. In addition, you should not forget: touch is vital for the skin as a sensory organ and as acupressure treatment touch even helps against wrinkles!
Many chronic skin diseases such as eczema run in spurts. Patients often know exactly how to behave, so that the disease does not break out or worsen. Since life-threatening skin diseases such as cancer often take years to develop, preventive measures such as adequate sun protection are particularly important. In addition to the determination of the skin type, it is also important that children have very sensitive skin and that the sunburns of childhood contribute strongly to the onset of skin cancer.
Sunscreen also requires proper handling of self-tanners and sunbeds - as tanned skin from the tube does not enhance the skin's natural sun protection and arguments for a visit to the tanning booth should be thoroughly considered. When choosing the sun protection factor, the influence of the ozone layer thickness should be included.