Most Common Dermatological Conditions

Skin is the largest organ of the body and is the most visible. It can be fair, dark, or freckled, smooth as a newborn baby, or wrinkled by age. Your skin is a large factor in your appearance. Anything that damages it can be a cause for concern. Inflammation, bumps, and any abnormal skin condition are considered one of many dermatological conditions.

Dermatology Conditions

By definition, dermatological conditions are skin conditions consisting of redness, swelling, itching, or burning associated with the epidermis or even deeper layers of skin. These can be caused by numerous factors, including:

  • genetics
  • skincare products
  • allergies
  • diseases
  • injuries

These dermatologist skin conditions manifest in many different ways. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, over eighty-five million Americans have some type of skin disorder. Nearly every person will experience a skin condition at some point in their life, from simple sunburn to one of many dermatology diseases.

Signs & Symptoms of Skin Conditions

Most conditions that affect the skin are easily visible; however, some conditions may not manifest outwardly. Common visible signs that a dermatologist should be consulted include:

  • lesions
  • rashes
  • hives
  • evolving moles
  • growths
  • hair loss
  • excessive body hair
  • excessive sweat
  • skin discoloration

Many people experience symptoms that have no physical manifestation and are harder to diagnose. Itching and burning sensations are the two most common complaints that are not visible. These can be due to dermatology diseases that are diagnosed through various lab tests.

What Are the Most Common Skin Problems?

Dermatologists see many different skin conditions, ranging from mild acne to massive tumors. Here, some of the more common conditions are presented along with typical treatment.


The most common skin condition reported to dermatologists, and often self-treated, is acne. This condition typically appears in the teen years, though it can present in babies and adults. It is a source of stress for many young people due to its appearance.

Acne presents as pimples on the face; however, it can also appear on the chest and back. Blackheads and other nodules are also considered acne. These bumps are the result of hormone changes that cause blockage to hair follicles and oil glands. The blockages swell up and fill with pus. Other factors can cause acne:

  • medications like steroids or lithium
  • illicit drug use
  • excessive perspiring
  • make-up

Many people believe that it is a result of poor hygiene, not washing the face often enough. This is a myth and contrary to fact. Washing your face too much can aggravate acne.

Treatment varies depending on the severity, suspected cause, and other medical conditions. Treatment should be through a dermatologist. Self-treatment or squeezing the bumps to relieve the puss can lead to scarring, which requires more invasive treatments.

Medicated creams and sometimes oral medications will often lessen the outbreaks. It can take weeks or months to see significant results. In many young people, acne resolves as they age.

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

Eczema, one of the three most common forms of dermatitis, typically presents in babies and children. Red, scaly, dry patches appear on the face, arms, legs, and skin folds. These areas tend to thicken due to scratching.

While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, genetics ranks high on the list of causes due to presentation in babies. The environment and problems with the immune system may also cause the condition. Approximately fifty percent of babies with atopic dermatitis will have the condition as an adult.

Although a cure has not been found, there are multiple ways to approach treatment and keep the condition to a minimum. Medical options include:

  • steroid ointments and/or pills
  • antihistamines for the itch
  • immune-suppressing drugs

Home treatment to control the itching is important in preventing sores: oatmeal baths, loose clothing, and humidity to add moisture to the air. While medications can not cure eczema, preventing flare-ups is an important part of coping with the condition.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Shingles are a painful, preventable condition caused by the chickenpox virus. People who have had chickenpox are susceptible to an outbreak. The virus stays in the body in a dormant state. While it is possible for anyone who has had chickenpox to have shingles, it is typically found in the elderly. For unknown reasons, the virus becomes active and presents painful red blisters, headaches, and fever.

The best treatment for shingles is prevention. There are two vaccines available, and anyone age fifty and over should be vaccinated. Once the virus is active, antivirals can help with symptoms until the blisters heal.

Hives (Urticaria)

A common symptom of an allergic reaction is hives, red, itchy welts that may cover a small area of skin or a large portion of the body. These welts can appear on the face, arms, legs, or throat.

Bee stings and other bites, medications, and allergic reactions to foods such as shellfish, can all cause breakouts. If the breakout is severe, it can be life-threatening. Hives in or around the mouth or throat can lead to breathing complications, and you should seek help immediately.

Normally, hives go away in a few hours without medication; however, antihistamines can be used to control itching. Prevention through avoidance of triggers is the best medicine. Severe cases, though rare, can last much longer, from a few months to years. This condition, chronic urticaria, is treated with medication via injections.


Most people have probably experienced red, painful, sometimes blistered skin that comes from being in the sun too long. Sunburn can also occur from overexposure to ultraviolet rays in a tanning bed.

In the case of sunburn, prevention is the absolute best medicine to prevent the immediate effects of sunburn and prevent skin cancers that often occur much later. Sunscreen, protective clothing, and avoiding the sun when possible will help prevent sunburn.

If you are sunburned, there are some steps you can take for relief; only time will heal the burn.

  • Take cool baths with oatmeal or baking soda.
  • Apply aloe vera gel.
  • Hydrate with water.
  • Use ibuprofen or NSAIDs for pain and swelling.

You should consult a dermatologist if fever, cold chills, or blisters appear. Blisters can lead to an infection.

The sunburn will fade in a few days. However, frequent sunburns can cause skin damage that doesn’t appear for many years. People with a history of sunburns should consider body scanning for early detection of melanoma.


These are just a small sampling of common dermatological conditions. There are many, many more that affect people daily. Any injury, damage, or condition that affects your skin should be examined by a dermatologist and treated accordingly.

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