Your Healthy Skin
Find out about your skin condition and how nutrition, lifestyle and behavioural patterns can help reduce symptoms of dermatitis, psoriasis, Eczema and acne. Part of Your journey towards a healthier Life
Skin conditions are a common health problem.
Just over half of the people living in the UK suffer from skin conditions. It’s not therefore surprising that according to the British Association of Dermatologists, skin conditions are one of the most common reasons that people visit their GP. The incidence of skin conditions is rising. The main reason for this is probably because we are an ageing population. Other reasons for an increase in the incidence of skin conditions include high risk behaviours, such as sun damage due to sun exposure. Also, peoples’ expectations have changed and we are more aware of our appearance and therefore, more likely to seek help for dermatitis, psoriasis and acne than before.
Skin diseases can occur at any age, although some skin conditions are more common in children, while the incidence of others increases with age. For example, rates of eczema are far higher in children, rates of acne are higher in teenagers, and rates of skin cancer are higher in older people
Your Skin Condition
Although there are over a 1000 skin conditions, just 10 conditions account for over 80% of all the skin disease diagnosis in dermatology.
4 common skin conditions
Skin cancers are increasing, particularly in adults, and are now the most common type of cancer. Although skin cancers increase with age, it is a worrying concern that skin cancer is now the most common cause of death in young adults (King’s Fund Report, 2014). For example, Melanomas have increased by as much as 48% over just 13 years.
The incidence of skin cancers is higher in the south of England, especially on the south coast.
Eczema is common in infants under 1-year old in England and Wales). The incidence reduces with increasing age. Approximately 20% of 3–11 year-olds will have eczema.
Psoriasis is estimated to affect about 1.5 to 2% of the population. The number of people with psoriasis increases with age until approximately 50 years old.
The most common age to suffer from acne is 14–16-years olds. Approximately 50% of teenagers of this age suffer from acne, with about 11% of individuals having a moderate to severe condition.
Young woman with sore scalp psoriasis
People suffering from skin conditions often choose self-care treatment Options
Over half of the UK population suffer from a skin condition, and a whopping 70% of people that suffer from skin conditions rely on their own research and investigations to self-treat their condition. It is not surprising to learn that many people are self-treating their condition without formal guidance or support. Information on suitable and effective treatments from the internet varies widely in accuracy, which can cause disappointment because of minimal symptom improvement. About a third of people that are self-treating their skin condition would benefit from specialist medical care, such as a consultation with a skin specialist (a dermatologist). However, most are either not receiving appropriate treatment or are unaware that more suitable treatments are available. This highlights a significant need for reliable information and support to help people make an informed self-diagnosis, choose the best treatments available, and know when they would benefit from seeking specialist medical advice.
Sufferers of skin complaints often purchase over-the-counter treatments, as well as seeking guidance from high street pharmacists. There is a lack of information on the accuracy of the advice and guidance that pharmacists provide. However, the training of pharmacists in the management of skin problems is limited, which suggests that the diagnosis and treatment of common dermatological conditions by pharmacists may be suboptimal.
Approximately £200 million is spent each year on over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for skin conditions. This high expenditure suggests that a great many people are seeking informal help for their skin condition. Incorrect self-diagnosis or treatment selection can lead to poor outcomes and repeated psychological distress.
Nutrition, Lifestyle and Environments factors....
Skin conditions can have a subtle, but devastating impact on psychological well-being.
Although skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, are not life-threatening, they can cause considerable psychological distress and lead to poor quality of life. Each year approximately 4 million working days are lost because of issues relating to skin conditions. This suggests that these conditions cause considerable discomfort, both physically and mentally. GP’s receive minimal, if any, dermatology training, which could result in misdiagnosis and/or delay in patients receiving the more beneficial treatment for their condition. A patient may be prescribed any number of shampoos, ointments, and lotions, over any number of GP visits, before a referral to a dermatologist is made. By the time an appointment with a dermatologist is scheduled, the condition may have caused a great deal of discomfort and distressing symptoms over a long period. This can negatively impact self-esteem, difficulties with close relationships, impaired daily activities, limited social interactions and low mood.
Help for Your Skin Condition
Treating Skin Conditions With Functional Medicine
Accurate, evidence-based and guided self-care for skin conditions is an empowering and positive choice for sufferers of these skin complaints, alongside specialist support when necessary. 85% of psoriasis patients self-treat at some time, which supports the need for education and knowledge to empower sufferers and enable them to select the best and most appropriate treatment. I believe that this approach is the future direction of treatments for skin conditions. A holistic combination of nutritional, lifestyle and lifestyle choices, along with over-the-counter treatment, GP and dermatology support when necessary, is the future to successful self-care
Navigate Skin Conditions; find Right pages For You
References and Further Reading
- Proprietary Association of GB (2005). ‘A picture of health: a survey of the nation’s approach to everyday health and wellbeing”.
- Schofield J, Grindlay D, Williams H (2009). ‘Skin conditions in the UK: a health needs assessment’. Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, University of Nottingham.
- Thorneloe R J, Bundy C, Griffiths C E, Ashcroft D M, Cordingley L (2013) ‘Adherence to medication in patients with psoriasis: a systematic literature review. Br J Dermatol. 2013 Jan;168(1):20-31. doi: 10.1111/bjd.12039. Review. PubMed PMID: 22963128.
- Rapp S R, Feldman S R, Exum M L, Fleischer A B Jr, Reboussin D M (1999). ‘Psoriasis causes as much disability as other major medical diseases’. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 41,401-7. Eghlileb A M, Davies E E G, Finlay A Y (2007). ‘Psoriasis has a major secondary impact on the lives of family members and partners’. British Journal of Dermatology, 156, 1245-50.
- Basra M K A, Sue-Ho R, Finlay A Y (2007). ‘The Family Dermatology Life Quality Index: measuring the secondary impact of skin disease’. British Journal of Dermatology, 156, 528-38.