Your Skin Health
Specialist skin care advice on nutrition and lifestyle factors to help reduce the symptoms of dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema and acne
Skin conditions are a common health problem.
Just over half of the people living in the UK suffer from a skin condition. Therefore, it’s not surprising that The British Association of Dermatologists (BDA) said that skin conditions are one of the most common reasons people visit their GP. In many parts of the world, the number of people that suffer from skin conditions is rising. The reasons for this could be because the age of the population is going up in the UK, and also more people are spending time in the sun. Also, people are more aware of how they look than before, which means that they will seek help when they are unhappy about their symptoms. The increased number of people with psoriasis, alongside people becoming more active in getting help for dermatitis, psoriasis and acne, means that more people are turning looking for self-treatment options without advice from a skin care specialist.
Problems with skin health can begin at any age. However, some skin conditions are more common in children, while the incidence of others increases with age. For example, rates of eczema are 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 and are now the most common type of cancer. Although the incidence of skin cancers increase with age, it is a worrying hat skin cancer is now the most common cause of death in young adults (King’s Fund Report, 2014). For example, Melanomas have increased by approximately 48% over just 13 years.
Location is important when considering the risk of skin cancer. For example, 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. Find more information on psoriasis and self-care treatment options, including a personalised treatment plan here
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.
People suffering from skin conditions often choose self-care treatment Options
A whopping 70% of people that suffer from skin conditions rely on their own research to decide on which treatments to use to self-treat their condition. This means that a lot of people are self-treating their condition without adequate guidance or support. Information on suitable and effective treatments from the internet varies widely inaccuracy, which can cause disappointment because of minimal symptom improvement.
Evidence suggests that about a third of people that treat their skin condition at home would benefit more from medical care, such as a consultation with a skin care specialist (such as a dermatologist). Unfortunately though, most sufferers of skin problems are either using the wrong treatments or just don’t know that more suitable treatments for their condition may be are available. This highlights an enormous need for reliable information on skin conditions from a skin care specialist. This advice, will support people and enable them to make better informed decisions about the treatments available and whether they are likely to benefit from a further specialist medical advice.
Sufferers of psoriasis often purchase the wrong medication
Sufferers of skin complaints often purchase over-the-counter treatments to help improve their symptoms. Many of the people who are looking for information will ask a pharmacist for advice to help decide which medication to buy. Unfortunately though, pharmacists currently only have limited training on the management of skin problems which means their advice may not be accurate or reliable in relation to common dermatological conditions.
A huge amount of money (approximately £200 million) is spent each year on over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for skin conditions. This enormous outlay suggests that a many people are seeking help for their skin condition. However, a lack of reliable information may result in people not always having access the right medications. This can lead to someone purchasing the wrong medications which is not just a waste of money, but the repeated disappointment of treatment failures can lead to psychological distress.
Treatment for Psoriasis
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 reduce quality of life. Each year people take about 4 million days off sick because of problems relating to their skin conditions. This is because skin conditions cause a lot of discomfort, both physically and mentally. Most GP’s receive very little, if any, training in dermatology and this may result in a patient being wrongly diagnosed, or a delay in receiving the best treatment for their condition.
A patient may be prescribed any number of shampoos, ointments, and lotions, over several GP visits, before a referral to a dermatologist is made. By the time an appointment with a dermatologist is booked, a skin condition may have caused discomfort and distressing symptoms over a very long period. These issues can impact a person’s self-esteem, close relationships, daily activities, social life and mood. A skin care specialist can provide treatment options and advice that will help to reduce the symptoms of your skin conditions which may lead to a reduction in the psychological impact of these distressing skin conditions.
Help for Your Skin Condition
And lastly, 85% of people that suffer from psoriasis will self-treat in the hope of finding relief from their symptoms. This means there is a very real need for reliable, low-cost information and guidance to help the people that suffer from skin conditions to select the most appropriate treatment for their condition. I believe that this holistic combination of nutritional interventions, lifestyle choices, over-the-counter treatments, as well as GP and dermatology support when necessary, is the future to successful self-care for the many patients that are currently suffering from these conditions. I hope you find these pages useful and beneficial. Please email me if you would like to leave a testimonial to help give others the courage to treat their symptoms. Thank you for reading, Juliet
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.
Additional Health Services
Please be aware that the information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health professional who, amongst other things, knows you, your circumstances and your medical history. The information on these pages aims to provide evidence-based guidance to support you in seeking self-care treatment for your condition. As a health professional myself, I aim to work alongside all other health professionals to support you in your journey to improve your health. You may wish to share the information on this site with your dermatologist or GP for a second perspective or opinion.