Skin is the biggest and in many ways, one of the most wonderful organs in our body. Just imagine: dead skin particles make up two-thirds of dust found in our homes! Skin can be a source of pleasure because it is able to “hear”, “smell”, and “feel”, but it can also become a breeding ground for nasty diseases and uncommon conditions.
We at NY Searchs want to get you acquainted with some of these lesser-known skin conditions. Perhaps one day you’ll be able to recognize a disease and help someone, or even yourself.
1. Maniacal dermatozoonosis
This is a psycho-dermatological condition that results in a person suffering from imaginary parasite attacks. Dermatozoonosis is actually any skin disease caused by an animal parasite. It derives from the Greek words derma (skin), zoon (animal), and nosos (disease).
In her book, Haut nah: Alles über unser größtes Organ (Close-Up on Skin: Everything About Our Largest Organ), dermatologist Yael Adler describes a case of a woman who once came to her complaining about extreme itching. The woman tried many different kinds of treatment like cortisone, antiparasitics, and skin care creams, but nothing helped her. She brought small bottles with crumbs and insects which she had found in her bed and on her body. She was convinced that the itching was caused by these awful things.
However, these “awful things” turned out to be simply crumbs consisting of skin, cell, and dirt particles.
2. Perioral dermatitis
Another more common name for this skin-related illness is “the flight attendant’s disease”. In a nutshell, it’s caused by over moisturizing and swelling of pores due to excessive usage of makeup. It’s not a secret that flight attendants use a lot of makeup and moisturizing creams to protect their skin from dry air that they’re exposed to up in airplanes. Another cause can be from using cream-based cortiсosteroids.
The disease shows itself in small itchy spots filled with liquid and not sebum, and they appear around the mouth (but the space right around the lips stays clear), chin, eyelids or nasolabial fold. Cases of this condition have increased recently, and it’s more noticeable thanks to HD television. Modern technology shows every nose hair, pore, and wrinkle, so people who are involved in TV and cinema production cover their faces with all sorts of cosmetics — most of which contain high amounts of silicone oils that clog pores and cause spots to appear.
So the flight attendant’s disease has also spread into the lives of cinema stars and TV hosts.
This is a condition where a person experiences excessive sweating over their whole body or certain body parts. If you sweat too much during the night and wake up in wet pajamas, it’s crucial that you visit your doctor for a check-up. Some reasons for this excessive sweating could be due to thyroid gland problems, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory processes or infections.
When a person sweats too much all the time, their protective skin barrier is constantly hyper-moisturized, which creates a perfect breeding ground for bacteria production. Fresh sweat doesn’t smell. It begins to smell bad after the bacteria experiences viral activity.
The first treatment a doctor will suggest you try when battling hyperhidrosis is antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride. They narrow down sweat glands’ excretory ducts.
Blushing is quite a normal reaction in our bodies. Many things can cause it, whether it be exercise, sports activity, high temperatures, sexual climax, or drinking alcohol and taking pills. When a person blushes unexpectedly, Englishmen call it “getting flush”, but when it’s caused by psychological reasons, it’s called “blushing”. Joy, high concentration, excitement, rage, shame, fear or sexual arousal can provoke it.
But for some people, blushing is like a punishment. Their condition is called erythrophobia. They are so afraid of blushing and think about it as a form of suffering, that they blush from the mere fear of doing so. They get severe headaches and cold sweats, feel dizzy and sometimes even faint.
In such moments their blood if full of cortisol, a stress hormone, and inflammatory neurotransmitters.
A special form of alopecia (an extreme condition where you lose your hair) is called trichotillomania and is caused by neurotic problems. People suffering from this disease tear their hair out until they go completely bald. Sometimes it happens in particular areas, so people may assume it’s an inflammatory issue at first glance. But if you look closely, you’ll notice new short and healthy hairs on these areas which means it has nothing to do with being physically ill.
This disease doesn’t cause hairs to come out naturally, but it does cause a person to pull out their hairs on purpose. Consulting a psychotherapist would do more good here than going to a trichologist.
Feeling fear is a powerful emotion, and so is being stressed. Sometimes these two are combined, and people get stressed from their own fears. Their friends and relatives might not even realize the nature of such fears because they live deep inside their loved one’s souls.
Dysmorphophobia is being afraid of your own flaws. Strangely enough, good-looking people are more likely to be attacked by this state of mind. Such a person gets fixated on any real or imaginary flaw on their body, skin or hair.
Constant stress is dangerous for a human organism as it creates extra pressure on their cardiovascular system and mental health, and also decreases sexual desire. Make sure to help anyone who you think is experiencing this unfortunate condition.
7. Excoriation disorder
“Acne excoriee des jeunes filles”, which when translated from French means, “blackheads that were scratched”, is a phenomenon usually typical in young ladies. Imagine a stressful situation like passing an exam or falling in love. These are a couple of stressors that can trigger this condition.
Being under a lot of stress results in trying to redirect mental pressure, but not by attacking others and behaving aggressively toward them. On the contrary, girls who suffer from this disease start attacking themselves. They just can’t stop touching their faces. Each pore gets under attack and then heals very slowly because they just don’t have enough time to.
Girls end up with lots of little scars, scabs, and red skin. Each wound leaves a brown spot behind.
The list isn’t close to full, of course, but now you are aware of some of the conditions that can be successfully treated. Stay healthy and please share any other diseases you know about in the comments!
Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova for NY Searchs.com