Skin Conditions Overview


Skin conditions can be many and can be inherited or developed with time. These disorders involve all the conditions that can irritate, damage, obstruct, and alter the appearance of your skin. Usually, skin conditions cause rashes, itchiness, and oily or dry skin, and they present themselves as unaesthetic and difficult to hide. This article could help you to identify the most common skin conditions, the symptoms, the causes, and the risk factors, and at last, could recommend you the best treatment for these diseases.

What are the most common skin conditions?


Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, can be one of the most common skin conditions. Usually, eczema develops in children, but it can also emerge for the first time in adults. The appearance of this disease is a rush constellated with red itchy spots, causing dry, cracked, and inflamed skin. According to the NHS, eczema could pop up all over the body. However, the most typical places it affects are the hands, the back of the knees, and the inside elbows. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition, but the NHS gives some useful treatments to ease its symptoms: 

  • Do not scratch: it is hard not to, especially from such deep itchiness that the disease causes to the skin, but scratching creates infections, bleeding and scars 
  • Cream and emollients: help to fight the dryness of the skin
  • Topical corticosteroids: help to reduce swelling and redness
  • Antihistamines
  • Bandages to prevent scratching

If eczema is not treated adequately, it may turn into an infection which can cause: 

  • Shivers, feeling unwell
  • Swollen and painful skin
  • Pus dripping from the skin
  • Major spreads around different body areas


The second most common skin condition is psoriasis. According to Cleveland Clinic, psoriasis is an autoimmune, chronic skin condition that can not be cured. Autoimmune means that the body’s defence system cannot recognise its cells from external cells. This results in the body’s response to attack its normal cells, causing the disease. Klarity mentions that psoriasis appears as large areas covered in scaly plaques, an accumulation of dead skin cells. In many cases, psoriasis affects adults between 20 and 30 years old and between 50 and 60 years old. However, it can develop at any age. According to the severity of this condition, NHS suggests helpful treatment to relieve the symptoms:

  • Topical: cream and ointments 
  • Systemic: tablets or injections
  • Phototherapy: the skin is treated with ultraviolet light


Here are the common symptoms of eczema explained by Klarity

  • Thick skin
  • Red spots and sore skin
  • Itching
  • Dripping pus from the rash areas
  • Dry flaky skin
  • Plaques
  • Patches: discolouration of the skin

Regarding psoriasis, the matter could be a bit more complicated. NHS explains that there are various types of psoriasis, and for each of these, the symptoms could also differ: 

Plaque psoriasis

Is the most common type of condition. It presents with itchy or sore plaques, which are dry skin lesions. In severe cases, the plaques can crack and bleed.

Scalp psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis that appears on the scalp can be extremely itchy and could cause hair loss.

Nail psoriasis

In this case, nails could discolour or grow abnormally.

Guttate psoriasis

This type can appear after infection and go away after a few weeks. It usually pops up on the chest, arms, scalp, and legs in drop-shaped sores.

Inverse psoriasis

This type could be made by friction and sweat, and it usually appears on the armpits, under the breasts, and between the buttocks. It looks like smooth patches of skin.


There is no certainty of eczema causes. However, Klarity exposes some reasons why this condition develops on your skin: 


The condition runs in the family.

Dysfunctional skin barrier

Skin is made of layers of cells and tissues. Eczema compromises the skin's layers and barriers because of a gene mutation. Therefore the skin is dry and more likely to be affected by the condition.

Immune system dysfunction

Some immune system cells are antibodies to protect from allergic reactions. Eczema increases to exaggerate levels of these cells, with the results being more sensitive to contract the condition. 

Eczema is not contagious, meaning it can not pass from person to person by close contact.

Nonetheless, to have more detailed explanations and information on the causes and triggers of atopic eczema, it is suggested to check

Some of the causes that bring psoriasis are in common with eczema’: 

  • Genetics
  • Immune system dysfunction

However, NHS lists how this condition could be triggered in other ways: 

  • Skin injuries
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Some medications
  • Hormonal changes
  • Throat infections

As with eczema, psoriasis is not contagious.

Risk factors

While eczema and psoriasis have different symptoms and causes, they share some common risk factors. According to the NHS, the following factors can increase your likelihood of developing these skin conditions:

Family history

Both eczema and psoriasis can be hereditary. If a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, has either condition, you may have a higher risk of developing it too.


Eczema often develops in childhood, while psoriasis typically develops in adulthood.


High levels of stress can trigger both eczema and psoriasis flare-ups, worsening the symptoms of these conditions.


Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing psoriasis, as well as make it harder to manage the condition.


Smoking is a risk factor for psoriasis and can worsen symptoms in those who already have the condition.

Alcohol consumption

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also increase the risk of developing psoriasis, as well as make it harder to manage the condition.


Eczema is more common in females, while psoriasis affects males and females equally.


Certain medications, such as lithium and beta-blockers, can trigger or worsen psoriasis symptoms.

It is important to note that having one or more of these risk factors does not necessarily mean that you will develop eczema or psoriasis. However, understanding these factors can help you take steps to reduce your risk and manage the symptoms of these conditions if you do develop them.

Can you reduce your risk of developing skin conditions by making a few changes to your lifestyle?

The following lifestyle factors have the greatest impact on your risk of skin conditions. We will also look at what you can do to reduce your risk from today.


Skin and nutrition have a strong link. Some researchers show that psoriasis should not be considered only as a skin disease but also as a systemic inflammation that brings a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. There is no cure to fight off psoriasis entirely. However, here is a list of anti-inflammatory foods that could help to keep psoriasis symptoms under control (National psoriasis foundation)

  • Nuts
  • Salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines
  • Fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Spinach and kale

Verywellhealth lists instead what it should and should not be eaten with eczema: 

  • Avoid allergy foods like peanuts, shellfish, eggs, soy, dairy products
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Eat organic food
  • Drink more water
  • Integrate vitamin D, vitamin C, probiotics, and zinc supplement
  • Integrate omega 3
  • Use primrose oil, cod liver oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, and olive oil

Physical activity

Appears not to exist a direct connection between healthy skin and physical activity. However, exercising is recommended to get a healthy lifestyle. Working out benefits our mental and body health as it releases stress and endorphins. These are the feel-good hormones that are responsible for lowering stress. Eczema and psoriasis could develop with time, caused by factors like stress or a wrong nutrition diet. Therefore, working out and establishing a healthy diet could help prevent skin condition symptoms from worsening.


Obesity seems to be strictly linked with psoriasis as this has too strong a connection with nutrition. It is still unsure what could come first, psoriasis or obesity. Various researchers show that many patients with skin conditions are more likely to gain weight. Although, these also show that many obese patients are more likely to be affected by the skin condition. That’s why it is essential to begin a healthy lifestyle with a diet and exercise schedule in place.


Alcohol could be one of the causes of developing eczema. There is no clear evidence of this statement, although it is recommended not to exceed alcoholic beverages as these can dry out the skin and worsen the condition.


Sleep is necessary for the body to reach its 100% potential. It can significantly affect the appearance of the skin too. According to Samaritan health services, getting enough sleep helps relieve stress, it helps rebuild collagen, and it helps regenerate skin cells. Lack of sleep could increase the odds of developing skin conditions like eczema by drying out the epidermis.

Mental health

Stress or depression could worsen skin conditions. But it can also be true in reverse. Psychiatric times states that 44% of the patients that suffer from stress or depression are more likely to get atopic eczema or psoriasis and that 80% have increased these mental health complications due to skin conditions.

Diagnostic testing

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This article has reviewed the most common skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, and has outlined some of the possible causes, symptoms, and risk factors, including nutrition, physical activity, obesity, alcohol, sleep, and mental health. Some of these risk factors have a strong link with the conditions reviewed within this article, while others do not have clear evidence to be connected somehow but still can represent a probability. The result is that there is no cure to fight off such conditions. However, the article lists various treatments that could be helpful to ease the symptoms and prevent the worsening of these complications.

Silvia Battaglia

Tourism and Travel Services Management Student, Anglia Ruskin University, England

I'm a passionate reader and writer, my best achievement is the first draft of my own book. I started writing when I was really young.
Experienced medical writer. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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