Skin Conditions Prevention


The skin is the largest organ of the human body and its key function is to offer protection. These conditions not only impair the protective barrier function of the skin but also significantly deteriorate the quality of life. Skin problems are the fourth most common cause of non-fatal illness burden, accounting for 1.79% of the global burden of diseases.1

According to the British Skin Foundation, 60% of the population either suffers from a skin condition or has a history of skin conditions. Every 2 in 3 individuals in the UK are at risk for developing skin diseases. Hence, it is integral to find out if you’re at risk for developing skin conditions and adopt preventive strategies to minimise your risk. 

What are the most common skin conditions?

Skin condition is an umbrella term used to refer to common ailments of the skin independent of the underlying cause, which might include allergies, bacterial or fungal infections, hereditary abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, idiopathic conditions, and transmissible conditions. According to observations, the majority of skin diseases cause skin to develop uneven bumps, itch, burn, become dry, or start to peel. Fungal skin infections, acne, atopic dermatitis or eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, and rosacea are a few of the most prevalent skin diseases.2

Can skin conditions be prevented?

Unfortunately, not all skin conditions can be prevented because there is no way to change a person's genetic structure or treat the root cause of autoimmune disorders. However, even in these situations, the impact can be minimised by being aware of your triggers and avoiding them. On the other hand, contagious and non-infectious skin conditions can be prevented by employing precautionary measures.


Flare up indicates the transition of a dormant infection into an active or acute phase as a result of an internal or external trigger. It typically happens when the immune system is weak or incapable of generating a strong enough defence to prevent symptoms from becoming worse. There isn't much you can do to stop the spread of disease, but you can lessen the severity of painful and disruptive flare-ups. Psoriasis and eczema, generally referred to as atopic dermatitis, are skin disorders that frequently experience flare-ups.

There are a variety of internal and external triggers that have been determined to be the basis of flare-ups. Food allergens, specific chemicals found in skin care products, seasonal changes, and cigarettes are just a few examples of external triggers. Internal triggers, which typically involve elements like a shift in hormone balance, are related to physiological effects.3 Due to its propensity to promote inflammation, psychological stress and other illnesses like depression and anxiety have also been linked to a higher incidence of flare-ups.4

Since psoriasis and eczema cannot be permanently cured, it is crucial to practise preventive steps to lessen the likelihood of flare-ups as they can be uncomfortable and debilitating. The first stage is to determine your triggers based on your past experiences and history. The next stage is to carefully hunt for and avoid the triggers.

Contact dermatitis: prevention by lack of contact

According to the NHS, contact dermatitis is a skin condition brought on by exposure to or coming into contact with an element that either triggers an allergic reaction which causes an immune system reaction, or it causes irritation and subsequent damage to the skin's external surface.5 Since the signs of skin inflammation, such as itchy, dry, scaly, or blistered skin, appear only after coming into contact with the cause, this is referred to as contact dermatitis. Similar to atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis lies dormant until it flares up after coming into contact with the trigger.

The majority of the triggers are extrinsic, such as metals, plants, water, sunlight, chemicals found in cleaning and personal hygiene products, and others. Most of the time, contact dermatitis is not potentially lethal and clears up within a few days, but it sporadically can take up to four weeks. In order to lessen the severity of the symptoms and speed up relief, topical corticosteroids are frequently used in addition to supportive care techniques including moisturising and thick hydrating creams. The doctor very rarely recommends oral corticosteroids.

When it comes to skin problems like contact dermatitis, prevention is always preferential to treatment. The idea is to avoid contact with the allergy or irritant by identifying it and maintaining a strategic distance from it, using thick, over-the-counter barrier lotions, and donning protective gear like gloves and full covered clothing.

What can help prevent flare-ups of skin conditions?

Since most skin disorders are chronic, symptoms usually follow a cycle of dormancy and reactivation. Your best option is to take the following actions in addition to fundamental prevention by avoiding the triggers of skin problems flare-ups.

Stay hydrated

Everyone is familiar with the advantages of adequate hydration because it has been linked to a number of health advantages, especially in relation to the skin because it keeps the skin from drying out and maintains the moisture barrier. 

Since topical moisturisers cannot conceal the underlying dehydration, drinking adequate water ensures that the skin is nourished, hydrated, and moisturised from the inside. In addition to helping to maintain good skin, adequate hydration is a great way to remove toxins from the body that could otherwise cause flare-ups.

Use gloves when cleaning and handling harsh chemicals

Contact avoidance is a key component of prevention, whether your exposure to allergens and irritants is occupational or domestic. It is recommended to wear thick gloves that allow no materials to penetrate through if you cannot avoid handling known allergens, other chemicals in cleaning products, or harsh chemicals at work. The gloves function as a barrier to cease atopic and contact dermatitis flare-ups.

Always remember sunscreen

The most important skin care product, yet one that is sometimes overlooked, is sunscreen. Several dermatologists even advise wearing sunscreen even when it's overcast outside and you're indoors, stating that if you can only use one product, make it sunscreen. 

Sunscreen creates a shield between the skin and the damaging UV radiation, preventing photoaging. Although it is a less well-known phenomena, exposure to the sun frequently causes eczema flare-ups. A genetic predisposition, drug use, or even the use of chemicals like retinol and vitamin C can all contribute to photosensitive eczema, which develops when exposed to sunlight. By doing this, you can kill two birds with one stone by preventing the flare-up of sun-related skin conditions and incidences of sunburn.

Find your skin’s favourite moisturiser

Less is more when it comes to skincare for people with chronic skin conditions, so a gentle cleanser and hydrating moisturiser are sufficient. Keep an eye out for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, aloe vera and vitamin E. But what may be effective for one skin type may not be suitable for another, so before you venture out and purchase moisturisers, it is crucial to know if your skin is dry, oily, combination, or normal so you can decide accordingly and pick the most worthwhile product for your individual skin requirements. 


In short, skin conditions are common and can significantly reduce the quality of life and many cannot be totally cured. But, the flare ups can be mitigated by the practice of preventive measures.


  1. Karimkhani C, Dellavalle RP, Coffeng LE, Flohr C, Hay RJ, Langan SM, et al. Global skin disease morbidity and mortality. JAMA Dermatology [Internet]. 2017 May 1 [cited 2019 Oct 18];153(5):406. Available from:
  2. Richard MA, Paul C, Nijsten T, Gisondi P, Salvalastru C, Taieb C, et al. Prevalence of most common skin diseases in Europe: a population‐based study. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 2022 Mar 11;
  3. Kanda N, Hoashi T, Saeki H. The roles of sex hormones in the course of atopic dermatitis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences [Internet]. 2019 Sep 20 [cited 2021 Mar 18];20(19). Available from:
  4. Silverberg JI, Lei D, Yousaf M, Janmohamed SR, Vakharia PP, Chopra R, et al. Association of itch triggers with atopic dermatitis severity and course in adults. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 2020 Nov;125(5):552-559.e2.
  5. Litchman G, Nair PA, Atwater AR, Gossman WG. Contact Dermatitis [Internet]. PubMed. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020. Available from:

Sidra Irfan

Bachelors of Dental Surgery, Dentistry, Lahore Medical & Dental College, Pakistan

Sidra is a general dentist who enjoys writing in general but particularly enjoys compiling health tech innovation and patient awareness material. She is an equal healthcare access advocate who is currently engaged in research and public health. She also works as a medical, health, and wellness SEO content 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.
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