As a child, I had flawless skin. In my teens, aside from the occasional “puberty pimple,” my skin-texture and pigment were as smooth and clear as anything I could hope for. In my twenties, a changing diet and climate revealed themselves on my skin and after 25, things started to look a lot more … interesting, to say the least. Soon, I had moles, dry patches, and redness occurring more often than desired. Finally, I realized that the products being suggested in the YouTube videos I watched weren’t offering me the expertise or skin safety I felt I needed. Here are five skin changes either myself or girlfriends have experienced and that you or someone you may know has too or will in the future. Don’t worry, tips on what to look out for and early and preventative steps are below as well.
Discoloration on Chest and Back
Women of color should check their skin regularly for discoloration. Patches that appear on the chest, back or face that are white could be tinea versicolor or vitiligo. Tinea versicolor is a fungal infection of the skin caused by an overgrowth of fungus. Vitiligo causes skin color loss in blotches. Regular examination of your skin can expedite early detection and treatment, but there is no cure for either condition.
Many can suffer from rosacea or may have adverse allergies to certain products of which you are not aware. Excessive redness can be an indication of something serious, so it’s best to be cautious. Choose hypo-allergenic, fragrance-free products as much as possible and consult a dermatologist when necessary.
Rashes in the form of dry patches, small bumps, and blisters can be an indicator of viral and fungal infections. For a quick fix, treat rashes with an over-the-counter cortisone cream. Rashes that don’t disappear within 24-48 hours may indicate something more serious and require a physician’s attention.
Darkening of the skin beneath the eyes can indicate a lack of rest or a vitamin deficiency. Dark spots in other places can range from ordinary skin tags to early stages of skin cancer. Be sure to check skin changes regularly if and when the pigment changes abruptly or skin becomes discolored and raised.
Tenderness can occur on the surface or just below the skin. The most common place women experience tenderness is near the reproductive organs. Be sure to give yourself regular breast exams and monitor changes in feeling so that you recognize significant changes. Some causes of skin tenderness include overexposure to the sun, migraines, and previous cases of the shingles and fibromyalgia. Therefore, if you experience consistent body pains or tenderness, consult a physician immediately.