10 Common Skin Conditions – LiveScience

08 May 2023 | Category: Medical

livescience logoScience news website LiveScience explored common skin conditions with expert input and advice from Dr Ross Perry, who is a GP in London as well as founder and Medical Director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics.  

The LiveScience article starts by explaining the very important and unique role that the skin plays, which is integral to bodily health:

“Skin is the body’s largest organ and a key part of the integumentary system, which acts as a protective barrier between the external environment and the inside of the body.

“Skin not only shields the internal organs against heat, light, injury and infection, but also helps regulate body temperature, prevent water loss and produce vitamin D.”

10 Common Skin Conditions

LiveScience compiled a list of common issues that people experience with their skin:

  1. Birthmarks
    Spots or patches that are noticeably different to the rest of the skin. Some fade while others stay for life
  2. Sunburn
    Your skin’s reaction to UV rays is to become red, swollen and painful. It can also peel. Sunburn should not be thought of as a minor temporary issue. It is a major factor in skin cancer, as excessive UV exposure damages the DNA in skin cells, leading to genetic mutations that can trigger formation of cancerous cells. It is best to avoid sunburn and always be vigilant for worrying blemishes or lesions.
  3. Hyperpigmentation
    Discoloured patches of darker brown/grey skin .
  4. Warts and moles
    Warts are caused by a virus while moles are not viral. It is important to check out any unusual mole behaviour or appearance to rule out skin cancer.
  5. Acne
    Caused by blocked hair follicles, which cause pimples and spots. Topical treatments with vitamin A can be helpful.
  6. Eczema
    Characterised by intense itching, skin can be red and irritated. Dr. Ross Perry told LiveScience that eczema is best treated with topical moisturisers, anti-inflammatory creams and mild steroid ointments
  7. Rosacea
    An inflammatory condition which causes redness, flushing and/or spots. Dr. Ross Perry told LiveScience that it often gets worse with stress and excess alcohol. Treatments usually involve topical creams to reduce the blood vessels. Laser may also be an option to reduce redness
  8. Psoriasis
    This condition is an autoimmunity issue where the immune system inadvertently attacks skin cells. It looks red and causes scaliness, very often on elbows or knees. Often gets worse with stress, during winter or after excess alcohol. Dr. Ross Perry told LiveScience that treatment is usually with steroid-based topical creams and/or vitamin D creams. Specialised sun lamps are sometimes used to reduce the flare and irritation.
  9. Shingles
    Caused by the chickenpox virus, VZV, which is carried for life after recovering from chickenpox.
  10.  Skin cancer
    Caused by abnormal skin cell growth. Users often complain of an unusual or suspicious mole. It may be an odd colour, grow fast or have uneven sides. Skin cancer is best treated as early as possible, so always get unusual moles checked out to ensure they’re not melanoma

White patches on the skin – vitiligo or fungal infection?

The first question reads:

“I’m in my late 40s and of mixed race. About 5 months ago, I started getting white patches around my groin and armpits. Might this be vitiligo or is it something else? What can I do?”

Dr Ross Perry replied:

“It’s difficult to say whether loss of pigmentation in the groin and in the armpits is purely down to vitiligo, as this could also be due to a fungal infection, which could cause loss of pigmentation. It’s more common to have a fungal infection in these areas than vitiligo, as vitiligo usually has a more indiscriminate presentation – for example, it often occurs in much more random areas.

“In the first instance, I suggest you visit your GP to see whether it’s worth trying anti-fungal creams.

“Vitiligo can affect all races and genders, but it is more visible in people with darker skin. It can happen at any age but occurs most commonly between the ages of 10 and 30 years. Globally it affects around 1% of the population.

“Vitiligo occurs when melanocyte s- the cells that produce melanin, the chemical that gives skin its colour – are destroyed by the body’s immune system. Vitiligo usually starts with a few small patches that tend to spread over time. The cause is unclear, but it’s thought immune disorders, genetic factors, neurogenic factors or emotional stress may be a trigger.

“If it is vitiligo, GP treatment might include a topical steroid cream to stop the spread of white patches and restore skin colour. Light therapy sometimes has positive results by either stopping or slowing the progression of vitiligo.

“It’s important to stay out of the sun. When skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces melanin to protect it from ultraviolet rays. However, if you have vitiligo, there’s not enough melanin within the skin, so it’s not protected. If you’re not getting enough sun, though, you run the risk of becoming vitamin-D deficient. Make sure you’re getting enough from food sources such as oily fish, and speak to your GP about a vitamin D supplement.”

Keratosis pilaris – not responding to treatment?

The second question reads:

“I have keratosis pilaris. I’ve tried topical treatments, such as creams and acids, which do help but don’t get rid of it. What can I do?”

Dr Ross Perry replied:

“A keratosis pilaris is an incredibly common condition that occurs when your hair follicles become blocked with a build-up of keratin, a substance found in skin, hair and nails. Nobody knows exactly why keratin builds up, but the condition is thought to run in families. So, if your parents  have it, you may have it too.

“Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to treat, as it is part of your skin’s structure. It’s more a case of managing it and trying to keep it under control.

“I would advise you to moisturise your skin twice a day, and check with your pharmacist which moisturiser is most suitable for you.

“Gently scrub your skin with a wash cloth when showering, have cool or lukewarm baths, use a fragrance-free wash and gently pat skin dry after showering/bathing to avoid irritation.”

See the full article on LiveScience


Can we help?

Cosmedics Skin Clinics in London and Bristol offers a host of treatments for wide range of skin conditions.

  • Mole diagnosis and mole removal with same day private service. This is a real speciality at Cosmedics, we’ve removed thousands of moles over the years. All doctors are trained to high levels for pain-free removal with minimal scarring results
  • Skin cancer testing – all moles removed are sent for histology at an independent testing lab as part of our best practice policy
  • Wart removal and verruca treatments with a variety of options for great results, even with stubborn and well-established warts
  • Dermatology services, including consultation for skin problems with no waiting list. See a GP specialist in dermatology for fast diagnosis. Treatment with private prescriptions or referral as required

Cosmedics Skin Clinics has an extensive team of doctors and surgeons and a choice of 5 clinics, so it is quick and easy to get high quality private consultations and treatment.


Dr Ross Perry

doctor ross perry

Ross qualified in 1994 at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School, London. His career includes NHS skin cancer reconstruction, work as a GP, as well as private cosmetic skin treatments.

He established Cosmedics Skin Clinics in 2003 and remains in charge as Medical Director. He is renowned for natural-looking use of non-surgical cosmetic and anti-ageing injections and is especially well known for dealing with unwanted skin lesions and blemishes (e.g. moles, cysts, warts skin tags).

Dr Ross Perry is frequently called upon by the media for his expert insights and comments on skin and beauty-related issues.



Cosmedics Skin Clinics

Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003. Over the last 20 years, it has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical skin treatments.

The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers. In addition, there is a range of medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics has 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol. Treatments are carried out by GMC Registered Doctors and Surgeons.

Call 020 7386 0464 or email enquiries@cosmedics.co.uk to book an appointment.

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