Your Skin – Skin Anatomy, Skin Types, and Common Skin Conditions
The skin is your body’s largest organ and it covers your whole body surface area and serves many physiologic functions. The skin is the first line of defense against microbes, and it plays an important role in regulating body temperature, transmitting all types of touch sensations that allow us to feel the world around us. It is important to know a little bit about your Skin anatomy and some common conditions that might affect it if you’re seeking treatment. This will help you understand what you have and will make your doctor’s explanation even clearer.
A cosmetically appealing skin is one of the top concerns of men and women who try to look their best. A young-looking, wrinkle-free, and clear skin sounds very pleasant, but unfortunately, most of us are not blessed with the genes to take our healthy skin for granted. Many skin conditions and imperfections can become frustrating and make us lose confidence in our looks.
Thankfully, doctors have developed many techniques for people like us to help remove imperfections and restore radiant clear skin. Most common skin conditions are now treatable by medications, laser, or minor surgical procedures. Our dermal clinicians and plastic surgeons are some of the best in Australia, and they are dedicating to helping men and women restore their skin glow. They offer treatment for many conditions, from acne to skin cancer and everything in between.
What is the anatomy of the skin?
Basic Skin Anatomy – The skin is mainly made of three layers:
- The epidermis: This is the most superficial layer of the skin. It’s made of skin cells that are tightly bound together creating a waterproof outer layer and protecting our body from foreign invaders. This layer is responsible for skin tone, where the skin pigment (melanin) is produced by special cells called melanocytes.
- The dermis: This is a thick layer of connective tissue that’s directly beneath the epidermis. Sweat glands and hair follicles develop in this layer.
- The hypodermis: This is a deep layer of subcutaneous tissue mainly made of fat and connective tissue. Blood vessels mainly run in this layer.
Underneath all these three layers are our muscles.
What are the different types of skin?
You’ve probably heard by now that each person has different skin types that make them either more or less likely to develop certain conditions. Here are some of the common skin types that doctors have classified:
- Normal skin: Skin that is not too sensitive, no excessive imperfections, has pores that are barely visible, and appears radiant is considered normal skin.
- Dry skin: People who have dry skin may have nearly invisible pores, visible lines, red patches, less elastic skin, and a dull rough appearance.
- Oily skin: This type of skin is characterized by large pores, shiny complexion, and an above-average number of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.
- Sensitive skin: People who have sensitive skin frequently complain of redness, itching, burning, cracking, and dryness.
- Combination-type skin: Some areas of your skin might be dry others oily, so you’ll have a mix of both skin type characteristics.
Genetics, where you live, and your eating and drinking habits can all have a role in determining which skin type you have.
What are some common skin conditions?
Here’s a list of some common skin conditions that you might want to know more about:
- Rash: It’s a very broad term that can apply to nearly any skin change. It’s commonly used to refer to red skin patches.
- Dermatitis: Also a broad term used to describe skin inflammation for any reason. One type is eczema.
- Moles: They are benign pigmented skin growths that usually appear in childhood and persist till adulthood. Almost everyone has them.
- Scars: These happen after any skin injury, whether surgical or traumatic. They’re a normal part of skin healing.
- Acne: It’s the most common skin condition in humans, and nearly all of us will have it at some point.
- Skin abscess: Also referred to as boil or furuncle. It’s usually caused by a microbe, where the immune system attacks it forming a collection of pus that can bulge under the skin.
- Rosacea: It’s a very common condition characterized by chronic redness of the skin and facial flushing.
- Warts: These are usually caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), and they are skin outgrowths that can occur anywhere in the body.
- Seborrheic keratosis: It’s a benign pigmented skin lesion that can be itchy sometimes.
- Actinic keratosis: It’s a precancerous lesion that looks like a scaly bump on the skin
- Melanoma: It’s an aggressive type of skin cancer that starts from melanocytes (pigment cells)
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): It is the most common type of skin cancer, and usually it’s localized and not very dangerous
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): It’s less common than BCC, and it usually develops in areas that are frequently exposed to sunlight
Some different skin treatment options
Here’s a list of commonly prescribed medications and medical procedures used to treat different skin conditions:
- Corticosteroids: These can be either injected directly into the skin area being treated or applied as a cream to treat different conditions like scars or rashes.
- Skin biopsy: It’s a test where your doctor removes a piece of the skin lesion and sends it to the lab to know what it is
- Surgical excision: It’s a minor in-office surgical procedure in which the surgeon removes the whole skin lesion using surgical instruments. This can be used to remove warts, moles, skin tags, and even skin cancer.
- Cryotherapy: The use of liquid nitrogen to freeze some skin growths and remove them. It’s commonly used to remove warts.
- Laser: Laser machines use light energy to remove skin lesions, remove imperfections, rejuvenate the skin, reduce wrinkles, and restore your homogeneous skin tone.