What Your Skin Says About Your Overall Health

A Women's Health Week Kick Off.

How your skin can help point tosigns about your health.

Skin is a great signal as to what is happening with your overall health and wellbeing.  When your skin does not look good and healthy, it may signify underlying health issues and concerns.   Essentially, your skin is speaking up for the rest of your body. Being quiet at first and ignoring those signs may lead to your skin yelling in the future.


Here are some physical signs to take into consideration as we kickoff Women’s Health Week:


Wrinkles: While everyone will have wrinkles in their lifetime, they may also be a sign of osteoporosis. New research reveals an association between wrinkles and bone health in early-menopausal women. The more sever the wrinkling is, the greater risk of lower bone density. In most cases, wrinkles are the result of aging, but excessive exposure to carcinogens, like cigarette smoke or exposure to sun, can speed up the process. 


Dry, Cracked Skin: Everyone experiences dry, cracked skin from time to time. Usually it can be solved by staying hydrated by drinking more water and using a good moisturizer. But in some instances, brittle skin can be a sign of a more serious health problem. Certain diseases such as diabetes and hypothyroidism may dehydrate your skin. Other contributors may be nutrient deficiencies associated with poor diet and eating disorders.  Another disease that manifests through the skin is atherosclerosis, the narrowing of arteries that leads to heart disease. This can especially be witnessed on the skin of the feet, legs and shins. When the arteries that carry blood to the extremities become blocked, they can deprive the skin of oxygen resulting in dry, shiny patches.   


Facial Flush: When you become embarrassed, you might turn red in the face.  However, for some people, facial redness is an ongoing occurrence that may also be accompanied by acne-like skin blemishes which are all common symptoms of rosacea, a chronic ongoing skin condition. While the cause is unknown, people with rosacea appear red and flushed in the face due to blood-vessel enlargement.  If left untreated, it can lead to bumps and pimples and enlargement of the nose. 


Butterfly Rash: When your skin has a rash, it is like a SOS sign that something is not right.   There are many kinds of rashes, but one in particular needs to be examined more closely. This rash stretches across both cheeks, tends to take on the shape of a butterfly and has a sunburn-like appearance.  This type of rash is a classic marker of lupus, an immune-system disease that affects the skin, joints, blood and kidneys.


Moles: Most of us have a mole or two, and while they are often harmless, they can signal the presence of a larger issue, like skin cancer. What is important is knowing the difference.  Look for growths that are asymmetrical, have an irregular border, vary in color, have a diameter larger than one-quarter of an inch, or are changing or evolving. Melanoma which is the deadliest form of skin cancer, may exhibit one or more of these features.  If you notice a change, please see your dermatologist immediately.    


Author Platinum Dermatology — Published May 13, 2019