25 Feb Skin Types and Common Skin Conditions Explained
Your face makes a first impression. Clean, healthy skin reflects good health and is a prime indicator of whether someone takes care of themselves overall. You probably go on about your day without thinking about the role that your skin plays in keeping you healthy. Your skin helps regulate your body temperature, converts the sun into vitamin D, and protects you against germs and harmful UV rays. Having a good skin care routine is as important for men as for women because it regenerates skin cells to repair damage, which keeps your skin looking radiant.
What Type of Skin Do I have? What is my Skin Type? Is there a Skin Type Test?
The first step in every skin care routine is to identify your skin type so that you can gear your skincare routine towards your skin’s needs. Choosing the wrong products for your skin type can cause acne or irritation and make your skin look worse. Here is a listing of different skin types:
Touch your skin and run your fingers over it. If it’s smooth and firm to the touch, you may have normal skin. Take a closer look and see if you have small or medium-sized pores, which is another indicator of normal skin. Normal skin doesn’t get overly dry or overly oily and you may get an occasional blemish.
Recommended treatment – Normal skin responds best to daily cleansing and moisturizing. Use a spot treatment for occasional blemishes. Wake up to a fresh face by using a night solution.
Dry skin feels very tight and you may notice skin flaking away in very dry areas. Dry skin can be genetic, but it can also be an indication of dehydration or malnutrition. If you feel areas of roughness or small bumps, you may have dry skin. Dry skin rarely gets shiny or oily.
Recommended treatment – Treat dry skin with a deep moisturizer for daytime and a deep moisturizing product to hydrate skin while you sleep. Use a spot treatment for extra-dry patches.
Take a critical look at your face in a mirror under a strong light. If your face is visibly shiny, you have oily skin. You will also probably have large pores and some blackheads. Run your fingers across your forehead or cheek. If it feels wet to the touch or your fingers have an oily residue, you have oily skin. People with oily skin will usually have periodic trouble with blemishes or acne.
Recommended treatment – Use a daily cleanser and an exfoliator to smooth skin and allow other products to penetrate skin. Apply a skin toner to deep cleanse and open pores. Use a light moisturizer and spot-treat blemishes and acne.
If you can’t determine whether you have dry or oily skin, it may be because you have both types of skin. You may notice oily areas, particularly around your nose, chin, and forehead. Cheek and neck areas may be flaky and dry. Other parts of your face may not feel dry or oily.
Recommended treatment – Men with combination skin will benefit from daily cleansing and moisturizing and using an exfoliator. Use spot treatments to tend to areas excess dryness or oiliness.
If your skin burns easily, reacts to soaps, shaving lotions or shampoos, or causes a rash after taking medications, you have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin can be genetic condition or it can be caused by allergies or environmental factors. You may have trouble finding products to treat blemishes without irritating your skin.
Recommended treatment – Men with sensitive skin should look for hypo-allergenic products or products that are formulated for sensitive skin and test them on small areas before use. Use a mild daily cleanser and moisturizer. Spot-treat oily or dry areas with products for sensitive skin.
Common Skin Conditions
Aging and Skin Spots
Age spots are also called liver spots or solar lentigines. You will recognize them by flat tan, brown, or black spots. They usually appear on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun such as the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. Age spots usually appear after the age of 50, but they can appear in younger people as well.
Recommended treatment – Age spots don’t require medical treatment. Treat them cosmetically with a bleach product for age spots. A good skincare routine that includes a sunscreen is the best prevention for age spots later in life.
Skin imperfections can be caused by genetics, burns, injuries, or acne causing pits or uneven skin.
Recommended treatments – Treatments for mild imperfections can take the form of creams or lotions. Consult a dermatologist to address more noticeable skin imperfections like pits and crevices. A skincare professional can best advise if your skin can be improved using surgery, injections, or some other treatment.
Changing hormone levels expand the oil glands under your skin, causing excess oil that rises to the surface of the skin. Excess oils create an environment that is ripe for bacteria. Men are more susceptible to acne because they have more androgen (the hormone responsible for oil gland changes) than women. Acne can also be passed down genetically.
Recommended treatments – Performing a consistent skin care routine for oily skin can improve acne substantially. Extreme cases of acne can be treated with medications.
Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions that affects men, women, and children. It appears in red, itchy patches. Eczema is often genetic, but can also be caused by allergens, hormonal changes, chemicals, changes in weather, bacteria, foods, or stress.
Recommended treatments – While it’s not curable, eczema is highly treatable. The first step to combatting eczema is to practice a regular healthy skincare regime. Use a humidifier to keep air moist, especially during winter months. Avoid activities that cause perspiration where bacteria can collect. Eczema creams can be effective. See your doctor if eczema persists or worsens.
Redness in the face, or rosacea, is a common, chronic, and incurable skin condition that usually affects the central third of the face, especially the nose. It flares and goes into remission sporadically and without warning. Rosacea can also appear as tiny, red pimples or fine red lines. It can cause the eyelids and nose to swell and become red. Rosacea can be mistaken for rosy cheeks, sunburn, or acne and can be triggered by consumption of alcohol or spicy food. Emotional stress and excessive heat can also trigger rosacea.
Recommended treatments – While people with rosacea suffer embarrassment from their appearance, this skin condition is easily controllable and medically manageable. See your doctor to obtain a prescription for a medication that should help. If there is permanent damage to the blood vessels, your physician may recommend surgery in extreme cases. Untreated rosacea tends to worsen over time, so the key to keeping it at bay is treating it with consistency. A good skincare routine will help keep bacteria from entering the skin through breaks in the skin.
This is a skin condition that has genetic origins. People who have a genetic predisposition to psoriasis activate the condition when they are exposed to certain environmental triggers. Triggers include stress, bacterial infections, and changes in the weather. Certain medications are also known to trigger psoriasis including lithium, antimalarials, Inderal, quinidine, and indomethacin.
Recommended treatments – It’s best to work with a doctor to find the best course of treatment for psoriasis. Treatments include biologic drugs, systemic medications, phototherapy, oral treatments, topical treatments, and complementary and alternative treatments.
Uticaria, is also known as hives. It manifests as a sudden outbreak of swollen pale red bumps on the skin. Hives itch and can cause a stinging and burning sensation. They can appear anywhere on the body including the face, lips, tongue, throat, or ears. Splotches of hives vary in size from the size of a pencil eraser to the size of a dinner plate. Smaller hives may join together to form larger areas of redness called plaques. Hives can be caused by stress, reactions to medicines, or allergies and can last for up to a day and can worsen by repeated exposure to allergens.
Recommended treatments – The best course of treatment for hives is to remove the allergen or the medication that triggered it. Antihistamines can work as a preventative measure. Epinephrine or cortisone injections may also prove helpful.
Melanoma, or skin cancer is a serious skin condition that forms growths on the skin. Skin cancer is generally caused by exposure to the sun. Skin cancer can be treated and cured, when caught early. When it is not treated, it can spread and become fatal. Skin cancer is more common in men.
Recommended treatment – Because of the high rate of cure, suspicions of skin cancer lesions should always be consulted by a doctor. Possible treatments include topical medications, radiation, and surgery.