(Image: © Image Point Fr/Shutterstock.com)
The biggest organ in your body, your skin, is sometimes reported to be a window right into a person’s general well-being, since it can carry clues about the ongoing health of other organs. Changes in your skin, which range from discoloration to new growth, could be early signs of much more serious underlying health issues sometimes, dermatologists say.
«I believe folks as medical detectives,» said Dr. Day Doris, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in NEW YORK. «I’m always looking for that clue — when did this change happen, why it’s here, what exactly are the other symptoms … Those clues can help me find what’s happening inside, both in your brain and the physical body.»
A small number of skin changes have already been commonly connected with internal diseases. When people spot these signs, they could have to see their doctor, Day said. [7 Weirdest Medical Conditions]
«A couple weeks isn’t uncommon to have something come and go, but if it persists beyond that, I would say see your doctor — if it gets worse during that time especially, day said «.
Rashes and patches on your skin
Generally, a rash that will not react to treatment, and is accompanied by other symptoms — such as for example fever, joint muscle and pain aches — is actually a sign of an interior problem or infection. A rash could also occur because of an signal or allergy a a reaction to a medicine, based on the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
A velvety rash on the relative back of the neck or about the arms, usually with a color slightly darker compared to the person’s normal complexion, is an indicator that the individual might have an elevated risk for developing type 2 diabetes, Day said. «When I see that, The individual is warned by me to obtain blood sugar checked, watching their diet.»
Less commonly, the velvety rash — called acanthosis nigricans — is actually a danger sign of cancer within an internal organ, like the liver or stomach, according to Mayo Clinic.
A purple rash on the low legs that will not react to topical medication could be a sign of hepatitis C infection, Day said.
Bronzing of your skin and other discolorations
In people who have diabetes, a bronzing of your skin could be a sign of a nagging problem with iron metabolism, Day said. A yellowing of your skin, however, may signal liver failure, and could occur together with the yellowing of the whites of the optical eyes, Day said.
A darkening of the skin mostly noticeable in scars and skin folds -, aswell as on joints, such as for example knees and elbows — is actually a sign of hormonal disease, such as for example Addison’s disease, which impacts the adrenal glands, based on the AAD.
Individuals who see new growths on your skin should always keep these things viewed by a health care provider, as they could possibly be skin cancer, and so are sometimes also an indicator of internal disease or a genetic syndrome, based on the AAD.
For instance, in a condition called eruptive exanthemas, yellow bumps on the arms, legs or rear is actually a consequence of high triglyceride levels, signaling uncontrolled diabetes, based on the AAD.
The distribution pattern of acne also can offer clues about the underlying problem. In women, acne that appears mainly along the low face or jaw line could be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome, Day said. The problem often causes other symptoms, such as for example weight changes, hair thinning and increased hair regrowth on the facial skin, she said.
Changes in the colour or form of nails can frequently be an indicator of deficiency or organ system issues, Day said.
For instance, nail changes that appear to be fungal infection could possibly be a consequence of psoriasis in the nails, even though the condition typically impacts the skin. People who likewise have joint pain could have a kind of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis, Day said.
Furthermore, liver problems and kidney problems will often cause changes in the colour of the nails, Day said.
Changes in skin’s hardness and dryness
High blood circulation pressure and kidney problems sometimes lead to a thickening of your skin on the shin, Day said. Moreover, very dry, itchy skin is actually a sign of hormonal problems, such as for example an underactive thyroid, she said.
«In case you are over 30 or 40, and you’ve never really had eczema as a youngster — and suddenly, your skin layer is dry and you appear to be getting eczema — that may be sign of a hormonal issue like low thyroid» function, Day said.
People who have an autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis might experience a swelling and hardening of your skin. In more serious cases, this may lead to the hardening of organs, like the heart or lungs, based on the AAD.
However, very silky and loose skin is an indicator of a rare connective tissue disease, called acquired cutis laxa, that could signal blood cancers such as for example lymphoma or multiple myeloma, and may progress to affect organs, based on the AAD.
Email Bahar Gholipour. Follow LiveScience @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Published on Live Science Originally.