What Are Skin Lesions and How Could They Affect You?
Skin disorders are a common cause of concern for most individuals. Skin is the body’s most sensitive organ and it is susceptible to infections of all sorts since it is constantly exposed to the external environment. The skin acts as a barrier from potential threats of the environment that may cause harm to our body. Hence, in other words, skin is the shield that covers the body and protects it from attacks from agents that belong to the external environment.
Among a number of conditions that can bother the skin are skin lesions. This condition can occur to anyone, but largely affects elderly people and doesn't seem to heal.
What are skin lesions?
Skin lesions are part of the skin that has a different appearance or abnormal growth when compared to the skin around it. A skin lesion can appear as a rash, blister, mole, bump, etc. It can be a gradual change in the skin's appearance or it could arise suddenly due to a simple cut or wound. There are two types of skin lesions that exist. The first is the primary skin lesion which is abnormal skin that could either exist from birth or that is acquired over one’s lifetime. An example of a primary skin lesion is a birth mark. The second type of skin lesion is the secondary type, which has a different configuration.
Symptoms of skin lesions
Skin lesions could come with symptoms. However, they are likely to vary depending on the condition, disorder or disease. Besides, it may also affect other body systems. It is also worthy to note that skin lesions can occur with viral or bacterial infections. They could also appear as a result of an immune system reaction to an allergy, and corresponding symptoms could arise like
- Redness, warmth or swelling
- Nausea which can happen with or without vomiting
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Itchy feeling
- Fever and chills
- Difficulty breathing
- Sores containing pus
Most of the symptoms of skin lesions can be addressed through early diagnosis and appropriate medication can treat the disease effectively. However, there are certain symptoms of skin lesions that could lead to life-threatening complications if left untreated for a long period of time. In the case that the body sends out emergency warning signs, medical advice should be sought immediately to prevent symptoms from worsening. Some of these serious symptoms include:
- Rash developing rapidly as it causes coughing and fever especially in children
- Rash developing at a rapid pace after taking medication
- Sudden swelling of the tongue, lip or face
- Very abnormal and high fever
- Breathing or respiratory problems like laboring to breathe, inability to breathe, choking, wheezing, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing
- Decreasing of consciousness such as decreased alertness, confusion or fainting
What causes skin lesions?
There are many causes associated with the occurrence of skin lesions, and they largely depend on the type of skin lesion that has affected the patient. However, skin lesions are normally caused by skin infections from fungi, bacteria, virus or even parasites which are transferred to the person through the air or through touch. An example of this can be seen from chicken pox and warts. Other types of skin lesions can be caused by allergy sensitivities, and health conditions such as poor circulation or even diabetes can result in skin lesions. Another cause of skin lesions can be attributed to genetic predisposition, and they can also be inherited at birth. A typical example of this is that there are some people who are just more likely to develop freckles and moles than other people are.
Note that it is important to consult your doctor if any suspicious skin lesions appear. Most likely, a doctor would closely examine the lesion to identify distinguishing characteristics and ask you about your medical history to determine what kind of lesion it is. In some cases, your doctor might take a swab or scrape the lesion in order to determine the cause of an infection.
The causes can be due various factors such as:
Skin lesions that result from an injury:
- Wounds, cuts or bruises
- Bites from insects
Skin lesions that are a result of old age:
Types of skin lesions
It is important to know that skin lesions can be potentially dangerous. However, some types of skin lesions are only look problematic especially when judging from an aesthetic angle. The good thing is that most types of skin lesions can be easily treated even though some are complicated and may require a more rigorous treatment routine. Let us explore some types of skin lesions:
Rashes: It is always very annoying and uncomfortable to find rashes on the body. Rashes may not be dangerous but they are a skin condition that shouldn’t be left unchecked. Rashes are an allergic reaction which appears on the body as small red dots that vary in size. They are skin lesions known to cover some parts of the body, but not necessarily or typically the whole skin.
Pustules: These are small skin lesions filled with fluid called pus. These generally result from other conditions such as acne or boils.
Acne: A type of pustule that comes as a small red spot which is normally filled with pus. Even though it may itch, it is more likely to be viewed from an aesthetics point of view and it is not really dangerous. However, acne does require a specialist to diagnose and treat it accordingly.
Hives: This is a type of wheal or skin lesion often caused by an allergic reaction. They are common, itchy and come as patches of spot. They can disappear by themselves after some hours, and they are not severely dangerous although they can be annoying and uncomfortable.
Skin cancer: This is regarded as one of the most dangerous forms of skin lesions. Moles on the skin might initially seem normal and harmless, however, there is still a risk. For example, any change in the size of the mole, color of the mole or form of the mole can be a sign of skin cancer. Therefore, it is important to have any mole on your skin checked by a professional especially if you do not trust or are not sure of what it exactly is.
Treatment of skin lesions
The treatment of skin lesions can be done using the Mupirocin drug. Note that Mupirocin is an antibacterial drug which can treat skin infections by killing the bacteria that is causing the infection in the first place. Before using Mupirocin, it is important to inform you doctor if any of the following applies to you:
- You are breast feeding or pregnant
- You have had an allergic reaction in the past
- Your kidneys are not in top shape
Mupirocin, like every other drug, comes with its own side effects even though not everyone will experience them. However, the side effects of Mupirocin are likely to improve as the body continues to adjust to the drugs. These side effects include an allergic-type of skin reaction such as burning and itching. If the side effects persist and become troublesome, then do not hesitate to consult your pharmacist or doctor.