Your skin is one of the largest organs in your body, and it’s also the most exposed. It can say a lot about your health, telling you whether you’re generally healthy or whether there could be something wrong. Changes in your skin do occur for benign reasons, especially as you get older, but sometimes there can be a more serious reason for your skin to change. You might notice something that wasn’t there before, and it might not be anything to worry about, but it could indicate a health issue with your skin specifically or something else. Here are some of the changes you can look out for.
New or Changing Moles
Moles are important to keep an eye on if you want to watch out for signs of skin cancer. New or changing moles could be a sign of skin cancer. Fortunately, if you catch it early, a simple mole removal can get you started with the right treatment, and it’s often successfully treated. To look out for changes, use the ABCDE list; check for asymmetry, uneven borders, multiple colours, a diameter larger than about 6mm, or any sign of the mole evolving or changing. Other signs might include itchiness or bleeding.
Dry patches of skin are pretty common, and there are multiple reasons you might get them. Some people have skin conditions that cause their skin to be dry and flaky. Some people have naturally dry skin that needs more moisturising than others. But if you see dry skin that was never there before, it could indicate a problem. It could be anything from a lack of hydration to an allergic reaction. If it doesn’t respond to moisturiser or it’s flaky or bleeding, you will probably want to get it checked out to find out what could be causing it.
Lots of things can cause patches of your skin to change colour. It can happen naturally as you get older due to sun exposure, ageing, and various other reasons. But colour changes in the skin can also sometimes indicate underlying health problems too. If your skin looks a different colour, it could be a sign of anything from kidney problems to circulation issues. Changes to the skin can look different depending on your skin colour too, so if you’re not sure whether it’s normal, it’s best to get it checked out by a doctor.
Rashes can appear for a number of reasons, including allergies and illnesses. If you notice a rash that’s red, itchy, or irritated but you’re not sure what caused it, it’s a good idea to get it checked out. Rashes are often not very serious and can respond well to treatment, such as a topical cream. But if your rash isn’t going away, get it looked at by a doctor or another medical professional. Pharmacists can sometimes look at rashes and recommend ways to treat them too.
If you notice something different about your skin, it could be nothing. However, it’s always best to get it checked if you’re not sure.