Also known as thread veins, these appear as a network of tiny red lines just below the skin’s surface. It is thought that the tendency to broken veins is an inherited trait, and that there’s no way to avoid it. However, some situations do seem to make the condition more obvious, so it can be helpful to avoid them. They are: drastic changes in temperature; exposure to excessive heat-too hot a bath, for example; hot spicy foods; alcohol; and very hot tea or coffee.
If broken veins are not too severe, they can usually be disguised with make-up. If they are very obvious, professional help should be sought.
This condition is characterized by flat brown pigmentation patches which may appear on the skin of pregnant women or women taking the contraceptive pill. It is thought to be a hormonal reaction, and usually clears up of its own accord within a few months. As the patches will be further darkened by exposure to ultra-violet light, direct sunlight should be avoided, and a sunblocking preparation should be applied to the affected areas.
A mole is a patch of darker pigmentation within the skin, frequently appearing as a raised area. Hairs which grow from moles are always darker than other body hair because of the heavier concentration of melanin present. Unless a mole becomes enlarged, inflamed or itchy – in which case a doctor should be consulted – it should always be left alone. Hairs which grow from a mole may be cut short with scissors, but should not be plucked out. If an unsightly mole causes you distress, it may be possible to have it removed so ask your doctor’s advice.
Psoriasis is a red rash where the skin thickens and has silvery flakes. Its exact cause is unknown, though the condition is often hereditary. The normal cycle of skin growth is greatly speeded up, but dead skin is not shed at the same rate so it remains on the surface. A sufferer may have only isolated attacks or the condition may persist indefinitely. There are a number of different treatments for psoriasis and, if you are a sufferer, your doctor will advise on the one most suitable for you.
This is a skin disorder producing areas of unpigmented, almost white skin of varying size. Again the cause is unknown. The condition tends to run in families and can appear at any age. In some cases it improves of its own accord, in others it may spread. As there is no completely effective treatment for vitiligo, camouflage with cosmetics is the best course of action for sufferers. In sunlight, care should be taken to protect affected areas with a sunblocking preparation, as the absence of melanin makes them especially sensitive to ultraviolet light.
A wart is a virus infection of the skin. The most common sites for warts are the hands or fingers. Warts are quite harmless and will almost always disappear within about two years when the body has produced sufficient antibodies to destroy the virus which causes them. However, if you are bothered by the appearance of a wart, consult your doctor -who may recommend burning, scraping or freezing it off, or removing it with a chemical compound.