Some of the Common and Not So Common Skin Conditions Affecting Canadians
Dr. Ali Ghahary shares information on skin-related topics ranging from Eczema to Photoaging
There are millions of Canadians living with skin problems. According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, there are approximately 1 million Canadians living with Psoriasis, 2 million with Rosacea, and another 20% of Canadians have acne. While these are some of the most common skin conditions that affect individuals in Canada and that physicians like Dr. Ali Ghahary will see quite frequently, there are also many other dermatological conditions that can cause the skin to feel irritated, sore, appear flaky, or exhibit other symptoms.
Eczema (also commonly referred to as Dermatitis) is another extremely common skin condition. With eczema, the skin becomes inflamed, red, itchy, and can also sometimes result in sores that either ooze or become crust-like. There are two types of eczema: Atopic Dermatitis and Contact Dermatitis. Atomic Dermatitis is often hereditary and currently affects almost 20% of Canadians. It is common I young children, but can affect individuals of all ages. Contact Dermatitis usually occurs as a result of contact with an allergen or irritant, resulting in inflammation. It is important to identify the allergen/irritant causing triggering the inflammation. Cleaning products, harsh soaps and/or laundry detergents are often the culprit and should be avoided.
Hyperhidrosis, while less common (as it currently affects just 3% of the Canadian population), is a skin disorder that occurs in individuals resulting in excessive and/or abnormal sweating. Hyperhidrosis can occur as a result of an underlying medical condition (such as nerve damage, obesity and menopause), or it can have an unknown cause. It is usually localized to the underarms, hands, feet or face. Hyperhidrosis can be treated topically, with Botulinum toxin type A (also known as Botox), or in some cases, surgery.
With temperatures rising in Vancouver in recent weeks, Photoaging is something individuals should also protect themselves against. Photoaging, the premature maturing of skin, occurs as a result of repeated overexposure to UV rays — either from the sun or tanning beds. Signs include wrinkles and frown lines, pigmented spots, spider veins, a leathery appearance, and loss of skin tone…just to name a few. In addition to photoaging, over exposure to ultraviolet rays can also lead to the development of skin cancer, so it is important to take the steps to protect yourself — this includes wearing sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats. On his blog, Dr. Ali Ghahary writes in depth about the dangers of sun exposure and what you can to do prevent skin damage. You can also find more information by following him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DrAliGhahary.
For a complete list of skin conditions as well as information on how to prevent and properly treat them, visit the Canadian Dermatology Association’s website at dermatology.ca.