I’ve had sensitive skin all my life. Random trips to the dermatologist generally result in a diagnosis of an unspecified rash. Essentially, something bothersome that will go away.
But what about those bumps and rashes that don’t go away? Or appear for apparently no reason? We turned to the experts to uncover what our various skin ailments mean—and more importantly, when we should take it more seriously.
You notice: A rash ’round your wrist (where you had a new bracelet), or a rash around your belly.
What it could mean: Dermatologists suggest that up to 8 percent of the population is allergic to nickel, an metal often found in jewelry and also in our jean buttons. Nickel is often used in cheaper jewelry, i.e. in gold when it is a lower karat weight. Rashes usually develop quickly between 12-48 hours of exposure, and while irritating, will go away within a week or two.
You notice: Little bumps around your armpit and bra line.
What it could mean: You might have a sensitivity to something you’re wearing- either a dye or the material itself. Try to discern if you’ve started wearing something new and then bring the item (and the label) into your dermatology office to see if they can help you uncover what is causing the irritation.
You notice: Your scalp is flaky.
What it could mean: It could be dandruff for sure, but if your scalp is also red and greasy it might actually be Seborrheic dermatitis. See your dermatologist so they can determine the best protocol for treatment. Stress has been shown to increase seborrheic dermatitis, so while you might be worried about the condition of your scalp, try to keep your mind calm, too.
You notice: A butterfly rash across the bridge of your nose.
What it could mean. It could be lupus. Half of all lupus patients get this rash, and 90 percent of individuals with lupus are women. Typical age of onset is between 15 and 45. Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist who can do further tests to determine the cause.
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