What Your Skin Might Be Telling You
Your skin can be a picture into your health. Many underlying health conditions — some very serious — first appear as skin problems. If you see changes in your skin make sure you make a visit to your doctor, it could mean a sign of trouble.
Velvety plaques in the neck and/or armpit suggest diabetes. This condition — acanthosis nigricans — could be benign or be caused by obesity. But it is very often a sign of diabetes. In rare cases acanthosis nigricans occurring in other places, such the hands or lips, may indicate an internal cancer.
Lichen planus is a rash made up of reddish-purple, flat-topped bumps that may itch like crazy. It usually appears on the wrists or ankles, but may be in the mouth or on the lower back, neck, legs, and genitals. The cause isn’t known, but if you have it, you may need to get liver tests. It could be linked to having hepatitis C.
Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis starts as a brown discoloration and indentation of the lower arms and legs. Very soon, the hands and feet become brown and like wood. Sometimes there’s also a small yellow spot in the eye. Researchers only recently found that the dye used during MRI exams triggers this condition in some people with kidney disease.
Read more: Your Skin: A Window to Your Health