Do you have unsightly warts, moles or skin tags? You are not alone; most people have one, two, or even all three skin problems occurring at the same time. Children are not immune from these problems – they affect just about everyone. Most people will develop one or more of these skin conditions in their lifetime.
Although most of these skin conditions are harmless, people who suffer with them often think the world around them is staring, convinced that everyone can see each blemish they have (even the hidden ones.) This may lead to lack of confidence and depression. Self-image is important to almost everyone. When someone thinks their skin condition looks hideous (and they are sure the world agrees), there is always an option to have it removed or to control it with medication.
Moles are a very common, they vary from a small ‘freckle’ to what can be a large and unsightly protruding growth on the skin. There are different types of mole and they all need to be monitored for signs of skin cancer. If you are at all suspicious that your mole has developed melanoma you should get an appointment with your doctor immediately. You may be at risk if:
- your mole has changed size, shape or colour
- your mole is itching or bleeding
- you have a lot of moles
- you have fair skin and light eyes
- you have ever used sunbeds
- you spent a lot of time in the sun or had severe sunburn
- you have a family or personal history of melanoma or other skin cancers
you have abnormal/funny-looking moles
If you feel that your moles are unsightly and it distresses you, then removing them is a simple process and there are a few options available to you. Many people have found the treatments for warts and skin tags are just as effective for their moles.
Alternatively, if the mole, freckle or even age spot doesn’t protrude above the surface level of the skin there is the option of the Laser Spot Removal Pen. It effectively removes the blemish without pain or cutting into the skin.
Once the moles have been removed it is unlikely they will return. Rarely some cells will have been missed, and the mole could grow back, but this isn’t likely. Sun protection is a necessity post mole removal, such as a high SPF mole removal cream and wearing a hat, this will guarantee they won’t come back and also prevents more forming
Skin tags are harmless and non-contagious. They are soft smooth knobbles that hang off the skin. They can form on the neck, armpits, around the groin, or under the breasts; places that have excess skin or where skin chafes. They usually occur in older people, people with type 2 diabetes or that are obese, and affect both men and women.
Medically they are not considered to be harmful, however they can be unsightly and cause low self-esteem issues. Skin tags vary in size and can be just a few millimetres – but they can also grow up to 5cm. You may wish to consider getting them removed if they are affecting the way you feel about yourself or if they’re snagging on clothes or jewellery.
The most effective way of removing skin tags is with TagBand, it applies a small band to the base of the skin tag, cutting of its blood supply causing it to shrivel up and fall off. It has worked for hundreds of people, who would all recommend it. It can be used on the face as well.
Doctor's Choice Medical Ice Freeze Spray is also an effective treatment. Freezing the skin tag to the core is fast, effective and safe, using the same freezing technology as doctors, but in the comfort of your own home.
Warts are growths on the skin that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV accelerates the growth of the cells in the skin’s outer later. Warts are most common on hands and fingers, but certain types of HPV causes warts to appear in the genital area. Should you have them in your genitals, then you should see your doctor.
The HPV is very contagious, so the warts can spread to other people if you come into direct contact with something that is used by a person with the virus – such as a towel. They can even be spread to other places on your own body.
There are a few types of wart which emerge on different areas of the body and differ in appearance:
- Plantar Warts. These are flesh coloured or light brown fleck with what appears to be tiny black dots. They appear on the soles of your feet and grow into the skin not out of it. It may appear that you have a small hole in your skin surrounded by hardened skin and can be painful to walk on. These are also known as a verruca.
- Common Warts. These appear greyer than the surrounded skin and have a rough, grainy appearance and a rounded top.
- Flat Warts. These grow on the face, thighs and arms. They can be small and imperceptible. They have a flat top, as their name suggests, and can be pink, brownish or slightly yellow.
Just because a condition is common, it doesn’t make the person with it feel better, however it does mean there are a few tried and tested products available to treat them. Compound W Wart Remover is a topical treatment for all types of warts, it dries to form a waterproof layer so there is no need for plasters. Its active ingredients are salicylic acid and lactic acid. This is a tried and tested option and one that doesn’t break the balance either!
If you’re interested in a more holistic natural approach, Wartosin is an Ayurvedic lotion which is applied to the wart twice a day. This causes the warts to shrivel and fall off. It can be used on the face, but is not recommended for use around the eyes.
If you want to remove your warts with no fuss and no mess, ActiFreeze is the product for you. It is applied directly to the wart and freezes it to the core. The wart should then fall off within 14 days. It can also be used on children from 4 years old. Its applicator is designed to surround the wart so that it reduces the risk of spreading the infection.
Acne is quite a common complaint among teenagers and young adults. It’s caused by a build up of sebum mixing with dead cells blocking the hair follicles. Acne causes spots, tender and oily skin. It occurs particularly on the face and back, but also on the chest. It’s started by a change in hormones, especially testosterone, which is why it is more common in teenagers going through puberty. Acne usually clears up by mid-twenties; however, there are some cases of adult acne. 80% of adult acne is found in women. A flare up of acne can sometimes occur just before their period. Some women have symptoms of acne within the first 3 months of pregnancy and women with polycystic ovary syndrome commonly have acne.
There are six types of spot associated with acne:
- Blackheads. Small black or yellowish bumps. They are not black because they’re full of dirt, but because the inner lining of the hair follicle produces a black colouring.
- Whiteheads. These look a lot like blackheads, but are firmer and won’t empty when squeezed.
- Papules. These are small red bumps that feel tender or sore to the touch.
- Pustules. Like papules, but they have a white tip in the centre. This is caused by a build-up of pus.
- Nodules. These are large bumps, hard to the touch and build up under the skin. These are also tender and are often painful.
- Cysts. These carry the greatest risk of scarring. They are large pus-filled spots that look similar to boils.
Acne isn’t caused by poor hygiene, so frequent washing of the affected area can aggravate your skin more. Thoroughly clean your skin twice a day using a mild soap and lukewarm water. You can then try Eltamd UV Clear SPF 46, which is a non-greasy cream. It leaves your skin feeling soft and brings relief to hot sore blemishes. Many people have noticed a marked improvement to their condition within days of application.
A to Zinc Total Skin Complex is very effective at fading the scarring caused by acne and specifically designed for sensitive and acne prone skin. It can also reduce the number of acne breakouts.
Acnetame is a supplement that is taken daily and its cocktail of natural ingredients combine to reduce the production of sebum in the skin and in turn reduces the number of breakouts.
Resist the temptation to squeeze the spots, it can cause permanent scarring and doesn’t help them clear up. Covering the affected area with makeup can also aggravate your skin, but if you do wear makeup ensure it is water-based and non-comedogenic, which means the product is unlikely to block your pores. Always make sure your makeup is completely removed at the end of the day.
Whether you have one or all of these skin conditions there are ways to treat them and control them, you don’t have to live with a skin condition if it’s causing you embarrassment or is wearing down your self esteem.