Scaly Skin

Written by Kimberly Clark
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The formation of scales on the skin can simply be an indication of severely dry or sun damaged skin, but it is most often indicative of a more serious skin condition. Some possible disorders are psoriasis, eczema, and certain fungal infections. Persistent scaly skin should be examined by a doctor to determine the exact cause.

The most common form of psoriasis is characterized by silver-hued scales that are accompanied by elevated patches of dry, inflamed skin. These flaky scales are one of the most distinguishing factors in positively identifying a case of psoriasis. The skin patches associated with psoriasis are generally concentrated on the arms, elbows, knees, legs, torso, and back.

The term eczema is used to describe a litany of skin disorders that all cause the skin to be itchy and swollen. The symptoms of eczema vary depending on the type, but in the majority of cases, the affected areas appear dry, inflamed, or scaly and may initially have oozing or bleeding blisters. Currently there is no known cure for eczema and the exact cause is still unknown, but it is commonly thought to be caused by an allergic reaction to an irritant.

Fungal Skin Infections

Fungal skin infections that may cause skin to exhibit a scaly nature are impetigo, ringworm, and seborrheic dermatitis. The blisters that occur with impetigo are small, red, and typically ooze pus. Impetigo blisters are hardly ever confined to just one part of the body, but they appear mainly on the face. Impetigo is contagious and thus it is important to maintain proper hygiene to prevent its spread.

In ringworm infected skin patches appear red, flaky, and scaly, with bumpy blisters surrounding them. Other forms of ringworm are descriptively named jock itch and athlete's foot. Seborrheic dermatitis is a fancy name for severe dandruff which causes the scalp to badly itch and flake.


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