10 Things Your Skin Is Trying To Tell You

A rash or blemish on the skin can sometimes be a window to an underlying health issue. Often times people may reach for an ointment or cream to clear the visible problems on their skin, but consider what your body may be telling you. “Those unwanted blemishes or discolorations may not be the main issue, but rather a symptom of a larger presenting problem,” explains Dr. Kellie Reed, board-certified Dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas. The following are 10 skin abnormalities and what they reveal about your health.

Raised Red Patches 

Raised, red patches on the skin may be an indication of psoriasis, an immune-mediated condition in which skin cells build up and form scaly and itchy, dry red patches. Dr. Reed explains, “Psoriasis can be associated with other health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, abdominal obesity, and depression.”

Dry & Itchy Skin 

Dry and itchy skin can be a sign of a thyroid problem,” shares Dr. Reed. The thyroid helps regulate your body’s hormones, and when it’s not functioning properly, it can affect your skin and hair.


There are a number of things that can cause acne. Stress, poor diet, and hormonal imbalance are some of the primary reasons. “Stress triggers our adrenal gland to go into overdrive, stimulating hormones that can lead to more acne,” explains Dr. Reed. If acne is a recurring problem, you might want to consult with a health-care professional.

Waxy/ Yellow Bumps & Velvety Rash 

Waxy or yellow bumps on the skin can be a sign of diabetes. Often times they appear before a person is diagnosed with diabetes. A black velvety rash called acanthosis-nigricans, around the neck is also a sign of diabetes and typically appears in obese people. This dark marking can also appear around the armpits and groin area.

Scaly Bumps On Knuckles 

Raised red bumps on the knuckles can be a symptom of dermatomyositis, an autoimmune inflammatory muscle disease. “In some rare cases, these bumps can also be an indicator of cancer,” Dr. Reed cautions.

Yellowing Skin 

Yellowing of the skin and eyes can be a symptom of jaundice. “Jaundice occurs when there is a too much bilirubin in your blood,” explains Dr. Reed. This is typically seen in alcohol abusers, but can also be due to other causes.

Puckering On The Breast 

“The puckering or dimpling of the skin on the breast can be a sign of breast cancer,” states Dr. Reed. Another sign of breast cancer can be a rash appearing much like eczema on the areola and/or nipple. Be sure to conduct breast self-exams, and schedule your routine screening.

Rash On Feet & Lower Legs

This type of rash can be an indication of Hepatitis C; however, it is very rare so make sure to check with a medical professional first.

Hardening Of Skin 

The hardening of skin can be due to scleroderma, a disease that causes the tightening of the skin and connective tissues, and in some severe cases, internal organs.

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