Obesity Skin Issues That You Need to Know About

Acanthosis NigricansObesity is a medical condition that may lead to several other health issues, most commonly skin problems. Skin issues are primarily a result of the shift in hormones and chemical imbalance caused by obesity. Other reasons include trapping moisture between skin folds, rapid weight gain or weight loss, and the strain of weight on the feet and veins of the legs. Painful skin infections can also develop in obese individuals, causing rashes and painful crusting. Here are some of the most common skin problems prevalent among people suffering from obesity.


Acanthosis Nigricans

This is arguably the most common skin condition among obese persons, characterized by black or grey velvety patches or plaques on the skin. The dermatological condition is most likely to develop on folds of skin like the neck, armpits, and abdomen. Acanthosis Nigricans is caused in obese individuals by the increased insulin levels which triggers the melanocytes to cause patches on the skin.

Because a drop in weight will cause insulin levels to lower, curing obesity cures Acanthosis Nigricans in most patients. Other remedies for this condition includes regular scrubbing during showers, applying AHA creams, and taking flax seed oil supplements. In severe cases the patient can be prescribed topical creams or medication to cure the skin lesions.


Skin Tags

Skin tags, also known as Acrochordons, are small protrusions of the skin which often grow on areas prone to rubbing and friction. Skin tags are harmless and non-cancerous growths but they can cause great discomfort, especially to obese persons.

Like all skin problems they also appear unpleasant. Home remedies like tying and pulling off the skin tags are not recommended as they are painful and cause injuries. Natural alternatives such as a skin tag remover and other similar solutions can help remove the skin growths easily. With such options, no harsh medicines or antibiotic topical creams are required to remove skin tags. Also, a topical solution consists of homeopathic ingredients and can be directly applied on tags and works to flake them away gently.


Corns and Calluses

Due to the increased weight and pressure, corns and calluses may grow on the feet of obese individuals. A callus is a patch of thick, toughened skin which is harmless unless an infection develops within it. A corn is also a type of callus but it is specially shaped and grows only on hairless skin surfaces.

Some patients may complain of pain or tenderness under the affected skin area. This dermatological condition in obese persons is a sign that the obesity problem must be tackled immediately as it is getting troublesome for the feet to carry the body weight. Corns and calluses can be treated using topical creams, applying salicylic acid after trimming, and antibiotics in case of an infection.


Skin Infections

The extra folds of skin are a perfect dwelling for the bacterial, yeast and fungal infections as they provide the moist, warm environment needed for the infection to grow. In obese persons, a condition called hidradenitis suppurativa causes infected abscesses to grow in moist areas like armpits. Fungal infections can cause redness, itching, oozing blisters, and skin crusting on skin folds and areas susceptible to sweat and moisture. The infected area should be kept dry and sweat-free and prescription medication is required to heal the symptoms of these infections.


Apart from these skin conditions, there are other skin troubles that are greatly aggravated by obesity. These include Psoriasis, Lymphedema, and Chronic venous insufficiency. It can be difficult to tackle skin problems and obesity simultaneously; therefore great care should be taken by obese individuals to prevent skin problems from developing. Maintaining good personal hygiene, drying up immediately after perspiring, and seeking a skin expert’s help can prevent many skin issues from growing.

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