When there’s something wrong with your health, it’ll often show up in your skin. Whether or not you should be concerned about a symptom however, can be difficult to determine. According to skincare expert Heather Vounnou, there are many conditions that can look the same but have different underlying causes. “Some can be superficial and harmless while others might be an indicator of something more sinister at bay,” she says. Here are some of the symptoms you should take notice of:
1) Dry lips
It’s normal to get dry lips in winter, but if you have deep, persistent cracks at the corners of your mouth, it’s worth paying attention. Lack of some vitamins, particularly B vitamins, riboflavin and niacin can cause chapped lips. To address this, make sure you have a balanced diet that includes dairy products, eggs, green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and lean meats. You can also add moisture with a hard-working lip balm such as ELLA BACHE Great Lipsaver 30+, enriched with mango and shea butter.
2) Suspicious mole or spot
Almost all of us have moles and while annual skin checks are recommended, the SunSmart prevention program stresses that self-examination is key to ensure early detection of any changes that could indicate skin cancer. Familiarise yourself with your skin and if you notice a mole starting to change shape, colour, or size, don’t hesitate to visit the GP.
When it comes to rashes, Vounnou warns against self diagnosis. “On many occasions there are various assumptions made on the possible cause, but only an allergy test will really help to isolate the true trigger factor,” she says. A rash can indicate anything from an allergic reaction to dust mites or pollen, to a reaction to elevated stress levels that causes hive-like outbreaks on the skin. Seek the advice of an expert and until you know what the cause is, stop using anything on the skin surface.
4) White heads
A common skin concern, white heads are usually not something to worry about. However, they’re often confused with other lesions that can appear on the skin. Vounnou recommends keeping an eye out for xanthelasma, irregular yellow bumps which “are common in people who have high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels.” And the best person to make a diagnosis? Your dermatologist.
Heather Vounnou is the National Post Graduate Training Manager for Ella Baché with over 20 years experience in the skincare industry.