10 skin problems – and how to treat them

18 April 2017 by
First published: 24 April 2017

If you’re suffering with a less-than-perfect complexion, here are 10 skin problems – and how to treat them quickly, easily and effectively.

Problem: acne

Your hair follicles are connected to the oil glands under your skin’s surface, which secrete an oily substance called sebum. Acne is caused when the hair follicles in your skin become blocked.


Don’t wash your face excessively. It’s best not to wear too much make-up, but if you do, make sure you remove it properly at night. Avoid scrubbing or picking at your skin.

Problem: rosacea

It’s believed that rosacea is caused by blood vessel abnormalities in the face. These abnormalities can lead to frequent face flushing, regular redness and visible blood vessels.


A dermatologist may advise you to try to figure out what usually triggers your symptoms. This may be too much exposure to direct sunlight, in which case you must use suncream.

Problem: oily skin

Oily skin is caused when the oil glands under your skin’s surface secrete excessive amounts of skin oil. The body starts to produce more sebum during puberty, when the oil glands begin to mature.


Find a cleanser that will clean your skin gently and sufficiently. Avoid using anything containing alcohol, as products that are too harsh may remove too much oil from your skin, leaving it dry.

Problem: flaky skin

When your skin is lacking both oil and moisture, your skin will start drying up, which can lead to flakiness. As the skin dries out, the top surface will start peeling away in flakes.


If your skin is lacking moisture, then that’s exactly what it needs. Use a soothing moisturiser, perhaps one that contains petroleum jelly. Opt for warm water over steaming hot water when washing your face.

Problem: eczema

There are many types of eczema, the most common being atopic eczema. Atopic eczema is a form of inflammation that can result in your skin feeling itchy and becoming swollen and cracked.


Try not to scratch the areas of your skin affected by eczema. The best form of action would be for you to speak to your GP to establish what your triggers may be and how best to treat the eczema.

Problem: psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common condition that causes red, flaky and crusty patches on your skin. It’s caused when your body produces more skin cells than it needs to.


Psoriasis has no cure. However, there are a variety of treatments that can improve your symptoms depending on the severity of your psoriasis. You should speak to your GP about what’s best for you.

Problem: hives

Hives, otherwise known as urticaria, is an itchy rash that appears on the skin and may be caused by stress, too much exposure to cold or heat or an allergic reaction.


Hives often disappears in time of its own accord, so treatment isn’t always needed. Antihistamines can help reduce itchiness, although it would be wise to seek a pharmacist’s advice.

Problem: cold sores

Cold sores are small blisters that appear around the mouth and on the lips. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which can pass between people by saliva or direct skin contact.


Cold sores can clear up within a week or so without the need for any treatment. However, antiviral creams can help speed up the healing process. Avoid eating salty foods, as this may be painful.

Problem: sunburn

As we all (should) know, sunburn is caused by overexposure to the sun and lack of UV protection. Sunburn can vary in severity and can increase your risk of both skin cancer and permanent skin damage.


Use products that contain SPF and reapply sun cream responsibly when exposed to the sun. If you have sunburn, drink plenty of fluids and keep your skin cool with a water-based emollient or petroleum jelly (Vaseline).

Problem: dark circles

Dark circles under the eyes are typically caused by sleep deprivation. However, they can be caused by sleeping too much as well. A stuffy nose can also cause the blood vessels around your eyes to dilate and darken.


The most obvious solution: get more sleep if you’re tired! In addition to getting some shut-eye, eating a healthy, balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and reducing your salt intake could also lighten the area under your eyes.