Getting that good looking body size is not only essential for your general body health but also has great influence in the improvement of your appearance. The dangers of obesity are no secret as it causes health conditions like raising the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions. Besides these obesity also has a way of affecting your skin negatively, for poor diet will bring in trouble from the inside which eventually affects the skin on the surface. Excess consumption of sugar and fats creates an overproduction of sebum, or oil, in your skin, which can lead to breakouts. Keeping your skin clean but not overly clean and having a balanced diet with plenty of fiber and protein can help.
In an attempt of trying to eliminate obesity, you may want to ride on the weight-loss rollercoaster a decision which can cause another undesired skin conditions like stretch marks. They result when skin can’t keep up with the expansion of weight gain or the contraction of rapid weight loss. Many times, stretch marks can be reduced in appearance by lotions, scrubs and other products, but you can avoid them and other unattractive skin conditions by staying at a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet.
An obese person runs the risk of developing skin problems. The bigger a person is, the more skin he has, and this increases the chance of issues. Obesity is widely recognized as an epidemic. The prevalence has significantly increased among the US population over the past 30 years. Approximately 119 million Americans, nearly two thirds of adult Americans, are either overweight or obese. Recent research estimates that between one fourth and one third of American adults are obese, and one in six children and adolescents is overweight, however the impact of obesity on the skin has received minimal attention. Obesity is related to a number of effects on skin properties and how it functions, including the skin’s barrier function, sebaceous glands and sebum production, sweat glands, lymphatics, collagen structure and function, wound healing, microcirculation and macro-circulation, and subcutaneous fat. Insulin and certain growth factors altered in obesity and metabolic syndrome also influence on the skin physiology too. To make a more comprehensible classification, the skin problems can be:
- Acantosis nigricans – The most common manifestation of obesity characterized by a velvety dark colored skin especially on the armpits, groins, neck, elbows and knees.
- Skin tags – Another very common manifestation characterized by tiny pedunculated warty, soft, brown growths most commonly seen on the neck, the axillae and groin.
- Keratosis pilaris -“Goose bumps”, “spiny pimples” or “acne” lesions on the extensor parts of arms and thighs, also related to dry prone skin.
- Hyperandrogenism – Increased production of male hormones by the excess fat which in turn produces acne, hidradenitis, male pattern baldness and/or increased hair growth especially in the face of women.
- Stretch marks -They begin with a red phase before turning violet, then finally becoming white and depressed. They are the result of a very high tensionated skin.
- Adipose dolorosa: Painful fat tumors more commonly in postmenopausal women.
- Lymphedema – The impedance of lymphatic flow which presents as initially soft, pitting edema most commonly beginning in the feet and spreading upwards.
- Psoriasis – Red lesions with silver scale, most commonly located on the scalp, elbows, knees and back especially in patients with metabolic syndrome.
- Chronic venous insufficiency – Due to increased intra-abdominal pressure found in obese patients causing an oppositional force to venous blood return from the lower extremities.
- Plantar hyperkeratosis or calluses – Most commonly as a horseshoe callous due to higher plantar pressures during walking and standing.
- Infections – Fungal or bacterial due to increased occlusion, moisture, heat and/or macerated skin especially in the skinfolds of abdomen and breasts.
- Hidradenitis suppurativa: Abscesses and scarring tracts due to inflammation in the armpits and groins.
Skin care is important in general; however, in an obese person it is of even more importance due to these factors:
Obese individuals may have problems with keeping high standard of hygiene occasioned by large skin circumference of skin to clean and difficulties in reaching certain parts of the body when bathing. The consistency of this habit may lead to bacteria growth and infection thereby causing injuries to the skin. Very extreme obese people may need assistance when bathing to avoid instances of such infections or bacterial growth.
- An overweight person has more problems than a smaller person with issues such as excess moisture and perspiration.
- Moisture in body folds can cause bacteria and fungi to grow, and also sweat can become an irritant.
- These can then cause skin rashes and infections like intertrigo.
- To avoid this, an obese individual should keep the skin dry by using an anti-perspirant and even use it in his skin folds.
- It is important for him to keep his groin area dry.
- Urine on the skin from inadequate hygiene can cause a rash.
- The individual with this issue may benefit from using a barrier cream.
- In certain areas where the skin becomes too dry like the legs, a moisturizer is suggested and used as needed.
The folds of the skin sometimes run against themselves in overweight people. When this happens, the skin becomes irritated. This can cause blisters and chapping. Many individuals believe that powder can help with this, but powders actually have an abrasive effect. Rather, an obese person should use oil- or silicone-based products to minimize friction.
An obese person may develop breaks in the skin especially on very dry or hyperkeratosis skin. Anytime the skin has a wound, infection can occur. This risk is increased due to the circulation problems and possible diabetes of an overweight person. Such an individual needs to inspect the skin regularly and if needed with assistance by someone else. If there are any problems or concerns, consult your physician to aid in treatment.
From the discussion obviously there is a growing numbers of various skin conditions, therefore it is important that patients must work with experts like doctor Dalal Akoury who is also the founder of AWAREmed Health and Resource Center where people suffering from obesity and weight related conditions are treated in the most natural way by focusing on Neuroendocrine Restoration (NER) to reinstate normality through realization of the oneness of Spirit, Mind, and Body, Unifying the threesome into ONE. Besides this you can also reach out for doctor Akoury for any other skin care concerns you may be having and she will be there for you.