Conditions Glossary

Angular Cheilitis

An inflammation of one or both corners of the mouth, angular cheilitis commonly affects persons who wear oral dentures or masks at work, and children who slobber or use oral pacifiers or soothers (dummys). It is common in older people. Causing painful cracks, redness and irritation, treatments include self-care and applying lip balm during the day and before bed.

Athlete’s Foot

Tinea pedis (Athlete’s Foot) is a contagious, fungal infection that affects the feet and toes. It’s common in runners or athletes who sweat and have damp shoes or socks. Symptoms include a scaly rash that case cause stinging, burning and itching. Treatments include topical skin creams, but more serious cases may require prescription medication.

Autoimmune disease

An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system produces antibodies that attack the body’s cells. Common autoimmune conditions include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Coeliac disease. Although there is no cure, there are treatments available. Specific cause is unknown although genetics, stress, infection and diet are known to trigger symptoms. 

Cheilitis

Commonly known as chapped lips, cheilitis is the inflammation of the skin on the lips and at the corners of the mouth. Causing redness and irritation, cheilitis can occur after overexposure to the sun or other weather conditions, constant lip-licking or eczema. Most instances can be self-treated at home using lip balm during the day and at night to prevent further skin irritation. Some more serious conditions will need medical treatment in the form of anti-fungal or topical steroid creams.

Cradle Cap

Commonly known as Cradle Cap when it occurs in infants, seborrhoeic dermatitis causes crusty, scaly skin on the scalp. Although not painful or itchy, large crusts of skin can form and be unsightly. Often resolving itself, home treatments include washing baby’s hair with a mild, soap-free shampoo. If symptoms spread or persist seek medical advice.

Dermatitis

A general term to describe a range of complaints characterised by itchy skin, dermatitis is often described as eczema. There are a number of types of dermatitis, all of which affect the sufferer in different ways, including itchy skin, crusted patches or weeping blisters. Dermatitis can occur in children and adults and although there is no cure there are treatments that can ease symptoms.

Dry, Cracked and Callused Heels and Feet

Rough, dry, and cracked heels are common and can be caused by factors including heat and humidity, poor foot care, prolonged pressure on the heel, age or as an effect of diabetes.
Dry feet are characterised by:
1) Heels that are visibly scaly and coarse
2) Skin that is rough or dry to touch
3) Cracks, splits and fissures

Eczema

Atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema, is a non-contagious skin condition that causes itchy and red patches of skin. Although common in children, eczema can occur at any age. A family history increases your risk and there is no cure, although it can be successfully treated with medications and self-care.

Foot Corn

Developing as the skin tries to protect itself against pressure or friction, corns are thicker, harder patches of skin, which may cause discomfort.

Foot Odour and Perspiration

Foot odour is a common condition, caused by a build-up of sweat and bacteria on the feet, which results in an unpleasant smell. Although it can be caused by poor foot hygiene, even very clean feet can have an occurrence. 

Foot Warts

Foot warts (also called plantar warts) are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and appear as small, hard growths. Although some warts may cause discomfort, they are usually painless.

Fungal Nail Infection

Nail fungus (also called onychomycosis) is a common condition that can cause nails to thicken, discolour, flake and/or crumble. 

Heel Pain and Sore Feet

Heel pain and sore feet can be caused by the following conditions: Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, bunions, Achilles and foot injuries.

Itchy

An irritating and uncontrollable sensation leading to burning and sensitivity.

Keratosis pilaris

Causing dry, rough patches and small bumps on the upper arms, thighs and cheeks, this harmless skin complaint is most common in teenagers and children. Symptoms can be eased using topical moisturisers or prescription creams. Most cases resolve in adulthood.

Psoriasis 

Presenting with red, itchy, scaly skin patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows and scalp, psoriasis occurs most often in early adulthood. A lifelong condition there is no cure although some treatments can help ease symptoms. Stress, smoking and alcohol are common triggers and therefore changes in lifestyle can help sufferers manage symptoms.

Rosacea

Most common in women aged 30-50 years, rosacea is a non-contagious skin condition that causes redness, flushing and acne-like bumps on the cheeks and face. Environmental factors and genetics are thought to be the primary triggers, although an exact cause is unknown. Treatments include medications and avoidance of any food, drink, or lifestyle related triggers.

Sensitive Skin

Can be caused by dryness or various skin conditions such as Eczema, Dermatitis and Psoriasis.

Very Dry Skin

Lacks moisture, feels dry and scaly to touch and shows visible cracking on the surface of the skin.

Xerosis

Also known as Xeroderma, this common skin condition occurs when the skin loses moisture and becomes dry, flaked, scaly, red and itchy. Most common in older people, xerosis can be caused by using harsh soaps or too frequent bathing or hand washing. Using a soap-free cleanser, lip and hand balms, and moisturiser can help ease symptoms.