What lies beneath

Your face is your mirror, not only of your soul but also of your inner health.

While it may or may not be right to judge a book by its cover, it wouldn’t be wrong to judge your inner physical health by your facial skin. The face is often a true reflection of what’s going on within your body. Believe it or not, invariably, a healthy body translates to radiant skin, or even the other way around.

Prabhu Mishra, CEO and President, StemGenn Therapeutics, tells us about five of the most common tell-tale signs of what your skin could be revealing about your inner health.

Dark circles: While we usually tend to blame the issue of dark circles on lack of sleep and exhaustion, the truth is a lot deeper. Dark circles may be linked to graver problems such as anemia, liver damage, and even abdominal distention.

Wrinkles: It’s an obvious sign that you are getting on in years. Ageing is a natural process; we can delay it, but cannot stop it indefinitely. Genetic make-up, heredity, and lifestyle, all come together to determine ageing. With age, the connecting fibers of our skin—collagen and elastin— break down, giving us fine lines and wrinkles.

Unwanted hair: In younger women, facial hair is often a sign of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It could happen to older women, too. As men get older, bushy tufts appear around the ears and in the nostrils. Older women generally get hair around the chin.

Acne: Oestrogen helps our skin to suppress sebaceous activity. But as women grow older, the oestrogen levels reduce. One may suddenly experience acne cysts frequently. This is an indication that all is not well with the dermis, i.e. the inner layer of the skin.

Hyperpigmentation: This could be due to an allergic reaction to some medicine or because of some internal changes in the body.

While these are five of the most common aesthetic worries amongst most women, there are many more signs that may mean something graver. Dr. Shefali Trasi-Nerurkar, MD Skin, Consultant Dermatologist, Dr. Trasi’s Clinic & La Piel, tells us more.

Yellowish discoloration of the eyes and skin
Why and what it means: This indicates an abnormality in the liver. It could be associated with severe itching of the skin.

Yellowish lumps around the eyes, known as xanthelasma
Why and what it means: This is a collection of cholesterol deposits in skin. It may indicate an increase in the lipid profile in blood (dyslipidemia), atherosclerosis, or coronary artery disease.

Loss of hair in patches along the beard, upper lip, and on the scalp
Why and what it means: This condition is known as alopecia areata. It is an autoimmune disease generally associated with excess stress, when there is an abnormality in the immune system.

Sudden appearance of new growth and moles on the skin
Why and what it means: This could indicate underlying skin cancer and should be investigated at the earliest.

Butterfly-shaped rash around the nose and cheeks
Why and what it means: This indicates an autoimmune disease called lupus erythematosus. Here, the heart, kidneys, and joints may also be affected.

Thickening and darkening of skin on nose, neck, underarms
Why and what it means: This condition is known as acanthosis nigricans. It is seen in people suffering from diabetes, hormonal imbalance, insulin resistance, and/or obesity.

Pale skin
Why and what it means: This could be due to iron-deficiency anemia.

Swelling below the eyes
Why and what it means: This could be due to inadequate sleep, renal disorders, or some thyroid-related issue (such as Graves disease). Severe allergic reactions are also associated with such swelling.

It is very important to always be extremely observant about the big and small changes that you may notice on your facial skin, and the entire body at large. While the above signs are most often indicative of some issues or imbalances in your health, getting stressed about the symptoms is not the solution and won’t do any good. It’s always best to consult an expert to address the same at the earliest. Like they say, better safe than sorry.