Enlightened by science

The different types of skin alterations

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Dermatological procedures and outside attacks can lead to the appearance of minor or severe skin lesions.  Depending on their severity, these lesions can cause the sufferer embarrassment, anxiety and real physical discomfort.

Skin lesions: when the skin's barrier is weakened

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Impaired skin suffers from a damaged skin barrier. These lesions can have 3 sources:

  • The skin appears traumatised by external irritants like cold and dryness, or damaged by occasional traumas. This is normally the case with burns, cuts, scratches and insect bites. This problem can affect the entire population.
  • The skin is constitutionally weakened. This is the case in 20% of people. This fragility then causes chapped skin to develop on the hands or lips, dry patches, perleches or cheilitis.
  • Finally, the lesions can be caused by a dermatological procedure like the removal of a wart, cryotherapy, minor surgery, laser treatment, peeling or cosmetic procedures. These lesions account for about 15% of dermatologists’ work.

Identifying the severity of the lesion

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The various skin lesions include 2 different types of wounds:

  • Epidermal wounds: the dermis has not been reached and the lesion does not bleed.
  • Dermal wounds: the dermis has been reached and the lesion bleeds.
These wounds can be:
  • acute, creating an opening on the surface of the skin: cold, injury, burn, surgery or even peeling.
  • chronic with repeated impairments to the epidermis. This is the case with leg ulcers, bedsores and chapping.
Depending on their severity, these lesions can take the form of a scab, erosion, crack, ulceration or even atrophy.When the skin’s barrier is damaged in this way, the skin becomes more sensitive to outside attacks. This can then lead to itchiness, which can be made worse by scratching. It is therefore important to quickly encourage the epidermis to repair and heal itself.

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