Localized skin conditions are those that affect the skin on only one part of the body or on a small area. Many of these conditions are related to specific sites because they are associated with structures such as particular glands in the skin, or because of the localized effects of factors such as pressure or exposure to sunlight.
Acne and rosacea, two types of rash, are described first in this section. The next articles cover conditions that are associated with sweat glands or with under- or overproduction of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour.
Skin cancers, which are increasingly common, are given extensive coverage. It is important to be able to recognize the signs of cancerous changes in the skin, and the various types of skin cancer are described in detail to help you to identify them. Subsequent articles describe several noncancerous forms of swelling and growth. The final articles cover localized skin defects caused by factors such as friction or poor blood circulation.
Localized disorders due to infection are described in another section (see Skin infections and infestations). Skin problems specific to babies are discussed elsewhere in the guide (see Infancy and childhood), as are minor injuries such as sunburn (see Minor skin injuries).
For further information on the structure and function of the skin.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.