Diseases of the integumentary system or skin, can include psoriasis, athlete's foot, rosacea, impetigo, alopecia, dermatitis, and shingles. Skin diseases can vary widely in their severity, and some, like skin cancer, can be deadly. These diseases may be viral, fungal, bacterial, or even congenital in origin. Factors such as stress, hygiene, and sun exposure can influence the development of diseases of the integumentary system. These diseases can have a significant impact on health, since the skin is often considered one of the body's most important organs, for its role in defending against pathogens, as well as protecting the internal organs, regulating internal fluid levels, and assisting in the elimination of toxins.
Skin irritations such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema are considered some of the most common congenital diseases of the integumentary system. Symptoms of eczema can include inflammation and the formation of oozing pustules. Psoriasis can often cause flaky, inflamed patches to appear on the skin, and this condition often worsens with stress. Dermatitis, unlike other congenital skin diseases, usually causes inflammation and itchiness in the presence of a contact irritant. Allergic contact dermatitis may be one of the most common hereditary diseases of the integumentary system.
Some diseases of the skin are bacterial in origin. Acne vulgaris, also known as acne, pimples, or spots, may be the most common of these. This disease typically causes the overproduction of skin oils, which can lead to the blockage of pores and the formation of the pus-filled papules known as acne. In severe cases, acne vulgaris can cause painful, unsightly cysts and leave the skin severely scarred. Other bacterial diseases can include impetigo, often caused by streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria.
Viral diseases of the integumentary system can include herpes simplex, which typically affects the mouth or genitals, causing small, painful blisters to appear. Warts are also usually caused by a viral infection, and there are several types of warts, including plantar warts, flat warts, and genital warts. Herpes zoster, also known as shingles, typically occurs in people who have suffered from chicken pox at some point during their lives. Shingles generally causes a painful, distinctive rash to appear on one side of the body.
Fungal infections of the skin can include ringworm, verrucas, athlete's foot, and skin yeast infections. These conditions can often be treated with topical creams and sometimes oral medications. They typically cause symptoms of inflammation and itching. Some are infectious, while others, like skin yeast infections, can develop due to personal hygiene practices.
Skin carcinomas may be among the most serious diseases of the integumentary system. Skin cancers often develop as a result of excessive UV exposure, and typically manifest as abnormal moles or lesions on the skin. Without prompt treatment, these cancers can disfigure or even kill their victims.