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Skin Diseases and Disorders

Video 10 of 36
4 minutes
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So let’s take a closer look at skin diseases and disorders. Skin diseases, disorders, and conditions include persons with boils, infected wounds, open sores, abrasions, or weeping dermatological lesions. Any person with these conditions should avoid working where there is any likelihood at all that they could contaminate healthcare supplies, body art equipment, or working surfaces. Worker’s skin should be free from rash or infection. And healthcare workers, tattoo artists, and caregivers should cover any sores with bandages to avoid the potential spread of disease. Skin is the largest organ of the body. It contains blood vessels, sensory receptors, nerves, and sweat glands. It’s made up of several layers. And it varies in thickness from about one and a half to four millimeters or more. Skin, remember, is the first line of defense against infection as long as it’s intact. Let’s look at the layers. The Epidermis which is the thick outer layer of tissue. The Dermis being the strong, flexible second layer of connective tissue, filled with blood vessels and nerves. And then thirdly, the Hypodermis which is just below the skin, and that’s the more fatty layer, also called the subcutaneous layer. The reason that tattooing is such high risk is because needles puncture these layers of skin multiple times per minute making it a possibility to get an infection. Commonly spread skin diseases include bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria commonly found on the skin and in the nose of some individuals. Most of the time, staph does not cause any major harm. These infections can look like pimples, boils, or other skin conditions and most are able to be treated easily. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection can look like an ordinary skin wound, boil, or infected sore. However the sore doesn’t seem to heal or it may even get worse. People contract MRSA by touching infected mucous membranes, skin, or contaminated objects. Now in the community, most MRSA infections are limited to skin infections. More severe or potentially life-threatening MRSA infections occur most frequently among patients in healthcare settings with altered immune systems. A commonly spread skin disease that is a virus is Herpes Simplex. This is generally found on the face, scalp, arms, neck and upper chest. It’s usually indicated by small round blisters when broken and they can secrete a clear or yellowish fluid. People contract herpes by touching infected saliva, mucous membranes, or skin. Some common skin diseases that are usually more of the fungus related are Athlete’s Foot and Ringworm. This infection causes red, patchy, flaky, itchy areas and it’s contagious and it’s easily spread from one person to another. It usually spreads when infected areas on another person or contaminated surface, like showers, floors and benches are touched. Affected areas need to be kept clean and dry. Some people with the following conditions are more prone to skin disorders. Healing may especially be adversely affected by receiving tattoos or body art. And that’s people that have a history of Hepatitis B or C, HIV or AIDS, diabetes, a history of hemophilia or any other blood disorder/diseases, a history of skin diseases or skin lesions, a history of allergies or adverse reactions to pigments and dyes or latex, or have other immune disorders.

In this lesson, we'll be covering all things related to skin diseases and disorders, including the three layers of skin and various conditions like MRSA, herpes simplex, fungal conditions, and who is most prone to getting skin diseases and disorders, along with most importantly – the best line of defense against such conditions.

What do We Mean by Skin Disorders and Diseases?

Skin diseases, disorders, and other conditions include people who have the following:

  • Boils
  • Infected wounds
  • Open sores and cuts
  • Abrasions
  • Weeping dermatological lesions

Pro Tip #1: Anyone with these skin conditions should absolutely avoid working if there is any likelihood at all that they could contaminate healthcare supplies, body art equipment, or work surfaces. Just like someone with the flu should avoid working, so too should people with any of the conditions listed above.

Workers skin should be free from all rashes and infections. Healthcare workers, tattoo artists, and caregivers should always cover any open sores with bandages to avoid the spread of infection.

Skin Layers

Getting to Know Your Own Skin

Skin is the largest organ of the body and if you think about it, it's not even close. Your skin contains blood vessels, sensory receptors, nerves, and sweat glands. Your skin is made up of several layers and varies in thickness from around 1.5mm to 4mm or more.

Pro Tip #2: Skin is the first line of defense against infection … as long as it's intact. If it's not intact, it should be covered. And if it's not intact and not covered, it's not defending you against anything.

The Three Layers of Skin

The three layers of skin are:

  1. The Epidermis – the thick outer layer of tissue that you affectionately know as your skin.
  2. The Dermis – this strong second layer of connective tissue is filled with blood vessels and nerves.
  3. The Hypodermis – this layer lies just below the dermis, is fattier than the other two, and is sometimes called the subcutaneous layer.

Warning: The reason that tattoo artists, in particular, have such a high risk is that they use needles that puncture these layers of skin multiple times per minute, making it much more possible to become infected.

Commonly Spread Skin Diseases

Let's take a look at some of the more commonly spread skin diseases, starting with …

Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is commonly found on the skin and noses of some individuals. Most of the time, staph does not cause any major harm. Staph infections can look like pimples, boils, or other skin conditions and most are easily treatable.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

MRSA infections can look like ordinary skin wounds, boils, or infected sores. However, most of the time, these sores appear not to heal and may even get worse. People contract MRSA infections by touching infected mucous membranes, skin, or contaminated objects.

Most MRSA infections are limited to skin infections. More severe or life-threatening MRSA infections occur most frequently among patients in healthcare settings with altered immune systems.

Herpes Simplex

Herpes simplex is a commonly spread skin disease that is a virus. It's generally found on the face, scalp, arms, neck, and upper chest. It is usually indicated (appears) as a small, round blister and when broken can secrete a clear or yellowish fluid.

People typically contract herpes by touching infected saliva, mucous membranes, or skin.

Fungal Skin Diseases

Some common skin diseases that are fungus-related are athletes foot and ringworm. Fungal infections cause red, patchy, flaky, and itchy areas of skin. They are also contagious and can be easily spread from one person to another.

Fungal skin diseases are usually spread when infected areas of a person or surface (showers, floors, benches, etc.) are touched by a non-infected person. To combat fungal infections, affected areas should be kept clean and dry.

Who is Most Prone to Skin Diseases and Disorders?

Some people with the following conditions are more prone to getting skin disorders:

  • People with a history of Hepatitis B or C
  • People with HIV or AIDS
  • People with diabetes
  • People with a history of hemophilia or other blood diseases and disorders
  • People with a history of allergies or adverse reactions to pigments, dyes, latex, etc.
  • People with a history of other immune disorders

Pro Tip #3: It should be noted that healing may be adversely affected by receiving a tattoo or other body art for all individuals listed above.