Skin Conditions

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Skin is our largest organ, providing vital protection to the complex systems in our bodies from the outer world. Our skin also plays an important role in regulating our body temperature, alerting us to external dangers by detecting pressure and pain, and producing Vitamin D for healthy teeth and bones when exposed to the sun. That’s why looking after our skin is essential for so much more than maintaining a healthy appearance.

Though robust, our skin is not immune from diseases, infections and injury. There are over 3000 possible skin disorders one can suffer from. Fortunately, you can avoid many skin disorders by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That includes good hygiene, adequate water intake, exercise, limited sun exposure, alcohol and smoking. Other skin disorders are harder to avoid and may result from bug bites, injuries, exposure to irritants or hormone imbalances.

Most skin conditions don’t need to be cause for concern and will resolve themselves without complications. However, some skin conditions can cause serious complications, particularly when left untreated, or be a symptom of an underlying issue.

Common skin issue signs

By understanding the common symptoms of oral health issues, you can be better prepared to seek timely medical care. A doctor can diagnose your skin issue through visual assessment and tests to determine an appropriate treatment.

Though symptoms are condition-specific, there are some common symptoms we can look for on our skin that indicate an issue exists. These include:

  • Inflammation
  • Discolouration
  • Itchiness
  • Rash
  • Burning sensation
  • Pustules
  • Discharge
  • Bleeding
  • Pain and sensitivity

If you experience any prolonged or worsening symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor.

What skin issues do we treat?

You might be surprised by the wide range of conditions Bettr can take care of for you.

As long as it’s not a medical emergency, our doctors can help you with a wide range of health issues and healthcare services in the comfort of your home. For example, during a consultation, our doctors can help diagnose your issue, prescribe medication to treat acute (right now) symptoms and suggest lifestyle changes for long-term prevention where relevant.

Skin concerns we can help treat through Bettr include the following:

  • Acne
    Acne is a very common chronic skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become blocked with dead skin cells and oil, leading to the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, cysts and pustules. Though we may not fully understand the cause, acne can affect anyone at any age and is particularly prevalent in teenagers during puberty. Acne typically appears on the face, neck, upper back and chest. The severity of acne can vary significantly between individuals. For some people, acne can be severe and lead to significant scarring and emotional distress. Over-the-counter products can often manage mild acne, but a doctor may prescribe a medicated treatment to help with severe and persistent acne.
  • Eczema
    Eczema, the most common being atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes itchy, dry and inflamed skin. Though eczema can occur at any age, it is particularly common in young children and often improves with age. Eczema results from a weak skin barrier and an inability to protect against irritants and allergens. Hayfever and asthma are also common in eczema sufferers. The severity of eczema can vary between individuals, and it can also fluctuate over time. Avoiding irritants, moisturising, and corticosteroid creams can help manage eczema. If the skin becomes infected, antibiotics may be required. A doctor can help diagnose your eczema and recommend a treatment for you.
  • Hives
    Hives are itchy welts found on the skin anywhere on the body. Hives typically appear when your immune system releases a chemical called histamine in response to an allergic reaction to food, irritant or medication. One out of five people will experience hives at some point. Most hives will come and go over hours or days and cause no harm, but some can remain for months or be a sign of a serious allergic reaction. Antihistamines and avoiding triggers are the best treatments for hives. However, if the rash is widespread or you experience swelling in your mouth or airways, seek immediate medical help.
  • Ringworm
    Ringworm, also known as a tinea infection, is a common fungal infection that causes a skin rash. This rash is usually circular and itchy, with less affected skin in the middle. It is this circle appearance that gives Ringworm its name. Ringworm is most commonly found on the arms, legs, trunk, groin (jock itch), feet (athlete's foot) and scalp (tinea capitis). Ringworm spreads easily through contact with infected skin, objects and surfaces. We can also get Ringworm from infected animals. Ringworm is often treated with antifungal products, including creams, lotions, powders and sprays. Please see a doctor if an infection lasts longer than two weeks and doesn't respond to over-the-counter treatments.
  • Itchy scalp
    An itchy scalp can be very frustrating, with symptoms typically including scratching, redness, skin flaking and discomfort. There are many potential causes of an itchy scalp. The most common cause is dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin condition. Other itchy scalp causes include eczema, allergic reactions and psoriasis. Due to many potential causes, it is best to seek the help of a doctor who can accurately pinpoint the exact cause of your itchy scalp and prescribe a treatment that will work.

Other skin issues we can treat include Allergic Reactions, Cellulitis, Dry Skin, Fungal Skin Infections, Herpes (Cold Sores), Impetigo, Intertrigo, Itchy Skin, Lumps, Psoriasis, Rosacea, Scabies, Shingles, Skin Allergies, Skin Abscess, Skin Conditions, Skin Rash, and Warts.

Many other conditions not on this list will be fine for online support too. If your doctor thinks that you will need a face-to-face consultation for further treatment, they will discuss this with you during your consultation to arrange the best next steps.

See a doctor online with Bettr

If you or a family member are experiencing issues with your skin, like the above, you can book an appointment with our doctors, who can often treat your condition online.

We offer same-day appointments and online prescriptions. There’s no app to download, no need to change GP and no registration; just immediate healthcare wherever you are. And should you become unwell because of an accident, we also offer ACC and injury care. Should you need a medical certificate, we can do that too.

Following your online consult, should you need to see a doctor face to face to treat your skin issue, we can make it easy by referring you to one of our nearly 50 GP and medical clinics from Whangārei to Christchurch.

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If you're in Auckland you can register today and see a doctor for $45. You can also see a doctor in-person at any of our 40+ GP clinics for under $20*. Learn More