Healthy skin and hair are signs of good overall health. Some skin and hair changes can signal a health problem. For instance, a “butterfly” rash on your face can be a sign of lupus. Distinct rashes appear with some viruses, such as the measles and chicken pox. An allergic reaction can cause hives, redness, and itching. Diabetes and thyroid disease can cause hair loss. Knowing how your skin and hair normally look and feel will help you notice changes to ask your doctor about.mon during pregnancy and menopause, when hormones are changing. Medi- cines, such as birth control pills, can also lead to breakouts. The cause of acne is unclear. We do know that dirt, stress, and foods do not cause acne. But stress and certain foods, such as chocolate or greasy foods, can make acne worse. Acne also appears to run in some families. To care for acne, use mild soaps, avoid touching your skin, and wear oil-free makeup. Your doctor may also suggest an acne medicine. If so, ask about the side effects. Do not take isotretinoin (eye- soh-trih-TIN-oh-in) (Accutane®) if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant— it can hurt your baby.
Skin can dry out and become rough, scaly, and itchy for a number of reasons. Dry skin (xerosis, zih-ROH-suhss) can be caused by: l dry air l overuse of soaps, antiperspirants, and perfumes