Common skin problems

We’re bombarded by images of perfect people with perfect skin (Photoshop has a lot to answer for!) but there are skin conditions that affect many people. Skin problems can range in severity from mild acne or mild eczema to life-threatening skin cancer. Here we give you an overview of a few of the most common skin problems you may experience in your teenage years, including infectious skin conditions, and signs of serious disease to be aware of. If you have a skin condition that isn’t mentioned, you will find much more information here.

It’s important to see your GP or local pharmacist if you’re at all worried about your skin. Pay particular attention to rashes as sometimes a rash can be a symptom of meningitis – a serious disease that needs urgent diagnosis and treatment. Other symptoms of meningitis include:

  • a fever
  • cold hands and feet
  • vomiting
  • drowsiness and difficulty waking up
  • confusion and irritability
  • severe muscle pain
  • pale, blotchy skin and a distinctive rash (although not everyone will have this)
  • a severe headache
  • a stiff neck
  • sensitivity to light
  • convulsion or seizures

Call 111 immediately if you have any of these symptoms.


Acne can be a hugely debilitating condition. As well as being painful and embarrassing, it can cause a great deal of mental distress and affect your confidence and self esteem. (more…)


Eczema (or dermatitis) is another common skin condition that can be mild to severe. Doctors still don’t fully understand what causes it but it is thought to occur (more…)