There are a number of common disorders of the glands of the skin that it is helpful to identify. Knowing how
to recognize these disorders will help you know when you should see a doctor for treatment.
Disorders of the Sebaceous Glands (Oil Glands):
Blackheads - Blackheads are called Comedones, and are worm-like masses of hardened oil in a
hair follicle. They commonly occur on the forehead and nose. When the follicle fills with an excess of oil from the sebaceous gland, comedones
are formed creating a blockage at the opening of the follicle. Severe cases of blackhead formation should be treated by a dermatologist.
Whiteheads - Whiteheads are known as Milia and are small pear-like masses in the surface
skin due to the retention of oil. These can occur anywhere on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders and are associated with fine-textured, dry skin types.
Acne - Acne is characterized by inflammation of the sebaceous glands due to retained
secretions. They occur most frequently on the face, back and chest. Simple acne blemishes can be treated with over-the-counter cleansers and
treatments, while more severe acne should be treated by a dermatologist.
Seborrhea - Seborrhea is a condition caused an abnormal increase in the secretions from the
sebaceous glands. An oily or shiny condition indicates the presence of seborrhea.
Asteatosis - Asteatosis is a condition of dry, scaly skin caused by a deficiency in or
absence of sebum (oil). It is commonly caused by old age or exposure to cold.
Rosacea - Rosacea is a chronic congestion of the sebaceous glands primarily of the cheeks
and nose. It's characterized by redness, dilation of blood vessels, and the forming of papules and pustules (pimples with and without puss). If
you suspect that you have rosacea, you should consult your dermatologist.
Disorders of the Sudoriferous Glands (Sweat Glands):
Anhidrosis - Anhidrosis is a deficiency in perspiration that is usually caused by fever or
certain skin diseases. It requires medical treatment.
Bromhidrosis - Bromhidrosis is a condition of foul-smelling perspiration, usually noticed in
the underarms or the feet.
Hyperhidrosis - Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating, caused by heat or general body
weakness. Medical treatment is required.
Prickly Heat - Prickly heat is medically known as Miliaria rubra. It's an acute inflammation
of the sweat glands, characterized by small vesicles and accompanied by burning, itching skin. It's caused by exposure to excessive heat.