Diseases Diseases

What are the diseases affecting integumentary system


Integumentary system is the part of the human body that protects it from damaging. This system includes the skin, hair and nails. In animals it additionally affects the feathers and scales. It has a variety of functions: it protects the deep tissues from water, bacteria and other viruses, regulates temperature, and plays a significant function for the sensory receptors to detect pain and discomfort. It also aids the body in exerting waste out of the system. Most integumentary diseases affect the skin.


Athletes Foot is a common skin infection in which the skin between the toes becomes itchy and sore. It eventually causes the skin to rash and tear away. It usually occurs when the foot remains moist and warm for too long, like when jogging and sweating your feet get moist and wet inside closed shoes. It’s most commonly found in athletes.  Symptoms include scaling, flaking and itching of the affected skin which may lead to exposed raw tissue. Then, acne or Acne vulgaris is one of the most common integumentary diseases of the skin . It is marked by pimples on the face, chest and back.  It usually occurs as one races towards adulthood and can sometimes even continue on during your adult years. For most people, acne diminishes over time or at least most of it does. Acne is caused due to blockages in the Hyper-keratinization follicles and formation of a plug of sebum. Many treatments include antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, antiseborrheic  and many others including hormonal treatment.


Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin. The different kinds are usually common in producing allergic reactions to one’s specific  allergen. For treatment, one should consulted a specialist doctors at all times because you can’t take any risk with your skin. Then there are warts which are small bumps in the skin that appear when there is an infection by a type  of the human papillomavirus. They cause warts on the hands, mouth  and fingers and other types cause warts on the genitals and rectum. Warts especially genital warts, are contagious so direct contact should be avoided. Treatment should be done consulting your physician but usually includes: Imiquimod cream, Cantharidin, a chemical found naturally in many members of the beetle family and cause blistering, Fluorouracil and Salicylic acid. Alopecia Areata is also a kind of integumentary  disease in which some or part of hair is lost from the body. It is also commonly found on hairy animals like horses. In the early stages, Alopecia can cause bald spots on the scalp or other infected areas and can quickly spread to the entire area (scalp). It is common to see portions of hair lost growing back but in severe cases, there are limited treating options. Steroids are usually used to prevent or maintain hair loss in the scalp or near the eye brow but even their success is uncertain.

Tips and comments

All integumentary diseases should be treated  after consulting proper dermatologists and physicians. Most common treatments such as in dermatitis can cause allergic reactions which can even be fatal. Hence, proper care must be taken and professional advice sought.

By Amara, published at 01/12/2012
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