Last Updated on February 1, 2021
The human body is constantly changing. These changes occur so slowly that it often takes months or even years to be noticeable – gradual weight gain, skin aging, and postural decline are some perfect examples of this. However, a few specific minor body changes should be given special attention, as they can be a warning sign that something might be wrong with your health. Hence the importance of knowing our own body and how it reacts to certain situations. Only then can we quickly identify an unusual and potentially dangerous condition. Regarding health, the faster we identify a problem and start working on its treatment, the greater the chances of success. Here are some slight body changes that you should worry about:
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1. Jawline acne
Acne is a fairly common problem, especially among teenagers. Although it is not dangerous, its aesthetic impact can be huge and lead to self-esteem problems. That’s why acne skincare products are so popular. Acne is much rarer in adults, and it can even be a sign of a more serious problem. Women who have acne along the jawline, for example, might be a sign of hormonal imbalance – the acne appears because the woman is producing an abnormal amount of male hormones. The polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common form of hormonal imbalance, affecting almost one-third of women during their childbearing years. Other polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms include cysts in the ovaries, irregular periods, hair growth, weight gain, headaches, and dark skin patches.
2. Thinning eyebrows
Hair loss in the eyebrow area is something that occurs naturally as we age. But it could also be a warning sign of a nutritional deficiency or an underlying thyroid condition. If you have a healthy and balanced diet, you probably don’t need to worry about the former. So let’s focus on the latter. Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland stops producing the ideal levels of certain important hormones. Besides thinning the eyebrows, other hypothyroidism symptoms include fatigue, constipation, slowed heart rate, high cholesterol level, weight gain, dry skin, and puffy face, among others. Since hypothyroidism can go unnoticed in the early stages, it is very important to be aware of the first sign like this one.
3. A scaly patch that doesn’t heal
Dry skin and scaly patches are conditions that end up bothering millions of people every year. But they usually go away very quickly, especially when a moisturizing product is used. If they don’t, then you have something to worry about. Especially if that persistent scaly patch is in an area of the body frequently exposed to sunlight, it could be a sign of actinic keratoses, a pre-cancerous skin problem caused by UV rays’ damage. You should schedule an appointment with a dermatologist so that he can make a correct diagnosis if you have a scaly patch that doesn’t heal or if it comes back in the same spot. Avoiding sun exposure at peak hours and using sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 30 daily is the best way to prevent UV damage and keep your skin in perfect shape.
4. Dry lips
Just like scaly patches, dry and chapped lips are also very common during the winter season. And just like scaly patches, it can also be a sign of a pre-cancerous health condition. This one is called actinic cheilitis and must be treated before it progresses and becomes more dangerous. So, don’t forget to use a lipstick with SPF 30 to protect your lips. They are extremely sensitive and frequently exposed to sunlight.
5. Finger pain
Did you know that finger pain can be an early symptom of lung cancer? That’s right. The chemicals released by some cancerous cells in the lungs into the bloodstream can affect other parts of the body. In this case, it can cause tissue growth under the fingertips and nails and lead to thickening and swelling on your fingers. This doesn’t mean you should panic every time your fingers hurt. There are many other possible reasons for that type of pain. However, if you are experiencing other alarming symptoms together with your finger pain, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor and explain your concerns.
6. Yellow skin
It’s never a good sign when the skin gets a yellowish tone. Within the medical community, this change in tone is known as jaundice. It occurs when the human organism has abnormally high bilirubin levels – a yellow pigment created in the liver. Yellow eyes and skin can be a symptom of a dangerous liver condition or indicate a problem in the red blood cells, pancreas, or gallbladder. Visit a doctor as soon as possible so that the problem can be immediately identified and the treatment started.
7. Darkening of the skin
Most people think that dark spots in body creases such as under the armpits, neck, or groin are nothing to worry about. But the truth is that they can be caused by acanthosis nigricans, a health problem that usually indicates there’s something wrong with the patient’s insulin levels – it typically occurs in people who have diabetes or are obese. Acanthosis nigricans can also be a sign of a stomach or liver tumor. This is extremely rare, so don’t worry about it just yet. Talk to your doctor first and ask for his opinion.
8. White spots on the nails
Small white spots on the nails can either be something perfectly normal or a huge red flag. These almost imperceivable marks can be an early sign of kidney, liver, or heart disease in some cases. If you notice you have these white spots on your nails, be aware of other warning signs in your body that may render any of the health condition aforementioned more obvious.