When thinking about lung health, you may already be aware of wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath as typical alarm bells for respiratory abnormalities.
However, few people know that some lung diseases can manifest symptoms outside the respiratory system. Some of them appear on the skin.
Four skin symptoms that could be caused by lung problems, according to webMD
Some skin symptoms may be signs of sarcoidosis. It is an inflammatory disease of unknown cause that affects the lungs. Sarcoidosis is a disease characterized by the growth of small inflammatory cells (granulomas) in all parts of the body.
It usually develops in the lungs and lymph nodes. However, it can also affect the eyes, skin, heart, and other organs. If left untreated, pulmonary sarcoidosis can, in some cases, lead to pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of lung tissue).
Rapidly growing lumps
Lung cancer often does not show symptoms until it has progressed. However, experts say that some people develop skin symptoms after the cancer has spread. Abnormal, fast-growing lumps, especially bleeding on the head, neck, or upper body, may indicate metastasis. These lumps are almost always firm, painless, and reddish in colour.
Very rarely, these bumps can be one of the early symptoms of lung cancer. This skin metastasis usually occurs in the final stages of the disease, but is rarely visible at diagnosis and may also be the first sign of the disease.
Itchy, scaly rash
Dermatomyositis is a rare disease that causes skin rashes, muscle swelling, and inflammation. In adults, it can lead to cancer, including lung cancer.
Lung disease is also considered a complication of dermatomyositis. This means that diseases with other underlying causes may eventually affect the lungs.
Vulnerability to bruising
People who bruise easily may have several possible causes, including blood clotting problems or blood diseases. Bruising may also be a symptom of Cushing's syndrome. This is a disease in which cancer cells produce a hormone called ACTH, which causes the adrenal glands to release cortisol.
Some lung cancers produce hormone-like substances. These enter the bloodstream and cause problems in distant tissues and organs, even if the cancer has not spread to that location. These problems are called tumour-associated syndromes. Sometimes these syndromes are the first symptoms of lung cancer.
If you have unexplained skin symptoms or signs that you think are related to lung health, consult your doctor.
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