KOMPAS.com – In the human respiratory system, the lungs are vital organs.
The function of the lungs is to regulate the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body.
When we breathe, oxygen inhaled from the outside will enter the lungs and circulated into the blood.
If there is interference in the lungs, some symptoms will be felt, such as shortness of breath, persistent coughing, or shortness of breath accompanied by wheezing.
But people rarely realize that lung problems can also be seen from the condition of our skin.
Experts share four skin symptoms that indicate a disorder in the organ, ranging from pulmonary fibrosis to lung cancer.
1. Reddish purple bumps
Some skin symptoms can signal sarcoidosis, an inflammatory condition that affects the lungs.
Sarcoidosis is a disease characterized by the growth of small collections of inflammatory cells or granulomas in the lungs and lymph nodes. Mayo Clinic.
This condition can also affect the eyes, skin, heart, and other organs of the body.
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In some cases, untreated pulmonary sarcoidosis will lead to pulmonary fibrosis or the formation of scar tissue in the lungs.
Individuals with sarcoidosis may have red or reddish-purple bumps on the skin on the ankles or lower legs.
Other signs include lesions or sores on the nose, cheeks, and ears, dark patches on the skin, or the growth of inflammatory cells on the skin near scars or tattoos.
2. Fast-growing lumps
Lung cancer often has no symptoms until it is at an advanced stage.
However, experts say there are some individuals who may experience skin symptoms after the cancer has spread.
“Unusual, fast-growing lumps, especially those that bleed on the head, neck and upper body can become metastatic (spread to other parts of the body).”
So says Viktoria Kozlovskaya, MD, PhD, a dermatologist and assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology at Pittsburgh University.
The lump is generally hard, painless, and reddish in color.
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In rare cases, these lumps can be a sign of lung cancer.
Studies published in Indian Journal of Dermatology found, skin metastases usually occur in the later stages of disease.
However, it is rarely seen at the same time as the diagnosis and may appear as the first sign of disease.
3. Itchy and scaly rash
Dermatomyositis is a rare disease that causes skin rashes, swelling, and muscle inflammation.
“In adults, the disease may be associated with cancer, including lung cancer,” said Kozlovskaya.
Lung disease is also considered a complication of dermatomyositis. Although there are other causes, dermatomyositis can eventually affect the lungs.
Skin symptoms of this condition include a painful or itchy red or purple rash in areas that are frequently exposed to the sun.
Red or purple discoloration and swelling of the upper eyelid, red or purple spots in the joints, calcium deposits under the skin, scaly or rough skin, and swelling and redness of the nails.
4. Easy bruising
If you bruise easily, there may be many causes, including blood clotting problems or a blood disease.
As reported American Cancer Society (ACS), bruising easily can also be a symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, a condition in which cancer cells produce the hormone ACTH, which triggers the adrenal glands to make cortisol.
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In some people with lung cancer, the hormone will enter the bloodstream and cause problems with other tissues and organs, even if the cancer has not spread to these areas.
“This problem is called paraneoplastic syndrome. Sometimes this syndrome may be the first symptom of lung cancer,” the ACS statement said.
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