Acne is the term for the blocked pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that can appear typically on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Seventeen million Americans currently have acne, making it the most common skin disease in the country. While it affects mostly teenagers, and almost all teenagers have some form of acne, adults of any age can have it. Acne is not life-threatening, but it can cause physical disfigurement (scarring) and emotional distress.
Eczema is a group of inflamed skin conditions that result in chronic itchy rashes. About 15 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of eczema, including 10-20 percent of all infants. Symptoms vary from person to person but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin which break out in rashes when scratched. Treatment involves the restriction of scratching, use of moisturizing lotions or creams, cold compresses and nonprescription anti-inflammatory corticosteroid creams and ointments. If this proves insufficient, physicians may prescribe corticosteroid medication, antibiotics to combat infection, or sedative antihistamines. Phototherapy is a common procedure that uses light to reduce rashes. For severe cases, drugs such as cyclosporin A may be recommended.
Evaluation and Removal of Moles and WartsWhile most moles and other skin growths are not of medical concern, it is important to screen for cancer and other skin conditions that can develop in some cases. Full-body skin exams to detect any new moles and growths, as well as to monitor existing growths, are recommended on a yearly basis in order to screen for skin cancer and detect any abnormalities in their earliest stages. To classify a mole, we will evaluate its color, size, border and any asymmetries that may indicate a potential for cancer. If any suspicious lesions are found during this exam, additional testing will likely be performed.
Warts are skin growths caused by viruses. Different warts respond to different treatments; some go away on their own. Salicylic acid products (in the form of drops, gels, pads and bandages) can help self-treatment of many warts by dissolving the keratin protein that makes up the wart and the dead skin above it. Others can be removed via liquid nitrogen freezing or electrical stimulation. Surgery may be recommended for painful or large warts that do not respond to these treatments.
Hyperhidrosis is a rare condition that causes excessive sweating on the hands, feet, armpits, face and genital area, or all over the entire body. The cause of this condition is unknown, although it often runs in families and begins during childhood.
Treatment for hyperhidrosis depends on the severity of the condition, but may include prescription-strength antiperspirant or medication to help control sweating or stop the stimulation of the sweat glands. Botox injections in the armpits block the nerves that cause sweating and can effectively treat hyperhidrosis for up to eight months for each injection.
PsoriasisPsoriasis is a group of chronic skin disorders that cause itching and/or burning, scaling and crusting of the skin. Over seven million men and women in the U.S. of all ages have some form of psoriasis, which may be mild, moderate or severe. The most commonly affected areas are the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet and genitals. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy, photochemotherapy (PUVA), and oral or injectable medication (for severe symptoms).
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin frequently referred to as “adult acne”. It is characterized by redness, broken blood vessels, and flushing of the face and scalp. Patients may also experience pimples, swelling, itching, and scratchy eyes. It is also common for rosacea patients to have seborrheic dermatitis-basically dandruff of the scalp and face, characterized by rashes with greasy scale of the forehead, eyebrows, and around the nose. Rosacea is most often seen in patients with lighter skin color, although we do see it in all skin types. Triggers for rosacea include sunlight, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, hot liquids, and extreme temperatures. There is no cure for rosacea, but fortunately, there are many excellent treatment options available for patients today.
Skin Cancer Screenings and Sun Protection CounselingSun damage can affect any area of your skin as a result of long-term exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Sun damage most commonly occurs on the face, hands and arms, and may lead to sun spots, age spots, rough skin and wrinkles. Years of sun exposure can also lead to premature aging and skin cancer. Because of the damaging effects of the sun, adequate protection is essential in maintaining the long-term health of the skin.
Skin cancer refers to the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of skin cells. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Risk factors include pale skin, family history of melanoma, being over 40 years old, and regular sun exposure. Fortunately, skin cancer is almost always curable if detected and treated early.