Common Conditions

Skin conditions can range from simply unsightly to quite serious. In some cases, common conditions that affect the skin can be hazardous to your health or even life-threatening, if left untreated. At Dermatology Consultants, our skilled physicians and staff members offer treatment for a wide variety of conditions that affect the skin.

Acne

Acne is a skin condition that can affect the face, the upper chest, and the back, most commonly during adolescence. In some people, however, acne persists well into adulthood. The condition causes inflamed red bumps, whiteheads and blackheads, commonly referred to as pimples or zits, to erupt on the surface of the skin.

Early treatment of acne is important to prevent scarring of the skin, and to provide the emotional and social benefits of smooth, unblemished skin. In some cases, self-care using a mild soap or face wash is enough to clear up acne, and in other cases, over the counter medication is effective. In some stubborn cases, the team at Dermatology Consultants may recommend prescription topical and oral medications and procedures.

If you would like to learn more about acne and its treatment, such as Isolaz Laser Therapy, please schedule an appointment with Dermatology Consultants today. A great source of information can also be found at Acne.org.

Age or Liver Spots

These pesky brown or gray spots known as solar lentigines aren’t really caused by aging, though they do become more common as you get older. You get them from exposure to sunlight, which is why they tend to appear on your face, hands, and arms. You can try bleach creams, acid peels, and light-based treatments to fade them. See a dermatologist to rule out serious problems like melanoma or other types of skin cancer.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a condition that causes a person’s hair to fall out. It is an autoimmune disease; that is, the person’s immune system attacks their own body. In this case, their hair follicles. When this happens, the person’s hair begins to fall out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The extent of the hair loss varies; in some cases, it is only in a few spots. In others, the hair loss can be greater.

There is no cure for alopecia areata. But hair often re-grows on its own and treatments such as steriods, oral and topical medications can help the hair re-grow more quickly.

Boil or Abscess

A boil (abscess) is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. At first, the skin turns red in the area of the infection, and a tender lump develops. After four to seven days, the lump starts turning white as pus collects under the skin.

The most common places for boils to appear are on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders, and buttocks. When one forms on the eyelid, it is called a sty (chalazion). If several boils appear in a group, this is a more serious type of infection called a carbuncle.

Cold Sores or Fever Blisters

The herpes simplex virus causes small, painful, fluid-filled blisters on your mouth or nose. Cold sores last about 10 days and easily spread from person to person. Triggers include fever, too much sun, stress, and hormonal changes like periods. You can treat cold sores with antiviral pills or creams.

Dandruff

Dandruff or Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that it is characterized by a red and scaly, flaky scalp. It occurs most commonly in infants, middle-aged adults and seniors, particularly in those who have oily skin or hair. Seborrheic dermatitis also occurs in some patients with diseases of the immune or nervous systems.

While there is no cure for this chronic condition, seborrheic dermatitis can usually be controlled by medicated shampoos or topical creams. If your dermatologist makes a diagnosis of seborrheic dermatitis, he or she may recommend that you try these treatment options to treat the symptoms that accompany the disorder.

Eczema

Eczema is a blanket term for several non-contagious conditions that cause inflamed, red, dry, and itchy skin. Doctors aren’t sure what makes eczema start in the first place, but they do know that stress, irritants (like soaps), allergens, and climate can trigger flares. In adults, it often appears on the elbows, hands, and in skin folds. Several medications treat eczema. Some are spread over the skin, and others are taken by mouth or as a shot. There is no cure for eczema, but, in most cases, it is manageable through treatments like oral medications, steroid creams and light therapy.

Hives

Hives (urticaria) look like welts and can itch, sting or burn. They vary in size and sometimes join together. They may appear on any part of you and last anywhere from minutes to days. Causes include extreme temperatures, infections like strep throat, and allergies to medications, foods, and food additives. Antihistamines and skin creams can help. Each patient should have a work up to establish potential causes or triggers.

Melasma

Melasma is tan or brown patches on your cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. It’s often called the “pregnancy mask” because it happens in half of all pregnant women. Men can get it, too. If it doesn’t go away on its own after the baby comes, you can treat it with prescription creams and over-the-counter products. Sunlight makes it worse, so always use a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen.

Moles

Moles (nevi), which are usually brown or black, can be anywhere on the body. They might show up alone or in groups and generally appear before age 20. Some moles change slowly over the years. They can go from flat to raised, grow hair, or change color. Get your moles checked once a year by a board-certified dermatologist. Pay close attention to any that change, have irregular borders, are an unusual or uneven color, bleed, or itch. Dermatologists recommend that patients use the ABCDE system for checking your moles.

Pigment Irregularity

Most people have uneven skin color, regardless of race or ethnic background. In some cases, large areas of the skin appear lighter or darker than normal. Other people have brown, grey or freckled patches of skin. While these types of skin disorders are usually not a threat to health, they should be evaluated at your regular dermatological checkup. A number of treatments are available to lighten & brighten the skin and reduce a “blotchy” appearance including pharmaceutical grade products and chemical skin peels.

If you notice significant patches or areas of uneven coloring on your skin, the staff at Dermatology Consultants can help. Your skilled doctor will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of the condition, if possible, and put together a course of treatment that is ideal for your specific case.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin condition that can lead to lasting damage and potential disfigurement. Caused by a disorder in the body’s autoimmune system, psoriasis typically causes the skin to turn red and scaly, resulting in discomfort and irritation.

While there is no cure for the underlying disorder, there are effective treatments for the skin itself. If your Dermatology Consultants doctor makes a psoriasis diagnosis, he or she will recommend a course of treatment that may involve topical medications, systemic medications, phototherapy and others.

Rashes

A rash is a change in the skin due to skin irritation. Most rashes go away on their own or require only minor treatment. Some rashes may need medical attention. Some rash symptoms are redness, itching, bumps, redness, and swelling. Some causes of rashes are allergic reactions; reactions to medications; plants such as poison ivy; or irritation due to jewelry, chemicals, or makeup. Rashes are also sometimes symptoms of another condition, as with impetigo or scabies. Treatments vary based on the cause, but many can be treated with medications.

Rosacea

Sometimes known as “adult acne,” rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes redness, bumps or pimples and soreness in the eyes and eyelids. In many cases it may closely resemble acne. Rosacea is most common in people with fair skin with a history of blushing, and appears to run in families. Certain foods and alcohol, exposure to sun and wind or changes in weather can trigger rosacea flare-ups.

While there is no known cure for rosecea, the symptoms can be managed. Avoiding exposure to the sun and activity in hot weather can help sufferers minimize symptoms, as can limiting stress, spicy food, alcohol and hot beverages.

Laser treatments, topical and systemic medications are the primary method of treating rosacea. These treatments can reduce the redness associated with the condition and improve a patient’s overall appearance. Your doctor at Dermatology Consultants can determine what treatment is best for you.

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is a benign skin growth usually found in older adults on the face, chest, shoulders or back. It may appear as a brown, black or pale growth and have a waxy, scaly appearance. These growths may look like skin cancer and should be evaluated at your regular checkup. They can usually be removed easily and painlessly to improve the skin’s appearance and avoid irritation from clothing.

Shingles

A rash of raised dots that turns into painful blisters, shingles causes your skin to burn, itch, tingle, or become very sensitive. Shingles often shows up on your trunk and buttocks, but can appear anywhere. An outbreak lasts about two weeks. You’ll recover, but pain, numbness, and itching might linger for months, years, or even the rest of your life. Treatment includes creams for your skin, antiviral drugs and steroids.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a very serious condition that affects millions of Americans each and every year. It can develop in men and women of all ages, and is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Studies show that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.

At Dermatology Consultants, our skilled dermatologists will examine your skin for suspicious moles or lesions, and take samples, if necessary, to be checked by a pathologist. If we detect the three forms of skin cancer – basal cell, squamous cell or melonoma – the dangerous cells can be removed.

Skin Tags

This small flap of flesh-colored or slightly darker tissue hangs off your skin by a stalk. They’re usually found on the neck, chest, back, armpits, under the breasts, or in the groin area. Skin tags appear most often on women and elderly people. They aren’t dangerous and usually don’t cause pain unless they become irritated when clothing or nearby skin rubs against them. A dermatologist can cut, freeze, or burn them off.

Staph Infection

A staph infection is caused by a Staphylococcus (or “staph”) bacteria. The infection often begins with a little cut, which gets infected with bacteria. This can look like honey-yellow crusting on the skin.

These staph infections range from a simple boil to antibiotic-resistant infections to flesh-eating infections. The difference between all these is the strength of the infection, how deep it goes, how fast it spreads, and how treatable it is with antibiotics.

One type of staph infection that involves skin is called cellulitis and affects the skin’s deeper layers. It is treatable with antibiotics. This type of infection is very common in the general population – and more common and more severe in people with weak immune systems. People who have diabetes or weakened immunity are particularly prone to developing cellulitis.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a chronic condition that causes the skin to lose pigment in patches, usually on the face, hands and wrists. In many cases, the patches will enlarge or change shape. The affected skin tends to feel normal, and appear either suddenly or gradually.

While researchers have not identified the cause of vitiligo, light treatments and topical medications can be effective in reducing the affected areas and improving the overall coloration of the skin. If your dermatologist determines that you suffer from vitiligo, he or she may try a number of treatments to discover which will best combat your symptoms.

Warts

In most cases, common warts appear on the fingers or hands. They’re caused by the human papillomavirus. Warts spread when you touch something used by a person with the virus. They’re usually harmless and painless. You can treat them with topical medications, or a dermatologist can treat them with topical medications and or freeze them. Some may require more advanced treatment options.