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.
Sebaceous glands are attached to hair follicles in the skin on the face, neck, back and chest. They produce an oily substance called sebum, which normally reaches the skin surface through the opening of the follicle (pore). When follicles become plugged, sebum cannot reach the surface of the skin. This blocked sebum promotes the growth of bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes) beneath the skin, which in turn produce chemicals and enzymes that attract white blood cells, causing inflammation. Eventually the follicle wall breaks down and the sebum, skin cells and bacteria erupt to form lesions or pimples. These are the visible effects of acne.
Eczema is a term used to describe a group of inflamed skin conditions that result in chronic, relapsing and very itchy rashes. About 15 million people in the United States suffer from some form of eczema, including 10 to 20 percent of all infants. There is no known cause for the condition, but it appears to involve an overactive immune system in the presence of certain materials and often occurs in people susceptible to allergies. Symptoms vary from person to person but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin which, when scratched, tend to break out in rashes. Sometimes rashes “bubble up” and ooze; other times they may be more scaly. A common result of excessive scratching is lichenification, the leathery texture caused by skin thickening.
Objects and conditions that trigger itchy eczema outbreaks may include rough or coarse materials touching the skin, excessive heat or sweating, soaps, detergents, disinfectants, fruit and meat juices, dust mites, animal saliva and danders, upper respiratory infections and stress. Avoidance of those triggers is the simplest way to minimize flare-ups.
Hair loss can occur as a result of aging, heredity, medications or an underlying medical condition, and can affect men and women of all ages. It may leave you with pattern baldness, patchy spots or thinned hair. Most people are troubled by this undesired change to their appearance and may be frustrated that there is no cure available for this condition.
While many people are forced to deal with hair loss and let the condition progress naturally, there are several treatments available to help promote hair growth or hide hair loss. The best treatment option for each patient depends on the location and extent of the hair loss, but may include hair growth medications and hair transplant or scalp reduction surgery.
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.
Patients with hyperhidrosis may sweat all over their body or in certain areas. Their skin may become white and wrinkled or red and irritated as a result of the constant moisture, and may develop an odor as well. Living with hyperhidrosis often causes patients to feel embarrassed, awkward and self-conscious, especially during social situations.
Melanoma is a potentially life-threatening skin cancer of the melanocytes, the cells that make melanin (brown pigment). Most cases of melanoma occur in new or existing moles on the surface of the skin, with over 50,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Melanoma has a fatality rate higher than those for basal cell and squamous cell cancers, and accounts for more than 80 percent of all deaths from skin cancer.
Because of its increased risk for serious complications, screening and early diagnosis are important in reducing these risks and thoroughly treating the skin lesion. Mole mapping is a comprehensive surveillance program that visually identifies all moles on the body and monitors their size, color and overall appearance for early detection of any changes or other abnormalities.
Pediatric Skin Care
Pediatric dermatology involves comprehensive diagnosis and treatment services for the unique skin of infants, children and adolescents. While children and adults experience many of the same skin conditions, certain conditions are more prevalent in younger patients and require special care that takes into account the growing needs of these patients. Children are often at risk for fungal and bacterial infections of the skin, as well as a wide array of other acquired and congenital conditions.
Our treatments are gentle yet successful, allowing children to engage in their everyday activities while efficiently managing their skin ailment. Children with healthy skin can also be seen by our doctor for regular examinations to learn about proper skin care, including adequate sun protection. Early examination by a dermatologist can promote a lifetime of healthy skin for our pediatric patients.
Dr. is highly skilled and experienced in treating pediatric skin conditions and strives to provide a comfortable, safe and worry-free experience for both child and parent. We take the time to educate parents about their child's condition to help ensure proper treatment and home care so children can enjoy clear, healthy skin as they grow.
Psoriasis 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.
Psoriasis cannot be cured but it can be treated successfully, sometimes for months or years at a time and occasionally even permanently. Treatment depends on the type, severity and location of psoriasis. The patient’s age, medical history and life may also have a significant impact on the methods utilized. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy, photochemotherapy (PUVA), and oral or injectable medication (for severe symptoms).
A rash is a change in the skin’s color or texture. Simple rashes are called dermatitis, which means the skin is inflamed or swollen. Other common rashes include eczema, psoriasis, impetigo, shingles, chicken pox, measles, scarlet fever, insect bites and those caused by medical conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
A dermatologist is usually able to identify the rash by looking at it and asking about accompanying symptoms. Mild rashes can often be treated with simple home care practices such as avoiding soaps and bathing in warm water. Others may require moisturizing creams, prescription medications or more extensive treatment.
Rosacea is a common, chronic skin condition that affects over 14 million Americans, many of whom are unaware that they have the condition. Rosacea appears on the skin of the face as areas of redness and small, pus-filled bumps similar to acne, and can affect a patient's confidence and self-esteem as a result. Although rosacea is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, there are several treatments available to relieve symptoms and prevent flare ups, allowing patients to avoid embarrassment from the appearance of their skin.
While there is no cure for rosacea, there are several treatments available to help control symptoms and allow patients to enjoy their lives without constantly worrying about the appearance of their skin. The most effective treatment for rosacea depends on each patient's individual case, but usually includes a combination of prescription treatment and life changes.
Treatment for rosacea may be long-term, but most patients notice an improvement to their symptoms within one to two months. Patients can reduce the risk of flare ups by identifying certain triggers that lead to flare ups, and then trying to avoid them. Flare ups can also be reduced by wearing sunscreen, protecting the eyes and providing gentle but thorough care for your skin. If permanent skin damage has occurred as a result of rosacea, advanced treatments such as dermabrasion, cryosurgery or laser surgery may be performed to improve the appearance of the skin.
Skin Cancer Screening
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.
The most common skin cancers are:
Basal cell carcinoma – 80-85% of all skin cancers. Basal cell carcinoma affects cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis.
Squamous cell carcinoma – 10% of all skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma affects cells in the middle layer of the epidermis.
Melanoma – 5% of all skin cancers. Melanoma is a rare but very dangerous type of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of death from skin disease.
Skin cancers vary in shape, color, size and texture, so any new, changed or otherwise suspicious growths or rashes should be examined immediately by a physician. Early intervention is essential to preventing the cancer from spreading.