Acne is characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, red inflamed bumps and cysts. It often involves the face, chest, and back. Acne is common among teenagers and young adults, but can extend later into adulthood. There are several treatment options including topical medications, oral antibiotics, isotretinoin, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.
Actinic Keratosis (AK)
AKs are dry, scaly patches that form on sun exposed areas of the skin, such as the scalp, face, and forearms. Actinic keratoses are considered precancerous because they have the potential to become a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Treatment options include treatment with liquid nitrogen, photodynamic therapy with blue light, and/or topical medications.
Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The most common skin cancers, BCC and SCC develop from cells in the top layer of skin. They can have many different presentations, but often start as a growing bump, pink patch, or sore that will not heal. Common locations include sun-exposed areas such as the head, neck, back, chest, or upper arms. Fair skinned individuals are at greatest risk. BCC is virtually never life threatening but can be locally damaging if not treated. SCC has a slightly higher risk of spreading to lymph nodes or other organs. Treatment is most often with various forms or surgical excision, but in certain instances can be treated with topical medications or radiation.
There are many repetitive motions that we make each day that can cause fine lines and wrinkles to start appearing. This could be squinting your eyes or frowning, all motions that you may not even realize you’re doing. Botox helps reduce these contractions and smoothen out the lines that have been formed.
Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex)
Cold sores are blistering sores typically close to the mouth. They begin with a tingling sensation and progress to clusters of painful blisters and may heal with scarring. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus and can be transmitted by direct contact. Even with treatment the virus is never cleared from the body completely. Treatment with antiviral medications is aimed at preventing or minimizing outbreaks.
Eczema is a chronic skin condition characterized by itchy, dry, red skin. It may progress to cracking, blistering, and oozing that may affect any part of the body. There are several subtypes of eczema including atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis. Treatment is typically achieved through proper skin care, moisturizers, and topical medications applied to the skin. For more extensive cases phototherapy or oral immunusuppressive medications may be required.
Hives are itchy lesions often described as "welts". The cause of an outbreak can be difficult to pinpoint. Some triggers include allergic reactions, medications, food, infection, bug bites, stress, temperature extremes, and exercise. Treatments include avoiding the stimulating agent as well as antihistamines.
Impetigo is a superficial bacterial infection of the skin that results in red patches often with pimple like lesions or yellow crusting. This infection is common in children or athletes who play contact sports. Treatments include topical antibiotics applied to the skin or oral antibiotics.
The most serious skin cancer, melanoma, comes from the pigment producing cells of the skin called melanocytes. These typically appear as new or changing moles with an irregular shape, border, or color pattern. They may develop on any location of the body. Risk factors for melanoma include fair skin, excessive sun exposure with sunburns, tanning booth use, close family members with melanoma, having a large number of moles, or having a history of abnormal moles. Melanoma is very treatable when detected early. When more advanced, melanoma can spread and become fatal. Early lesions are treated with surgical removal. More advanced lesions are treated often in consultation with a surgical oncologist and medical oncologist..
Moles are flesh-toned, tan, or brown spots that can be raised or flat. They can arise anywhere on the body. Moles should be evaluated for the possibility of a skin cancer if they are irregular in their appearance, if they are new and stand out as different than an individuals previous moles, or if they are noted to be changing over time.
Molluscum is a skin disease caused by a pox virus that is characterized by pink dome shaped bumps that can spread quickly anywhere on the body. They are very common in children but can develop in adulthood as well. Treatment can be performed with medications that are applied to the lesions or with liquid nitrogen therapy.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by red scaly patches most commonly involving the elbows, knees, and scalp. Psoriasis can also involve the joints causing a painful arthritis. Psoriasis is genetic in most cases but can be triggered by various inciting factors. Treatments include topical medications applied to the skin, oral medications, injectable medications, and phototherapy.
Tinea is a scaly red patch resulting from a fungal infection of the skin. Typical areas of involvement include the feet, groin, hands, scalp, or nails. Tinea may develop as a result of direct contact with an infected individual, as seen in wrestlers. Tinea is treated with topical or oral antifungal medications.
Rosacea is a skin condition of the face usually seen in adults. Individuals with rosacea may have acne like bumps in addition to prominent redness, flushing, or noticeable blood vessels on the nose and cheeks. While rosacea is often genetic, flares of the condition can be noted with various triggers such as excessive sun exposure, caffeine, alcohol, or spicy foods. Rosacea is treated most often with topical and oral antibiotics. Laser treatments may be required to address the facial redness.
Seborrheic Keratosis (SK)
SKs are benign overgrowths of the top layer of the skin. They can be large, rough, and range in color from tan to black. They tend to run in families can involve any part of the body. SKs can mimic skin cancer due to their irregular appearance, but treatment is not necessary unless they become irritated or need to be distinguished from cancer. Cosmetic removal can be accomplished with cryotherapy.
Shingles is a painful, blistering rash that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. The first sign of shingles is often burning or tingling pain, or itch, in one particular location usually on one side of the body. After a few days the rash often progresses to fluid-filled blisters. Shingles attacks can be made less severe or shorter with prescription antiviral medications. Treatment also reduces the risk of postherpetic neuralgia, which is chronic pain that can last for months or years after the shingles rash clears.
Skin Allergies (Contact Dermatitis)
Allergic contact dermatitis is a very itchy, red, and sometimes blistering rash that develops as a result of being exposed to a triggering chemical, fragrance, dye, or plant. Treatment is through avoidance of the offending agent and with medications applied to the skin or by mouth.
Skin cancers are the result of abnormal cells growing in an uncontrolled manner. See information above regarding the most common forms of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma).
Warts are benign growths typically seen as rough bumps on the skin. They are most frequently found on the hands and feet, but can be found anywhere on the body. They are the result of the very common HPV virus and can be passed from person to person or by contact with contaminated surfaces. Treatment includes destructive methods with liquid nitrogen or blistering medications or immune stimulating therapies.