Actinic keratoses (AKs) are lesions on the surface layer of the skin caused by chronic exposure to sunlight. AKs typically manifest as small or large, rough or bumpy skin. They are occasionally painful. They may appear anywhere on the skin surface exposed to sunlight.
Actinic keratoses can signal the onset of skin cancer. Routine skin examinations and limitation of exposure to direct sunlight are recommended.
Collagen Vascular Disease (Lupus Erythenatosus)
Collagen Vascular Diseases and autoimmune diseases represent diseases in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Some of these diseases have similarities, including arthritis and inflammation of arteries in the tissues that connect joints and other tissues. These diseases are complicated and may require a multidisciplinary approach of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology and Dermatology.
Most common collagen vascular diseases include dermatomyosits, polyarterits nodosa, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and systemic lupus erythematosis. Autoimmune diseases include pemphigus, Bullous pemphigoid, and dermatitis herpetiformis.
Complicated Skin Diseases
Many people suffer from skin diseases that are difficult to diagnose and treat. They can come from a variety of sources, including drug reactions, scabies infections, and unusual manifestations of the more common dermatologic diseases. We specialize in helping get to the bottom of skin problems that other physicians have been unable to solve.
Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin caused by contact with a foreign substance. Common triggers of contact dermatitis include poison oak, cosmetics, and over the counter antibiotics. Anything that comes into contact with your skin can cause an allergic reaction, even “natural” products.
You may experience a red rash, blistering, itchiness, dryness and more. Avoiding the cause of the inflammation, gently washing the affected area, and applying hydrocortisone cream or taking oral antihistamines may relieve symptoms in early, mild disease.
Dermatologic patients often have eczematoid dermatoses. A significant amount of occupational disability is eczematous based. These diseases consist of a response of the skin to external, internal or undefined agents. They are usually characterized by dry itchy flaky skin, either generalized or in small patches. Initially, gentle skin care and moisturizers may help, but if persistent they made need more aggressive prescribed dermatologic care.
Full Body Skin Exams
Full-body skin exams are an important tool in screening patients for benign or cancerous lesions that they may not have been able to see or recognize on their own. From head to toe and back to front, we inspect the skin for any suspicious growths. This quick and painless preventive measure is an invaluable tool in the early detection of skin cancer as well as many other dermatological conditions.
Hair and Nail Disorders
There are numerous disorders affecting the hair and nails. Dermatologists are experts in these diseases. Fungal nail infections most often affect the toenails. Common hair disorders include hair loss, or hirsutism (excessive female hair growth), and problems caused by hair processing.
Treatment for hair and nail disorders depends on the type of disorder and its underlying cause. Many nail disorders can be effectively treated through oral or topical medications to get rid of the infection. Hair disorders can also be treated depending on the condition.
Hives are a common skin condition that may be caused by allergic reactions to just about anything. Hives are swollen, itchy welts on the skin that can appear and disappear suddenly. They can sometimes burn or sting as well. Hives tend to disappear on their own, but can signal a more severe allergic reaction. Try antihistamines such as loratatine or benadryl, but call your doctor and seek emergency treatment if lip swelling and breathing problems develop.
Phototherapy is an excellent treatment for patients with several skin diseases, who do not respond to topical medications alone. Phototherapy exposes the affected skin to ultraviolet light. This helps to suppress immune response, reducing inflammation and making the disease better. This may be done using UVA or UVB light, depending on each case.
Phototherapy is usually administered twice a week. The duration of your treatment depends on how fast you respond. We treat psoriasis, eczema, acne, and other diseases with phototherapy.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes thick, scaly, and crusted patches of skin. Over seven million men, women, and children in the U.S. 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 can be associated with painful arthritis, even if the skin is only minimally affected.
Psoriasis cannot be cured but it can be treated successfully. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy, photochemotherapy (PUVA), and oral or injectable medication (for severe symptoms).
Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes facial redness, pustules, and a tendency to flush easily. Rosacea can affect anyone. The cause of rosacea is unknown, but it can be treated with topical and oral medications, and occasionally with laser surgery.
Seborrhea is found most commonly on the scalp (in which case it is often referred to as dandruff). It causes scaling and redness of the scalp, face, ears, navel, and genitals. Self-treatment methods such as over-the-counter dandruff shampoo and mild hydrocortisone cream may help.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Risk factors include pale skin, family history of melanoma, being over 40 years old, and regular sun exposure. However skin cancer is increasing in all ages and races. The most important treatment is prevention through regular use of sunscreen, SPF 30 or more with Titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, and regular skin exams for early detection and treatment. It is extremely important to seek medical attention upon noticing any abnormal changes in your skin.
The most common skin cancers are:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: This is the most common type; it can look like a pearly flesh colored nodule or a red bump or patch. It grows slowly and usually is not life threatening.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Accounting for about 10% of skin cancers, this may appear as a red, hard, scaly bump. This has some potential to spread inside the body.
- Melanoma: Melanoma is the leading cause of death from skin cancer. It is the third most common type, accounting for approximately 5% of skin cancer cases, but its incidence is rising. The earliest, most common signs of melanoma are new, dark growths on the skin or changes in existing moles. Melanoma is usually diagnosed by a skin biopsy of the suspicious-looking area. Melanoma is typically treated by surgically removing the melanoma. The deeper the melanoma the more worrisome the case, and the more complicated the treatment. If needed, we work closely with melanoma centers to provide the most comprehensive care for this often difficult cancer.
Skin cancers vary in shape, color, size and texture, so a dermatologist should examine any new, changed, or otherwise suspicious growths immediately. Early intervention is essential to preventing skin cancer from spreading.
Tinea represents skin diseases caused by a fungus. Although the infection is usually not a serious threat to overall health, its symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable. The three most common forms of tinea are the following:
- Athlete’s Foot: Often contacted through damp surfaces, athlete’s foot is a fungus that causes burning, itching, and cracked skin between the toes.
- Jock Itch: A term used to describe itchy, burning skin caused by a fungus in the groin area.
- Ringworm: A red skin rash that usually manifests as a ring of red in normal skin. It is not a worm, but a fungus. Jock itch is a term used to describe itchy, burning skin caused by a fungus in the groin area.
A simple skin scrapping (KOH) can make a definitive diagnosis and lead to appropriate therapy.
Vitiligo is a skin condition where the skin loses pigmentation and appears white. Sometimes Vitiligo can be associated with an internal disease, such as thyroid problems. Treatment for vitiligo depends on the severity of the condition and may include oral or topical medications and UVB therapy.
While there is no cure for this condition, treatment is often effective in improving the appearance of the skin.