Taking into account each patient’s individual skin type and needs, we provide various treatment options for acne that range from topical products to oral medicines. In the case of cystic or large pimples, anti-inflammatory injections may also be recommended to reduce lesions. This is ideal for an “emergency” pimple that pops up right before a special occasion.
Alopecia, or hair loss, is a common condition that manifests for a number of reasons. Hair loss can be natural, a side effect of medication, or a sign of another health condition. It can result in total baldness, patchy bald spots, or thinning of the hair, and may be confined to the scalp or affect other areas of the body. Some of the causes of alopecia include male pattern baldness, fungal infection of the scalp, chemotherapy, or thyroid disorders. Some mental conditions, such as trichotillomania, which causes a person to pull out his or her own hair, may also contribute to alopecia.
Although atopic dermatitis is inherited and cannot be prevented, it is treatable. Unlike contact dermatitis, which worsens when the skin comes in physical contact with an irritant, acute dermatitis is caused by exposure to allergens in the environment. Known triggers include heat, wool, hot water, certain foods or skin products, soaps and detergents; these should be avoided or removed from the home. A child or teen who has been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis may be given steroid creams, antihistamines to relieve itching, and/or antibiotics to treat any infections caused by scratching.
Dandruff is a chronic skin disorder that causes itching and flaking of the scalp. It is believed to be caused by a yeast-like fungus in the scalp called malassezia. Malassezia is found in most people, but large amounts can cause irritation and result in a dry, itchy scalp and flakes of oily, dead cells. Mild cases of dandruff can usually be managed with an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo. More stubborn cases may need a prescription-strength shampoo. Every patient is different and we work with them individually to find the right treatment option.
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 to 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.
Freckles are small, circular spots of darkened skin that tend to appear on the face, arms, and upper shoulders of people with fair complexions. They may appear on children as young as a year old, but may also appear randomly, especially after exposure to sun. Freckles are the result of an increased pigment called melanin that is distributed unevenly through the skin. Their occurrence tends to be hereditary and can be avoided by using sunscreen and other proper protection against prolonged exposures. They are usually harmless and do not need to be treated or prevented.
Fungal infections are common skin conditions that may cause redness, itching, burning, scaling, blisters or peeling. Fungus can grow anywhere on the body, but tends to develop in warm, moist areas such as the feet, groin and armpit area. Common types of fungal infections include athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm and yeast infections. Fungal infections are not usually serious, but may be contagious, so treatment—usually with antifungal oral or topical medications—is important.
Hives are a common skin condition that may be caused by allergic reactions to medication, food, an insect bite or infection. 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 be harmless and disappear on their own, but can be relieved by applying calamine lotion or taking antihistamines if needed.
Itching is a skin sensation that can occur anywhere on the body as a result of many different causes. Itching causes a tingling feeling that triggers a need for the skin to be scratched. Some causes of itching include insect bites, sunburn, hives, dry skin, contact dermatitis, rashes, and allergic reactions. Itching can be controlled by avoiding scratching, wearing loose clothing and applying moisturizing lotion. Most itching does not require medical treatment and disappears on its own.
Keloids are an overgrowth of scar tissue that forms after a skin injury such as a surgical incision or wound. A keloid may be red, pink or flesh-colored, and forms over the site of the injury as a nodular or ridged growth. The cause of keloids is unknown, but they are believed to be hereditary, and a result of the body’s failure to end the healing process. Treatment for keloids is not usually necessary since they are harmless and may disappear over time. However, cryotherapy, steroid injections or laser treatments may be used to remove the keloid for cosmetic purposes.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues and organs, causing inflammation and damage to various parts of the body. It is a common disease that affects more than 16,000 people each year, most frequently in women between the ages of 15 and 45. The cause of lupus is unknown, but it may be affected by the environment, hormones or other immune system problems. Symptoms may include joint pain, fatigue, fever, rashes, and chest pain. They usually worsen during flares, which are triggered by certain environmental factors such as stress, not getting enough rest, infection, or injury. While lupus cannot be cured, it can usually be managed by avoiding triggers that cause flares and treating the individual symptoms.
Melasma is a common skin condition where patches of skin on the face turn brown. The most commonly affected areas are the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead and upper lip. Melasma mostly affects women. Causes include exposure to ultraviolet light and hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy or birth control. Treatment options for melasma include regular use of sunscreen, avoidance of irritating cleansers, creams, or makeup products, and discontinuation of birth control. Some bleaching creams, such as Hydroquinone, and glycolic acid peels are also known to be effective.
Moles and Birthmarks
Moles and other birthmarks are benign pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color. Moles are typically tan, brown and black while vascular lesions, such as strawberry hemangiomas or port wine stains, are usually red, pink or purple. Though most birthmarks are harmless, they may develop into cancer. Moles that itch or bleed, rapidly change in color, size or shape, measure more than 6 millimeters, or are located in areas where they can’t be easily monitored (such as the scalp) should be examined by a professional immediately.
Nail fungal infections occur under the fingernail or toenail as a result of exposure to a warm, moist environment like sweaty shoes or shower floors. These fungal infections usually begin as a yellow or white spot under the nail and develop into thickened, brittle and distorted nails. They may also turn nails a darker color as a result of the debris building up. Nail fungal infections occur more frequently in toenails because they are more often confined to dark, moist environments. They should be treated immediately to avoid causing permanent damage. Treatment options include oral anti-fungal medications, anti-fungal nail polish, or other topical medications. In severe infections, the nail may need to be removed.
While psoriasis cannot be cured, it can be treated successfully, oftentimes 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, and the effect the disease has on the patient’s general mental health. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy, photochemotherapy (PUVA), and oral or injectable medication for severe symptoms.
Razor bumps are little red bumps that occur on the skin after shaving as hair grows back into the skin. They can cause irritation of the skin and can lead to pimples or even scarring. Razor bumps can be avoided by using another method of hair removal, such as waxing, depilatories or laser treatment. To treat razor bumps, a clean needle is inserted into the skin to release the embedded hair shaft.
Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes redness and swelling on the face. The scalp, neck, ears, chest, back and/or eyes may also be affected. Symptoms range from red pimples, lines and visible blood vessels to dry or burning skin and a tendency to flush easily. Many people find that the emotional effects of rosacea—such as low self-confidence and avoidance of social situations—are more difficult to handle than the physical ones. Although it can affect anyone, rosacea typically appears in light-skinned, light-haired adults aged 30 to 50. It is not yet known what causes rosacea and the disease is not curable, although it can be treated with topical and oral medications, laser therapy or laser surgery.
There are many surgical methods of scar revision, only some of which may be appropriate for a particular type of scar or its location. These include surgical excision, skin grafts, flap surgery and Z-plasty, which involves repositioning a scar so that it aligns with the face and is less noticeable. The effectiveness of scar reduction depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the injury, your body's healing mechanism, the size and depth of the wound, how much blood supplies the area, and the thickness and color of your 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. In 80 to 85 percent of all skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma affects cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis. In 10 percent of all skin cancers, squamous cell carcinoma affects cells in the middle layer of the epidermis.
Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are small, thin, blood vessels visible beneath the skin. They appear most commonly on the face and legs and may look like red or blue lines, tree branches, or a spider-like shape with a dark center. It is estimated that they affect nearly half of adult women in the U.S. Spider veins are caused by a variety of factors, including heredity, pregnancy (and other conditions that involve changes in hormone levels), weight gain, long periods of standing, and certain medications. Though the most common concerns are cosmetic, some patients with spider veins may experience aching, burning, swelling and cramping. The standard treatments for spider veins are sclerotherapy and laser- or pulsed-light treatments.
Warts are skin growths caused by viruses. Different warts respond to different treatments. While 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 with liquid nitrogen freezing or electrical stimulation. In the case of large warts, or those that do not respond to treatment, surgery may be recommended.