Acne is a skin condition which causes clogged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), inflamed pimples (pustules), and deeper lumps (nodules). Acne occurs on the face, back, chest, neck, shoulders and upper arms. It is most common in adolescents but oftentimes adults in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and even older adults can develop acne. Untreated acne can leave permanent scars.
Atopic dermatitis or Eczema, is a common allergic skin disease that usually starts in early childhood. It can be associated with infection (bacteria, fungi, yeast and viruses) of the skin. Half of patients with moderate to severe eczema also suffer from asthma, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), and food allergies. The main symptom is itchy skin. Skin is also often dry. Scratching makes the skin red, chafed and thick.
Moles (nevi) are extremely common. Research has shown that certain moles have a higher-than-average risk of becoming cancerous. They include:
Congenital Mole – When a person is born with a mole (ranging from small to large/giant) it is called a congenital mole (nevus). The large/giant congenital mole has been shown to carry a higher risk of developing melanoma.
Atypical Mole – Also called dysplastic nevi, these moles are generally larger than average (bigger than a pencil eraser) and irregular in shape. They tend to have uneven color with mixtures of tan, brown, red, and pink. People with atypical moles have a greater chance to develop melanoma.
Acquired Mole – moles that appear after birth are called acquired moles and generally not cause for concern. People who have more than 50 to 100 acquired moles, however, have a greater risk for developing melanoma than those with fewer moles.
Melanoma is a cancer of the pigment-producing cells in the skin known as melanocytes. If given time to grow, melanoma can grow down into the skin ultimately reaching the blood and lymphatic vessels, and spread around the body (metastasize) causing a life-threatening illness. It is curable when detected early, but can be fatal if allowed to progress and spread. Consistently check your moles using the ABCD’s of skin cancer and see your dermatologist yearly for a full body skin exam.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is a tumor that arises in the outer layer of the skin. Middle-aged and elderly people, especially those with fair complexions and frequent sun exposure, are most likely to be affected. If treated in a timely manner, it is uncommon for skin SCC to spread to other areas of the body. They often arise from small sandpaper-like growths called actinic keratoses (AK’s) and appear as a crusted or scaly area of the skin with a red, inflamed base. SCC can be present as a growing tumor, a non-healing ulcer or just as a crust. Any worrisome skin lesions, especially those that are not healing and are growing, bleeding, or changing should be promptly evaluated by your dermatologist.
Psoriasis is a persistent skin disorder that occurs in two out of every hundred people in the U.S., detectable by red, thickened areas with silvery scales. Often found on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back, it can also occur in other areas such as the nails. There are many types of treatments including, but not limited to: steroids, Anthralin, vitamin D, light therapy, retinoids, and biologic agents.
Rosacea is a common skin disease that causes redness, flushing, acne, and swelling. It mostly affects the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose. Small blood vessels and tiny pimples begin to appear on and around the reddened area; however, unlike acne, there are no blackheads. Rosacea can be treated with various oral and/or topical medications, laser treatment, as well as products specifically designed for patients with rosacea.
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