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Posts for category: Skin Condition

By ANNAPOLIS DERMATOLOGY CENTER INC
June 24, 2022
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Psoriasis  

Learn more about psoriasis, its warning signs and how to treat it.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that can impact a person’s appearance, health and quality of life. You should turn to a dermatologist if you suspect that you might be dealing with psoriasis. While there is no cure for this disease, there are ways for a dermatologist to help you better manage your symptoms and provide you with relief.

What is psoriasis?

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, more than 7.5 million adults in the US are living with psoriasis. This immune disorder causes widespread inflammation, particularly of the skin, which results in the development of raised, scaly red plaques on the skin. These plaques may also sting or burn and typically appear on the knees, elbows and scalp.

In some cases, some people with psoriasis may also develop joint stiffness, swelling and pain. This condition is known as psoriatic arthritis, and it’s essential that you turn to a doctor right away if you notice symptoms of arthritis and psoriasis.

What can cause psoriasis to flare up?

Psoriasis comes and goes, so it’s essential to recognize what triggers your flare-ups to avoid them as much as possible. Common triggers include,

  • Stress
  • Other infections, including skin infections
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Sunburn
  • Injuries to the skin such as a bug bite
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Steroid use
  • Certain drugs, such as high blood pressure medication
  • Smoking or being around smoke

When should I see a dermatologist?

If you notice red, cracked or dry patches of skin on your body, it’s a good idea to have your dermatologist look to determine whether or not you could have psoriasis. Suppose you have already been diagnosed with psoriasis. You may wish to turn to a dermatologist regularly if your current treatment plan isn’t working or noticing new or worsening flare-ups.

How is psoriasis treated?

The fast turnover of skin cells leads to the formation of these plaques. To prevent this rapid turnover, there are a variety of lifestyle, topical treatments and therapies that a dermatologist can provide you. Common treatment options for psoriasis include,

  • Topical steroids
  • Retinoids
  • Salicylic acid
  • Phototherapy
  • Biologics (for severe and treatment-resistant forms of psoriasis)

Suppose you live with psoriasis or think you might be dealing with psoriasis. In that case, it’s important that you turn to a dermatologist who can provide you with a proper diagnosis and customized treatment plan.

By ANNAPOLIS DERMATOLOGY CENTER INC
May 10, 2022
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Rash  

Wondering when a rash is a cause for concern?

We’re all going to deal with a rash at some point, and while the good news is that many of them can be treated from the comfort of your own home, sometimes you will need to turn to a dermatologist for medication. Here are the causes of a rash,

Fungal Infection

One of the most common fungal infections that result in a rash is ringworm. Fungal infections can also affect the nails and hair. Yeast infections caused by the candida fungus can also result in rashes of the mouth, groin, or vagina. Less common fungal infections may result in those with compromised immune systems (e.g., patients who have HIV).

Minor fungal infections may be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal creams or ointments. A dermatologist should treat more severe or persistent fungal infections.

Viral Infection

The most common virus to produce a rash is the herpes simplex virus, both type 1 and type 2. Type 1 usually causes cold sores of the lips and nose, while type 2 leads to sores on the genitals. Those with an HSV flare-up may develop a tender rash on the palms. Chickenpox and shingles (caused by the herpes zoster virus) also result in itching, burning, and painful rashes.

Epstein-Barr virus, best known as mononucleosis or “mono,” can also lead to a mild rash that appears within a few days of being infected. If you develop a rash, a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and a fever, you should see a doctor.

Bacterial Infection

Staphylococcus (e.g., folliculitis; cellulitis; impetigo) and streptococcus (e.g., strep throat; scarlet fever) are two common bacterial infections that lead to a rash. Sometimes Lyme disease is characterized by a bull’s eye-like rash surrounding the tick bite.

Parasitic Infections

Parasites that cause a rash include lice and scabies, which can be passed from person to person. Lice most commonly affect the scalp, while scabies can cause an itchy, pimple-like rash that usually appears on the armpits, wrists, elbows, beltline, and buttocks.

Other Causes

Noninfectious rashes are also caused by drugs, eczema (e.g., atopic dermatitis), allergic dermatitis, autoimmune disorders (e.g., lupus), and food allergies.

It isn’t easy to tell what’s causing your rash, but if you are dealing with new, worsening, or severe symptoms or the rash is spreading, it’s always good to turn to your dermatologist for treatment.

By ANNAPOLIS DERMATOLOGY CENTER INC
March 28, 2022
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Actinic Keratosis  
Actinic KeratosisIf you’ve ever spent time basking in the sun or even in a tanning bed, then you’ve exposed your skin to UV rays, which can be incredibly damaging to the skin and increase your risk for skin cancer. If you’ve spent extensive amounts of time exposed to UV rays, then you’re at an increased risk for developing actinic keratosis, a rough scaly patch of skin that’s also a form of precancer.

What does an actinic keratosis look like?

These small, scaly flat patches of skin are often felt before they are seen. They can be flesh-colored, white, tan, or pink and most often show up on sun-exposed areas of the skin such as the lips, ears, hands, face, or shoulders. Since most squamous cell carcinomas begin as actinic keratosis (AK), it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist if you are concerned that you might have actinic keratosis.

Am I at risk?

If you have a history of unprotected sun exposure or exposure to artificial UV light (e.g. tanning beds), if you are fair-skinned, or if you have a family history of actinic keratosis, it’s a good idea to examine your body and face once a month to keep tabs on any changes you may see. You should also see a dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive checkup and skin cancer screening.

What can I do to protect myself?

One of the best ways to reduce your risk for actinic keratosisis to limit sun exposure and to wear a full-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you are also wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses if you do plan to spend any time out in the sun.

How is actinic keratosis treated?

The good news is that your dermatologist caught your actinic keratosis before it had a chance to turn into a squamous cell carcinoma, which also means removing this precancerous patch is quick and easy. Actinic keratosis may be treated with cryotherapy (to freeze off the lesion), topical medication, or laser therapy. Your dermatologist will discuss the best way to remove your actinic keratosis. Since actinic keratosis can come back, it’s important that you come in at least once a year for a skin exam.
 
Actinic keratosis is more common than you might think, affecting tens of millions of Americans. If you notice any changes to your skin it’s important that you turn to a dermatologist for an evaluation. Even if you aren’t noticing changes, it’s still a good idea to visit a dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening.
By ANNAPOLIS DERMATOLOGY CENTER INC
March 28, 2022
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Carbuncle  
CarbuncleA boil is an infection of the hair follicle that develops under the skin. When multiple boils develop this is known as a carbuncle. In a carbuncle, this cluster of boils is interconnected under the skin and can lead to pain, inflammation, and redness. This infection most often develops on areas of the body that contain hair such as the neck, back, or armpits, but can also develop on the thighs and groin. Here’s what you should know about this condition, as well as how a dermatologist might treat this infection.

What causes a carbuncle?

Most of the time, bacteria known as staphylococcus aureus are to blame for carbuncles. This bacteria is already present on the skin, but can easily get into a hair follicle through a cut or opening. Since a carbuncle is the result of a bacterial infection, the infection can be spread to others by sharing items such as towels or through skin-to-skin contact. It’s important to cover the area and keep it clean so that it heals properly.

Who is at risk for carbuncles?

There are many risk factors that can cause someone to be prone to carbuncles. These risk factors include:
  • Chronic skin problems
  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • Poor hygiene
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • A weakened immune system
Of course, people don’t have to have these risk factors to develop this skin infection. Many health individuals deal with this issue too. For example, those in community settings such as a dorm room may be more at risk for spreading this infection.

How should I treat a carbuncle?

It is important that you do not pick at or squeeze the bump, as this can spread the infection even further or lead to scarring. Apply warm compresses to the area several times a day. Make sure to keep the area clean (wash with soap and water) and cover the area. Since heat can help to facilitate natural drainage, you may want to use a heating pad on the area for up 20 minutes at a time.

Should I see a dermatologist?

Since there are many infections and conditions that can lead to painful bumps and growths, it’s important that you see a dermatologist if you’ve never been diagnosed with a carbuncle before. If the carbuncle doesn’t drain after a few days or if it’s very painful or in a sensitive area such as the nose or eyes, it’s important that you see your dermatologist right away so they can drain it and properly treat it.

If you are dealing with any new or worsening bumps or growths on the skin that have you concerned, know that a dermatologist is going to be the best specialist to turn to for diagnosis and treatment. When in doubt, call your dermatologist to schedule an evaluation.
By ANNAPOLIS DERMATOLOGY CENTER INC
March 28, 2022
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Vitiligo  
VitiligoAccording to the National Vitiligo Foundation, around 70 million people around the world have vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder that causes white patches of skin. This condition is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person, but the white patches can be a source of embarrassment or isolation for some patients. If you are living with vitiligo, or know someone who is, a dermatologist can help you determine the best treatment options for improving the appearance of vitiligo.

How is vitiligo treated?

There is currently no cure for vitiligo but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to target and add pigment back into these depigmented patches of skin. Some of these treatment options include:

UVB Light Therapy

This is one of the oldest and most commonly used treatment options for vitiligo, which exposes areas of the body to light therapy multiple times a week. This narrow-band light therapy works by triggering the production of melanocytes, a skin cell responsible for producing pigmentation in the skin.

Topical Medications

Various topical creams can repigment the skin. Your dermatologist will look at the size and location of your vitiligo patches to determine the best topical medications for the job. Common topical medications include corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, calcipotriene, and depigmentation medications.

Steroids are topical anti-inflammatories that can slow vitiligo and allow the body to produce more melanocytes. It can take up to a month to start seeing results. When steroids aren’t the ideal option, which is particularly common if a patient has patches of vitiligo in more sensitive areas such as the genitals or lips, your dermatologist may recommend calcineurin inhibitors.

If the majority of your body contains vitiligo patches, the best option may be to lighten the rest of your skin to reduce the appearance of these depigmented patches. This can be done with a topical depigmentation medication or light therapy. Medications are often recommended in conjunction with light therapy, but if light therapy isn’t being used then your dermatologist may recommend two or more medications to be used at the same time.

You don’t have to deal with vitiligo alone. A dermatologist can be the best medical specialist for helping you treat and manage your vitiligo symptoms. To learn more or to schedule an evaluation, call your dermatologist today.