There are a number of approaches to treating acne and the scarring it often leaves behind. The drug Accutane is a popular and effective treatment, as are a number of other prescription meds and antibiotics. These are not always risk or side effect free and must be carefully monitored. Laser therapy is a safe and increasingly effective acne treatment, with various lasers designated to treating the condition when it is active or the scarring after it subsides, i.e., Blue Light and Fraxel respectively. The doctor will examine your skin, recommend the best type of therapy, which may include a combination of therapies, and work out a long-term plan for containing the condition.
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This small rough spot on the skin often occurs in areas chronically exposed to the sun, commonly the face, scalp and neck, forearms, upper chest and hands. Though actinic keratoses may take years to develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, the epidermis must be monitored for them with regular screenings, and if found, they must be promptly examined by a dermatologist. Fair-skinned people are most susceptible to AK’s, and require regular full-body skin cancer screenings. The best way to prevent the occurrence of these pre-cancerous lesions is through vigilant sun protection. There are several ways the dermatologist can remove AK’s. Methods include cryosurgery, or freezing with liquid nitrogen; excision; dermatological surgery and laser/photodynamic surgery.
An Angioma is basically a growth on the skin consisting of blood vessels, which is benign. There are several types of angiomas, including Spider Angiomas and Cherry Angiomas, and they can occur anywhere on the body. Only when present in large numbers do they typically warn of a potentially serious condition. They can be treated by laser therapy or liquid nitrogen, at the discretion of the dermatologist.
Hemangiomas, which usually appear at birth or within a few months after, are tumors or lesions consisting of blood or lymph vessels, and their size can increase rapidly before stopping and then reverting and often disappearing. Because bleeding and secondary infection is possible, a child with hemangiomas should be seen by a dermatologist.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and accounts for the majority of skin cancer deaths. Any sign of melanoma must be examined immediately by a Board Certified Dermatologist. This is imperative, especially since people tend to underplay the threat of skin cancer and its potential seriousness, and may have an inclination to delay a skin cancer screening, or to fail to regularly examine their own skin for potential lesions at home. Statistics warn against underestimating the threats of skin cancer. Melanoma causes 75% of all skin cancer deaths. Left untreated too long, it can quickly spread to other organs and become extremely difficult to contain.
A melanoma may appear on the skin as a pigmented patch or bump. It might resemble a normal mole, but typically is more irregular in appearance. A change in the appearance of an existing lesion or mole must also be promptly reported to the doctor, as this very change constitutes a warning sign.
Melasma is a condition evidenced by brown splotches or patches on the skin, often on the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose or upper lip. Its actual cause is unclear, but it appears to be related to a number of factors, including hormonal changes, sun exposure, and contraceptives. Melasma can be effectively treated with advanced lasers that penetrate deep enough to eliminate the cells causing the condition, but leave the surrounding healthy skin unaffected. Chemical peeling can also be effective at reducing Melasma. Topical creams containing hydroquinone or kojic acid may lighten the dark pigmented spots. Use of these should be monitored by a professional.
As for freckling, though certain types of skin are more susceptible, the best way to prevent it is rigorous adherence to sun protection, including daily use of sunscreen.
As dermatologists, we are highly concerned about the health of your skin, and recommend regular, rigorous monitoring of all moles on the body for skin cancer. This monitoring should include professional skin cancer screenings by a Board Certified Dermatologist and routine self-examinations in between professional ones. The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a visible change on the skin, like a new growth, or a change in an existing lesion or mole.
As for removal of moles for cosmetic reasons, there are several methods available, including chemical treatment and excision. A consultation with the dermatologist will determine what method is appropriate for you.
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes considerable discomfort, itches, and may result in cracking and bleeding. Though it cannot be cured, per se, under the advisement of a dermatologist, it can be controlled. Psoriasis can appear in several forms, most commonly as raised, reddish skin patches with white scales, and can range in intensity from mild to severe. It can occur anywhere on the skin, most frequently on the scalp, lower back, knees and elbows. Patients suffering from psoriasis should consult a dermatologist, who can ease the symptoms and manage the condition.
Eczema is a chronic condition that recurs, or becomes periodically ‘inflamed’, and technically cannot be cured but can be managed. Its cause is unknown, but is related to an abnormal response in the immune system. The condition is characterized by dry, red, itchy patches anywhere on the skin. Eczema is a general term for a variety of inflamed skin conditions, one of the most common of which is atopic dermatitis. It is often treated with topical medicine (steroids) by a dermatologist.
Rashes, of course, are symptoms, and may result from eczema or any number of factors, ranging from allergies to sunburn.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by redness, pimples, and, in advanced stages, thickened skin. Rosacea usually occurs on the face, and appears like flushing on the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. Adult women are afflicted more often than men by rosacea and its onset might be accompanied by a burning sensation, and the skin may be sensitive to lotions or make-up. There are several ways to approach the containment of rosacea. A consultation with the dermatologist will result in an appropriate treatment plan.
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