The providers at Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Associates can serve all your general dermatology needs. From acne to aging to Athlete’s Foot, we’ve got you covered. Click below to read more about a few common skin care needs.
Acne is a skin condition characterized by whiteheads, blackheads and inflamed red pimples or “zits.” Acne occurs when tiny holes on the surface of the skin, called pores, become clogged. Each pore is an opening to a canal called a follicle, which contains a hair and an oil gland. Normally, the oil glands help keep the skin lubricated and help remove old skin cells. When glands produce too much oil, the pores can become blocked and accumulate dirt, debris and bacteria. The blockage is called a plug or comedone.
The top of the plug may be white (whitehead) or dark (blackhead). If it ruptures, the material inside, including oil and bacteria, can spread to the surrounding area and cause an inflammatory reaction. If the inflammation is deep in your skin, the pimples may enlarge to form firm, painful cysts.
Acne commonly appears on the face and shoulders, but may also occur on the trunk, arms, legs and buttocks.
Acne is most common in teenagers, but it can happen at any age, even as an infant. Three out of four teenagers have acne to some extent, probably caused by hormonal changes that stimulate oil production. However, people in their 30s and 40s may also have acne.
One effective treatment for acne is photodynamic therapy. Learn more about PDT for acne here.
Actinic keratoses (AKs) are dry, scaly, rough-textured patches or lesions that form on the outermost layer of the skin after years of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, such as sunlight. These lesions typically range in color from skin-toned to reddish brown. They range in size from that of a pinhead to larger than a quarter. Occasionally, a lesion grows to resemble an animal horn and is called a “cutaneous horn.”
It is important that anyone with AKs be treated by a dermatologist. AKs are considered the earliest stage in the development of skin cancer and have the potential to progress to squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer that can be fatal. Anyone who develops AKs has extensive sun-damaged skin. This makes one more susceptible to other forms of skin cancer, including melanoma. Melanoma is considered the most lethal form of skin cancer because it can rapidly spread to the lymph system and internal organs.
People who live in areas like Florida, Arizona or even the Mid-South are exposed to greater sun intensity than those in other regions. These people can show signs of photo-aging in their 20s. In fact, some people who live in sun-intense areas develop actinic keratoses (AKs) and skin cancer in their 20s.
Dr. Patel recommends comprehensive sun protection to prevent premature aging caused by the sun.
Comprehensive sun protection includes:
- Avoiding deliberate tanning, including use of indoor tanning devices
- Staying out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest
- Wearing protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves, when outdoors during the day
- Applying sunscreen year-round. Sunscreen should be broad spectrum (offers UVA and UVB protection) and have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
- Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going outdoors to all skin that will be exposed. It should be re-applied after sweating or being in water.
Topical skin regimens to prevent and repair photo-aging can be further discussed with you during your visit.
Have more questions about the science of aging? Click here to read our blog post on the subject.
Angiomas are benign tumors made up of small blood vessels or lymph vessels. They usually appear at or near the surface of the skin. Angiomas may appear anywhere on the body, and may be considered bothersome depending on their location. However, they may be present as symptoms of another more serious disorder, such as cirrhosis. When they are removed, it is generally for cosmetic reasons.
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection of the skin that causes scaling, flaking and itching of affected areas. It is typically transmitted in moist areas where people walk barefoot, such as showers. Although the condition typically affects the feet, it can spread to other areas of the body, including the groin. Athlete’s foot can be prevented by good hygiene, and can be treated by a number of pharmaceutical and other treatments.
Dermatitis is a blanket term meaning any inflammation of the skin (e.g. rashes, etc.). There are several different types of dermatitis. The different kinds usually have in common an allergic reaction to specific allergens. The term may be used to refer to eczema, which is also known as dermatitis eczema or eczematous dermatitis. A diagnosis of eczema often implies childhood or atopic dermatitis, but without proper context, it means nothing more than a “rash.”
To learn more about eczema in children, read our blog post here.
To learn more about different varieties of rashes that affect children, read our blog post here.
Hair Loss/Hair Disorders
Hair disorders include excessive hairiness (hirsutism and hypertrichosis), hair loss (alopecia) and ingrown beard hairs (pseudofolliculitis barbae). Most hair disorders are not serious or life-threatening, but they are often perceived as major cosmetic issues that require treatment.
To learn more about hair loss, read our blog post here.
Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition in which a protein in the skin called keratin forms hard plugs within hair follicles. Keratosis pilaris is benign, self-limiting and often disappears with age. It is more common in patients who tend to have very dry skin, or who have atopic dermatitis (eczema). It seems to run in families. In mild cases, small bumps, similar in appearance to “goose bumps,” are found on the backs of the upper arms. The texture is that of very coarse sandpaper. Bumps may also appear on the buttocks and thighs. Less commonly, lesions appear on the face and may be mistaken for acne. Individual lesions consist of small, skin-colored papules that form within hair openings. The condition is generally worse in winter and often clears in the summer.
Everyone has moles. Most people think of a mole as a dark brown spot, but they have a wide range of appearance. At one time, a mole in a certain spot on the cheek of a woman was considered fashionable. These were called “beauty marks.” Some were even painted on. However, not all moles are beautiful. They can be raised from the skin and very noticeable, they may contain dark hairs or they may be dangerous. If you are concerned about a mole being dangerous or if you would like it removed for cosmetic reasons, call ADSCA for an examination.
Nail diseases are distinct from diseases of the skin. Although nails are a skin appendage, they have their own signs and symptoms, which may relate to other medical conditions. Nail conditions that show signs of infection or inflammation require medical assistance and cannot be treated at a beauty parlor. Deformity or disease of the nails may be referred to as onychosis.
Want to learn more about caring for your fingernails? Read our blog post here.
Pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation disorders affect the color of the skin. Skin cells provide color by making a substance called melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of skin, while others affect the entire body. If the body makes too much melanin, the skin gets darker.
Pregnancy, Addison’s disease and sun exposure all can make the skin darker. If the body makes too little melanin, skin gets lighter. Vitiligo is a condition that causes patches of light skin. Albinism is a genetic condition affecting all of a person’s skin. Infections, blisters and burns can also cause lighter skin.
Psoriasis is a very common condition. The disorder may affect people of any age, but it most commonly begins between ages 15 and 35. It can appear suddenly or slowly. In many cases, psoriasis goes away and then flares up repeatedly over time.
The condition is not contagious. Psoriasis seems to be an inherited disorder. That means it is passed down through families. Doctors think it likely occurs when the body’s immune system mistakes healthy cells for dangerous substances. Skin cells grow deep in the skin and normally rise to the surface about once a month. In people with psoriasis, this process is too fast and dead skin cells build up on the skin’s surface.
There are a variety of treatments available for psoriasis, and can be discussed in your appointment.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes redness and swelling of the face. It can also affect the scalp, neck, ears, chest and back. Eye symptoms (ocular rosacea) are also reported by approximately half of people with rosacea.
Those afflicted with rosacea may first notice a tendency to flush or blush easily. The condition progresses to persistent redness, pimples and visible, threadlike blood vessels (telangiectasias) in the center of the face. These skin changes can eventually spread to the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose.
Rosacea occurs most commonly in people ages 30 to 50 years old. Although women have rosacea more commonly than men, men tend to suffer more severe forms.
Although there is no cure for rosacea, a variety of treatments will reduce its appearance and prevent further progression. If allowed to worsen over a long period, rosacea may become more difficult to treat, and it could take longer to see positive results.
Treatments for rosacea include oral and topical medications, lifestyle modifications, laser and light therapies and surgical procedures (used mostly for advanced cases). These treatments are often combined for better results.
Want to learn more about rosacea? Click here to read our blog post.