Acne is an inflammatory skin disease most common in the teenage years but also affecting adults. The hallmark acne lesion is a comedone which can be open or closed and often referred to as a blackhead or whitehead. These type acne lesions best respond to vitamin A derivitives such as tretinoin (Retin-A), adapalene (Differin), or tazorotene (Tazorac) which are applied nightly. Many individuals also experience acne lesions characterized by red bumps, cysts, and scarring. This type of acne is usually first treated with short courses oral antibiotics which are used for their anti-inflammatory properties as well as their antimicrobial action to kill bacteria associated with acne. Other anti-inflammatory and comedolytic medications such as topical dapsone (Aczone), azelaic acid (Finacea), benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid may be helpful. In cases where acne isn’t responding to conventional topical and oral treatment regimens, stronger vitamin medicines taken orally such as isotretinoin (Accutane, Absorica, Claravis, Myorisan) may be indicated. Our goal is to tailor an acne treatment regimen that best fits each individual patient since many factors (skin type, oily or dry skin, medications already tried, presence of scarring, and type of acne) influence what will be most effective. It’s very important to treat acne as early as possible to avoid scars that may last forever.
Benign Skin Growths
Many skin lesions are considered benign meaning that they are not cancerous and don’t pose any harm to your overall health. Usually there is no need to treat or remove these lesions unless they are symptomatic or cosmetically unacceptable. Most insurance will only cover removal of a benign skin growth if it is symptomatic (itchy, bleeding, tender, or painful). Benign skin lesions treated for cosmetic purposes must be paid out of pocket at the time of service. One of our providers would be happy to evaluate your skin growths and discuss with your treatment options. Often times a growth that you may think is benign may not be so. Seeking professional evaluation is always recommended if you have any doubts.
Dark spots are usually caused by the sun in which case they are lentigos (sun spots) or freckles. Other benign skin growths can be characterized as darks spots including seborrheic keratosis (a benign growth), benign moles, and melanoma. Sometimes dark spots are the result of prior inflammation in the skin such as from acne, eczema, infection, or other rashes. The darker your skin complexion and easier you tan the more likely you are to get dark spots from inflammation. Sun protection is the most important thing to do first in preventing and treating dark spots. Other treatments that we offer may be very beneficial and include laser IPL treatments, prescription bleaching creams, chemical peels, Obagi, and cryotherapy.
Dry skin is one of the most common problems we encounter and affects virtually everyone at some point during their lifetime. Some individuals however have genetic predispositions or are taking medications which make them more susceptible to getting dry skin which can decrease skin barrier function and lead to other conditions such as eczema and viral and bacterial infections. Daily moisturizer is essential to any dry skin regimen and sometimes prescription moisturizers such as urea can be given as well as other recommendations.
Eczema is a common inflammatory skin disease usually characterized by itchy dry skin. There are many different types of eczema which can affect different parts of the body. Based on the type of eczema, we tailor a treatment plan that will best suit you. Before coming to see your physician for eczema you might first try mild soaps (Dove, Cetaphil, or Aveeno) and heavy application of fragrance free moisturizers. Antihistamines and topical cortisones are often prescribed to alleviate symptoms and control the inflammation. Most kids grow out of eczema but some continue to have it into adulthood. It’s also not uncommon to get eczema for the first time later in adult life which may be precipitated by medications, hormonal changes, environmental factors, and heredity.
Folliculitis is a common skin condition in which staph bacteria causes inflammation of your hair follicles. Most individuals will just have small pinpoint red bumps or pustules which come and go intermittently. Folliculitis is more common in areas of high moisture and occlusion such as legs, buttocks, and axilla. If infection of the follicles persists, larger tender nodules and bumps called furuncles also commonly referred to as “boils” may form. Symptoms include red bumps, pustules, itching, and most often involves scalp, back, legs, axilla, and occasionally the arms and face. Predisposing factors include heat, increased sweating, bathing infrequently, diabetes, immobility, history of staph infection, family members with history of staph infection or “boils”, and history of eczema.
There are a wide array of hair disorders which include alopecias, fungal infections, bacterial infections, autoimmune disorders, and vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Many of these can be easily treated if properly diagnosed. Our providers will evaluate your hair and design a treatment regimen that best fits you.
Hyperhidrosis is a common disorder involving the overproduction of sweat. This disorder affects millions of people on a daily basis who don’t even realize that there are treatment options available. Treatment options we offer include topical and oral agents to prevent sweat production as well as Botox treatments.
Moles also known as nevi are collections of skin cells called melanocytes which produce color in the skin and most are acquired early in life during childhood and early adulthood. It’s important to monitor your moles for significant changes as these may be the precursor to melanoma in some individuals. Our providers are experts at evaluating and treating moles.
Molluscum are benign skin growths caused by a virus. These are very common in children and almost always spontaneously resolve without treatment but sometimes this may take months to years to occur. Our providers can discuss with you treatments available to speed resolution.
Disorders of the nail are one of the most common problems seen in our practice. Many times the nail changes are secondary to other underlying medical problems, but often they are associated with a primary problem that we can help diagnose and treat. Many treatable disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, vitamin deficiencies, alopecia areata, and infections both fungal and bacterial may affect the nail.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease driven by the immune system which affects millions of men, women, and children on a daily basis. In years past treatments were lacking for psoriasis but today we have a wide array of excellent treatments that help clear your psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect both the skin and the joints creating a complex problem which need early detection and intervention to avoid permanent joint damage. More and more research is accumulating that shows direct correlation between the inflammation of psoriasis and increased risks of other problems such as cardiovascular diseases.
Red spots are one of the most common skin problems encountered in adults and are often caused by angiomas, port wine stains, birth marks, dilated blood vessels, broken blood vessels, sun damage, or rosacea. Sometimes they can be confused with precancerous lesions called actinic keratosis or other benign skin lesions. Fortunately our providers are experts at evaluating and treating red spots on the skin. We offer many treatments including laser, hyfrecation, sclerotherapy, and new topical medications such as Mirvaso.
Rosacea is a very common skin disease of adults which is characterized by four main components: redness/broken blood vessels, enlargement of oil glands, inflammation of the glands in the eyelids, and red bumps similar to acne. Individuals with rosacea may have one or more of the components noted above. Treatment is tailored individually based on which types of rosacea are present. Topical and oral medications are often needed. We offer laser treatments that can be very beneficial for the redness of rosacea.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a disease of the scalp and skin which causes flaking, itching, and red patches or plaques very similar to psoriasis. Most current research still supports the thought that this disease is the immune system’s reaction to a yeast that normally lives in the oil glands. Many of the treatments that work best target this yeast and the associated inflammation that it causes. Our providers are experts at diagnosing and treating seborrheic dermatitis and have many treatments to offer.
Many types of infection can affect the skin including bacterial, fungal, and viral. Our providers have been professionally trained to diagnose and treat many different types of skin infections including viruses (warts, molluscum, herpes, and shingles), bacteria (staph, impetigo, boils, and abscesses), and fungus (jock itch, nail fungus, ringworm, athletes foot, and yeast infections).
Warts are a type of benign skin growth that arises from a virus that infects the skin. We offer many treatments for warts of any type in both children and adults. Ask one of our providers about the best therapy for you.