Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by a virus. Wart viruses are contagious and can spread through direct contact or contact with something that has touched the wart. Warts can also spread from one part of the patient’s body to another. Warts found on children often go without treatment because they normally clear up by themselves. Adults have multiple options for wart treatment, including Cantharidin, Cryotherapy, Electrosurgery and curettage, or excision. Cantharidin is a treatment applied to the wart that creates a blister underneath it and makes it possible for the wart to be removed from the skin about a week later. Cryotherapy is the most common treatment, where the wart is frozen off the skin. It is normal to need more than one cryotherapy treatment. Electrosurgery, or burning, is a good treatment for common warts and is combined with curettage (scraping off the wart) to complete the treatment. Excision is a treatment that involves cutting the wart out of the skin.
Rosacea frequently begins as a tendency to flush or blush easily. It is sometimes referred to as adult acne but does not have blackheads. It may progress to persistent redness in the center of the face that may gradually involve the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose. Occasionally, people suffer from ocular rosacea (rosacea affecting the eye area).
Rosacea may be triggered by the sun, stress, and ingestion of histamine foods and medicines such as antihypertensives and hormonal replacements.
Topical medications used to treat rosacea include Metronidazole (Metrogel), Azelaic acid (Finacea), Sulfa-based medications (Klaron). Oral antibiotics may also be used when pimples/pustules are present. Laser therapy, targeted at blood vessels, can help reduce redness.
The exact cause of psoriasis is still unknown, but we do know the immune system activates a type of white blood cell which causes inflammation and the skin to grow more rapidly than normal. With psoriasis, the skin replaces itself about every 3-4 days verses normal skin which takes about 30 days.
The most common type of psoriasis is plaque type (approximately 80% of people).
Psoriasis can be triggered by physical trauma known as Koebner’s phenomenon, stress, infection, or by taking certain medicines. Dry and cold winter weather and lack of sunlight can also trigger psoriasis. Skin injuries, such as cuts, scratches, or severe sunburn can cause a psoriasis flare up.
Many treatments exist for psoriasis. Steroid creams, systemic and biologic agents, as well as light, are available.
Molluscum Contagiosum is a common disease that is spread by a virus. The virus can be transmitted to others through direct skin to skin contact, sharing towels and clothing, or by touching infected athletic mats and similar items. Symptoms of Molluscum Contagiosum include pink or flesh-colored bumps anywhere on the skin. The average person normally has 10-20 bumps, but a patient with a weakened immune system may experience many more. When the bumps are visible on the skin, the virus is contagious.
- Cryosurgery: a procedure in which the bumps are frozen off with liquid nitrogen.
- Curettage: scraping the bumps from the patient’s skin with a small tool.
- Laser treatment: used to destroy the bumps, and can be a good option for patients with a weakened immune system.
- Topical therapy: a good choice for patients with a weakened immune system, includes the use of acids or blistering solutions to destroy the bumps.
- Prescription treatments: applied by the patient to his or her own skin at home.
It is absolutely normal for adults and children to have a few moles on the body. They are most often nothing to worry about, but it is possible for Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, to begin in a mole. Most moles do not require any type of treatment, but some patients may wish to have moles removed if they find them to be unattractive or bothersome. Moles that have the potential to become skin cancer are also removed. This can be accomplished in two ways: surgical excision or surgical shave. Surgical excision entails cutting the mole entirely out of the skin and stitching the area closed. If the mole is suspected to be cancerous, it will be sent to a lab for biopsy. A surgical shave entails the use of a surgical blade to remove the mole from the top of the skin.
Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that most commonly affects women who are breastfeeding. In most cases, the infection occurs within the first 6-12 weeks after giving birth and causes pain, swelling, warmth and redness. Mastitis is treated with a course of antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. It is also common to take mild painkillers as well as the antibiotic.
Keratosis Pilaris is a skin condition that causes dry, rough patches with tiny bumps on the skin. It normally occurs on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks or buttocks. Keratosis Pilaris is a harmless condition that carries no painful symptoms.
Although there is no cure, keratosis pilaris can be treated with moisturizers and prescription creams. The condition normally goes away by the time the patient is around age 30.
Eczema is a skin condition that affects an estimated 35 million people in the US. The condition causes symptoms such as dry skin, itching, red or inflamed skin and swelling. Though there is no cure, Eczema patients have treatment options that include moisturizers, over the counter cleansers and products, or prescription medications. Phototherapy, which exposes the area to light, is another possible treatment for Eczema.
Acne is a skin condition consisting of clogged pores, inflamed pimples (pustules), and deeper lumps sometimes called nodules. Acne occurs on most areas of the skin where sebaceous glands (oil glands) are most prevalent. This includes the face, neck, chest, back, and upper arms. Most teenagers have some level of acne, but acne can also occur in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, or even older. Untreated acne can leave permanent scars. Many treatments are available, including over-the-counter creams and prescription medications.
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