Hives are a common skin condition that may be caused by allergic reactions to medication, food, an insect bite or infection. Hives are swollen, itchy welts on the skin that can appear and disappear suddenly. They can sometimes burn or sting as well. Hives tend to be harmless and disappear on their own, but can be relieved by applying calamine lotion or taking antihistamines if needed.
Eczema is the name of a group of skin conditions involving red rashes that become irritated, moist, oozing or bumpy when scratched. Atopic dermatitis, also called infantile eczema, is a common form that affects about 10 percent of children. Symptoms almost always appear before the age of 5 and include dry, itchy, red, bumpy skin on the face or scalp that may crust over and spread to other areas of the body. The condition often improves and worsens cyclically over time, with flare-ups commonly occurring at puberty, but most patients outgrow the condition by the end of adolescence.
Keloids are an overgrowth of scar tissue that forms after a skin injury such as a surgical incision or wound. A keloid may be red, pink or flesh-colored and forms over the site of the injury as a nodular or ridged growth. The cause of keloids is unknown, but they are believed to be a result of the body’s failure to end the healing process and stop repairing skin. They may be hereditary as well.
Treatment for keloids is not usually necessary since they are harmless and may disappear over time. However, for cosmetic purposes, cryotherapy, steroid injections or laser treatments may be used to remove the keloid.
There are several different diseases that affect the nails, often as a result of a fungal or bacterial infection. Ingrown toenails are the most common nail ailment, involving the corners of the nails digging into the surrounding soft tissue, causing irritation and swelling. Fungal infection commonly affects the toenails (and sometimes the fingernails as well), as a result of exposure to a warm, moist environment, and cause thick, brittle and distorted nails.
Treatment for nail diseases may include oral or topical medications. The nail may need to be removed for severe infections. Patients can prevent nail conditions from developing by keeping the feet clean and dry, wearing shoes that fit well and clipping toenails straight across.
A rash is a change in the skin’s color or texture. Simple rashes are called dermatitis, which means the skin is inflamed or swollen. Other common rashes include eczema, psoriasis, impetigo, shingles, chicken pox, measles, scarlet fever, insect bites and those caused by medical conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
A dermatologist is usually able to identify the rash by looking at it and asking about accompanying symptoms. Mild rashes can often be treated with simple home care practices such as avoiding soaps and bathing in warm water. Others may require moisturizing creams, prescription medications or more extensive treatment.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes redness and swelling on the face and occasionally on the neck, ears, chest, back and eyes as well. The specific cause of rosacea is unknown, but is suspected to involve a combination of hereditary and environmental factors, and is most common in fair-skinned adults between the ages of 30 and 50. Certain triggers, such as consuming alcohol or spicy foods, may worsen symptoms of rosacea.
Treatment for rosacea aims to relieve symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups. This can be done through a combination of approaches, including topical and oral medications, antibiotics, Accutane®, or surgery for severe or permanent symptoms. Your doctor will develop a customized treatment plan after a thorough evaluation of each patient’s individual condition. While there is no cure for rosacea, many patients can achieve effective symptom relief for long periods of time.
Vitiligo is a common skin condition in which patches of the skin lose pigmentation and appear white. These patches develop when melanin is not produced properly, and tend to spread over time as the condition progresses. Some patients may also experience premature whitening of the hair and a loss of color inside the mouth. Although not harmful, patients with vitiligo are often bothered by their appearance and may seek treatment to correct their skin tone.
Treatment for vitiligo depends on the severity of the condition, and may include oral or topical medications, UVB therapy, depigmentation or skin grafts. While there is no cure for this condition, treatment is often effective in improving the appearance of the skin.
To learn more about our General Dermatology treatments, please call 847-675-9711 today to schedule a consultation.