Other Common Skin Conditions
Have you ever found yourself in front of the bathroom mirror wondering when that mole showed up? Is that, in fact, a mole? How long has that rash been around? Where did that bump come from? Is that itchy skin allergies or something else? What are those red spots?
If any of these questions sound familiar, it’s because they are. While acne is the most prevalent skin condition, it is, by no means, the only condition that affects large numbers of the population. Rashes, spots, warts, and bumps are all very common! And, yes, discovering a new blemish on your skin may be concerning. Don’t panic! By having a provider diagnose the condition, they can rule out any potentially serious concerns, often providing a simple and straightforward treatment.
Below are just some of the more common skin conditions we treat at Goodskin Dermatology.
Actinic keratosis (or solar keratosis) is scaly or dry skin, caused by over-exposure to UV light from the sun or tanning beds. A common skin condition found on the hands, forearms, face, and scalp, groups of these AKs often start as small, sandpaper-like patches of skin. They can range in color (skin-colored to red-brown) and can grow in size, from almost undetectable to larger than a quarter.
Actinic keratoses are considered to be pre-cancerous spots. Left undetected or untreated, they can lead to skin cancer. Having a dermatology provider examine any worrisome dry or scaly patches of skin will help identify any AKs early on. Effective treatment can then be used to prevent the potential progression of skin cancer.
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
Atopic dermatitis, commonly referred to as eczema, is a chronic and recurring rash, which causes dry, itchy, and often inflamed skin.
While undetectable at times, acute or short term flares of this common skin condition (typically lasting a couple of weeks) can present as cracked, ruddy, or raised skin, often accompanied by itchiness and discomfort. Chronic flares can alter the appearance of skin, making it dark and thick, requiring a longer period of treatment.
Flares can vary widely from person to person. While not considered primary causes of eczema, there are a number of environmental triggers that can potentially induce a flare. Typical triggers include:
- Skin Irritants: Chemicals like bleach or chlorine, cleaning products like laundry detergent, dish/hand soaps, perfumes, and some fabrics.
- Allergens: Pet dander, pollens, plants, molds, and other substances that can cause allergic reactions.
- Climate and Temperature: Extreme dryness, humidity, heat, or cold. For some individuals, this doesn’t exclude air conditioning or heaters.
- Stressors: While not determined to be a definitive cause, stressors or stress-causing circumstances may contribute to the prevalence of flares.
Eczema does have multiple options for treatment meant to heal the skin, reduce discomfort, and prevent future flares. Because of this, your provider will consider the severity of the condition and other factors to determine a course of treatment that is right for you.
Contact dermatitis is often caused by environmental allergens coming in contact with our skin, causing an adverse reaction. Typically, it shows up in the form of an itchy rash. We come into contact with all sorts of things during our daily lives, most of which have no effect on us. However, sometimes frequent, repeated exposure to an allergen is enough for an individual to develop an aversion to it. At that point, occasional exposure in the future can manifest on the skin as a rash.
Perfumes, cosmetics, certain plants, metals, or chemicals can all cause this allergic reaction. For some, the reaction appears within hours of exposure, forming at the location of contact. This makes it easier to figure out exactly what caused the rash. Reactions on the ear lobes or on the wrist may indicate a nickel allergy from jewelry; development on the hands may have been caused by latex gloves or contact with a chemical cleaner.
Rosacea is a fairly common skin condition, affecting 16 million U.S. adults, typically between 30 and 50 years-old. Primarily, rosacea manifests as a propensity to turn red or blush. However, it can advance into forming acne, chronic redness of the skin, and thin blood vessels visible on the face. Additional symptoms in more severe subtypes of the condition include itchy, tight, or dry skin, swelling at the center of the face, thickening skin, swollen eyelids, and bumps that appear on the nose.
Causes of rosacea are not well known, but it is likely that both environmental factors and genetics play a role. Triggers such as sun exposure, high temperatures, and even the type of skin you have can contribute to a flare. It is not a contagious skin condition, so you cannot catch it from someone else.
Early diagnosis is important to slow or stop the condition from progressing towards more serious symptoms. Treatments range from simple lifestyle changes and use of medications to surgical or laser treatments for more severe cases.
Warts are common skin growths that are the result of being infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Although prevalent across the world, many people do not actually know they are infected by this virus. There are often no visible symptoms for very long periods of time, if ever. In many cases, people’s bodies are able to fight off the virus upon recognition before warts are ever formed.
However, sometimes when the skin is scratched, cut, or wounded, the HPV virus already in the body can infect the damaged skin tissue. The skin cells begin to reproduce at accelerated rates, forming growths commonly recognized as warts. They can form anywhere on the skin, from the soles of the feet (plantar warts) up to the face.
Warts will eventually go away without treatment, as the body’s immune system fights off the virus. However, this takes time (often years). For those who don’t want to wait that long, there are a few treatments that prove effective. Cryotherapy, the act of freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen, is a very common treatment. Alternatively, electrocautery, a device that uses electricity to destroy wart tissue, can be used. In addition, a range of prescriptions or over-the-counter medications can be employed to treat the warts.
The provider will assess the severity and locations of the warts, as well as consider the patient’s age, history, and preference in order to prescribe the most effective treatment.
More Common Skin Conditions
Additionally, Goodskin Dermatology treats a wide variety of other skin, nail, and hair conditions.
- Skin Cancer
- Nail Disorders
- Hair Loss
- Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)
- And much more…