Acne is the term for the blocked pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that can appear typically on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Seventeen million Americans currently have acne, making it the most common skin disease in the country. While it affects mostly teenagers, and almost all teenagers have some form of acne, adults of any age can have it. Acne is not life-threatening, but it can cause physical disfigurement (scarring) and emotional distress.
Treatment for acne varies depending on the type and severity of lesions, as well as the patient's skin type, age and lifestyle. Options include:
- Topical Medications
- Photodynamic Therapy
- Skin Care
- Blu-U Light Treatments
- Blackhead Extraction
- Laser Treatments
Acne scarring can be treated in a variety of ways as well. These include:
- Chemical Peels
- Soft Tissue Fillers
- Laser/Pulsed Light Treatments
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes redness and swelling on the face. Symptoms range from red pimples, lines and visible blood vessels to dry or burning skin and a tendency to flush easily. While there is no cure for rosacea, there are plenty of effective treatments available.
First and foremost, daily use of sunscreen is essential to reduce the likelihood of rosacea flare ups. Topical treatments such as Metrogel, Finacea and sulfur creams or washes can successfully decrease the appearance of symptoms. There are also cosmaceuticals, such as Avene's Diroseal, which feature a green tint that can neutralize redness and minimize swelling. Oracea is an oral medication that helps reduce the bumps and blemishes so common in rosacea. For more persistent cases, the Vbeam pulsed dye laser can safely, comfortably and effectively treat rosacea, virtually eliminating the redness and lesions associated with this condition.
Eczema is a group of inflamed skin conditions that result in chronic itchy rashes. About 15 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of eczema, including 10-20 percent of all infants. Symptoms vary from person to person but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin which break out in rashes when scratched.
Objects and conditions that trigger itchy eczema outbreaks may include rough or coarse materials touching the skin, excessive heat or sweating, soaps, detergents, disinfectants, fruit and meat juices, dust mites, animal saliva and danders, upper respiratory infections and stress.
Treatment involves the restriction of scratching, use of moisturizing lotions or creams, cold compresses and nonprescription anti-inflammatory corticosteroid creams and ointments. If this proves insufficient, physicians may prescribe corticosteroid medication, antibiotics to combat infection, or sedative antihistamines. Phototherapy is a common procedure that uses light to reduce rashes. For severe cases, drugs such as cyclosporine A may be recommended.
Psoriasis is a term that encompasses a group of chronic skin disorders that affect any part of the body from the scalp to the toenails, but most frequently affect the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet and genitals. Over seven million men and women in the U.S. of all ages have some form of psoriasis, which may be mild, moderate or severe. In addition, it may be categorized into different types: plaque, pustular, erythrodermic, guttate or inverse psoriasis. Most forms involve an itching and/or burning sensation, scaling and crusting of the skin.
Psoriasis cannot be cured but it can be treated successfully, sometimes for months or years and occasionally even permanently. Treatment depends on the type, severity and location of psoriasis; the patient's age, medical history and lifestyle; and the effect the disease has on the patient's general mental health. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy, photochemotherapy (PUVA), and oral or injectable medication (for severe symptoms).
Laser Treatment for Psoriasis
The excimer laser is an effective form of treatment for inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis. This advanced device offers patients a safe, successful and minimally invasive solution to the red, itchy skin caused by psoriasis flare-ups. The excimer laser delivers targeted beams of intense laser light to clear lesions and provide significant relief without damaging nearby healthy skin. Each excimer laser treatment session takes only a few minutes to perform in the doctor’s office, with no anesthesia needed. The laser energy can be precisely delivered to lesions nearly anywhere on the body, including previously hard-to-treat areas such as the elbows and knees. The results of the excimer laser treatment can last for six months or longer.
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.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
What is it?
Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin condition caused by allergic reaction to a certain material that comes in contact with the skin. The reaction appears on the skin as a rash several hours or several days after contact.
What are the symptoms?
- Cracked skin
Who gets it?
Anyone can be affected by allergic contact dermatitis, which involves sensitivity to certain allergens that seem otherwise harmless, such as nickel, rubber, medications, fragrances, poison ivy and other plants.
How is it treated?
Most cases of allergic contact dermatitis will go away on their own, but medications can be taken to relieve symptoms. Corticosteroids and antihistamines are often effective in relieving the symptoms of a reaction by reducing inflammation.
The best defense against this condition is to avoid contact with the trigger substance, which can help prevent symptoms from occurring. It is important to identify the individual trigger that caused your symptoms, so that it can be more easily avoided.