Common Skin Conditions

Acne

Acne is a very common condition that tends to be hereditary, usually beginning during adolescence and subsiding by the late twenties. In some cases, however, acne may also begin later in life and last well into middle age.

Common Skin Conditions - Acne

The years of adolescence are full of changes, and living with acne need not be an accepted rite of passage to adulthood. When acne is present early, effective medical intervention will greatly improve the outcome and prevent scarring. Adolescent acne can be controlled with proper skincare and regular use of appropriate medications or treatments, such as the Acleara; any treatment will take patience and persistence.

Acleara® Acne Therapy

A breakthrough acne treatment that combines a vacuum with pulses of specially-filtered light to help clear your pores and treat acne outbreaks.  The Acleara® device is cleared by the FDA to treat a wide range of acne in all skin types.  The treatment generally takes about 15 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area.  Current acne outbreaks begin clearing up in as little as 2 days.

Acne scarring treatments are also available.

For more information on acne CLICK HERE.

Psoriasis

At Van Dam Dermatology & Laser Center, we offer a full range of care that brings new hope to patients suffering from psoriasis. Available treatments include topical medications, oral treatments with retinoids, methotrexate, cyclosporin and newer biologic injection therapies such as Enbrel® or Humira®.
Psoriasis is a common chronic skin disease; it is considered to be an auto-immune disease that often appears between ages 15 and 35, but can develop at any age. Psoriasis comes in different forms and varying levels of severity. It is not contagious.

Psoriasis generally appears as patches of raised red skin covered by flaky scales. In certain kinds of psoriasis, it also has a pimple-like (pustular psoriasis) or sun-burned (erythrodermic) appearance. Psoriasis is frequently found on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet or lower back. Intense itching and burning may be present (but not always), and management is the key to your comfort and health.

In people without psoriasis, skin cells mature and are shed about every 28 days. Once the disease is triggered, skin cells accululate up on the surface of the body faster than normal, moving rapidly up to the surface of the skin over three to six days. Because the body can't shed the skin cells fast enough, patches develop on the skin's surface.

Possible psoriasis triggers include:

  • Emotional stress
  • Injury to the skin
  • Some types of infection
  • Reaction to certain drugs

Eczema

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is one of the most common skin disorders with many causes and many effective treatments. Eczema affects children and adults of all ages, with symptoms that range from dry skin and an itchy feeling, to severe itching, swelling, redness and even oozing. Eczema can be unattractive and feel uncomfortable but it is not contagious.

In addition to successfully treating your rash, identification of the causes of eczema can minimize future problems. Treatments can include moisturizers, topical steroids and newer, non-steroid anti-inflammatory creams and ointments that can offer effectiveness comparable to steroids but with fewer potential side effects.

Eczema is most often triggered by:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Irritant reactions
  • Reactions to medications
  • Environmental factors such as low humidity
  • Hereditary factors

For some people eczema may be a one-time, limited experience. For others it may be a lifetime condition that requires careful lifestyle and medical management. At Van Dam Dermatology & Laser Center, our goal is to treat your symptoms and to help discover the causes of your eczema to prevent future outbreaks.

Rosacea

Common Skin Conditions - Rosacea

Rosacea is an adult-onset complexion disorder that appears as pimple-like bumps that come and go. Redness or flushing of the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead may also be features of rosacea. The condition is not harmful to one's health, but is often uncomfortable and can adversely affect one's appearance and self-esteem.

Rosacea may begin with an intermittent flushed appearance of the cheeks and chin. Over time, the redness may become more intense and more persistent, and may develop on the nose or forehead. Visible blood vessels may also appear. Left untreated, in severe cases, the nose may grow permanently swollen and bumpy from excess tissue. In some rosacea patients, the eyes may also feel irritated and appear watery or bloodshot.

Rosacea can be controlled in nearly every case; however, there is no cure. The cause of rosacea is unknown, but avoidance of rosacea triggers such as certain foods or beverages, stress and environmental factors can help prevent flare-ups.

Treatment includes topical and oral prescription medicines to control or reverse the signs and symptoms of rosacea. In addition, at Van Dam Dermatology & Laser Center, our expertise in Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) can provide effective, long-term clearing of visible redness and blood vessels characteristic of rosacea. One treatment can produce visible improvement; a series of 3-5 treatments may be required depending on your individual conditions and goals for improvement.

CONTAGIOUS SKIN CONDITIONS

Molluscum Contagiosum 

Molluscum Contagiosum is a virus infection which appears as small bumps (1 to 4 mm) on the skin, often with small, dimple-like depressions in their centers. These growth may occur on any part of the body, and there may be a single growth or as many as 50 or more.

As the name suggests, these growths are contagious and are spread from place to place on the body and to other people by physical contact. Sometimes they are spread by sexual contact, and if you feel this is a possibility, sexual partners should be examined for presence of lesions.

Treatment consists of physically removing these superficial growths from the skin. This may be done by curettement (scraping them off with a special surgical instrument), application of various medicines to the lesions, or freezing with liquid nitrogen. Sometimes these viral growths can also become infected with bacteria and may require antibiotic therapy. Since Molluscum Contagiosum lesions sometimes go away by themselves, treatment by cautery or surgery requiring stitches is avoided because of the scarring that results from these methods.

Sometimes new lesions keep appearing after treatment. This happens because some growths are in an early stage at the time of the treatment and these “incubating” lesions are too small to be seen. At the present time, there is no oral medicine which makes these growths go away. Repeat treatments are usually necessary until new lesions stop appearing; this may occur after the first treatment or only after several visits to the office.

Treatment with Canthardin

The liquid medicine (cantharidin) applied to Molluscum Contagiosum lesions usually causes a small blister-reaction after a few hours. While the blister is forming there may be some pain, but discomfort should subside over the next 1-2 days.

Severe pain is not common but if it occurs it may be treated with Tylenol™, aspirin or ibuprofen. It may also help to bathe the areas in water of a comfortable temperature. It is important to keep the treated skin clean

Large blisters may occasionally form and these can be punctured and drained using a sterilized needle. After a week to ten days, most treated lesions will have formed a dry crust (scab) and many may have come off the skin. Red marks at treatment sites eventually disappear. Any new or remaining lesions will be evaluated upon your return visit and will be re-treated as needed.

WARTS

Warts are common growths that are the result of skin being infected by the HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS. This virus is present in the growths as well as on many surfaces touched by our hands and feet. Frequent touching and picking of warts may allow them to spread. Although some people may have a natural resistance to warts, it is advisable to avoid direct contact with warts on other people and to wear foot protection such as sandals or rubber flip-flops when you are in places where other people go barefoot.

Warts may develop on any part of the body including the face, scalp, lips, nose and genital area as well as on the hands, feet, elbows and knees. There are common warts (verruca vulgaris) which grow outward from the skin and there are flat warts (verruca plana) which are usually small, flat-topped and only slightly elevated. Some warts are pushed into the skin by pressure, such as those on the bottom of the foot. The bottom of the foot is called the plantar surface and this is why warts in this location are called plantar warts. Some warts contain a few dark specks. They are the remains of tiny blood vessels that became trapped in the rapidly growing wart.

TREATMENT

Some warts go away without medical treatment because your immune system destroys them from the inside. There are many treatments for warts, but there is no single best therapy for all warts. Since no medicine exists which actually kills the wart virus (as penicillin kills bacteria), most warts are removed by destroying the skin infected with the virus.

This can be done with a variety of surgical techniques including freezing with liquid nitrogen, medicines applied to the warts, or with laser surgery. Sometimes medicine is injected into warts in order to remove them. The specific treatment used on a wart depends on its size, location and other factors.

Frequently, a wart will not be completely removed by one treatment and the wart must be retreated until it is completely gone. Even then, a wart may return in the same spot weeks or months after it appears to have been cured. New warts may form while existing ones are being successfully treated. When one method of treatment does not seem to be working or is poorly tolerated, a different treatment can be used. Patience and perseverance will usually result in successful elimination of most warts.

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