Skin Care Institute – Common Medical Conditions
Your skin is your largest organ. It shields you from heat, cold, germs, and dangerous substances and provides insight into overall health; any change to its surface could signal medical issues.
An effective skin health routine includes using gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen with sun protection factors of 30 or higher.
Acne is one of the most prevalent skin conditions, affecting 50 million Americans annually. Acne is caused by the overproduction of sebum by hair follicles and oil glands (sebaceous glands), leading to pores becoming clogged with dead skin cells and oil, creating blackheads to whiteheads ranging in severity ranging from blackheads to severe cystic acne blemishes on the face, neck shoulders back chest. While acne usually first manifests itself during puberty due to hormonal changes, adult acne can affect adults from their 20s through 40s and even 50s as it impacts hormone changes on these organs as it continues to produce sebum.
Acne can be caused by many factors, including stress, diet, hygiene practices, and using makeup or skin products that do not comply with noncomedogenic regulations (i.e., do not block your pores). It may also occur as a side effect of medications like lithium or corticosteroids. Acne typically appears on the face, neck, chest, or shoulders as these areas contain more oil glands; however, it can appear anywhere that has oil glands, like arms, back, or stomach. Severe acne scarring can occur; mild to moderate cases can heal without leaving lasting scarring behind – caught and treated early, these cases may even heal without leaving lasting scarring behind!
Psoriasis causes itchy, scaly patches on the skin, most commonly on elbows, knees, and scalp but sometimes on other parts. Scaly patches may be silvery white or red. Psoriasis is a chronic condition with flare-ups occurring periodically over one’s life; researchers believe it to be caused by genetics and immune system issues. Its cause remains unknown, but some factors include the genes responsible. These genes have instructions for cell creation such as eye color, hair thickness, or food taste; in people living with psoriasis, these genes become overactive, leading to inflammation that triggers an overproduction of skin cells, resulting in too quick an onset of symptoms.
These rapidly multiplying skin cells build up on the skin’s surface, leaving unsightly red spots covered with scales. Plaque psoriasis is one form of psoriasis, often found on knees, elbows, and scalp but sometimes seen elsewhere on the body. Pustular psoriasis appears as tiny bumps filled with yellow material on palms and soles. In contrast, guttate psoriasis causes drop-like lesions all over your body – they can even crack and bleed – leaving these itchy red lesions covered in scales – but without treating it thoroughly, they may crack open over time, leaving untreated scar tissue behind.
Eczema is a long-term skin condition that impacts the quality of life of its sufferers. It can cause itchy, inflamed, red patches to appear anywhere on the body and is triggered by many different stimuli – smoke, soaps, fabric, and medications; allergies like hay fever and asthma; emotional triggers (such as stress or anxiety); triggers such as certain foods; as well as cold or hot weather.
Most cases of eczema result from an overactive immune system and lead to itchy, dry skin. The itchiness is caused by a breached skin barrier, which allows moisture to escape and exposes it to harsh environmental conditions or allergens that worsen its condition.
Though eczema cannot be cured, you can effectively manage its symptoms through skincare and medication. Your dermatologist can help you find the appropriate plan, such as prescription-strength creams or lotions, to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. Some people may also require steroid creams or injections; they will perform a complete work-up, including allergy testing, to identify what kind of eczema you have and how best to avoid triggers that make flare-ups appear.
Wrinkles are folds of skin that form naturally with age or due to sun damage, smoking, or repetitive facial movements. Although wrinkles cannot be avoided entirely, they can be smoothed using non-surgical and surgical treatments.
Wrinkle formation occurs as a result of changes that take place in your skin as you age. Cells divide less frequently, leading to thinner dermis layers, which weaken support and elasticity networks like collagen/elastin fibers that formerly offered support and elasticity but now loosen and unravel, leading to depressions on your surface skin surface. Fat also diminishes, and sebaceous glands produce less oil, contributing to the skin surface’s dryness.
A combination of factors leads to gradual degradation and skin weakening, eventually leading to fine lines, deeper creases, and wrinkles. Wrinkles can be caused by lifestyle choices like overexposure to sunlight or smoking and diet habits like insufficient nutrients or too much sugar. The best way to prevent premature aging and wrinkles is to use sunscreen and limit sun exposure. Use sunblock when outside to avoid premature aging and wrinkles altogether.
Sun damage is one of the primary contributors to premature skin aging, dark spots, and wrinkles. It typically results from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays; UVA and UVB rays penetrate skin cells and activate their genetic material in unhealthy ways. This leads to the production of abnormal cells, which could become cancerous, affecting other parts of the body and causing basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma – three forms of skin cancer linked with UV exposure.
Sun damage symptoms include dull skin, dry skin, blemishes, clogged pores, and brown or red patches of discoloration that appear as brown or red dots on the surface. Saggy and leathery patches may also occur. Dermatologists often prescribe anti-aging creams or chemical exfoliants to boost cell turnover and lighten dark spots on your complexion.
Some individuals are at greater risk for sun damage than others, such as those with lighter skin tones who produce less melanin to protect the skin against UV rays. Also at increased risk are people who work outside or spend much time at higher altitudes where UV exposure increases; those exposed to more intense sun rays due to outdoor work or high altitude; those living with autoimmune diseases, such as Lupus or HIV, can also increase exposure.
Age spots are small dark areas on sun-exposed skin, usually among older adults. Age spots result from overactive pigment cells producing excessive melanin, the pigment responsible for giving skin its color. Sun exposure and tanning beds can increase melanin production quickly enough to cause age spots; freckle-sized age spots to 1/2 inches diameter age spots have also been noticed, often clustering together, making them even more apparent. Also referred to as liver spots, senile lentigo, solar lentigines, or sunspots, they occur among people of all ages and ethnicities alike, unlike freckles, which fade with no sun exposure.
Before considering treatments to diminish their appearance, a dermatologist or trained skin care professional must assess any new spots or changes to existing marks. Some forms of cancer and precancers can resemble age spots; thus, any change must be checked against possible indicators that it could be melanomas or another severe form of skin cancer.
Our medical professionals offer treatments to diminish or eradicate age spots significantly. Laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and bleaching creams may all provide effective solutions. For optimal results, multiple sessions of these procedures may be required for desired results.
Skin cancer can be a grave threat, yet it’s often treatable when detected early. The old saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies incredibly well when dealing with basal and squamous cell carcinoma.
BCC and SCC are among the most prevalent nonmelanoma skin cancers, often appearing on body parts exposed to sunlight or tanning beds, such as the face, neck, arms, hands, and legs. They typically form red, thickened patches on the skin, which bleed or crust over. People with prior family histories or compromised immune systems are at a greater risk for BCC or SCC and other nonmelanoma cancers.
Regular visits to a cosmetic dermatologist can significantly decrease your risk of skin cancers and other skin-related conditions, like sun spots or acne. Use sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher, and apply and reapply it regularly; avoid direct sun exposure from 10 am-4 pm during its hottest hours – 10 am and 4 pm; cover body parts with clothing, hats, or wide-brimmed hats during that period and don’t use sun lamps or fake tans – these measures will all help.