What does an actinic keratosis look like?
These small, scaly flat patches of skin are often felt before they are seen. They can be flesh-colored, white, tan, or pink and most often show up on sun-exposed areas of the skin such as the lips, ears, hands, face, or shoulders. Since most squamous cell carcinomas begin as actinic keratosis (AK), it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist if you are concerned that you might have actinic keratosis.
Am I at risk?
If you have a history of unprotected sun exposure or exposure to artificial UV light (e.g. tanning beds), if you are fair-skinned, or if you have a family history of actinic keratosis, it’s a good idea to examine your body and face once a month to keep tabs on any changes you may see. You should also see a dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive checkup and skin cancer screening.
What can I do to protect myself?
One of the best ways to reduce your risk for actinic keratosis is to limit sun exposure and to wear a full-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you are also wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses if you do plan to spend any time out in the sun.
How is actinic keratosis treated?
The good news is that your dermatologist caught your actinic keratosis before it had a chance to turn into a squamous cell carcinoma, which also means removing this precancerous patch is quick and easy. Actinic keratosis may be treated with cryotherapy (to freeze off the lesion), topical medication, or laser therapy. Your dermatologist will discuss the best way to remove your actinic keratosis. Since actinic keratosis can come back, it’s important that you come in at least once a year for a skin exam.
What is seborrheic dermatitis?
This condition can affect both children and adults. This problem may first begin in infants. This scaly skin that develops on your infant’s head is also referred to as cradle cap. As an adult, seborrheic dermatitis can also affect the ears, nose, and eyebrows, as well as the armpits and groin. This scaly rash may also be itchy.
What causes it?
While the cause is still unknown certain things might trigger or cause a flare-up. This includes everything from stress and genetics to certain medical conditions and living in cold, dry climates.
Who is at risk for developing seborrheic dermatitis?
Newborns are more likely to develop seborrheic dermatitis; however, adults between the ages of 30-60 are also at risk. Some risk factors that can raise your risk as an adult include:
- Oily skin
While there is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis, the good news is that sometimes this condition clears up on its own without treatment. If you are dealing with persistent or severe flare-ups, then it’s time to talk with a dermatologist about ways to better control your symptoms.
How is it treated?
A dermatologist will start with simple, conservative treatment options such as topical medications, lotions, creams, or shampoos that contain ingredients such as coal tar, salicylic acid, or zinc pyrithione. If your baby is dealing with seborrheic dermatitis, make sure you talk to the child’s pediatrician before you use anything on their scalp.
Sometimes sulfur-based skincare products or corticosteroid creams are prescribed by a dermatologist to treat more severe flare-ups that aren’t responding to over-the-counter treatment options.
If you are experiencing symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, it’s always a good idea to turn to a dermatologist who is qualified to properly evaluate, diagnose, and treat any conditions impacting the skin, nails, or hair. Turn to a dermatologist today for the treatment and care you need to get seborrheic dermatitis under control.
Although there is no cure for Shingles, antiviral medication can shorten the duration of the illness. Acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir are typical antiviral treatments that are most effective when taken as soon as a rash appears. Contact a dermatologist or other physician right away if you think you might have Shingles or within three days of receiving a rash. Delay in or lack of medical treatment can cause complications such as nerve pain called Postherpetic Neuralgia (PHN) after the rash has healed. An affliction in or near the eye could lead to blindness if not cared for by an ophthalmologist.
In addition, the pain that accompanies the rash is extremely uncomfortable and can impede your everyday functions. Ibuprofens can help alleviate pain; however, the following methods can also provide some relief and promote faster healing:
- Take a cool or lukewarm bath with oatmeal
- Reduce stress with a relaxing activity
- Apply cool compresses
- Use Calamine lotion
- Keep the rash dry by applying corn starch or baking soda
- Wear loose clothing
Although Shingles can be quite debilitating and painful, keep in mind that it is treatable. The sooner you seek medical care, the sooner you can shorten its duration, avoid further complications, and speed recovery. Adhere to the following guidelines if you suspect or know for sure you have contracted the Shingles virus:
- Contact your physician right away
- Take the prescribed dosage of antiviral medication without delay
- Follow any instructions given for ease of rash pain
- Avoid contact with vulnerable groups while the rash is still present
- Tell your doctor if you continue to have pain.
- Sensitivity to diapers or wipes
- Food sensitivities
- Excess moisture
- Bacteria or fungus
- Frequent diaper changes
- Good hygiene
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the use of warm water to clean the diaper area during changes, should wet wipes not be enough. Creams or emollients can serve as a barrier between the skin and the diaper to prevent further chafing and to keep the skin dry in between changes.
Diapers should be changed every few hours and whenever they become soiled. Your child's provider will be able to tell you more if you notice a diaper rash that is persistent or not responding to frequent changes, good hygiene, and diaper creams. Oral medicines or medicated creams may be prescribed on a case-by-case basis. These steps should prevent more discomfort and make diaper changing time a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.
This condition causes dark brown patches to develop on the skin and is more common in women who are pregnant, as well as women who take birth control pills and/or spend time in the sun. You can often prevent melasma by simply wearing sunscreen and staying out of the sun, especially if you take birth control pills. However, those with more moderate to severe brown spots may be prescribed hydroquinone or tretinoin creams, to lighten these patches.
Instead of dark brown patches, vitiligo causes white patches to develop on the skin. As you might imagine, white patches of skin are very susceptible to sunburns, so you must protect your skin when outside. While this condition can’t be cured there are ways to improve the appearance of the skin through topical creams and medications, as well as light therapy. Your treatment options can be discussed further with your dermatologist.
This rare disorder results in a lack of melanin in the hair, skin, and eyes. This is why albinos are often very pale with light blue eyes and white hair. There is no way to reverse or cure this disorder; however, it is incredibly important for someone with albinism to protect their skin and eyes from sun exposure by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses whenever they are outside.
In some cases, infections or burns can also cause a loss of melanin in certain areas of the face and body. While laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and other treatment options may improve the appearance, in these more minor cases, skin patches can be covered up with special cosmetics.
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