Psoriasis is a common, chronic inflammatory skin condition that involves overgrowth of skin cells called keratinocytes; these build up on the surface of the skin, especially in areas of friction such as the elbows, knees and scalp, forming red, scaling plaques. Over seven million people in the US are affected by the “heartbreak” of psoriasis, including men, women and children of all ages. In addition to skin problems, many also experience joint disease and other health complications.
While we still have no “cure” for psoriasis, new treatments offer the promise of clear skin, even to those with the most severe disease. Our physicians are experts in the care of psoriasis, keeping up to date with the cutting edge research that makes psoriasis one of the fastest moving areas of dermatology. Whether your ideal treatment plan involves creams or solutions applied to the affected areas, medications taken by mouth, light therapy, or more advanced injectable therapies, our skin care team will design your safest route to clear skin.
Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder characterized by a recurrent, itchy, widespread rash that typically begins during childhood. 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 become exacerbated by constant scratching.
Treatment involves the avoidance of environmental triggers such as hot water, fragrance, harsh soaps and cleansers; use of moisturizing lotions or creams; cool compresses and corticosteroid creams and ointments. If this proves insufficient, physicians may prescribe stronger corticosteroid ointments or other topicals, antibiotics to combat infection, or antihistamines to control itching. More severe eczema may require a combination approach, sometimes incorporating phototherapy and/or oral medications. Your Advanced DermCare team will work with you to design a skin care regimen that both clears your eczema and keeps it from flaring in the future.
Most individuals have battled acne eruptions at some point in their lives. For a lucky few, over-the-counter preparations such as benzoyl peroxide take care of the problem. However, those with more severe forms of acne need the help of a specialist. Not all acne is equal. What works for a teenager may not work for an adult woman. At Advanced DermCare, our skin care experts specialize in the evaluation and treatment of all types of acne. We offer a comprehensive menu of cutting edge options including topical and oral prescription medications, blue light therapy, photodynamic therapy, chemical peels, and laser treatment for acne scarring. By creating a regimen tailor-made for your skin, we strive to keep you acne free while avoiding unwanted side effects such as redness, flaking and skin irritation.
Rosacea is an acne-like condition that affects the central face of adults. Depending on your type of rosacea, you may experience redness, flushing, a burning sensation, pimples, swelling, prominent blood vessels or thickening of the skin. Rosacea is often associated with acne-like eruptions, but without the ‘whiteheads’ and ‘blackheads’ that we normally associate with teenage acne. Rosacea may also affect your eyes, requiring referral to an ophthalmologist. Treatment may require a combination of topical medications, oral antibiotics, and laser therapy. Common rosacea triggers include: sun exposure, stress, alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and the use of harsh facial cleansers or cosmetic products. Along with daily sunscreen application, elimination of these ‘triggers’ will help to reduce the frequency and severity of rosacea flares.
Skin Cancer and Actinic Keratoses
Actinic keratoses (AKs) are common pre-cancerous skin lesion that typically present as red, rough or gritty spots on sun exposed areas such as the face, ears and tops of the hands. AK risk factors include light skin and a history of heavy sun exposure, which may have occurred decades earlier. Since some AKs will progress to skin cancers over time, treatment is necessary. Depending on the site, number and location or your AKs, we may recommend cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen, curettage, treatment with creams, or a cutting edge office procedure called topical photodynamic therapy.
Skin cancer refers to the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of skin cells. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Risk factors include pale skin, family history of melanoma, being over 40 years old, and regular sun exposure. Fortunately, skin cancer is almost always curable if detected and treated early.
The most common skin cancers are:
- Basal cell carcinoma – Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. It occurs in the bottom layer of cells in the epidermis. Luckily, this type of skin cancer rarely spreads beyond the skin and can usually be completely removed if caught early enough.
- Squamous cell carcinoma – Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), like BCC, also arises from skin cells called keratinocytes. This type of cancer is almost always caused by over-exposure to the sun, although it can also occur on areas of the body that have been burned, repeatedly exposed to x-rays or to harsh chemicals. SCCs carry an intermediate risk and may spread to lymph nodes and other organs if left untreated.
- Melanoma – Melanoma occurs in melanocytes, which are cells that provide color to our skin. This type of cancer is rare but very dangerous because it carries the highest risk of spread to lymph nodes and other organs. This means early detection is important – when the cancer is small and confined to the skin it is almost always completely curable through surgical removal
Skin cancers vary in shape, color, size and texture, so any new, changed or otherwise suspicious growths or rashes should be examined immediately by a physician. Early intervention is essential to preventing the cancer from spreading. Every day during routine screening exams, we discover skin cancers that our patients didn’t come in for and never knew existed.
Contact our office to learn more about Adult Dermatology or to make an appointment.