Fungal Skin Infections
Fungal infections are common skin conditions that may cause redness, itching, burning and scaling. They can also cause blisters or peeling. Fungus can grow anywhere on the body, but tends to develop in warm, moist areas such as the feet, groin and armpit area. Common types of fungal infections include tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), tinea cruris (jock itch), tinea corporis (ringworm), onychomycosis (toenail fungus), tinea versicolor and yeast infections.
Fungal infections can usually be treated successfully with antifungal topical or oral medications. They are not usually serious, but may be contagious or create an entry point for more dangerous skin infections, so treatment is important. Keeping the body clean, changing socks and underwear every day, and keeping skin folds dry can help prevent fungal infections.
Dermatitis (Inflamed Skin)
Dermatitis is a common condition that can develop as a result of many different skin diseases including atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis, allergic skin reactions or environmental factors such as cold weather, hot showers, harsh soaps and sun exposure. Patients with dermatitis experience skin that feels rough, tight and may be itchy or red. For most, this is only a temporary problem and can be managed through simple changes in the daily skin care routine, including using moisturizers and avoiding harsh cleansers, hot showers or baths. For more severe cases, prescription creams and ointments may be recommended to stop inflammation.
Some common types of dermatitis that we treat include:
- Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
- Contact Dermatitis
- Asteatotic dermatitis
- Stasis dermatitis (associated with varicose veins)
- Diaper Dermatitis
Pruritus (Itchy Skin)
Pruritus is an unpleasant sensation that causes the urge to scratch the skin, and is often accompanied by other skin or underlying systemic diseases. The cause of the sensation is unknown, but involves nerves that respond to chemicals released in the skin. Pruritus typically occurs in patients with other skin conditions, such as eczema and urticaria (hives), as well as parasitic infections like lice, bedbugs or scabies. A wide range of conditions may cause itching in different areas.
The symptoms of pruritus include itching and discomfort. Dry itchy skin may be just that, or it may be a symptom of other, more serious problems. The only way to be certain is to consult a physician who knows and understands your skin. We have many types of treatments for itchy skin, most of which are not found as over-the-counter preparations. As with all skin conditions, effective treatment requires proper identification of the underlying causes.
Seborrheic keratoses (SK) are common, harmless warty growths that appear on the skin of adults, especially the elderly. Their exact cause is unknown but tends to be hereditary. While SKs pose no health risk, individual lesions may become irritated, sometimes crusting and bleeding. SKs typically appear on the head, neck, or trunk; are usually round or oval shaped; and vary in color from pink to brown or even black. In some cases, SKs may itch. Medical attention may be necessary if numerous SKs develop in a short period of time, the SKs interfere with clothing, or other abnormal skin changes occur.
In some cases, our dermatologists may recommend a skin biopsy to rule out a skin cancer. Removal of an SK may also be recommended if it bleeds or becomes symptomatic. If removal is requested for cosmetic purposes, this may be achieved through cryosurgery, curettage, or electrocautery, however such elective treatment may not be covered by insurance.
Alopecia (Hair Loss)
Alopecia, or hair loss, is a common condition potentially caused by a number of reasons. Hair loss may be a natural process such as androgenetic (male pattern) baldness, a side effect of medication or a sign of an underlying health condition. It can result in total baldness, patchy bald spots or thinning of the hair, and may be confined to the scalp or affect other areas of the body. This problem exists in both males and females, and may be genetic in some cases.
Alopecia areata (AA) is a distressing type of sudden-onset hair loss that affects both children and adults. In AA, patients often develop round patches of hair loss or more diffuse thinning, sometimes associated with stress or autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disease. Fortunately, complete hair re-growth can be achieved in many cases, usually with a combination of simple treatments such as local corticosteroid injections and/or cream application.
Treatment for hair loss is based on the underlying cause and may include stopping or changing a medication, addressing an underlying medical condition such as anemia or thyroid disease, treating infections, drug therapy or hair transplantation. Since some causes of hair loss are complex and hard to pin down, a thorough work-up often requires more than one visit.
Patch Testing for Skin Allergies
Patch testing is used to determine the cause of contact dermatitis, a type of skin rash caused by direct contact with chemical triggers known as allergens. Common contact allergens include nickel, fragrance, preservatives, chemicals found in rubber, dyes and adhesives. Contact allergies may be widespread but are often localized to areas exposed to the offending chemical (e.g. ears for nickel, scalp and hairline for hair dye, eyelids for cosmetic products). At Advanced DermCare, we offer patch testing using one of the most comprehensive panels available in the Tri-state area. Patch testing does not check for food or inhaled allergies such as those that cause hives, lip or throat swelling, asthma or hay fever.
Patch testing is performed by placing several different chemicals onto the skin of the back. The chemicals are contained in tiny metal wells and secured to the skin with tape for 48 hours. After being removed, the area is examined for signs of a reaction. A second reading is done at 96 hours to check for any delayed reactions. Your ADC skin care expert will discuss the findings of this test, providing you with educational material to avoid any future contact with any relevant triggers.
Contact our office to learn more about Adult Dermatology or to make an appointment.