DERMATOLOGY SERVICES

SKIN CANCER

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. In fact, over 2 million cases of skin cancer were diagnosed in the United States alone this year. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives. If caught early, skin cancer can be easily cured.  However, people who have had skin cancer are at a higher risk of developing a new skin cancer, which is why regular self-examination and doctor visits are imperative.

 

WHAT CAUSES ATOPIC DERMATITIS?


It is an inherited condition but certain environmental triggers can exacerbate the condition. Some of these include diet, stress, allergens or irritants, temperature extremes or acute infections.




HOW IS ATOPIC DERMATITIS TREATED?


The most important aspect of the management of eczema is consistently following a good skin care routine. It is important to take brief baths or showers with lukewarm water, avoiding irritants (as determined by your doctor) and harsh soaps, minimizing stress and most important- applying an emollient daily. Other treatments involve topical steroids, topical immunomodulators, oral antibiotics and antihistamines, and in severe cases phototherapy or other oral anti-inflammatory agents.





ECZEMA (ATOPIC DERMATITIS)

Atopic Dermatitis, or eczema, is a common skin disease affecting over 15 million American adults and children. It is a chronic skin condition that predominantly affects infants and young children but may last through adolescence and adulthood. It is characterized by itchy, red and irritated patches. In severe cases the skin can blister and weep, however eczema can also be dry and scaly or even cause a thickening of the skin. Atopic Dermatitis can occur anywhere on the body but often affects the skin folds, the arms and legs, and especially in adults, the hands.

 

WHAT CAUSES ATOPIC DERMATITIS?


It is an inherited condition but certain environmental triggers can exacerbate the condition. Some of these include diet, stress, allergens or irritants, temperature extremes or acute infections.




HOW IS ATOPIC DERMATITIS TREATED?


The most important aspect of the management of eczema is consistently following a good skin care routine. It is important to take brief baths or showers with lukewarm water, avoiding irritants (as determined by your doctor) and harsh soaps, minimizing stress and most important- applying an emollient daily. Other treatments involve topical steroids, topical immunomodulators, oral antibiotics and antihistamines, and in severe cases phototherapy or other oral anti-inflammatory agents.





SKIN ALLERGY/CONTACT DERMATITIS

Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, itchy, and inflamed after direct contact with a substance. The best known example of a contact dermatitis is poison ivy but the same type of rash can occur from exposure to compounds that we come in contact with every day.

 

WHAT CAUSES CONTACT DERMATITIS?


Contact dermatitis can be caused by plant compounds or other ingredients that are common in cosmetics, skin care products, topical medications in addition to other products that we come in daily contact. The most common of these are:

  • metals such as nickel (found in jewelry, buttons, bra hooks, belt buckles)
  • topical antibiotics such as neomycin or bacitracin
  • fragrances found in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps and skin care products
  • adhesives
  • nail polish or hair dye ingedients
  • preservatives found in cosmetics and skin care products
  • rubber or latex found in gloves and shoes




HOW IS CONTACT DERMATITIS DIAGNOSED?


Many times it can be difficult to determine what you may be reacting to. The doctors at Natural Image are experienced in diagnosing and treating contact dermatitis and will help identify your allergy. They may recommend a test called a patch test to determine which allergen or allergens are causing the reaction. It requires three office visits. On the first visit, small patches of possible allergens are applied to the skin. These patches are removed 48 hours later to see if a reaction has occurred. A third visit is required about 2 days later to look for any delayed reaction




HOW IS CONTACT DERMATITIS TREATED?


Treatment may include topical moisturizers to maintain the barrier of the skin, and corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. In severe cases, a corticosteroid shot may be given or oral medications may be prescribed to calm the symptoms.





HAIR LOSS/ALOPECIA

Everyone loses hair. In fact, it is normal to lose about 50-100 hairs per day. However, if you feel that your hair is coming out in handfuls or you are noticing bald patches, you could be experiencing hair loss or alopecia.  Anyone — men, women and children — can experience hair loss.

 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ALOPECIA?


  • Telogen Effluvium – A sudden physical or emotional stress may cause an abnormal amount of hair throughout your scalp to shed (called Telogen effluvium). It is often common to experience clumps of hair falling when you shampoo, comb, or run your hands through your hair. The hair loss often occurs weeks to months after the stressful event. The hair shedding generally normalizes over 6 – 8 months. Cause of this type of hair loss are:

  • High fever or severe infection
  • Childbirth
  • Major surgery, major illness, sudden blood loss
  • Severe emotional stress
  • Crash diets, especially those that do not contain enough protein
  • A number of medications, including retinoids, birth control pills, beta-blockers, certain antidepressants, NSAIDs (including ibuprofen) and calcium channel blockers
  • Medical conditions such as thyroid disease
  • Androgenetic or male-pattern/ female-pattern baldness – The most common cause of hair loss is a medical condition called hereditary hair loss or androgenetic alopecia. About 80 million men and women in the United States have this type of hair loss. In women, the hair generally thins more diffusely on the scalp but the hairline is maintained. This is in contrast to male pattern baldness where often times the hair line recedes or a bald spot develops on the crown of the head.
  • Alopecia Areata– is characterized by a sudden loss of hair in one area resulting in well-defined bald patches. This condition is most common on the scalp, but can occur anywhere on the body including the beard and sometimes even the eyebrows or eyelashes. This form of hair loss is common in children and adults.
  • Scarring alopecia – can be caused by many conditions including autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as lupus, trauma to the scalp (including that from burns, tight hair styles or harsh chemical treatments to the scalp), continual hair pulling or bacterial and fungal skin infections.




HOW IS ALOPECIA DIAGNOSED?


In addition to a thorough medical history and physical examination, our doctors may determine that blood work or possibly even a biopsy of the scalp is necessary to help identify the type of hair loss that is present.




HOW IS ALOPECIA TREATED?


Not all alopecia is treated the same. The treatment plan developed by our doctors will depend on the type of alopecia diagnosed and individual characteristics and preferences. The main goal of therapy is to identify all reversible forms of hair loss and address any underlying condition or prevent further trauma that may be causing the alopecia. Additionally, some treatments include topical minoxidil, topical and intralesional (injected) corticosteroids, or hair transplantation.





ACNE 

Acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States. Many people assume that it is a normal part of adolescence and feel there is no reason to treat the condition. However,  there are many reasons to treat acne. In teenagers, acne can be psychologically distressing and improving one’s complexion can improve self esteem. Also, acne can cause permanent scarring if not treated early and aggressively.

Also, acne does not just affect teenagers. In fact, acne is on the rise in adult women- affecting them in their 30’s, 40’s 50’s and beyond. Whatever the age, there are many effective treatments for acne. Our dermatologists specialize in topical, systemic, and cosmetic therapies for this condition. In addition to the traditional therapies, we are skilled in cosmetic treatments including peels, Hydrafacials, laser, microdermabrasion and Blu-U treatments for acne and its associated scarring.

 

ROSACEA 

Rosacea, an associated condition, is often mistaken for acne. It also causes inflammation on the skin and is characterized by easy flushing, redness, and acne-like lesions. Other symptoms include pronounced blood vessels on the face (or telangiectasias), irritated or bloodshot eyes (ocular rosacea), or even a red and bulbous nose (also known as rhinophyma).

Rosacea can cause significant psychological distress but there are many ways to manage the condition. For starters, there are some well known triggers of rosacea. Some of these include: heat, sun, wind, emotional stress, alcohol, hot beverages and spicy foods. The doctors at Natural Image can help determine which of these might be affecting you and also help manage/avoid them. Also, there are many over-the-counter and prescription medications that are effective in treating rosacea. These include many of the same that are used for acne such as topical and oral antibiotics, azeleic acid, topical retinoids and sulfur based compounds.

Rosacea also responds well to laser therapy, specifically, persistent redness and dilated veins on the face. Various lasers can be used to treat rosacea. These include the pulsed-dye laser and intense pulsed light treatment. Many patients see a dramatic improvement after one session but several treatments are often necessary to complete the treatment. We also now offer Hydrafacials as a cosmetic service to those who struggle with Rosacea.

 

PSORIASIS

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease affecting nearly 5-7 million people in the US. It consists of raised red patches covered in silvery colored scales. It most commonly occurs on the lower back, knees, elbows, and scalp. However, it can be widespread or also involve the nails and joints (psoriatic arthritis).

 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ALOPECIA?


  • Telogen Effluvium – A sudden physical or emotional stress may cause an abnormal amount of hair throughout your scalp to shed (called Telogen effluvium). It is often common to experience clumps of hair falling when you shampoo, comb, or run your hands through your hair. The hair loss often occurs weeks to months after the stressful event. The hair shedding generally normalizes over 6 – 8 months. Cause of this type of hair loss are:

  • High fever or severe infection
  • Childbirth
  • Major surgery, major illness, sudden blood loss
  • Severe emotional stress
  • Crash diets, especially those that do not contain enough protein
  • A number of medications, including retinoids, birth control pills, beta-blockers, certain antidepressants, NSAIDs (including ibuprofen) and calcium channel blockers
  • Medical conditions such as thyroid disease
  • Androgenetic or male-pattern/ female-pattern baldness – The most common cause of hair loss is a medical condition called hereditary hair loss or androgenetic alopecia. About 80 million men and women in the United States have this type of hair loss. In women, the hair generally thins more diffusely on the scalp but the hairline is maintained. This is in contrast to male pattern baldness where often times the hair line recedes or a bald spot develops on the crown of the head.
  • Alopecia Areata– is characterized by a sudden loss of hair in one area resulting in well-defined bald patches. This condition is most common on the scalp, but can occur anywhere on the body including the beard and sometimes even the eyebrows or eyelashes. This form of hair loss is common in children and adults.
  • Scarring alopecia – can be caused by many conditions including autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as lupus, trauma to the scalp (including that from burns, tight hair styles or harsh chemical treatments to the scalp), continual hair pulling or bacterial and fungal skin infections.




HOW IS ALOPECIA DIAGNOSED?


In addition to a thorough medical history and physical examination, our doctors may determine that blood work or possibly even a biopsy of the scalp is necessary to help identify the type of hair loss that is present.




HOW IS ALOPECIA TREATED?


Not all alopecia is treated the same. The treatment plan developed by our doctors will depend on the type of alopecia diagnosed and individual characteristics and preferences. The main goal of therapy is to identify all reversible forms of hair loss and address any underlying condition or prevent further trauma that may be causing the alopecia. Additionally, some treatments include topical minoxidil, topical and intralesional (injected) corticosteroids, or hair transplantation.