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Common Skin Diseases and What to Look For

The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and it is susceptible to many diseases and conditions. It can also offer warning signs for some very serious underlying illnesses in the body.

A dermatologist knows how to diagnose and treat infections and other skin problems, but they also can alert the patient if the skin is indicating another health issue. An example is yellowed skin (jaundice), which can be an indicator of liver problems.

However, most conditions treated by dermatologists are specific skin issues. Below are some of the most frequently diagnosed skin problems and their symptoms.

Acne

Acne affects most of the world’s population at some point in their lifetime. The skin’s pores are connected to oil glands via the follicles; when these glands produce too much oil, called sebum, the pore clogs – and a pimple forms on the skin. This is called acne.

Serious cases of acne can leave lifelong scars, but a dermatologist can help prevent acne before it develops too aggressively. Treatment typically involves extra washing, over-the-counter creams or medicines, and possibly prescription medication.

Eczema

Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema is a long-term skin disease characterized by dry, itchy, scaly patches of skin. It can cause rashes sprouting on the face, the elbows, the back of the knees, and the hands or feet.

While no actual test exists for discerning eczema, it is believed to have a hereditary component.

Rosacea

This is a common disorder that mainly affects the skin of the face. A marked redness forms on the nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead and often involved pimple-like bumps in these areas, or even enlarging of the nose. Rosacea often has triggers that can make it flare or worsen, with alcohol and caffeine being two of the most common.

Shingles

Shingles is a painful condition that can affect anyone, but it usually afflicts people over the age of 40. If a person has had chicken pox in the past, then they have a far greater risk of contracting shingles than others. Both conditions are caused by the herpes zoster virus.

The virus never leaves the body, and it can come back in later years as shingles. People with a weakened immune system also are at a higher risk for shingles than those with stronger immunity.

Symptoms of shingles include pain, itching, burning, or tingling along nerve pathways. It can manifest itself in many ways, particularly as large, blistery, painful, rashes. The rashes can last up to 10 days before drying out with a yellowish color and flaking off. Shingles can also affect other parts of the body, however, including the eyes.

Shingles, like chicken pox, is contagious – and anyone who is symptomatic can transmit the virus to others. If someone has never had chicken pox but is exposed to someone with shingles, the exposed person can actually catch chicken pox.

A shingles vaccination is now available and is recommended for everyone who is 50 or older. It is a single, one-time vaccine, and no booster shot is yet available.

Warts

Caused by the human papillomavirus, warts can appear anywhere on the body. Removal is more of a cosmetic procedure than a medical necessity, unless they form on the bottom of the feet and affect walking.

In many cases, warts will go away on their own. But if they are unsightly, a dermatologist can remove a wart with liquid nitrogen or specially medicated creams.

Skin Cancer

Beach lovers or anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors are particularly susceptible to developing skin cancer. Dermatologists strongly encourage everyone to wear sunscreen in order to guard the skin from the sun’s harsh UV (ultraviolet) rays, which can cause skin cancer.

There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. The two types of carcinoma are often not very aggressive, but they can develop into large growths, and squamous cell carcinoma can sometimes metastasize. Recognizing these types of skin cancer early is important as early treatment can reduce the risk of metastasis and minimize the amount of scarring from treatment.

Melanoma is malignant and is highly aggressive. If left untreated, it will spread to other parts of the body and can be fatal.

Sun exposure is not the only risk factor in developing skin cancer, but it is the most common cause of it – and is the most preventable cause.

Dermatitis

Dermatitis is a medical term that essentially just means ‘rash’.  Specifically, it means inflammation of the skin and can be the result of any of hundreds of skin disorders.  If the cause  is not evident by visually inspecting the skin, a dermatologist may want to perform a skin biopsy to help determine the cause.

Dermatologist in Texas

Trust the expertise of Dr. Matthew A. Mittelbronn to identify and treat any type of dermatological condition. If you’re looking for a skilled dermatologist in Lake Worth, Texas, Lakeview Dermatology is here to treat you and help you fight any type of condition.

Call us today at (817) 752-5256 to schedule an appointment, or fill out our appointment request form here. We look forward to serving you.

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