Posts for category: Skin Condition
By Steven M Weissman MD PLLC
June 18, 2021
Tags: Seborrheic Dermatitis
Are you dealing with a red, itchy, and flaky scalp? It could just be dandruff, or you could be dealing with a skin condition known as seborrheic dermatitis (sometimes referred to as seborrheic eczema). While this condition most often affects the scalp, some people may also develop symptoms on the face or body (typically in areas where there are more sebaceous glands such as the nose or back). How do you know that you’re dealing with seborrheic dermatitis?
Symptoms of Seborrheic Dermatitis
In infants, this skin condition is known as cradle cap and it results in greasy, scaly patches of skin on the head. Puberty often brings with it oilier skin, and this is often when we see teens and adults complaining of redness, swelling, or scaling on the scalp, eyebrows, nose, armpits, groin, or upper back.
Causes of Seborrheic Dermatitis
While dermatologists see this condition in a wide range of patients ranging from newborns to seniors, this condition most often occurs between 30-60 years old. While the root cause still hasn’t been determined, there are certain beliefs as to what might cause seborrheic dermatitis, including a reaction to a type of yeast that’s normally found on our skin. Certain chronic conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, HIV, or epilepsy may also increase your risk for developing seborrheic dermatitis.
If you have been diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis by a dermatologist, it’s important to figure out what might trigger symptoms. As with many skin conditions, seborrheic dermatitis may flare up and then go away for weeks or even months at a time. Some triggers include,
- Hormone fluctuations and imbalances
- Weather changes (e.g. cold or dry weather)
- Certain prescription medications
- Detergents, soaps, and cleaning products
Managing Seborrheic Dermatitis
In most cases, your dermatologist can prescribe specialized skin products that can help to keep skin moisturized while preventing scaly patches from forming. Cleansers, shampoos, and other products that contain zinc pyrithione are often most effective for treating seborrheic dermatitis symptoms. Some products can be purchased over-the-counter, but for those with more severe symptoms, you may require a prescription from your dermatologist.
Lifestyle modifications such as getting more sleep, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress can also reduce the number of flare-ups you experience. A dermatologist can help map out a treatment plan for you to better manage your symptoms.
While seborrheic dermatitis may go away without treatment and isn’t usually a cause for concern, you may want to consult your dermatologist if the symptoms are severe, they impact your appearance, or they affect your everyday routine.
By Steven M Weissman MD PLLC
June 09, 2021
It can be incredibly distressing when you start to lose your hair unexpectedly. Alopecia is something that affects both men and women and this autoimmune disorder causes patches of hair to fall out. This condition is most often found in women under 30.
Alopecia Can Be Hereditary
If you develop alopecia you may want to point a finger at your genetics. In fact, both parents have the ability to pass down alopecia to their children. So, if you have a family member with alopecia areata then you may be more likely to develop this condition at some point during your lifetime. Of course, genetics isn’t the only factor that plays a role in whether or not you develop alopecia. There are other deciding factors, as well.
Alopecia Targets the Hair Follicles
As we mentioned above, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body attacks the hair follicles, causing them to slow or even halt hair growth. There are different kinds of alopecia and people experience different symptom severities. Some people may notice hair regrowth in a few months while others may not. Again, you must have a dermatologist that you can turn to for answers.
There are Solutions for Managing Alopecia
While there is no cure, there are treatment options out there that can help stimulate hair growth and reduce the immune system response. The type and severity of your alopecia, along with your age and the severity of your hair loss will play major roles in what types of treatment options are best for you. This is something that a skincare professional can discuss with you during your consultation.
For those with milder symptoms, there are injectable and topical medications that could help. Common treatments include,
- Topical or injectable corticosteroids
- Minoxidil solution (applied to the scalp to regrow hair)
- Anthralin cream
Those with more severe symptoms may respond better to these treatment options,
- Oral steroids
- Immunomodulatory medications
- Topical immunotherapy
If you are dealing with sudden hair loss, it’s important to talk with a dermatologist to find out what’s going on, so you know the best way to treat it. Alopecia can be distressing, but your dermatologist can provide you with options to improve hair regrowth and to once again boost your confidence in your appearance.
By Steven M Weissman MD PLLC
April 19, 2021
Tags: Bed Sores
If you or a loved one is bed-bound, one of the main concerns is bedsores, which can develop when there is persistent pressure placed on the skin for extended periods. Bedsores can develop within as little as 2-3 hours. Bedsores most often develop on bonier areas of the body where there isn’t as much skin, such as the shoulder blades, buttocks, hips, and tailbone.
It’s important to follow these tips to treat bedsores,
- Immediately take the pressure off the area
- Apply dressings to the area to cover the wound
- Make sure to clean and dress the wound daily to prevent infection
If the person has diabetes or any chronic health problems, you must turn to your doctor right away for treatment, as even minor bedsores can lead to ulcers and serious infections.
A dermatologist can easily remove damaged or dead tissue and prescribe medications such as antibiotics to treat any infection that may be present. Your doctor will need to closely monitor bed sores to make sure it is responding to treatment and isn’t getting worse. If you or a loved one is dealing with bedsores, call your physician immediately.
How do you prevent bedsores?
Even though they are called bedsores, these ulcers can develop in any part of the body in which a lot of pressure is being placed. Therefore, people who are sitting or lying down for long periods, as well as those who are wheelchair-bound, are more at risk for developing bedsores. The person must be checked every day for redness and early signs of bedsores so the problem can be treated right away.
Some ways to reduce your risk for developing bedsores include,
- Moving or at least changing position every 2-3 hours
- Using additional pads or cushions in your bed or wheelchair to help take the pressure off certain areas of the body that are prone to bedsores
- Making sure that you get adequate and proper nutrition to assist in healing
- Properly care for and clean the skin every day
If you notice any changes in the skin that indicate bedsores, you must continue to change positions every 2-3 hours every day. If symptoms don’t improve within a day, or if there are signs of an infection, it’s important to see your dermatologist immediately for care.
By Steven M Weissman MD PLLC
April 06, 2021
When we think of skin disorders, we most often assume that these are problems that mostly adults deal with; however, children and teens can also deal with a wide range of skin problems. One of them is atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis, also referred to as pediatric eczema, is a chronic skin problem that causes flare-ups of itchy, dry, red skin.
What causes atopic dermatitis in children?
Atopic dermatitis is surprisingly common among newborns and kids. Certain factors may play a role in whether your child develops atopic dermatitis. Some of these factors include genetics, weather, environment, temperature, and allergies. If dermatitis runs in your family then your child may be more at risk.
What are the signs of pediatric atopic dermatitis?
Not sure if your child is dealing with atopic dermatitis? Many of the symptoms are not unique to atopic dermatitis so it can be difficult to tell. This is why it’s important to turn to a qualified dermatologist if your child is dealing with any of these issues,
- Dry skin
- Intensely itchy skin
- Thick, red, or swollen skin
- Fluid-filled or crusty bumps on the skin
- Rough bumps on the face or arms
How is atopic dermatitis treated?
There are several factors that a dermatologist will need to take into account to determine the best treatment plan for your child. Factors such as their overall health as well as the severity of their symptoms will play roles in the type of treatments we recommend. Your child’s treatment plan will include,
- Avoiding known irritants and triggers such as certain soaps, detergents, and allergens (e.g., pet danger)
- Keeping your child’s nails trim to prevent scratching and infection
- Using gentle cleansers and products on your child’s skin
- Corticosteroid creams
- Phototherapy (light therapy)
- Biologics (strong medications used only in severe and unresponsive cases)
If your child is displaying signs of atopic dermatitis, you must schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to find out what’s going on. Any kind of persistent or recurring rash should be looked at by a skincare professional.
By Steven M Weissman MD PLLC
March 23, 2021
Tags: Skin Tag
If you’ve ever noticed a little piece of dangling skin on your body, then you’ve most likely found a skin tag. While these little growths are completely benign, they can develop in places where clothes can rub against them and cause discomfort. Skin tags are most often found in and around the armpits, eyelids, groin, and neck. If you find that your skin tag is in an awkward or uncomfortable place, a dermatologist can easily remove it.
Treating Skin Tags Yourself
Chances are good that you’ve already googled “skin tags” and found a variety of home remedies and ways to remove the skin tag yourself. While some methods are safe and even effective at removing skin tags, it’s incredibly important that you consult your dermatologist first before trying any of these at-home treatments.
Not all skin tags should be treated with home remedies. Any large skin tags, are bleeding or painful, or are located in sensitive areas such as the genitals or the eyes should be treated by a dermatologist who will make sure to provide a safe, effective removal treatment.
Turning to a Dermatologist
There are several ways in which a dermatologist can remove skin tags. Some of these methods include,
- Cryotherapy: Just like with warts, a dermatologist will freeze off the tag with liquid nitrogen (it usually only takes 1-2 treatments to remove the tag)
- Cauterization: Burning off the skin tag can also effectively remove the benign growth after a couple of treatment sessions
- Ligation: Tying a thread around the tag will cut off blood flow and make the growth eventually fall off
- Excision: Your dermatologist may simply cut off the skin tag
If the skin tag isn’t large, uncomfortable, or in an awkward location then there is no reason to remove it; however, we understand that this may be purely for cosmetic reasons. In which case, your dermatologist is happy to remove the skin tag (but your health insurance is unlikely to cover the procedure).
If you want to have a skin tag removed, or if you aren’t sure whether a skin growth could be a tag, you must see your dermatologist first before you start trying any home remedies or treatments. It’s also important that everyone get an annual skin cancer screening with their dermatologist to check for suspicious or potentially cancerous growths.