Common Skin Conditions

We have listed a few skin conditions below. For a more comprehensive view please see The American Academy of Dermatology website for an excellent discussion of the symptoms and treatments.

www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments

Acne

Acne is the term used to describe blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, cysts, minor lumps or any plugged pores that occur on the face or any area of the body. While most major acne problems occur during adolescence, anyone can have acne. Acne can cause low self-esteem because it can mar the natural beauty of the facial features. In general, minor acne will come and go on its own, recurring more frequently between the ages of adolescence and tapering off in regularity thereafter. More extreme cases of acne can lead to serious permanent scarring. There are several methods available to treat acne, including oral and topical medications, and microdermabrasion. Your dermatologist can determine which treatment option is best for you.

Eczema

Eczema is sometimes called atopic dermatitis. It is actually a group of skin conditions that can affect you at any age. It is not contagious but can be uncomfortable because it makes the skin hot and itchy. In severe cases, it can even cause bleeding. Eczema can occur because of irritation, allergic reaction or hereditary conditions. There are many treatment options for eczema, including corticosteroid ointments or creams. In some cases, light treatments and dietary changes have been shown to help. While there is no cure for eczema, many people grow out of it. In addition, using the proper medications and staying clear of substances that cause eczema to flare up can greatly reduce your discomfort and can lessen the severity of the condition.

Rosacea

A chronic skin and eye condition, rosacea's symptoms include redness and pimples in the early stages and thickened skin and sometimes an enlarged nose in the advanced stages. People with this condition experience frequent facial flushing, accompanied by swelling or burning. When rosacea affects the eyes, people experience dryness, irritation, itching, burning sensations and swelling in and around their eyes. Many doctors believe that heat exposure, strenuous exercise, stress, alcohol consumption and spicy foods can cause rosacea. Rosacea has no cure, but a variety of treatments are available. Treatments are intended to control outbreaks and they are also intended to improve physical appearance.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic disorder that causes itchy, red marks on the body. These areas form multi-layered "scales" that vary in severity. Psoriasis can occur at any age. It is not contagious, though there does seem to be a hereditary connection. It is not a life-threatening condition, and in most cases, people who have mild symptoms may not even know that they have psoriasis. Cuts, scratches, infections, stress, cold weather, smoking and certain medicines seem to cause flare-ups. Topical corticosteroids, light therapy, oral medications, and many other treatments are available. Based on the severity of your condition, your doctor will consult with you to find the treatment that's best for you.

Fine Lines/Wrinkles

One of the most noticed, and complained about, skin conditions today is the presence of fine lines and wrinkles. Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. There has been much advancement in just the last several years to minimize the look of wrinkles, from injections and dermal fillers to microdermabrasion. There are also effective means of preventing wrinkles from occurring in the first place, but the most important ways are simply to protect your skin by avoiding sun exposure and smoking.

Sun Damage

There is actually no one single factor more responsible for cosmetic and medical skin conditions than sun exposure. Repeated overexposure to the sun without proper protection such as sunscreen can lead to a wide variety of conditions, including uneven pigmentation, lentigines (age spots), solar elastosis (which causes sagging skin and vertical wrinkles), melasma, poikiloderma (reddish-brown pigmentation on the neck or cheeks), solar keratoses, and of course, skin cancer.

Age Spots

Solar lentigines can go by many names, such as "age spots", "brown spots", "liver spots" and "sun spots." Regardless of what you call them, these spots have one cause: exposure to the sun. Especially for people with light skin, the cells in our skin that causes pigmentation to protect us from the sun, called melanocytes, can be damaged by overexposure to the sun, causing a deposit of the pigment melanin to form, resulting in age spots. They often form on the face, hands, shoulders and arms. Treatments for age spots include medications, laser therapy and chemical peels.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks, also known as striae, are red, pink or purple lines or streaks that develop on the skin due to weight gain, pregnancy, medications and other conditions. Although stretch marks are not a health risk, they are a common cosmetic worry. Treatments for stretch marks include laser therapy and microdermabrasion.

Spider Veins

When you see red or blue marks resembling spider webs or tree branches on a body part (commonly the legs and face), these are typically spider veins. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but smaller and closer to the surface of the skin, while varicose veins are larger and deeper. This condition is usually associated with age and obesity, but can also be affected by hormone changes, heredity and sun overexposure. Several treatments for spider veins exist, including laser-based solutions and sclerotherapy.

Warts

Warts are the result of a virus that causes many cells to grow on the external layer of skin. They are not dangerous to your health or cancerous and usually fade away on their own over time. Typically found on your hands and feet, common warts can make you feel self-conscious. Removing the warts will keep them from spreading, but they might come back as they can be a recurring problem.

Rashes

Rashes are when the skin has mild redness, small red bumps, and in severe cases, redness, swelling and blisters. Many rashes are caused by skin irritants and can also be classified as contact dermatitis. In other cases, the rash appears in conjunction with a viral, fungal or bacterial infection, exposure to certain bugs, or exposure to extreme heat.