Skin Conditions

By: Vivacare - Dr. Mark Becker

Your skin performs critical bodily functions, including:

  • Holding in body fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Keeping out harmful infections
  • Helping you sense the world around you
  • Keeping your body temperature stable
  • Making vitamin D, essential for the rest of the body, when exposed to the sun.

Anything that damages your skin can lead to a skin condition with symptoms of redness, swelling, burning, and itching. These can affect the function and appearance of your skin.

Skin conditions may be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, irritants, infections and even your own genes.

Common Skin Conditions

  • Acne (“pimples” or “zits”) is common among teenagers but can afflict people in their forties. People who have tried over-the-counter medications, such as benzoyl peroxide (Proactiv®, Clearasil®) without success should see a dermatologists before the acne leaves permanent scars. Prescription-strength medications, such as Differin®, Epiduo®, Retin A Micro®, or Tazorac®, can lead to more immediate results and long-term control.
  • Actinic Keratoses (AKs) are dry, scaly patches that result from chronic sun exposure. Actinic keratoses are considered precancerous and should be evaluated by a dermatologist. Treatment options for actinic keratoses include cryotherapy, excision, and topical medications, such as 5-FU, imiquimod (Zyclara®) and Solaraze® Gel (diclofenac sodium – 3%).
  • Aging Skin is a natural occurrence. Over time, skin becomes thinner, develops fine lines and wrinkles, develops darkened spots, and becomes drier. Treatment options include botulinum toxin (Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin®), dermal fillers (Juvederm®, Restylane®) chemical peels, and laser & light therapies.
  • Atopic Dermatitis is the most common type of eczema, affecting more than 1 out of 10 people. Frequent use of moisturizers is a mainstay of eczema treatment. Other treatment options include topical corticosteroids, antihistamines and topical immunomodulators (Elidel®, Protopic®).
  • Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition. There are 5 types of psoriasis, with “plaque” type being the most common. There is no cure, but your physician can prescribe a variety of treatment options, including topical corticosteroids, topical retinoids, phototherapy, vitamin D derivatives (Dovonex, Vectical®), and new biologics (Enbrel®, Humira®, Otezla®, Remicade®, Stelara®)
  • Rosacea causes redness and swelling of the face. People may first notice a tendency to flush or blush easily which may progress to persistent redness, pimples and other changes. There are four subtypes of rosacea and people may have more than one subtype at the same time. Your dermatologist can recommend a variety of treatment options for rosacea, including topical medications to reduce pimples and pustules (Finacea®, MetroGel®) or redness (Mirvaso®), oral medications (Oracea®), and laser and light treatments.
  • Skin Cancer is usually classified as one of 3 types; basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. Basal Cell carcinoma accounts for 80-85 percent of skin cancers. Although the least common, melanoma is the leading cause of death from skin disease. See your dermatologist immediately if you are concerned about the appearance of any skin lesions. Early diagnosis increases the chances of receiving effective treatment. Treatment options include excision, Moh’s surgery, and topical medications, such as 5-FU and imiquimod.