Other Skin Conditions

Abscess
An inflammatory nodule of the skin, usually caused by Staph aureus, which is a common bacteria found on the skin. These nodules, or lumps, are generally red, tender, warm, and swollen. If large, they need to be drained, and oral antibiotics need to be taken to help them resolve.Actinic Keratosis
These are red, hard, scaly spots on the skin due to DNA damage which has resulted from UV exposure over many years. These are precursors to squamous cell carcinoma, and some believe that these also lead to basal cell carcinoma. These are treated either with focal therapies like liquid nitrogen, or field therapies with topical chemotherapy creams or chemical peels.

 

Alopecia
See Control Hair Loss.Acanthosis Nigricans
This is a localized skin disorder, that presents with hyperpigmented, velvety plaques in the flexural regions of the body, such as the neck, axillae, and groin. Common causes of this condition include obesity with insulin resistance. Less common causes include an underlying cancer.Acne
See Control Acne.

Bullous Pemphigoid
This is an autoimmune blistering disease of the skin, usually seen in the elderly. It can become chronic over months to years, with blisters spontaneously appearing. It can be very mild to extremely severe. These blisters are deep enough that they do not rupture with light pressure on the skin, nor do they become larger with such pressure. They generally begin with itching and redness before the appearance of the blisters.

Candidiasis
The most frequent forms of this overgrowth of yeast is seen in the diaper area of babies, and within skin folds beneath large breasts or in the groin area. It typically presents with redness, mild erosions, and a burning sensation in skin folds. Occasionally, satellite pustules, or “pus bumps” will form off to the edges of these areas. Topical antifungal creams and powders to keep the areas free of moisture and humidity will generally cure, and prevent this problem. Anti-inflammatories may need to be used initially to calm down the intense redness that occurs as a reaction to the yeast organisms thriving on the skin.

Contact Dermatitis (Allergic)
There are many allergens that may contact the skin and cause itching, vesicles, or even significant swelling. Allergies may develop at any time. The old adage of “not using anything new recently” does not apply here! When the immune system of the body has had enough of a certain molecule touching the skin after many years, you may draw the lucky ticket of a “new allergy”. The most common allergens include nickel, neomycin (in Neosporin), Balsam of Peru, fragrances, preservatives, and hair dyes.

Vitiligo
Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition of the skin, where the body attacks its cells that give the skin its pigmentation. Most people recognize this condition as the “Michael Jackson” disease. He wore a white glove to conceal his vitiligo before he bleached his skin.

The most common way vitiligo presents is with symmetrical patches of depigmentation, which are usually chalky-white in color, located on the face, upper chest, hands, ankles, axillae, groin, and around orifices such as the eyes, nose, mouth, urethra, and anus. The patches usually don’t itch or burn.

It may occur at any age. Thyroid disorders occur at a higher frequency in patients with vitiligo. It’s important to wear sunscreen to protect the areas of depigmentation in vitiligo, since these areas have lost the body’s natural pigment which serves as protection from UV light sources.There are several treatments approved for vitiligo, as well as new exciting research for this psychologically debilitating condition.