At Arkansas Dermatology, we are committed not only to treating skin cancer, but also to providing comprehensive dermatologic care. If you have a problematic skin condition and would like one of our physicians or physician assistants to see you for evaluation, please call one of our clinic locations. Some of the common dermatologic conditions we treat include:
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 affect the natural beauty of the facial features. In general, minor acne will come and go on its own, recurring more frequently during 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, chemical pills and blue light therapy. Your provider can determine which treatment option is best for you.
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. It can even cause bleeding in severe cases. 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 is a chronic skin and eye condition. During early stages, rosacea’s symptoms include redness and pimples. Thickened skin and sometimes an enlarged nose can occur 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.
Another chronic skin disorder is psoriasis. Psoriasis 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 provider will find the treatment that’s best for you.
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 have been many advancements in the last several years to minimize the look of wrinkles. These include injections, dermal filler, laser treatments and 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.
There is 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 skin cancer.
Solar lentigines 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. Melanocytes, the cells in our skin that cause pigmentation to protect us from the sun, can be damaged by sun overexposure. This damage creates 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, 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.
When you see red or blue marks resembling spider webs or tree branches on a body part (commonly the legs and face), these are called spider veins. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but are smaller and closer to the surface of the skin. 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 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 can be a recurring problem.
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.