General Dermatology

Acne

Acne is the most common skin condition seen by medical professionals. In normal skin, oil glands under the skin, known as sebaceous glands, produce an oily substance called sebum. Acne is a skin condition resulting from sebum and dead skin cells clogging hair follicles. A person who has acne may have any of these symptoms:

  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Papules
  • Pustules (what many people call pimples)
  • Cysts
  • Nodules

Acne can appear on the back, chest, neck, shoulders, upper arms and buttons.

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Boils

Also known as skin abscesses, boils are pus-filled skin infections that occur around a hair follicle or oil gland. This causes a red, painful lump to form as pus collects under the skin. A boil that occurs on the eyelid is called a stye. Anyone can get a boil. They grow quickly and are usually painful until they drain

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Cysts

Cysts are closed capsule or sac-like structures, typically filled with liquid, semisolid, or gaseous material, very much like a blister. A majority of cysts are harmless.

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Dermatitis

Dermatitis can be located anywhere on the body, but most frequently appears in the creases on the face, arms and legs. Itchiness is the key characteristic and symptom of eczema. When scratched, the lesions may begin to ooze and get crusted. Over time, painful cracks in the scaly, leathery tissue can form.

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Moles (Nevi)

Also called nevi

Moles are common, as almost every adult has a few of them. People with light skin often have more moles than others, and it is normal for them to have anywhere from 10 to 40 moles on their skin.

Most moles appear on the skin during childhood and adolescence and will grow as the child (or teen) grows. Some moles will darken, and others will lighten. These changes are expected and seldom a sign of melanoma, the most severe skin cancer.

For adults, new moles and changes to existing moles can be a sign of melanoma. If caught early, melanoma is highly treatable.

Here are three facts that can help you find melanoma early and get treatment:

  • A change to a mole or a new mole is often the first sign of melanoma
  • You can find melanoma early by routinely checking your skin
  • If you see a mole or other spot that’s growing, itching, bleeding, or changing in any way, immediately make an appointment to see a dermatologist

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Psoriasis

Psoriasis (suh-rye-ah-sis) is a condition that causes the body to make new skin cells in days rather than weeks. As these cells pile up on the surface of the skin, you may see thick, scaly patches.
Plaques can appear anywhere on the skin, but you’re most likely to find them on the:

  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Lower back
  • Scalp

Plaques tend to vary in size. They may appear on the skin as a single patch or join together to cover a large area of skin. No matter the size, plaques tend to be itchy. Without treatment, the itch can become intense. Some people with psoriasis notice that their skin stings, burns, or feels painful and tight.

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Rashes

To the untrained eye, all rashes may look alike and seem easily treatable with over-the-counter oral antihistamines or hydrocortisone cream. However, it is not always so simple. Rashes can appear as blotches, welts, or blisters; they can be red, itchy, scaly, or dry; and they can occur in one area of skin or all over the body. In addition, some rashes may come and go, while others never seem to go away.

Although most rashes are not life-threatening, some rashes can signal something more serious. If you have a rash and notice any of the following symptoms, call our office to schedule an appointment.

  • The rash is covering your body in multiple spots
  • Fever with the rash
  • The rash is spreading rapidly
  • Blisters begin from the rash
  • The rash is painful or infected

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Rosacea

Rosacea (rose-AY-sha) is a common skin condition. It often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. The most noticeable symptom of rosacea is redness on your nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin. Less often, redness appears on the ears, chest, neck, or back. Rosacea can cause more symptoms, such as rough patches of skin or enlarged pores. If experiencing issues with rosacea, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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Scars

Scars come in many shapes and sizes. If you have two or more scars, you may notice that each scar is unique. There are various things that affect what a scar looks like:

  • Cause (accident, acne, burn, surgery, etc.)
  • Wound (size and how deeply the wound penetrated your skin)
  • Body part (where you wounded your skin)
  • Wound care (how you treated the wound)

Your genes, age, skin color, and the medications you take can also affect how your skin heals.

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Shingles

Shingles is a painful rash that appears as a stripe of blisters on one side of the body. This rash can go from the spine around to the front of the chest. Shingles may also appear as a rash on the neck, nose, and forehead.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive inside your body and may return as shingles when you’re older.

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Warts

Warts are benign (not cancerous) skin growths that appear when a virus infects the top layer of the skin. Viruses that cause warts are called human papillomavirus (HPV). You are more likely to get one of these viruses if you cut or damage your skin in some way.

Wart viruses are contagious, and warts can spread by contact with the wart or something that touched the wart.

Warts are often skin-colored and feel rough, but they can be dark (brown or gray-black), flat, and smooth.

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Wrinkles

Wrinkles occur as a natural sign of the aging process. Over time, skin gets drier, thinner, and loses elasticity, causing wrinkles. Areas of skin that are often exposed to the sun present this sign of aging the most. Premature aging is often associated with smoking, heredity, and skin type.

If you’re concerned that wrinkles and fine lines are making you look older than you feel, Stewart’s Dermatology can tell you whether a cosmetic treatment can give you the results you expect. Contact us today for a consultation!

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MOHS surgery

Also called Mohs micrographic surgery

Used to treat skin cancer, this surgery has a unique benefit. During surgery, the surgeon can see where the cancer stops. This isn’t possible with other types of treatment for skin cancer.

The ability to see where the cancer stops gives Mohs (pronounced Moes) two important advantages:

  1. Mohs has a high cure rate.
  2. Mohs allows you to keep as much healthy skin as possible because the surgeon only removes the skin with cancer cells. This is especially important when skin cancer develops in an area with little tissue beneath (e.g., eyelid, ear, or hand).

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Definitions and information brought to you by the American Academy of Dermatology Association

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