Skin Conditions

Herpes Simplex

Herpes is an infection that is caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV). Oral herpes causes cold sores around the mouth or face. Genital herpes affects the genitals, buttocks or anal area. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It affects the genitals, buttocks or anal area. Other herpes infections can affect the eyes, skin, or other parts of the body. The virus can be dangerous in newborn babies or in people with weak immune systems. There are two types of HSV: HSV type 1 most commonly causes cold sores. It can also cause genital herpes. HSV type 2 is the usual cause of genital herpes, but it also can infect the mouth. HSV spreads through direct contact. Some people have no symptoms. Others get sores near the area where the virus has entered the body. They turn into blisters, become itchy and painful, and then heal. Most people have outbreaks several times a year. Over time, you get them less often. Medicines to help your body fight the virus can help lessen symptoms and decrease outbreaks.  

Hair Loss

You lose up to 100 hairs from your scalp every day. That's normal, and in most people, those hairs grow back. But many men -- and some women -- lose hair as they grow older. You can also lose your hair if you have certain diseases, such as thyroid problems, diabetes, or lupus. If you take certain medicines or have chemotherapy for cancer, you may also lose your hair. Other causes are stress, a low protein diet, a family history, or poor nutrition. Treatment for hair loss depends on the cause. In some cases, treating the underlying cause will correct the problem. Other treatments include medicines and hair restoration.

Eczema

It is a chronic disease characterized by dry, itchy skin that can weep clear fluid when scratched. People with eczema also may be particularly susceptible to bacterial, viral, and fungal skin infections. Researchers estimate that 65 percent of people with atopic dermatitis develop symptoms during the first year of life, sometimes as early as age 2 to 6 months, and 85 percent develop symptoms before the age of 5. Many people outgrow the disease by early adulthood.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is common and can affect anyone at any age. You can get dry skin anywhere on your body. But it commonly shows up on the hands, feet, arms, and lower legs.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

For example, the face is the most common place to find basal cell skin cancer. In people with fair skin, basal cell skin cancer is the most common type of skin cancer.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

The rash arises when the skin comes in contact with an allergen, a usually harmless substance that the immune system attacks. Allergens trigger allergic reactions. Allergens can come from certain soaps, creams and even pets.

Actinic Keratosis

It is a thick, scaly patch of skin that may become cancer. It usually forms on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, scalp, back of the hands, or chest. It is most common in people with fair skin. Also called senile keratosis and solar keratosis.

Acne

Acne is a common skin disease that causes pimples. Pimples form when hair follicles under your skin clog up. Most pimples form on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Anyone can get acne, but it is common in teenagers and young adults. It is not serious, but it can cause scars. No one knows exactly what causes acne. Hormone changes, such as those during the teenage years and pregnancy, probably play a role. There are many myths about what causes acne. Chocolate and greasy foods are often blamed, but there is little evidence that foods have much effect on acne in most people. Another common myth is that dirty skin causes acne; however, blackheads and pimples are not caused by dirt. Stress doesn't cause acne, but stress can make it worse. If you have acne Clean your skin gently Try not to touch your skin Avoid the sun Treatments for acne include medicines and creams.  

Skin Cancer

More than 500,000 new cases are reported each year, and the incidence is rising faster than any other type of cancer. While skin cancers can be found on any part of the body, about 80 percent appear on the face, head, or neck, where they can be disfiguring as well as dangerous. Types Of Skin Cancer By far the most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. Fortunately, it's also the least dangerous kind--it tends to grow slowly, and rarely spreads beyond its original site. Though basal cell carcinoma is seldom life-threatening, if left untreated it can grow deep beneath the skin and into the underlying tissue and bone, causing serious damage (particularly if it's located near the eye). Squamous cell carcinoma is the next most common kind of skin cancer, frequently appearing on the lips, face, or ears. It sometimes spreads to distant sites, including lymph nodes and internal organs. Squamous cell carcinoma can become life threatening if it's not treated. A third form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, is the least common, but its incidence is increasing rapidly, especially in the Sunbelt states. Malignant melanoma is also the most dangerous type of skin cancer. If discovered early enough, it can be completely cured. If it's not treated quickly, however, malignant melanoma may spread throughout the body and is often deadly. Other Skin Growths You Should Know About Two other common types of skin growths are moles and keratoses. Moles are clusters of heavily pigmented skin cells, either flat or raised above the skin surface. While most pose no danger, some-particularly large moles present at birth, or those with mottled colors and poorly defined borders-may develop into malignant melanoma. Moles are frequently removed for cosmetic reasons, or because they're constantly irritated by clothing or jewelry (which can sometimes cause pre-cancerous changes). Solar or actinic keratoses are rough, red or brown, scaly patches on the skin. They are usually found on areas exposed to the sun, and sometimes develop into squamous cell cancer. Choosing A Doctor If you're concerned about skin cancer, your family physician is a good place to start. He or she should examine your skin at your annual physical, and can refer you to a specialist if necessary. If you notice an unusual growth yourself, consult a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist. Both are skilled at diagnosing and treating skin cancer and other skin growths. A plastic surgeon can surgically remove the growth in a manner that maintains function and offers the most pleasing final appearance- a consideration that may be especially important if the cancer is in a highly visible area. If a treatment other than surgical excision is called for, the plastic surgeon can refer you to the appropriate specialist.