Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS ACNE?
Acne is the medical terms for pimples, blackheads/whiteheads, clogged pores and cysts. It can affect people at any age, although teenagers are more frequently affected due to hormonal changes. A large proportion of adult females also suffer from acne, even if they never had the condition when they were younger.
WHAT CAUSES ACNE?
Acne is caused by a combination of hormones, sticky skin cells, oil production and your immune system. The bacteria that causes acne, Propionobacterium acnes, lives on everyone’s skin. However some people are just more allergic to it than others and this can fluctuate over time.
WILL I LOOK UNNATURAL IF I HAVE A COSMETIC PROCEDURE DONE?
My goal, as your Dermatologist, is to help you to achieve a natural aesthetic so that everyone thinks you look great…but no one can tell that you had anything done.
WHAT IS PSORIASIS?
Psoriasis is a term that encompasses a group of chronic skin disorders that affect any part of the body from the scalp to the toenails, but most frequently affect the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet and genitals . Over seven million men and women in the U.S. of all ages have some form of psoriasis.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PSORIASIS?
Yes. Psoriasis in general may be mild, moderate or severe. In addition it may be categorized into different types: plaque, pustular, erythrodermic, guttate or inverse psoriasis. Most forms involve an itching and/or burning sensation, scaling and crusting of the skin. Type-specific symptoms include:
- Plaque psoriasis (the most common type): raised, thickened patches of red skin covered with silvery-white scales;
- Pustular psoriasis: pus-like blisters;
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: intense redness and swelling of a large part of the skin surface;
- Guttate psoriasis: small, drop-like lesions;
- Inverse psoriasis: smooth red lesions in the folds of the skin.
WHAT CAUSES PSORIASIS?
While the cause of psoriasis has yet to be discovered, suspected triggers include emotional stress, skin injury, systemic infections and certain medications. There is a possibility that susceptibility to psoriasis is inherited.
WHAT IS ECZEMA?
Eczema is not a true diagnosis. It is the same as asking “What does that person look like?” And someone replies “Like a human.” Eczema is really a catch all phrase for anything that is red, flakey and itchy. It is important to discover the true diagnosis. What has been called eczema is actually an fungal infection, an allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, lichen simplex chronicus, psoriasis or a number of other treatable skin conditions.
WHAT DOES ECZEMA LOOK AND FEEL LIKE?
Symptoms vary from person to person but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin which, when scratched, tend to break out in rashes. Sometimes rashes “bubble up” and ooze; other times they may be more scaly. A common result of excessive scratching is lichenification, the leathery texture caused by skin thickening.
WHAT ARE ACTINIC KERATOSES?
Actinic keratoses (AKs) are lesions on the surface layer of the skin (epidermis) caused by chronic exposure to sunlight, particularly ultraviolet light. AKs occur when the cells that comprise 90 percent of the epidermis, the keratinocytes, change their size, shape and/or organization in a process called cutaneous dysplasia. This alters the texture of the skin surface and may extend deeper, into the dermis. AKs are only one of many kinds of keratinocyte lesions, which can be caused by factors other than sunlight (such as chemical carcinogens, x-rays, heat, papillomavirus infection and scarring).
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF AKS?
AKs typically manifest as rough or scaly skin, bumps, mottled patterns and cutaneous horns. They may appear anywhere on the skin surface exposed to sunlight, but common areas include the face (including ears and lips), neck, arms and hands. Lesions range in size from a pinpoint to several centimeters in diameter and may be yellow, brown, red or violet, smooth, wrinkled or furrowed.
WHAT IS MELANOMA?
Melanoma is a potentially life-threatening skin cancer of the melanocytes, the cells that make melanin (brown pigment). Almost half of the incidences of melanoma occur in new (dysplastic) moles or moles already present (congenital) on the skin surface.
AM I AT RISK FOR DEVELOPING MELANOMA?
The causes of melanoma are not yet known, although there are many suspected risk factors, including:
- Familial tendency to develop freckles or prominent or atypical (unusual-looking) moles.
- Presence of many freckles, moles, large moles or atypical moles
- Family member with melanoma
- Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, especially sunbathing
- Overexposure to sunlight before age 18
- Caucasian ancestry, with fair skin (although all races/skin tones are susceptible)
- Sun sensitivity / Poor tanning ability
- Immune system deficiency due to disease or organ transplantation
- Previous presence of melanoma