Ⓒ 2017 California Dermatology Institute

3095 Old Conejo Road, Suite 200 

Thousand Oaks, CA 91320

(805) 222-5803

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Medical Dermatology

Acne

 

Acne is the most common skin disease in the country and affects people of all ages. Acne occurs when tiny glands beneath the skin's surface are clogged with an oily substance. This, in turn, can cause pimpling and/or swelling on the skin's surface, which can result in blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and overall greasy skin. If left untreated, acne can result in permanent physical scarring, which can often cause psychological and emotional distress.

 

Depending on the prominence and on the severity of the acne, treatment options include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, oral therapy, topical treatment, punch surgery, and more. Acne is often treated orally through medications such as Accutane, which should be carefully monitored by a dermatologic medical professional. Topical therapy is one of the most common medical treatments for acne and often provides results in just a few weeks.

 

The first step in treating acne should always be a consultation with a dermatologist. Dr. Navid Ezra has the training necessary to diagnose your condition and provide you with the best treatment possible to work out a long-term plan to contain the condition.

 

Actinic Keratosis

 

Actinic keratosis is a potential pre-cancerous growth caused by damage from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. People with fairer skin are especially susceptible to this condition. This small growth commonly occurs on the face, scalp, neck, forearms, upper chest, and hands, although it can occur in any location that is chronically exposed to the sun's rays.

 

Dermatologists can treat actinic keratosis through cryosurgery, excision, and other types of surgery. The skin must be properly examined and monitored by a dermatologist in order for this condition not to escalate into a full-fledged skin cancer. Contact California Dermatology Institute to begin your treatment.

 

Alopecia Areata

 

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune skin disease that results in the loss of hair on the body. The autoimmune process is characterized by the body’s own immune system attacking hair follicles. The three types of alopecia areata are:

 

  • Alopecia areata – skin loses hair in round sections of varying size

  • Alopecia areata totalis – complete loss of hair on the scalp alone

  • Alopecia areata universalis – loss of hair everywhere on the body

 

In alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis, total scalp hair loss is preceded by the appearance of a small number of round hairless patches on the scalp. Some people may experience itching associated with the loss of hair. Total hair loss of the scalp (alopecia totalis) usually takes about 6 months.

 

Angiomas and Cysts

 

Angiomas and cysts are benign growths on the skin that can often be unsightly or result in bleeding. Different types of angiomas can occur for different people, such as children and pregnant women. Some types of angiomas can also come with aging. 

 

When present in large numbers, angiomas can indicate a potentially serious condition. In these situations, as well as when children have an angioma, these patients should be seen by a dermatologist, who can treat the angioma with laser therapy or liquid nitrogen.

 

Athlete's Foot

 

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin between the toes. This form of ringworm is also contagious and can be spread to toenails and hands. Athlete’s foot impacts athletes and non-athletes alike, as well as men and women of all ages and races.

Those suffering from athlete’s foot will feel an itching, stinging and burning between their toes and also the soles of their feet. Often, symptoms will include blisters on the feet, cracking and peeling of the skin and discolored thick and crumbly toenails.

 

Athlete’s foot is highly curable with proper treatment and hygiene. Your dermatologist can prescribe either a topical or oral anti-fungal prescription, depending upon your need. Proper hygiene and foot care are also a must to keep your feet free from athlete’s foot. If you have athlete’s foot, our skin experts can develop a treatment plan that is safe, effective and personalized for your health needs and the condition of your skin. 

 

Basal Cell Carcinoma

 

Basal cell carcinomas are growths or lesions that appear on the skin surface in varying forms, including red patches of skin, pink growths, open sores and shiny bumps. Basal cell carcinomas are commonly caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Basal cell carcinomas are rarely life-threatening, though their appearance can be highly unsightly.

 

One common symptom of a basal cell carcinoma is a wound or sore that will not heal. Typically, the wound or sore may bleed or ooze and remain unhealed for an abnormal length of time before eventually healing. It will then reopen and start to ooze or bleed. This process can repeat itself several times.

 

Basal cell carcinomas present themselves as reddish areas of skin on the parts of the body that are exposed to the sun, including the face, neck, arms, and legs. Itching is an occasional side effect.
 

Basal cell carcinomas can also appear as a scar, pink growths, or as shiny bumps that appear red, pink or white. These shiny bumps are often mistaken for moles.

A biopsy is often used to confirm a diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma. Once confirmed, basal cell carcinomas can be treated through:

 

  • Mohs micrographic surgery – Uses local anesthesia to remove tumors. Advantages of Mohs surgery include its ability to spare healthy tissue and achieve the highest high cure rate.

  • Excisional surgery – Unlike Mohs surgery, this procedure calls for the removal of small areas of surrounding healthy tissue as a preventive measure. Cure rates average about 90 percent.

  • Electrodesiccation and curettage – Also uses local surgery. Here, the growth is scraped off and cauterized to destroy any remaining tumor cells and to stop bleeding. Usually not suitable for advanced cases or for growths in hard-to-reach areas.

  • X–ray – Over the course of several weeks, beams are aimed precisely at the tumor. This option has the risk of radiation exposure.

  • Cryosurgery – Destroys tumors through freezing with liquid nitrogen.

  • Topical ointments – There are also ointments available such as Imiquimod and 5-Fluorouracil – ask your physician if these are a viable option for you.

 

Birthmarks

 

A birthmark is a generally harmless irregularity on the skin caused by an overgrowth of blood vessels, cells that contain pigment, smooth muscle, and fat cells. Birthmarks can be flat or raised, have regular or irregular borders, and have different shades of coloring. Birthmarks earned their name as they appear at or shortly after birth. The two main types of birthmarks are:

 

  • Red, vascular birthmarks, such as hemangiomas and port wine stains caused by increased blood vessels clumping together.

  • Pigmented birthmarks, such as moles, café-au-lait spots, and Mongolian spots, which are large, dark patches that may resemble a bruise and are caused by excess skin pigment cells.

  • A third type, congenital nevi (congenital moles) are defined as moles that are present at or shortly after birth. Not all moles are birthmarks.

 

Treatment Options can include:

 

  • Beta-blockers – These have been shown to be effective treatment options for hemangiomas. Unlike steroids, beta-blockers not only prevent additional growth of the hemangioma but shrink the existing hemangioma.

  • Timolol – A beta-blocker that is applied topically to the surface of hemangiomas twice daily. It has been shown to be effective in treating very superficial hemangiomas.

  • Corticosteroids – Oral corticosteroids are only used during the growth phase and usually do not shrink the existing hemangioma but rather slow further growth.

  • Pulsed dye laser – The pulsed dye laser treatment is safe and effective in treating infants and young children.

  • Surgery – Surgical excision is usually reserved for cases in which fibrous, fatty tissue or scarring remains after the hemangioma has resolved or for hemangiomas that are shrinking very slowly and have not resolved by the time the child is about to enter school.

 

Burns

 

Many people have undergone mild to severe burns, both from open flames and from exposure to scorching hot surfaces (scalding). Although third-degree burns are most severe, second-degree burns are often the most painful because third-degree burns destroy the nerve endings below the skin. Our dermatologists can help reverse the effects of burns and repair your skin. We are one of the few dermatology centers in the country with the newest laser to improve burn scars.

 

Eczema

 

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a common skin condition characterized by the inflammation, swelling or irritation of the skin. Eczema affects as many as 35 million Americans. Eczema is not dangerous, but it can cause significant discomfort if the skin itches. When that happens, the condition may worsen if the eczema is scratched.

 

Atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema, is the most common form of eczema and is often found in babies and children. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults will develop atopic eczema.

 

Causes include:

 

  • An overreaction to environmental triggers by the body’s immune system

  • Family history of allergies or asthma

  • A defect in the skin which causes it to not properly regulate moisture and germs

  • Irritants – Environmental elements such as soaps, detergents, and certain fabrics

  • Stress – Any form of stress, such as work, family or social issues, can trigger eczema

  • Climate – Dramatic decreases in humidity can trigger eczema and cold, damp conditions can hamper eczema treatments

  • Perspiration

  • Animal dander

  • Upper respiratory infections

  • Genetics

 

The onset of eczema is often characterized by itchiness in the area of the skin that will be visibly affected. Eczema is not contagious and may develop in any other area of the skin as well. When eczema occurs it is characterized by dry, scaly, flaky or thickened skin that is reddish and may turn brown. Conversely, those people with darker skin may see the affected area become lighter in color. Eczema can be cyclical with intermittent flare-ups. Infants most often suffer from eczema on the face and scalp, although like adults, it may appear anywhere.

 

According to the National Eczema Organization, the most common symptoms of eczema are:

 

  • Dry, sensitive skin

  • Intense itching

  • Red, inflamed skin

  • Recurring rash

  • Scaly areas

  • Rough, leathery patches

  • Oozing or crusting

  • Areas of swelling

  • Dark-colored patches of skin

 

When symptoms occur, particularly in a repeat eczema incident, treatment results may be accelerated by a visit to a dermatologist for care.

 

Hair Loss

 

For many men and women, hair loss affects their daily lives quite substantially. Although hair loss can occur due to genetic factors, it can also result from underlying medical conditions that may require medical attention. If you are experiencing hair loss, multiple treatment options are available, including hair transplants. Speak with your dermatologist to see which treatment option will best suit your needs.

 

Hemangioma

 

A hemangioma, also known as a strawberry mark, is a type of birthmark that is almost always benign and disappears by the age of 10. Hemangiomas rarely require any medical treatment; however, in some cases, medical intervention may be warranted if the hemangioma presents a cosmetic challenge (large and visible), or if it starts to change shape or color or starts to bleed.

 

Hemangiomas present themselves as raised, red skin marks that may have a rubbery feel. They are prominent on the head and neck and vary in the size, shape and color values of their appearance. Depending on the type and location of the birthmark, treatment options can include Beta-blockers, corticosteroids, and surgical excision.

 

Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Perspiration)

 

Perspiration is the body's way of regulating its temperature in warm conditions. Hyperhidrosis occurs when the perspiration is excessive and when temperature regulation triggers do not exist.

Hyperhidrosis most often affects the:

 

  • Palms

  • Soles of the feet

  • Groin area

  • Underarms

 

Treatment options for hyperhidrosis include:

 

  • Prescription antiperspirants

  • Surgery on certain sweat glands or nerves

  • Oral medication

  • Botox® injections

  • Iontophoresis (electrical current therapy)

  • miraDry® (electromagnetic therapy)

 

Ingrown Nails

 

Ingrown nails occur when a nail grows into rather than over the surrounding flesh. Ingrown nails occur most often in the big toe. Ingrown nails are a common condition that can become extremely painful and could become infected unless proper treatment is sought.

 

The overwhelming majority of ingrown nail cases are due to improper footwear, specifically, cramped shoes with insufficient room in the toes for proper nail growth. Though not as common a cause, ingrown nails are sometimes the result of poor nail cutting skills. Ingrown nails may also be the result of trauma to the toe which injures the flesh and causes irregular nail growth. And though it is rare, ingrown nails may also be the result of a bacterial infection.

 

Melanoma

 

Melanoma, also known as malignant melanoma, is a dangerous type of skin cancer that occurs in melanocytes, which are the cells that produce the skin pigment known as melanin. Though melanocytes are usually found in the skin, they are also present in the bowel, the eyes, and other areas of the body; however, the risk of melanoma in these areas is very low.

While melanoma is less common than other forms of skin cancer, it is the most deadly and is responsible for approximately 75% of all skin cancer deaths. Approximately 160,000 new melanoma cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Of those, approximately 48,000 result in death.

Melanoma of the skin is caused by excessive ultraviolet light (UV) exposure without the appropriate amount of skin pigmentation and is almost always preventable.

The most common symptom of melanoma is a change in an existing mole. In fact, this visible assessment is so common, health care professionals have created this simple alphabetical checklist:

Asymmetry – Varying shapes of lumps or moles, even within each mole
Borders – Irregular mole borders – scalloped, wavy or notched
Color – Uneven, either between different moles or within the same mole
Diameter (greater than 6 mm (0.24 in), about the size of a pencil eraser) – Melanomas that are larger than ¼ inch in diameter and appear to be growing
Evolving – Changing in size, shape and/or color

Moles that itch, ooze or bleed are also suspect. It is important to remember, however, that melanoma can appear on normal skin tissue and does not always start as a mole.

These classifications do not apply to the most dangerous form of melanoma, nodular melanoma, which has its own set of symptoms and must be diagnosed by a professional.

Once melanoma has been confirmed through a biopsy and pathological examination, there are several treatment options available:

 

  • Surgery – A highly effective procedure that is favored by our dermatologist

  • Chemotherapy – Uses drugs, sometimes in combination, to destroy cancer cells. Though not as successful as surgery, chemotherapy may be appropriate in some cases.

  • Immunotherapy – As with chemotherapy, this option may be less effective, but immunotherapy may be a viable treatment option for some cases.

  • Radiation – Uses focused, high-powered radiation beams to eradicate cancer cells. Sometimes recommended after surgery to help reduce the rate of recurrence.

  • Biological therapy – Uses naturally-occurring substances to help boost the body’s immune system to fight the cancer cells.

 

Melasma

 

Melasma appears on the face as sections of tan or dark skin not consistent with the patient’s normal skin color. Melasma usually appears slowly and is thought to be the result of sensitivity to hormonal changes. The dark facial patches are irregularly shaped and have no symptoms beyond their appearance. There are no long-term physiological effects of melasma; however, melasma may cause mild depression in people who are concerned about its effect on their appearance.

Melasma is the result of increased production of melanocytes through the hormones progesterone and estrogen when the face is exposed to ultraviolet light.

 

Melasma appears as sections of skin – almost always on the face – that are darker than the patient’s normal skin tone. These patches can range in color from tan or brown to gray-brown.

Though melasma may appear on the forearms and neck, these areas are far less likely to show melasma symptoms.

 

Almost all melasma patients are women, particularly women who:

 

  • Are pregnant

  • Are pre-menopausal

  • Take oral contraceptives

  • Take patch contraceptives

  • Use hormone replacement therapy drugs

  • Have a darker (more tan) skin color and live in sunny areas

  • Have a family history of melasma

  • Are allergic to certain medications or cosmetics

  • Thyroid disease may also spur the appearance of melasma.

 

Migraines

 

Migraines cause extensive pain and discomfort to countless people on a daily basis. Migraines occur as a result of a wide variety of different causes, based on both genetics and on your lifestyle. Botox is one of the most effective methods of medically treating migraine pain. A dermatologist can help determine whether Botox is appropriate for your specific condition.

 

Moles

 

Moles, also known as Nevi, are among the most common skin problems found among adults. In fact, almost every adult has at least a few moles. Adults who have light skin are more prone to having moles, and many can have between 10-40 moles.

 

Although many moles can be harmless, some can be indicative of melanoma, a type of skin cancer. If melanoma is caught early and treated, it can be cured. Checking your skin early and often can help find melanoma in its early stages so that it can be effectively treated.

 

Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the skin that is mostly seen in children. The virus isn’t particularly harmful, though it can cause irritation. It is easily spread through skin to skin contact and is highly contagious.

The most prevalent symptoms of molluscum contagiosum are small pearly or flesh-colored bumps. The bumps are painless and usually no larger than the size of a pencil eraser.

 

There are several treatment options to treat this virus. A dermatologist can recommend freezing the bumps through cryotherapy or simply scraping off the bumps (curettage). A chemical can also be applied to the bumps to help eliminate them. If you are interested in molluscum contagiosum treatment, our skin experts can develop a treatment plan that is safe, effective and personalized for your health needs and the condition of your skin.

 

Nail Fungus

 

Nail fungus is a fungal infection that develops under the body’s nails and is more common in toenails than in fingernails. This is because the feet are covered by shoes, which create the optimal environment for the growth of fungi.

The fungi that cause the development of nail fungus are called dermatophytes, which are microscopic organisms that thrive in warm, moist environments. Yeasts and mold are other, though less prominent, causes of nail fungus.

 

Contrary to what logic may dictate, a topical application to the fungal area is not always the first recommended option. Instead, your dermatologist may opt for an oral antifungal medication with proven effectiveness, such as terbinafine or itraconazole.

Topical medications may be recommended; however, they are usually used in conjunction with an oral medication.

In cases of severe nail fungus, surgery may be in order. The chief indications for surgery include severe nail pain or nail fungus that has not responded to other treatment.

 

Psoriasis

 

Psoriasis is a non-contagious skin condition caused by an abnormality in the immune system which causes the increased production of new skin cells. Unable to shed the old skin cells quickly enough, the patient’s skin accumulates these dead cells on the skin’s surface.

Psoriasis has no cure and its cause has not been scientifically determined. The types of psoriasis include:

 

  • Plaque psoriasis – The most common form of the disease. Presents itself as small, red bumps.

  • Guttate psoriasis – This is the most common type of psoriasis diagnosed in children. Also has small, red bumps.

  • Pustular psoriasis – These are blistered, pus-filled lesions surrounded by reddened skin.

  • Inverse psoriasis – Occurs in the areas of the body where the skin folds, such as the armpits and groin. Appears as smooth, inflamed lesions.

  • Erythrodermic psoriasis – can lead to severe illness or death through the development of a weakened immune system.

  • Psoriatic arthritis – Characterized by joint discomfort that includes pain, swelling, stiffness and/or throbbing.

 

Common symptoms of psoriasis include:

 

  • Red, inflamed patches of skin

  • Silvery scales

  • Dry, cracked skin

  • Itching, burning or soreness of the skin

  • Swollen and stiff joints (psoriatic arthritis)

  •  

 

For adults with mild psoriasis, topical steroids are often prescribed. Other treatments include:

 

  • Carefully measured, daily exposure to natural sunlight

  • Oatmeal baths to relieve itching

  • UVB therapy (moderate cases)

  • Immune system suppressants (severe cases)

 

Rashes

 

The term “rash” does not refer to a specific condition, but to a variety of skin eruptions that can be caused by various physiological and environmental sources. Rashes affect almost everyone at some time in their life. Depending on the type of rash, its location and the type of treatment, a rash may last a few days or a few months. Here are descriptions of a few of the more common rashes:

 

  • Seborrheic dermatitis – This is the most common rash affecting adults. It usually appears on various parts of the head.

  • Atopic dermatitis – Commonly known as eczema, atopic dermatitis is characterized by inflamed, itchy skin. Atopic dermatitis may appear anywhere on the body, though it is most often found on the face, trunk, and limbs.

  • Contact dermatitis – Refers to a rash caused by physical contact with an allergen such as a chemical or a plant such as poison ivy. Rashes due to contact dermatitis tend to produce greater symptoms of itchiness.

  • Heat rash – Caused by an interruption in the flow of perspiration.

  • Psoriasis – Caused by the abnormal accumulation of dead skin cells.

  • Ringworm – A contagious rash that starts as a red ring on the skin and grows outward.

 

Most rashes are not serious. Rashes are not necessarily an indication of a more serious condition, and most will disappear on their own. There are, however, remedies to reduce itching and to expedite the disappearance of the symptoms particular to a specific rash. These remedies include:

 

  • Topical anti-itch lotions containing hydrocortisone

  • Moisturizers

  • Topical anti-fungal creams

  • Oral antihistamines

  • Light therapy

 

Ringworm

 

Ringworm is a contagious eruption of the skin characterized by a circular, red rash whose interior may appear healthy or contain small patches of red, bumpy skin. Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection, not an actual worm, and is generally spread from person to person through physical contact.

 

The “ring” in ringworm is a raised patch of circular skin – the ring – that is usually red and scaly and may itch. Inside the ring, the skin may appear to be healthy, or it could contain patches of small, red bumps. Several rings may appear at one time and the circular borders may intersect.

 

Most cases of ringworm are treated with antifungal creams. In more severe cases, oral antifungal medication may be in order. Visit Dr. Navid Ezra to begin your treatment.

 

Rosacea

 

Rosacea is a long-term facial skin condition characterized by the outbreak of small, red, pus-filled bumps. There is no cure for rosacea; however, some treatments can reduce its symptoms.

The cause of rosacea has not yet been determined; however, studies point to a connection with the immune system, a protein, or even a skin mite.

 

Symptoms can include:

 

  • Facial redness

  • Acne-like bumps

  • Enlarged nose

  • Facial spider veins

  • Swollen or thickened skin

 

Since there is no cure for rosacea, dermatologists work to reduce the physical symptoms by recommending topical medications, oral antibiotics, and light therapy. The thickened skin that accompanies rosacea may be reduced through cosmetic procedures such as dermabrasion.

 

Shingles

 

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that can occur anywhere on the body in the form of a line of blisters on the torso. Shingles are usually painful and contagious. The cause of shingles is believed to be the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox also has the varicella-zoster virus, which remains dormant except for its outbreak as shingles.

Someone who has contracted shingles can transmit the virus to anyone who is not immune to chickenpox; that is, anyone who has not had a vaccination. In those people, the virus is spread through direct contact with the shingles. Interestingly, the direct contact results in chickenpox, but not shingles.

Shingles are usually localized around the trunk of the body and presents itself as a very painful red rash accompanied by numbness and/or a tingling sensation.

Other symptoms include:

 

  • Headaches

  • Fever and/or chills

  • Fatigue

  • Fluid-filled blisters

  • Severe itching

 

The best defense against shingles is the chickenpox vaccine. Once shingles have appeared, however, treatment options include:

 

  • Prescription antiviral drugs such as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir)

  • Numbing creams or sprays

  • Anticonvulsants

  • Antidepressants

 

Skin Cancer

 

Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells and almost always appears on skin that receives excessive sun exposure. The three most common forms of skin cancer are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Not all skin cancer is fatal and early detection has proven to be a key factor in its treatment.

 

The symptoms of the three main types of skin cancer are:

 

  • Basal cell carcinoma – Usually occurs on sun-exposed areas of the neck and face. Appears as a waxy, whitish bump or a flat lesion that may be brown or flesh-toned.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma – Also occurs most often on sun-exposed areas such as the face, ears, and hands. Appears as a solid, red bump or a flat lesion that has a scaly or crusty feel.

  • Melanoma – Can appear anywhere on the body, in normal skin or in a mole that then becomes cancerous. Melanomas usually appear as larger brown spots with even darker spots inside. Moles that change color may be melanomas. Also presents as small red, white, blue or blue-black lesions, with irregular borders. Dark lesions on other parts of the body not exposed to the sun may also be melanomas.

 

Skin cancer can occur in anyone, anywhere, but is more likely to occur in people whose work or lifestyle exposes them to direct sunlight on a regular basis. Though skin cancer occurs less often in people with darker complexions than in those with fair complexions, dark-skinned people are at higher risk for cancer in areas of the body not normally exposed to the sun.

 

Treatment options for skin cancer depend on its size, type, and location. Small skin cancers appearing on the surface of the skin may need only minor surgery. Other, deeper cancers may require more extensive treatment options, which include:

 

  • Cryotherapy (freezing)

  • Excisional surgery 

  • Mohs micrographic surgery

  • Curettage and electrodesiccation combined with cryotherapy

  • Radiation

  • Chemotherapy

  • Photodynamic therapy

  • Biological therapy

 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

 

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. It’s usually found on areas of the body damaged by UV rays from the sun or tanning beds. Sun-exposed skin includes the head, neck, ears, lips, arms, legs, and hands. SCC is a fairly slow-growing skin cancer. Unlike other types of skin cancer, it can spread to the tissues, bones, and nearby lymph nodes, where it may become hard to treat.

SCC usually begins as a dome-shaped bump or a red, scaly patch of skin. It’s usually rough, crusty, and can bleed easily when scraped. Large growths may itch or hurt. It may also pop through scars or chronic skin sores, so check for any changes and report them to your doctor.

 

Individuals at higher risk include older age, fair-skinned, blue, green, or gray eyes, blonde or red hair, spend time outside; exposed to the sun’s UV Rays or tanning beds and bulbs.

 

Vitiligo

 

Vitiligo is a non-contagious disease in which the skin, eyes or hair lose their color. On the skin, color is lost in large sections. Vitiligo is the result of the loss of production of melanin, which is responsible for the color of the skin, eyes, and hair. Though vitiligo is not life-threatening, its appearance often has a deep psychological impact on its sufferers.

 

Vitiligo is identified by skin that is significantly lighter than the skin on the rest of the body. Vitiligo can appear anywhere, but typically it will first develop on skin that is routinely exposed to sunlight.

 

Vitiligo symptoms may also appear inside the mouth or nose, where a loss of color can be seen, or in the eyes when the retina loses color.

Skin affected by vitiligo rarely reverts to its normal color.

 

Drugs cannot halt vitiligo’s progress; however, some drugs, or some drugs used in combination with other remedies, can improve skin color. Some vitiligo treatments have significant side effects, and it is best to check with your dermatologist at California Dermatology Institute to determine the treatment that is best for you. Treatment options include:

 

  • Medications

  • Creams that control inflammation

  • Calcipotriene (Dovonex) – a cream that can be used with corticosteroids or ultraviolet light

  • Medications to support the immune system

  • Light therapy

  • UV phototherapy

  • Excimer laser therapy

  • Depigmentation

  • Micropigmentation

 

Warts

 

Common warts are small, rough bumps that can grow anywhere on the skin. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus and are contagious. Warts are usually not painful, but visible warts are unsightly and embarrassing to most people.

 

There are five types of warts:

 

  • Flat warts develop primarily on the face and forehead

  • Genital warts arise in the pubic area and directly on the genitals
    Plantar warts develop on the soles of the feet

  • Subungual and periungual warts develop under or around the fingernails and toenails

  • Genital warts are highly contagious and can be transmitted during oral, vaginal or anal sex. In women, warts can be undetected on the cervix and transmitted to a sexual partner.

 

Common warts:

 

  • Are small, bumpy mounds

  • Are usually flesh-colored, pink or tan but some may be white

  • Feel rough to the touch

  • Will bleed if picked

 

Many common warts disappear within two years; however, due to their unsightly appearance, many people opt to have them removed through:

 

  • Cryotherapy (freezing) – Uses liquid nitrogen to remove warts. Advantages of this option include minimal pain and minimal time investment.

  • Minor surgery – Wart tissue is cut away surgically and the area is cauterized (burned). Since surgery may leave a scar, it is often the last option exercised.