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Posts for: January, 2021

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
January 25, 2021
Category: Skin Condition
Cold sores are small, painful blisters that develop on the lips and around the mouth. These sores are caused by a viral infection known as herpes simplex. More specifically, Herpes Simplex Type 1 is typically the cause of cold sores. This condition is very common, affecting around 67% of the global population. Here’s what you should know about cold sores, including how to treat them when they surface.
 
How did I get cold sores?

Cold sores are highly contagious, so it is possible to get a cold sore from,
  • Kissing an infected person
  • Sharing utensils and drinking from the same glass as an infected person
  • Oral sex
While the herpes simplex virus is typically considered a sexually transmitted disease when it comes to cold sores many cases of HSV1 are passed between family members. If you have a parent or grandparent who has cold sores who has also kissed you or shared food and drink items with you, then chances are good that you got your cold sore from them.
 
What are the symptoms of a cold sore?

Before a blister even develops, you may notice burning, tingling, pain, or itching around the affected area of the lip. If this is your first time dealing with a cold sore, it is common for the first outbreak to be the worst. In this case, you may develop a fever, body aches, or other flu-like symptoms.
 
The cold sore itself may look like a cluster of blisters or an inflamed, open sore. Eventually, the blister will scab over and go away, usually in about two weeks.
 
How can I treat a cold sore?

When it comes to treating a cold sore, you can find simple over-the-counter creams that help to ease symptoms. If you deal with severe cold sore outbreaks you may wish to talk with your dermatologist about a prescription antiviral medication, that can help to reduce the length of your outbreak and reduce symptom severity.
 
Are cold sores and canker sores the same thing?

Cold sores and canker sores can often be mistaken for each other, but they are not the same. First, cold sores usually develop on the lips while canker sore cause painful sores to develop in the mouth. Secondly, cold sores are due to a virus while we still don’t know exactly what causes canker sores.
 
If you are dealing with cold sores your dermatologist can provide you with both over-the-counter and prescription options, depending on the severity of your symptoms. If you have questions about cold sores, call your dermatologist today.

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
January 11, 2021
Category: Skin Condition
Molluscum ContagiosumMolluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that most commonly affects children under 10 years old, that causes hard, raised red bumps known as papules to develop on the skin. These papules usually develop in clusters on the armpits, groins, or back of the knees, but can develop just about anywhere on the body. If you suspect that your child might have molluscum contagiosum here’s what you should know,

How is molluscum contagiosum contracted?

You may be wondering how your child contracted this poxvirus. There are several ways to transmit this viral infection: skin-to-skin contact, sharing items such as towels or clothes, sexual transmission (in adults), and scratching your own lesions (this can lead to further spreading of the papules).

It can take anywhere from two weeks to six months to develop symptoms after exposure. Once a child or person has molluscum contagiosum they typically aren’t infected again in the future.

How is this condition diagnosed?

If you notice any bumps on your child that persist for days, you must consult your dermatologist to find out what’s going on. A simple dermatoscopy (a painless, non-invasive procedure that allows your dermatologist to examine a skin lesion or growth) can determine whether the papule is due to molluscum contagiosum. If MC is not suspected, your dermatologist may biopsy the bump for further evaluation.

How is molluscum contagiosum treated?

Since this is the result of a viral infection, antibiotics will not be an effective treatment option. In fact, the body simply needs time to fight the virus. Your dermatologist may just tell you to wait until the infection runs its course and clears up on its own.

If the papules are widespread and affecting your teen’s appearance and self-esteem, then you may wish to talk with a dermatologist about ways to get rid of the spots. Cryotherapy or certain creams may be recommended to treat and get rid of these spots.

If you are living with others, it’s important to avoid sharing any clothing or towels with the infected child or person. Make sure that your child does not scratch the bumps, which can lead to further spreading of the infection.

If your child is dealing with a rash, raised bumps, or any skin problems and you’re not sure what’s going on, it’s best to talk with a qualified dermatologist who can easily diagnose the issue and provide you with effective solutions for how to treat it.

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
January 11, 2021
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: rash   Ringworm  

Breaking out in a rash can be concerning, particularly if you don't know what's causing it. Skin rashes are a common issue seen by the doctors at Applegarth Dermatology in Valparaiso, Indiana, with ringworm being one of the main causes. If you're wondering about what's causing your rash, you've come to the right place. Dr William Applegarth and physician's assistant Thomas Sandin delve into the topic of ringworm in this post.

What is ringworm?

Contrary to its name and reputation, ringworm isn't caused by a parasite. It's actually caused by a fungus, the same one responsible for athlete's foot and jock itch. Ringworm, or dermatophytosis, causes a reddened and scaly rash to appear in nickel- or quarter-sized patches on the body. It is annular, or ring-shaped, with the middle section typically left unaffected. It can also develop on the scalp, where it can cause bald patches to develop. Ringworm can be intensely itchy and is very contagious. It's easily spread from person to person as well as by touching animals, particularly cats and cattle, who carry it. It's typically treated with a topical antifungal ointment.

If it's not ringworm, what is it?

There are a few other skin conditions that can mimic the appearance of ringworm. These include granuloma annulare, which produces smooth (rather than scaly rings) of inflammation on the skin, as well as pityriasis rosea, which is thought to be the result of a viral infection. Patches of psoriasis or eczema can also look like ringworm. Because it's often not immediately clear what's causing your rash, it's important to contact your Valparaiso dermatologist when you develop a rash that doesn't clear up on its own in a few days.

Fortunately, ringworm and other skin rashes are easily treatable with the help of your Valparaiso dermatologist. Contact Applegarth Dermatology at (219) 548-0360 for an appointment with Dr. William Applegarth or Thomas Sandin, PA. We also have an office in La Porte, IN which can be reached by calling (219) 362-0161.