In infants, this skin condition is known as cradle cap and it results in greasy, scaly patches of skin on the head. Puberty often brings with it oilier skin, and this is often when we see teens and adults complaining of redness, swelling, or scaling on the scalp, eyebrows, nose, armpits, groin, or upper back.
While dermatologists see this condition in a wide range of patients ranging from newborns to seniors, this condition most often occurs between 30-60 years old. While the root cause still hasn’t been determined, there are certain beliefs as to what might cause seborrheic dermatitis, including a reaction to a type of yeast that’s normally found on our skin. Certain chronic conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, HIV, or epilepsy may also increase your risk for developing seborrheic dermatitis.
- Hormone fluctuations and imbalances
- Weather changes (e.g. cold or dry weather)
- Certain prescription medications
- Detergents, soaps, and cleaning products
In most cases, your dermatologist can prescribe specialized skin products that can help to keep skin moisturized while preventing scaly patches from forming. Cleansers, shampoos, and other products that contain zinc pyrithione are often most effective for treating seborrheic dermatitis symptoms. Some products can be purchased over-the-counter, but for those with more severe symptoms, you may require a prescription from your dermatologist.
Lifestyle modifications such as getting more sleep, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress can also reduce the number of flare-ups you experience. A dermatologist can help map out a treatment plan for you to better manage your symptoms.
If you develop alopecia you may want to point a finger at your genetics. In fact, both parents have the ability to pass down alopecia to their children. So, if you have a family member with alopecia areata then you may be more likely to develop this condition at some point during your lifetime. Of course, genetics isn’t the only factor that plays a role in whether or not you develop alopecia. There are other deciding factors, as well.
As we mentioned above, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body attacks the hair follicles, causing them to slow or even halt hair growth. There are different kinds of alopecia and people experience different symptom severities. Some people may notice hair regrowth in a few months while others may not. Again, you must have a dermatologist that you can turn to for answers.
While there is no cure, there are treatment options out there that can help stimulate hair growth and reduce the immune system response. The type and severity of your alopecia, along with your age and the severity of your hair loss will play major roles in what types of treatment options are best for you. This is something that a skincare professional can discuss with you during your consultation.
- Topical or injectable corticosteroids
- Minoxidil solution (applied to the scalp to regrow hair)
- Anthralin cream
- Oral steroids
- Immunomodulatory medications
- Topical immunotherapy
Your dermatologists in Valparaiso, and La Porte, IN, can help keep your skin healthy and beautiful.
Your skin has a lot to do with how great you look. Your skin also has a lot to do with protecting the vulnerable organs and tissues underneath. Your dermatologist can help you take care of your skin, so it’s important to make your dermatologist a part of your healthcare team.
Dr. William Applegarth of Applegarth Dermatology can help keep your skin in the best of health. We have two convenient office locations in Valparaiso, and La Porte, IN, to serve you.
So, how often should you see your dermatologist? That depends on your overall health and the health of your skin. At a minimum, you should visit your dermatologist once each year for a general check-up.
During your check-up, your dermatologist can look for any evidence of skin cancer, including any moles which have changed in color, size, or shape. A skin cancer screening is one of the most important services your dermatologist can provide because it can save your life.
If you have acne, your dermatologist can recommend effective treatments including benzoyl-peroxide products, tretinoin, light therapy, and other treatments. Acne can also leave scars, and your dermatologist can help minimize their appearance with chemical peels and other skin resurfacing treatments.
Visiting your dermatologist isn’t just about keeping your skin healthy; it’s about keeping your skin beautiful too. This is especially important as you age, because your skin loses vital moisture and elasticity, leading to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
Your dermatologist can recommend a wide variety of anti-aging services including dermal fillers like Restylane, muscle relaxers like Botox, laser resurfacing, facials, skin care products, and more!
To find out more about how your dermatologist can help you and your skin stay healthy and beautiful, call Dr. Applegarth of Applegarth Dermatology. You can reach us in Valparaiso, IN, at (219) 548-0360, or at our office in La Porte, IN, at (219) 362-0161, so call today!
What should I expect from a skin cancer screening?
There is nothing uncomfortable, painful, or invasive about a skin cancer screening. This can be a relief to know and may even make someone more likely to come in for the screening they need. A skin cancer screening involves a simple, non-invasive visual examination that is performed by a qualified dermatologist. Your skin doctor will examine all growths, moles, and birthmarks to check for any changes in shape, color, size, or texture that could be warning signs of cancer.
Just as with any health screening, a skin cancer screening can help your dermatologist detect skin cancer during the very early stages when it’s highly treatable. If your dermatologist does detect a suspicious growth, they may recommend a biopsy. A biopsy simply means that your dermatologist will remove a small amount of tissue from the area to test for cancer cells.
Who should get a skin cancer screening?
Everyone can benefit from a skin cancer screening; however, certain risk factors can increase your odds of developing skin cancer over your lifetime. It’s important to know your risk level so you can talk with your dermatologist about how often you should come in for screenings. Those at increased risk may need to come in more than once a year. These risk factors include,
- Being fair-skinned
- Having blonde or red hair
- Light eyes
- Skin that burns or freckles easily
- A history of sunburns
- Family history of skin cancer
- Extensive sun exposure (e.g. working outdoors)
What causes rashes?
There are so many reasons why a rash may surface. Rashes may be the result of a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection, or it could be caused by an allergy. Common causes of a rash include,
- Atopic or contact dermatitis
- Pityriasis rosea
- Insect bites and stings
- Poison ivy, oak, or sumac
- Diaper rash
- Lichen planus
- Allergy to a drug/medication
Most rashes are mild, self-limiting, and can be treated on your own without having to turn to a doctor. Some ways to ease a rash and promote faster healing is by,
- Using only gentle cleansers and soaps that do not contain harsh chemicals or fragrances
- Avoiding hot water and only using lukewarm or cold water
- Being gentle when cleansing, bathing, and handling the skin
- Not covering the rash (let it breathe)
- Using only unscented products
- Applying calamine lotion to control itching
- Using hydrocortisone cream to reduce itchiness, swelling, and redness
- Not scratching the rash, as this can lead to an infection
It’s important to recognize when a rash probably requires medical attention. You should schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if,
- The rash is widespread and takes over most of your body (this could be a sign of an allergic reaction, which requires immediate attention)
- The rash is spreading quickly and suddenly
- Your rash is accompanied by a fever (this is often a sign of serious infection)
- The rash is painful or contains blisters
- There are signs of infection such as oozing, crusting, or skin that’s warm to the touch
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