There are many medical conditions that can affect skin health and/or impact the appearance of the skin. Dermatology Experts offers treatments for all ages.
Basel Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are the most frequently occurring form of all cancers, and they most often appear as open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars. More than 4 million cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. In fact, more than one of every three new cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer, and the vast majority are BCCs.
Basal cell carcinoma is characterized by abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions stemming from cellular damage in the skin’s basal cells lining the deepest layer of the epidermis. BCCs are usually caused by a combination of years of natural or artificial sun exposure and intense, occasional sun exposure that resulted in sunburn. Regular skin checks by your dermatologist can identify BCCs. Treatment options may include lasers, cryosurgery or Mohs surgery. Choice of treatment is based on the type, size, location, and depth of the tumor, patient’s age and general health, and cosmetic considerations.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Cancerous growths can develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells – often caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds – triggers mutations that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.
Melanomas often resemble moles and some forms develop from moles. The majority of melanomas are black or brown but they can also be pink, red, purple, blue or white or a combination of colors. Melanoma is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease.
If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable. Untreated, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, and it can be fatal. While it is not the most common skin cancer, melanomas cause the most deaths. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 7,230 people will die of melanoma in 2019.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer, with more than 1 million cases diagnosed in the U.S each year. SCC occurs when uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arises from damage to the squamous cells in the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer. Daily year-round sun exposure, intense exposure resulting in sunburn, and UV light exposure from tanning beds are all contributors to the damage. Experts believe that indoor tanning is connected to an increase in SCC cases among young women, who tend to use tanning beds.
SCCs appear as scaly red patches, open sores, warts or elevated growths with a central depression that may crust or bleed. SCCs are most common in areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the rim of the ear, lower lip, face, balding scalp, neck, hands, arms, and legs. Treatment options may include lasers, cryosurgery or Mohs surgery. Choice of treatment is based on the type, size, location, and depth of the tumor, patient’s age and general health, and cosmetic considerations.
Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become blocked with oil and dead skin cells. Acne is characterized by whiteheads, blackheads or pimples on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Acne affects people of all ages but is most common among teenagers.
Eczema, or dermatitis, is a series of chronic skin conditions that produce itchy rashes; scaly, dry and leathery areas; skin redness; or inflammation around blisters. It can be located anywhere on the body, but most frequently appears in the creases on the face, arms, and legs. Eczema affects people of all races, genders, and ages. It’s thought to be hereditary and is not contagious.
Shingles is a painful rash that is caused by the varicella zoster virus. It usually appears as a band or strip of blisters on one side of the body that goes from the spine around the front to the breastbone. Shingles derives from the same virus that causes chicken pox. After having chicken pox, the virus lies dormant in nerve tissue underneath the skin. Years later, and with no known reason, it reactivates and causes shingles.
Shingles is contagious and can easily pass through touching from one person to another. The virus develops into shingles for people who have had chicken pox and develops into chicken pox for those who have not had it. Shingles appear most frequently among older adults (age 60+) and in people with compromised immune systems.