A dermatologist is trained to diagnose and treat different types of diseases that are associated with the skin, hair, and nails. However, skin disorders are the most common, out of these three. Below are some of the reasons for visiting a dermatologist: Acne Melasma Skin damage Skin cancer Psoriasis Scar treatment Eczema
This is a chronic disease that happens when the hair follicles are clogged with materials such as dead skin cells, oil pigments, dirt and so on. Patients would present with symptoms such as oily skin, scarring, pimples whiteheads and so on. This disease predominantly occurs in parts of the body that has a high amount of oil glands. Examples include the face, the back, chest, and so on. Apart from making the people affected less attractive, it also leads to self-esteem issues, anxiety, and in some very bad cases, suicide or depression. The exact cause of this disease isn’t known yet. However, some factors have been an identical field to contribute to this disease. Some of these factors include unhealthy diet, smoking, hygiene, and exposure to sunlight. In addition, hormones also have a role to play in the development of this disease. An increase in hormones such as testosterone often leads to the development of acne. Some of the ways of preventing acne vulgaris include making lifestyle changes, medications, and some medical procedures. Endeavor to visit your dermatologist if you notice you might have acne vulgaris. They might prescribe some medications for a start, but if this doesn’t prove effective, they’d have to implement other types of treatment plans.
Vitiligo is a condition that causes the loss of skin color in blotches. They present as white patches on the skin. It occurs as a result of the destruction of the pigment cells of the skin. These pigment cells are also known as melanocytes. Vitiligo can affect the skin, of any part of the body. This could in the face, in the leg, hand, head, back and so on. The axilla region, also known as the armpit, and groin area might also be affected. This disease occurs when the melanocyte that determines the color of the skin is no longer working. The cause of vitiligo isn’t exactly known yet. However, some researchers believe that this disease occurs as a result of an autoimmune reaction. Some of the signs and symptoms of vitiligo include the patchy loss of skin color, loss of color in the tissues of the mouth and nose, change in color of the inner layer of the retina, whitening of the eyebrow, eyelash, and the hair of the scalp. This disease is not contagious, nor is it life-threatening. The only problem is that it disfigures the skin, giving it a different color. Although, recently, vitiligo patients are now being celebrated. There are now models who gallantly flaunt their vitiligo skin on the runway. This has boosted the confidence of a lot of vitiligo patients, as it isn’t a thing anyone should be feel bad about, or depressed. Vitiligo affects people of all ages, sexes, and race. There is also a probability that vitiligo could be as a result of heredity. This disease can be treated by a dermatologist. There are topical preparations and oral medications that can be used for the treatment of this disease. Dermatologists also make use of light therapy, which is also effective.
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that starts in the basal cells of the skin. It usually appears as a transparent bum on the skin, although it can also appear in other forms. This type of cancer mostly occurs on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun. This includes the head and the neck. The cause of this type of cancer isn’t known yet, but it has been suggested that one of the factors might be as a result of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiations. Protecting your skin from the skin, by wearing clothes, and sunscreen are ways of reducing the risk of developing this disease. Some of the signs and symptoms of this disease include the appearance of a flat, scaly and reddish patch on the skin. These patches might grow more prominent over time. Others include the appearance of the brown or blue lesion on the skin, a white and waxy scar-like lesion
Risk Factors For Developing Basal Cell Carcinoma Some of the risk factors involved in developing basal cell carcinoma include the following; Prolonged exposure to sunlight: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiations can lead to the development of skin cancer. This happens, especially when people don’t use sunscreen when the radiations from the sun are Tanning beds also contribute to the development of basal cell carcinoma. Radiation therapy: Radiation is a common procedure that is used to treat conditions such as psoriasis, acne and other skin conditions. However, this type of procedure increases the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma. Fair skin: Studies have shown that people with fair skin have a higher risk of developing skin cancer. The less melanin an individual has, the more the chances of developing basal cell carcinoma. However, people with a lot of skin melanin can also have skin cancer. It’s just more prevalent in people with less melanin. Gender: Research has shown that basal cell carcinoma tends to occur more in men, than in women. Age: Statistics have shown that basal cell carcinoma occurs more in people that are over the age of 50. 2. Squamous cell carcinoma: This is also known as epidermoid carcinoma. It affects the squamous cells of the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma affects areas of the skin that is exposed to the sun for an extended period. Some of the factors that increase the chances of developing this disease include sunlight and immunosuppression. These two factors contribute the most to the risk of having the disease. The risk of metastasis begins to increase ten years after the diagnosis of the disease. A large fraction of the squamous cell carcinoma affects the skin, such as the neck, hands, arm and face. The squamous cell carcinoma has a massive risk of metastasis as compared to basal cell carcinoma 3. Melanoma: This is the most severe and life-threatening out of all the other types of skin cancer. It develops in the pigment-producing cells of the skin, also known as melanocytes. The leading cause of this disease is the exposure to ultraviolet radiations. People with a large number of moles on their skin have a high risk of developing this disease. It is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. The treatment of this disease is typically done by surgery. However, other options such as immunotherapy, radiation therapy can also be explored. Cosmetic Dermatology Procedures Some of the common dermatology procedures include the following; Skin biopsy: This is usually done to test for the type of growth. It’s done to confirm if a growth is benign or malignant. Topical chemotherapy Photodynamic therapy Conservative excision Mohs micrographic surgery: Physicians use the Mohs micrographic surgery for the treatment of skin cancer. It is considered one of the most effective ways of treating skin cancer. The purpose of this type of surgery is to extract and eliminate the growth from the skin while saving as much healthy tissue as possible Cryosurgery Autoimmune Skin Conditions In autoimmune skin conditions, the immune system mistakes the skin cells for foreign cells and proceeds to attack them. These proteins that attack the skin cells are known as autoantibodies. Some of the common autoimmune skin conditions include psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and so on. What is Psoriasis? Psoriasis is a common skin condition that increases the life cycle of skin cells. They cause the skin cells to build up quickly on the surface of the skin. These extra skin cells accumulate, form scales and might become uncomfortable to the patient. It is an autoimmune disease in which there are red patches on the skin with a silvery layer that looks like scales on the top. Generally, people are initially affected by psoriasis, before they have psoriatic arthritis. However, the inflammation and disease of the joint might begin before they present with skin lesions. Some of the signs and symptoms of psoriasis include the development of red patches of skin, covered with thick, silvery scales, swollen and rigid joints, dry, cracked skin, that may bleed when touched, and so on. Psoriasis is not a contagious disease. The classic characteristics of this disease are the inflammation of the extremities, particularly the fingers and toes. They usually do have a sausage-like appearance. This is often accompanied by defects in the nail, such as pitting and the separation of the nail from the nail bed. The exact cause of psoriasis isn’t known yet, however, a problem with the immune system, genetics have been implicated to be some of the factors that contribute to the development of the disease. It’s important to contact your dermatologist if you notice any symptoms of the above diseases, and on time too. References Black, M. and Marshman, G. (2010). Dermatology and pemphigus vulgaris: Association or coincidence?. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 52(2), pp.e11-e14. Greenberg, S. (2014). Sustained autoimmune mechanisms in dermatomyositis. The Journal of Pathology, 233(3), pp.215-216. Lam, C. and Vleugels, R. (2012). Management of cutaneous bruises. Dermatologic Therapy, 25(2), pp.112-134. Scadden, D. and Srivastava, A. (2012). Advancing Stem Cell Biology toward Stem Cell Therapeutics. Cell Stem Cell, 10(2), pp.149-150.