A lipoma is a benign soft-tissue tumor that can be found anywhere on the skin and is most common in middle-aged patients. Lipomas rarely become cancerous and are not usually a medical concern unless they become infected. However, many people are bothered by the appearance of lipomas and seek treatment to have them removed.
Lipomas can be removed through surgical excision, which removes the sac or lipoma wall, as well as the entire lipoma. This is done under a local anesthetic and closed with stitches. Most lipomas do not return after surgical excision.
Scars are by definition permanent, but certain treatments can narrow, fade and otherwise reduce the appearance of severe or unattractive scarring, which is especially helpful in areas of cosmetic importance such as the face and hands. There are many surgical methods of scar revision, only some of which may be appropriate for a particular type of scar or its location. These include surgical excision, skin grafts, and flap surgery. The best procedure for each patient will vary depending on the location and severity of the scar, as well as the age, overall health and extent of revision desired by the patient.
Dry skin, also known as xeroderma, is a common skin condition that can be uncomfortable and unattractive. Individuals troubled by dry skin experience redness and itchiness in the affected area. In most cases, dry skin can be symptomatically controlled with simple treatments.
For most people, the tightness, itchiness and general discomfort of dry skin are relatively easy to alleviate. Simple lifestyle changes, like covering oneself appropriately against cold weather, wearing protective sunscreen, avoiding hot showers or baths, using moisturizing creams, particularly immediately after bathing, and humidifying the surrounding air, can be sufficient. Products with petroleum jelly are especially useful in eliminating dry skin since they provide an effective barrier to moisture. Products with fragrance are to be avoided since they may further dry out the skin.
If a particular substance, material or medication is found to be causing the skin irritation, avoiding it can make a tremendous difference. For more severe cases of skin dryness, stronger creams or ointments may be prescribed by the physician. There is also some scientific evidence that taking a fish oil supplement may improve the condition of dry skin.
Hair loss, or alopecia, is a common condition which may be a consequence of natural aging, a side effect of medication, or a manifestation of a health disorder. It can result in total baldness, thinning of the hair, or patchy bald spots and may be confined to the scalp or affect other areas of the body. Hair loss may be temporary or permanent, depending on its cause. Some of the causes of hair loss include:
- Male pattern baldness
- Fungal infections of the scalp
- Severe infections or high fevers
- Poor nutrition
- Certain medications
- Traumatic stress
- Trichotillomania, a psychiatric disorder involving compulsive hair-pulling
- Thyroid or pituitary disorders
- Certain skin disorders, such as eczema or psoriasis
- Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or polycystic ovary syndrome
- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder
- Telogen effluvium, in which too many hair follicles remain in a resting state
Treatment for hair loss is usually based on the cause of the condition. When hair loss results from a fungal infection, it may be treated with anti-fungal medication. Hair loss that results from cancer treatment is usually temporary. For other types of hair loss, one of the following treatments may be considered:
- Hair transplant surgery, hair plugs, scalp reduction
- Over-the-counter medications, such as Rogaine or Nizoral
- External laser comb
- Hair-stimulating treatments
For some patients, wigs or hairpieces may be useful in creating an attractive appearance and reducing self-consciousness about hair loss.
Rashes are changes in the skin's color or texture. Simple rashes are called dermatitis, which means the skin is inflamed or swollen. Some rashes are independent symptoms, but many cause itching, burning or other discomfort. There are a great many reasons for individuals to develop rashes.
When a rash is caused by an underlying condition or disease process, the patient must be treated for the pervasive disorder. When a rash is the result of a bacterial infection, it is treated with antibiotics. When a rash stems from a virus, it may be treated with antiviral medication. Allergic rashes are normally treated with antihistamines and, when more severe, with corticosteroids. In many cases, avoidance of contact with the irritating substance or material may be sufficient to help the rash abate.
Almost all rashes that cause itching can be treated symptomatically with one or more of the following: antihistamines, soothing lotions like Calamine, topical or oral corticosteroids, baths with colloidal oatmeal, moisturizing creams or cold compresses. Wearing soft, loose clothing and taking over-the-counter pain relievers may also provide relief.
To learn more about our Medical Dermatology Services, please contact us today to schedule an appointment!