Are You Living with an Undiagnosed Skin Condition? | Insight from Your Trusted Fort Worth, TX Dermatologist

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Millions of Americans experience symptoms of a skin disease every year, from acne to hair loss to skin cancer. The most prevalent of these issues affect up to 80 million people annually, yet only about a third of skin conditions are evaluated by a licensed dermatologist. The remaining percentage could be putting their skin and overall health at risk if they don’t seek proper diagnosis and treatment.

Your skin is an organ, and your body’s first line of defense against infection and disease. When its well-being is impaired, your immune system is likewise compromised. A dermatologist can help you identify benign and malignant skin disorders, as well as external manifestations of internal disease. Don’t neglect that itchy patch on your eyelid or ignore the prickly heat sensation in your hands. You could be suffering from one of the most common skin disorders without even realizing it.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is one of the most frequently experienced skin issues in the United States, especially in urban areas like Fort Worth, TX. More commonly known as a severe form of eczema, AD causes dry and scaly skin, severe itching, rashes or cracks on the face and behind the ears, and red or grayish-brown patches of skin on the arms, legs, torso or neck. Excessive scratching causes blisters to weep, and the skin becomes thick and leathery over time. Other forms of eczema might resemble AD. Visiting a licensed dermatologist can eliminate guesswork with a proper diagnosis.

Symptoms of AD can manifest at any time, but will most likely develop in infancy as red patches of skin on the face and scalp. Your chances of developing AD are even higher if at least one of your parents suffers from eczema, asthma or hay fever. Since there is no cure for this chronic disease, proper skin care and regular check-ups are essential to preventing discomfort and possible infection.

Acne

The most prevalent skin condition in the U.S. is not exclusive to any age group or skin type. Typically associated with puberty and early adulthood, acne can develop in children as young as nine, and well into your 30s and 40s. Estimates suggest that 80 percent of all Americans experience acne. Visiting a doctor early on is your first step toward healthy and great-looking skin. Home remedies and over-the-counter solutions may temporarily correct your complexion, but persistent acne begins inside the body.

Hormones, genetics, prescription medications and even stress can cause unsightly breakouts on your face, chest, upper back or shoulders. A primary care physician can prescribe antibiotics or medicated lotions, but there are no guarantees that your acne will not worsen. A dermatologist will evaluate the severity of your condition and propose specialized therapies right away. They can also determine if an underlying disease is to blame for sudden onsets of severe acne in adults.

Hair Loss

Genetics is the number one culprit in pattern baldness for 80 million American men and women. While this hereditary condition is not preventable, there are surgical techniques and treatments available at your local Fort Worth, TXdermatologist to slow the process and camouflage its effects. There could be other underlying reasons for your unexplained hair loss, however, such as hormonal changes, medications and excessive stress.

A dermatologist will hone in on the cause of your hair loss by reviewing your medical history, conducting a physical examination and possibly taking a scalp biopsy or blood sample. Potential disorders of the hair shaft could also become apparent during a light microscopy session. If a condition like alopecia areata is to blame, your dermatologist can recommend a variety of specialized treatments.

Psoriasis

Characterized by red patches of skin covered in dry, silvery scales, psoriasis affects more than seven million Americans. The skin becomes sore and itches, often cracking and bleeding during severe flare-ups. Your family doctor can diagnose and prescribe medication for psoriasis, but they may not have access to the same alternative treatments that a dermatologist provides. Procedures like phototherapy are painless with minor adverse effects, and biologics are at the forefront of contemporary psoriasis treatment.

Other types of psoriasis affect the body differently, making a diagnosis even more necessary. Psoriatic arthritis occurs when swollen and painful joints accompany the inflamed, scaly skin. In some cases, aching joints are the first or only indication of the disorder. Nail psoriasis causes abnormal growth in the fingernails and toenails, from discoloration to pitting, and even separation from the nail bed. Pustular psoriasis affects the hands and feet. In addition to pus-filled blisters, flare-ups can cause fever, chills and diarrhea. You may not be aware that psoriasis is to blame for your symptoms, but a dermatologist can tell you for sure.

Skin Cancer 

Skin cancer treatments are the most commonly administered dermatologic procedures. Cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells and usually occurs on areas of the body exposed to sun, although it can develop in areas not exposed to UV rays. Early detection is the key to beating this disease, so schedule a consultation if you spot any red flags.

The most common forms of skin cancer manifest themselves as raised lesions or nodules, which range from waxy to scaly or crusty in texture. A bump may be firm and red, flesh-colored, or flat and brown with uneven borders that change shape. If a lesion bleeds, itches, burns, or changes in appearance in any way, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with your local Fort Worth, TX, dermatologist.

Not all skin conditions are created equally, nor are the numerous products and remedies available on the market. Skin care brands will try to sell you their idea of healthy and beautiful skin, but in the end, you have the responsibility to choose what’s best for you. The team at Compassion Dermatology in Fort Worth, TX, is committed to enhancing your health along with your beauty and providing a comfortable healing experience.


Common Skin Problems Your Dermatologist Can Help | Keller, TX

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Healthy skin is not just a matter of personal appearance. The skin is a very important part of the immune system. It is the barrier protecting the rest of the body from pathogens, allergens, and pollution in the environment. Skincare routines need to remove dirt, toxins, sweat, oil, and everything else that accumulates on skin throughout the day in Southlake, TX.

The tricky part is removing all of the substances that build up on skin without harming delicate cells or disturbing the skin’s natural pH balance. An appointment with a dermatologist is a great way to establish a healthy skin care routine and identify any potential problems.

Unhealthy Skin Care Habits

Many factors affect skin health and increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Skin ages prematurely as the effects of poor skincare build up over time. Going to bed without removing cosmetics is a common habit that damages skin.

Cosmetics clog pores and irritate skin when they remain on the face for hours overnight. They also trap dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants against the skin. Mascara and other eye makeup can scratch the eyes during sleep and create a breeding ground for bacteria that cause eye infections. Remove makeup with a gentle cleanser before bed, even if a shower or bath is out of the question until morning.

Hot showers and baths irritate skin and exacerbate any existing skin conditions. The hot water removes natural oils that protect skin and keep it hydrated. Red skin is a clear indication that water is too hot. Skin develops red coloration in hot water because epidermal cells are damaged and inflamed.

Keep showers short, and make sure the water temperature is warm and comfortable instead of hot. Apply a high quality moisturizer immediately after bathing to lock moisture into skin cells. A knowledgeable dermatologist can recommend appropriate cleansers and moisturizers to help damaged skin cells heal and prevent damage in the future.

Each skin type requires different care. People with oily skin often believe that scrubbing their faces with strong soaps is beneficial. They are actually making the problem worse. Friction from scrubbing damages skin and lets irritants from the soap into exposed areas. Irritation triggers even more oil production because the skin is trying to protect itself.

Never scrub skin forcefully with a washcloth, loofah, or other bathing accessories. Use an oil-free cleanser with warm water and rub a soft cloth gently in circular motions. Excessive oil production could be a response to an underlying problem. Consult a dermatologist if skin seems to produce more oil than usual over an extended period.

People with dry skin in Southlake, TX, often experience flaking, irritation, and dull or discolored areas on the face. Heavy cleansers and moisturizers are not always effective remedies. The first step in relieving dry skin is keeping the body hydrated. Dry skin may be a sign of consistent dehydration or a nutritional deficiency. A dermatologist helps clients identify causes of dry skin and their corresponding solutions.

Sun Exposure

Exposure to sunlight poses a significant threat to overall health. The sun’s ultraviolet rays damage skin cells and increase the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. Melanin in the epidermis, or the skin’s outer layer, provides protection from UV radiation, but this protection can be overwhelmed with consistent exposure. A sun burn occurs when UV radiation damages or kills skin cells.

Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside in Southlake, TX. Visit a dermatologist for a skin evaluation on a regular basis to detect early warning signs of possible cancer or damage to the skin in general. Medical professionals can recommend appropriate sunscreen.

Consult a Dermatologist for Acne

Acne is one of the most commonly reported skin care problems. Most acne outbreaks occur on the face, back, and shoulders, although they can appear anywhere on the body. Some myths concerning the causes of acne still persist. Common myths claim that chocolate, greasy food, or sugary snacks cause acne. Refusing to eat certain foods will not have any effect on acne. A dermatologist can explain the real causes of acne and help client’s separate myths from facts.

There are several causes of acne. Sebaceous glands produce a slightly oily substance called sebum that protects skin cells and retains moisture. Acne, including ‘whiteheads’ and ‘blackheads,’ occurs when blocked pores in the skin accumulate sebum, dead skin cells, and contaminants from the air and environment.

Sweat and dirt can clog pores after outdoor activities during warm days in Southlake, TX. Blocked hair follicles can also fill up with hair, oil, and dirt. Sometimes blocked follicles lead to ingrown hair. Infection occurs when bacteria enter blocked pores and hair follicles.

Cystic acne is a painful condition characterized by swelling and inflammation. Sometimes individual blemishes in cystic acne outbreaks are called ‘blind pimples’ because the sore, infected ‘pimple’ seems to be under the skin. “Popping” cystic acne blemishes is rarely beneficial.

Cystic acne is almost always caused by a bacterial infection. The infection can spread deep into the dermis, or the layers of skin underneath epidermal cells. Successfully ‘popping’ a blemish releases infectious fluid and spreads the bacteria to new areas.

Squeezing or poking cystic acne can also damages tissues and generate scar tissue because significant force is necessary to expel fluid from deep layers of the dermis. A needle or other sharp object damages tissue and creates a wound in the epidermis that lets more bacteria reach the infected area.

Mild cleansers are best during an active acne breakout. Use caution with over-the-counter acne relief products. Many of these products contain harsh chemicals or exfoliators that damage sensitive skin. Consult a dermatologist for help with cystic acne and any type of acne that occurs repeatedly.

An appointment with Compassion Dermatology in the Southlake, TX area, when acne breakouts first appear can save clients a great deal of time and aggravation. Many people with acne notice improvement within days of receiving appropriate medications from a dermatologist.