Dry and flaky head of a child

Common Skin Conditions that Require Consultation

Do you know that skin problems are some of the leading causes of outpatient consults in the United States during the past year? Statistics show that more than 50 million Americans annually are suffering from stubborn acne. Other concerns, such as skin itchiness, redness, and swelling also vastly contribute to the rising number of outpatient consultations with a dermatologist. Since the skin is susceptible to damage from extrinsic factors, such as smoke, strong chemicals, and pollution, several individuals consult a dermatologist in Provo at the earliest sign of disease.

Acne Vulgaris

Acne is the most common skin condition that affects adolescents and adults worldwide. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), approximately 85 percent suffers from acne during puberty. It is a chronic disease that is characterized by excessive inflammatory reactions at the hair follicles. This condition can be present as blackheads, whiteheads, or pustules. Since hormonal changes during adolescence can promote increased oil formation, hair follicles become occluded. This encourages the production of raised skin papules that develop into acne.

Since persistent acne affects the self-esteem and image of some individuals, consultation with a dermatologist is crucial to maintain smooth skin. Your dermatologist can start you on topical creams and antibiotics to decrease bacterial load and improve skin appearance.

Atopic Dermatitis

Person suffering from atopic dermatitisThis is a prevalent skin condition in the pediatric population. Statistics show that approximately 25 percent of children suffer from this disease. This type of dermatitis occurs due to defects in the immune system function. Individuals have an increased immunologic response to allergens and microbes, which contributes to lesion formation.

Atopic dermatitis often presents as chronic, persistent skin itchiness that is prominent in the neck, elbows, and behind the knees. You might initially have red, itchy, and swollen skin, which develops into excoriations and thickened skin due to recurrent scratching. Hence, your dermatologist will start you on mild soaps to reduce chemicals that induce constant irritation. Lotion is also applied over the area to counteract the dryness that stimulates recurrent scratching. An antihistamine might be added in refractory cases to prevent permanent scarring that results from excoriations.

Psoriasis

This is a chronic skin problem wherein the life cycle of skin cells is enhanced. It is characterized by round, well-delineated, and circumscribed lesions that occur symmetrically throughout the body. Since psoriasis is a relapsing disorder with a distinct appearance, it is crucial to visit a dermatologist at the earliest manifestation of this condition.

Based on the extent of the lesions, psoriasis treatment ranges from conservative topical application to highly aggressive management. Moisturizers and steroid ointments are applied over the wounds to reduce redness and scaling. If medical management does not work, oral immune suppressant medications and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are given. Laser therapy can also be given if topical creams and oral treatment do not work.

The incidence of skin disease has been consistently rising during the past decade. Therefore, it is crucial to visit a dermatologist who can perform the necessary management techniques to reduce permanent scarring from constant skin irritation.

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