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Posts for: September, 2021

By Priya Thakker, MD
September 28, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Skin Pigmentation DisordersMelanin is a substance produced by skin cells known as melanocytes, which are responsible for giving our skin its color. When these cells are damaged or impacted in some way that they are unable to produce enough melanin, people often deal with skin pigmentation disorders. These disorders may impact just the face or the body, or they may impact everything as a whole. Here’s what you should know about skin pigmentation disorders and how a dermatologist can help.
 
Melasma

This condition causes dark brown patches to develop on the skin and is more common in women who are pregnant, as well as women who take birth control pills and/or spend time in the sun. You can often prevent melasma by simply wearing sunscreen and staying out of the sun, especially if you take birth control pills. However, those with more moderate to severe brown spots may be prescribed hydroquinone or tretinoin creams, to lighten these patches.
 
Vitiligo

Instead of dark brown patches, vitiligo causes white patches to develop on the skin. As you might imagine, white patches of skin are very susceptible to sunburns, so you must protect your skin when outside. While this condition can’t be cured there are ways to improve the appearance of the skin through topical creams and medications, as well as light therapy. Your treatment options can be discussed further with your dermatologist.
 
Albinism

This rare disorder results in a lack of melanin in the hair, skin, and eyes. This is why albinos are often very pale with light blue eyes and white hair. There is no way to reverse or cure this disorder; however, it is incredibly important for someone with albinism to protect their skin and eyes from sun exposure by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses whenever they are outside.
 
Damage to Skin

In some cases, infections or burns can also cause a loss of melanin in certain areas of the face and body. While laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and other treatment options may improve the appearance, in these more minor cases, skin patches can be covered up with special cosmetics.
 
If you are dealing with skin pigmentation issues it’s always best to see a qualified dermatologist get the answers and specialized care you need to get this disorder under control.

By Priya Thakker, MD
September 17, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Hair Follicle InfectionsWhen red inflamed bumps appear it’s easy to assume it’s just acne, but it could be a sign of an infected hair follicle. This common skin problem, which is referred to as folliculitis, is caused by either bacteria or fungus and can develop just about anywhere on the body or face. While minor cases may be treated at home, it’s also important to recognize when you should turn to a dermatologist for care.

What are the signs and symptoms of folliculitis?

You could have folliculitis if you notice,
  • Small red bumps that develop around hair follicles (most common on the legs)
  • Bumps that contain pus
  • Bumps that blister or burst open
  • Tender, itchy, or burning skin around these bumps
It can be easy to mistake folliculitis for other skin disorders and conditions, so it’s also a good idea to see a dermatologist if your symptoms don’t go away in a few days or if your symptoms are widespread or spreading.

What are the types of folliculitis?

There are different forms of folliculitis. The most common type is known as razor bumps, which you may notice around the groin or face, especially in those with naturally curly hair. “Hot tub” folliculitis is a bacterial infection that is often found in hot tubs (as well as heated pools) and can lead to a red, itchy, and bumpy rash.

Bacterial folliculitis is a common form and is characterized by whitehead-like or pus-filled bumps. This is a sign of a Staph infection and should be treated by a dermatologist as soon as possible.

How is folliculitis treated?

A lot will depend on the cause; however, treatment is often necessary if the infection doesn’t go away within a few days. Bacterial infections will respond best to antibiotics while yeast infections and other fungi will require antifungal medications. Of course, there are a ton of skin conditions and infections that can cause similar symptoms, so it’s always best to see a dermatologist before trying over-the-counter remedies.

If you notice any signs of a new or worsening skin infection, it’s always a good idea to turn to your dermatologist right away for a proper evaluation and to make sure you get the appropriate treatment you need to get rid of the infection fast.