4 Skin Conditions and How We Can Treat Them

Skin conditions are common. In fact, more than 31 million American have eczema alone. So if you have a skin condition, or think you might, you certainly aren’t alone. 

In this blog, Oswald Mikell, MD, and the skin experts at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry take a close look at four common skin conditions ― rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and vitiligo ― and explain what these conditions do and how they can be treated.

Rosacea

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects about 16 million Americans. It can affect anyone, but it’s most common in light-skinned women over age 30.

It’s characterized by red patches on the face, particularly around the nose and cheeks. The patches are caused by blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. Occasionally, swelling or small acne-like bumps may appear along with the redness.

Treating rosacea

There’s no cure for rosacea, but treatment is often effective in minimizing redness and reducing flare-ups. We diagnose rosacea by examining your skin, and Dr. Mikell generally prescribes a topical cream to constrict blood vessels.  

Preventing rosacea flare-ups is an important part of treatment. Always wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat outdoors, because the sun can make rosacea worse. Our team can help you identify things that may be triggering your flare-ups, such as alcohol, spicy foods, and exposure to extreme environmental conditions, so you can work to avoid them.

Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition that affects more than 31 million Americans. Unlike rosacea, which typically affects only the face, eczema can develop anywhere on the body. It causes dry, scaly patches of skin that are often painful and itchy.

Eczema is linked to allergies, and coming in contact with an allergen can trigger an eczema flare-up. It's most common in children, and many outgrow it over time. However, anyone at any age can have eczema.

Treating eczema

After giving you a thorough examination, Dr. Mikell may prescribe corticosteroid medication ― in the form of a cream or pill ― to reduce inflammation. He may also suggest ultraviolet B (UVB) light therapy. 

Lifestyle adjustments, such as frequently moisturizing your skin and always using gentle cleansers, can keep flare-ups at bay. Additionally, recognizing and avoiding triggers can help you manage the condition.

Psoriasis

Around 8 million Americans live with psoriasis, an immune system disorder that causes an excessive buildup of skin cells. Extra skin cells collect on the surface of your skin and form visible, raised patches of scaly skin called plaques. 

While psoriasis appears like a rash, it isn’t contagious. Instead, it’s a hereditary condition that typically flares up and dies down periodically over the course of a person’s life. It can cause embarrassment and discomfort, because dry, crusty patches can seep or bleed.

Treating psoriasis

There’s no cure for psoriasis, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer if you have this common condition. Dr. Mikell regularly recommends UVB light therapy with XTRAC® for patients with psoriasis.

Light therapy is a safe and effective way to reduce excessive skin cells across the body. Most people find that 10-12 sessions can dramatically reduce their psoriasis symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo, which affects 1-2 million Americans, is a skin condition that causes patches of skin across the body to lose color. The condition can also affect the color in hair and eyes. The causes of vitiligo aren’t completely understood, but experts believe the condition is linked to issues with genetics and the immune system. 

Vitiligo is the most noticeable in people who have darker skin tones, but it can occur in any race or ethnicity. The severity can vary widely. In some people, the condition may only affect small patches of skin and not go beyond that, while others may experience an expansion of color loss over time.

Treating vitiligo

Since it doesn’t pose health risks, Dr. Mikell may not recommend treatment if you’re not bothered by your skin’s appearance. 

If your vitiligo affects your confidence, light therapy could be an option for you. UVB light therapy is a safe method of stimulating your skin to produce more melanin, and it can help restore color to skin that has lost its pigment due to vitiligo.

If you have skin issues, the experts at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry can help you. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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