Acne is a very common condition amongst adolescents and adults, in particular adult females.
Acne develops around hair follicles and their oil producing glands called the sebaceous
glands. These glands are present all over the body, although acne can only be found on the
face, chest & back. The oil produced in these glands (sebum), starts to project on the external
layer of skin soon after puberty. The bacteria in the deeper part of the hair follicle under the
sebum, discharges a chemical reacting with the sebum itself which in turn releases another
chemical to form a pimple. The skin around the hair follicle is red and inflamed. Large
painful swellings called cysts and nodules may develop & lead to scarring. These scars can
either be depressed & sunken or bulging & hard.
Among several known causes for acne, the most prevalent theory is that of hormonal change
in the human body. The variation in the rate of occurrence depends on person to person.
Acne is individualized to the patient and can involve different types of lesions (blackheads,
cyst-like, pimples, and whiteheads), different affected body parts (face, neck, chest, shoulders
and back) and resolve in different ways (scars, redness and darker skin).
A customized treatment approach to your acne is what we at Dermcos Skin Care Clinic
specialize in. We understand that your acne affects more than your skin, it affects how you
feel as a person. Come in today so we can get you back in your healthy, clear skin and restoreyour confidence in yourself.
b. Common Skin Growths
As our skin progresses through our life, it has a tendency to accumulate different types of
spots. Many of these spots are commonplace and easily recognized during your evaluation.
The following is a list of some of these common skin lesions.
A Skin Tag or anAcrochordon is a small benign tumor which is found commonly in areas
where the skin forms creases (neck, armpit and groin). On the face, they usually occur on the
eyelids. The size of a skin tag is usually that of a grain of rice. Skin tags usually occur due to
skin rubbing up against skin and are therefore found in skin creases and folds. Usually
harmless, they are most often removed for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons. Treatment usually
involves the following procedures:
Cauterization - The skin tag is burned off using electrolysis.
Cryosurgery - The skin tag is frozen off using a probe containing liquid nitrogen.
Ligation - The blood supply to the skin tag is interrupted.
Excision - The skin tag is removed with a scalpel (it is cut out).
These procedures need to be performed by skin care professionals.
Blood Vessel Related Lesions
Broken blood vessels can be seen as red veins present on the chin, cheeks or the nose. Causal
factors may include childbirth, pregnancy, use of birth control pills, UV exposure etc. The
most common and effective treatment for blood vessel lesions is Laser treatment. In Laser
treatment, the visible blood vessels are removed by light absorbed by the blood that destroys
the vessel. The vessel then disappears restoring the skin’s natural appearance. Laser
treatments are very safe and produce gradual results. While large veins may require multiple
treatments, smaller ones may only require a single laser treatment. This form of treatment is
safe and has very few side effects. However, temporary discoloration lasting five to fourteen
days may be cause due to laser treatment. Blistering, crusting etc. of the affected skin may
also occur, but usually disappears in a few days. The use of sunscreen on the treated area is
recommended for optimum results.
These benign lesions occur mostly on the face in newborns and more mature adults,
especially females. They are pinpoint white "milk spots" that are stubborn to go away. At
Dermcos Skin Care Clinic these spots are treated.
These are benign, yellow lesions around the eyes that develop in adults, more often females.
They are sometimes associated with internal problems with cholesterol and can become
disfiguring. Treatments are available.
A cyst can be explained as a cluster of cells which have grouped together to form a sac. The
cells which form the shell of this sac are very distinctly abnormal (in behavior and
appearance) as compared to the cells in the surrounding location. They may contain air, fluids
or even semi-solid material. Cysts usually vary in size- ranging from microscopic to the size
of a ball whereas large cysts can displace internal organs.
Cysts can be caused due to genetic conditions, tumors, defective cells, chronic inflammatory
conditions, infections, blockage of ducts causing fluid build ups, breaking of vessels etc.
Most cysts are benign caused due to plugged ducts or natural body outlets for secretions.
However some cysts may be tumors and are potentially malignant.
Symptoms of cysts vary according to the type of cyst. Mostly, the patient will become aware
of an abnormal lump. Cysts in the mammary gland may be painful, cysts in the brain cause
headaches and internal cysts may not have any obvious symptoms and may only be visible
through an MRI, CAT scan or Ultrasound.
A cyst can be treated through the following methods:
Draining:Draining the cyst using a needle is done if a cyst is infected or ruptured. The
fluids or other matter in the cyst can be removed using this method.
Anti-inflammatory medications:Using certain anti-inflammatory medications such as
Cortisone injections can reduce the inflammation in a cyst.
Surgery:Surgical removal of the cyst is usually used when draining has no effect on the
Cyst. Internal and hard to reach cysts are also removed using surgery.
These lesions can be pigmented or flesh-colored, can be present at birth or develop through
adulthood, and not cause trouble or become a problem. These lesions are important , because
they can be associated with Melanoma.
Keloids are over growths of scar tissues occurring at the site of a skin injury. They usually
occur in areas where trauma, surgery blisters, vaccinations, acne or body piercings lead to
injured skin. In rare cases, Keloids are found in areas where there are no visible injuries.
Keloids are different from normal scars in terms of their size and composition. The causal
factors contributing to the growth of Keloids is unknown. Most people never develop Keloids
but others develop them even after small mosquito bites or minor injuries. It has been said
that some people are more prone to the development of Keloids than others.
Warts are benign skin growths that form anywhere on the body, including in the mouth and
genital areas. Children, sexually active and immunosuppressed adults tend to get several
lesions. They develop when a virus, the human papillomavirus, infects the top layers of the
Most of the time they have no symptoms, they are occasionally itchy or painful (especially
the bottom of the feet). It is important to treat these lesions because they are contagious, as
they can spread from direct contact.
c. Eczema/Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema is an extremely common condition. It affects mostly young children, with most growing out of the condition by puberty. There is a significant group of people who have persistent disease into adulthood.
Intense itching (pruritus) is the main symptom associated with this condition. Eczema-like skin is dry (xerotic) and sensitive, requiring constant attention and care.
Seborrheic dermatitis, commonly called dandruff, is a common condition that affects infants, adolescents and adults. It tends to have a chronic course that fluctuates in nature, but is usually mild. The scalp is usually involved, and it can affect the face and chest. Itching is major symptom with this condition
The medical term for hives is urticaria. They are welts (wheals) on the skin that are usually quite itchy. They can vary in size.
There are two categories of hives depending on how long lesions continue to develope, acute (less than 6 weeks) and chronic (more than 6 weeks). Many times a trigger is not able to be elucidated that caused it to start.
f. Itchy Skin
Pruritus, or the sensation of itch, is the most common symptom dermatology patients suffer through. It is a complex sensation resulting from multiple pathogenic mechanisms that usually cannot be attributed to one specific cause or disease. It can be totally devastating affecting the total quality of life.
g. Sun Damage
The sun has a significant and profound effect on the skin. Some changes caused due to sun exposure are as follows:
Premature Skin Aging: The exposure to Ultraviolet rays of the sun also called UV exposure accounts for most premature skin aging.
Other Skin Changes: Exposure to UV rays can lead to two common types of skin changes. The first one being thick skin in coarse wrinkles, especially on the back of the neck (cutis rhomboidalisnuchae). The other one can be thinning of the skin causing fine wrinkles, tearing of the skin as well as bruising. Other skin changes due to UV exposure can be seen as tiny blood vessels appearing on the skin, particularly covering the facial area. Changes in skin colour are also very common. UV exposure can lead to pigment changes visible as brown spots (solar lentigos), small white spots(guttatehypomelanosis), freckles as well as red areas on the side of the neck (poikiloderma of Civatte). Moles are also commonly visible in areas exposed to the sun.
Skin cancer: It refers to the abnormal growth of skin cells, commonly developed on skin due to exposure to the sun.
Protecting your skin from sun damage – Sun avoidance and persistent sunscreen use are widely endoredendorsed by organizations and individuals with the common goal of skin cancer prevention. A sunburn is caused by exposing your skin to too much ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, that is, lightwaves that measure approximately 200
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition that typically begins with flushing and blushing of the cheeks and nose, but can also affect the chin, forehead and even the ears, neck, chest and back. Rosacea can progress into persistent erythema (redness), papules, pustules and even cystic nodules. More advanced cases can progress into rhinophyma, in which the oil glands of the skin become enlarged making the nose larger and the cheeks puffy. Some patients may never present with papules, pustules or cystic nodules and may only deal with the difficult to treat persistent erythema and telangiectasias (tiny blood vessels). About 50% of patients have eye involvement also called "ocular rosacea". This can cause dryness, burning and grittiness of the eyes.
Anyone can develop rosacea even children, but the most common patient type is the fair-skinned adult between the ages of 30 and 50. Patients who have rosacea need to be cautious of what they use on their skin since some products may worsen their condition. Treatment regimens are customized to each individual to stop the progression of the disease and education on avoidance of triggers is also important.
i. Skin Infections
A wart is a growth on the skin that is caused by an infection with the human papilloma virus. Although warts are benign, they are often treated due to their unsightly appearance and because they can spread to other areas of the skin. Depending on the area, treatment of warts includes destroying the outer layer of the skin where the wart grows. This may be done using surgery, freezing (using liquid Nitrogen) or through the use of chemicals by injecting them into the warts. Generally multiple treatments are used to get rid of warts. More often than not, these warts reappear.
• Cold Sores/Fever Blisters
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are caused by an infection of the Herpes simplex virus. This same virus can infect any area of the skin, including the genitals. After an initial infection, the virus goes into a dormant phase beneath the skin. Periodically, the virus reappears in the same area. The typical lesion appears as a cluster of tiny blisters which break, leaving a sore that heals in about one week. New medications can now greatly speed healing or, if taken regularly, can prevent a reoccurrence.
Shingles, also known as zoster, is another viral infection. Although this condition can occur at any age, it is more common in advancing years. The lesions appear as a trail of painful blisters that extend around one half of the body without ever crossing the mid-line. The rash will clear after several weeks but pain may linger over the area. If medication is taken early during this condition, the rash will heal quickly with less chance of persistent pain.
j. Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-mediated inflammatory skin condition affecting approximately 2% of the population. Along with genetic factors, several environmental factors play a role in causing this condition although at this time it is not completely understood. All areas of the skin can be affected, but is usually spares the mucous membranes.
Psoriasis is no longer thought to be a skin-only condition, as it has several associated comorbidities. It has a well-documented arthritis in up to 25% of patients, and is a risk factor for metabolic complications.