My Blog
By Oahu Dermatology
January 25, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Cold sores are small, painful blisters that develop on the lips and around the mouth. These sores are caused by a viral infection known as herpes simplex. More specifically, Herpes Simplex Type 1 is typically the cause of cold sores. This condition is very common, affecting around 67% of the global population. Here’s what you should know about cold sores, including how to treat them when they surface.
 
How did I get cold sores?

Cold sores are highly contagious, so it is possible to get a cold sore from,
  • Kissing an infected person
  • Sharing utensils and drinking from the same glass as an infected person
  • Oral sex
While the herpes simplex virus is typically considered a sexually transmitted disease when it comes to cold sores many cases of HSV1 are passed between family members. If you have a parent or grandparent who has cold sores who has also kissed you or shared food and drink items with you, then chances are good that you got your cold sore from them.
 
What are the symptoms of a cold sore?

Before a blister even develops, you may notice burning, tingling, pain, or itching around the affected area of the lip. If this is your first time dealing with a cold sore, it is common for the first outbreak to be the worst. In this case, you may develop a fever, body aches, or other flu-like symptoms.
 
The cold sore itself may look like a cluster of blisters or an inflamed, open sore. Eventually, the blister will scab over and go away, usually in about two weeks.
 
How can I treat a cold sore?

When it comes to treating a cold sore, you can find simple over-the-counter creams that help to ease symptoms. If you deal with severe cold sore outbreaks you may wish to talk with your dermatologist about a prescription antiviral medication, that can help to reduce the length of your outbreak and reduce symptom severity.
 
Are cold sores and canker sores the same thing?

Cold sores and canker sores can often be mistaken for each other, but they are not the same. First, cold sores usually develop on the lips while canker sore cause painful sores to develop in the mouth. Secondly, cold sores are due to a virus while we still don’t know exactly what causes canker sores.
 
If you are dealing with cold sores your dermatologist can provide you with both over-the-counter and prescription options, depending on the severity of your symptoms. If you have questions about cold sores, call your dermatologist today.
By Oahu Dermatology
January 12, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Molluscum ContagiosumMolluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that most commonly affects children under 10 years old, that causes hard, raised red bumps known as papules to develop on the skin. These papules usually develop in clusters on the armpits, groins, or back of the knees, but can develop just about anywhere on the body. If you suspect that your child might have molluscum contagiosum here’s what you should know,

How is molluscum contagiosum contracted?

You may be wondering how your child contracted this poxvirus. There are several ways to transmit this viral infection: skin-to-skin contact, sharing items such as towels or clothes, sexual transmission (in adults), and scratching your own lesions (this can lead to further spreading of the papules).

It can take anywhere from two weeks to six months to develop symptoms after exposure. Once a child or person has molluscum contagiosum they typically aren’t infected again in the future.

How is this condition diagnosed?

If you notice any bumps on your child that persist for days, you must consult your dermatologist to find out what’s going on. A simple dermatoscopy (a painless, non-invasive procedure that allows your dermatologist to examine a skin lesion or growth) can determine whether the papule is due to molluscum contagiosum. If MC is not suspected, your dermatologist may biopsy the bump for further evaluation.

How is molluscum contagiosum treated?

Since this is the result of a viral infection, antibiotics will not be an effective treatment option. In fact, the body simply needs time to fight the virus. Your dermatologist may just tell you to wait until the infection runs its course and clears up on its own.

If the papules are widespread and affecting your teen’s appearance and self-esteem, then you may wish to talk with a dermatologist about ways to get rid of the spots. Cryotherapy or certain creams may be recommended to treat and get rid of these spots.

If you are living with others, it’s important to avoid sharing any clothing or towels with the infected child or person. Make sure that your child does not scratch the bumps, which can lead to further spreading of the infection.

If your child is dealing with a rash, raised bumps, or any skin problems and you’re not sure what’s going on, it’s best to talk with a qualified dermatologist who can easily diagnose the issue and provide you with effective solutions for how to treat it.
By Oahu Dermatology
December 17, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Lichen Planus  
Lichen PlanusLichen planus is an autoimmune disorder that attacks both the skin and mucous membranes inside the mouth. This chronic condition causes flat, itchy reddish-purple bumps to develop on the skin (mostly the wrists, ankles, and forearm) and white, painful sores to develop within the mouth and sometimes the genitals. This condition cannot be spread from person to person and mild itching and other symptoms are often managed through simple home care; however, if you are dealing with severe symptoms it’s important to see a dermatologist as soon as possible.

What causes lichen planus?

Lichen planus is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. In fact, it typically appears when the immune system starts attacking the skin or mucous membrane. Certain things can trigger it including:
  • Certain OTC pain medications (e.g. ibuprofen)
  • Medications used for arthritis, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Viral infections
  • Certain allergens
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Certain chemicals or metals
Those with autoimmune disorders may also be more likely to develop lichen planus. The good news though is that this condition is not dangerous.

Should I see a dermatologist?

If you have developed a purple rash or bumps that resemble lichen planus it’s worth it to pay a visit to your dermatologist to find out what’s going on, especially if you notice any unusual bumps on the genitals.

To determine that you do have lichen planus, we will need to biopsy some skin cells to diagnose lichen planus and to also determine whether it’s being caused by an underlying infection or an allergen. From there, further testing may be needed.

How is lichen planus treated?

So, you found out from your dermatologist that you have lichen planus. Now what? In some cases, this condition may just go away on its own; however, it’s important to recognize that there is no cure for lichen planus but there are ways to help alleviate certain symptoms such as burning or pain. Common treatment options that your dermatologist can recommend or prescribe include,
  • Antihistamines: To help with itching
  • Corticosteroid creams: To reduce inflammation and redness
  • Oral or injectable steroids: This treatment is more effective for persistent, recurring, or more severe bumps
  • Photochemotherapy: Light therapy can be effective for treating oral lichen planus
Dealing with dark itchy bumps that have you wondering whether you could be dealing with lichen planus or another skin disorder? If so, a dermatologist will easily be able to diagnose your skin condition, usually through a simple physical exam. If you are experiencing symptoms of lichen planus, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist today.
By Oahu Dermatology
December 07, 2020
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Impetigo  
What Is ImpetigoFind out more about this common childhood bacterial skin infection and how to treat it.

Most people don’t know what impetigo is. Maybe you haven’t even heard of it. This contagious bacterial skin infection is most often seen in babies and children; however, adults can catch this infection, too. Dermatologists often see a rise in impetigo cases during the summer. How does impetigo even happen in the first place?

Well, our skin is home to millions of bacteria. Most of them are actually good bacteria that help you stay healthy; however, bad bacteria can develop on the skin too. If these bad bacteria can get into a wound or opening in the skin, this can cause impetigo.

What are the symptoms?

Impetigo causes red bumps mostly on the arms, legs, and face. These bumps will eventually turn into blisters that will crust over. The skin under and around the blisters may look raw. At first, you may only notice one or two spots; however, the condition will continue to spread. Bumps may itch or also be tender.

Who is at risk for impetigo?

As we said, we often see this condition in children and infants; however, certain factors can also put adults at risk. You may be more at risk for impetigo if you have been diagnosed with,
  • Scabies
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Liver conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Eczema or dermatitis
What should I expect when I come into the office?

Since many skin conditions cause painful blisters to form it’s important to see a dermatologist right away for a proper diagnosis. When you come into the office, our skin doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history to help rule out what conditions it could be. A physical examination performed by a qualified dermatologist is often all that’s needed to make a diagnosis; however, we may collect fluid from the blister to look for the presence of bacteria.

How do you treat impetigo?

It’s important to see a doctor for treatment because impetigo will require antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the blisters, your dermatologist may simply prescribe an antibiotic cream, while those with more widely affected areas or more severe symptoms may require oral antibiotics. Once you start taking the medication you should recover within a week.

If you or your little one is dealing with symptoms of impetigo you must see a dermatology professional right away for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
By Oahu Dermatology
November 17, 2020
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Eczema  
Understanding and Treating EczemaIf you notice recurring bouts of red, scaly, itchy patches of skin then you could be dealing with eczema. Eczema refers to a variety of skin conditions that cause plaques that can sometimes ooze, crust over, and lead to infection. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with eczema, you must seek professional dermatology care from qualified skin-care professionals.

What triggers eczema?

It’s important to figure out what triggers your eczema so you can make lifestyle changes to avoid exposure. Common eczema triggers include:
  • Cold or hot weather
  • Dry skin
  • Stress
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Fragrances and detergents
  • Dust mites, pollen, and mold
  • Exercise
By being aware of your triggers you can reduce eczema flare-ups without always having to rely on medication. In the beginning, you may want to keep track of your symptoms to discuss with your dermatologist.

How can I manage my eczema symptoms?

While there is no cure for eczema, a dermatologist can help you get your symptoms under control. First and foremost, you mustn't scratch your skin, as scratching will only make the itching more intense. Scratching your skin can also lead to more serious problems including infections.

It’s also important to establish a proper skin-care regimen with your dermatologist to determine which products are not only safe to use but also can ease eczema symptoms. It’s best to choose mild products that do not contain fragrances or chemicals and to keep skin moisturized, as dry skin can lead to flare-ups.

Of course, your dermatologist can also provide you with prescription topical creams and medications to help control your symptoms. Sometimes laser therapy can also help if you are dealing with severe eczema symptoms that don’t seem to respond to traditional medications and lifestyle changes.

Whether you are experiencing symptoms of eczema or you’ve already been diagnosed with eczema, you must have a skin-care professional that can help you get your eczema under control with proper dermatology treatments and remedies.




This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.