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Posts for category: Skin Conditions

By Oahu Dermatology
May 09, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Rash  

Wondering when a rash is a cause for concern?

We’re all going to deal with a rash at some point, and while the good news is that many of them can be treated from the comfort of your own home, sometimes you will need to turn to a dermatologist for medication. Here are the causes of a rash,

Fungal Infection

One of the most common fungal infections that result in a rash is ringworm. Fungal infections can also affect the nails and hair. Yeast infections caused by the candida fungus can also result in rashes of the mouth, groin, or vagina. Less common fungal infections may result in those with compromised immune systems (e.g., patients who have HIV).

Minor fungal infections may be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal creams or ointments. A dermatologist should treat more severe or persistent fungal infections.

Viral Infection

The most common virus to produce a rash is the herpes simplex virus, both type 1 and type 2. Type 1 usually causes cold sores of the lips and nose, while type 2 leads to sores on the genitals. Those with an HSV flare-up may develop a tender rash on the palms. Chickenpox and shingles (caused by the herpes zoster virus) also result in itching, burning, and painful rashes.

Epstein-Barr virus, best known as mononucleosis or “mono,” can also lead to a mild rash that appears within a few days of being infected. If you develop a rash, a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and a fever, you should see a doctor.

Bacterial Infection

Staphylococcus (e.g., folliculitis; cellulitis; impetigo) and streptococcus (e.g., strep throat; scarlet fever) are two common bacterial infections that lead to a rash. Sometimes Lyme disease is characterized by a bull’s eye-like rash surrounding the tick bite.

Parasitic Infections

Parasites that cause a rash include lice and scabies, which can be passed from person to person. Lice most commonly affect the scalp, while scabies can cause an itchy, pimple-like rash that usually appears on the armpits, wrists, elbows, beltline, and buttocks.

Other Causes

Noninfectious rashes are also caused by drugs, eczema (e.g., atopic dermatitis), allergic dermatitis, autoimmune disorders (e.g., lupus), and food allergies.

It isn’t easy to tell what’s causing your rash, but if you are dealing with new, worsening, or severe symptoms or the rash is spreading, it’s always good to turn to your dermatologist for treatment.

By Oahu Dermatology
March 09, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Mole   Irregular Mole  
Irregular MoleEducating the public on skin cancer is incredibly important. After all, you’re the one that looks at your skin every day, so you should know how to spot early warning signs of skin cancer. While there are certain risk factors that can increase your risk for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, it’s important for everyone to visit a dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. In the meantime, here’s what to look out for.

What is an irregular or atypical mole?

Medically referred to as dysplastic nevi, these irregular moles are benign but having them could put you at an increased risk for developing melanoma over your lifetime. These moles can develop anywhere on the body but are most often found on sun-exposed areas of the skin. Since these moles vary greatly in appearance it’s important to monitor your moles regularly so you can recognize when unusual changes are occurring and call your dermatologist.

What does an irregular mole look like?

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) offers a simple ABCDE guideline to follow to be able to spot unusual or suspicious changes in a mole. Here’s what the ABCDEs stand for:

Asymmetry: when the halves of the moles don’t match each other in shape or appearance this could be a sign of a cancerous mole
Border: a jagged, irregular, or scalloped border can be a sign of melanoma
Color: if a mole has multiple colors or changes color this is also a warning sign not to ignore
Diameter: melanoma is often larger than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser), even though they can be smaller
Evolving: healthy moles stay relatively the same over the years so if your mole bleeds, crusts over, itches, or changes appearance you should schedule an appointment with your dermatologist

When should I see a dermatologist?

If you have any concerns about a mole don’t hesitate to call your dermatologist to have it checked out. The sooner melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers are detected and removed the better. Of course, everyone can benefit from visiting a dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. You should also be performing self-exams once a month to keep track of your moles.

If you have an irregular mole or a mole that’s changing in appearance, it’s best to play it safe and schedule an evaluation with a dermatologist who can examine the mole to make sure it hasn’t turned cancerous.
By Oahu Dermatology
February 03, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Spider Veins  
Spider VeinsMost of us, at some point during our lifetime, will develop spider veins—those tiny, purple, web-like veins caused by twisted blood vessels. While they aren’t serious they can be uncomfortable and unsightly. If you’ve been wondering about ways to get rid of spider veins, a dermatologist is going to be the ideal medical specialist to turn to, to discuss treatment options.

What are spider veins?

These small raised, swollen, and twisted blood vessels are often red, purple, or blue and are easily seen through the skin. Spider veins most commonly appear on the legs and face.

Are there any symptoms of spider veins?

Both spider and varicose veins often don’t produce any symptoms; however, some people may experience swelling, aching, burning, tingling, or cramping of the legs.

What causes spider veins?

There are a variety of reasons why spider veins may develop including,
  • Obesity
  • Heredity
  • Jobs that require standing for long periods (e.g. nursing)
  • Birth control pills
  • Medical history of blood clots
  • Pregnancy
Are there risk factors for developing spider veins?

Besides the causes above, age and gender also play a role. More women than men develop spider veins. The likelihood of developing spider veins as you age also increases. It’s believed that anywhere from 30 percent to 60 percent of adults have spider veins.

What can I do to treat spider veins?

There are many different ways in which a dermatologist can treat spider veins including,
  • Recommending support stockings: They can reduce any pain or discomfort associated with spider veins
  • Altering your lifestyle: this includes losing weight if necessary, taking care of your skin, and increasing physical activity (which can sometimes help spider veins)
  • Sclerotherapy: a common procedure used to remove unsightly spider veins. By injecting saline solution into the vein, the vein will disappear over the next couple of weeks
There are other solutions out there as well including surgery, intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment, radiofrequency occlusion, and endovenous laser treatment. We would be happy to sit down and talk with you about which treatment would work best for your needs.

Dealing with spider veins? Want to get spider vein-free legs that you can wait to show off? If so, it’s the perfect time to turn to your dermatologist to discuss ways of getting rid of your spider veins.
By Oahu Dermatology
January 24, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Vitiligo  
VitiligoAccording to the National Vitiligo Foundation, around 70 million people around the world have vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder that causes white patches of skin. This condition is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person, but the white patches can be a source of embarrassment or isolation for some patients. If you are living with vitiligo, or know someone who is, a dermatologist can help you determine the best treatment options for improving the appearance of vitiligo.

How is vitiligo treated?

There is currently no cure for vitiligo but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to target and add pigment back into these depigmented patches of skin. Some of these treatment options include:

UVB Light Therapy

This is one of the oldest and most commonly used treatment options for vitiligo, which exposes areas of the body to light therapy multiple times a week. This narrow-band light therapy works by triggering the production of melanocytes, a skin cell responsible for producing pigmentation in the skin.

Topical Medications

Various topical creams can repigment the skin. Your dermatologist will look at the size and location of your vitiligo patches to determine the best topical medications for the job. Common topical medications include corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, calcipotriene, and depigmentation medications.

Steroids are topical anti-inflammatories that can slow vitiligo and allow the body to produce more melanocytes. It can take up to a month to start seeing results. When steroids aren’t the ideal option, which is particularly common if a patient has patches of vitiligo in more sensitive areas such as the genitals or lips, your dermatologist may recommend calcineurin inhibitors.

If the majority of your body contains vitiligo patches, the best option may be to lighten the rest of your skin to reduce the appearance of these depigmented patches. This can be done with a topical depigmentation medication or light therapy. Medications are often recommended in conjunction with light therapy, but if light therapy isn’t being used then your dermatologist may recommend two or more medications to be used at the same time.

You don’t have to deal with vitiligo alone. A dermatologist can be the best medical specialist for helping you treat and manage your vitiligo symptoms. To learn more or to schedule an evaluation, call your dermatologist today.
By Oahu Dermatology
January 24, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Dry Skin  
Dry SkinFor most of the US, winter is here! Temperatures are dropping and snow is already falling. If you live in a wintry region of the country you may be finding that your skin is a little drier these days. If so, you aren’t alone. Dry skin is a common problem, particularly during the winter months. Here are some ways to improve dry skin on your own,

Pick the right moisturizer: Not all moisturizers are created equal but it’s important to quench your skin, particularly if it’s dry. Therefore, when you purchase a moisturizer look for one that contains lanolin or petroleum. These agents help to lock in moisture.

Other helpful ingredients to be on the lookout for include urea or lactic acid, which helps the skin hold water. However, those with eczema or sensitive skin may experience some stinging when applying products that contain lactic acid or urea.

Skip hot, steaming shower: While a hot shower after a long day might sound like heaven, it definitely won’t be for your skin. Hot water strips your skin of that much-needed moisture. The same goes for when you wash for face. Use warm water instead of hot and don’t linger in the shower.

Shave less frequently: Shaving can certainly be rough on skin, particularly if it is already dry. Therefore, it might be best to shave less frequently, if you can get away with it. On the days you do need to shave be sure to be generous with your shaving cream and to stick with warm, and not hot, water.

Use a humidifier: If you notice that your skin experiences more intense dryness during the winter months, then it might be time to invest in a humidifier. This household product can help add moisture back into the air, so your environment doesn’t suck all the healthy moisture from your skin.

Consider prescription medications: If you are suffering from extremely dry skin, then commercial moisturizers and other local drugstore skincare products just won’t cut it. You need to see your dermatologist for a topical prescription. We can prescribe corticosteroids and other medications that can help relieve the annoying itching and redness you experience with seriously dry skin. If over-the-counter products aren’t helping, talk to your dermatologist.

When to See a Dermatologist

It might seem strange to see a dermatologist for dry skin, but if your dry skin is severe, making you feel miserable and uncomfortable, or not responding to at-home treatments then it may be worth turning to a dermatologist for more effective treatment options.

Don’t let dry skin get you down this season when there are so many ways to get it under control. Remember that if dry skin and other issues are impacting your health, appearance, and confidence, a dermatologist can be the ideal doctor to help you feel better fast.