Common Dermatologic Concerns

Common Concerns

Acne

Acne vulgaris, or acne, is a very common skin disease characterized by pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, or nodules that can develop on the face, chest, and back

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Actinic Keratoses

Actinic keratoses, or solar keratoses, are rough, dry, scaly, pink-brown papules and plaques that most often occur on chronic sun-exposed skin. These lesions are precancerous because they can advance to become invasive squamous cell carcinoma.

Actinic keratoses can become malignant, so early diagnosis and treatment are highly recommended. This is especially important if a lesion changes, becomes more tender, increases in size, or begins to bleed. We offer many options for removing actinic keratoses, including the use of prescription topical medications, skin peels, liquid nitrogen, photodynamic therapy with blue light, shave removal, and curettage.

Dry Skin

The arid climate of central Oregon’s high desert is a major cause of dry skin. Dry skin also occurs as we age and lose the ability to produce the natural oils that keep the skin moisturized. Dry skin symptoms include rough, scaly patches, flaking, tightness, and itchiness.

 

Simple lifestyle changes can often mitigate dry skin. We recommend avoiding harsh soaps; using mild soap only on areas that require cleaning (armpits, groin, and buttocks); and replacing excessively hot showers or baths with lukewarm water; and applying a good moisturizer regularly, especially soon after bathing. Our favorite moisturizers include the following.

  • CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream (not lotion)
  • Vanicream® Moisturizing Skin Cream
  • Cetaphil® Restoraderm Lotion
  • Cetaphil® Cream

Dry, itchy skin that continues despite lifestyle modifications requires dermatologic treatment to prevent dermatitis or eczema.

Eczema / Atopic dermatitis

Eczema or atopic dermatitis—”winter’s itch” or “the itch that rashes”—tends to appear or worsen in the winter months and is very itchy. It can also cause dry, irritated, and inflamed skin. The rash of atopic dermatitis often waxes and wanes, but is typically chronic.
Atopic dermatitis most commonly occurs in children but can occur in anyone at any age. It can be passed along genetically within families, meaning it can be inherited. It’s important to note, however, that atopic dermatitis is not contagious.

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Excessive Sweating ‘Hyperhidrosis’

Sweating is your body’s natural way of cooling itself down. Excessive sweating occurs when the body produces more sweat than it needs to regulate temperature or when sweating happens for no apparent reason. Excessive sweating can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, and upsetting.

 

Treatments available for this condition include the following.

  • Prescription topical antiperspirants
  • Iontophoresis (low-level electrical impulses that help to disable and to decrease sweat production)
  • Oral prescription medications
  • Botox injections
  • Surgery (considered only as a last resort in severe cases)

Hair loss

Clinical hair loss, or alopecia (al-oh-PEE-shah), is hair loss where hair would normally grow. It’s normal to shed some hair each day, but an excessive loss can lead to thinning of the hair, a receding hairline, and areas of baldness.

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Hives (Urticaria)

Urticaria, or hives, appears as itchy swollen welts on the skin. These lesions can appear on any part of the body and vary in size.

 

A person may break out in hives for many reasons. Heat, stress, allergic reactions, UV radiation, some foods, cold weather, and water are just a few causes of urticaria.

A hive welt usually disappears in 24 hours or less. New hives may appear as older hives fade. A case of acute hives usually lasts less than 6 weeks, but chronic hives last longer. Hives may resolve on their own, but medications can provide symptom relief. We understand hives can cause significant discomfort, so please call our office to make an appointment to discuss treatment.

Keloids

Keloids are smooth, hard, benign growths of tissue that usually appear following trauma—developing either right after the trauma occurs or some time after a wound has healed. They form as excessive scar tissue and usually overgrow the area of initial trauma. Keloids can be itchy or painful.

Keloids may arise on any location of the body, but they are most common on the upper chest, shoulders, and back.

A number of treatment modalities can improve the appearance of keloids, including topical scar creams, liquid nitrogen (freezing), surgical excision, laser treatment, or steroid injections.

Lipoma

A lipoma is a benign collection of fat cells in a thin, fibrous capsule. They often present as soft, rubbery, well-circumscribed masses just below the skin. Lipomas are not cancerous and do not have malignant potential. They can occur anywhere on the body, but commonly occur on the trunk and extremities. Lipomas do not usually resolve on their own, but if they become painful or itchy, or if their appearance is very bothersome, they can be removed.

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Melanoma

Melanoma is the most common form of cancer among young adults aged 25 to 29. Melanoma is also one of the deadliest types of skin cancer, causing more than 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths.

 

Treatment for melanoma is essential for survival. Treatment modalities include surgical removal, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. The type of melanoma, its depth when detected, lymph node involvement, spread of the cancer (metastasis) (local, distant, or nonexistent) determine the specific treatment regimen for melanoma.

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Melasma

Melasma, also known as the “mask of pregnancy,” is light-to-dark brown, irregular, patchy pigmentation of the face. It is slow to develop and most commonly affects women with darker skin types.

A number of things can cause melasma, including genetic predisposition, pregnancy, birth control medications, and hormone replacement therapies. Sunlight, or UV light, generally worsens the appearance of melisma, as can irritation or rashes.

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Milia

Milia are small, raised bumps that are white or yellowish and appear just below the surface of the skin. They develop when small skin flakes become trapped in a pocket close to the skin’s surface. Occurring as sole lesions or in groups, milia can appear secondary to trauma or burns, or they can appear without known cause.

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Moles

Moles, or nevi, are pigmented spots on the skin. They often present as brown, pink, or black growths anywhere on the skin. Although they’re usually round or oval, they can appear in all shapes and sizes—flat or raised, smooth or rough—and can occur as single lesions or in multiples.

Most moles are harmless, but any change—whether in size, shape, color, or texture—could be an indication of a malignant change. Some moles have a higher-than-average chance of becoming malignant, including the following.

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Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a relatively common skin condition.
Molluscum contagiosum typically presents as small, firm, papules that can be pink, flesh colored, or white and that have a central dimple. The lesions, called mollusca, are usually painless, but can sometimes be painful or itchy. They can occur anywhere on the body.

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Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects about 3 percent of Americans. We do not currently know the exact cause of psoriasis, but it’s believed to be a combination of immune system dysregulation, genetics, and a possible triggering event in the patient’s life.

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Rosacea

Rosacea is a very common chronic inflammatory condition that most often affects people of northern European descent but can occur in people with any skin type. People affected by rosacea tend to have the predisposition to flush or blush.

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Scars

A scar is a mark left on the skin following trauma. It is the fibrous tissue built by the body in a biological process of wound healing. While some scars are considered ‘badges of honor’ others can make people self-conscious. If you have scars that are noticeable, widespread (such as acne scars), large, or raised, there are a number of methods to reduce their appearance.

At Aspen Mountain Dermatology, we offer chemical peels, micro needling, subcision and injection of medications to improve scar appearance. We can also discuss the use of topical medications or creams to help make scars less painful or apparent.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Each year in the U.S., over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people.

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Skin infections

Skin infections come in many forms from Impetigo, Abscesses, and Folliculitis to Cellulitis, Herpes, Shingles. Read more about each one, including various treatment options depending on your dermatologic condition.

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Vitiligo

Vitiligo causes depigmentation (the loss of color) of the skin. The condition appears as lighter patches of skin with clearly defined borders and can affect any part of the body.
It’s important for people with vitiligo to use sun protection because they are at increased risk for burns in areas of depigmentation, and sunburns can stimulate further pigmentation loss.

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Warts

Warts are very common, especially in children, but they frequently affect adults as well. Warts can occur anywhere in the skin. They can persist for several years, but sometimes go away without treatment. Multiple treatment options exist for stubborn or uncomfortable warts.

At Aspen Mountain Dermatology, we employ a number of modalities to treat warts. At your office visit, we’ll discuss different treatment options that will work for you and your lifestyle. It’s important to recognize that warts can be persistent and may require multiple treatments.

Praxis Clinics

The complexities of your health require consultation with the entire community. We are committed to protecting your personal information while securely streamlining medical orders so you get accurate care quicker. Currently we have designed integration channels with the following community health care partners: