Common Skin Concerns

In Florida when we think of skin health, we think about making sure we have enough sunscreen when enjoying the summer sun. While sunscreen is a good first step, there are many additional skin conditions that we all should be aware of.

Here board certified internal medicine physician, Dr. Sangeeta Patil, gives a brief overview of common skin concerns and what to do about them.

Shingles

Shingles is a rash that occurs in individuals that have had chicken pox in the past. It is a rash that looks like vesicles and occurs in a belt like fashion over the skin, and rarely crosses the midline. It can be associated with severe pain that can predate the rash and the pain can last for months even after the rash is gone. There is now a vaccine for shingles that is different from the chicken pox vaccine and is given to those who are older than 60 years of age and have had chicken pox in the past.

Hives

Hives are allergic reaction and look like welts and are itchy. Hives can be caused by allergic reactions to food or medications and sometimes even by stress.

Eczema

Eczema is an inflamed itchy, weeping lesion of the skin. Chemicals like certain soaps, lotions, drugs can trigger these. They are very common in people with asthma.

Rosacea

Rosacea is a non-contagious condition which starts usually as flushing over the facial and nose area. The blood vessels over these areas get dilated and acne-like lesions can develop as well. Rosacea is commonly treated with medications like metrogel, laser, dermabrasion or electrocautery.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are painful blisters on the lips and moth caused by herpes simplex virus. Cold sores are extremely contagious. Fevers, menses, hormones, in fact, anything, can trigger these.

Age or Liver Spots

Age or liver spots are brown or black patches on the sun exposed areas especially the cheek, nose, forehead and upper arms. They are not due to liver disease or age, but caused by sun damage and get worse when exposed to the sun. Age spots can be treated with skin bleaching creams, but you should always discuss any treatment with your doctor.

Wrinkles

Wrinkles are a normal process of aging, but can be hastened by genetic factors, excessive sun exposure and smoking. Wrinkles should be embraced as laugh lines and the sign of a well-lived life, however, for women interested in minimizing the appearance or wrinkles, treatments can include Retin A creams, chemical peels or more serious plastic surgery procedures like Botox or facelift.