Dermatologist Blog - Stone Oak Dermatology

Posts for category: Skin Conditions

Atopic DermatitisWhen we think of skin disorders, we most often assume that these are problems that mostly adults deal with; however, children and teens can also deal with a wide range of skin problems. One of them is atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis, also referred to as pediatric eczema, is a chronic skin problem that causes flare-ups of itchy, dry, red skin.

What causes atopic dermatitis in children?

Atopic dermatitis is surprisingly common among newborns and kids. Certain factors may play a role in whether your child develops atopic dermatitis. Some of these factors include genetics, weather, environment, temperature, and allergies. If dermatitis runs in your family then your child may be more at risk.

What are the signs of pediatric atopic dermatitis?

Not sure if your child is dealing with atopic dermatitis? Many of the symptoms are not unique to atopic dermatitis so it can be difficult to tell. This is why it’s important to turn to a qualified dermatologist if your child is dealing with any of these issues,
  • Dry skin
  • Intensely itchy skin
  • Thick, red, or swollen skin
  • Fluid-filled or crusty bumps on the skin
  • Rough bumps on the face or arms
  • Hives
How is atopic dermatitis treated?

There are several factors that a dermatologist will need to take into account to determine the best treatment plan for your child. Factors such as their overall health as well as the severity of their symptoms will play roles in the type of treatments we recommend. Your child’s treatment plan will include,
  • Avoiding known irritants and triggers such as certain soaps, detergents, and allergens (e.g., pet danger)
  • Keeping your child’s nails trim to prevent scratching and infection
  • Using gentle cleansers and products on your child’s skin
  • Corticosteroid creams
  • Antihistamines
  • Phototherapy (light therapy)
  • Biologics (strong medications used only in severe and unresponsive cases)
If your child is displaying signs of atopic dermatitis, you must schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to find out what’s going on. Any kind of persistent or recurring rash should be looked at by a skincare professional.
By Linda Banta, MD
March 23, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Skin Tag  
Skin TagIf you’ve ever noticed a little piece of dangling skin on your body, then you’ve most likely found a skin tag. While these little growths are completely benign, they can develop in places where clothes can rub against them and cause discomfort. Skin tags are most often found in and around the armpits, eyelids, groin, and neck. If you find that your skin tag is in an awkward or uncomfortable place, a dermatologist can easily remove it.

Treating Skin Tags Yourself

Chances are good that you’ve already googled “skin tags” and found a variety of home remedies and ways to remove the skin tag yourself. While some methods are safe and even effective at removing skin tags, it’s incredibly important that you consult your dermatologist first before trying any of these at-home treatments.

Not all skin tags should be treated with home remedies. Any large skin tags, are bleeding or painful, or are located in sensitive areas such as the genitals or the eyes should be treated by a dermatologist who will make sure to provide a safe, effective removal treatment.

Turning to a Dermatologist

There are several ways in which a dermatologist can remove skin tags. Some of these methods include,
  • Cryotherapy: Just like with warts, a dermatologist will freeze off the tag with liquid nitrogen (it usually only takes 1-2 treatments to remove the tag)
  • Cauterization: Burning off the skin tag can also effectively remove the benign growth after a couple of treatment sessions
  • Ligation: Tying a thread around the tag will cut off blood flow and make the growth eventually fall off
  • Excision: Your dermatologist may simply cut off the skin tag
If the skin tag isn’t large, uncomfortable, or in an awkward location then there is no reason to remove it; however, we understand that this may be purely for cosmetic reasons. In which case, your dermatologist is happy to remove the skin tag (but your health insurance is unlikely to cover the procedure).

If you want to have a skin tag removed, or if you aren’t sure whether a skin growth could be a tag, you must see your dermatologist first before you start trying any home remedies or treatments. It’s also important that everyone get an annual skin cancer screening with their dermatologist to check for suspicious or potentially cancerous growths.
By Linda Banta, MD
February 10, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Lupus  
LupusLupus is an autoimmune disorder that leads to widespread inflammation and pain. Lupus can affect multiple systems and organs in the body, but the skin tends to be one of the most common organs affected by this chronic disease. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, around two-thirds of people with lupus will experience some kind of lupus-related skin issue. Some people are dealing with cutaneous lupus only, while others are dealing with cutaneous lupus along with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (the most common form of lupus).
 
Skin lupus can produce these skin problems,
 
A butterfly rash: This “malar” rash is a classic symptom of lupus. This purplish-red rash spreads over the bridge of the nose to the cheeks and looks similar in shape to a butterfly. A butterfly rash may look similar to a very bad flush or it may even be scaly, in more severe cases. Some people may mistake this for rosacea.
 
Rashes and sores: It’s also common for lesions and red, inflamed patches of scaly skin to develop with lupus. These rashes and sores are usually found on the face, scalp, ears, or other sun-exposed areas. While these sores typically aren’t painful, they can cause scarring (especially if they develop on the scalp). This is why it’s important to see a dermatologist if you are dealing with a recurring or persistent rash or sore.
 
Subacute cutaneous lesions: These small, scaly papules are caused by UV light. Unlike discoid lesions, which can cause scarring, subacute cutaneous lesions will not scar. These lesions are typically red and circular and develop on areas of the skin most often exposed to the sun.
 
Other symptoms associated with lupus include,
  • Sores in the mouth and nose (mucous membrane sores)
  • Hair loss, sometimes caused by discoid lesions
  • Purple spots (due to broken blood vessels) on the legs
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with cutaneous lupus or SLE, or you are experiencing a butterfly rash or other symptoms of lupus, you must visit your dermatologist as soon as possible for an evaluation. A dermatologist can easily identify lupus and provide you with solutions to help you get symptoms under control.
By Linda Banta, MD
January 26, 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 Linda Banta, MD
January 14, 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.