Medical Dermatology Is More Than Skin Deep
Studies have shown that people are more likely to postpone dealing with a serious health concern in order to first deal with an issue involving their skin. At Bryn Mawr Dermatology we understand the social anxiety component of skin disorders that can often inhibit one’s daily life and impact one’s confidence. We regularly treat teenagers suffering from acne, women and men seeking to reverse hair loss, and children with contagious rashes (to name a few).
We work to achieve results as quickly and safely as possible in order to limit the disruption these disorders can be to your life. We also understand that several serious underlying health issues can first present themselves externally on the skin.
Our comprehensive approach means we always consider the deeper issues that may be present. We’ve found patients suffering from hair loss to have a hormonal imbalance; we’ve seen patients suffering from psoriasis and diagnosed them with immune disorders; and we’ve seen others who came to our office with rashes that we diagnosed with Lyme’s disease.
Acne is a disease of the hair follicles of the face, chest, and back that affects people of all ages. Bacteria does not cause it, although bacteria plays a role in its development. Hormones can play a major factor. Left untreated, acne can cause permanent scarring.
Acne appears on the skin as:
- Occluded pores ("comedones"), also know blackheads or whiteheads.
- Tender red bumps also known as pimples,
- Pustules, and occasionally as
- Cysts and nodules (deep, often painful pimples).
Levulan using the BLU-U® Photodynamic Therapy
Levulan using the BLU-U® Photodynamic Therapy is indicated for the treatment of minimally to moderately thick actinic keratosis of the face or scalp. Actinic keratoses (AKs) are rough-textured, dry, scaly patches on the skin that can lead to skin cancer. Blue Light (Blu U) is combined with a topical medication called Levulan. Levulan is a substance that occurs naturally in the body in small amounts. After it is applied and absorbed into the skin it is converted into a potent photosensitizer, protophorphyrin IX. Because Levulan absorbs into actinic keratoses and sebaceous glands it selectively targets them. The blue light then activates these protophorphyrins which leads to a reduction of these tissues. It is important to treat AKs because there is no way to tell when or which lesions will progress to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common form of skin cancer.
Rather than a specific condition, eczema is a group of diseases that have a similar appearance. Because of this, there are many different presentations of the condition. It can be red, scaly, rough patches or blisters containing clear fluid. It can also appear as thickened, elevated patches. Eczema is almost always very itchy. It is important to distinguish between the different kinds of eczema because effective treatments often differ.
Millions of men and women have hereditary hair loss, but it can also occur due to stress, hormonal imbalances or lack of essential nutrients. Causes of hair loss can be diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist.
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) & Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
HSV and HPV are contagious viruses that are transmitted via sexual contact. They present as either fluid-filled or solid bumps on the surface of the skin. If you have symptoms of concern on your skin, we can treat it at Bryn Mawr Dermatology.
Molluscum Contagiosum is a common skin disease caused by a virus. This virus spreads from person to person: you can get molluscum by sharing physical objects like towels, bedding and clothing or from skin-to-skin contact.
Often, the only sign of molluscum is pink or flesh-colored bumps on the skin. These bumps can appear anywhere on the skin, but most frequently in areas that rub.
A dermatologist specializes in treating disorders of the finger and toenails. When a nail is painful, changes color or texture there may be an underlying medical condition at fault. Psoriasis, fungal infections and autoimmune disorders are just a few of the causes of nail conditions. If a nail turns black or brown without trauma, you should call us right away.
Pediatric Skin Issues
Some conditions that affect the skin, hair, or nails are more common in children. Some of these are: atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema), cradle cap, birthmarks (including port-wine stains), impetigo (skin infection), warts and molluscum. At Bryn Mawr Dermatology, we regularly diagnose and treat children with these conditions knowing that it can take a bit of extra patience and poise to put each patient (and his/her parents) at ease.
Pigmentation issues occur when portions of a person’s skin either appears lighter or darker than what would otherwise be considered healthy. Pregnancy, adrenal gland dysfunction, sunlight exposure, genetics, autoimmune disorders, blisters, burns, and other trauma to the skin can cause pigmentation problems.
Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac & Other Contact / Allergic Rashes
Contact/allergic rashes present as red, itchy (or painful) bumps or patches caused by a substance that comes into contact with your skin. Items we touch, inhale or ingest cause symptoms. Since rashes vary in how they are contracted and progress, it is important to see a dermatologist who can properly diagnose and treat them.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition. It develops when a person’s immune system sends faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly. The body does not shed these excess skin cells so they pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear. Sometimes, psoriasis is itchy, and due to its appearance can often cause social anxiety. The professionals at Bryn Mawr Dermatology will find the best possible treatment for your psoriasis.
This type of arthritis often begins with a few swollen joints; a single finger or toe may be noticeably swollen. Some people feel stiff when they wake up but as they move around, the stiffness fades. Most people get psoriatic arthritis about 5 to 12 years after the skin symptoms of psoriasis form, but you can develop joint symptoms at the same time as skin symptoms or even as the preliminary manifestation. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the effect that arthritis has on your life.
Rosacea is a common, treatable skin disease that often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. Symptoms may include redness, flushing, visible blood vessels, acne-like breakouts, bumpy texture or thickened skin. Rosacea can even present as chronically dry, irritated eyes. There are four subtypes of rosacea, each with its own treatment, so it is important to have it diagnosed by a professional.
Scar formation is the body's way of healing following trauma. Because everyone heals differently, there is no way to predict how a scar will look after healing. With time, most scars soften and fade, but occasionally raised, depressed or pigmented scars can form. Treatment options for these unsightly marks range from topical creams, laser treatments, injections and surgical revisions.
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer while Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are less life-threatening but more common. All types of skin cancer should be treated. Genetics, UV/sun exposure or a combination of the two causes skin cancer. These different types of skin cancer present in very different fashions but inevitably include new or changing lesions. If you spot a spot that you think looks suspicious please make an appointment today
to have it checked out. Early detection could SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Warts are local growths in the skin that are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. They appear most commonly in children, teens, and those with a weakened immune system, but can affect anyone. They can often occur where there is broken skin, and are contagious. We can determine what type of wart you have and treat it.