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Should I be worried about a changing brown spot?

Any spot that is changing should be evaluated by a dermatologist to ensure that it is not a melanoma. Suspicious signs include asymmetry, irregular borders, uneven color, growth and size larger than a pencil eraser.
Some of these same signs can be seen in benign lesion such as a seborrheic keratosis (also called old age warts or barnacles). These waxy light brown to black lesions tend to run in families and develop as we age. Hundreds of these lesions can be removed in a single office visit for cosmetic purposes.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that most commonly appears as thick scaly areas located on the scalp, elbows, knees, and buttocks. It can range from mild to severe and can sometimes be associated with joint inflammation and arthritis.

What causes Psoriasis?

It is not known what causes psoriasis. However, there is a definite genetic component to the disease.

How common is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is common worldwide and has an incidence of 0.1-3% of the world population. Psoriasis affects adults and children, both women and men of all races..

What is the usual course of Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that tends to wax and wane over time. It can be treated very effectively with medications and the symptoms can be improved dramatically. At this time, however, there is no definitive cure for psoriasis.

What Causes Hair loss?

There are many causes of hair loss. Most commonly it can be genetic, age related hair loss. Both men and women tend to lose hair thickness and amount as they age. Inherited or pattern baldness affects many more men than women. About 25% of men begin to bald by the time they are 30 years old, and about two-thirds are either bald or have a balding pattern by age 60. Other causes of hair loss are stress, illness, trauma, medication-related, and auto immune. Alopecia areata is a very common auto-immune disorder causing patches of hair loss.

What should I do if I have hair loss?

Evaluation by a dermatologist may help to define the cause of the hair loss and to work with you to develop a treatment plan. Sometimes a small (and relatively painless) biopsy or laboratory evaluation may be necessary to understand the reason for hair loss.

Why should I choose a dermatologist to administer my cosmetic procedure?

Dermatologists receive four or more years of training beyond medical school and are experts in skin, hair and nail disorders. They have developed and introduced most of the innovative cosmetic procedures in the last fifty years. These procedures include: treatments for acne scarring, sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines and brown spots, Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer, dermabrasion, hair transplantation, chemical peels, laser surgery, tumescent liposuction which has made liposuction a safe procedure, sclerotherapy for leg veins, fat transfer, Botox, fillers like collagen, Restylane and Sculptra, laser resurfacing, facial rejuvenation, and high tech vein treatments.

What causes acne?

The causes of acne are linked to the changes that take place as young people mature from childhood to adolescence (puberty). The hormones that cause physical maturation also cause the sebaceous (oil) glands of the skin to produce more sebum (oil). The hormones with the greatest effect on sebaceous glands are androgens (male hormones), which are present in females as well as males, but in higher amounts in males.
Sebaceous glands are found together with a hair shaft in a unit called a sebaceous follicle. During puberty, the cells of the skin that line the follicle begin to shed more rapidly. In people who develop acne, cells shed and stick together more so than in people who do not develop acne. When cells mix with the increased amount of sebum being produced, they can plug the opening of the follicle. Meanwhile, the sebaceous glands continue to produce sebum, and the follicle swells up with sebum..
In addition, a normal skin bacteria called P. acnes, begins to multiply rapidly in the clogged hair follicle. In the process, these bacteria produce irritating substances that can cause inflammation. Sometimes, the wall of the follicle bursts, spreading inflammation to the surrounding skin. This is the process by which acne lesions, from blackheads to pimples to nodules, are formed.

I wash my face several times a day. Why do I still get acne?

Many people still believe that acne is caused by dirty skin. The truth is, washing alone will not clear up or prevent acne. Washing does, however, help remove excess surface oils and dead skin cells. Many people use all kinds of products, including alcohol-based cleansers, and scrub vigorously, only to irritate the skin further and worsen their acne. Washing the skin twice a day gently with water and a mild soap is usually all that is required. However, acne is actually caused by a variety of biologic factors that are beyond the control of washing. For that reason, you should use appropriate acne treatments for the acne.

Does stress cause acne?

Stress is commonly blamed for the development of acne. Stress can have many physiologic effects on the body, including changes in hormones that may theoretically lead to acne. In some cases the stress may actually be caused by the acne lesions, not the other way around! If the acne is being treated effectively, stress is not likely to have much impact on the majority of people..

I never had acne as a teenager. Why am I now getting acne as an adult?

Usually, acne begins at puberty and is gone by the early 20s. In some cases, acne may persist into adulthood. Such types of acne include severe forms that affect the body as well as the face (which afflict males more than females) and acne associated with the menstrual cycle in women. In other cases, acne may not present itself until adulthood. Such acne is more likely to affect females than males..
There are several reasons for this. As females get older, the pattern of changes in hormones may itself change, disposing sebaceous glands to develop acne. Ovarian cysts and pregnancy may also cause hormonal changes that lead to acne. Some women get acne when they discontinue birth control pills that have been keeping acne at bay. Sometimes young women may wear cosmetics that are comedogenic-that is, they can set up conditions that cause comedones to form.

What role does diet play in acne?

Acne is not caused by food. Following a strict diet will not, clear your skin. While some people feel that their acne is aggravated by certain foods, particularly chocolate, colas, peanuts, shellfish and some fatty foods, there is no scientific evidence that suggests food causes or influences acne. Avoid any foods which seem to worsen your acne and, for your overall health, eat a balanced diet–but diet shouldn’t really matter if the acne is being appropriately treated..

Does the sun help acne?

Many patients feel that sunlight improves their acne lesions and go to great lengths to find sources of ultraviolet light. There is no proven effect of sunlight on acne. In addition, ultraviolet light in sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin. It is, therefore, not a recommended technique of acne management, especially since there are many other proven forms of treatment for acne. Moreover, many acne treatments increase the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light, making the risk of ultraviolet light exposure all the worse.

What is the best way to treat acne?

Everyone acne must be treated individually. If you have not gotten good results from the acne products you have tried, consider seeing a dermatologist. Your dermatologist will decide which treatments are best for you.

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