- Hair loss is a very common problem among both men and women. For women, hair loss can begin during the child bearing years and peak again during early menopause. Some men are predisposed to male pattern baldness and begin losing their hair in their early twenties.Hair loss can be subtle at first; a good stylist or barber who is well acquainted with your hair patterns can notice small changes. Additionally, consider the effect of medications and co-existing medical problems such as lupus or anemia. Overactive or underactive thyroid and vitamin and dietary deficiencies can also masquerade as hair loss.For women, dermatologists recommend examining lifestyle and hair styling habits. Excessive combing, coloring, and blow drying can wreak havoc on delicate hair. The addition of chemical straightening can compound the damage to vulnerable hair and aggravate existing hair loss. A word of caution for women: avoid tight pony tails and hairstyles that create tension by pulling on the hair. An absolute must – have coloring, relaxers and other chemical straighteners performed by a professional.
Men – take notice. If there is a known history of early hair loss or receding hairlines, be aggressive. Minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine ®, can be started early and produce good results. Coupled with Propecia ®, an oral medication which can be prescribed by your dermatologist, these two medications used together may produce even better results. Side affects are minor but both medications should only be initiated after consultation with your dermatologist.
Sometimes there’s no way to stop hair loss completely. A good treatment regimen can slow it down. Your dermatologist will play an important role in making a diagnosis and determining the correct treatment.
- Hair transplantation, the medical process of relocating hair from the lower back and sides of the head, has been used to permanently restore natural living, growing hair to the balding top or front of the head. Initially used for male pattern baldness, increasing numbers of women are experiencing hair loss and hair transplants are becoming more popular with women.Newer techniques utilize many smaller grafts with varying numbers of hair follicles to create a fuller, more natural appearance. Micrografting and minigrafting allow surgeons to transplant new hair between existing hair follicles without any hair being removed. Hair transplants can be effective for thinning hair as well. Those interested in hair transplants should keep in mind that transplanting hair is still surgery. For more information about the hair restoration process, consult your dermatologist to see if you are a candidate.
- Hyperhidrosis is defined as sweating more than required by the body. It typically presents in young adults and causes discomfort, embarrassment and can alter normal daily activity. This is a recognized medical condition and your dermatologist can work with you to find a treatment that will bring positive results.
- Moles, also known as nevi, are the most common growths on the human body. They come in different shapes, sizes and even colors and change as a person ages. Moles are made of melanocytes which are skin cells that produce melanin (the dark pigment). Because of the risk of skin cancer, have a dermatologist evaluate your moles yearly and remove or biopsy anything that looks suspicious.
Nail Disease & Injury
- Nail Diseases (Fungus)
Your nails – both on your feet and hands – are susceptible to fungal infections. Fungi are everywhere and can multiply in the heat and humidity of spring and summer.Individuals with an active fungal infection can spread the disease by walking barefoot in locker rooms, shower stalls, and around pools, hot tubs and saunas. Athlete’s foot is an itchy problem. Toenail fungus can lead to a thickening and deformity of the toenail. Both are generally treated with oral or topical medications prescribed by your dermatologist.Nail Injuries
Fingernails serve many purposes and their prominent location makes them more susceptible to injury. Women who wear acrylic nails are particularly susceptible to bacterial or fungal infections that can become trapped underneath the fake nail.If your nails have sustained damage such as yellowing, flaking, peeling, or persistent infection, see your dermatologist for treatment.
- Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease. Symptoms include thickened, red areas of skin covered with silvery scales. Some cases of psoriasis are so mild that people don’t know they have it. Severe psoriasis may cover large areas of the body. In the United States, 4.5 million people have psoriasis and there are approximately 150,000 new cases reported each year. Depending on the severity of the case, psoriasis can cause mild to severe discomfort. See your dermatologist for treatment options.
Rashes & Eczema
- The terms eczema or ‘dermatitis’ are used to describe certain kinds of inflamed skin conditions. Eczema can be red, blistering, oozing, scaly, brownish, or thickened skin and usually itches. A rash is any kind of spots that erupt on the skin, usually temporary, and can be painless, itchy, burning, etc. Both eczema and rashes can be caused by a variety of factors. See your dermatologist for diagnosis and a variety of successful treatment options.
- Rosacea can be a painful and embarrassing condition that seems to not respond to treatment. In fact, suffers of rosacea sometimes experience a worsening of symptoms after an ineffective treatment regimen. Rosacea can also be misdiagnosed or confused with a rash or sunburn.Rosacea is a hereditary, chronic skin disorder that most often affects the nose, forehead, cheekbones, and chin. The classic rosacea symptoms are patchy flushing (redness) and inflammation, particularly on the cheeks, nose, forehead, and around the mouth. This condition typically appears between the ages of 30 and 50 and affects more women than men. As symptoms emerge slowly, rosacea may initially be mistaken for sunburn, leading to a delay in proper treatment. While rosacea and its causes are not well known and treatment can sometime be difficult, your dermatologist can find a treatment regimen to give you positive results.
- We’ve all heard it – skin cancer is affecting more and more people each year. If you have lighter skin, suffered severe sunburns as a child or if you have suspicious looking moles, dermatologists recommend getting a full skin exam every single year. Skin cancer is defined as the out of control growth of abnormal cells in a layer of the skin. Different types of skin cancer include actinic keratosis, basal cell, squamous cell, and malignant melanoma cancers. One in seven Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer each year; the good news is that most skin cancers can be cured if caught and treated in time.Dr. Fuller is a firm believer that using sunscreen daily can help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. As a board-certified dermatologic surgeon, she can give you a thorough skin exam, biopsy anything that looks suspicious and remove any potential skin cancer lesions.Different types of skin cancer include:
Considered by many to be pre-skin cancers, these areas of skin that tend to be rough and will not heal are the first stage of significant sun damage. Topical treatments can be used to keep actinic keratosis from progressing to skin cancer.Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as red, raised translucent lumps and affects 400,000 persons each year.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is usually distinguished by raised reddish lumps or growths that will not heal. This cancer develops in 100,000 persons per year, is very aggressive and can spread to other parts of the body.
Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer. It typically appears as a light brown to black, red or multi-colored mole with uneven borders. Remember the A,B,C,D’s of Melanoma: asymmetry where one side doesn’t match the other, irregular borders, multiple colors and size or diameter larger than a pencil eraser. ANY mole that you have a question about is reason to visit a dermatologist.
- Sun-damage compounds the aging process because ultraviolet light from the sun penetrates not only the outer layer of skin, but also those layers underneath (which fortify the skin and lend it resilience). The following procedures can help sun damaged skin:Chemical Peels – a chemical is applied to the skin which removes the outer layers of sun-damaged skin, resulting in a smoother and fresher appearance.
Dermabrasion is a technique in which a special instrument removes or abrades the upper layers of the skin and smoothes out irregularities in the skin surface. Normally used to correct scarring, some dermatologists are using dermabrasion to correct heavily sun damaged skin.Laser and Non-ablative Resurfacing – affecting the top or next layer of the skin, resurfacing changes the way the skin looks and can help remove damage created by the sun.
- Warts are a type of infection caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus (HPV) family (there are more than 100 types of HPV viruses). Growing on all parts of your body, warts commonly grow on your skin, on the inside of your mouth, on your genitals and on your rectal area. Some types of HPV tend to cause warts on the skin, while other HPV types tend to cause warts on the genitals and rectal area. Some people are more naturally resistant to the HPV viruses and don’t seem to get warts as easily as other people.While some warts go away on their own, others do not and can be painful, intrusive, or irritating. Others can cause embarrassment, especially if they are visible (like on the face or hands). There are a variety of ways to treat warts and decrease the chance that they will spread or return. Your dermatologist will decide whether to chemically remove the wart or if surgical removal is necessary.