Gundersen dermatologists treat a variety of skin conditions. Skin problems can be a source of discomfort or embarrassment, can be an indication of other health problems and can even be potentially life threatening. That's why it's important, when skin problems don't clear up, to have them checked by a Gundersen dermatologist. Here are some of the most common skin conditions we treat:
Acne can be uncomfortable, embarrassing and lead to permanent scarring. Treating acne may be as simple as establishing a good skincare routine. Over-the-counter gels, creams and washes containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid also may help control mild acne. For more severe acne, your Gundersen dermatologists may prescribe a topical acne medication or laser treatments.
Gundersen Dermatology also offers treatment for acne scarring, including chemical peels, laser or pulsed-light treatments, soft tissue fillers and microdermabrasion.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis results in inflamed and chronic itchy rashes. Symptoms vary but often include dry, itchy, red patches on the skin. There's no known cause of eczema, but it is likely connected to genetics and the environment. People who have eczema often have problems with asthma and hay fever as well.
Although there is no cure for eczema, there are some things you can do at home, including using mild soaps and detergents, frequently applying moisturizing lotions or creams, and not scratching. Gundersen dermatologists also have ways to get it under control with:
- Topical anti-inflammatory corticosteroid creams or ointments
- Oral medications such as cyclosporine or phototherapy for severe cases
Sweating excessively can greatly affect your self-esteem and interactions with other people. From a practical standpoint, excessive sweating of the hands can interfere with work and daily activities. Sweating may be improved with:
- Prescription-strength antiperspirants
- Medical devices using iontophoresis
- Oral medications
If these treatments don't provide desired results, Gundersen Dermatology offers FDA-approved BOTOX® injections for excessive underarm sweating. BOTOX temporarily blocks the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands to stop severe sweating for four to nine months (six months on average). In addition, Gundersen offers an outpatient procedure to stop or reduce sweating.
Excessive sweating may also be a sign of a thyroid problem, low blood sugar levels or a nervous system disorder, so be sure to talk with your doctor or Gundersen dermatologist to determine the cause and correct course of treatment.
It's normal to lose 100 to 150 hairs per day, as your body replaces these normally. When hair loss is more than this, you'll likely notice thinning on the scalp.
- Hereditary hair loss can be seen in men as a receding hairline and in women as thinning on the upper scalp. In many cases, these both can be treated with over-the-counter minoxidil.
- Many treatable or reversible things may contribute to hair loss including:
- Severe health stress
- New medications
- Thyroid disease
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Inflammatory scalp conditions
- Harsh hair care
If there is no apparent reason for your hair loss or if your attempts to treat it are not successful, you should see a Gundersen dermatologist.
Melasma causes dark patches on the face, including cheeks, nose, forehead and upper lip. The condition mostly affects women, and hormonal changes during pregnancy or use of birth control have been linked to melasma, as has exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.
Melasma is a chronic, benign condition with no cure. It can be difficult to treat, but there are things you and your Gundersen dermatologist can try, including:
- Wearing sun protective clothing and using sunscreen with UVA and UVB coverage year-round to prevent flare ups caused by UV light exposure
- Creams containing topical steroids, bleaching agent and/or tretinoin
- Chemical peels
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that produces patches of red, scaly, thickened skin that can itch or burn. The most commonly affected areas are the scalp, elbows, knees, hands and feet, but it can also affect other body areas. Infections, stress, dry skin and certain medications may trigger or worsen the symptoms of psoriasis.
Psoriasis cannot be cured, but it can be treated and controlled. Common treatments include topical anti-inflammatory corticosteroid creams or ointment. For severe cases, phototherapy and oral or injectable medications are available from Gundersen Dermatology.
Rashes can be caused by many things, including a medical condition, contact with an irritant or allergies. A rash may include:
- Scaly skin
- Blistering, skin eruptions
- Oozing, discharge
Simple rashes are called dermatitis. The most common form is contact dermatitis, which is caused by touching an irritant such as a chemical or something to which you're allergic. Rashes from poison ivy, oak or sumac are the result of coming in contact with a plant oil called urushiol and are the most common allergic reactions.
Mild rashes can be treated by taking cool showers and applying over-the-counter moisturizing creams and lotions like calamine or prescription medications. For more severe or chronic rashes, see a Gundersen dermatologist.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that most commonly causes red pimples, visible blood vessels, burning sensation and a tendency to flush easily. It typically affects fair-skinned adults, but it can affect anyone. Rosacea tends to run in families. Common triggers include sun exposure; hot, spicy foods and drinks; and alcohol.
Although there is no cure, rosacea can be controlled with topical medications and, for severe cases, with oral medications. Laser therapy, available from Gundersen Dermatology, is especially effective for diminishing redness and dilated blood vessels.
Skin cancer is the most prevalent of all types of cancer. Fair-skinned people who sunburn easily are at a particularly high risk for developing skin cancer, but skin cancer can affect anyone.