ASSOCIATES IN MEDICAL AND COSMETIC DERMATOLOGY
Crozer Medical Plaza at Brinton Lake
500 Evergreen Dr, Glen Mills, PA 19342
Suite 20: Medical & Surgical Dermatology:
484.785.3376 (DERM)
Suite 27: Cosmetic Dermatology:
484.785.7546 (SKIN)

Other Common Skin Conditions

Other Skin Conditions

Ringwormshutterstock_558155353

Ringworm is not a worm — it is a fungus of the skin. There are a number of different fungi that infect the skin and can cause different kinds of rashes and issues. Most common fungi respond well to traditional antifungal medications.

Ringworm of the Scalp

Ringworm of the scalp is known by the medical term, Tinea capitis. It often occurs in young children and can appear as a scaly plaque on the scalp. Often there is broken hair or loss of hair in the area. With time, there will be swelling of the involved skin as well as swollen glands in the neck and behind the ears. It is contagious until it is treated. It is rare for adults to have ringworm of the scalp, although it occurs a little more commonly in African-American women. It is usually treated with oral antifungal medication with or without the addition of a medicated shampoo.

Ringworm of the Body

Ringworm of the body is known by the medical term, Tinea corporis. It can occur in children or adults and often appears as a red scaly rash in the shape of a ring. Over time, multiple infected areas can develop. It is contagious (transmitted usually by direct contact) until it is treated. Diagnosis is made by the dermatologist by taking a scraping and examining the scraping under the microscope to identify fungal organisms.  It is often treated with antifungal creams although in severe cases, oral antifungal medicine may be needed.

Other Areas

Other areas of the body may be infected with fungus. The face is a common area. This is known as Tinea faceii, or in the case where the beard region is involved, Tinea barbae.

When the feet are involved, it’s known by the common term “athlete’s foot.” The medical term is Tinea pedis. When the nails are involved, this is known as Tinea Unguium  or Onychomycosis.

When the hand is involved this is called Tinea manuum. Often, a fungal infection on the feet leads to the infection on the hand.

When to Call Our Office

If you notice scaling on the scalp in a child, or a red rash in the shape of a ring, on a child or adult, please call Brinton Lake Dermatology for an evaluation by one of our physicians or physician assistants. Other signs of fungus infection are scale between the toes, thickened nails or a rash on the palm.

The practitioner in our office may do a fungal scraping, and check it under the microscope in our office for signs of fungus. Other times, we simply send off some skin scrapings to the laboratory for diagnosis.

Once the proper diagnosis is made, we will discuss the options for treatment with you and choose the best therapy for your particular condition.

 

Vitiligoshutterstock_267532190

Vitiligo is a medical condition that causes the skin to lose color. Some people develop a few spots that lighten or turn completely white. Others can have widespread loss of skin color. Vitiligo can develop on any part of the body, but commonly begins on the hands, forearms, feet or face. There is no way to predict how much color a person will lose.

Who is at risk?

Vitiligo affects both genders and all races, but it is more noticeable in people with darker skin. The close “blood relatives” of a patient with vitiligo are also at an elevated risk of developing vitiligo. Patients with vitiligo also have an increased risk of other autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and others.

Causes

Researchers have discovered that vitiligo develops when cells called melanocytes die or are destroyed by the body’s immune system. As the cells die, an area of the skin or hair turns white because the cells no longer make pigment.

Vitiligo is apparently caused by inheritance of multiple causal genes simultaneously, possibly in different combinations in different people, plus exposure to environmental risk factors or triggers, which are not yet known. Phenols are one example of a suspected environmental trigger. More commonly, stress, whether emotional or physical, can trigger vitiligo.  Research continues into these and other possibilities.

Diagnosis

When a dermatologist suspects vitiligo, the practitioner examines the skin. A device called a Wood’s lamp, which shines ultraviolet light onto the skin, may be used to help the dermatologist distinguish vitiligo from other skin conditions.

Depending on your symptoms, blood work may or may not be ordered to see if other associated autoimmune conditions are present.

Treatment

Skin color in vitiligo can occasionally return without treatment.

The first line of treatment in vitiligo is usually topical creams or ointments. If there is no response, other treatments may be considered if they are approved by the patient’s insurance company. There are a number of light and laser treatments for vitiligo, including narrow band UVB, PUVA, or treatment with an ultraviolet Xtrac laser, all of which are available at Brinton Lake Dermatology.

Camouflaging areas of vitiligo with make-up, a self tanner or dye is sometimes suggested. It is especially important that patients with vitiligo use good sun protection and avoid tanning.  The areas of vitiligo will be more visible, if the normal pigmented skin is tan. The areas of vitiligo also have no natural pigment sun protection and are very susceptible to sunburn.

Research Is Ongoing

Researchers are continuing to look at the genes that seem to be involved in the development of vitiligo. Once all of the genes have been identified, researchers may better understand how the pigment cells are destroyed. This will hopefully provide us with even better treatment options in the future.

If you or a family member suspect you have vitiligo, make an appointment with one of the practitioners at Brinton Lake Dermatology. We will examine you and if you do have vitiligo, we will discuss all treatment options and fashion a plan expressly for you.

With a location convenient to Southern Chester and Delaware Counties in Pennsylvania, as well as Northern Delaware, our practice is ideally located to serve patients from Glen Mills, Garnet Valley, West Chester, Chadds Ford, Kennett Square, Media, Aston, Springfield, and Newtown Square areas in Pennsylvania and patients from Wilmington, Greenville and Newark in Delaware.

Please call 484-785-DERM (3376) for an appointment.

 

Philadelphia Phillies: Striking Out Skin Cancer

Philadelphia Phillies: Striking Out Skin Cancer

We would like to send a big shout-out to the Philadelphia Phillies for recently placing 12 sunscreen dispensers in Citizens Bank Park as part of a “Sun Smart America” initiative. Phillies Hall of Famer MikeRead More...