skin disorder

Psoriasis Advice; Fort Collins Dermatologist

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Seeking dermatologist advice on psoriasis in Fort Collins? We are here to help!

Psoriasis symptoms can vary among individuals but may include one or more of the following: red patches of skin covered with silvery scales, small scaling spots (commonly seen in children(, dry/cracked skin that may bleed, itching/burning/soreness, thick/pitted/ridged nails, and/or swollen and stiff joints.

Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of scaling that resembles dandruff to major eruptions that cover large areas. Typically, psoriasis goes through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a while or even going into total remission.

There are several types of psoriasis, including:

-Plaque psoriasis is the most common form. It looks like dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques might itch or be painful, and can occur anywhere on your body. There may be just a few plaques or many.

-Nail psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, and may cause putting, abnormal nail growth, and discoloration. Affected nails may become loose and separate from the nail bed, or may cause the nail to crumble.

-Scalp psoriasis appears as itchy, red areas with silvery-white scales, which often extend beyond the hairline. They may cause flakes of dead skin in your hair or on your shoulders, particularly after scratching your scalp.

-Guttate psoriasis primarily affects young adults and children, and is usually triggered by a bacterial infection like strep throat. It is marked by small water drop shaped sores on the trunk, arms, legs and scale, covered by a fine scale. There may be just a single outbreak that goes away on its own, or there may be repeated episodes.

-Inverse psoriasis mainly affects the skin in the armpits, groin, breast areas, and around genitals. It causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin, which are worsened by friction and sweating. It may be triggered by fungal infections.

-Pustular psoriasis is an uncommon form of psoriasis that can occur in widespread patches or smaller areas on hands, feet, and fingertips. Typically, it develops quickly with pus filled blisters appearing only hours after skin becomes red and tender. Blisters may come and go frequently, and may also be accompanied by fever, chills, severe itching, and diarrhea.

-Erythodermic psoriasis is the least common kind of psoriasis. It may cover your entire body with a red, peeling rash that itches or burns intensely.

-Psoriatic arthritis comes with inflamed, scaly skin and pitted, discolored nails, plus the swollen, painful joints that are typical of arthritis. Symptoms may be anywhere from mild to severe, and any joint can be affected. It isn’t normally as crippling as other kinds of arthritis, but it may in the worst cases lead to permanent deformity.

If you suspect you may have a form of psoriasis, see your doctor for an exam. Then come to us for a recommended treatment plan to achieve your goals in health and wellness- we’ll get started with a free consultation!

Melasma; Treatment by Fort Collins Dermatologist

Melasma is a common skin disorder that causes brown to gray-brown patches on the face. These patches typically occur on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and above the upper lip. It can also show up on other areas of the body that receive a lot of sun, like the forearms and neck.

The most common treatment for melasma is sun protection- wearing sunscreen daily and reapplying every two hours. Wearing a wide brimmed hat while outside can also help prevent melasma.

Women are more likely to get melasma. It is very common during pregnancy and is called the mask of pregnancy. Hormones can play a role in melasma. People with darker skin are more likely to get melasma, as are anyone with a blood relative that had melasma.

There are no symptoms in regards to how the skin feels from melasma, but many sufferers of melasma dislike the way their skin looks.

The cause for melasma is unknown, but it probably occurs when the color making cells in the skin (melanocytes) produce too much color. Triggers include sun exposure, a change in hormones (pregnancy, birth control pills, or hormone replacement medicine), and cosmetics. Fortunately, when a trigger stops, this can cause melasma to fade on its own. If melasma doesn’t fade on it’s own, treatments like hydroquinone, tretinoin and corticosteroids, or other topical medicines. Side effects of treatments can include skin irritation and darkening of the skin.

Melasma can be diagnosed by looking at the skin. To determine how deeply the melasma penetrates the skin, your dermatologist may look at your skin under a device called Wood’s light. To ensure that melasma is the correct diagnosis of your skin condition, your dermatologist may need to remove a small bit of skin, which is called a biopsy. This can be done safely and quickly during and office visit.

Melasma can fade on its own. This often happens when a trigger is causing the melasma, such as a pregnancy or birth control pills. When the woman delivers the baby or stops taking the birth control pills, melasma can fade. Sometimes several months of treatment is needed to see improvement, if melasma doesn’t fade on its own. After it clears, you may need to keep treating your skin to prevent it from returning.

Come see us for a free consultation and see how we can help your melasma! My goal as an educated skin care specialist is to educate clients on how to best take care of their skin. My goal isn’t to make a sale- it’s to truly help people!

What is Rosacea? Lean More at Fort Collins Med Spa!

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Do you struggle with rosacea? This common skin disease affects people over the age of 30, causing redness on nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. Some people get bumps and pimples on these red areas of the face. It can also cause burning and soreness in your eyes. For some, rosacea can prevent the feeling of confidence in work or social settings.

There is no definitive cause linked to rosacea. Something irritates the skin, but it doesn’t seem to be a bacterial infection. It generally affects adults with fair skin or those that blush easily, and it appears to run in families.

Medical tests are not usually needed to confirm the presence of rosacea, as it can be detected by the pattern of redness on a face. In the past, it was thought to be caused by alcohol abuse, but this is not true. However, for those that already have rosacea, consuming alcohol may cause the symptoms to worsen.

Rosacea can flare up when something causes facial blood vessels to expand, which causes redness. Triggers (that cause flare ups) include exercise, sun and wind exposure, hot weather, stress, spicy foods, alcohol, and hot baths. Sudden temperature changes from hot to cold or cold to hot can also cause flare ups.

Symptoms include a flushed, red face with sensitive dry skin that may burn or sting; small bumps and pimples or breakouts resembling acne; skin that gets coarse and thicker with a bumpy texture; and dry, red, irritated eyes. Rarely, untreated rosacea may cause permanent effects like thickening of facial skin or vision loss. It could also cause knobby bumps on the nose, or give the nose a swollen, waxy look. Fortunately, most cases of rosacea don’t progress this far.

With treatment, most rosacea suffers can control symptoms and keep the disease from worsening.

Treatments include pills, such as low dose antibiotics like doxycycline, medicine containing skin creams, laser treatment called intense pulsed light (we do this here at Advanced Aesthetics of Northern Colorado), moisturizers and sunscreen, and eye drops, depending on the symptoms.

Rosacea flare ups can be reduced by the following: controlling symptoms, finding triggers, protecting your face from the sun, being gentle with your skin (by using sensitive skin care products like Lira) and taking care of your eyes.

To learn more about treatment for rosacea, contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation. We pride ourselves on being able to recommend treatment and products for almost any budget!