Most Common Skin Conditions In Ridgecrest

Aug 05, 2016 Comments Off by

The number one dermatologic issue we face every day, especially in Ridgecrest, is the various presentations of sun damage: from pre-cancers (Actinic Keratoses) to the most common forms of skin cancers (Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma). Actinic Keratoses are rough, sand paper-like spots that persist and can eventually, in about 5% of the cases, turn into skin cancer. People with numerous Actinic Keratoses are at a high risk of developing skin cancers. Treatment options for these pre-cancers consist of: Applying a cream – like 5% Fluorouracil or Picato Cryotherapy – treatment with liquid nitrogen Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) – application of a topical liquid and exposure to blue light PDT is an excellent way of preventing pre-cancers as well, as it diminishes the amount of sun damage on an individual’s facial skin, since the entire skin is treated. This treatment is now available at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital’s Southern Sierra’s Dermatology Clinic. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC) are the most common types of skin cancers and develop from Actinic Keratoses. They present as pearly, sometimes ulcerated, bumps or nodules (BCC) or crusted, thickened plaques (SCCs) which do not heal, and increase in size slowly over time; a variant of SCC, called a Keratoacanthoma, can grow very rapidly, over a few weeks. Surgical removal of skin cancers is the most common treatment, however, at times superficial skin cancers may be treated with a cream called Imiquimod.

 

The second common skin condition which is seen frequently in the Ridgecrest community is eczema. There are various forms of this condition such as atopic dermatitis commonly seen in children (runs in families with hay fever and asthma), asteatotic dermatitis due to inflammation in the skin brought on by extremely dry skin, nummular dermatitis where people get itchy oval or round patches most commonly on the extremities, and finally hand (and occasionally foot) eczema from excessive hand washing or exposure to irritants. The dry climate of Ridgecrest of course contributes adversely to these skin conditions. Treatment of eczema consists of: Taking oral antihistamines (e.g., Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra, or Benadryl) Prescription topical steroid creams Dry skin care regimen The third quite common skin conditions we see in our community are viral infections like warts and molluscum contagiosum. We are all familiar with warts which are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are many strains of this virus and certain specific strains cause warts on the hands and feet. These lesions can be quite difficult to treat. People have tried many over the counter treatments such as acids or duct tape versus physician treatments like cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen) treatments. Cryotherapy can be quite effective if done properly by a physician; however, even with proper treatment, several treatment sessions one month apart may be necessary to eradicate the warts. Sometimes warts can be quite large, like on the bottom of the feet, i.e., plantar warts. It is occasionally necessary to reduce the size of these warts via an ‘ouchless’ home remedy regimen for several weeks, before cryotherapy is performed. Finally, in children sometimes, cryotherapy is not tolerated and various topical regimens are tried and can be effective. Lastly, another common viral skin infection is molluscum contagiosum caused by the human pox virus. It is commonly seen in children, where the kids pass it to each other at school; it is more common in children who have eczema, or other skin conditions which compromise the skin. This condition presents with small, shiny bumps with a central umbilication and whitish plug. Children usually spread the lesions by scratching them. Presentation with Molluscum lesions can be quite extensive, so many times we initially treat the kids with different creams to eradicate or at least reduce the number of lesions, as children don’t tolerate cryotherapy well when the lesions are extensive. Cryotherapy is ultimately the treatment of choice. Both Warts and Mollusca should be treated early in their presentation. As they get larger or more extensive, treatment of these contagious lesions becomes more difficult.

 

The third quite common skin conditions we see in our community are viral infections like warts and molluscum contagiosum. We are all familiar with warts which are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are many strains of this virus and certain specific strains cause warts on the hands and feet. These lesions can be quite difficult to treat. People have tried many over the counter treatments such as acids or duct tape versus physician treatments like cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen) treatments. Cryotherapy can be quite effective if done properly by a physician; however, even with proper treatment, several treatment sessions one month apart may be necessary to eradicate the warts. Sometimes warts can be quite large, like on the bottom of the feet, i.e., plantar warts. It is occasionally necessary to reduce the size of these warts via an ‘ouchless’ home remedy regimen for several weeks, before cryotherapy is performed. Finally, in children sometimes, cryotherapy is not tolerated and various topical regimens are tried and can be effective. Lastly, another common viral skin infection is molluscum contagiosum caused by the human pox virus. It is commonly seen in children, where the kids pass it to each other at school; it is more common in children who have eczema, or other skin conditions which compromise the skin. This condition presents with small, shiny bumps with a central umbilication and whitish plug. Children usually spread the lesions by scratching them. Presentation with Molluscum lesions can be quite extensive, so many times we initially treat the kids with different creams to eradicate or at least reduce the number of lesions, as children don’t tolerate cryotherapy well when the lesions are extensive. Cryotherapy is ultimately the treatment of choice. Both Warts and Mollusca should be treated early in their presentation. As they get larger or more extensive, treatment of these contagious lesions becomes more difficult.

 

Special Interest

About the author

The author didnt add any Information to his profile yet