Problems We Treat

Acne (Acne vulgaris)

What happens when dead skin cells and oils from your skin get into hair follicles and clog them up? Acne! Nobody wants it, but practically everybody has had it.

Acne is characterized by the appearance of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and oily skin. It most commonly affects the skin that has the highest concentration of oil glands—your face, upper chest, and back. It can cause anxiety and depression today, as well as leave scarring that lasts a lifetime. Acne most commonly affects people as they hit puberty—between the ages of 10 and 13—and gets less common during a person’s early 20s, but it can affect adults as well.

Common Rashes

A rash can be any number of abnormal skin conditions that cause your skin to change color, become itchy or warm, develop bumps or blisters, swell, or cause pain. Some of the common rashes Cortina Health and Spot. can treat are:

  • Eczema (Atopic dermatitis)
  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
  • Swimmer’s Itch (Cercarial dermatitis)
  • Pityriasis Rosea

Eczema can also be referred to as atopic dermatitis and is a long-term inflammation of your skin. The result can be itchiness and redness, as well as swollen and cracked skin. Scratching it just makes it worse, as will frequent hand-washing or exposure to some chemicals. It can be treated with steroid creams and pills.

Contact Dermatitis comes about from either an allergic reaction to something you are exposed to or contact with some sort of irritant. Of course, the long-term treatment is to avoid those things that cause the rash, but short-term treatments can include corticosteroid creams or oral antihistamines.

Shingles (or herpes zoster) is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. While chickenpox is usually associated with childhood, shingles is most often seen in older adults or people with weaker immune systems. It causes a painful rash with blisters. Usually it will heal within a month, but some as susceptible to ongoing pain for months or years. Because it is a virus, there is no “cure,” but there is a vaccine and there are treatments to limit symptoms and complications, including over-the-counter pain medications and antivirals. 

Swimmer’s itch is caused by flatworm parasites in their larval stage. People generally get infected after swimming in lakes or ponds. Oral antihistamines can be prescribed to reduce the itchiness.

Pityriasis Rosea is thought to be related to a pair of herpesviruses, but does not appear to be contagious. It generally shows up with a red, scaly area that spreads to round lesions within a few weeks, most often on the upper body and arms. It usually lasts about three months before going away on its own. Oral antihistamines and steroid creams can be prescribed to decrease the itch, but direct sunlight tends to make the rash go away sooner, as well.

Rosacea

Rosacea can be one of the most visible skin condition because it occurs right in the front of your face.

Rosacea usually involved the nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin. It can cause redness, swelling, pimples, and spider veins. It is believe that a family history of the disease is the biggest risk factor, but heat, sunlight, alcohol, menopause, and stress may also play a part. There is no cure for rosacea but symptoms can be kept under control through use of topical creams, oral antibiotics, and chemical peels. In worse cases dermabrasion and laser surgery might be used.

Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Hair loss can be as simple as a small patch or total loss and can cause psychological distress in anyone.

Whether you have male-pattern hair loss caused by your genetic code, autoimmune-triggered loss, or a loss of hair after pregnancy, there is hope to turn it around. Minoxidil is applied as a liquid or foam directly into the scalp. Finasteride is taken as a pill. Corticosteroids can be injected directly into the scalp and some immunosuppressants applied to the scalp have shown to temporarily reverse some types of hair loss.

Hives (Urticaria)

Hives usually involve infections or allergic reactions.

Most of the time you hear about hives, it is the result of allergic reactions from things like medications, insect bites, or food. It can also be a result of stress, cold temperature, or viral infections. It presents as red, raised, bumpy skin that may also burn or sting. While they usually go away on their own within a few days, they can cause considerable discomfort and can be treated with antihistamines, oral glucocorticoids, and anti-inflammatories.

Sunburn

Sunburn is the result of overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

After being exposed too long to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, your skin will become red, hot to the touch, and painful. If the burn is more severe, you might feel extremely fatigued or dizzy. The first treatment is to avoid any further exposure. After that, you can use skin moisturizers that contain aloe vera, take oral anti-inflammatories, and relax in a cool bath. It will heal on its own in a few weeks. To avoid it happening again, remember to make liberal use of sunscreen if you are going out into direct sunlight.

Pre-Skin Cancer (Actinic Keratosis)

Actinic Keratosis are pre-cancerous areas of thick, scaly skin that frequently occur in fair-skinned people who are frequently exposed to sunlight.

Actinic Keratosis can be caused by too much sunlight or by frequent use of indoor tanning beds. If left untreated the lesions may turn into squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. Typically AK lesions can be felt before they can be seen, with the skin becoming a rougher texture. Treatments include topical creams and gels, cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy, surgical excision, laser therapy, or chemical peels.

Skin Cancer

Most skin cancer cases are a result of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. There are 3 main types: 

  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) often is first noticed as a hard lump with a scaly outer layer and it may take months to fully form. Besides high UV exposure, other risk factors may include chronic wounds and previous scars, radiation therapy, weakened immune system, and lighter skin. This condition should be diagnosed by an in-person visit to a dermatologist and treatment is usually surgical removal.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. It will appear as a raised area of skin and is painless. It grows slowly and can damage adjacent tissues, but is unlikely to spread far. As with other skin cancers, it is generally caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, but other radiation therapies, a poor immune system, or lighter skin can also increase your risk. The diagnosis should be done in-person with a dermatologist where they can take a biopsy. Treatment is usually surgical excision, although sometimes other treatments can be used, including cryotherapy, laser surgery, or topical medication.

Melanomas occur in fair-skinned people with frequent exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or tanning beds. People who already have numerous moles, a family history of melanoma, or a poor immune system are more susceptible. Any changes in mole shape, size, or color should be checked by a dermatologist as soon as possible, as without treatment this type of skin cancer can be deadly in a relatively short amount of time. Once diagnosed, the treatment is surgical removal, with testing of nearby lymph nodes to check for metastasis.