Medical Dermatology / Evaluation
Human skin is susceptible to infection by a multitude of different organisms:
- Fungus and Yeast
Early identification of skin infections can lead to more rapid relief of symptoms, lessen the risk of serious complications, and ensure that the infection does not spread to others.
Allergic reactions manifest themselves in the skin in three main ways:
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a chronic skin sensitivity that usually first manifests in childhood. Individuals are predisposed to having very dry skin, and flares of itchy, red rash. Read more about eczema here.
- Hives (urticaria) appear as red or pink welts in the skin. They are swollen and itchy and they come and go over a short period of time. Hives appear in response to any number of triggers including medications, infections, insect bites, stress, sunlight, exercise and topical allergens. Rarely, physical stimuli such as heat, cold or pressure can induce hives. Cases of chronic hives may be linked to an underlying medical disorder such as thyroid disease or autoimmune disease, though most of the time a cause is difficult to find
- Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when an individual’s immune system becomes sensitized to a chemical after it comes into contact with the skin. There is a multitude potential allergens in our environment; some common ones include fragrances, dyes, preservatives, cosmetics, soaps, latex, metals, poison oak and various other botanicals. Symptoms can range from mild irritation or itching to severe red rash with blistering and weeping of the skin. Read more about allergic contact dermatitis here.
How to diagnose skin allergies
It can be difficult to differentiate between the types of allergic reactions in the skin, and overlapping conditions do occur. If you feel you may be suffering from skin allergies we will be able to recommend the appropriate testing and treatment for what is ailing you.
Hair loss, or alopecia, is a troubling affliction for men and women of all ages, including children. It may present as thinning of the scalp hair, or as patches that are completely bald. Shedding may occur suddenly or slowly over time. Hair loss may accompany changes to the underlying skin of the scalp, but in many cases it does not.
What causes hair loss?
Expert evaluation is necessarily to identify and treat the underlying cause, which may be any of the following:
- Pattern thinning/baldness, which is genetic in origin
- Underlying abnormalities of the blood or thyroid
- Medication induced hair loss
- Autoimmune disease
- Inflammatory/scarring skin conditions that damage the hair follicles
- Stress-induced shedding related to physical illness or mental/emotional distress
- Hair manipulation or styling methods
Treatment Options for hair loss
In addition to a thorough history and examination, it may be useful to perform a scalp biopsy, examine the hair under a microscope, or order blood tests to pinpoint the cause of alopecia. After a diagnosis is made, treatment options include topical or oral medications, corticosteroid injections, immunotherapy, and light therapy.