The following are descriptions of just some of the medical skin care conditions we treat here at L.A. Vinas. If you have any further questions on any of the following procedures, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at either of our locations, and we will be glad to help you.
Acne is the term for the blocked pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that can appear typically on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Seventeen million Americans currently have acne, making it the most common skin disease in the country. While it affects mostly teenagers, and almost all teenagers have some form of acne, adults of any age can have it. Acne is not life-threatening, but it can cause physical disfigurement (scarring) and emotional distress.
Treatment for acne varies depending on the type and severity of lesions, as well as the patient’s skin type, age and lifestyle. Options include:
- Topical Medications
- Blackhead Extraction
- Photodynamic Therapy
- Skin Care
- Laser Treatments
- IPL Treatments
Acne scarring can be treated in a variety of ways as well. These include:
- Chemical Peels
- Soft Tissue Fillers
- IPL – Laser/Pulsed Light Treatments
Acne occurs when a sebaceous oil gland surrounding a hair follicle becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Bacteria growth in this clogged environment causes infection and acne blemishes.
The combined bi-polar radio frequency and blue light energies of IPL technology penetrate the skin to precisely target and destroy active acne-causing bacteria, while also slowing excessive sebaceous oil production. Treatment helps in reducing active acne and speeds up healing time of existing acne.
Actinic keratoses (AKs) are lesions on the surface layer of the skin (epidermis) caused by chronic exposure to sunlight, particularly ultraviolet light. AKs typically manifest as rough or scaly skin, bumps, mottled patterns and cutaneous horns. They may appear anywhere on the skin surface exposed to sunlight, but common areas include the face (including ears and lips), neck, arms and hands. Lesions range in size from a pinpoint to several centimeters in diameter and may be yellow, brown, red or violet, smooth, wrinkled or furrowed.
Actinic keratoses can signal the onset of skin cancer; they can become squamous cell carcinomas, the second-most common form of skin cancer. Depending on a number of factors such as the size, location and severity of lesions, as well as the patient’s age, health, medical history, occupation, expectations and preferences, treatment for AKs may take the form of traditional surgical excision, topical medications, laser treatment, chemical peels, dermabrasion and pulsed light therapy. Routine re-examinations every few months and limitation of exposure to direct sunlight are recommended.
Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes redness and swelling on the face. Symptoms range from red pimples, lines and visible blood vessels to dry or burning skin and a tendency to flush easily. Many people find that the emotional effects of rosacea – such as low self-confidence and avoidance of social situations – are more difficult to handle than the physical ones. Although it can affect anyone, rosacea typically appears in light-skinned, light-haired adults aged 30-60. It is not yet known what causes rosacea and the disease is not curable, although it can be treated with IPL and controlled topical and oral medications.
Moles & Birthmarks
Moles and other birthmarks are benign pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color from tan, brown and black (moles) to red, pink or purple (vascular nevi, such as strawberry hemangiomas or port wine stains). Though most birthmarks are harmless, they may develop into cancer. Moles exhibiting any of the following warning signs should be examined by a professional immediately:
- Larger than six millimeters.
- Itches or bleeds.
- Rapidly changes in color, size or shape.
- Has multiple colors.
- Is located where it can’t be easily monitored, such as on the scalp.
Depending on their depth, location and color, as well as the patient’s skin type, age and other factors, treatment for benign but unattractive birthmarks may take the form of laser or pulsed light therapy, microdermabrasion or surgical excision.
Eczema is a term used to describe a group of inflamed skin conditions that result in chronic itchy rashes. About 15 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of eczema, including 10-20 percent of all infants. Symptoms vary from person to person but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin which break out in rashes when scratched.
Objects and conditions that trigger itchy eczema outbreaks may include rough or coarse materials touching the skin, excessive heat or sweating, soaps, detergents, disinfectants, fruit and meat juices, dust mites, animal saliva and danders, upper respiratory infections and stress.
Treatment involves the restriction of scratching, use of moisturizing lotions or creams, cold compresses and nonprescription anti-inflammatory corticosteroid creams and ointments. If this proves insufficient, physicians may prescribe corticosteroid medication, antibiotics to combat infection, or non-sedative antihistamines. Phototherapy is a common procedure that uses light to reduce rashes. For severe cases, drugs such as Cyclosporine A may be recommended.
Psoriasis encompasses a group of chronic skin disorders that cause an itching and/or burning sensation, scaling and crusting of the skin. Over seven million men and women in the U.S. of all ages have some form of psoriasis, which may be mild, moderate or severe. The most commonly affected areas are the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet and genitals.
Psoriasis cannot be cured but it can be treated successfully, sometimes for months or years at a time and occasionally even permanently. Treatment depends on the type, severity and location of psoriasis; the patient’s age, medical history and lifestyle; and the effect the disease has on the patient’s general mental health. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy, photochemotherapy (PUVA), and oral or injectable medication (for severe symptoms).
Warts are skin growths caused by viruses. Different warts respond to different treatments. Some go away on their own. Salicylic acid products (in the form of drops, gels, padsand bandages) can help self-treatment of many warts by dissolving the keratin protein that makes up the wart and the dead skin above it. Others can be removed via injection, electrical stimulation, surgery, laser or the latest and newest immunomodific Imiquimod (Aldara™).
*Individual results may vary