Acne is one of the most common skin conditions for which patients seek help from a dermatologist. It is an inflammatory process that begins deep in the hair follicle and manifests on the surface of the skin. The face is the most common location but the neck, upper arms, chest, and back can also be affected. There are multiple contributing factors to the cause of acne.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer. It most commonly affects fair skinned individuals but can affect all skin types. Risk factors for developing basal cell carcinoma include sun exposure, radiation therapy, positive family history, fair complexion, persons that easily sunburn, and history of blistering sunburns.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis as it is also referred to as is a fairly common inflammatory skin condition. Scientific studies suggest that a genetic defect in the filaggrin gene as the cause of most cases of eczema. A defect in the filaggrin protein leads to a dysfunctional skin barrier.
Melanoma is one of the more dangerous and increasingly common skin cancers that we encounter in dermatology. It arises from the melanocyte cells within the skin. Melanocytes are the cells that contribute to the pigment of your skin. Melanoma can begin in an existing mole that starts to change or it can arise in normal-appearing skin. Genetic and environmental factors play a role in developing melanoma.
Moles are a very common skin finding. Nevus is another name for mole. They represent a collection of melanocyte cells in the skin. Melanocytes are the cells in your skin that form pigment. Typically they are brown in color and may be flat or raised. Some moles you are born with and others you acquire as you age into your thirties and forties. The majority of moles are benign or non-worrisome but occasionally moles can turn into skin cancer.
Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a poxvirus. Also referred to as “water warts” they most commonly affect children but can also affect adults. As the name suggests they are very contagious. There are four closely related types of poxvirus (MCV-1 to MCV-4) and some variants that lead to molluscum bumps. MCV-1 is the most common cause in children and the most common worldwide. These bumps are easily passed around from kid to kid at school and playgrounds.
Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory condition of the skin. It is characterized by red scaly dry elevated areas on the skin. Psoriasis can affect any part of the body but favors the scalp, nails, elbows, knees, belly button, and sacral region. The scale often has a gray appearance and then picked can lead to bleeding. This is referred to as the Auspitz sign. 1-2% of the U.S. population has psoriasis.
Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin condition that affects the face. The nose and cheeks are most frequently affected. It presents clinically as redness, flushing, red/white bumps, and accentuated blood vessels. It is more common in fair skin individuals. Triggers for rosacea include hot drinks, alcohol, spicy foods, exercise, cold/hot weather, and emotional stress.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer. UV radiation is a common cause of squamous cell skin cancer. Typically these lesions will present in areas of chronic sun exposure such as the face, ears, neck, and arms. Clinically it can present as a red, scaly, ulcerated, and elevated skin lesion.
Warts are a very common virally induced skin condition. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 150 different types of HPV. HPV types 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 27, 28, 41, and 57 are common causes of your classic warts. Clinically they present as rough raised bumps. They commonly affect the hands and feet but can affect nearly any part of the body.