Common Skin Conditions - Adults

Acne

Acne, most common among teenagers but not exclusive to them, is a skin condition that occurs when pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Bacteria and hormones trigger acne. It is usually found on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. To control acne, keep oily areas clean and although it can be persistent, treatments do exist based on the severity.

Age spots

Age spots, also referred to as liver spots, are flat tan, gray, or brown spots most commonly found on the face, arms and hands. Although referred to as age spots, they are not caused by age but by sun exposure over time. They are most common in adults over age 50 or in those who spend much time in the sun. There are several types of treatments available. Although they are not harmful, many find them unattractive.

Dermatology Athlete's Foot Photo

Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot, a contagious skin condition, is a fungal infection that is passed through direct contact. The infection causes your feet to peel, turn red, itch, burn and sometimes produce blisters or sores. It usually begins between the toes and gets its name from where it is commonly spread which is in locker rooms or near pools. It can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams or lotions or, in more severe cases, can be treated with a prescribed medication.

Cold sores

Cold sores, also referred to as fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus. They commonly appear on the edge of the lip. They last about ten days and are easily spread from person to person. Cold sores are small, clustered, fluid-filled and often painful blisters that can be treated with antiviral pills or creams. There is no cure for the infection, and blisters may return.

Eczema

Dermatology Adult Exam Photo

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a genetic non-contagious skin condition that causes inflamed, red, dry and itchy skin. It usually presents in early childhood and tends to localize to the arm creases opposite the elbow, on the leg opposite the knee, and in other skin creases. The initial cause is unknown. It can be triggered by stress, irritants (like soaps), allergens and climate. It is often found in conjunction with allergies such as asthma or hay fever. It is chronic, but treatable with medications and self-care, and may improve with age.

Urticaria

Urticaria, commonly known as hives, is a common skin reaction which produces red or white bumps that can mildly or intensely itch. The welts vary in size and appear and fade repeatedly as the reaction runs its course, which can last minutes to days. Hives are most often due to antibodies in the bloodstream that recognize foreign substances. Chronic hives, which last more than six weeks or recur over months or years, can be a sign of an underlying health problem. The cause is often unclear. Chronic hives can be very uncomfortable but are usually not life-threatening. Antihistamines and anti-itch medications can be effective.

Melasma

Melasma, often referred to as Pregnancy Mask, is common in women of childbearing age (although it can also occur in men), and is sometimes associated with pregnancy or oral contraceptive medication. It appears as tan or brown patches on the face. Sunlight will make it worse so high spf sunscreen is recommended. Melasma (sometimes referred to as chloasma) presents as tan or brown patches on your cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. It can be treated with prescription creams and over-the-counter products.

Dermatology Woman with Mole Photo

Moles

Moles are a common type of growth on the skin. They often appear as small, dark brown or black spots and they can be found anywhere on the body. They may appear as a solitary spot or appear in groups usually before age 20. They usually are uniform in color and round in shape. Most moles are harmless and rarely develop cancer, but they must be monitored. Most people have 10 to 45 moles. Some moles may fade or disappear as you age.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a persistent and long-lasting (chronic) disease of the skin. It is not curable, but it is treatable. It presents as thick, red patches of skin covered with scales that appear white or silver. They can heal and recur throughout your life. Although not exclusively, they appear mainly on the scalp, elbows and knees. It is often itchy. Treatments include certain skin creams and ointments as well as light therapy and medications. Short and safe exposure to sunlight can also bring relief. Although it is known how psoriasis evolves, the immune system triggers new skin cells to grow too quickly, the cause is unknown.

Rosacea

Rosacea is a common skin disorder that causes inflammation usually around the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. It occurs in adults and, although incurable, can be treated with topical and oral drugs. Left untreated, it can worsen over time. Rosacea can flare up for weeks or months and diminish only to flare up again.

Dermatology Shingles Closeup Photo

Shingles

Shingles, which is the same viral infection that causes chickenpox, most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wrap around either the left or the right side of your torso. The blisters can burn, itch, tingle or become very sensitive. After you’ve had chickenpox , the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue and can reactivate years later, resulting in this painful blistering condition. Vaccines can help reduce the risk. Early treatment can help shorten the infection which otherwise can last about two weeks. Some pain can linger for longer periods of time.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that mainly affects your scalp although it can also appear on other oily areas of the body such as the upper chest, back and face. It causes scaly patches, red skin and stubborn dandruff and, although it doesn’t affect overall health, it can be uncomfortable and cause embarrassment. The cause is unclear. It is usually a long-term condition, sometimes treatable (indefinitely) or manageable responding well to medicated shampoos, topical steroids and topical antifungal creams, and is not contagious. In infants, it is known as cradle cap.

Seborrheic keratoses

Seborrheic keratoses are common benign bumps present on human beings as they age. Black, brown or yellow lesions, either smooth or grainy, appear on the skin alone or in clusters.

They are normally painless and do not require treatment. They are occasionally mistaken for skin cancers so they should be medically evaluated.

Dermatology Skin Tag Photo

Skin tags

Skin tags are small, common, fleshy tissue growths that are often found on the neck, armpit, back, chest, groin area or under the breasts. They are not dangerous and do not need to be addressed unless they become irritated.

Warts

Warts are small tumors of the skin, commonly appearing on fingers or hands, which are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Common warts are small, grainy skin growths that can be transmitted through touch. They often go away on their own or can be treated with topical medications, but stubborn ones may need medical intervention. Planter warts are hard, grainy growths that usually appear on the heels or balls of your feet. They tend to grow inward, beneath a hard thick layer of skin. They are also caused by the HPV. This virus enters your body through tiny cuts, breaks or other weak spots on the bottom of feet.