TREATING RED, OILY, FLAKY SKIN

The chronic inflammatory skin condition known as “seborrheic dermatitis” creates a red, oily rash with white flaky scales in areas where sebaceous (oil-producing) glands are most abundant. These areas include the scalp, forehead, eyebrows, nose creases, behind the ears, under the arms, around the groin, and other skin folds. The problem develops largely due to sensitivity to a particular yeast on the skin, which may have its basis in genetics or a hormonal component. Emotional stress, medication, humidity, and changes in season may trigger flare-ups, which also may produce itching and burning. While there is no cure, “seborrhea” (as the condition is also known) can be managed with over-the-counter cortisone creams or prescription anti-fungal medications and higher-strength prescription cortisone creams.

Seborrheic dermatitis doesn’t affect your overall health, but it can be uncomfortable and cause embarrassment when it develops on visible parts of your body. It isn’t contagious, and it’s not a sign of poor personal hygiene. Seborrheic dermatitis tends to recur, but a combination of self-care steps and medications can help. If you experience the symptoms described in this week’s column, please call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111 to schedule a consultation. Our office is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7, Elmhurst. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

 

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. In some cases, seborrheic dermatitis may be treated with immunosuppressant drugs (such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus).

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CUTTING-EDGE SCEENING

Barbers and hairdressers are increasingly finding themselves forming the first line of defense against skin cancer. According to one survey of hairdressers in a particular area of the country, more than one-third of the stylists checked more than half of the customers for signs of skin cancer and made referrals to dermatologists accordingly. The fact is that few people are in a better position to carefully examine the scalp and back of the neck, areas that do not lend themselves easily to self-examination. With about one in 50 Caucasian Americans born today estimated to get melanoma at some point in their lives, it certainly helps to conduct skin checks regularly from all angles. Ask your barber or hairdresser to check.

Examining your skin for moles that change shape or color is an important part of preventive health care. Using mirrors can help you check moles on your back or neck. However, your barber or hairdresser has the best view of your scalp. Treating skin cancer, particularly melanoma, in its early stages is critical. Whether you or someone else notices an unusual spot on your skin, please call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111 to schedule an evaluation. We specialize in diagnosing and treating skin cancer. Our office is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7, Elmhurst.

 

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

 

P.S. The sooner melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is diagnosed, the greater the likelihood that it will be successfully treated.

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