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Dermatology Patient Information | LivingCare Medical Services

Dermatology

At LivingCare we understand that skin conditions can be uncomfortable, painful, affect your confidence or give you a cause for concern. We have several specialist consultant Dermatologists who can help diagnose your condition straight away and recommend the best treatment to suit your needs.

You can be referred to LivingCare’s Dermatology service if you suffer with any of the following conditions:

Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. It is a long-term (chronic) condition in most people, although it can improve over time, especially in children.

Atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, but the most common areas to be affected are:

  • backs or fronts of the knees
  • outside or inside of the elbows
  • around the neck
  • hands
  • cheeks
  • scalp

LivingCare can treat both discoid eczema and mild/moderate childhood atopic eczema.

Warts are small lumps that often develop on the skin of the hands and feet.

Warts vary in appearance and may develop singly or in clusters. Some are more likely to affect particular areas of the body. For example, verrucas are warts that usually develop on the soles of the feet.

Warts are non-cancerous, but can resemble certain cancers.

Most people will have warts at some point in their life. They tend to affect children and teenagers more than adults.

LivingCare can offer a cryotherapy service for warts and verrucas.

In cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen is applied to your wart for a few seconds to freeze and destroy the affected skin cells. After treatment, a sore blister will form, followed by a scab, which will fall off

7-10 days later.

A session of cryotherapy usually takes 5-15 minutes and can be painful. Large warts usually need to be frozen a few times before they clear up. You will probably need to wait a few weeks between each treatment.

 

Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point. It causes spots to develop on the skin, usually on the face, back and chest.

The spots can range from surface blackheads and whiteheads – which are often mild – to deep, inflamed, pus-filled pustules and cysts, which can be severe and long-lasting and lead to scarring.

At LivingCare we can treat both mild/moderate acne and severe acne.

Roaccutane treatment can be considered for severe acne.

Alopecia is the general medical term for hair loss. There are many types of hair loss with different symptoms and causes. At LivingCare we can see patients who suffer from Alopecia Areata and Androgenic Alopecia;

Alopecia areata causes patches of baldness about the size of a large coin. They usually appear on the scalp but can occur anywhere on the body. It can occur at any age, but mostly affects teenagers and young adults.

In most cases of alopecia areata, hair will grow back in a few months. At first, hair may grow back fine and white, but over time it should thicken and regain its normal colour. Some people go on to develop a more severe form of hair loss, such as:

  • alopecia totalis (no scalp hair)
  • alopecia universalis (no hair on the scalp and body)

Alopecia areata is caused by a problem with the immune system (the body's natural defence against infection and illness). It's more common among people with other autoimmune conditions, such as anoveractive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes or Down's syndrome.

It's also believed some people's genes make them more susceptible to alopecia areata, as one in five people with the condition have a family history of the condition.

Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. In men, this condition is also known as male-pattern baldness. Hair is lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples. Over time, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic "M" shape. Hair also thins at the crown (near the top of the head), often progressing to partial or complete baldness.

The pattern of hair loss in women differs from male-pattern baldness. In women, the hair becomes thinner all over the head, and the hairline does not recede. Androgenetic alopecia in women rarely leads to total baldness.

Androgenetic alopecia in men has been associated with several other medical conditions including coronary heart disease and enlargement of the prostate. Additionally, prostate cancer, disorders of insulin resistance (such as diabetes and obesity), and high blood pressure (hypertension) have been related to androgenetic alopecia. In women, this form of hair loss is associated with an increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is characterized by a hormonal imbalance that can lead to irregular menstruation, acne, excess hair elsewhere on the body (hirsutism), and weight gain.

Itching is an unpleasant sensation that compels a person to scratch the affected area. The medical name for itching is pruritus.

Itching can affect any area of the body. It can either be:

  • generalised – where itching occurs over the whole body
  • localised – where itching only occurs in a particular area

Sometimes, there may be a rash or spot where the itching occurs.

Mild, short-lived itching is common, but the problem can occasionally be severe and very frustrating to live with.

Itching can be caused by a number of different conditions, including:

  • skin conditions – such as eczema
  • allergies or skin reactions
  • parasitic infestations – such as scabies
  • insect bites and stings
  • fungal infections – such as athlete’s foot or vaginal thrush
  • hormonal changes during pregnancy or the menopause
  • systemic conditions (one that affects the whole body) – such as liver or kidney problems, or an overactive thyroid gland

Urticaria is also known as 'nettle rash' or 'hives'. The condition consists of wheals - spots or patches of raised red or white skin - each of which usually clear away in a few hours, and are then replaced by other fresh wheals. The wheals are usually itchy, painful or cause a burning sensation. It sometimes occurs together with swelling of various parts of the body (angioedema) - typically the face, hands and feet, although anywhere may be affected. Urticaria is very common and affects one in five people at some point in their lives. In most people, it settles quickly and is no more than a mild inconvenience, but it can be severe, long-lasting and troublesome in some cases.

Mild transient (acute) urticaria may occur in some people due to infection, medications or after excessive exposure to sunlight or UV light. Urticaria is defined as chronic if it lasts more than 6 weeks.

There are different types of tinea fungal infection, based on the affected area of the body:

  • ringworm (tinea corporis) – affecting the body
  • fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) – affecting the nails
  • athlete's foot (tinea pedis) – affecting the feet
  • jock itch (tinea cruris) – affecting the groin
  • tinea capitis – affecting the scalp

Ringworm usually looks like a round, red or silvery patch of skin that may be scaly, inflamed and itchy, but other fungal infections may present themselves slightly differently.

Pityriasis versicolor, sometimes called tinea versicolor, is a common condition that causes small patches of skin to become scaly and discoloured.

The patches may be darker or lighter than your normal skin colour, or may be red or pink. They tend to develop gradually and may join up to form larger patches over time. The areas most often affected by pityriasis versicolor include the trunk (chest and tummy), neck, upper arms and back.

Although it may look unpleasant and the patches are sometimes itchy, pityriasis versicolor is harmless although it usually only improves with treatment.

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells or scale. These patches or plaques most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows and lower back. They are often itchy and painful, and they can crack and bleed.

Keep in mind—no single psoriasis treatment works for everyone. Working closely with a Dermatologist is key to bringing psoriasis into remission.

Hirsutism is when a woman has excessive hair growth. The hair is usually thick and dark, rather than fine and fair.

Excess hair may appear on the:

  • face – such as the upper lip or chin
  • neck
  • chest
  • tummy – in a line from your belly button down to your pubic hair
  • anal and genital area
  • the front of your thighs

Hirsutism is often associated with other symptoms, including:

  • oily skin
  • acne – a skin condition that causes spots to develop on your face, back and chest
  • hair loss (alopecia)
  • a receding hair line around the front of your hair
  • an enlarged clitoris (the small soft bump in front of the entrance to the vagina)
  • voice changes – such as a deeper voice