|It is a skin condition that appears as whiteheads, blackheads,
pimples, sometimes as deep, painful bumps that look and
feel like boils. Acne usually shows up on the face, but
it can also and appear on the back, chest, shoulders, and
neck. Adult acne often shows up on the chin and cheeks.
|What causes acne?
|Skin experts don't have an exact reason why acne occurs
in one person and not in another, although heredity can
be a factor.
Experts believe acne has to do with sebum production. Sebum is an oily
substance that is produced in glands that reside in the pores, or hair
follicles, of your skin.
Acne usually begins around puberty, when everyone experiences an increase
in the production of hormones that regulate the size and activity of these
oil-producing glands. Hormones also affect the way skin cells are shed,
causing them to stick together and accumulate in the follicle. This causes
the hair follicles to clog and whiteheads and blackheads to appear.
|Who gets acne?
|You are not alone. Acne is one of the most common of
all skin problems. In fact, most teenagers have some acne
at some point. It is estimated that as many as 70 million
people suffer from acne.
Acne usually occurs between ages 12 and 25, with males suffering most during
their early teens and females more in their later teens through late twenties.
Adult acne occurs between ages 20 and 40 and is more common in women.
|What can be done to relieve my acne?
|There is no instant or immediate cure for acne. But it
can be controlled, and scarring may be prevented with proper
care and treatment.
It's important to follow all of your dermatologist's instructions.
| What is rosacea?
|You might have thought it was acne or sunburn
it's rosacea. Rosacea is a skin condition that most often
appears in the middle of your face - typically cheeks,
nose, and chin - and makes your face look red or flushed.
You may sometimes get bumps or pimples in the same area.
The redness, flushing, and bumps often come and go.
|What causes rosacea?
|No one knows for sure. But there are things that can
trigger an outbreak or cause your rosacea to flare up.
Over time, you may notice that certain conditions or foods
cause flushing or a breakout.
Here is a list of some common triggers of rosacea:
- Anything that makes you flush, ie, intense exercise, hot showers
- Extreme hot or cold weather
- Hot drinks, spicy foods, alcohol.
- Hair spray or other products containing alcohol.
- Stress, anxiety
Keep track of the triggers that aggravate your skin and try to modify your
behavior. It could be as simple as avoiding hot drinks or spicy foods.
|Who gets rosacea?
|As many as 14 million Americans have rosacea. Persons
of any age and background can get the condition, although
rosacea typically affects persons over age 30.
|What can be done to relieve my rosacea?
|There is no cure for rosacea; however, there are a number
of topical and oral medications that can alleviate symptoms
and keep rosacea outbreaks under control.
If left untreated, rosacea can get worse - redder skin; small, red pimples;
red lines; and eventually small knobby bumps on your nose. So, it's very
important that you follow your dermatologist's instructions.
| What is eczema?
|It is a general term used to describe many different types
of conditions, atopic dermatitis (the most common, most severe,
and most long lasting), seborrheic dermatitis, nummular eczema,
irritant contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, and allergic
All types of eczema cause your skin to itch and be red or inflamed. Some
types include causing blisters, oozing, and peeling of your skin. Usually
eczema starts with itching, redness and bumps, which then ooze and crust,
and eventually make your skin feel leathery.
|What causes eczema?
|The exact cause is not known. Very dry air, cold winds,
harsh soaps and detergents, and excessive bathing or hand
washing may cause eczema. The most common cause is an allergic
Try to avoid anything you may eat or come in contact with that causes your
eczema to flare up. Also, you should avoid dry, heated places, harsh soaps
and detergents, excessive bathing or hand washing, and irritating fabrics
such as wool - all of which can cause your eczema to linger, get worse,
Eczema can be different for everyone. Fortunately, prevention can go a
long way to minimizing the frequency of flare-ups.
|Who gets eczema?
Just about anyone can get it. Usually children will find that eczema fades
as they become adults.
|What can be done to relieve my eczema?
|Although it is a difficult disease to treat, eczema is
manageable. Your dermatologist may try different treatments
to see what works best for you.
In addition, there are many things you can do to help yourself feel better,
including the following:
- Dress in layers so you stay cool and minimize itching caused by perspiration
- Bathe or shower in lukewarm water - not hot - to hydrate the skin and
soothe the discomfort
- Moisturize very soon after bathing - before the water evaporates - to
keep your skin smooth and flexible (bathing without moisturizing dries
your skin and worsens your eczema).
- Take time to relax because high stress levels can trigger flare-ups
| What is psoriasis?
|It is a chronic skin condition that usually is characterized
by lesions or patches of raised red skin covered by flaky,
silvery-white buildups called "scales" or "plaques." The
red-wine or salmon-colored patches are often rough to the touch.
There are several different types of psoriasis. It is usually mild with
a few scales, but it can be much more severe. Inflamed patches of skin
characterize plaque psoriasis, the most common form. These plaques appear
on the knees, elbows, scalp, trunk, palms, soles of the feet, or almost
anywhere on the body.
|What causes psoriasis?
|The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be related
to faulty signals in your body's immune system. These signals
cause accelerated growth of skin cells that can't be shed fast
enough, so the cells pile up and form the elevated red lesions,
scales, and plaques.
Psoriasis is not contagious. An external or environmental event often triggers
flare-ups. Conditions that may cause a flare-up include the following:
- Emotional stress
- Dry skin
- Certain medications
|Who gets psoriasis?
|It occurs in adults, teens, and children, it seems to be
slightly more prevalent in women than in men. Psoriasis most
commonly appears between the ages 15 and 35. However, it can
develop at any time.
Psoriasis affects more than 7 million and people in the United States.
Some people who have psoriasis experience a spontaneous remission, but
no one knows why this happens, and it is unpredictable.
|What can be done to relieve my psoriasis?
|There is no cure, but there are many different treatments,
both topical and oral, that can clear psoriasis for periods
of time. Sometimes your dermatologist will try different treatments
to see what works best for you.
Because psoriasis can start suddenly and spread rapidly, it's good that
you check with your dermatologist.