The list below is a sample of common skin, hair and nail ailments. This is not a comprehensive list of issues that we treat at Arizona Skin & Cancer. Please schedule an appointment to discuss your specific needs today. We look forward to serving you.
Moles are common. Almost every adult has a few moles. Adults who have light skin often have more moles. They may have 10 to 40 moles on their skin. This is normal.
You should not be overly worried about your moles. But you should know:
- A type of skin cancer, melanoma, can grow in or near a mole.
- Caught early and treated, melanoma can be cured.
- The first sign of melanoma is often a change to a mole — or a new mole on your skin.
- Checking your skin can help you find melanoma early. A dermatologist can show you how to examine your skin and tell you how often you should check your skin.
How do dermatologists tell whether a spot is a mole?
A dermatologist’s trained eye can often tell whether a spot is a mole.
How do dermatologists at Arizona Skin & Cancer treat moles?
Most moles do not require treatment. Our dermatologists will remove a mole that:
- Bothers a patient (rubs against clothing, etc.).
- A patient finds unattractive.
- Could be skin cancer.
Our dermatologist can remove a mole during an office visit. A few moles will require a second visit. Whether it’s during 1 or 2 visits, a dermatologist can safely and easily remove a mole. A dermatologist will use 1 of these procedures:
- Surgical excision: The dermatologist cuts out the entire mole and stitches the skin closed. If the dermatologist suspects that the mole contains cancer, the dermatologist will send the mole to a lab. It will be examined under a microscope. This is called a biopsy.
- Surgical shave: The dermatologist uses a surgical blade to remove the mole.
It is extremely important to NEVER attempt to remove or shave a mole at home because:
- If the mole contains skin cancer, some of the cancer cells can stay in the skin — and even spread.
- You can disfigure your skin, causing a scar or other permanent reminder.
- You can cause an infection.
Vitiligo causes the skin to lose color. Patches of lighter skin appear. Some people develop a few patches. Others lose much more skin color.
Vitiligo usually affects the skin, but it can develop anywhere we have pigment. Patches of hair can turn white. Some people lose color inside their mouths. Even an eye can lose some of its color.
Vitiligo is not contagious. It is not life-threatening. But, vitiligo can be life-altering. Some people develop low self-esteem, no longer want to hang out with friends or develop serious depression. Most people have vitiligo for life, so it’s important to develop coping strategies.
How can Arizona Skin & Cancer treat vitiligo?
If you have vitiligo, you should discuss treatment options with your dermatologist. There are many treatment options. The goal of most treatments is to restore lost skin color.
The type of treatment that is best for you will depend on your preference, overall health, age and where the vitiligo appears on your body. Some people choose not to treat vitiligo.
Skin rashes can occur from a variety of factors, including infections, heat, allergens, immune system disorders and medications. Arizona Skin & Cancer can assist with all skin rashes. Please schedule an appointment today to consult with the dermatologist.
The following is a list of common rashes:
- Atopic dermatitis – Atopic dermatitis is an ongoing (chronic) condition that causes itchy, inflamed skin. Most often it appears as patches on the face, neck, trunk or limbs. It tends to flare up periodically and then subside for a time.
- Christmas tree rash (pityriasis rosea) – Christmas tree rash is a fine, itchy, scaly rash that usually appears first as a single patch on the chest, abdomen or back. After this first appearance (herald patch), the rash may spread as small patches to other parts of the back and chest and to the limbs. The rash may form a pattern on the back that resembles the outline of a Christmas tree.
- Contact dermatitis – Contact with an irritant or allergen causes this form of dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis (A) usually produces a dry, scaly, non-itchy rash. Exposure to chemicals, such as cleaning products or industrial chemicals, causes this condition. The irritant will cause a rash on anyone exposed to it, but some people’s skin may be more easily affected. Areas with thinner skin, such as the eyelids, are more likely to react. The severity of a reaction may vary with duration of exposure and the amount of irritant.Allergic contact dermatitis produces a very itchy, red rash with bumps and sometimes blisters. Common allergy-causing agents (allergens) include latex rubber, nickel and poison ivy. Allergic contact dermatitis develops after your initial exposure to the allergen.
- Drug rash – A drug rash may be either a side effect of a drug or an allergic reaction to a medication. While any medication may cause a drug rash, common culprits include antibiotics, anti-seizure medications and water pills (diuretics). Some drugs are more likely to produce a rash if the skin is exposed to sunlight.A drug rash, which usually starts within the first week of taking a new medication, often begins as discrete red spots that spread, covering large areas of the body. The rash usually resolves in days to weeks after discontinuing the medication.A drug rash can rarely be part of a more serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that affects the respiratory system and other organs. These severe reactions require emergency care.
- Heat rash (miliaria) – Heat rash (miliaria) occurs when the flow of sweat is obstructed, usually due to hot, humid weather, overdressing, or tightfitting clothes.Prickly heat (miliaria rubra) is a type of heat rash that appears as clusters of small, red bumps that produce a pricking or stinging sensation. Miliaria crystallina appears as clear, fluid-filled bumps that generally produce no other signs or symptoms.Heat rash isn’t serious and usually resolves on its own. You can prevent heat rash by wearing loose, lightweight clothing and avoiding excessive heat and humidity as much as possible.
- Intertrigo – Intertrigo is inflammation caused by skin-to-skin friction, most often in warm, moist areas of the body, such as the groin, between folds of skin on the abdomen, under the breasts, under the arms or between toes. The affected skin may be sensitive or painful, and severe cases can result in oozing sores, cracked skin or bleeding.The warm, moist environment, coupled with skin irritation, can easily result in bacterial or fungal infections at the site. Intertrigo usually clears up if you find a way to keep the affected areas as clean and dry as possible. Wear loosefitting clothing, and use powder to reduce skin-to-skin friction in affected areas. Weight loss may be helpful as well. Infections related to intertrigo require drug treatment.
- Lichen planus – Lichen planus usually appears as purplish, often itchy, flat-topped bumps (lesions), most often on the inner forearm and near the wrists or ankles. Other common locations include the lower back, neck and legs.The condition may develop gradually over a couple of months. After that, it rarely worsens, but it may persist for months or years. You can usually control mild lichen playnus symptoms, such as stinging and itching, by applying cool compresses or aloe vera gel to affected areas. More-severe symptoms may require drug treatment.Lichen planus may also affect the mucous membranes, genitals, scalp or nails. Lesions on these sites these sites are generally more troublesome than are lesions on the limbs, persisting for longer periods and often recurring after initial healing.
- Psoriasis – See below.
- Ringworm of the body (tinea corpus) – Ringworm of the body is a fungal infection that appears as itchy, red, scaly, slightly raised, expanding rings on the body. The ring grows outward as the infection spreads, and the center area becomes less actively infected.Ringworm is contagious. You can catch the infection through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or by coming into close contact with contaminated objects, such as unwashed clothing or bedding. Treatment usually requires prescription antifungal medication.A tinea infection in the groin is called jock itch (tinea cruris), and a tinea infection of the foot is called athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).
- Rosacea – Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition of adults that looks somewhat like acne. It causes redness in the face and produces either small red bumps or pus-filled bumps.For most people, rosacea tends to flare up periodically, lessen in intensity, and then flare up again. Certain foods, skin products, extreme temperatures and sun exposure can trigger an episode.Although there’s no cure, treatments may control or reduce the signs and symptoms.
- Shingles (herpes zoster) – Shingles is a condition caused by the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus). After a person has chickenpox, the virus remains dormant, or inactive, in nerve cells. If it’s reactivated, it causes shingles.A shingles outbreak may start with vaguely uncomfortable sensations, itching or pain with no obvious external cause. Within several days, clusters of small blisters — similar to the chickenpox rash — appear in a defined area on one side of your body. Over a few more days, the blisters break, leaving behind ulcers that dry and form crusts. Shingles usually resolves within a few weeks. Antiviral drugs may lessen pain or decrease the likelihood of persistent pain after the rash has healed. A shingles vaccine is recommended for most people older than age 60.
- Swimmer’s itch (cercarial dermatitis) – Swimmer’s itch is a burning or itchy rash caused by an allergic reaction to a waterborne parasite that burrows into the top layer of skin. The rash usually produces tiny bumps or blisters.Because swimmer’s itch is an allergic reaction, repeated exposure to infected water can increase a person’s sensitivity and result in worse symptoms with each subsequent exposure.Swimmer’s itch isn’t serious and usually resolves without medical treatment within one week. At-home remedies — soothing lotions, colloidal oatmeal baths or baking soda baths — may lessen symptoms.
Psoriasis consists of raised red patches that are covered with light-colored scales on the lower back, most commonly on the knees and elbows, or on the scalp. Other varieties of psoriasis can cause small red spots, white pustules, smooth red lesions where the skin folds, and widespread redness, itching, and pain.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Scientific research indicates that psoriasis may be a disorder that causes our immune system to over-react and rapidly accelerate the production of skin cells. Instead of growing normally and being replaced every month, the cells may mature in as little as three days and pile up on the surface of the skin. Genetics may also play a role, and injuries to the skin, stress, sunburn trauma and other events may lead to an outbreak as well.
What Are The Symptoms of Psoriasis?
In addition to the visible signs listed above, psoriasis can cause discomfort (itching or pain) but very mild cases may remain unnoticed. Embarrassment about appearance is also a common reason for treatment.
How Is Psoriasis Treated at Arizona Skin & Cancer?
After a careful examination – by our certified dermatologists – to determine the type and severity of the psoriasis, treatment options may include creams, lotions, certain prescribed medications, or other treatments. Since no one treatment is best for everyone, the treatment that provides you with the most relief with the fewest side effects is our goal.
The dermatologists at the Arizona Skin & Cancer can help reduce or eliminate acne through a variety of treatment options. Some of the options include, but are not limited oral medications, topical medications and chemical peels. Our experienced dermatologists will tailor a treatment plan especially for you.
What Can Arizona Skin & Cancer Do To Help With Acne?
Acne treatments that we provide provide effective treatments at various stages of acne production:
- Reducing the production of oil causing acne
- Reducing the bacteria count
- Reducing the inflammation that’s associated with acne
- Speeding up the creation of new and healthy cells
- Or a combination of these.
After an examination, one of our experienced dermatologists will help you decide how to proceed and what results you can expect.
Frequently asked questions about the acne treatment we provide
How Long Will It Take To Eliminate My Acne?
It may not be possible to entirely remove all of your acne, and sometimes it can take as long as four to eight weeks before any improvement is noticeable. Part of this time may be spent finding the best treatment for your particular case because each of our bodies are different and what works for others may not work for you.
How Do Topical Treatments Fix My Acne?
Lotions made especially for the treatment of acne can act by killing the bacteria that may be causing it, by drying up the skin, and by causing the dead skin cells to fall off. While over-the-counter medications may help with some mild cases of acne, prescription lotions provide better results for more difficult cases. In some cases, a combination of therapy may produce the best results.
Chemical peels, which are often used to improve sun-damaged or finely wrinkled skin, may help control acne as well. When used alongside other treatments, they often produce very good results.
How Can Antibiotics Help Eliminate My Acne?
Prescription antibiotics can be used to treat moderate to severe acne by reducing bacteria and the inflammation they can cause. It may be necessary to take the antibiotics for more than a month and you may also need to use them with a prescribed lotion.
Warts are benign (not cancerous) skin growths that appear when a virus infects the top layer of the skin. Viruses that cause warts are called human papillomavirus (HPV). You are more likely to get one of these viruses if you cut or damage your skin in some way.
Wart viruses are contagious. Warts can spread by contact with the wart or something that touched the wart. Warts can grom on any part of the body but are most common on the hands.
How do dermatologists at Arizona Skin & Cancer diagnose warts?
Our dermatologists can tell whether you have a wart by looking at it. In rare cases, we may need to perform a skin biopsy to be certain. If a skin biopsy is needed, the provider will remove the wart and send it to a lab. At the lab, a small piece of the wart will be looked at under a microscope.
A biopsy is a safe and quick procedure for a dermatologist to perform. It should not cause any anxiety.
How do our dermatologists treat warts?
Warts often go away without treatment. This is especially true when children get warts. In adults, warts may not disappear as easily or as quickly as they do in children. Although most warts are harmless, dermatologists do treat them.
You should schedule an appointment if you cannot get rid of the warts, the warts hurt, or you have many warts. Our dermatologists have many treatments for warts. The treatment used depends on the patient’s age and health as well as the type of wart.
Everyone loses hair. It is normal to lose about 50-100 hairs every day. If you see bald patches or lots of thinning, you may be experiencing hair loss.
There are many causes of hair loss. Women may notice hair loss after giving birth. People under a lot of stress can see noticeable hair loss. Some diseases and medical treatments can cause hair loss.
The most common cause of hair loss is a medical condition called hereditary hair loss. About 80 million men and women in the United States have this type of hair loss. Other names for this type of hair loss are:
- Male-pattern baldness.
- Female-pattern baldness.
- Androgenetic alopecia.
Luckily, most causes of hair loss can be stopped or treated. Anyone troubled by hair loss should schedule an appointment with Arizona Skin & Cancer. Our providers specialize in treating our skin, hair, and nails.
Our toenails are usually quite strong and have a tough, thick surface, but it is common for them to become infected by certain types of fungi that can discolor or destroy them. These fungi, collectively called dermatophytes, feed on the keratin that makes up the nail’s surface, and toenail fungus on at least one nail affects nearly half the population by age seventy.
How is toenail fungus caused?
The fungi grow in warm, moist places, including public showers, spas, swimming pools, and locker rooms. Once picked up by bare feet, the fungus attacks the nail and can sometimes cause the nail to become yellowish or black. It can also result from trauma to the nail and is more prevalent among those with an impaired immune system.
How Can I Prevent Getting Toenail Fungus?
It is always best to wear sandals when walking around places where a toenail fungus is likely to thrive. Socks made from synthetic materials such as nylon don’t work as well at whisking moisture away from the feet, so 100% cotton, wool, or silk socks are better choices. It’s also helpful to keep your feet clean, dry, your toenails trimmed, and avoid applying layers of polish. Visit your local dermatologist to receive more tips on how to avoid getting toenail fungus.
How is Toenail Fungus Treated at Arizona Skin & Cancer?
After examining and diagnosing your toenail, the dermatologists at Arizona Skin & Cancer will often recommend the use of a prescription cream and/or oral medication specifically designed to eliminate the toenail fungus.
Like any infection, it is important to treat the condition daily until it is eliminated and new, healthy cells are formed. Even when the fungus is no longer visible, treatment must be continued until all traces of it are removed.