At St. Claire Medical, we diagnose, treat and prevent problems of the skin, hair and nails. Common conditions range from moles and birthmarks, dermatitis, acne, warts, vitiligo, insect bites and birth defects. Other conditions we treat include a range of conditions such as cancers and pre-cancers, rosacea, psoriasis and shingles. We also treat eczema, allergies and other disorders that occur in all age groups, and carefully examine moles or other growths to determine whether they are or may become cancerous.
A rash is a change in the skin’s color or texture. Simple rashes are called dermatitis, which means the skin is inflamed or swollen. Contact dermatitis is caused by touching an irritating substance such as clothing materials and dyes, latex, cosmetics, soaps or certain plants like poison ivy. Seborrheic dermatitis forms red patches and scaling, usually on the face and head, where it is more commonly known as dandruff or cradle cap. Other common rashes include eczema, psoriasis, impetigo, shingles, chicken pox, measles, scarlet fever, insect bites and those caused by medical conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Mild rashes can often be treated with simple home care practices such as avoiding soaps and bathing in warm water. Others may require moisturizing creams, prescription medications or more extensive treatment.
A cherry angioma is a type of growth that appears on the skin as a bright red patch because of a grouping together of blood vessels underneath the skin. They are common skin lesions, especially after the age of 30, and can develop on any part of the body. Cherry angiomas are benign and typically small in size, ranging from a pinpoint to approximately one-quarter inch across. It is not known exactly what causes cherry angiomas to form, but they are often inherited.
Cherry angiomas are usually harmless and require no treatment. However, they tend to bleed profusely when injured because of the concentration of blood cells at the skin's surface. If the appearance or bleeding of a cherry angioma becomes bothersome, they can quickly and easily be removed. A physician will determine which method is best depending on a variety of factors, and may choose cautery to burn it off, cryotherapy to freeze it off, laser treatment or excision.
A skin tag is a common type of skin growth that looks like a piece of hanging skin and most often develops on the neck, underarms, eyelids and under the breasts often as a result of clothing rubbing against the skin. Most skin tags are acquired, although some people are born with them.
While skin tags are not cancerous and don't cause problems unless they are continuously irritated, many people choose to have them removed for precautionary or cosmetic purposes. There are several different ways to effectively remove skin tags, including freezing, burning and removing with scissors. Small tags may be removed without the use of anesthesia, while larger ones may require a local anesthetic. These treatments are usually effective in removing the growth, but may cause temporary skin discoloration or bleeding. Your doctor will decide which treatment option is best for you.
Moles / Birthmarks
Moles and other birthmarks are benign pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color from tan, brown and black (moles) to red, pink or purple (vascular lesions, such as strawberry hemangiomas or port wine stains). Though most birthmarks are harmless, they may develop into cancer. Moles exhibiting any of the following warning signs should be examined by a professional immediately:
- Larger than six millimeters.
- Itches or bleeds.
- Rapidly changes in color, size or shape.
- Has multiple colors.
- Is located where it can't be easily monitored, such as on the scalp.
Depending on their depth, location and color, as well as the patient’s skin type, age and other factors, treatment for benign but unattractive birthmarks may take the form of laser or pulsed light therapy, microdermabrasion or surgical excision.
Seborrheic keratosis is a noncancerous skin growth that commonly affects the elderly. Its exact causes are unknown, although it tends to be hereditary. Seborrheic keratosis is a painless condition that requires no treatment; many individuals, however, choose to have the growth(s) removed for cosmetic purposes.
A seborrheic keratosis typically appears on the head, neck, or trunk. It is usually round or oval shaped, and it may vary in color. In some cases, seborrheic keratosis may itch. Medical attention may be necessary if numerous seborrheic keratoses develop in a short period of time, the seborrheic keratoses interfere with clothing, or other abnormal skin changes occur.
Seborrheic keratosis is diagnosed by inspecting the affected area. A biopsy may be taken to rule out skin cancer. Seborrheic keratoses require no treatment. If removal is requested for cosmetic purposes, it may be achieved through cryosurgery, curettage, or electrocautery.
Warts are skin growths caused by viruses. Different warts respond to different treatments; some go away on their own. Salicylic acid products (in the form of drops, gels, pads and bandages) can help self-treatment of many warts by dissolving the keratin protein that makes up the wart and the dead skin above it. Others can be removed via liquid nitrogen freezing or electrical stimulation. Surgery may be recommended for painful or large warts that do not respond to these treatments.
Contact our office to learn more about Skin Problems or to make an appointment.