5 Skin Disorders That Are Not Cancer-Related

Dermatologists and physicians diagnose and treat a wide range of skin disorders. While skin cancer is one disease that a skin doctor or general practitioner will treat, there are a host of other skin conditions that are seen every day, such as psoriasis, rosacea, acne, eczema and hives, just to name a few. Here is a closer look at some common skin conditions a primary care doctor or specialist may treat:

1. Psoriasis

This condition is prevalent in adults, although children may occasionally develop it. More commonly it develops during the late teens or early adulthood. Although it may be controlled with the use of medication, it typically stays with the individual throughout his or her life.

Psoriasis is a non-contagious immune system disorder. In affected individuals, the immune system becomes overactive, causing inflammation and scaly patches of skin. The rash may cause itching and peeling. It generally causes a scaly type of rash on various parts of the body, including the neck, elbows, legs and torso. Although there is no known cause of this condition, some experts believe it may be hereditary. Additionally, factors such as stress and infection may trigger the symptoms.

There are topical treatments and ointments for psoriasis, including salicylic acid and steroidal creams. Prescription medications may be advised as well.

2. Atopic Eczema

This is a chronic skin condition that causes red and inflamed skin. It is sometimes referred to as dermatitis. Up to about 20 percent of American infants develop atopic eczema, and many outgrow the condition as they get older. The condition affects only about 3 percent of adult Americans, however. The major symptom of dermatitis is an itchy, red rash. Your doctor or pediatrician can make a conclusive diagnosis and inform you of what type of soaps to use and avoid. In many cases, prescribed medications aren't necessary, although over the counter hydra-cortisone creams may be of some help. Also, a cold compress applied to the affected area may relieve some of the discomfort.

3. Rosacea

Rosacea causes red, inflamed tiny bumps on the skin, primarily on the face. The red bumps may also burn and itch. It is a chronic disorder which causes sudden flare-ups and remissions as well. Over 16 million Americans are affected by this chronic skin disorder. Experts believe that individuals with fair skin seem to be at a higher risk for developing rosacea.

While there is no known cure or possible cause for rosacea, there are various treatments readily available. If you notice a flushing of the face, small red bumps or pimples or a redness that comes and goes, consult your doctor. He or she may prescribe oral or topical medication to control the symptoms or lessen the severity. Patients are also advised not to use abrasive facial cleansers, as these may further irritate the skin.

4. Acne

Acne is a skin condition that affects the oil glands within your body. It may cause pimples, blackheads and whiteheads on the face, neck, back and other areas of the body. Although people of any age and skin type may develop acne, it is most prevalent in teens and young adults. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may also trigger an acne flare up. Dermatologists treat acne with topical medications and oral pills, depending upon the type of acne and the severity.

5. Hives

These itchy red welts found on the skin are often caused by an allergic reaction to a food or environmental substance. Some individuals who are overly sensitive to sun exposure may also develop hives. It is important to determine the cause, so exposure to it may be avoided in the future. Allergy medications and antihistamines may provide temporary relief. Although rare, a severe outbreak of hives on the tongue or throat may compromise breathing, and this could cause an emergency situation. If this occurs, seek medical attention at once.  

For more information, contact a center such as Vail Dermatology.