CLINICAL DERMATOLOGY > OTHER DERMATOLOGICAL PROBLEMS
There are far too many problems that can affect our skin to be able to list and describe them all here. We will therefore describe some of the most frequent below. However, our medical team is prepared to deal with any of the other problems not covered in this section. Simply contact us if you have any question or information request, or schedule an appointment where we will put our service and experience at your disposal.
MOLES OR NEVUS
What are moles or nevus?
Moles or pigmented nevus are clusters of pigmented cells that can manifest in both the dermis and epidermis. In fact, some -dysplastic moles- are located just at the junction between these two layers of skin. They can be different sizes and colours ranging from pink, red, and brown, and can appear on any part of the body.
In theory, not all nevus pose a direct health problem, but they are all likely to eventually increase the risk of developing melanoma. That’s why we must always have them monitored and go to the dermatologist if we see that a mole has begun to increase in size or has changed colour, shape, or contour. In fact, it’s highly recommended to have a check-up with a dermatologist at least once a year.
Treatment for nevus or moles
The treatment is very simple in the case of problematic nevus or those that begin to undergo changes and become more susceptible to increasing the risk of melanoma. Surgically removing them will suffice. For the rest, it is very important to use moisturisers and sunscreens. In addition, it is advisable to avoid sun exposure as much as possible.
What are viral warts?
Viral warts are small skin outgrowths caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. They can appear anywhere on the body, although they are more common on the hands and face. Their appearance may vary and be either hard and rough or flat and smooth. Regarding their colour, they are usually the same colour as the skin, although they may also be darker.
Viral warts do not pose any health risk and, although they are contagious, the probability of one person affecting another is practically minimal. However, they can pose an aesthetic problem and, in the case of plantar warts, may be painful when walking.
Treatment for viral warts
The treatments in these cases are very simple. The most recommended are cryotherapy, electrocoagulation, or laser treatment -especially for warts that are difficult to cure with other therapies-. All are painless, risk-free procedures.
What are seborrhoeic warts?
Seborrhoeic warts or seborrhoeic keratosis is a condition that causes benign tumours in the form of a wart on the skin. They are usually found on the face, torso, shoulders, and back, although they may also appear on other areas of the body. These warts will usually have a dark colour, a rough texture, and a round or oval shape. Their causes remain unknown, but they tend to be hereditary and to begin to appear after the age of 40.
Treatment for seborrhoeic warts
They generally do not cause any type of symptom, but they can sometimes itch if irritated. However, it is best to monitor and control that they do not change in shape, colour, or size and that no new ones appear. If this happens, or if the wart is an aesthetic problem for the patient, surgery, electrocoagulation, or cryotherapy could be performed to remove them.
What are Fibroids?
Fibroids are small, brownish collared lesions mainly located on the lower extremities. They are produced by the cells responsible for producing collagen and elastic fibres. Although they may pose an aesthetic problem for some people, they are completely painless and dermatologists usually do not recommend their removal since the resulting surgical scars usually pose an even greater aesthetic problem.
What is urticaria pigmentosa?
Urticaria pigmentosa or mastocytosis is a skin disease caused by the accumulation of mast cells -a type of cell commonly found in the blood- in the skin or other organs. This accumulation causes the appearance of brown spots and (more rarely) nodules of various sizes. Both types of lesions are susceptible to redness and even swelling if scratched or if the skin undergoes rubbing against a certain fabric, for example. Children may also experience outbreaks of blistering. However, in many of these cases the disease usually disappears spontaneously in adolescence.
Treatment for urticaria pigmentosa
Its cause is unknown, but luckily there is treatment. In most of the cases, in fact, it is not even necessary to treat it. However, it is common to use antihistamines known as H1 to relieve the breakouts, especially in children, since they have little side effects.
There are also a number of general measures that children and adults can follow: avoid scratching, rubbing or scrubbing the skin, avoid sudden temperature changes, avoid hot and spicy foods, avoid hot environments and use the following medications for their ability to break down the mast cells: codeine, aspirin, morphine, tubocuranine, decamethonium, and alcohol. It is also recommended to gradually introduce children to the following foods because of their aspirin content.
What are bites?
Most insect bites and stings do not pose any health risk and can be treated easily at home. However, it is also possible that the bite of a particular insect may cause an allergic reaction and require urgent medical attention.
Symptoms of bites
In cases that do not require medical attention, the symptoms usually just include inflammation, redness, heat, itching, and even soreness around the affected area. In cases of allergic reaction, symptoms can become much more severe and result in inflammation, redness, and rash in a large area of the body, shortness of breath, feeling suffocated, nausea, vomiting, fever, sweating, weakness, chills, muscle and abdominal pain, and headaches. These symptoms can occur very quickly and bring fatal consequences for the patient, so medical care must be immediate.
Treatment for bites
The treatment for mild bites is very simple. Washing the area well with soap and water first and applying ice or a cold compress to reduce the inflammation will suffice. In case of severe itching, apply specific creams that can be found in any pharmacy. An analgesic can be taken to calm the inflammation and pain, if any, as an additional measure.
Treatment for allergic reactions should be given by a doctor. If you or someone else is bitten and begins to show the most serious symptoms listed above, go to the emergency room immediately and, if possible, indicate the insect that caused the bite.
Prevention of bites
In these cases, prevention is highly recommended. To avoid insect bites or stings, you can first use repellents and also avoid wearing bright colours or using sweet-scented colognes or lotions when you go to areas with a greater number of insects, such as ponds, fields, parks, etc. Cleaning your home and avoiding leaving out leftovers of food are also good methods to avoid the presence of any insect as well as the correct treatment of pets.
What are keloids?
Occasionally, as a result of trauma, surgery, minor burns or lacerations, acne, or chickenpox, an excessive amount of scar tissue or hypertrophy may occur and even exceed the size of the wound that caused it and form a kind of cord called a keloid.
Prevention of keloids
To prevent both hypertrophy and keloid formation, it is advisable to undergo pulsed dye laser treatment to control tissue production. When the hypertrophic scar is already present, it can also be treated with a CO2 laser, which will be used to even out the prominence. The most recommended laser for keloid scars is the pulsed dye, which will correct the abnormal growth of scar tissue and give the scar a more aesthetic appearance.
Nonetheless, the sooner the scar is treated the better the results will be, so our recommendation is to undergo treatment long before any signs of hypertrophy occur.
Diagnosis and treatment of dermatological problems in Valencia
• Dr. Gabriel Serrano Sanmiguel