As we enter the wintertime, on the verge of another bout of winter weather, we would like to focus a bit more on itching of the skin. Itching, after all, is most common in the winter. Itching can be localized to certain areas of the skin, for example in the skin over bug bites. In uncommon cases, it can be widespread, affecting all the skin. The best dermatologists know that the number one cause of widespread itching without a rash is dry skin. In most cases of widespread itching all over due to dryness, you may have little or no rash.
Unwanted hair growth in various areas of the body is a common problem that we see in our clinics at Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands. Unwanted hair growth can run in families. Though women tend to seek care for this problem more frequently, men can be affected by unwanted or excess hair growth as well. In women, some of the most common areas that are problematic are the upper lip and chin, and neck. The chest, especially the area around the nipples, legs, and bikini area are also spots where women often seek to rid themselves of unwanted hair follicles. In contrast, men are most often bothered by unwanted hair growth on the back and ears, as well as excessively thick hair and the eyebrows and region between the eyebrows known as the glabella—causing the problem frequently referred to as the monobrow or unibrow.
To be human is to have anxiety. Some degree of anxiety is generally lurking in the background getting us out of bed in the morning, motivating us to get stuff done every day. But at times, anxiety can grow and essentially take over our lives. When it comes to dermatology problems, hair loss (alopecia) is one of the primary conditions we encounter that is often intertwined with anxiety.
Have you ever had an itchy rash that is so uncomfortable it can disturb your sleep? Is this rash persistent or does it come and go, with repetitive outbreaks? Does your rash last for days, weeks, or months? If your answer is yes to one or more of those questions, there is a decent chance that you have allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis is exceedingly common—virtually every person will have at least one episode of this rash during their lifetime. Some of us are affected more severely than others.
Actinic keratosis is a spot on the top layer of skin that generally develops in adults and is pre-cancerous. Like many changes in the skin that occur over our lives, sunlight exposure causes these spots. Over time, the photons of ultraviolet (UV) light trigger enough damage to the DNA of skin cells that the skin starts to grow more rapidly than they should.