Acne vulgaris is the common form of acne, it is characterized by a mix of inflammatory and non-inflammatory skin lesions. These inlude closed comedones (white heads), open comedones (black heads), pustules, papules and cysts. Nearly everyone will experience a form of acne in their lifetime, usually during adolescence.
A good source of information is DermNet, a website that is supported and contributed to by New Zealand Dermatologists on behalf of the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated.
There are many medications and products that can be prescribed depending on the severity and type of acne. The products include topical creams and oral medications. You may have heard of benzoyle peroxide and salicylic acid which are both available over the counter but also antibiotics (ex: doxycycline) and retinoids (ex: adapelene and acutane).
Acne is known to be associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem. Please do not hesitate to mention or ask me questions about your acne.
Atopic dermatitis or otherwise known as eczema is the most common inflammatory skin condition in the world. Up to 80% of children will develop eczema by the age of 6 years old. It is caused both by environmental and genetic factors. It is a chronic condition and those who have atopic dermatitis will most likely struggle with it throughout their lifetime.
As we cannot change our genetics, the treatment of eczema generally consists of limiting environmental triggers by keeping the skin hydrated and avoiding allergens and by reducing the inflammatory process with steroid creams (ex: hydrocortisone). When eczema is not properly treated it can lead to complications such as bacterial infections.
DermNet also has a great educational page on atopic dermatitis if you are interested in reading more content.
The Society for Pediatric Dermatology has a clear handout for tips and tricks for the treatment of eczema.
Keloids or hypertrophic scars are firm, smooth growths that occur after spontaneous scarring. When we injure our skin like when we cut or burn ourselves by accident or undergo a medical procedure, our skin has to go through a process of scarring in order to heal itself. However, for reasons that are not yet completely understood sometimes this scarring process leads to the formation of keloids.
Some people may never develop keloids while others are more prone to them. For example, those with darker skin tones are more likely to develop keloids.
Keloid scars are not dangerous but can be bothersome. Ideally it is better to avoid injuring the skin in the first place by wearing gloves or protection when injuries are likely. Extra precautions can also be taken to limit scarring when medical procedures are performed but this is not always possible.
The treatment of keloid scars is limited and usually considered cosmetic. It includes steroid injections, some laser treatments, surgical excision (but new keloid formation is possible) and others.
For additional reading you can start with this DermNet page.
Rosacea is a common chronic but treatable skin condition that often affects the center of the face. It can present at any age but often occurs after the age of 30 with flushing, redness, apparition of blood vessels and skin thickening. Those who have rosacea will often go through cycles of remissions and flare-ups.
Some common triggers of rosacea include sun exposure, emotional stress, heat (hot weather, heavy exercise and even mask wearing), alcohol consumption, spicy foods and cold weather.
The treatment of rosacea consists of avoiding triggers, ensuring you have an appropriate skin care routine and reducing inflammation with a variety of topical or oral medications depending on the severity.
For more information on rosacea, the Rosacea.org website is an excellent source of educational material. Just look under the "patients" tab and you will find all sorts of content that may interest you.
There are several types of skin cancers. The most commonly known are actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Skin cancer is a common yet potentially fatal disease. Although people with lighter skin tones are at higher risk of developing skin cancer, this disease can affect people of all skin tones.
Skin cancer is directly linked to sun exposure, therefore it is recommended that everyone wear sun protection like a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 minimum) daily year-round as well as sun protective garments like hats and long sleeves. Although sunburns significantly increase your risk of skin cancer, tanning is also associated with increased skin cancers.
The Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that all people regularly check their skin for worrisome spots using the ABCDE method. You can also take pictures of spots to better compare them over time. Make sure to place a recognizable item like a ruler or paper clip next to the spot in our pictures for scale. If you ever notice something that concerns you, please mention it to me.
For additional information check out the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation website.