Skin Conditions Treatment

When a skin infection results from a bacterial source, antibiotics are often used to treat the infection. Antibiotics may be either taken orally as a pill or liquid suspension, or applied directly as a cream to the skin lesions or rash. Topical applications bring the antibiotic into direct contact with the skin infection, and may be used to treat some forms of acne.

Corticosteroid creams have proven effective in the management of symptoms in some skin conditions. Steroid creams reduce the itching, burning and swelling associated with inflammation, but should only be used in combination with the appropriate anti-infection drug if a skin infection is present.

Treating Fungal Infections

Most fungal infections are due to the fungus Tinea, which causes athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm and toenail fungus. Most cases of athlete’s foot, jock itch and ringworm respond well to topical applications of antifungal medications, such as clortimazol (Lotrimin®) and tolnaftate (Tinactin® and Desenex®). Persistent fungal infections may require prescription strength oral or topical antifungal medication.

Toenail fungus tends to be more resilient, typically requires long-term oral medications such as terbinafine (Lamisil®) or itraconazole (Sporanox®) to treat, and may require removal of the toenail (it grows back).

Skin infections caused by Candida are typically treated several times daily with the topical antifungal nystatin (Mycostatin®). Severe infections may also require oral medication.

Collagen Injections

Collagen injections are used to fill in laugh lines and other minor skin pitting. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that is a normal component of skin, tendons, cartilage, bone and connective tissue. Most collagen injections are made of purified bovine collagen, although collagen from the patient ‘s own body may also be used.

Sun Protection

Avoiding excessive sun exposure is the best thing you can do for your skin. Here are a few tips to prevent skin damage from the sun:

  • Avoid tanning and tanning salons — there is no such thing as a “safe tan. “
  • Reduce your exposure to direct sunlight between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats.
  • Wear sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Wear a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.

Allergies and Skin Conditions

Both dust and food allergies can cause rashes and other skin conditions. Food allergies are particularly common. Following a restricted diet and slowly adding foods back into your diet can help you trace the source of a food allergy. Dust allergies usually require allergy tests to confirm and determine course of treatment.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is used to precisely exfoliate skin, layer by layer. It’s commonly used to remove unsightly birthmarks and areas of hyperpigmentation. Laser treatment can also resurface scars, eliminate minor wrinkles and even remove unwanted tattoos.

Surgical Intervention

Severe acne may require minor surgery to remove deeply infected hair follicles, and plastic surgery can help modify the scarring caused by severe acne. Surgical intervention for skin disorders related to skin cancer is common. Treatment for skin cancer almost always involves surgical removal of the cancerous mole, tumor or melanoma.

Baldness Treatment

Male pattern baldness is actually a skin disorder (after all, it involves the hair follicles). Male pattern baldness treatment may involve minor surgery. One popular baldness treatment transplants hair follicles from the back of the patient’s head to areas affected by baldness. Cosmetic options for male pattern baldness also include synthetic hair transplants where synthetic hair is implanted in the patient’s bald patches. Topical solutions applied to the scalp and a recently approved oral medication are other treatments for baldness.

Treating Diaper Rash

Diaper rash can be caused by allergies or exposure to skin irritants. Treating diaper rash with an ointment or cream that contains zinc oxide will, in most cases, eliminate the rash. Instead of using wipes rinse your babies bottom with clean water Your pediatrician may recommend treating diaper rash with a prescription topical antibiotic if a secondary infection develops. Taking the following steps can help prevent diaper rash:

  • Change diapers frequently.
  • Avoid diapers that are too small or don’t breathe.
  • Minimize exposure to detergents — even some baby wipes are irritating.
  • Expose your baby’s bottom to air.
  • Keep your baby as dry as possible — don’t put a diaper on a wet bottom.
  • Wash your hands before and after diaper changes.
  • Change brands of diapers and/or wipes if diaper rash is recurring.

Resources

American Academy of Dermatology. (1999). Patient information pamphlets. Retrieved March 19, 2002, from www.aad.org/pamphlets/.

American Dermatology Center. (nd). Treatments. Retrieved March 20, 2002, from www.americandermatologyctr.com/treatment.htm.

Smith, J. (nd). Sun exposure: Precautions and protection. Retrieved March 21, 2002 from www.ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5550.html.

Ross-Flanigan, N. (nd). Corticosteroids. Retrieved March 20, 2002, from www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/g2601/0003/2601000372/p1/article.jhtml.