Dermatologists have many effective medical and surgical treatments for problems of the skin, hair and nails. Here are some common conditions they treat:
Acne — A term for plugged pores, pimples and deeper lumps, such as cysts, that occur on the upper half of the body. Acne affects teenagers, but adults also can be troubled. Medical treatment can help reduce scarring due to acne.
Athlete's foot — A fungal infection causes athlete's foot. Moisture, such as sweating, and tight shoes and socks make the perfect setting for a fungus to grow on your feet.
Cold sores — The herpes simplex virus can cause blisters, called cold sores, almost anywhere on a person's skin. The virus has two types. One tends to occur around the mouth and nose, and the other often appears on the buttocks and genitals.
Hair loss — Hair loss can occur for many reasons, the most common of which is hereditary baldness. New medicines may help reduce baldness in some people.
Hives — Another name for hives is "wheals." These pink swellings occur in groups on any part of the skin. Each wheal lasts a few hours before fading away, leaving no trace. Hives usually itch and may also sting or burn. Allergic reactions to foods, drugs and other allergic triggers can cause hives.
Nail problems — Problems with your fingernails or toenails could be a sign of a health problem. Consider seeing a dermatologist if your nails are thick, tough or painful or have scaling, white spots or red lines on them.
Psoriasis — A persistent skin disease in which the skin forms red, thick patches covered by silvery scales. Most often, psoriasis affects the scalp, elbows, knees and lower part of the back. More than 5 million Americans have psoriasis.
Rashes — Often called dermatitis, rashes can become itchy or painful. They have many causes, including allergic reactions, friction, prolonged exposure to heat and moisture, or contact with irritants, such as harsh chemicals. Hand eczema is a common rash. Many people with this problem start with dry, chapped hands that later become red, scaly and swollen.
Skin cancer — This is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It is a common form of cancer that can develop on skin exposed to the sun as well as areas of your skin not ordinarily exposed to sunlight.
Warts — A virus causes warts. The four most common kinds of wart are hand, plantar (foot), flat and genital warts. Warts usually are skin-colored and feel rough.