Your skin is the body’s biggest organ, and while it is quite resilient and able to shield you from the elements, it can be harmed. Infections, allergens, environmental irritants, stress, and hereditary factors can all trigger skin disorders. The term skin disorder can describe various skin problems, and while some may be unsightly, they are harmless, but others may be contagious.
Often skin disorders are itchy or even painful. Allergens in foods, animal dander, or soaps can trigger an immune response, causing redness and itching. Bacteria, parasites, viruses, or fungi can cause skin disorders. Some skin disorders are due to genetics, such as eczema, which tends to occur more in families prone to allergies.
Acute Skin Problems
Acute skin problems are temporary and may resolve with time or can be treated with medicines. The most common acute skin problems include cold sores and dermatitis.
Cold Sores (Fever Blister) Treatments
Cold sores can be caused by the herpes simplex virus and can appear on the outside of your mouth but also your fingers, cheeks, or nose.
Cold sores cannot be cured, but you can alleviate the pain by applying ice or using over-the-counter remedies that contain agents like menthol and phenol too soft on scabs and reduce cracking.
However, when a cold sore is especially painful, the best primary care physician in NYC may be able to prescribe oral medication to speed healing or anesthetic gel to alleviate the pain.
Dermatitis covers a range of ailments but is characterized by dry, red, and itchy skin. It may be caused by contacting irritants that can produce allergies.
Atopic dermatitis or eczema is also associated with asthma, stress, and allergies.
Seborrheic dermatitis is called cradle cap in infants and dandruff in adults.
Nummular dermatitis causes red plaques that are coin-shaped and more frequently affect people aged between 55 and 65 who live in very dry environments.
Stasis dermatitis is linked to poor circulation and can affect people affected by congestive heart failure or varicose veins.
Although our primary care physicians can try and diagnose the specific category of dermatitis, treatment is similar for most types of skin inflammation and irritation.
If our general practitioners and primary care doctors in NYC suspect you may have dermatitis, skin testing may need to be performed. Small amounts of substances are applied directly to your skin under an adhesive covering, and over the next few days, we can examine your skin to see if you have reacted to any of the substances. This type of test is most useful for identifying any specific contact allergies. An evaluation by your doctor will be required for an accurate diagnosis to formulate a treatment plan.
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Skin Treatment for Dermatitis
Depending on the cause of dermatitis, primary care physicians in NYC may prescribe steroid ointment, pills or an antihistamine, or corticosteroid creams. Our NYC primary care doctors may prescribe a hydrocortisone cream for a skin rash treatment, which can frequently provide relief. This is done on a case-by-case basis.
Chronic Skin Conditions
Chronic skin conditions cannot be cured, but they can be managed and include psoriasis, eczema, acne, and rosacea. Specific treatment will depend on your diagnosis and the assessment of your physician.
Psoriasis causes red, bumpy thick patches that can appear anywhere but most commonly affects the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. There are many treatments available for psoriasis that can help slow the growth of new skin cells and relieve dry and itchy skin.
At primary care in Upper East Side, our practitioners can prescribe the most suitable itchy skin treatment or dry skin treatment for your needs. Possible treatments include steroid creams and retinoid creams, and vitamin D cream. Light therapy can also be useful in treating psoriasis.
Eczema causes the skin to become irritated or inflamed, and it is almost always itchy. Our general practitioners and primary care doctors in NYC can help you manage this disease with prescription ointments, light or phototherapy, and cyclosporine is prescribed for people who fail to respond to other treatments. Also, it can be useful to avoid irritants that can trigger eczema.
Acne is associated with adolescence, but it can occur at any age. The occasional outbreak can usually be managed using over-the-counter products. Still, more severe cases of acne can be treated with antibiotics and isotretinoin, which helps the skin to produce less oil. When the problem is hormone-related, women may benefit from birth control pills.
Rosacea mainly affects the face and can cause a ruddy appearance. Medical therapy can control or reverse some of the symptoms. Skin rash treatments include topical and oral medications.
Skin Fungal Infections
Skin fungal infections are widespread and include ringworm, yeast infections, and athletes’ foot.
Athletes foot grows in warm moist environments and thrives when you wear shoes and socks. Topical antifungal medication is an effective skin fungus treatment, but severe cases may require oral drugs. Usually, an athlete’s foot will respond to standard treatments, but we may take a small sample of the skin to examine under the microscope if it doesn’t.
Ringworm spreads by direct contact with an infected person or animal and creates a red, flat circular sore that can look scaly. It is treated with antifungal medication applied directly to the skin. At Upper East Side internal medicine, our general practitioners, and NYC primary care doctors can prescribe topical or oral drugs for more severe cases of ringworm.
Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called candida and can cause an itchy, scaly red rash. Candida tends to grow in warm moist areas and is more common in people who have diabetes or who are obese. Medicated creams are most commonly used for skin yeast infection treatment.
Skin discoloration is often due to birthmarks and freckles, but other types of discoloration include moles and skin tags. Most moles are not dangerous, but if your moles begin to change shape, itch, or bleed, they should be checked. Our general practitioners and primary care doctors in NYC can evaluate your moles to decide if further treatment is needed or may recommend regular monitoring. Skin tags are small flaps of tissue connected to the skin by a stalk. They are not dangerous but can become irritated if clothing or jewelry rubs against them.
Skin Disorders Treatment Plan
Please make an appointment with one of our doctors in Midtown Manhattan or Upper East Side. Skin lesions, changes, symptoms, or any abnormalities should be evaluated by your physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Our primary care doctors look forward to meeting you!
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