Acne is the most common skin condition that affects most people at some point in their lives. Contrary to popular myths, acne is not exclusive to teenagers, and it is not caused by poor personal hygiene. The most common trigger for breakouts is elevated or imbalanced hormones, which is why adolescents and pregnant women are more acne-prone.
Each person’s skin is unique, and every case of acne is different. Many people find that self-treatment actually exacerbates the condition because store products don’t meet their specific needs. Also, over the counter treatments are often not strong enough to combat more severe acne. For some people, deep exfoliation may be needed; others may have sensitive skin that reacts badly to harsh treatments. At Dermatology Center of Northwest Indiana, we believe in customizing all treatment plans to the specific needs of the patient, and this is especially important with acne. We begin with a comprehensive evaluation to determine which factors are aggravating the problem and what other skin concerns are present. Then we work with you to formulate a plan that quickly ends active breakouts for fast relief while improving and maintaining skin health to keep acne under control for the long-term.
Skin allergies can be especially frustrating because the trigger is not always clear. You may break out in a rash because of something you ingested, inhaled, or physically touched. The reaction may be near-instant, or it may develop some time after you contacted the allergen. We offer patch testing, which is a precise diagnostic technique that can pinpoint your allergic triggers. Once the precise cause is known, the trigger can be avoided and the allergy can be treated.
Seborrheic dermatitis, more commonly known as dandruff, is a common scalp condition that causes excess shedding and flaking of the skin. For mild cases, over the counter dandruff shampoos from your local drugstore may be sufficient. Allergic reactions are also possible, so if you have an adverse reaction, discontinue use immediately.
If dandruff persists or is a recurring problem, visit one of our skilled dermatologists for an evaluation. We can help you choose a safe and effective product or prescribe prescription strength shampoo and employ other treatments if needed.
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that causes redness, dryness, and itching. It can also lead to a hard or leathery skin texture and even cracking or splitting of the skin. Eczema is most common in infants and young children, some of whom outgrow the condition by adulthood. For a significant percentage of patients, eczema becomes a lifelong problem. It is estimated that about one in ten adults has moderate to severe eczema.
Treatment for eczema is highly customized and multifaceted. It may include one or more of the following:
- Topical medications – Moisturizers and creams containing ingredients such as cortisones can be very effective in controlling symptoms and soothing dry, itchy skin. We may recommend over the counter moisturizers and prescription strength medications.
- Oral medication – In some cases of severe eczema, medications such as corticosteroids may be effective.
- Light therapy – This is a safe and effective option for treating eczema and improving this condition. Our office is equipped with the latest technology, including excimer lasers and narrowband uvb lights, which are designed for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Home care – Improvement in overall skin health is one of the most important factors in controlling this condition. In addition to clinical treatments, we may offer advice on moisturizing skincare products, daily cleansing routines, and other aspects of home care.
Hair loss is commonly thought of as the inevitable fate of aging men. However, it is neither inevitable nor restricted to a certain gender or age group. Men and women of any age can experience thinning hair or baldness for a variety of reasons, including genetics, stress, illness, side effects of medications, and even some popular hair styling techniques.
Our advanced diagnostics allow us to pinpoint the underlying cause of hair loss for targeted and effective treatment. There are numerous ways to slow, stop, or reverse many types of hair loss when treated early. Once an area has progressed to complete baldness, there may not be any options other than surgical hair transplant, so it is important to seek help at the first sign of trouble.
Hives (urticaria) is a type of skin outbreak characterized by the sudden appearance of pale red plaques or bumps. They are usually caused by an allergic reaction to something, although often the cause is unknown. Hives can affect any part of the body and are sometimes widespread. The bumps usually itch, but in some cases they may hurt, sting, or burn.
Hives may disappear as quickly as they appeared. You can use a cool compress or antihistamines to control the itch. If the problem persists, or if the discomfort is bothersome, medical treatment is a better option. We can not only provide treatment to relieve the hives but also use diagnostic patch testing to identify allergic triggers so you can avoid future episodes.
A keloid is a type of growth that develops when the body creates excess scar tissue. It begins with a skin injury, but then scar tissue grows beyond the margin of the original wound. It turns into a raised, hard or rubbery lesion ranging from pink to brown to flesh-toned in color. Keloids are not harmful, but they may itch, hurt, or create a cosmetic concern.
Keloids can be removed in a number of ways, including surgery or injectable medication. After an evaluation, your dermatologist will recommend the most comfortable and effective option for your situation.
Moles (nevi) are benign skin growths. However, many people mistake dangerous skin cancers for simple moles, so accurate diagnosis is important. You may opt to have these growths surgically removed for cosmetic or medical reasons. (See Mole Removal section)
Psoriasis is one of the most challenging skin conditions. It is believed to be an autoimmune disease, but researchers have yet to determine the exact cause. In a psoriasis outbreak, skin cells may develop at five to ten times the normal rate. Because cells are developing faster than they are shed, raised lesions and flaky plaques may develop.
Most over the counter products have little to no effect on psoriasis, but don’t give up hope. It can be controlled with the latest medical treatments, in which the providers at Dermatology Center of Northwest Indiana have vast experience. Oral and topical medications may be beneficial, and in more severe cases, you can discuss biologic treatments with our dermatologists. we also offer narrow-band uvb phototherapy and excimer.
Many types of skin conditions are referred to as rashes. It usually describes a localized area of redness, inflammation, pain, or itching. Typically, there are blisters, bumps, or other raised areas of skin. Rashes can be an adverse reaction to an allergen, a skin cancer, and there are many other possibilities. If you have a rash that does not subside or that causes undue discomfort, visit Dermatology Center of Northwest Indiana. We will begin with a physical examination, history, and diagnostic testing if needed to determine the precise cause. We will then discuss treatment options.
Rosacea is a common skin condition characterized by facial redness. Other symptoms include visible vessels, flushing, thickening of the skin, and acne like bumps. It can look very similar to acne, which often leads to inaccurate self-diagnosis. If you have been struggling with “acne” that does not respond to over the counter treatment or gets worse when you treat it, you could be exacerbating your rosacea.
With the help of our team of skilled dermatology experts, rosacea can be controlled. The ideal treatment plan is different for each person and usually includes some or all of the following:
- Light therapy – Vascular lasers or IPL treatment can be very effective in reducing general redness and eliminating visible veins.
- Topical treatment – Medicated creams or face washes may help control outbreaks.
- Oral medication – For some people, prescription antibiotics can be beneficial.
- Trigger avoidance – We will help you learn to identify what triggers your flares so that such circumstances can be minimized. This is one of the most important aspects of controlling rosacea.
A skin biopsy is a diagnostic procedure that involves removal of a very small amount of tissue. This sample is sent to a laboratory for pathological analysis to attain or confirm a diagnosis. Biopsies are typically used to confirm a diagnosis of skin cancer or to identify a difficult to diagnose skin disease.
Skin cancer is a potentially deadly and alarmingly common skin condition. The vast majority of skin cancers are caused by UV damage, either from unprotected sun exposure or from indoor tanning. In addition to comprehensive diagnostics, we offer a variety of treatment options, including advanced Mohs micrographic surgery. Mohs has the highest cure rate and best cosmetic outcome of any skin cancer surgery, making it the gold standard for difficult cases.
Skin Cancer Screening
Skin cancer is the most common of all types of cancer. There are several forms of skin cancer, with melanoma being the deadliest. According to the American Cancer Society, over 75,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed in America every year and over 10,000 lives are lost. The risk of skin cancer increases with age, due to accumulated sun damage. However, it can occur at any age. The rates of melanoma have been rising quickly in recent years, and it is the most common form of skin cancer in young people. Experts believe that indoor tanning and deliberate outdoor tanning may be the primary cause of the increase.
The survival rate for melanoma is dramatically higher if it is detected early. In the advanced stage, it spreads to the lymph nodes, which is often fatal. Self-checks and professional cancer screening will take minimal time from your busy schedule and may save your life. According to Skin Cancer Foundation guidelines, everyone should perform a self-check at least once monthly. Take to time to examine your entire body, including areas that do not receive sun exposure. Professional screening should be scheduled once a year at minimum. If you have a history of skin cancer or have high risk factors, we may recommend more frequent examinations.
Warts are noncancerous skin growths caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). The virus is contagious, and any injury to the skin can increase your chances of catching it. Although not dangerous, warts can be unattractive and uncomfortable. If you want to see your warts disappear, they can be medically removed in a number of ways including surgery or cryotherapy.
We treat these and many other medical dermatologic concerns. Our skilled professionals are passionate about helping you enjoy healthy, beautiful skin. If you have any dermatological concerns, you can count on the clinical expertise and human compassion of the Dermatology Center of Northwest Indiana team. Our office is located in Crown Point, serving patients throughout Northwest Indiana. Call (219) 785-8188 to make an appointment.