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Posts for: December, 2020

By Rio Grande Dermatology
December 17, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Lichen Planus  
Lichen PlanusLichen planus is an autoimmune disorder that attacks both the skin and mucous membranes inside the mouth. This chronic condition causes flat, itchy reddish-purple bumps to develop on the skin (mostly the wrists, ankles, and forearm) and white, painful sores to develop within the mouth and sometimes the genitals. This condition cannot be spread from person to person and mild itching and other symptoms are often managed through simple home care; however, if you are dealing with severe symptoms it’s important to see a dermatologist as soon as possible.

What causes lichen planus?

Lichen planus is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. In fact, it typically appears when the immune system starts attacking the skin or mucous membrane. Certain things can trigger it including:
  • Certain OTC pain medications (e.g. ibuprofen)
  • Medications used for arthritis, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Viral infections
  • Certain allergens
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Certain chemicals or metals
Those with autoimmune disorders may also be more likely to develop lichen planus. The good news though is that this condition is not dangerous.

Should I see a dermatologist?

If you have developed a purple rash or bumps that resemble lichen planus it’s worth it to pay a visit to your dermatologist to find out what’s going on, especially if you notice any unusual bumps on the genitals.

To determine that you do have lichen planus, we will need to biopsy some skin cells to diagnose lichen planus and to also determine whether it’s being caused by an underlying infection or an allergen. From there, further testing may be needed.

How is lichen planus treated?

So, you found out from your dermatologist that you have lichen planus. Now what? In some cases, this condition may just go away on its own; however, it’s important to recognize that there is no cure for lichen planus but there are ways to help alleviate certain symptoms such as burning or pain. Common treatment options that your dermatologist can recommend or prescribe include,
  • Antihistamines: To help with itching
  • Corticosteroid creams: To reduce inflammation and redness
  • Oral or injectable steroids: This treatment is more effective for persistent, recurring, or more severe bumps
  • Photochemotherapy: Light therapy can be effective for treating oral lichen planus
Dealing with dark itchy bumps that have you wondering whether you could be dealing with lichen planus or another skin disorder? If so, a dermatologist will easily be able to diagnose your skin condition, usually through a simple physical exam. If you are experiencing symptoms of lichen planus, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist today.

By Rio Grande Dermatology
December 07, 2020
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Impetigo  
What Is ImpetigoFind out more about this common childhood bacterial skin infection and how to treat it.

Most people don’t know what impetigo is. Maybe you haven’t even heard of it. This contagious bacterial skin infection is most often seen in babies and children; however, adults can catch this infection, too. Dermatologists often see a rise in impetigo cases during the summer. How does impetigo even happen in the first place?

Well, our skin is home to millions of bacteria. Most of them are actually good bacteria that help you stay healthy; however, bad bacteria can develop on the skin too. If these bad bacteria can get into a wound or opening in the skin, this can cause impetigo.

What are the symptoms?

Impetigo causes red bumps mostly on the arms, legs, and face. These bumps will eventually turn into blisters that will crust over. The skin under and around the blisters may look raw. At first, you may only notice one or two spots; however, the condition will continue to spread. Bumps may itch or also be tender.

Who is at risk for impetigo?

As we said, we often see this condition in children and infants; however, certain factors can also put adults at risk. You may be more at risk for impetigo if you have been diagnosed with,
  • Scabies
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Liver conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Eczema or dermatitis
What should I expect when I come into the office?

Since many skin conditions cause painful blisters to form it’s important to see a dermatologist right away for a proper diagnosis. When you come into the office, our skin doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history to help rule out what conditions it could be. A physical examination performed by a qualified dermatologist is often all that’s needed to make a diagnosis; however, we may collect fluid from the blister to look for the presence of bacteria.

How do you treat impetigo?

It’s important to see a doctor for treatment because impetigo will require antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the blisters, your dermatologist may simply prescribe an antibiotic cream, while those with more widely affected areas or more severe symptoms may require oral antibiotics. Once you start taking the medication you should recover within a week.

If you or your little one is dealing with symptoms of impetigo you must see a dermatology professional right away for a proper diagnosis and treatment.