Category: Skin Conditions

Is it Redness or Rosacea? Here’s How to Tell

When you think of facial redness, you might picture rosy cheeks from exertion or embarrassment. But when that redness lasts for more than a few minutes, it could be a sign of rosacea.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition affecting approximately 16 million Americans. It’s characterized by redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead. Over time, the redness can become more intense, taking on a ruddy appearance with visible blood vessels.

The primary symptoms of rosacea include enlarged capillaries leading to persistent redness, a sensation of heat, and sometimes a stinging feeling. Rosacea’s exact cause remains elusive, but it’s thought to be a combination of hereditary and environmental factors.

Red Skin vs. Rosacea: Spotting the Difference

When it comes to distinguishing between ordinary red skin and rosacea, there are a few key things to consider.

For example, normal facial redness—such as what occurs after vigorous exercise or a brisk walk in the cold—is directly linked to a specific cause and doesn’t last very long. Rosacea, on the other hand, often presents as a persistent redness that doesn’t quickly fade away.

If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing normal skin redness or rosacea, take note of the following factors: duration, triggers, and accompanying symptoms.

Duration

How long does the redness last: minutes, hours, or days? Temporary redness from exercise or stress is a normal skin reaction, but persistent redness can indicate rosacea.

Triggers

Do certain situations, foods, or environmental factors seem to initiate or worsen the redness? It’s important to understand what triggers your skin to flush. Common culprits include heat, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, and emotional stress.

Accompanying Symptoms

Are there any other signs like swelling, visible blood vessels, or skin sensitivity? If not, you may be experiencing skin redness, not rosacea.

When to See A Dermatologist About Rosacea vs. Redness

Rosacea can sometimes be mistaken for things like acne or allergic reactions (and vice versa). To be certain about the health of your skin, it’s important to see a dermatologist. They can distinguish rosacea from other similar-looking skin issues through a comprehensive evaluation.

If you aren’t sure whether you’re experiencing rosacea, consult an experienced dermatologist. Early intervention in the case of rosacea may prevent the condition from worsening. Getting your rosacea diagnosed and treated early can keep symptoms in check, make flare-ups less frequent, and reduce the chances of developing other issues like thickened skin or long-lasting redness.

How is Rosacea Treated?

Treatment for rosacea varies based on its severity. Dermatologists may prescribe creams or gels to reduce inflammation and redness. In more severe cases, oral antibiotics or acne medications might be recommended. Additionally, laser therapy is sometimes used to reduce visible blood vessels.

Lifestyle changes are essential for helping manage rosacea. Use gentle skincare products and take care to avoid common irritants like alcohol-based products and harsh exfoliants. It’s also important to protect your skin from harsh environmental conditions like severe wind and prolonged sun exposure.

Stress management, a balanced diet, and avoiding known dietary triggers are all ways to help reduce the occurrence of rosacea flare-ups. Your dermatologist may recommend that you keep a diary to track flare-ups and potential triggers.

Contact Franks Dermatology About Diagnosing Rosacea

Understanding rosacea is the first step toward identifying it. Use the tips described above to help you determine whether you need to see a dermatologist about your red skin.

If you are experiencing persistent skin redness, schedule a consultation with the experts at Franks Dermatology by calling (501) 246-1042. Professional diagnosis and treatment is essential for managing your symptoms and keeping your skin as healthy as possible.

The 7 Types of Eczema

Every day, people all over the world deal with the itchiness and dry skin caused by eczema. For many eczema patients, it’s more than just a minor annoyance—the symptoms can turn everyday activities into a struggle.

What is Eczema?

At its core, eczema is more than just occasional dry skin. It can cause persistent and intense itching, resulting in red, inflamed patches of skin. Sometimes, these patches can even blister or seep.

But what’s going on beneath the surface?

Our skin is our body’s first line of defense against the outside world. It works like a dynamic shield that keeps moisture in and harmful elements out. In patients that experience eczema, this barrier doesn’t work as well as it should. This dysfunction leads to a decrease in moisture retention and a weakened defense against irritants and allergens. As a result, the skin becomes dry, itchy, and prone to irritation and infection.

Eczema is closely linked with inflammation. When the skin barrier is compromised, the body’s immune response can go into overdrive, leading to skin inflammation. This is what causes the red, itchy, and painful patches commonly associated with eczema.

Eczema vs. Dermatitis

The term “eczema” is often used interchangeably with “dermatitis,” which broadly refers to skin inflammation. However, eczema is a specific type of dermatitis.

There are various forms of dermatitis, each with its own triggers and characteristics, but eczema specifically refers to a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy, inflamed, and sometimes develop rashes.

Furthermore, there is more than one type of eczema, each with its own symptoms.

The 7 Types of Eczema

Every kind of eczema comes with its own set of triggers and symptoms, so it’s important to know how they differ. It’s also possible to experience more than one type of eczema simultaneously. It’s vital to consult with a dermatologist to identify your specific type(s) of eczema and devise an effective management plan.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the seven types of eczema:

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is often what comes to mind when we talk about eczema. This type is most common in children but can persist or appear in adulthood. Its hallmarks are chronic inflammation, dryness, and intense itching. Atopic dermatitis can be particularly distressing due to its persistent nature and the discomfort it brings.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis, or allergic contact dermatitis, emerges when the skin reacts to external irritants or allergens. This reaction can manifest as red, inflamed, and itchy skin, often at the site of contact. Common triggers include certain metals, fragrances, and even some plants.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema mainly affects the hands and feet with small, itchy blisters that are often accompanied by a burning sensation. The skin may become dry and flaky as the blisters heal, making this condition both painful and irritating.

Neurodermatitis

Also known as discoid eczema, neurodermatitis targets specific skin patches, making them itchy and scaly. These patches often appear on the arms, legs, back of the neck, scalp, bottoms of the feet, backs of the hands, and genitals. The intense itching caused by neurodermatitis can disrupt sleep and daily activities.

Nummular Eczema

Nummular eczema, or nummular dermatitis, presents as round, coin-shaped spots on the skin. These lesions are often itchy and can be scaly or inflamed. They’re typically found on the arms and legs, though they can appear anywhere on the body.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis primarily affects areas with a high concentration of oil-producing glands, such as the scalp. It can lead to flaky skin (often mistaken for dandruff), redness, and sometimes yellowish scales. Seborrheic dermatitis can also affect the face and chest.

Stasis Dermatitis

Stasis dermatitis usually occurs on the lower legs and is often related to circulatory problems. Symptoms include discolored skin, itching, and sometimes even ulcers. This type of dermatitis can look like varicose veins and is more common in older adults.

Understand Your Eczema with Franks Dermatology

While it’s often diagnosed in childhood, eczema can emerge at any age. The symptoms of eczema can resemble other conditions, so it’s crucial to get an accurate diagnosis. Diagnosing eczema typically involves a physical exam that focuses closely on your skin. Allergy tests, blood tests, or even a skin biopsy may also be used to rule out other causes and confirm eczema.

The team at Franks Dermatology will equip you with the knowledge you need to effectively manage your specific type of eczema. If you have concerns about your skin, call (501) 246-1042 to make an appointment with our experienced team of dedicated providers in Little Rock.

Can My Seborrheic Keratosis Be Removed?

Because it’s commonly benign, seborrheic keratosis doesn’t usually require treatment. However, it may be removed for cosmetic reasons, diagnostic purposes, or if it causes discomfort.

Read on to learn more about seborrheic keratosis and the most popular methods used for removing it.

What is Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic keratosis is a common skin condition that is most prevalent in older adults. Sometimes resembling moles or warts, these non-cancerous growths may look like they’ve been “pasted on” the skin. The growths can vary in color from tan to dark brown. They most often appear on the back or chest, though they can appear on other parts of the body.

Seborrheic keratosis is generally harmless, but the growths can cause concern due to their appearance or if they become irritated.

Who Typically Gets Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic keratosis is commonly associated with aging, making it a frequent occurrence in middle-aged and older adults. However, it’s not exclusive to any specific age group.

Here are some key points to consider when it comes to the likelihood of developing seborrheic keratosis:

  • Age. Individuals over the age of 50 are more likely to develop these growths.
  • Genetics. There’s a hereditary component to seborrheic keratosis. If your family members have had these growths, your chances of developing them may be higher.
  • Skin type. People with lighter skin tend to be more prone to seborrheic keratosis, although it can affect individuals of all skin types.

What Causes Seborrheic Keratosis?

While the exact cause of seborrheic keratosis remains unclear, several factors are thought to contribute to its development. These include:

  • Genetic factors. A family history of seborrheic keratosis increases the likelihood of developing it.
  • Sun exposure. Prolonged exposure to the sun is believed to be a contributing factor, particularly in people with lighter skin.
  • The aging process. As our skin ages, it undergoes various changes. Seborrheic keratosis is considered part of this natural aging process.
  • Hormonal changes. Some research suggests that hormonal changes might influence the development of these growths.

It’s important to note that seborrheic keratosis is not caused by any skin damage, infections, or lifestyle factors like diet or hygiene. The growths are simply a common skin occurrence.

When Should I Be Concerned About Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic keratosis is generally benign. However, it’s always important to be vigilant about any changes in your skin.

Here are some signs that warrant a closer look and possibly a consultation with a healthcare professional:

  • Rapid changes in appearance. If a growth changes quickly in size, shape, or color, it’s advisable to get it checked out.
  • Multiplication and spread. A sudden increase in the number of growths or a rapid spread to new areas of the body can be a cause for concern.
  • Irritation and discomfort. While some itching or slight irritation might be normal, persistent discomfort, pain, or sensitivity in the area of the growth should be evaluated.
  • Bleeding or oozing. If a growth starts to bleed, seep, or ooze without any apparent cause, such as scratching or injury, it’s important to see a doctor.
  • Resemblance to other skin conditions. Seborrheic keratosis can sometimes mimic the appearance of warts, moles, or even skin cancer. Any growths that resemble these conditions—especially if they have irregular borders, uneven coloring, or an unusual texture—should be examined by a healthcare professional.

It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to skin changes. Regular self-examination and dermatological checkups are key practices in maintaining skin health and catching potential issues early.

Removing Seborrheic Keratosis

Because it’s typically benign, seborrheic keratosis doesn’t usually require removal unless it’s for cosmetic reasons, discomfort, or diagnostic purposes. Here are some common methods of removal:

  • Cryotherapy involves freezing the growth with liquid nitrogen, causing it to fall off within days or weeks. It’s a preferred choice when there’s no need for a biopsy. You may notice skin depigmentation at the treatment site after undergoing the procedure.
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage combines burning the growth with an electric current and scraping it away with a curette. (These techniques can also be used separately.) This method requires some wound care afterward.
  • When a biopsy is needed, shave excision is often used. The healthcare provider numbs the area and shaves off the growth, then sends the sample for lab analysis. This method also smooths the skin underneath.

Ask Franks Dermatology About Your Seborrheic Keratosis

While seborrheic keratosis is usually a benign and common skin condition, it’s important to stay proactive about your skin health. If you are concerned about seborrheic keratosis or another skin condition, schedule a consultation with the experts at Franks Dermatology by calling (501) 246-1042. We can provide you with options that fit your needs, whether that’s a cosmetic removal of a growth, an official diagnosis, or further testing such as a biopsy.