The skin is the most visible part of the body. Unfortunately there are many chronic conditions that can afflict the skin. At Chevy Chase Dermatology, we not only properly diagnose these conditions, but provide up-to-date effective treatments that all of our patients expect and deserve.
Acne consists of blocked pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that can appear typically on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. It is the most common skin disease in the country. While it affects mostly teenagers, and almost all teenagers have some form of acne, a significant increase in adult acne has been observed over the last several decades.
Treatment for acne varies depending on the type and severity of lesions, as well as the patient's skin type, age and lifestyle. Options include topical medications, oral antibiotics, blackhead extraction, microdermabrasion, antiandrogens, and others.
Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
Atopic dermatitis is an intensely itchy, chronic skin disease that can affect all age groups. Symptoms almost always appear before the age of five, and ten to fifteen percent of children are affected. Thirty to eighty percent of atopic patients will continue to have intermittent exacerbations throughout life, often triggered by stress.
Therapy includes preventive measures in the patient's environment, topical corticosteroids, oral antihistamines, topical immunomodulatory drugs and phototherapy.
Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating) Treatment
When localized sweating is chronic, bilateral, long-lasting and impairs daily activities, it can be treated effectively with topical applications of aluminum chloride or if needed, injections of botulinum toxin (BOTOX®) into the affected areas. In the armpits, BOTOX® injections are extremely effective and eliminate excessive sweating for six to seven months, usually after a single treatment.
Irritant Dermatitis Treatment and Allergic Contact Dermatitis Treatment
For people with irritant dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis, rashes are caused by exposure to irritants or allergens in the environment. Common irritants include soaps, detergents, solvents and wool. Common allergens include poison oak and ivy, topical medications, sunscreens, preservatives, metals, cosmetics, dyes, rubber etc. Patch testing is often necessary to determine the cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Prevention is essential in avoiding recurrence of the condition.
Removal of Moles and Birthmarks
Moles and birthmarks are pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color from tan, brown and black (moles) to red, pink or purple (vascular lesions, such as strawberry hemangiomas or port wine stains). Some may eventually develop into cancer. Any mole that has changed in color, size or shape, or that itches or bleeds, needs to be brought to medical attention immediately.
Treatment of Pre-cancerous Lesions such as Actinic Keratoses
Actinic keratoses (AKs) are lesions on the surface layer of the skin (epidermis) usually caused by chronic exposure to sunlight. AKs typically manifest as rough, pink, scaly patches that may eventually develop into cutaneous horns. They may appear anywhere on the skin surface exposed to sunlight, but common areas include the face (including ears and lips), neck, arms and hands. About one in six white Americans will develop at least one AK over a lifetime.
Actinic keratoses may progress into invasive squamous cell carcinomas. Depending on a number of factors such as the size, location and severity of lesions, as well as the patient’s age, health, medical history, occupation, expectations and preferences, treatment for AKs may take the form of cryosurgery (freezing), curettage (scraping), topical medications, laser treatment and photodynamic therapy.