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Skin Cells

Rashes & Body Skin Problems

rashes-and-skin-problems-on-the-bodyFacial skin problems are extremely common issues in our clinic. Even if they’re painless or benign, they can be particularly stressful as they are easily visible and can seriously affect confidence and quality of life. That apart, many forms of sun damage and skin cancers also occur on the face and must be treated quickly and thoroughly. Let’s talk about some of the most common skin problems on the face in a bit more detail.

Atopic dermatitis (‘eczema’) is a chronic skin condition very commonly affecting the body and face. While in babies, it may primarily be located on the cheeks and other convex skin areas, eczema later in life slowly changes location and then often affects more flexural skin areas such as the arm flexures, behind the knees and on the neck. Eczema is particularly common in children, but still affects many adults.

Apart from medicated creams or ointments and in severe cases tablets, regular application of the correct type of emollients on the whole body is crucial. This might be necessary once to five times per day and is particularly effective if applied directly after the shower, when the skin is still damp. This is something that will be discussed in more detail with your Dermatologist in clinic and suitable, innovative moisturizers and bath additives will be recommended.

You might be interested to know that besides steroid creams, we now also have steroid-free, anti-inflammatory creams available to treat inflamed eczema patches. We will discuss the influence of diet and if desired can take a blood sample to test for true food allergies. If a contact allergy is suspected, we can arrange patch testing for contact allergies. Environmental factors such as the home environment, lifestyle and clothing can also have an influence and will be discussed in clinic.

Alternatively our Dermatologists may send you for phototherapy (‘light treatment’), which can be very helpful in treating more severe cases of eczema. If you are interested in light treatment, make sure to arrange your appointment with our Dermatologist Dr Hiva, who has a special expertise in phototherapy.

Psoriasis is a common chronic skin condition, which often affects the elbows, knees, scalp and nails, or in more severe cases can be widespread on the entire body. Infections or certain drugs such as beta-blockers or anti-malarials can aggravate psoriasis. Although psoriasis is a genetic condition that we can’t cure for good, there are various topical and systemic treatments available to control it well. Our Dermatologists also have experience with Fumaric Acid (Fumaderm®), an effective tablet treatment for psoriasis pioneered in Germany.

Regular application of emollients is also important in psoriasis patients and suitable products such as moisturizing creams, sprays and shower gels will be discussed.

Alternatively our Dermatologists may send you for phototherapy such as narrowband UVB or PUVA treatment, also shown to be very helpful in treating psoriasis. If you are thinking about phototherapy, make sure to arrange your appointment with Dr Hiva, who has a special expertise in phototherapy.

This harmless, self-limiting condition on the body is commonly mistaken for psoriasis or a fungal infection as it can look very similar to either. It usually starts with an initial patch somewhere on the trunk. A few days or weeks later, the patient then notices widespread development of slightly scaly, smaller patches covering the entire trunk. Understandably, patients become alarmed.

Usually, a Pityriasis rosea rash has no other symptoms, but it can be mildly itchy. Frequently, no treatment is needed as the rash will disappear on its own without leaving scars. Often the main aim of being seen in clinic is to get a correct diagnosis which rules out other, more worrying things that might need definite treatment. But we can also prescribe a mild topical treatment to help the rash clear up a bit faster than it would otherwise.

Urticaria (‘hives’) can be an acute or a chronic skin problem, depending on the cause. It is characterised by widespread development of unbearably itchy, red, hot, raised wheals (similar to a stinging nettle rash) with individual lesions coming and going within 24 hours. The hives might be worse in skin areas where clothes are tight or rub, or after a hot bath or shower. Unlike eczema, urticaria lesions might tempt you to rub the areas rather than scratch with your fingernails. In some patients the lips also swell and very occasionally there can be shortness of breath or other associated systemic problems.

Urticaria might be caused by a hidden infection or allergy. We can take a blood sample to screen for these, although often nothing suspicious is revealed. We now know that some cases of chronic urticaria are of an auto-immune nature and we can send blood samples to an expert lab in Copenhagen to test for this. Whatever the cause, we can prescribe well-tolerated medication to control the symptoms of urticaria.

Bacterial infections include folliculitis, impetigo, abscesses and others. Fungal infections include for example nail infections (onychomycosis), ‘athlete’s foot’, or pityriasis versicolor (flaky, mottled brown or white discoloration on the trunk). And viral infections may include herpes (‘cold sores’), warts, verrucas, ‘shingles’ and many others. Many of the typical childhood rashes such as chickenpox are also of viral nature. If you suspect any of these or something else, make sure to see one of our Dermatologists for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
All these are, of course, only examples of things that can happen to the skin on your body and there are many, many other possibilities. If you notice anything unusual at all, the best thing is to let your Dermatologist diagnose the condition and initiate treatment as soon as possible.

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