Scabies is an infestation of the skin caused by a tiny mite called Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis. Scabies is very contagious and spreads rapidly in crowded areas such as hospitals, nursing homes, child care facilities, prisons, and other locations where people spend extended periods of time in close contact with one another.The rash of scabies is extremely itchy and develops when a pregnant female mite burrows into the skin and lays her eggs. The human immune system is very sensitive to the presence of the mite and produces an allergic response that causes intense itching. Although a person who is infested with scabies usually only has 10–20 mites on his or her entire body, there may be a large number of lesions because of this allergic response. Without treatment, the condition will not usually improve.
Allergic contact dermatitis is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction (the reaction to the allergen occurs 48–72 hours after exposure). The most common allergens causing allergic contact dermatitis often change with time, as certain chemicals come in or out of use in the manufacture of products that come in contact with the skin. Most recently, common causes of allergic contact dermatitis include nickel, chromates, rubber chemicals, and topical antibiotic ointments and creams. Frequent sensitizers in the general population also include fragrance, formaldehyde, lanolin (wool grease found in ointments and cosmetics), and a host of other common environmental chemicals. Nickel is found in jewelry, belt buckles, metal closures on clothing, and some cell phones. Chromates are used in the process of tanning leather for shoes and in cement, so they can affect construction workers who are in contact with cement. Rubber chemicals are found in gloves, balloons, elastic in garments, mouse pads, and swim goggles. Neomycin is common in triple antibiotic first aid ointments such as Neosporin® (and generic versions of Neosporin) as well as other combination preparations with other antibacterials (eg, Polysporin®). It may also be found in eye preparations and eardrops. Bacitracin is a common ingredient in antibiotic ointments and creams and can cause allergic contact dermatitis as well.Common allergen-containing products include cosmetics, soaps, dyes, and jewelry. Poison ivy is a frequent cause and is discussed separately.
Question: Is it bad to treat itchy skin with hydrocortisone, because it merely treats the itch (if even that) and not the underlying cause?
As winter approaches, the skin irritations and rashes associated with eczema tend to start showing up with increased frequency. As a pediatric dermatologist I see this trend in my patients every year. Eczema in children first shows up in infancy and gets better as kids get older. But in the meantime, many sufferers of childhood eczema find this time of year uncomfortable. In this post I explain some of the common triggers of eczema-related rashes and offer some suggestions for parents to deal with these symptoms.
Impetigo (em-pah-TY-go) is a common superficial bacterial infection of the skin that usually resolves itself within a matter of weeks. Often unsightly and itchy, it can be a miserable experience. Impetigo is more commonly associated with children (children 6 years old and younger are more likely to be infected), but it can occur in all ages. What You See There are two types of impetigo: blistering and non-blistering. Non-blistering impetigo is often characterized by:
Morgellons is a highly controversial condition within the medical community. Many experts agree that the condition is likely related to some form of mental disease. In July we posted the article Morgellons Disease: A Disease of the Skin or the Mind?. Today, we revisit this topic by sharing with you this recent post from Dr. Dominic Carone.
What Causes Cellulitis? Similar to impetigo, another common skin infection, cellulitis is often caused by Streptococcus (“strep”) or Staphylococcus (“staph”) bacteria. These bacteria usually live on the skin of healthy people but can enter the body through a break in the skin. Where impetigo is a superficial skin infection, cellulitis occurs when the bacteria get into the deeper tissue under the skin and overgrow. Unlike impetigo, cellulitis is not contagious.
A balanced diet is crucial for overall health. But do certain foods also have specific benefits for managing psoriasis? Many people with the disease believe so. However, research has yielded mixed results. Here’s what’s known about diet and psoriasis—and what’s not.
If on the first day of Christmas you ended up with a rash from the wool sweater your grandmother sent you, here is some information on rashes just for you!
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common type of eczema, often called “the itch that rashes.” The itch can be overwhelmingly intense, especially in children, who are its primary sufferers. The disease usually begins in childhood – 90% of initial cases of the condition develop before age of 5 years, with 65% developing the condition during their first year.