Stretch marks (striae) are stripe-like skin marks that develop as a result of rapid weight gain or loss, when the skin is stretched, and as a result of some diseases.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a common illness of infants and children. In infants, it starts with fever, fussiness, and poor appetite. Within 2–3 days, painful sores develop in the mouth. A skin rash can also develop shortly after appearance of the mouth sores, usually restricted to the hands and soles of the feet. This disease appears suddenly (acute) and will go away by itself without any treatment (self-limited), usually lasting for a total of 7–10 days. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is caused by viruses of the enterovirus group, particularly coxsackievirus A16. This virus is highly contagious and is spread from person to person by direct contact with secretions from the nose or mouth or from stool. Outbreaks of hand-foot-and-mouth disease occur more frequently in summer and early fall. Infants in day care often spread it to one another.While complications associated with hand-foot-and-mouth disease are rare, they can occur. These include infection of the brain, in which case the infant would need to be hospitalized.
Nipple dermatitis describes either itchiness or soreness of either one or both nipples. There are several possible causes of this problem including: Eczema (atopic dermatitis) Thrush (oral yeast infection) An allergic reaction (contact dermatitis) Local irritationA rare form of breast cancer, Paget's disease, may mimic nipple dermatitis.
Anthrax is a disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium that has the ability to form spores; spores are cells that are essentially dormant (asleep) but may become active under certain conditions. Anthrax disease can take 3 forms:Involving the skin (cutaneous) – 20% mortality Involving the lungs (inhalational) – 90% mortality Involving the digestive system (gastrointestinal) – 100% mortalityThe vast majority of cases of anthrax (95%) are cutaneous. As a naturally occurring disease, anthrax is very rare. However, it has the potential to be used as a weapon of bioterrorism; this occurred in 2001 with an attack on the United States via the US Postal service. Anthrax was mixed in powder that was put into letters and packages and sent to prominent US figures, including senators. A number of people contracted cutaneous or inhalational anthrax from exposure to the powder, and some people died. If there were to be future attacks on the US using anthrax, it would probably be disseminated as an aerosol, and the resulting cases would be inhalational anthrax.
Scarlet fever is an infection with a type of bacteria called Streptococcus, which not only causes a throat infection ("strep throat"), but also produces a poison (toxin) causing the distinctive rash of scarlet fever. Some people are more sensitive to the toxin than others, so not everyone in a family who is infected will have the rash, even if they have the throat infection. Sometimes the area of infection is the skin rather than the throat, a condition called impetigo.Scarlet fever is contagious to people who come into close contact with an infected child.Complications are rare but can include deeper tissue infections, rheumatic fever, and kidney disease.
Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune disease of the skin and mouth (mucous membrane). Autoantibodies attack molecules that essentially hold the skin cells together, causing them to separate and resulting in blisters. Pemphigus vulgaris is characterized by multiple lesions or blisters that do not heal, or that recur and spread to larger portions of the body. As many as 80% of the cases first exhibit symptoms in the mouth, and the mouth is sometimes the only site of lesions.Typically, those with pemphigus vulgaris will have multiple ulcers that persist for weeks to months. Blistering may be accompanied by severe pain, itching, burning, and stinging. If extensive, blistering can lead to life-threatening fluid loss, infection, and disfigurement. Fatalities from pemphigus vulgaris are extremely unlikely in the United States; however, timeliness of treatment is critical.Pemphigus vulgaris is categorized as an ultra-rare disease, and, consequently, as many as 80% of cases are misdiagnosed for an average of 6 months. With treatment, lesions can heal normally without scarring. Most patients treated for pemphigus will enter a partial or full remission within 2–5 years.
Chickenpox (varicella) is an infectious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus that goes away on its own. Infection spreads among humans through fluids from the airways, such as from coughing and sneezing, with non-infected household members at high risk of becoming infected as well. The development (incubation) period is 14–16 days, and the first sign of disease is a rash. People are considered contagious for 2–5 days before the onset of skin lesions and for 6 days after the last series of rashes have appeared.The most common complication is infection of lesions with bacteria. Rare complications include lung infection (pneumonia) or brain infection (encephalitis). Children who have weak immune systems, eczema, or recent sunburns have more severe symptoms. Because the virus remains resting (latent) in the parts of nerves that are near the spinal cord (nerve roots) for life, about 1 in 10 adults will get shingles (zoster) when the virus reappears, usually under conditions of stress to the body.After having chickenpox, a person is usually immune for life, although reinfection is possible.
On this Twelfth Day of Dermatology, we here at Skinsight would like to wish everyone happy and safe holidays. In the spirit of the season, we would like to recognize some of the humanitarian efforts that many dermatologists participate in throughout the year.
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.
May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. We should feel proud that as a society, we have learned so much over the last generation about preventing, diagnosing, and treating skin cancer. However, research reveals that skin cancer awareness and education specific for African American skin is lacking. Most people are under the wrong impression that African Americans can’t get skin cancer. The good news is that skin cancer in the African American population is relatively low. The bad news, however, is that most African Americans suffer a significant delay in the diagnosis of the disease which results in greater difficulty in treating and curing the disease.
Diagnosis Synopsis Merkel cell carcinomas (cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinomas) are rare skin malignancies that demonstrate both neuroendocrine and epithelial differentiation. They are so named for their histological similarity to normal Merkel cells of the skin. They most frequently occur on the head and neck of the elderly but can also be seen elsewhere on the body. White individuals have 20 times the risk of blacks for developing Merkel cell carcinoma; it is, therefore, thought that UV radiation may play a role in the pathogenesis.
Breast cancer is a disease that affects women of all ages, incomes, and ethnicities. Men can also get breast cancer, but it is rare, accounting for less than 1% of all breast cancers. In 2008, it is estimated that 182,460 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 67,770 new cases of noninvasive breast cancer are expected to occur among women in the United States. In addition, an estimated 40,480 women with this disease will die. An estimated 1,990 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 450 men will die of the disease.
In Florida this year, nine people have died and another 27 reported infections from Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, which lives in salty water. Such infections are rare, but cases have steadily risen in Florida since 2008, when 15 cases and five deaths were reported. Vibrio vulnificus are naturally occurring bacteria in saltwater, which are more commonly found in stagnant and brackish waters with lower salinity levels, such as estuaries and inlets.
What bit me? Bedbugs. Scabies. Fleas. Spiders. Ticks. Lice… All can cause rashes, itching, and a lot of worry. The recent surge in bedbugs in eastern cities has everyone talking about how to find and kill bed bugs. But if you have a new rash or itchy red bumps, how do you know if bed bugs are the cause? Maybe your skin problem is not even related to insects or bugs and is caused by something different altogether. Many skin disorders like eczema (atopic dermatitis) and/or infections of your pores (known as folliculitis) can have an itchy rash, and these conditions have nothing to do with biting bugs, although people often wrongly assume that these common skin conditions are “bug” related.