Cutis rhomboidalis nuchae refers to the manifestation of long-term, prolonged sun exposure and resultant damage to the skin occurring on the back of the neck. Long-term, chronic sun exposure causes thickening of the most superficial layer of the skin (the epidermis) and abnormalities in the composition of the middle layer of the skin (the dermis).
Poikiloderma of Civatte is a chronic, non-cancerous (benign) skin condition in fair-skinned adults, which is probably caused by long-term sun exposure. Poikiloderma of Civatte shows a specific pattern of color change in the skin due to sun damage to the neck and sometimes the center of the chest.
Actinic keratoses, also known as solar keratoses, are small rough or scaly areas of skin due to damage from sun exposure. Some actinic keratoses can turn into squamous cell skin cancer, so it is important to perform self-examinations often and catch them early.
Milia are commonly found on the skin of people of all ages. They are formed when keratin (a substance produced by the skin) becomes entrapped beneath the outer layer of the skin, forming a tiny cyst. An individual milium (the singular of milia) is formed at the base of a hair follicle or sweat gland. Milia can be categorized as either primary or secondary. Primary milia are formed directly from entrapped keratin and are usually found on the faces of infants and adults. Secondary milia are also tiny cysts and look similar, but these develop after something clogs the ducts leading to the skin surface, such as after an injury, burn, or blistering of the skin.
Folliculitis is a skin condition caused by an inflammation of one or more of the depressions in the skin that hold hair (hair follicles). It usually occurs in areas where the skin is irritated by friction, such as rubbing from clothes. In most instances of folliculitis, the inflamed follicles are infected with bacteria, especially the type called Staphylococcus, that normally live on the skin.The most common causes of damage to hair follicles, leading to infection, include:Friction from tight clothing A pre-existing skin condition such as eczema, acne, or other inflammation of the skin (dermatitis) Injuries to the skin such as surface scrapes (abrasions) Prolonged contact with plastic bandages or adhesive tape Irritation from shaving
Frostbite is freezing of the skin that occurs due to exposure to cold temperatures. Frostbite often starts out with mild symptoms and can progress and become quite severe and even limb-threatening.Mild frostbite is considered skin that is either red and painful, or white and numb. Severe frostbite includes blistering skin, hard skin (due to frozen bone and blood vessels), and possibly gangrene (tissue that has died and turned black, after blood vessels became frozen).Frostbite is often associated with hypothermia.First Aid GuideIn the case of mild frostbite, the following measures should be taken: Move the person someplace that is warmer. Remove clothing from the affected area. Rewarm the affected area until sensation in the skin has returned and the skin is soft (for at least 30 minutes). Rewarming of frostbitten skin is typically accompanied by pain, swelling, and color change. To rewarm an extremity, place the limb in a bath of warm water (ie, 100°–105° F). Continue to circulate and refresh the warm water. To rewarm an area that cannot be soaked in a bath of water, apply a warm compress. (Ensure that the compress is warm but not hot.) Apply a clean (sterile, if possible), dry dressing to the affected area. Re-cover the affected area with dry clothing to keep it warm. Obtain medical help.Note: Frostbitten areas, once thawed, should be moved as little as possible. Do not massage the affected area to attempt to rewarm it. Avoid disturbing any blisters or skin that has become gangrenous. Do not use direct heat (hair dryers, heating pads, etc) to rewarm the affected area. If there is potential for refreezing of an area, do not attempt to thaw, as thawing followed by refreezing can cause even more extensive damage to the area.When a person has both frostbite and hypothermia, contact emergency medical services, and give first aid for the hypothermia followed by first aid for the frostbite.First aid measures for hypothermia are as follows: Check the person's ABCs: open the airway, and check breathing and circulation. Move the person to a warmer area, and replace any wet or constricting clothes with loose, dry clothing. To rewarm the person: Cover the person completely with foil or a space blanket, or use your own body heat to help warm him/her. Use warm compresses on the neck, chest, and groin. Give warm, sweet fluids. (Any fluids given should be nonalcoholic, as alcohol interferes with the blood's circulation.)
Bedsores (pressure ulcers), also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, result from prolonged pressure that cuts off the blood supply to the skin, causing the skin and other tissue to die. The damage may occur in as little time as 12 hours of pressure, but it might not be noticed until days later when the skin begins to break down. The skin is especially likely to develop pressure sores if it is exposed to rubbing (friction) and moving the skin in one direction and the body in another (shear), as in sliding down when the bed head is raised. Dampness (such as from perspiration or incontinence) makes the skin even more liable to develop pressure sores.
Furunculosis is a skin condition that occurs with the development of multiple boils involving an entire hair follicle and nearby skin tissue. The medical name for a boil is "furuncle," which is where the name of the condition comes from. Boils are very common and are caused by bacteria or fungi that are normally found on the skin of healthy people. However, when there is damage to the hair follicle, the bacteria or fungi that reside on the skin's surface are able to penetrate the skin and enter deeper into the follicle, underneath the skin. They usually begin as a tender, red bump that becomes pus-filled. If not treated or lanced (incised), the boils can get bigger and more painful. If the infection starts to spread, the affected person may start to develop fevers and/or chills.
Many dermatology patients will undergo a skin biopsy at some point during their lives, especially if they have a new lesion that could potentially be a skin cancer. During a biopsy, a sample of body tissue is taken so that a type of doctor, known as a pathologist, can examine the individual cells in the tissue under a microscope in order to make a more definitive diagnosis.
We all know that it is best to avoid sunburns by using sunscreens and staying out of the sun during peak hours – important considerations for long-term skin health and skin-cancer prevention. But sometimes things happen. A forgotten hat, thinking you’re protected from the sun’s rays under your beach umbrella, neglecting to reapply sunscreen after a swim – everyday experiences like these can lead to a nasty sunburn and the pain that comes along with the characteristically red skin.
Spend a day at the beach or pool, and you can’t miss the pervasive and unmistakable smell of sunblock products wafting through the air. Shelves in drug stores and supermarkets are crowded with “new and improved” potions, lotions, gels, creams, wipes, and sprays. But using sunblock only on beach or pool days isn’t enough. Make it an everyday habit – and not just a quick smear on your nose in the morning.
Actinic keratoses (AKs), also known as solar keratoses, are small rough or scaly areas of skin due to damage from sun exposure. Some AKs can turn into squamous cell skin cancer, so it is important to perform self-examinations often and catch them early. Spots usually appear in those who are older (over 50), but they can start appearing in younger adults who have had a lot of sun exposure. Darker-skinned individuals are rarely affected. To learn more about AKs, click here.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer found in humans, and greater than half of all new cancers diagnosed are skin cancers. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are respectively the first and second most common forms of skin cancer, and nearly half of all Americans who live to age 65 will be diagnosed with one of these types of cancer. These common cancers are usually found in the most sun-exposed parts of the body, appearing in the skin’s top layer as a scaly area or bump that doesn’t heal. They can occasionally bleed. If detected and treated early, these cancers have a greater than 95% cure rate.
As spring days lengthen, we’re called back outside for walks and hikes, swimming, and lounging. And while that laze in the sun can feel awfully good, it comes with a potentially steep price. This is a reminder that you must be diligent about protecting your skin from the most harmful rays of the sun.
While you are having fun in the sun, don’t forget to protect your skin. Overexposure to sun is one of the leading causes of skin cancer. Make sure you keep that in mind while you are laying out by the side of the pool while sipping on your piña colada.
Before you head out to that sandy beach you may hit the gym or go on a diet to get your body bathing-suit ready. You may even consider going to a tanning salon to get a “base tan” before hitting the beach – this is NOT a good idea according to dermatologists!