How is molluscum contagiosum contracted?
You may be wondering how your child contracted this poxvirus. There are several ways to transmit this viral infection: skin-to-skin contact, sharing items such as towels or clothes, sexual transmission (in adults), and scratching your own lesions (this can lead to further spreading of the papules).
It can take anywhere from two weeks to six months to develop symptoms after exposure. Once a child or person has molluscum contagiosum they typically aren’t infected again in the future.
How is this condition diagnosed?
If you notice any bumps on your child that persist for days, you must consult your dermatologist to find out what’s going on. A simple dermatoscopy (a painless, non-invasive procedure that allows your dermatologist to examine a skin lesion or growth) can determine whether the papule is due to molluscum contagiosum. If MC is not suspected, your dermatologist may biopsy the bump for further evaluation.
How is molluscum contagiosum treated?
Since this is the result of a viral infection, antibiotics will not be an effective treatment option. In fact, the body simply needs time to fight the virus. Your dermatologist may just tell you to wait until the infection runs its course and clears up on its own.
If the papules are widespread and affecting your teen’s appearance and self-esteem, then you may wish to talk with a dermatologist about ways to get rid of the spots. Cryotherapy or certain creams may be recommended to treat and get rid of these spots.
If you are living with others, it’s important to avoid sharing any clothing or towels with the infected child or person. Make sure that your child does not scratch the bumps, which can lead to further spreading of the infection.
If your child is dealing with a rash, raised bumps, or any skin problems and you’re not sure what’s going on, it’s best to talk with a qualified dermatologist who can easily diagnose the issue and provide you with effective solutions for how to treat it.
It is not uncommon for children to develop warts, especially on the hands, feet, or face. Warts can go away on their own, but it is best to seek treatment if the warts are spreading or causing your child discomfort. The skilled providers at the Skin Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL, can develop a treatment plan for eliminating your child’s warts.
Types of Warts
There are several types of warts. Three types that can affect children include common warts, plantar or foot warts, and flat warts. Common warts tend to develop on the fingers and the back of the hands, as well as around the fingernails. These warts usually feel like rough bumps and sometimes have black dots that resemble seeds. Common warts can spread to the face simply by touching the face with the hands.
Plantar warts, which are also called foot warts, usually develop on the soles of the feet, often in clusters. A primary cause of this type of wart is walking barefoot in damp areas, such as locker rooms or public pools. Plantar warts are flat and can even grow inward. They can also have black dots like common warts.
Flat warts are known to develop anywhere on the body, but most commonly appear on the face in kids. Flat warts are smoother and smaller than both common and plantar warts. They also grow quickly and tend to develop in large clusters of anywhere from 20 to 100 warts.
Treatments for Warts
Warts generally are not harmful, although depending on their location, they can potentially cause discomfort. In many cases, warts will eventually go away on their own. This is especially true for children. Reminding children not to touch the warts helps prevent them from spreading to other areas of the body.
Professional treatments are available to help eliminate warts more quickly than simply waiting for them to go away on their own. Additionally, you should seek treatment if your child is experiencing any physical discomfort or is bothered by warts. Some of the ways we can treat warts at our office in Fort Lauderdale, FL, include:
- Cryotherapy — Freezing off the wart
- Electrosurgery — Burning off the wart
- Curettage — Scraping off the wart
- Excision — Cutting out the wart
- Cantharidin — Brushing a substance over the wart that causes a blister to form underneath so the wart can be clipped away at a later time
Most of the above treatment methods can be used successfully with children or adults. In some cases, though, warts can be difficult to treat and other methods are necessary. Some options for treating difficult warts include laser treatment, chemical peels, bleomycin injections, and immunotherapy. One of our experienced dermatologists can recommend specific treatment methods for eliminating your child’s warts.
If your child has developed warts, we can help. To schedule an appointment with one of our dermatology providers, call the Skin Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL, at (954) 500-SKIN (7546). Virtual visits are also available.
Know what to look out for during your next at-home skin exam.
When was the last time you truly looked over the moles and growths on your body and face? If you haven’t been performing at-home skin exams on yourself it’s high time you started. After all, changes in a mole or the development of new moles could be signs of cancer. From the office of our Fort Lauderdale, FL, dermatologists, here’s how to perform a self-skin exam and what to look for,
Step 1: Stand in front of a full-length mirror that will help you examine all parts of your body, from head to toe. Take time to examine both your front and back in the mirror and then both sides of your body with arms raised.
Step 2: Next you’ll want to examine your underarms, arms and palms. You even want to look between your fingers and inside the crook of the elbow. Then scan down to your legs. Make sure to examine your feet, even the soles in between your toes. If you have trouble examining your feet, use a hand mirror.
Step 3: You will want to utilize a hand mirror in order to examine the back of your neck and the scalp. Make sure to move your hand throughout your scalp so you can feel for any growths or bumps that you should further examine with the mirror. Once you’re done, use the hand mirror to check your back and buttocks.
Step 4: Utilize the body mole map created by the American Academy of Dermatology, which can provide valuable insight into how to examine your skin, the warning signs of melanoma and ways to protect yourself from skin cancer.
Not sure what you’re looking for?
While the body mole map above will certainly help you know what to look for, in essence, you’ll want to look for any changes in the shape, color or size of a mole. You also want to look for painful lesions and other spots that don’t heal. Some cancerous growths can even look skin-colored or resemble a scar, so it’s important that you see your dermatologist if you notice any of these signs of skin cancer.
Remember, moles should stay relatively the same in appearance throughout your lifetime, so if you notice that a mole has developed multiple colors, has a jagged border, has become asymmetrical or has scabbed over or started to bleed then it’s time to see us for an evaluation.
Even if you aren’t noticing changes to your moles it’s still a good idea to visit your dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive and professional skin cancer screening.
Whether you are noticing changes in your skin or you simply need to schedule a skin cancer screening with a qualified dermatologist, don’t hesitate to call Skin Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL, today at (954) 500-7546.
There are many ways to address acne symptoms.
Dealing with unsightly blackheads on your nose? Embarrassed by those whiteheads that seem to pop up around your period? Acne is the most common chronic skin problem that we see, and it doesn’t just affect teenagers. Our Fort Lauderdale, FL, dermatologists have treated different types of acne in everyone from children to seniors. Here’s how to manage your breakouts,
Disinfect Your Phone
Think about how often you use your phone and then think about the last time you actually cleaned it. Yuck, right? Your phone is probably riddled with bacteria, which can’t wait to cause some nasty breakouts on your cheeks and chin. Simply use an antibacterial wipe on your phone at least once a day and say goodbye to those pesky little pimples.
Wash Your Face Twice a Day
It’s important to remove excess oil and daily grime from your skin to keep it clean. Wash with a gentle cleanser and warm (not hot) water. You only need to wash your face twice a day to keep it clean (washing more than you need to can make pimples worse because it dries out the skin). Also, remember to be gentle when washing your face. Scrubbing and rubbing isn’t going to get skin cleaner, but it will aggravate acne.
Wash Your Pillowcases
Along with giving your phone a good wipe down every day, it’s also important that anything that your face comes in contact with is also cleaned regularly, including your pillowcases. If you don’t remember the last time you cleaned your pillowcases, it’s time to toss them in the laundry right now. Environmental pollutants, oils and dead skin can collect on your pillow, which can only make acne-prone skin worse.
Look for Products that are Non-Comedogenic
As you might imagine, everything from hair products to makeup that contains oils will clog your pores. This means that you will want to give all the labels on your current products a once over to see if you can find the term “non-comedogenic”, which means that it won’t clog pores. Any products that contain oils should probably get the boot.
When should I see a dermatologist?
If you’re getting ready to throw in the towel when it comes to treating acne yourself then this is probably a good time to call our Fort Lauderdale, FL, dermatologist for an evaluation. After all, there are several causes of acne ranging from inflammation and overactive oil production to bacteria within the pores. Our dermatologist can pinpoint which one is contributing to your acne and provide you with any of these treatment options,
- Cleansers or prescription-strength topical ointments containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or retinoids
- Antibiotics to kill acne-causing bacteria within the pores
- Oral contraception to manage hormonal acne
- Isotretinoin to treat severe, cystic acne
- Laser or light therapies
- Chemical peels or facials
If you’re having trouble getting your acne symptoms under control, then it might be time to consult a dermatologist. To schedule an in-person or virtual visit with our dermatologists, call Skin Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL, today.
What causes lichen planus?
Lichen planus is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. In fact, it typically appears when the immune system starts attacking the skin or mucous membrane. Certain things can trigger it including:
- Certain OTC pain medications (e.g. ibuprofen)
- Medications used for arthritis, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease
- Hepatitis C
- Viral infections
- Certain allergens
- Certain chemicals or metals
Should I see a dermatologist?
If you have developed a purple rash or bumps that resemble lichen planus it’s worth it to pay a visit to your dermatologist to find out what’s going on, especially if you notice any unusual bumps on the genitals.
To determine that you do have lichen planus, we will need to biopsy some skin cells to diagnose lichen planus and to also determine whether it’s being caused by an underlying infection or an allergen. From there, further testing may be needed.
How is lichen planus treated?
So, you found out from your dermatologist that you have lichen planus. Now what? In some cases, this condition may just go away on its own; however, it’s important to recognize that there is no cure for lichen planus but there are ways to help alleviate certain symptoms such as burning or pain. Common treatment options that your dermatologist can recommend or prescribe include,
- Antihistamines: To help with itching
- Corticosteroid creams: To reduce inflammation and redness
- Oral or injectable steroids: This treatment is more effective for persistent, recurring, or more severe bumps
- Photochemotherapy: Light therapy can be effective for treating oral lichen planus
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