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Posts for: January, 2021

By Skin Center
January 25, 2021
Category: Skin Condition
Cold sores are small, painful blisters that develop on the lips and around the mouth. These sores are caused by a viral infection known as herpes simplex. More specifically, Herpes Simplex Type 1 is typically the cause of cold sores. This condition is very common, affecting around 67% of the global population. Here’s what you should know about cold sores, including how to treat them when they surface.
 
How did I get cold sores?

Cold sores are highly contagious, so it is possible to get a cold sore from,
  • Kissing an infected person
  • Sharing utensils and drinking from the same glass as an infected person
  • Oral sex
While the herpes simplex virus is typically considered a sexually transmitted disease when it comes to cold sores many cases of HSV1 are passed between family members. If you have a parent or grandparent who has cold sores who has also kissed you or shared food and drink items with you, then chances are good that you got your cold sore from them.
 
What are the symptoms of a cold sore?

Before a blister even develops, you may notice burning, tingling, pain, or itching around the affected area of the lip. If this is your first time dealing with a cold sore, it is common for the first outbreak to be the worst. In this case, you may develop a fever, body aches, or other flu-like symptoms.
 
The cold sore itself may look like a cluster of blisters or an inflamed, open sore. Eventually, the blister will scab over and go away, usually in about two weeks.
 
How can I treat a cold sore?

When it comes to treating a cold sore, you can find simple over-the-counter creams that help to ease symptoms. If you deal with severe cold sore outbreaks you may wish to talk with your dermatologist about a prescription antiviral medication, that can help to reduce the length of your outbreak and reduce symptom severity.
 
Are cold sores and canker sores the same thing?

Cold sores and canker sores can often be mistaken for each other, but they are not the same. First, cold sores usually develop on the lips while canker sore cause painful sores to develop in the mouth. Secondly, cold sores are due to a virus while we still don’t know exactly what causes canker sores.
 
If you are dealing with cold sores your dermatologist can provide you with both over-the-counter and prescription options, depending on the severity of your symptoms. If you have questions about cold sores, call your dermatologist today.

By Skin Center
January 11, 2021
Category: Skin Condition
Molluscum ContagiosumMolluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that most commonly affects children under 10 years old, that causes hard, raised red bumps known as papules to develop on the skin. These papules usually develop in clusters on the armpits, groins, or back of the knees, but can develop just about anywhere on the body. If you suspect that your child might have molluscum contagiosum here’s what you should know,

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.

By Skin Center
January 11, 2021
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Warts  

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.