Skin Issues

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There are a wide range of skin conditions that may be temporary or permanent, mild or severe. If you have a skin condition, your primary care provider, local family physician will likely refer you to a dermatologist.

Common Skin Conditions

• Actinic keratosis: Thick and scaly or crusty patches of skin occur on areas of the body that get more sun exposure

Acne: These pimples, blackheads, whiteheads or cysts/nodules are generally found on the face, shoulders, chest, neck and upper back

• Basal cell carcinoma: A type of skin cancer, it leads to raised pink or red areas with visible blood vessel that may easily bleed or ooze  If you have a skin condition, your primary care provider, local family physician will likely refer you to a dermatologist.

• Blisters: Clear and fluid-filled sacs may appear alone or in groups anywhere on the body

• Cold sores: If you’re infected with the HSV-1 virus, you may get red and painful blisters that appear on the lips or chin

• Dermatitis: Caused by an allergen, this red, itchy and scaly rash may appear anywhere, often turning into blisters

Eczema: A chronic skin condition that causes redness, itchiness, and scaly white or yellow patches

• Hives: After exposure to an allergen, the skin breaks out in itchy, red and raised welts that can be painful

• Melanoma: The most serious form of skin cancer, an asymmetrical mole with irregularly shaped edges and multiple colours can appear anywhere on the body

• Melasma: A skin condition that’s common in pregnancy, melasma causes dark patches to appear on the face

• Psoriasis: This chronic skin condition causes scaly and silvery skin patches on the knees, scalp, elbows and lower back

• Rosacea: Triggered by certain foods, alcohol, stress, sunlight or an intestinal bacteria, rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes raised red bumps, facial flushing, skin sensitivity and dryness  If you have a skin condition, your primary care provider, local family physician will likely refer you to a dermatologist.

• Squamous cell carcinoma: This skin cancer often occurs in areas exposed to the sun, causing red and scaly patches of skin that grow into red bumps

• Vitiligo: Autoimmune destruction of the cells that give skin its colour causes loss of pigment in the skin

• Warts: A contagious virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts, which may appear in groups or alone

If you have symptoms of a skin condition, see your physician for treatment or a referral to a dermatologist. Treatment varies depending on the type of skin disorder you have. 

Talk to your family physician if you'd like more information on skin conditions.

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Print this Action Plan and check off items that you want to discuss with your healthcare provider

  • Acne causes pimples, blackheads, whiteheads or cysts/nodules to appear on the face, shoulders, chest, neck and upper back.  If you have a skin condition, your primary care provider, local family physician will likely refer you to a dermatologist.

  • Dermatitis is caused by an allergen, leading to a red, itchy and scaly rash that may appear anywhere, often turning into blisters.

  • Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It causes an asymmetrical mole with irregularly shaped edges and multiple colours to appear on the body.

  • Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes scaly and silvery skin patches on the knees, scalp, elbows and lower back.

  • Warts are caused by a contagious virus called human papillomavirus (HPV), and may appear in groups or alone.

Adherence:
Adhering to your medications, prescribed exercises or lifestyle changes (such as dietary changes, smoking cessation, reduced alcohol consumption, etc.) is essential to improving health outcomes successfully. Compliance to any prescribed treatment is the number one thing you can do to ensure positive changes and optimal treatment outcomes.

We all suffer from skin conditions at some point, whether it’s contact dermatitis from a new detergent or teenage acne. Some skin conditions such as a blister can be quite mild, while others such as skin cancer can be life threatening. Your family doctor may refer you to a dermatologist for more specialized treatment.

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