Medical or general dermatology involves the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for diseases of the skin, hair, lips and mouth. As internal diseases can also affect the skin, medical dermatologists analyse the affected area through a visual examination and then treat the patient’s condition.

As the human skin is the largest organ of the body, and serves as a way to filter what goes in and out of the body, there are different internal and external factors that can affect the health and condition of a person’s skin. Medical dermatologists are familiar with all of these issues, and they are able to use their broad knowledge base to create a diagnosis and treatment plan that best helps their patients deal with the skin condition they have.

Skin conditions that you can seek a medical dermatologist’s help range from things like acne, eczema, alopecia areata, bacterial skin infections, keloids, psoriasis and even viral warts. If you are experiencing skin concerns or issues, contact our friendly and courteous staff at Thomson Specialist Skin Centre today to set up your first appointment. You will receive a screening, visual inspection, and have the opportunity to discuss any skin care questions or issues that you may have.

Bacterial skin infections can cause painful boils on the body, and occasionally blisters as well. In children, impetigo is a common condition that is highly contagious and requires effective antibiotic therapy. Some patients have recurrent bacterial infections involving the hair follicles, and this causes pimple-like bumps to appear on areas such as the scalp and buttocks.
Superficial fungal skin infections are commonly caused by dermatophytes and yeasts. Dermatophyte infections, otherwise known as ringworm, affects people of all ages and can involve the scalp, hair, face, limbs, trunk or nails. Yeast infections include tinea/pityriasis versicolor (“white spots”) and candidal infections in warm moist body areas. There are various effective topical and oral medications that can eradicate these fungal infections.
Skin problems can also affect the genital areas, and are often a cause for concern. Many people are worried that they may represent a form of sexually transmitted infection. A rash on the genital area may not be related to any infection at all. Some of the lumps and bumps on the genital area may be normal anatomical findings. A rash on the genital area should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is a common disorder affecting many people. Palmar hyperhidrosis or sweaty palms is the most common form of hyperhidrosis, causing excessive sweating of the hands. Hyperhidrosis can also cause excessive foot, underarm and facial sweating. It is thought that hyperhidrosis is a result of over activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
Keloids are scars that develop at the site of skin injury that result from trauma, surgery, friction, injections and previous inflammation. They represent an excess of scar tissue formation that grows beyond the boundaries of the wound. Keloids can be itchy or painful. Some people are more prone to keloid formation than others. Common sites of keloid formation are the chest, upper back, shoulders, jawline, and ears. Keloids cannot be removed, but there are some treatments aimed at alleviating the itch or pain, and assist in flattening the scars.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease that affects the skin, nails and occasionally the joints as well. Psoriasis presents on the skin as red plaques with dry whitish thick scales that may flake off. These plaques can occur anywhere on the body, and can be particularly thick and unsightly on the scalp. Psoriasis can result in considerable psychological distress as it is a chronic condition that is often aggravated by illness or stress. Nail changes include nail pitting, lifting off of the nail from the nail bed (onycholysis) and changes in colour of the nail plate. There are now many available treatment modalities for psoriasis, depending on the severity of disease and whether there is associated joint involvement. These include topical therapies, phototherapy, oral medications and medications injected into the skin, muscle or vein.
A number of rheumatologic diseases are associated with skin manifestations, and some of them may present predominantly with skin changes. These include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, scleroderma and dermatomyositis. The diagnosis of these diseases is usually made from suggestive clinical features, laboratory tests and skin biopsies. A multidisciplinary approach to management is often adopted, involving the rheumatologist, dermatologist and other specialists where necessary.
Rosacea is a chronic condition characterized by facial redness. Tiny blood vessels may also be evident, along with pimple-like bumps. In some individuals, the eyes area are also affected, resulting in swollen eyelids, tearing, irritation, redness and in severe cases, ulceration of the cornea. Avoidance of triggering factors, topical and oral medications and laser therapies assist in controlling disease symptoms.
Scabies is caused by the scabies mite, which burrows into the skin of infected individuals. Scabies is extremely itchy, and usually worse at night. The infection may be transmitted to close contacts, such as those within the same household, hospital or institution. Various topical medications have shown to be effective in eradicating the infection, and close contacts of the infected person are advised to be treated as well.
Vasculitis refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders that are characterized by inflammatory destruction of blood vessels in various organs. Vasculitis of the skin may or may not involve internal organs such as the nerves and kidneys. There are several different forms of vasculitis, some affecting only small blood vessels in the skin, others affecting deeper large blood vessels.
Vitiligo is a condition that causes loss of pigment in the skin, resulting in white spots and patches. It occurs when melanocytes (pigment cells in the skin) are destroyed and can no longer produce melanin. Persons with vitiligo may have associated autoimmune diseases such as diabetes mellitus and thyroid disease. Therapeutic modalities include topical medication, phototherapy, laser therapy and surgical grafting. The response to treatment is however variable, and differs from person to person and site of involvement.