Carbuncle Pictures

Jun 26 2011 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is a Carbuncle?

A carbuncle is a group of numerous boils on the skin related to infected hair follicles triggered by a bacterial infection caused most commonly by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. It is very contagious and could extend to other areas of the body and may also spread to other susceptible individuals.

Compared to a furuncle which is an infection of a hair follicle and the proximate tissue, a carbuncle is a much more severe condition which in fact, involves a number of furuncles that are tightly packed together which occurs deep down in the skin. When there is more than one carbuncle forming, the skin condition is termed as carbunculosis. If left untreated or if not resolved promptly, a number of bacteria, dead tissue debris, fluid and pus form. The infective fluid may drain out of the carbuncle but in some instances, the mass is so deep-seated that it can’t drain on its own. Carbuncles classically appear on the neck, but they may also form anywhere. Other common symptoms include a lump on the skin about several centimeters in diameter, hyperthermia, itching and severe discomfort.

The immediate cause of a carbuncle still cannot be concluded. Factors that may predispose to the formation of a carbuncle include friction from tight clothing, shaving, skin damage, poor hygiene, acne, eczema, overall poor health, chronic disease such as diabetes and weakened immune system.

Since this condition usually involves a considerable amount of fluid and pus, a surgical procedure known as incision and drainage is performed to drain out the fluid and allow the infection to heal inside and out. The usual drugs prescribed by doctors to treat Staphylococcus infections are antibiotics. Never try to break open a carbuncle without doctor’s supervision for it to pump out, as doing so could spread the bacteria and worsen the condition. As soon as a carbuncle begins to drain, the immediate area must be cleaned using warm, moist cloth to speed up the healing process. Proper medical hand washing is very essential so make it as a habit. W

No responses yet

Dermatitis Herpetiformis Pictures

Jun 22 2011 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is Dermatitis Herpetiformis?

Dermatitis Herpetiformis, otherwise known as Duhring’s disease, is a chronic autoimmune blistering dermatological condition characterized by clustered excoriations, urticaria and vesicles located on the elbows, knees, back and buttocks. As the name suggests, the inflammation is similar to herpes, but it is not related to herpes virus. It was Dr. Louis Duhring who originally described the disease in the year 1884 at the University of Pennsylvania.

The papulovesicular eruptions are intensely itchy and chronic distributed symmetrically on extensor surfaces. This condition also involves the appearance of a rash. The rash results when gluten joins with IgA, both enter the bloodstream and circulates in the system and finally, gluten and IgA clog up the small blood vessels in the skin. This will draw neutrophils and release chemicals which really produce the rash. At first, the person will notice a slight pigmentation at the site where the lesions come out. Then later it will become vesicles that occur in groups.

Dermatitis herpetiformis responds well to Dapsone. For most patients, this drug is an effective treatment that will improve the disease in just a few days. It responds so quickly that itching is significantly reduced in two to three days. However, when the damage has reached the gastrointestinal tract, this pharmacological treatment has no effect.

To help control the disease, a strict gluten-free diet should be observed as lifetime management. This modification can radically decrease related intestinal damage and other complications.

No responses yet

Erythema Multiforme Pictures

Jun 22 2011 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is Erythema multiforme?

Erythema multiforme is a common dermatological condition of idiopathic origin, potentially mediated by the accumulation of immune complex in the microvasculature surface of the skin and mucosa. It is a severe, self-limiting inflammatory skin condition under type IV hypersensitivity reaction triggered by the exposure to certain medications, contagion and other factors. In general, it affects the young population.

Symptoms

Erythema multiforme minor

Of the two types, EM minor is the less serious and accounts for 80% of Erythema multiforme cases. The rash comes out over a few days somewhat expanding to around 2 cm. but in some patients more than a few crops go after each other in single attack. Slight burning or mild itch may be existing but becomes most intense over the back of the hands and feet. Classically, the rash appears as bull’s eye shaped circles on the palms arranged symmetrically and lasts for 7 to 14 days and then resolves leaving a remaining brown colored discoloration. There is an involvement of the oral mucosa for 70% of the cases. Oral lesions in the lips, palate, and gums are common. The eyes are affected. There are red conjunctivae and eye swelling and excessive tearing. There are also excruciating erosions on the genitals.

Stevens Johnson syndrome

In this situation, there is larger injury. Together with the erythematous eruption, there are a few significant hemorrhagic blisters present. There are extensive blood blisters predominant on the torso and face.

Causes

The Pathophysiology of Erythema multiforme is not yet fully implicated but it appears that there is a taking part of the cell-mediated hypersensitivity reaction by the immune system that can be elicited by variety of stimuli, specifically bacteria, viruses and chemicals.

As revealed in a current global future analysis, the most important cause of Erythema multiforme is Herpes simplex virus, but bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections are also correlated. In the case of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, it looks to play a smaller role. Drugs were found to be a more universal trigger for these cases. For Erythema Multiforme minor and major, the principal risk factor is history of herpes infection or recurrent case of herpes.

Treatment

The treatment starts with identifying the activating factor and removing it, however, this is not all the time achievable. If drug is the culprit, it must be discontinued as soon as possible. If the cause is infection, it must then be properly treated following the performance of diagnostic tests.

Erythema multiforme minor is typically without a clinical symptom therefore requires no treatment, as the lesions are self-limiting and will disappear within a month. If EM minor is herpes virus induced, Zovirax is useful.

Mild cases of Erythema multiforme require only symptomatic management. Give analgesics as needed, skin care; topical steroids, and soothing mouthwash and gargles. Aggressive observation and fluids and electrolytes replacement are of dominant significance.

No responses yet

Tick Bite Pictures

Jun 22 2011 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is Tick bite?

In the United States alone, ticks are considered to be the primary vectors of human diseases. The concern here is not the bite itself but the toxins and microorganisms present in the tick’s saliva transmitted via tick bites.

Ticks are arthropods that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. Painlessly, they excavate into the skin with their feeding part, bite, withdraw blood and finally drop off after they become swollen as they are filled with blood.

There are roughly 800 species but only two families of ticks, namely Ixodidae and Argasidae, are identified to spread infections to humans. Ixodidae or the hard ticks possess a tough back plate that defines their appearance. They are likely to attach and feed for hours to several days. On the other hand, Argasidae or the soft ticks have rounded bodies and do not possess a hard back plate. They feed only for less than an hour.

In almost all cases of tick bites, the area bitten by ticks develops usually painless, red rashes. Usually, there is a formation of classic bull’s eye on the skin surface. Classifying theses rashes is a significant problem as it is very similar to skin infection and inflammation. Later, the bite site develops burning, itching and hardly ever, a localized intense pain is experienced. Some individuals may develop shortness of breath and paralysis.

When a tick is spotted in the body, remove it right away to avoid a skin reaction and decrease the odds of getting infected. With a pair of curved forceps, snatch the head of the tick held as near to the skin and pull it straight up. Never squeeze the tick. Pull the head of the tick gently away from the skin until the tick lets go. Put it in a container with a tight-fitting lid for examination. Clean the area of the bite with a rubbing alcohol and afterwards, wash hands with soap and water.

People living in regions where the risk of getting Lyme disease is relatively high, a single dose of doxycycline can prevent the disease if taken in 3 days of a tick bite.

To help decrease pain, itching and inflammation, ice application for about 15 to 20 minutes every hour for as long as necessary is recommended. Doctors may suggest antibiotics, antihistamines, local anesthetics, skin protectants such as calamine and topical corticosteroids.

No responses yet

Psoriasis Pictures

Jun 20 2011 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated autoimmune, persistent skin disorder, characterized by circumscribed patches of raised, thickened, red bumps covered with silvery-white, flaking scales. Naturally in the deepest layer of skin, there are new skin cells continuously being formed. From there, they ascend to the epidermal layer where dead surface cells are shed in a 28-day-process. In areas affected by psoriasis, however, the problem is new cells only need three to four days to reach the epidermal surface, leading to an increased epidermal cell turnover with marked thickening which causes the typical scaly plaques.

In almost all cases, the primary cause is unspecified. It is believed that activated T lymphocytes produce chemical messengers that stimulate abnormal growth of keratinocytes and dermal blood vessels. Other factors may be associated with heredity. Flare-ups may be elicited by infection, skin trauma and injury, stress, certain medications, corticosteroid withdrawal, alcohol and cold temperature and various environmental factors.

There is no known way to prevent psoriasis, and there is no cure either. The primary goal of treatment is to suppress the signs and symptoms of the disease. The treatment regimen depends on the severity of the condition as well as the patient’s age, history, compliance to therapy, and sex.

Exposure to sunlight improves many individuals with the condition. Maintaining the skin soft and well moisturized is effective. Application of heavy moisturizing creams can prevent skin dehydration especially when applied straight away after bathing. Never use irritating cosmetics and soaps. Do no scratching or skin rubbing or any aggressive action which can cause bleeding and irritation. Bath soaks with coal tar can eliminate and trim down the plaques. A physician-directed light therapy may be necessary.

The three fundamental modes of treatments for psoriasis are topical therapy, phototherapy and systemic therapy; all these therapies may well be used unaccompanied or in combination. Under topical therapy, the major remedies are corticosteroids, vitamin D-3 derivatives, coal tar and retinoids. In cases where psoriasis is extensive, as characterized by more itchy patches than can simply be counted, then UV-B light and PUVA are used. The third treatment mode is systemic therapy which includes drugs that are usually established after both topical treatment and light therapy have become unsuccessful.

No responses yet

Shingles Pictures

Jun 20 2011 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is Shingles?

Herpes zoster, also known as shingles is a highly contagious disease attributable to the reactivation of the dormant human herpes virus type 3 virus situated in the dorsal nerve root ganglion of the spinal nerves. The virus can migrate along the path of a nerve to the skin surface causing a rash of painful blisters. This disorder affects only those who once have had chicken pox and commonly hits over age 50. In a client with a history of chickenpox, shingles can occur at some immunocompromised situations. Prognosis is good except when the virus extends to central nervous system.

It is still undefined how and why reactivation happens. It is assumed that the virus reactivates when, as a result of old age, illness, cancer, stress or immunosuppressant medications, the immune system turns out to be too vulnerable to keep the virus in a state of dormancy. After viral reactivation, the chicken pox virus travels down the sensory nerve into the skin to cause shingles.

In early stages, there is a tingling, itching, lightning bolt sensation followed by pain on one side of the body. One to three days after the pain starts, a rash with raised, red lumps and blisters erupts on the skin surface following a dermatomal outline or a ray-like distribution as blisters follow the pathway of individual nerves. They start to become pustules, and then scabs form by 10 days.

Separate the infected person from others because exudates from the lesions hold the virus. Maintain standard precautions. Use an air mattress on the bed and keep the atmosphere cool. Never scratch the skin where the rash is located to avoid the risk of secondary infections and scarring. To soothe the blisters, render cool water compress to suppurating blisters for 20 minutes many times a day. In the early stage of the disease, antiviral drugs may be combined with a strong corticosteroid to speed up healing and diminish the extent of pain. In the most critical situations, blocking agents are given via injection to stop pain signals from reaching the brain.

No responses yet

Cellulitis Pictures

Jun 20 2011 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is Cellulitis?

Cellulitis is the most familiar cause of limb swelling. The connective tissues are diffusely inflamed with serious inflammation of the dermal and subcutaneous layers of the skin. It happens when an entry point through the first line of skin barriers has been injured permitting the normal microflora or exogenous bacteria commonly the Group A Streptococcus and Staphylococcus to penetrate and release toxins in the tissues. This is non-contagious since the infection is limited to the deeper layers of the skin and the epidermis provides a cover over the infection.

The predisposing factors for cellulitis include bites, blistering, skin damage, severe acne, chicken pox, tinea pedis, tattooing, pruritic skin rash, recent surgical operation, dry skin, puncture wounds or in any ways that break the skin.

Old age, weakened immune system and diabetes are especially more at risk to contracting the disease than the general population. Because of the impairment of blood circulation in the legs leading to foot ulcers in diabetic patients, they are markedly prone to feet cellulitis. Poor management of blood glucose levels tolerates the bacteria to multiply at speed in the affected tissue and facilitates swift progression as infection goes through the lymph nodes and bloodstream.

This bacterial skin infection usually starts as a small area of inflammation that extends to neighboring skin areas. As the tender area begins to expand, the sick person develops hyperthermia, sometimes with chills and sweats, and swollen lymph nodes.

The affected individual is asked to elevate the involved area above the hear level. Every 2 to 4 hours, warm, moist packs are applied to the affected site. In mild cases of cellulitis, the treatment can be on an outpatient basis using oral antibiotic therapy. If severe, hospitalization is required and treated with an antibiotic intravenously with duration of 7 to 14 days.

No responses yet

Ringworm Pictures

Jun 19 2011 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is Ringworm?

Ringworm or Dermatophytosis is a very common skin disease caused by several different fungal infections collectively known as tinea. The term ringworm originates from the early belief that the disease was caused by a parasitic worm which is untrue. The lifetime risk of an individual to develop this superficial fungal disease is between 20 to 30%.

Ringworm Symptoms

  • The infection causes flaking, ring-shaped, itchy red patches that develop on various parts that could erupt and ooze. The patches often have sharply-defined borders growing to nearly one inch crossways. They are frequently redder around the outside with clear tone in the middle. This forms the manifestation of a ring wherein the infection remains active.
  • There are hairless patches and scales on the scalp, and scratchy, scaling irritation under a beard.
  • Nails thicken, become discolored, crusty and rough and could even crumble.
  • There is dry scaling and fissuring of the skin between the toes.
  • The groin is a usual area of infection. Usually on the inner area of the upper thigh, scaly, red-brown patches develop.

Ringworm Causes

Naturally, bacteria and fungi live on our bodies. A number of these microorganisms are helpful while others are opportunistic, multiply in haste to form contagious diseases. When a specific fungus thrives and multiplies anywhere, ringworm arises. The mode of transmission is via direct skin-to-skin contact, and contact with inanimate, personal objects. Exposure to infected animals is one mode of transmission. In very uncommon cases, infection can be attributed to exposure to infected soil. If the soil does have ample nutrients, the fungus that causes ringworm in humans can survive for an extended period of time. Still, for a person to become infected in this mode, the individual would have to have prolonged contact with harshly contaminated soil or else the odds are thin.

Ringworm Treatment

Individuals with ringworm respond well to self-care treatment. They are advised to keep their affected skin as clean and dry as possible. If it starts to erupt, apply damp compress to clear out the area. Use OTC antifungal powders, creams and lotions especially those containing ketoconazole, clotrimazole, terbinafine and miconazole. These are generally used once or twice a day. Infection begins to disappear within a week. With continued application for the recommended amount of time will guarantee the total eradication of the fungal infection.

When there is a severe or persistent infection and OTC treatments fail, it may require treatment by a physician. Antifungal oral agents may be given.

If there is ring worm on the groin, the individual should wear cotton underwear and change it more than once per day. If there is athlete’s foot, change the socks frequently to keep the feet dry.

No responses yet