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A dermatologist is a medical expert dealing specifically in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions that affect not only the skin, but the hair and nails as well. As such, dermatologists deal with such common skin conditions/disorders as eczema, warts, hand dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, skin cancer, dermatitis, cold sores, and fungal infections.

 

These medical professionals as the first to consult in matters of skin care. Say that you want to try a new skin care line, or want to know how to treat acne-riddled skin, your dermatologist can help educate you about how your skin works, what ingredients to avoid, and help you determine if you will have allergic reactions. Depending on your skin type, dermatologists can also teach you how to implement a daily routine into your lifestyle so your complexion stays clear, clean and healthy.

 

Here are just a few facts surrounding the conditions that dermatologists treat:

 

ACNE

 

Acne is a disorder of the pilosebaceous unit, which is made of a hair follicle, sebaceous gland, and a hair. Found everywhere on the body except on the palms, soles, top of the feet, and the lower lip, the numbers of these units are greatest on the face, upper neck, and chest.

 

The pilosebaceous unit’s sebaceous glands produce a substance called sebum, which is responsible for keeping the skin and hair moisturized. The sebum produced by the sebaceous gland combines with cells being sloughed off within the hair follicle and "fills up" the hair follicle. When the follicle is "full," the sebum spreads over the skin surface, giving it an oily appearance. When this process works correctly, the skin is moisturized and remains healthy. However, during adolescence the sebaceous glands enlarge and produce more sebum under the influence of the predominantly male hormone known as androgen. This lasts until about age 20, when, long after having zits on prom night factors into social standing, sebum production usually begins to decrease.

 

HERPES

 

What’s commonly referred to as Herpes, is actually a skin condition in which cold sores or fever blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) first appear around the mouth and nose. These cold sores are the most common manifestation of a herpes simplex virus infection, and affect between 15 to 30 percent of the United States population.

 

GENITAL HERPES

 

Although also caused by the herpes simplex virus, Genital Herpes is a different animal. The condition is usually spread by sexual contact during which time direct contact is made by one partner with the infected secretions of another who is said to be “shedding” the virus. No rash need be present for this to occur. It's estimated that yearly, some 500,000 to 1,000,000 new genital herpes infections occur in the United States. Some studies show that the total number of people in the U.S, with genital herpes now stands at 40 to 60 million. Although though up to 90 percent of these infections are caused by Type 2 Herpes Simplex Virus, a smaller percentage are caused by Type 1, although these are on the rise.

 

HEAD LICE

 

Head lice – or Pediculus humanus capitis -- are parasitic insects commonly found behind the ears and near the neckline at the back of the neck. An alarming condition for parents and the schoolchildren to generally contract and spread it, it’s estimated that there are some 6 to 12 millions new cases in the U.S. each year. Rarely found in African Americans owing (it’s believed) to the shape and width of their hairs, head lice are not a health hazard.

 

HIVES

 

Hives are the welts, or wheals, people get when they have urticaria, a common condition that occurs in up to 20 percent of the population at one time or another. Urticaria can affect any person of any race at any age in any season of the year, but it often appears at night or in mornings just after waking. The horrendous itching of hives is typically worse at night when it interferes with sleep.

 

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