Conditions of the skin can pose a particular challenge for patients, since this can encompass issues that are both cosmetic in appearance and systemic in cause. While many people consider the visual impact of skin diseases, it should also be noted that these can alter the metabolic function of the body. This is because skin is the largest eliminatory organ of the body, and the presence of skin conditions can frequently indicate that a systemic condition is also present.
Advanced dermatology therapies can address a number of issues with the skin, ranging from mild cases of rash to skin cancers. Conditions that can be treated with these techniques include:
- Acne – cystic and otherwise
- Dry skin
- Abnormal skin growths – including tags and raised areas
- Skin fungus
- Skin cancer
Advanced dermatology therapies can include types of surgery, but can also rely on the use of lasers and light therapy to treat these conditions. This can often address both the systemic and the surface concerns of a skin condition, and give patients the chance to achieve physical comfort and a healthy body balance.
What is a Dermatologist?
A dermatologist is any type of doctor who specializes in diseases and conditions that can affect the skin, hair, nails, or mucus membranes. Although many dermatologists will work in the field of cosmetic dermatology, advanced dermatology will more frequently address chronic conditions or diseases that can generate long term damage.
The health of the skin is integral to the wellbeing of the whole individual, and this can include both physical and psychological impacts. Dermatologists address all these points in an effort to restore wellness and peace of mind to people who are affected by these conditions.
What Types of Therapies are Used?
Advanced dermatology therapies can include the following forms of treatment:
- Light based therapy
- Oral medication
- Topical applications
Infusion Based Therapies
Infusion based therapies are generally used for conditions which may have an autoimmune cause or are the result of s systemic infection. This can include:
- Antibiotics – generally used for any bacterial infection, whether it is internal or surface based. This will include many treatments for acne and cysts.
- Anti-bacterials – these are sometimes used in conjunction with antibiotics and may be necessary to inhibit the growth and proliferation of bacteria on the skin and in the body.
- Anti-fungals – these are used in the treatment of ringworm, athlete’s foot, and other conditions where fungal spores have entered the bloodstream.
- Steroids – this type of infusion can have multiple applications including pain and itch relief and general anti-inflammatory action for a variety of skin conditions.
- Anti-virals – while these are often used for treating outbreaks of herpes, this type of infusion has also seen benefit for treating other viral conditions including shingles
- Immuno-suppressants – these infusions are used in conditions where an autoimmune response is the cause of the manifest skin condition.
Injectable Infusion Therapies
A number of the infusion therapies can also be administered through injections, although this will greatly depend upon how wide spread an infection or condition is within the system. Injections can be ideal for patients who have conditions that can be treated with less sessions, although a full therapy may still include several treatments. Some of the injections that are used in advanced dermatology therapies include:
- TNF-alpha inhibitors – these are common for autoimmune disorders, especially where there may be severe blistering to the skin.
- Biologics – these are applicable in cases where an autoimmune disorder is responsible for severe chronic inflammation.
- Interferons – this is another biological agent that may be used specifically for the treatment of keloids, lesions, and angiomas.
- Chemotherapeutics – this injection can be used to treat viral outbreaks such as warts, but is also utilized to shrink tumors of the skin and to treat certain melanomas.
Light Based Therapies
Light based therapies include the use of lasers or light frequency treatments to both attend to the visible skin conditions and often to stimulate the body’s defenses in healing from a systemic condition. Some of the advanced dermatology therapies that use light include:
- UV treatments – these can be applied for any rashes that are present with extreme itching or weeping, but can also be used for psoriasis and systemic lupus.
- Visible light – this is often used for cosmetic as well as medical purposes. Different ranges of light within the visible spectrum can be applicable for anything from ingrown hairs to treating dermatitis.
- Infrared – for skin treatments, this can be highly applicable in stimulating the body’s production of collagen, which is necessary for the regeneration of skin cells. This type of therapy is also used to reduce pain and inflammation, especially in the joints.
- Lasers – this form of therapy can be used for everything from cosmetic skin resurfacing and tattoo removal to excising skin lesions and melanomas.
- Radiofrequency – this therapy technique has shown good results in treating acne and reducing the appearance of scars, and has been used for a number of cosmetic purposes.
Oral therapies may be used in conjunction with such techniques as light therapies, and is essentially another way of addressing the systemic nature of many skin conditions. This type of treatment utilizes many of the same medications as infections and infusions, although dosage and drug protocols can be very different. Oral antihistamines, anti-malarials, and pain medications are considerably common for use in advanced dermatology therapies. The use of cytotoxic medications is also prevalent as an oral dosage, and can treat specific skin conditions such as melanomas.
Topical therapies will have a direct effect on the skin surface, and can provide fast relief for a number of skin conditions. Since this medication is absorbed through the skin, it can also have an effect on systemic issues, although the dosage level does need to be fairly high. Along with cosmetic applications, topical can also be used with patients who have acute infection or pain and itching that may be due to severe sunburn and sun poisoning.