Skin Conditions

Receive Treatment for a Variety of Skin-Related Concerns at our Boise, ID, Practice

Dr. Naomi Brooks treats a range of skin conditions at her Boise-based practice, and helps her patients plan an effective skincare regimen to combat them. In addition to any skin conditions you may have or want to prevent, an effective regimen considers your age and skin type. Learn more about anti-aging and skincare at every age at a consultation with Dr. Brooks.

To request a consultation for a skin condition, contact Boise Dermatology online or by phone at 208.888.0660.

Skin Condition: Rosacea

Rosacea is a skin condition that appears as redness, flushing, small pimples, and/or broken blood vessels on the cheeks, nose, and chin. Symptoms usually appear in early adulthood, tending to run in families and fair-skinned individuals.

Patients with this skin condition can have very sensitive skin, so avoid scrubbing the skin and carefully choose non-irritating skin care products, especially a gentle daily moisturizer with SPF 30, as sun exposure can flare symptoms. While rosacea can be a life-long condition, medical treatments can help minimize its symptoms.

Avoiding other rosacea triggers like overheating and spicy foods may be helpful. Green-tinted cosmetics also help cover redness.

Skin Condition: Winter Itch/Dry Skin

Winter itch is a term used to describe very dry, itchy, irritated skin that commonly occurs in cold weather, due to low humidity drawing moisture from the skin. Without a protective moisture barrier, the skin can develop cracks, irritation, and red rashes. Treatment for this skin condition includes a thick moisturizer to trap water back into skin. A humidifier may be helpful. Prescription ointments are necessary to relive itching and redness.

Skin Condition: Seborrheic Dermatitis

This common skin condition tends to wax and wane over time, and appears as flaky red patches around the eyebrows, ears, nose, or scalp. Prescription topical medications can help keep the skin clear if used regularly. Non-prescription anti-dandruff shampoos may also help control scaling or itching.

Skin Condition: Stasis Dermatitis

Poor circulation in the lower legs can lead to this skin condition. Stasis dermatitis occurs mainly in older patients. The skin surface on the shins becomes itchy, thickened, and reddened, and may develop open sores.

Prescription ointments are necessary when these symptoms develop. Prevention of this skin condition includes elevation of the legs when sitting or reclining, frequent walks or other exercise, a thick protective moisturizer, and compression stockings (which can be purchased at pharmacies).

Skin Condition: Keratosis Pilaris

This common dry skin condition occurs as dry skin flakes get stuck in hair follicles. It most commonly appears in children and young adults as red rough bumps on the upper arms and tends to run in families. Although it is harmless, the bumps can be improved with good moisturizers if used regularly. Some moisturizers with lactic acid can also help dissolve dry skin flakes. Prescription salicylic acid or retinoic acid creams may also help. As the skin becomes smoother, it is important to continue treatment long-term for maintenance.

Skin Condition: Warts

A virus causes this skin condition, commonly picked up anywhere in the environment. They can spread to other parts of the body through touching or picking. They are persistent and can last for years, because the body tends to ignore the virus.

Over-the-counter wart treatments and duct tape can be helpful for small occurrences of this skin condition. Some people have warts that are more stubborn. Warts that are large, painful, or multiple in number may require in-office treatments. Treatment options include combinations of cryotherapy, intralesional candida antigen, topical immunotherapy, and paring/curettage of the thick warty layers.

No one treatment works well for everyone and multiple treatments are necessary.

The best course for this skin condition is a combination of a daily home regimen with monthly in-office visits. We focus on painless methods for treating warts in children.

Skin Condition: Fungal Infections

Fungal infections appear as red, itchy, ring-shaped rashes on the skin (commonly called ringworm or tinea). Fungus can also infect the feet, toe nails, groin, and the scalp of children.

Fungal skin conditions are commonly acquired anywhere in the environment. Anti-fungal creams are very effective for superficial fungal infections. Unfortunately, there is a strong tendency for fungal infections to recur, and some people are generally more prone to developing fungus. It is important to develop a daily regimen that involves keeping the affected areas dry, changing socks, and using antifungal powder to help prevent recurrences.

Fungal skin conditions involving the scalp in children require an oral medication because the fungus is in areas in the hair shaft that topical creams cannot penetrate.

Fungal skin conditions in the nails are difficult to treat, because of the thickness and slow growth of the nail, and can take years to improve. Recurrence rate in toenails is very high even after effective clearing with medication.

Skincare at any age

As we age our skin goes through many changes. How we care for our skin in adolescence is very different to regimens required for maintaining healthy skin in our later years. Let Dr. Brooks explain.

Learn More

Skin Condition: Actinic Purpura

This skin condition appears as small purple splotches or bruises that occur most commonly on the forearms. They appear due to aging and sun damaged skin. They are also more common when a patient is on blood thinners or steroid medication. Minor trauma to the skin, such as scratching or poking, causes fragile blood vessels to tear under the skin and cause these discolorations. Actinic purpura is harmless, and will go away without treatment.

Moisturizers may keep the skin more supple and trauma-resistant. Avoid soaps that strip protective oils on the skin surface. Minimize use of topical steroids (such as hydrocortisone) on areas of thin skin.

Skin Condition: Cysts

Cysts feel like small round growths under the skin. They often have a pore that opens to the surface, and if squeezed, a white cheesy material may be expressed. Cysts are harmless pockets of skin that develop most commonly on the back, neck, or scalp.

Treatment is only necessary if the cyst becomes inflamed and painful, or is growing rapidly. A problematic cyst may be drained or excised. The whole capsule of the cyst can be removed to prevent re-growth, but it will leave a small scar.

Skin Condition: Alopecia

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. The most common type of hair loss is called androgenetic or hereditary pattern hair loss. It tends to run in families and can occur in both men and women, starting in the early 20s.

Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune type of hair loss seen in children and young adults. The condition typically resolves over six to 12 months. Some treatments may stimulate the hair to grow back sooner.

Telogen effluvium, or increased hair shedding, is another temporary form of hair loss. It is common after childbirth or hospitalization, but an investigation for other causes is sometimes helpful. Other types of hair loss may cause scarring or may be associated with other skin conditions and rashes.

Evaluating hair loss can include examination of the hair shafts and scalp, reviewing pertinent laboratory findings, and sometimes a small biopsy of the scalp. Treatment options can include topical and oral medications or small injections into the skin of the scalp to promote hair regrowth.

Other Skin Conditions

Bacteria and viruses can cause skin infections through open cracks in the skin. Eczema patients are more prone to infection. Sharing towels or skin contact with infected skin or bandages can cause these infections to spread from person to person in families and schools.

Impetigo appears as honey-colored crusted spots on the face and arms, few or multiple in number. Deeper infections in the hair follicle can present as painful boils or abscesses, and often need to be opened and drained. A wound culture can determine the type of bacteria, and topical and oral antibiotics will treat the infection.

Viruses such as herpes simplex often occur on the lips as a recurring cluster of painful blisters (cold sores or fever blisters). The virus can infect other areas of skin such as the face or finger. Antiviral medications can help prevent recurrences or be used episodically when a new outbreak occurs. Lip balm with SPF can also help prevent outbreaks.

Shingles is a painful blistering rash caused by a reactivation of the chicken pox virus, and can be prevented with a vaccine. Dermatologists recommend the shingles vaccine for those aged 50 and older. A shingles patient can be contagious to newborns and people with a compromised immune system, which will cause chicken pox in these susceptible individuals. Antiviral medications taken within three days of an outbreak is most effective.

Molluscum is a virus spread by skin contact that appears most commonly in children, and appears as a few small pink bumps with a central white core. It usually is not bothersome to the child and will go away in a few months. However, if it continues to spread or persist after a few months, non-painful treatment options may help.

To learn more about treatments for a skin condition, contact Boise Dermatology online or by calling 208.888.0660.