At Halloween, some of the most frightening costumes include skin concerns that dermatologists deal with every day. From witches’ warts to shocking scars and blistering boils, the scary skin issues you see on Halloween are typically all in good fun. But, if your wart, scar, bump, or bite isn’t a part of a Halloween costume, we’re here to help. Dermatologists regularly see patients who want to heal and repair skin damaged by these scary skin issues. To learn more about some of the skin conditions that might give you a fright this Halloween or all year long, we talked to Dr. Sindy Pang of U.S. Dermatology Partners Houston Main, formerly Medical Center Dermatology in Houston, TX.
Scary Skin Issues that Require Urgent Care
According to Dr. Pang, “Some of the scariest skin health conditions I deal with are the ones that need treatment right away. This can be stressful for patients, but when these urgent skin concerns arise, your dermatologist can help.” Some skin conditions that require urgent treatment include the following:
Treating Spider & Bug Bites
Creepy, crawly spiders and bugs are scary to look at, but dealing with spider and bug bites on your skin doesn’t have to be. Most insect and spider bites will heal on their own, but in some cases, treating these bites may require professional intervention. If you have a spider or insect bite that doesn’t heal right away, is very painful, or shows signs of infection, you may need to come in to see Dr. Pang or your local dermatologist.
It’s especially important to seek care from a dermatologist if you meet any of the following characteristics:
- You have an allergy to the insect that bit you
- Insect bites have caused you to have a severe allergic response in the past
- You have a chronic skin condition like eczema or psoriasis that may be exacerbated by bug bites
- The insect bites cover a large area of the body
If you suspect the spider that bit you is poisonous, do not wait to see a dermatologist or even your general practitioner. You should go to your nearest emergency room or urgent care facility. Poisonous spider bites can be extremely detrimental and even life-threatening.
Draining Painful & Unsightly Boils & Abscesses
If a large, painful red bump pops up on the skin overnight, you’re likely dealing with a boil or abscess. These pus-filled bumps typically appear due to staph infection. The staphylococcus bacteria access a hair follicle, pore, or oil gland in the skin where infection develops. If the infection remains in the outer layers of skin, it’s called a boil. If the infection spreads deeper into the skin tissue, it’s called an abscess. Boils start as a red, irritated area of the skin. Then, they grow very rapidly within a few days as pus builds up below the skin. While you may be able to heal a boil at home, an untreated staph infection can be very serious, so it’s best to visit your dermatologist. You’ll receive antibiotics to treat the infection, and the abscess can be drained if necessary.
Curing Painful Cellulitis
Cellulitis is another common skin infection that occurs when bacteria (typically streptococcus or staphylococcus) enter through a crack or break in your skin. According to Dr. Pang, “If you have cellulitis, you will likely notice red, hot, swollen skin. Cellulitis commonly appears on the face, arms, and legs, and it can be very painful.” Some cases of cellulitis clear up on their own, but we typically recommend a course of oral and/or topical antibiotics.
Diagnosing & Treating Shingles
If you had chickenpox as a child, the shingles virus (herpes zoster) is already living inside your body, lying in wait. If the virus is activated, it leads to shingles, an extremely painful condition. In the early stages of shingles, patients typically notice some mild itching and reddening of the skin. The initial redness and mild blistering quickly develop into larger, more painful blisters. We recommend patients over the age of 50 receive a shingles vaccine regularly, to prevent this painful condition. When shingles does occur, we can help you address the painful symptoms and get over your outbreak more quickly.
Other Scary Skin Issues We Treat
In addition to these skin conditions that require urgent intervention, we treat a wide range of conditions, and our dermatologists make even the scariest skin issues feel a little bit more manageable.
Attacking Unsightly Scar Tissue with Laser Therapy
Scars look great as part of your Halloween costume, but if you have a very noticeable scar that impacts your appearance and confidence, we can help. Using state-of-the-art laser therapy, we reduce the appearance of scars, and in many cases, laser treatment will completely remove visible signs of scarring.
Removing Witchy Warts
Dabbing on the spirit gum to complete your witch ensemble with a few warts is a great way to take your costume to the next level, but if your skin is affected by actual warts, our dermatologists can help. While most warts are painless, they can mar the appearance and get in the way if they’re positioned in an uncomfortable location. We offer a variety of fast, effective wart removal options, including freezing, laser treatment, acid dissolution, and surgical removal.
Relieving Stubborn, Itchy Rashes & Skin Irritation
Rashes and skin irritation can be unsightly and painful. Don’t let itchy, irritated skin ruin your day. In some cases, over the counter corticosteroid creams are adequate to relieve the symptoms of rashes. But, if itching persists after over the counter treatment, we can provide additional treatment options to improve your comfort.
Fighting Fungus Growing on Skin
Skin, hair, and nails can offer ideal growth conditions for many fungi. There are many different types of fungal infections that may affect the skin, but some of the most common symptoms include red, peeling, and cracking skin. Fungal infections may also cause itching, irritation, and inflammation. Oral or topical antifungal medications will typically clear up the condition very quickly. We may also recommend some steps to relieve the symptoms of fungal infection.
Providing Life-Saving Skin Cancer Prevention & Treatment Options
Skin cancer is one of the scariest conditions dermatologists treat. To avoid a potentially life-threating situation, we encourage patients to perform regular skin cancer self-examinations and visit us at least once a year for a professional evaluation. Skin cancer is highly treatable when caught early. If we do diagnose skin cancer, our experienced dermatologists offer a wide range of treatment options customized to your specific circumstances.
Vanquish Your Scary Skin Issues with U.S. Dermatology Partners
Whatever skin issues you’re struggling with, there’s no need to fear! Dr. Pang and the other skilled dermatologists at U.S. Dermatology Partners can help you repair damage, prevent serious concerns, and keep your skin looking and feeling great. If you need to visit with a dermatologist for scary skin issues, you’re in luck because getting started isn’t scary at all. To contact a U.S. Dermatology Partners location near you, simply take just a few minutes to complete our online request form. One of our knowledgeable team members will be in touch to schedule your visit soon.
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