Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - West Midlands - (Page 41)
DERMATOLOGY – SKIN CARE
Whether it’s the odd blemish, spot or dry patch, everyone has a bad skin day
once in a while – but, for some, it can be the start of a more serious problem
and there are more than 2,000 known skin
disorders worldwide. Here’s a round-up of the
most common conditions in the UK, who they
affect, their causes and how they are treated.
This causes dry, itchy, inflamed skin. It can affect
any area but is most common on the knees,
wrists, neck and in the bends of the elbows.
WHAT CAUSES IT? The causes are not
completely understood, but ezcema is linked
Focus on: skin cancer
Also known as non-melanoma (highly treatable) or malignant melanoma (rare and
aggressive), skin cancer is one of the most common conditions treated by dermatologists
Rates of skin cancer in Britain have quadrupled
since the 1970s – today, roughly 200 cases are
diagnosed in the UK every day.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB) from the sun is
the main cause of most skin cancers. People who
work outdoors for a living, such as farmers, are
at an increased risk of developing skin cancer
because of prolonged exposure to the sun.
If you need surgery, your doctor will remove the
cancer and some of the healthy tissue around
it. The amount of healthy tissue taken will vary,
depending on the type of cancer and how deep
it is – it can be 2cm-3cm around the cancer.
Radiotherapy may be used following surgery
but it’s usually used if surgery isn’t possible. Your
doctor may recommend immunotherapy if there
is a strong chance the cancer will come back.
ermatology covers a
wide range of conditions
concerned with the skin.
Over eight million people
in the UK have some
form of skin disease,
to asthma and hay fever and, in common with
these other ‘atopic’ conditions, results
from an overactive immune
system, meaning the skin
becomes inflamed and sore.
TREATMENT There is no
cure for eczema but there
are a number of ways of
controlling it. The most
common treatments are
daily emollients (moisturisers)
and topical steroid creams,
which come in different potencies.
persist for much longer or even develop for
the first time in later life.
Psoriasis affects over
1.5 million people
in the UK, and about
80 million people
A very common skin condition, acne usually
starts at puberty and clears up by the late teens
or early twenties – but for some people, it can
WHAT CAUSES IT? Acne arises
when the sebaceous glands are
over-sensitive to testosterone,
causing them to produce too
much oil. Furthermore, dead
skin cells in the pores are not
shed properly and clog up the
follicles, resulting in spots.
TREATMENT Mild acne cures can
be bought over the counter – those
based on benzoyl peroxide are particularly
effective. For more stubborn cases, antibiotics
may be prescribed. For women, certain kinds
of oral contraceptive pill can prove helpful.
This condition affects 2% of the UK population.
It causes skin to develop red, scaly patches,
mostly on the knees, elbows and scalp.
WHAT CAUSES IT? Psoriasis is caused by
a dramatic increase in the rate of skin cell
turnover, but the reasons behind this are not
fully understood. For some people, it appears
to be hereditary; for others, it is triggered by
stress, a skin injury or even a throat infection.
TREATMENT There is no cure but medicine
aimed at controlling the symptoms can be
effective for soothing dry, itchy skin. n
Dr Hilary Jones’ Healthcare guide – West Midlands 041
WORDS: Lynne Maxwell | PHOTOGRAPH: Getty Images
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - West Midlands
A HEALTHY HELLO FROM DR HILARY
NEWS AND VIEWS
THE BIG INTERVIEW
A WEIGHTY ISSUE
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THE HEART OF THE MATTER
DR HILARY'S WELCOME
MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION
CHOOSING THE BEST
EARS, NOSE AND THROAT
OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY
Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - West Midlands