Skin conditions cover a very broad array potential issues. Most are relatively low risk, but there are certainly some potentially dangerous scenarios. We treat virtually all types of skin conditions on both the hands and feet. Symptoms vary greatly across the board. In mild cases, there may be little to no discomfort (which can be a danger of skin cancer). In general, there may be some form of itching, pain or discomfort. We typically like to perform some sort of a skin biopsy (generally superficial) and send it off to a lab for further analysis.
Rash, Redness, Irritation:
A rash, redness, and/or irritation of the skin is commonly associated to some sort of allergic reaction. There is often an associated sensation of itchiness or burning. It may be as simple as coming in contact with a certain material that you may allergic to (which you might not be aware of), or some environmental cause (ex. poison ivy). Other times it may be caused by pressure and/or repetitive rubbing/friction. Typcially, we begin with some anti-inflammatory topical medications and observe the results. Trying to stop the temptation to itch the skin is the best way to let it heal and allow it to return back to normal.
Dry, thick, cracking skin is attributed with generalized lack of moisture to the skin. The condition can be Genetic or sometimes may be part of an underlying condition (ex. Diabetes, Foot Fungus, etc.) If left untreated, initial dry skin may lead to thickened skin, which ultimately cracks. The cracking then creates small fissures/deep breaks within the skin, leading to infections. Typically we begin with a strong moisturizer to observe the effects. If no improvement occurs, then we may take a sample of the skin and send it to the lab.
Lesions on the skin can come in many forms, such as raised, depressed, or plaque-like. There may also be a crustiness or pigments associated. Symptoms also vary quite a bit, from very mild to very painful (but tend to be on the milder side). There are a variety of underlying causes as well. Due to the large fluctuation of skin lesions, we typically like to biopsy (take a sample/send to lab) them so we can better understand underlying causes and tailor treatment appropriately.
Skin cancer is by far the most dangerous of all the skin conditions. There are several causes, but usually excessive UV/sun exposure or family genetics are most typical. Like many cancers in general, skin cancer often starts off relatively asymptomatically but can progress to something very serious. Skin cancer is often associated with either a newer or pre-existing lesion which is fast growing and/or changing. Typically they are pigmented lesions, but the degree of pigmentation varies. The most important thing to look out for is a lesion which changes in shape, size, or color relatively quickly. If suspicions of a cancerous lesion arises, then we will excise the lesion out to the best of our ability (with numbing medicine injected prior to starting) and send it into the lab. If left untreated, what is typically a relatively benign (less aggressive) skin cancer can turn into a more malignant (more aggressive, tendency to spread to other organs) cancer/tumor.
For more information, please feel free to get in touch with us. If you suspect it might be skin cancer, please call us ASAP!