The A-Z of Dermatology

Your handy guide to all things skin

Want to learn a little about the most common skin conditions and treatments? Check out our glossary of dermatology to find out more.

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Glossary of dermatology

We have included some information below on common skin conditions and treatments we deal with regularly at Hope Dermatology.

Please contact us on (03) 9039 5644 to make an appointment or make an online booking to discuss your condition further with one of our dermatologists.

We also have appointments available with our cosmetics nurse and dermal therapist for all your cosmetic dermatology needs.

Acne

Acne

Acne is a potentially permanently scarring condition with most cases occurring during puberty, correlating with hormonal changes. Other medical conditions can also contribute to acne such as polycystic ovarian syndrome certain medical conditions.

It affects both teenagers and adults, caused by an overproduction of skin sebum (oil) from sebaceous glands, which then blocks pores, leading to pimples, blackheads, white-heads and nodular acne lesions.

In some cases, the severe acne lesions may lead to scarring [link to acne scarring in glossary] and hence it is important to gain control of acne quickly before this happens. We are proud to have the best acne dermatologists in Melbourne for your acne solutions.

Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter products and topical agents. Some mild acne can even be treated with skin peels and cosmeceuticals which are available at our clinic.

More severe acne will need treatment with oral medications such as anti-inflammatory topical or oral antibiotics, topical vitamin A preparations, the oral contraceptive pill, anti-androgen tablets and isotretinoin (oral vitamin A tablets). In Australia isotretinoin prescriptions are restricted for dermatologists to prescribe only.

Our dermatologists will tailor an acne management plan for the best result.

Acne Scarring

Acne Scarring

Acne scarring affects approximately 30% of those with moderate or severe acne. It can be quite cosmetically upsetting for some patients and it is therefore important to start patients on treatment for acne quickly to avoid scarring. Options for acne scarring include cosmeceuticals, skin peels, skin needling, radio frequency needling and laser treatments. It is best to speak with your dermatologist or cosmetics nurse to determine the best treatment for your skin.

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis

This is a pre-cancerous growth that may occur because of repeated sun damage over a lifetime. These can occur on any part of the body and usually are small, scaly, red patches. Treatments for these include liquid nitrogen (freezing treatment), curettage (scraping) and, cream treatments such as Efudix (5-fluorouracil), Aldara (imiquimod) and Picato (ingenol mebutate) gel.

They are considered pre-cancerous spots and have a small chance of progressing on to skin cancer. Treatment options we would consider include creams, photodynamic therapy, freezing / cryotherapy and curettage.

Allergies

Allergies

Skin allergies or contact dermatitis is quite common. This is a hypersensitive reaction by the immune system to a substance, food, object or chemical, which causes a skin rash and other symptoms.

As dermatologists, we do see allergic contact dermatitis, which is where there is a reaction on the skin to a compound you may be allergic to. The common culprits that we see at our clinic in South Melbourne include cosmetic products, baby wipes, hair dyes, perfumes, cosmetics and household products such as rubber/leather gloves, glues, paints and sprays.

To investigate allergic contact dermatitis, we work closely with immunologists/allergists to determine any potential allergies. Our experienced dermatologists may want to send you for patch testing which may be able to pin-point the exact allergens that you need to avoid.

If you have a persistent skin rash and you suspect allergy, please come for a full assessment by our Dermatology team. Dr Hope Dinh also works alongside the Patch Testing Team at the Alfred Hospital in the outpatients clinic.

Alopecia (hair loss)

Hair loss (Alopecia)

There are a number of conditions that can cause hair loss. Causes can be multifactorial and include hereditary, autoimmune, non-scarring or scarring and stress response. Conditions we commonly see in terms of hair loss include the following: telogen effluvium (“shedding response hair loss”), androgenetic alopecia (female pattern and male pattern baldness), alopecia areata (autoimmune hair loss), scarring hair loss (discoid lupus erythematosus, lichen planopilaris, folliculitis decalvans).

The distinction between scarring and non-scarring hair loss is important as there is potential for regrowth with the non-scarring conditions. With the scarring conditions, the aim of treatment is to prevent the condition from worsening; but unfortunately with scarring hair loss, once the hair is gone it is gone forever. Occasionally in the same patient there can be both non-scarring and scarring processes happening.

Our dermatologists will assess your hair loss thoroughly and this will include taking a full personal and family history, medication history and examination. Depending on the type of hair loss, blood tests and a scalp biopsy may be relevant to determine the type of hair loss you are suffering from. Treatments for hair loss do depend on the underlying condition causing your hair loss and this will be explained to you in the detailed consultation.

Treatments including topicals, tablets and also cosmetic camouflage techniques.

Our dermatologists are expertly trained in the early diagnosis and treatment of hair loss conditions. Dr Hope Dinh has published extensively on hair loss conditions and this is her area of sub-specialisation and interest.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the commonest type of skin cancer in Australia, frequently diagnosed and treated by dermatologists in Australia. Risk factors include fair skin and sun exposure history. Common sites for BCCs are the face (in the eye-mask distribution) and also on the trunk and limbs.

BCCs can vary in appearance and may be seen as a slight pinkish, pigmented or skin-coloured flat area or a lump. They may even be brown in colour; mimicking melanoma. They may ulcerate and bleed and are generally slow growing tumours. To the untrained eye, they can be easily missed as these tumours are usually painless. Some can be confused with sunspots or inflammatory conditions like a bite or acne.

Prompt diagnosis is essential to allow for minimally invasive management. Although excision remains the gold standard, certain forms of BCC (such as the superficial subtype) may be treated with non-surgical methods (such as cream, cryotherapy or gentle scraping/curettage). Sometimes radiotherapy is appropriate; avoiding the need for surgery.

Our dermatologists at Hope Dermatology are experts in diagnosing skin cancers such as BCCs and will be able to advise you on the best management option(s) tailored to your personal circumstances. We work closely with a team of specialists including plastic surgeons, radiation oncologists and pathologists to give you the best outcome possible.

It is important to have your skin regularly checked once you have been diagnosed with one basal cell carcinoma as likely more will appear with time.

Biologics

Biologics

These are also known as biologic therapies or biological response modifiers. They are drugs that are formulated to target specific areas of the inflammatory pathway to treat and prevent immune-mediated inflammatory disorders and cancers. In Australia, dermatologists are the only specialists authorised to prescribe biologics for severe psoriasis. To qualify for biologics for psoriasis, patients must have their assessments done by a dermatologist and need to be regularly reviewed for side effects and medication effectiveness.

The current biologics for psoriasis on the PBS include – infliximab (Remicade), etanercept (Enbrel), ustekinumab (Stelara), adalimumab (Humira) and secukinumab (Cosentyx). Enbrel, Humira and Remicade block a factor involved in the inflammation pathway called TNF-alpha (tumour necrosis factor). Stelara blocks a protein called interleukin 12/23. Cosentyx is an IL17-A inhibitor.

Another biologic medication (Omalizumab) has recently been approved (late 2017) on the PBS for chronic idiopathic urticaria via dermatologists holding public hospital provider numbers. Our doctors are able to assess and prescribe biologics to eligible patients.

Bowen's Disease

Bowen’s Disease

This is an early form of skin cancer that appears as a persistent, slow-growing, red and scaly skin patch. It is considered to be a more pronounced, thicker actinic keratosis.

Treatment for Bowen’s disease (also known as SCC in-situ) include topical creams and surgery. A small proportion of Bowen’s disease lesions will progress to SCC and hence it is important to treat these as early as possible.

Bulla

Bulla

A bulla is a large fluid-filled blister greater than 1 cm in diameter. It may be a single compartment or multiloculated (made of a few blisters all joined together). There are many underlying causes of blisters including trauma, autoimmune skin conditions or allergic reactions. Blisters can be benign or serious and life-threatening. Some blistering conditions need to have extensive assessment with a skin biopsy.

Cantharidine

Cantharidine

A substance derived from the blister beetle “Cantharis Vesicatoria” used by dermatologists to treat common viral warts and molluscum contagiosum. It is a compound that creates the formation of a blister when applied topically, causing the wart to lift off the skin and fall off once the blister has healed. The mechanism of action is confined to the epidermal cells (top layer of skin) reducing risk of scarring as the basal (deep) layer of skin is unaffected. The treatment is generally painless with the resultant blister causing mild discomfort.

Chloasma

Chloasma

Melasma (or chloasma) is a common skin disorder, which presents with darkening of the facial skin, usually on the cheeks, forehead and around the mouth.
It is a symmetrical, blotchy, darkening of the skin that is chronic and can be distressing for sufferers. It commonly affects women more so than men, manifesting around the ages of 20-40. It results from an overstimulation of melanin by melanocytes, the pigment producing cells.

Multiple contributing factors are thought to be at play including genetics, darker skin type, ultraviolet exposure and hormones (from pregnancy and hormonal contraceptives), other medications and inflammation from cosmetics such as perfumes or soaps.

Treatment options include topical bleaching creams, strict sun protection with SPF 50+ broad spectrum sunscreen and cessation of contributing hormonal contraceptives. Recently, oral tranexamic acid tablets have been successful in reducing pigmentation. Peels and laser can also be cautiously used.

Speak to our dermatologists and cosmetic nursing team about the most suitable options for your skin.

Cosmeceuticals

Cosmeceuticals

We stock various selected skin care ranges in our clinic including Rationale, La Roche Posay, Ego/QV ranges, O Cosmedics and DP Dermaceuticals. You can book an appointment with our cosmetics nurse to discuss your skin care needs. Call (03) 9039 5644 for appointment bookings.

Cradle Cap

Cradle Cap

A skin condition of patch, greasy and scaly rash that can occur on the scalp of new babies. It is caused by excessive production of sebum. In some cases the rash will resolve by itself. Treatment of cradle cap is with regular washing with mild baby shampoos and soft brushing to help remove the scales. Occasionally the rash may need medicated treatments such as shampoos containing ketoconazole and hydrocortisone cream for any red or inflamed areas.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a treatment where your dermatologist will use liquid nitrogen to freeze lesions off the skin. The dermatologist will spray the liquid nitrogen to the skin for a few seconds and sometimes the treatment will need to be repeated. Cryotherapy is a good way of removing certain skin lesions such as Actinic keratosis, viral warts and Seborrhoeic keratosis. Cryotherapy can also sometimes be used to treat superficial skin cancers such as superficial basal cell and in situ squamous cell carcinomas (Bowen’s Disease), these must be monitored closely as it is not always successful in some cases.

Curettage

Curettage

Curettage is a procedure in which your dermatologist uses an instrument to scrape off a skin lesion. The curette is a spoon shaped or curved blade and can be used to both diagnose and treat lesions such as Seborrheic keratoses, Bowens disease (in situ squamous cell carcinoma), Basal cell carcinomas, Viral warts, Keratoacanthoma, Actinic keratoses, Pyogenic granuloma and skin tags.

Diphencyprone

DCP Diphenylcyclopropenone, or diphencyprone

This is a sensitising agent used in dermatology to treat skin conditions through contact immunotherapy. Where is it applied to the skin, DCP stimulates an allergic reaction and contact dermatitis. It is used to treat alopecia areata, warts and molluscum contagiosum. When treating warts/molluscum DCP application draws immune cells to the area to attack and destroy the wart virus. With alopecia areata, the disease itself is an autoimmune attack on the hair follicles and topical application of DCP to the scalp draws the immune response more superficially, allowing the hair bulb to recover and regrowth of hair to occur.

Desquamation

Desquamation

Desquamation refers to skin coming off in scales or peeling. It usually denotes peeling in the very superficial layers of the skin.

Diathermy

Diathermy

Also known as electrosurgery. It refers to a technique to stop bleeding and to treat abnormal skin growths.

Dry Skin

Dry skin

This develops when the skin is lacking moisture in the outermost skin layer, where the skin becomes stripped of its natural oils, and this causes cracks in the skin surface and impaired barrier function of the skin. It can lead to a dull complexion in the skin and surface cracks in the skin can make the skin susceptible to infection. Some people are genetically more susceptible to dry skin (such as people with a background history of eczema). Variation in season can have an impact on skin hydration too (winter and cooler months can exacerbate dry skin). For general skin dryness and dull complexion, a simple change in your skincare may be all that is needed. We offer skin care consults with our cosmetics nurse.

Dysplastic naevi (atypical moles)

Dysplastic naevi (atypical moles)

Atypical moles are moles with unusual features such as varying shades of colour or irregular borders. People with dysplastic moles have a slightly higher risk of developing melanoma, however most of the time these moles are harmless and don’t necessarily need to be removed unless the dermatologist advises to do so. It is therefore extremely important for the patient to self-examine themselves if they are told they have a dysplastic mole.

Eczema

Eczema

Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a common complaint in our patients, especially with Melbourne’s dry weather, and can affect people of all ages. It is a very common skin condition, affecting about 1 in every 5 people at some time in their lives.

Eczema results in dry, red, itchy skin, which may crack and bleed, and may be quite uncomfortable for patients. Eczema can also sometimes become secondarily infected.

There are multiple underlying factors contributing to eczema including hereditary and environmental factors. Triggers include environmental factors, such as dust mites, pollen, grasses, sweat, overheating, and many other substances. Eczema can also coincide with asthma and hayfever.

Research has shown that a genetic mutation of fillagrin, leading to poor skin barrier function is the key in the appearance of eczema. Treatment needs to be systematic and targeted and includes stopping excess soap use and changing to more moisturising products to restore the skin barrier.

Prescription treatment ranges from creams and tablets to settle down the inflammatory process to UV (light) phototherapy. Occasionally antibiotics may also be needed to treat any secondary infection. For more severe cases, oral immunosuppression may be required and this needs to be undertaken with an experienced dermatologist for the best outcome.

Wet dressings can also be helpful for eczema control. Check out our video on the technique of wet dressings for more information.

Dermatologists at Hope Dermatology are experts in eczema care plans for you and your family.

Epidermoid Cyst

Epidermoid Cyst

An epidermoid cyst is a benign cyst usually found on the skin. It does not usually need any treatment unless it is of a cosmetic concern to patients or if it becomes repeatedly irritated and infected.

Exanthem

Exanthem

A widespread rash that can be associated with systemic symptoms such as fever and headache. It is often caused by an infection or drug.

Exfoliation

Exfoliation

Refers to peeling skin. Usually denotes very superficial skin peeling.

Fissure

Fissure

A thin split or crack within the skin (epidermis) and can be due to excessive dryness.

Genital Dermatology

Genital Dermatology

Genital skin problems can be common and often cause distress, embarrassment and be painful or itchy, interfering with relationships, self-image and sexual functioning. Some genital disorders are contagious, including sexually transmitted diseases however there can be many other causes. Diagnosis is made via detailed patient history and skin examination and may include blood tests, skin biopsy or swabs from the affected area.

Grovers Disease

Grovers Disease

This is a condition characterised by itchy red spots on the trunk, most often in older men. It is generally seen in sun damaged skin and is sometimes associated with heat/sweat. It is also known as “transient acantholytic dermatosis.” Treatments include keeping cool, moisturising creams, oral antibiotics to settle down the inflammation and other tablets and also UVB phototherapy, which is available at our clinic.

Haemangioma of Infancy

Haemangioma of Infancy

A benign (non-cancerous) condition affecting blood vessels of the skin. It usually appears in the first four weeks of life and grows most rapidly over the first six to nine months. It tends to self-involute with time. Treatments for haemangiomas can include topical preparations, injections, tablets and vascular laser.

Hair loss (Alopecia)

Hair loss (Alopecia)

There are a number of conditions that can cause hair loss. Causes can be multifactorial and include hereditary, autoimmune, non-scarring or scarring and stress response. Conditions we commonly see in terms of hair loss include the following: telogen effluvium (“shedding response hair loss”), androgenetic alopecia (female pattern and male pattern baldness), alopecia areata (autoimmune hair loss), scarring hair loss (discoid lupus erythematosus, lichen planopilaris, folliculitis decalvans).

The distinction between scarring and non-scarring hair loss is important as there is potential for regrowth with the non-scarring conditions. With the scarring conditions, the aim of treatment is to prevent the condition from worsening; but unfortunately with scarring hair loss, once the hair is gone it is gone forever. Occasionally in the same patient there can be both non-scarring and scarring processes happening.

Our dermatologists will assess your hair loss thoroughly and this will include taking a full personal and family history, medication history and examination. Depending on the type of hair loss, blood tests and a scalp biopsy may be relevant to determine the type of hair loss you are suffering from. Treatments for hair loss do depend on the underlying condition causing your hair loss and this will be explained to you in the detailed consultation.

Treatments including topicals, tablets and also cosmetic camouflage techniques.

Our dermatologists are expertly trained in the early diagnosis and treatment of hair loss conditions. Dr Hope Dinh has published extensively on hair loss conditions and this is her area of sub-specialisation and interest.

Heat rash

Heat Rash

Occurs when the skin’s sweat glands are blocked and the sweat produced cannot get to the surface of the skin to evaporate. This causes inflammation that results in a rash. Also called “sweat rash”, “prickly heat” and “Milia Miliaria”, it is a common ailment in hot and humid conditions, such as in the tropics and during the summer season.

Hives (urticaria)

Hives (urticaria)

Hives, otherwise called urticaria, is an outbreak of swollen, itchy pale red bumps or plaques on the skin that appear suddenly and usually self resolves within a few hours to days. The lesions migrate around the body. The best course of action is to avoid the trigger if it is known. Antihistamines can assist and there are a number of other medications for chronic urticaria.

Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)

Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)

Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterised by excess sweating. It can be generalised or localised to certain body areas (for example, the underarms). Hyperhidrosis can be a sign of a different underlying conditions. Treatment can include topical creams, anti-sweating injections, iontophoresis bath treatments, laser and oral medication to reduce sweating.

For axillary (underarm) hyperhidrosis, dermatologists can offer injections directly into the underarm skin to reduce the sweating. There is a Medicare Rebate for this procedure and these injections can be performed every 4 months to control the sweating. Please contact us or book online for an appointment.

Imiquimod

Imiquimod

Imiquimod is an immune response modifier, produced as the topical cream Aldara. It works by stimulating the immune system and is used to treat superficial Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), Actinic keratoses (solar keratoses or AKs), Bowen’s disease and viral infections such as genital warts or common warts.

Impetigo

Impetigo

A highly contagious skin condition. It usually occurs on the face, neck, and hands of young children and infants. Impetigo is most commonly caused by two bacteria — streptococcus pyogenes and staphylococcus aureus.

Inflammation

Inflammation

This is a physical reaction by the body’s immune system which causes redness, heat, pain and swelling in a particular area of the body, e.g., the skin.

Juvenile Xanthogranuloma

Juvenile Xanthogranuloma

This is a benign red-yellowish lesion seen on the face, scalp and upper torso. They are found in babies and toddlers and will self-resolve.

Keratin

Keratin

This is a structural protein found within the nails, hair and skin.

Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy

Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. We are able to offer our patients vascular and pigment laser treatments and also Laser Genesis. Please contact our cosmetics nurse for an appointment.

LPL – LED Therapeutic Light

LPL – LED Therapeutic Light

LPL-LED light therapy is the newest and most advanced LED light system available. Originally developed for wound healing, LED light therapy is a wonderful adjunct therapy when undergoing any cosmetic or injectable procedure as it aids to relieve pain and improve healing time post-surgery, as well having benefits in treatment and management of active acne, skin rejuvenation and skin health.

Lentigo Maligna

Lentigo Maligna

Also known as “Hutchinson’s melanotic freckle” is a slow growing melanoma in situ, that is commonly seen in the elderly, on the face.

Lesion

Lesion

A lesion is any single area of altered skin. It may be solitary or multiple.

Lichen Planus

Lichen Planus

An inflammatory condition of unknown cause, that commonly presents as itchy purple flat- topped papules. The mouth and genitalia may also be involved.

Maceration

Maceration

Maceration describes moist peeling skin.

Melanoma

Melanoma

Although rare in general, Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world. The full name is malignant melanoma: a potentially fatal form of skin cancer caused by cancerous melanocytic cells, which can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Usually, melanomas are pigmented. Lesions that we worry about include the “ugly-duckling” mole, or moles/lesions that are changing using the ABCDE rule – asymmetry, irregular border, irregular colour, large diameter, and elevation (becoming more raised from the surface). However not all melanomas are pigmented and some may be a red patch or a blue lump.

Because melanoma has the ability to spread, it is critical that melanomas are diagnosed and treated early.

All our dermatologists have been trained in specialised tertiary hospitals managing melanomas. Treatment for melanoma may need to be also co-ordinated with other specialists including general surgeons, plastic surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists etc. For advanced melanoma, there are new treatments available offering hope to previously unsalvageable cases.

Once diagnosed with a melanoma, patients will require regular skin surveillance. This is to ensure the melanoma has not recurred or spread, but also to look for any new primary melanomas. Once you have been diagnosed with one melanoma, there is a 10-20% lifetime risk of another primary melanoma appearing elsewhere on the body.

Risk factors for melanoma include family history of melanoma, fair skin/light eyes, large total number of moles, multiple dysplastic/atypical moles, solarium use, blistering sunburns. 

Melasma

Melasma

Melasma (or chloasma) is a common skin disorder, which presents with darkening of the facial skin, usually on the cheeks, forehead and around the mouth.

It is a symmetrical, blotchy, darkening of the skin that is chronic and can be distressing for sufferers.  It commonly affects women more so than men, manifesting around the ages of 20-40.  It results from an overstimulation of melanin by melanocytes, the pigment producing cells.

Multiple contributing factors are thought to be at play including genetics, darker skin type, ultraviolet exposure and hormones (from pregnancy and hormonal contraceptives), other medications and inflammation from cosmetics such as perfumes or soaps. 

Treatment options include topical bleaching creams, strict sun protection with SPF 50+ broad spectrum sunscreen and cessation of contributing hormonal contraceptives. Recently, oral tranexamic acid tablets have been successful in reducing pigmentation. Peels and laser can also be cautiously used.

Speak to our dermatologists and cosmetic nursing team about the most suitable options for your skin.

Milia Miliaria

Milia Miliaria (or heat rash)

Occurs when the skin’s sweat glands are blocked and the sweat produced cannot get to the surface of the skin to evaporate. This causes inflammation that results in a rash. Also called “sweat rash”, “prickly heat” and “Milia Miliaria”, it is a common ailment in hot and humid conditions, such as in the tropics and during the summer season.

Mole

Mole

A small flat or raised round spot on the skin which may vary in colour from pink through to dark brown. Some people have more moles than others. They are for the large part harmless although a small percentage of these can become cancerous.

Molluscum

Molluscum

Molluscum contagiosum is a benign pox virus infection very commonly seen in young children. The cases we see at Hope Dermatology are the treatment-resistant ones.

It is caused by a virus (a pox virus) that, is spread through warm water, such as having baths and swimming lessons in a warm heated pool. Small pearly like umbilicated lesions are seen.

We are able to offer a variety of treatments including liquid nitrogen and other physical therapies, immune-contact therapy (in the forms of highly potent prescription creams) and irritant lotions. Some treatments are dermatologist-only treatments such as DCP cream, cantharidine and imiquimod.

Nail conditions

Nail conditions

Nail conditions are an area of sub-speciality for Dr Hope Dinh. She sees issues such as nail infections (fungal and thrush), nail brittleness and lifting of the nail (onycholysis), nail psoriasis, nail lichen planus, nail bed tumours, nail discolouration. Dr Dinh is part of the team at the specialty Nail Clinic at the Skin Health Institute (formally known as the Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc).

Nail fungus

Nail fungus

Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection progresses, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. It can affect several nails and can take some time to treat. We have a range of effective anti-fungal medications that we can prescribe, depending on your infection.

Nodular Melanoma

Nodular Melanoma

A less common but more serious form of melanoma. If a red or black nodule is growing rapidly it needs to be looked at by your doctor or dermatologist immediately.

Omalizumab

Omalizumab

Omalizumab is a biologic injectable medication that has recently been approved (late 2017) on the PBS for chronic idiopathic urticaria via dermatologists holding public hospital provider numbers. Our doctors are able to assess and prescribe this biologic to eligible patients.

Oral Lichen Planus

Oral Lichen Planus

Lichen planus affecting the mouth presents as white lacy like areas usually on the tongue and the inside of the cheeks. It can be painful and uncomfortable, making it difficult to eat spicy and sour foods.

Patch testing

Patch testing

Patch testing is a procedure used to identify the cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Small patches are applied to the back and no needles are required.

Phototherapy

Phototherapy

Phototherapy is a treatment of the skin using ultraviolet light on a regular basis. We use ultraviolet B light to treat skin conditions. It is used to treat a range of different skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and urticaria (hives). At Hope Dermatology we have the latest in computerised Waldmann UV technology and we have both the Full Body Cabinet as well as the Hand & Foot Machines for your convenience. All phototherapy treatments are fully bulk billed; meaning no out of pocket costs for our patients for the actual phototherapy sessions.

Pigmentation

Pigmentation

Refers to the colour of the skin and is determined by the level of melanin, produced by melanocytes.  Melanin production is determined by racial origin and sun exposure.   People with dark skin produce more melanin than those who are fair skinned.  Disorders of pigmentation can have a number of origins and can be classed as generalised or localised hyperpigmentation (increased skin colour), hypopigmentation (reduced skin colour), or achromia (absent skin colour).

Peels

Peels

We offer a variety of skin peels at our clinic. Our cosmetics nurses are able to perform a detailed assessment of your skin and recommend a tailored skin care solution.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis

Psoriasis can be very cosmetically distressing for our patients. Recent research has revealed that in patients with psoriasis, the inflammatory process may not just be localised to the skin and hence it is even more important to diagnose and treat this condition promptly.

This is a chronic, genetic condition that causes well-defined large red, scaly plaques to appear on the skin. These red areas have a silvery superficial appearance and develop on the elbows, knees, scalp and chest. The nails and joints can also be involved.

Treatment options include creams, ultraviolet phototherapy, and a few different types of tablets (such as methotrexate, cyclosporin or acitretin). More recently, injections of Biologics are available and highly effective. In Australia, only Dermatologists can prescribe PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme)-funded Biologics for skin psoriasis. Our dermatologists are experts in psoriasis diagnosis and management.

Rashes

Rashes

This is a medical term used to describe a change in the colour, texture or appearance of the skin. A rash can also be associated with other features such as itching and other symptoms, e.g. fever and chills. Rashes can be caused by many different things, so it is important to investigate the cause. Treatments may include moisturisers, creams, baths, cortisone creams that relieve swelling, and antihistamines, which relieve itching.

Retinoid creams

Retinoid creams

Retinoid creams are topical products containing ingredients derived from Vitamin A. Different forms of retinoids, from weakest to strongest include Retinyl-palmitate, Retinol, Retinaldehyde (available over the counter and frequently found in anti-ageing skincare) to Tretinoin or Retin-A which are prescription strength and TGA approved for treatment of acne.  Synthetic Retinoids (Adapalene, Tazarotene and Isotretinoin) are also available on prescription. Retinoids are often used to treat moderate sun damage, melanoma, acne and for generalised rejuvenation. Retinoid use promotes cellular proliferation and reduced keratinisation of skin cells and should be used with caution to prevent skin irritation, peeling, excessive dryness.

Ringworm (tinea)

Ringworm (tinea)

Ringworm is also called tinea, and is a contagious skin condition occurring in ring like patches. It is, caused by a fungal (dermatophyte infection). It can affect the body skin (tinea corporis), hair (tinea capitis), groin (tinea cruris or “jock-itch”) or the nails (onychomycosis). Depending on the body area affected, the treatment will vary but includes creams, tablets and even laser therapies.

Rosacea

Rosacea

Rosacea is a common and debilitating issue of adults. There are a host of underlying contributing factors, including genetic factors, exposure to UV light, poor quality skin care, drying soap use, heat, alcohol and sometimes steroid creams.

It is characterised by central facial redness, small and superficial dilated blood vessels on facial skin, papules, pustules, and swelling. There can also be an associated grittiness of the eyes and also facial flushing. It most often affects those between 30-60 years of age. In severe cases, the eyes may be involved and nose can develop permanent lumpiness (“rhinophyma”).

Treatment is complex and can involve a combination a suitable set of skin care regime, creams, oral antibiotics or Vitamin A tablet (isotretinoin) and possibly laser treatments. Many patients are able to keep the symptoms under control with good, tailored skin care and dermatologist-prescribed medication. Our cosmetics nurse Kristie will also be able to assist you in choosing appropriate skin care and discuss options including laser.

Scabies

Scabies

Scabies is a skin infestation caused by parasitic mites leading to red, itching bumps or blisters on the skin. It is highly contagious and hence it is important to treat this condition promptly to avoid spread to others. Treatments include creams and tablets and anti-itch soothing creams.

Scabies

Scabies

Scabies is a skin infestation caused by parasitic mites leading to red, itching bumps or blisters on the skin. It is highly contagious and hence it is important to treat this condition promptly to avoid spread to others. Treatments include creams and tablets and anti-itch soothing creams.

Sebaceous Cyst

Sebaceous Cyst

A skin swelling arising from a sebaceous gland, typically filled with yellowish/oily sebum.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis

Also known as seborrhea, seborrheic dermatitis is a long-term skin disorder. Symptoms include red, scaly, greasy, itchy, and inflamed skin. Areas of the skin rich in oil-producing glands are often affected including the scalp, face, and chest.

Skin Tags

Skin tags

Common, soft harmless lesions that appear to hang off the skin. They are commonly found in the skin folds (neck, underarms, under the breasts, in the groin etc). Factors leading to skin tags include friction from chafing such as tight pants, necklaces and collared shirts etc. Treatments include cryotherapy (freezing), surgical excision (with snip excision) and diathermy (electro-surgery).

Telangiectasia

Telangiectasia

These are small linear red blood vessels (broken capillaries). They are most common on the face but can also appear on other areas of the body including the legs and trunk. Cosmetic treatment for these include creams, cosmetic camouflage and laser. It is also very important to implement strict sun protection to prevent them worsening.

Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet Radiation

Is the energy and sunlight from the sun that is invisible to the naked eye. It is the biggest cause of skin cancer, premature aging, tanning, sunburn and eye damage. Ultraviolet radiation is made up of 3 types of wavelengths, UVA, UVB and UVC. You can’t feel or see this radiation so it’s important to wear sunscreen even in the winter months.

Urticaria (hives)

Urticaria (hives)

Hives, otherwise called urticaria, is an outbreak of swollen, itchy pale red bumps or plaques on the skin that appear suddenly and usually self resolves within a few hours to days. The lesions migrate around the body. The best course of action is to avoid the trigger if it is known. Antihistamines can assist and there are a number of other medications for chronic urticaria.

Vasculitis

Vasculitis

Vasculitis is a general term for several conditions that cause inflammation in your blood vessels. It’s also called angiitis or arteritis. It can make your blood vessels weak, stretched, bigger, or narrower. They might close entirely. Vasculitis can affect people at any age.

Viral warts

Viral warts

These are very common, small hard, scaly lesions, caused by a viral infection. The most common location of warts will be on the hands and feet. Children will commonly be affected by warts due to their immature immune system and also direct spread of warts between children.

Viral warts commonly present to us in our clinic when treatments available to patients over-the-counter have been ineffective.

Treatment options include liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) treatments, immno-contact therapy, strong keratolytic creams, irritant drops, oral tablets and rarely local chemotherapy injection for difficult and resistant cases.

Viral warts can also occur in the genital areas and can be treated with a variety of modalities as above also. In the case of genital warts, it is also advisable to have a full STD screen.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo

Vitiligo refers to depigmented skin where the cells producing our skin colour have been attacked by the body’s own immune system. Vitiligo can affect all ages; from children to adults. Vitiligo can occur with other autoimmune conditions such as thyroid disease, pernicious anaemia or diabetes.

The pale, depigmented areas are prone of burning with sun exposure. There are various sub-types of vitiligo including localised, generalised and segmental. Treatment depends on the location of the vitiligo and how extensive the condition is.

Treatments include creams, injections, UV phototherapy or Excimer laser treatments. Exciting new developments in vitiligo include pigment cell grafting but this is reserved for more severe cases. Our team of expert dermatologists have many years of experience in treating vitiligo and understand its cosmetic impact. We welcome new referrals.

Vulval conditions

Vulval conditions

Our female dermatologists Dr Hope Dinh, Dr Sarah Shen, Dr Joy Yee and Dr Flora Poon are well trained to diagnose and manage vulval conditions such as vulval lichen sclerosus, vulval lichen planus, vulval dermatitis and vulval skin cancers.

Xerosis

Xerosis

Dry skin commonly seen in those with atopic eczema or the elderly. It is where the outermost layer of the skin becomes dehydrated. The skin loses its suppleness and then this leads to flaking or scales. The skin may also become red and itchy. It may be exacerbated by the cooler months where heated indoors conditions can dry out the skin. Over-washing can also lead to xerosis. Some commonly prescribed medications can also lead to exacerbation of dry skin.

Xanthelasma

Xanthelasma

These are cholesterol deposits around the eyelids, reflecting elevated blood lipids in half of cases. They are usually painless yellow/orange plaques. Treating the underlying lipid disorder may reduce the clinical appearance of the lesions. Cosmetic treatments for any residual skin lesions include peels, diathermy, laser and excision.

Yeast Infection

Yeast Infection

The most commonly seen yeast infection of the skin is called pityriasis versicolour. This typically causes a red brown or whitish scaly rash on the trunk and back. Usually, healthy young adults are affected and predisposing factors include humidity, sweating and oily skin. Topical anti-fungal agents will help control this condition. Very occasionally oral antifungal agents are required.

Zinc Deficiency

Zinc Deficiency

Zinc deficiency can look like eczema (atopic dermatitis) in the early stages but unlike eczema, it does not respond to topical steroids and moisturising creams. The skin around the mouth, napkin area and hands can be affected with a dry, cracked appearance and other areas on the body may be affected as well including hair and nail changes and also diarrhoea. The cause of zinc deficiency may be hereditary or due to poor dietary intake of zinc. Zinc replacement is usually very successful in clearing up the skin changes.