MEDICAL DERMATOLOGY

 

 

What is Medical Dermatology?

Dermatology is the branch of medicine that deals with the skin, mucosa, nails and hair. It comprises both medical and surgical aspects.


The major role of Dermatologist is to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of the complex skin conditions including Psoriasis, Eczema, severe Acne and Rosacea, Drug eruptions, and Urticaria. Moreover, the scope of the medical dermatology also includes autoimmune bullous disorders such as Pemphigus, Bullous Pemphigoid, Connective tissue disorders (Morphea), and skin infections.

Medical dermatologists are able to look at skin and make a diagnosis of an underlying, potentially more sinister illness in a wide range of populations, spanning from neonates to adults. These conditions can be very complex as a result of the underlying pathology and examples include autoimmune disorders like systemic lupus erythematosus, genodermatoses; for instance, neurofibromatosis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease) and infections like HIV. Very often, Dermatologist is the first specialist physician who is saving patient’s life making the Diagnosis of the dangerous disease through the assessment of the early very subtle skin changes. 

The modes of treatment usually include:
Medical dermatologists have a wide array of treatment options in their armamentarium to treat these conditions. Treatment options are vast, depending on the conditions and can involve one or multiple modes of treatment.  

Topical treatments include all creams, gels, lotions or other medicines which are applied to the surface of the skin, scalp or nails in order to produce its therapeutic effects. A commonly used example for this, is topical retinoids used in the management of acne, topical steroids and calcineurin inhibitors in eczema, as well as vitamin D analogs for psoriasis treatment.

Phototherapy is one of the mainstay treatment options for moderate to severe eczema, psoriasis, lichen planus, vitiligo, and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Systemic medications are typically used for more severe conditions when topical treatment and light therapy are not successful. The systemic treatment is administered through the pills or injection. Examples of systemic medications include oral or injectional corticosteroids, antibiotics, oral retinoids, small molecules immunosuppressants like methotrexate, ciclosporin, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, and many others. The medical dermatology arsenal is evolving and there are numerous advances in the last years that allow to control severe debilitating skin condition, such as psoriasis and eczema with minimum side effects as well as high success rate that allows achieve sustainable clear and almost clear skin within several weeks. The real breakthrough in the treatment of severe psoriasis and eczema made so called biologic drugs that represent genetically engineered proteins that selectively block inflammatory pathways rapidly and effectively alleviating skin condition. The examples of these new drugs include Adalimumab (Humira), Etanercept (Enbrel), Infliximab (Remicade), Secukinumab (Cosentyx), Ixekizumab (Taltz), Ustekinumab (Stelara), and Guselkumab (Tremfya) which are used for treatment of the psoriasis. Also, there is new biologic drug for severe eczema treatment – Dupilumab (Dupixent).

Systemic medications should be prescribed by a board-certified dermatologist who is experienced in treatment complex dermatoses. If you have a skin conditions that you would like to have treated, or experiencing any dermatological conditions or manifestations that you are unsure of the causes, we advise to you be referred for a consult.