Skin Disorders Phoenix, AZ

Many patients who have skin disorders in Phoenix seek the professional help of Dr. Stockton. There are a variety of skin conditions that Dr. Stockton can treat in her state-of-the-art facility.

Alopecia

What is alopecia?

Alopecia, medically known as alopecia areata, is a condition where an individual’s immune system incorrectly attacks the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. Although the damage done to the hair follicles is not permanent, this condition can plague children and adults alike and can affect one’s self-image.

What happens during alopecia?

This skin condition usually starts with clumps of hair falling off, resulting in patches of hairless areas on the scalp. Thinning of the hair is also common. In some patients, the hair grows back in forms of short stubs resembling exclamation points. Hair may grow back where it has been lost only to fall out on another part of the body. Hair grows back after a few months, but can come back fine and white.

What are common causes of alopecia?

An abnormality in one’s immune system may cause alopecia in patients. This condition could lead to autoimmunity, or the tendency of the immune system to attack one’s own body. This is what happens in alopecia; the immune system attacks the hair follicles and affects the normal function of the hair. This skin disorder can also be inherited from a family member who has the same condition.

How is alopecia treated?

There are various treatments for alopecia. One option is the use of corticosteroid injections into the scalp every four to six weeks. Topical corticosteroids can be applied to the affected area. Contact immunotherapy creates an allergic reaction on a patient’s scalp and triggers hair to grow back. Finally, a psoralen with ultraviolet A light therapy (PUVA) can be used as treatment for patients who have large patches of skin affected by alopecia.

Eczema

What is eczema?

Eczema is a skin disorder that is characterized by irritated or inflamed skin. This condition usually affects infants, but it can also appear in both children and adults. Although infants may outgrow the condition after the age of 10, some individuals live with eczema for their entire life. But eczema can be treated and controlled.

What are the symptoms of eczema?

A person with eczema experiences itching in the skin that may already start even before the appearance of a rash. Rashes commonly appear on the face, hands, wrists, feet, and the back of the knees, but it can appear anywhere. Areas affected by eczema usually appear scaly and thick. In infants, the condition can produce crusty skin that oozes.

What causes eczema?

The exact cause of eczema is unknown, yet it is associated with the immune response of our body to a certain irritant, leading to the appearance of symptoms. Eczema is more prevalent in those with a history of asthma or other allergies. Stress is another factor that can trigger eczema.

How is eczema treated?

Good skin care is vital in controlling eczema. It can be treated with gentle soaps and moisturizers, warm showers, and reducing stressors. Medications to treat eczema include hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, antihistamines, and ultraviolet light therapy.

Excimer 308

What is Excimer 308?

Excimer 308 is a new innovation in laser technology that is used for the treatment of various skin disorders. This technology makes use of ultraviolet B radiation with a 308nm wavelength and is effective for patients with vitiligo, psoriasis, alopecia, and hypopigmentation.

What happens during treatment using Excimer 308?

During treatment, UV radiation energy is emitted through a hand piece and delivered specifically onto the affected area. The surrounding healthy tissue is not harmed during treatment. The procedure is generally quick and painless, although individual factors like skin type and condition influence the length of treatment required.

What are the side effects associated with Excimer 308 treatment?

As with any laser treatment, blistering, reddening, swelling, and a burning sensation are possible, but are confined only to treated areas and the sensations are not long lasting.

Hyperhidrosis

What is hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition where a person excessively sweats. People with this type of skin disorder may sweat even when they are at rest or when temperatures are cool.

What causes hyperhidrosis?

This skin condition is due to overactive sweat glands. Normally, sweating occurs to cool down the body during exercise or as a response to hot temperatures. Sweating can also occur naturally if a person is anxious or afraid. However, people with hyperhidrosis cannot control their sweating, which leads to embarrassing and uncomfortable situations.

What are the available treatments for hyperhidrosis?

People with hyperhidrosis can apply antiperspirants to control their excessive sweating, although these products can cause some skin irritation and may damage one’s clothing. There are also medications Dr. Stockton can prescribe to control excessive sweating on your face.

Other procedures, such as Botox, iontophoresis, and endoscopic thoractic sympathectomy are also available and are considered longer-lasting methods to treat hyperhidrosis.

Iontophoresis

What is iontophoresis?

Iontophoresis is a treatment for hyperhidrosis, or the excessive sweating of the skin. This procedure involves passing an electrical current throughout the skin. Although the treatment has various uses in the field of medicine, it specifically decreases excessive sweating by blocking one’s sweat glands.

What happens during iontophoresis?

The affected skin will be placed under water while a gentle electrical current is passed through it. A professional technician closely monitors the procedure. Gradually, the current is increased until you will feel a tingling sensation. The therapy usually lasts 30 minutes and may require multiple sessions.

Psoriasis

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin disorder characterized by skin cells that grow too quickly. This results in thick, scaly patches of skin that appear red, white, or silvery. Normal skin cells gradually grow and replace themselves every four weeks. But in the case of psoriasis, skin cells regrow in days instead of weeks. As a result, plaques (the thick patches) can build up on the surface of the skin. They are usually found on the scalp, hands, elbows, knees, and feet.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

Psoriasis may produce mild to moderate symptoms. Mild cases create rashes in small areas of the body, while moderate or severe cases usually result in inflamed skin with raised, scaling areas. Severe cases make the skin itchy and tender, producing a good deal of discomfort. In some instances, psoriasis can affect the joints and make them swollen and tender to the touch.

How is psoriasis treated?

Mild psoriasis can be treated with proper skin care, including keeping the skin as moist as possible. Lotions and creams are effective in mild cases. Ultraviolet light and medications may also effectively improve psoriasis. This skin disorder can prove difficult to treat, and patients sometimes have to try different treatment options before finding the best solution that works for their particular situation.

PUVA/NBUVB

What is PUVA?

PUVA stands for psoralen plus ultraviolet A, which is an ultraviolet technology that uses psoralen in conjunction with UVA light in the treatment of psoriasis. UVA light is responsible for activating psoralen to trigger its anti-psoriasis effects. Among the various types of psoralens, methoxsalen is used more often.

How is PUVA administered?

Psoralen is taken orally, usually one to three hours before the start of UV light treatment. After being exposed to psoralen, the patient will then be put under lamps that emit UVA. Treatment consists of two to three sessions per week until the condition improves.

What is NBUVB?

NBUVB treatment uses a different light wavelength, a narrowband ultraviolet B light ranging from 311 to 313 nm. These are the wavelengths that can effectively treat psoriasis and cause the fewest side effects.

How is NBUVB administered?

NBUVB treatment usually involves appointments three times a week at Dr. Stockton’s office. The entire NBUVB therapy course may last several months. The therapy can cause erythema, or reddening of the skin, so the patient is tested for the maximum amount of light he or she can tolerate before starting the procedure. The procedure begins as the patient is exposed to low exposure that is gradually raised. It is the most effective treatment available for plaque psoriasis.

Rosacea

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin disorder characterized by facial redness and, at times, acne. It affects many people worldwide and is incurable. Normally, acne is outgrown when people finish puberty, yet in the case of rosacea acne becomes a benign and a chronic condition.

What does rosacea look like?

Rosacea usually affects Caucasians and people with fair skin. It is characterized by pink to red facial skin that can include the appearance of small, dilated blood vessels and red bumps on the face that sometimes contain pus. This condition can irritate the eyes, as well, making them appear pink or reddened. The symptoms are commonly found on the forehead, chin, cheeks, and nose.

What causes rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is still unknown; although many experts believe it occurs in patients who blush frequently. A flare-up can be triggered by several factors including sun exposure, spicy food, alcohol use, and use of certain medications.

How is rosacea treated?

There are several available treatments for rosacea — topical creams, antibacterial washes, antibiotic medications, laser therapy, photodynamic therapy, and pulsed-light therapies. These procedures can be combined to achieve optimal results.

Vitiligo

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by blotches of skin color loss in an unpredictable manner. The skin condition can affect any part of the body, including the hair, eyes, and inside of the mouth. The loss of skin color in people with vitiligo happens when the melanin-producing cells die and fail to function. Melanin is the substance in the skin that is responsible for its color.

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

Vitiligo can appear in light patches on the skin and may initially be noticed in sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, arms, hands, and feet. There is also a graying of the hair, eyelashes, and other hairs on the body. The eyeball can even be affected as its inner lining can lose color or change in color.

What are the causes of vitiligo?

Vitiligo may be related to an immune system disorder that attacks the melanocytes in the skin, resulting in skin discoloration. This skin disorder can be inherited from family members with the same condition or from a triggering event, such as sunburn or stress.

How is vitiligo treated?

Certain medications improve the appearance of skin with vitiligo. Topical corticosteroid creams help restore the color of the skin, especially if you start using the medication at an early stage. Topical calcipotriene is a form of Vitamin D that can improve the condition, as well. UVB light therapy and laser therapy can also return color to the skin.