Skin disorders are a leading cause for health screenings in the United States. From melanoma to fungal infections, the family care physician must be well versed in the pathology of skin disorders so as to make proper diagnosis or referral.
For many patients, examination by a dermatologist is necessary to address the existence of a benign versus malignant skin complication. For many patients the visual sign of the skin disorder may be only the slight indication of a marking while the real complication lies beneath the skin, developing as a lipoma or other tumor.
Because these skin disorders, or tumors, are asymptomatic and deemed not threatening, many patients will avoid telling the physician the complication exists during health screenings for other ailments. In many cases, the common culprit is the development of a lipoma deep under the skin. While these are not necessarily skin disorders, than can create a dimple in the skin and become symptomatic when compressed upon a nerve.
For the most part, skin disorders overlooked by many patients include those involving cherry angioma, which are asymptomatic and develop in the early 20s, to sebaceous hyperplasia, commonly occurring later in age. When these skin disorders appear, while they may appear asymptomatic, it is important to bring them to the attention of your healthcare professional to ensure early intervention is considered for those skin complications that may be either malignant or progress into large complications with aging.
For most skin disorders, of cosmetic origin, treatment involves the use of laser therapy, topical ointments and even the use oral prescription medications such as Accutane. However, before your physician performs any of these treatment options, you may want to encourage a biopsy to ensure the complication is truly as diagnosed and not a greater complication, such as malignant tumor or lipoma, developing under the skin.
As with any skin complication, whether an obvious rash, lesion or simply a nodule under the skin, it is important to seek out medical attention, early, from a healthcare professional. Because we often fail to alert our doctor to the asymptomatic skin complication, many skin disorders progress into complications that could have been averted had early intervention and treatment been sought. Because treatment and resolution can be achieved with medications and laser therapy, obtaining a biopsy should be part of your diagnostic and treatment plan to ensure this treatment protocol is correct for your skin disorder complication.