Dermatology services for minor and major skin health concerns, from acne to skin cancer and everything in between.
Some of the medical conditions we treat at Dr. Lopez' Clinic
Acne This is a disease of the pilosebaceous unit. It’s very common, affecting approximately 85% of young people. It may even appear first when you are 25 years or older. Emotional stress can definitely cause it to get worse. Occlusion and pressure on the skin (acne mechanica), such as by leaning your face on your hands, is very important and is often unrecognized as a factor that makes it worse. How can a dermatologist help? Depending on its severity, acne can be controlled with chemical peels, oral medicines, gels, creams or a combination of these.
Age Spots, Brown Spots These result from having a lot of melanocytes in one area of your skin due to acute (extreme) or chronic (regular) exposure to sunlight. They only appear in exposed areas: forehead, cheeks, nose, dorsa of hands and forearms, upper back, chest, or shins. They usually appear in adults older than 40, but in sunny climates they may even appear by age 30. How can a dermatologist help? Brown spots can possibly be removed by a dermatologist. If you have any suspicious spots on your skin, please be sure to have them checked regularly.
Cold Sores: how to prevent and how to attenuate! Oral (labial) herpes is a viral infection characterized by vesicles or erosions that appear on lips or mouth angles, it is also known as “cold sores”. It is usually caused by one of the herpes virus (the HSV-1) which in most cases is not sexually transmitted). Once you have the virus this one remains in your organism, hence you could get this labial lesions on and off during your life. You can find here different ways to prevent these lesions (or avoid recurrence): ?Avoid contracting initial infection by not sharing lip balms o lip protectors, toothbrush or even drinks with persons who might be infected with the virus. The virus that produces the labial herpes is transmitted through the saliva and through direct contact with the skin. ? The people who have already caught the infection know it can be reactivated with sun exposure, by stressful situations or when the person gets ill (in some women it appears during menstrual period too!) Another good reason to exercise your body frequently, acquire good eating habits, get a good sleep and use sunblock! If you already have a labial herpes follow these tips […]
STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that you can get from having sex with someone who is already infected. The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasites and viruses. There are more than 20 types of STDs, including HPV (genital warts), chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS, and syphilis. Most STDs affect both men and women, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women. If a pregnant woman has an STD, it can cause serious health problems for the baby. If you have an STD caused by bacteria or parasites, it could be treated and cured; if you have an STD caused by a virus, there is no cure. Sometimes medicines can keep the disease under control. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading STDs.
Melasma Melasma appears as a symmetrical blotchy, brownish pigmentation on the face. The pigmentation is due to overproduction of melanin by the pigment cells, melanocytes. It can lead to considerable embarassment and distress. The cause of melasma is complex. There is a genetic predisposition to melasma, with at least one-third of patients reporting other family members to be affected. In most people melasma is a chronic disorder. There are several known triggers for melasma: sun exposure (the most important avoidable risk factor), pregnancy, hormone treatments (including oral contraceptive pills), scented or deodorant soaps, toiletries and cosmetics, etc. More commonly, it arises in apparently healthy, normal, non-pregnant adults and persists for decades. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) deepens the pigmentation because it activates the melanocytes. Melasma can be very slow to respond to treatment, so patience is necessary. Start gently, especially if you have sensitive skin. Harsh treatments may result in irritant contact dermatitis, and this can result in postinflammatory pigmentation.
These may be upsetting, but they usually are not caused by serious medical problems. Hair loss, including thinning and breaking, is the most common scalp problem. Most people lose from 50 to 100 hairs per day. Some possible causes for severe hair loss are: damage to the hair from hair care products, (dyes and permanents, curling irons, or hair dryers), recent surgery, high fever, or emotional stress, or poor nutrition (especially lack of protein or iron in the diet).
Sun Damage Aging speeds up in those areas exposed to sunlight, a process known as photoaging. Photoaging, or sun damage, results in fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration and textural changes. The epidermis becomes thinner so the skin easily blisters and tears. The skin feels dry because it is less able to hold onto water. Overactivity of tanning cells (melanocytes) results in blotchy pigmentation with brown freckles, solar lentigines (age spots) and white marks. It has been recently shown that the regular use of sunscreen could reduce the aging of the skin by about 25%. We do offer cosmetic services in our clinic that can help improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin.
Myths about acne. You think you know everything there is to know about acne? You would be surprised to know that many things people say about acne, what’s it’s cause and how to treat it, are really wrong! Myth #1: Getting tanned improves your skin. Reality: Although a tan could mask temporarily acne, sun causes irritation and dryness in the skin, which leads to successive future acne outbreaks. As a matter of fact there is no link between acne prevention and sun exposure, worse the solar rays could cause premature aging and cancer. Protect your skin every time you go outdoors with a sunblock with a minimum SPF of 15 and that it doesn’t clog your pores (non comedogenic). Myth #2: Chocolate and greasy food cause acne. Reality: Well, eating sugars and fat is never a good idea, but research studies have demonstrated that no food has a proven effect of causing acne, but don’t forget everyone is different. Some people have notice they get acne after the ingestion of certain meals, and these vary with every person. For instance some people develop acne after eating lots of chocolate but some other after drinking several cups of coffee. If this […]
Eczema is a term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. No matter which part of the skin is affected, eczema is almost always itchy. Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened, or scaly. In fair-skinned people, these areas may initially appear reddish and then turn brown. Among darker-skinned people, eczema can affect pigmentation, making the affected area lighter or darker. The goal of treatment for eczema is to relieve and prevent itching, which can lead to infection. Since the disease makes skin dry and itchy, lotions and creams are recommended to keep the skin moist. These products are usually applied when the skin is damp, such as after bathing, to help the skin retain moisture.
Scars & Scar Correction Scars are permanent and affect a person’s self esteem, especially when located on visible body areas. Vicious scars could even go beyond the original injured skin (keloids) or raise above the skin (hypertrophic scars). The correction of the scars could be achieved through surgery and intralesional therapy, both techniques being offered at our clinic.
Nail fungus is a fungal infection in one or more of your nails. An infection with nail fungus may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the nail fungus spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges — an unsightly and potentially painful problem. An infection with a nail fungus may be difficult to treat, and it may recur. But medications are available to help clear up nail fungus.
Spider & Varicose Veins Varicose veins affect half of people 50 years and older. Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored. They are often found on the thighs, backs of the calves, or the inside of the leg. Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They also are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Often, they are red or blue. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of skin. Some other common symptoms of varicose veins in the legs include: pain that gets worse after sitting or standing for a long time, cramps, swelling, heaviness, rash or darkening of the skin and finally an ulcer (most advanced stage). A dermatologist has several ways to treat varicose veins.
Healthier Skin for the Summer An interview with Dr. Lopez by Channel 5 Belize.
Rosacea is a common facial acne-like disorder affecting middle-aged and older adults, particularly the fair-skinned. Many patients have a significant flush or blush that might be precipitated by hot liquids, hot sauce, alcohol and sun exposure. Depending on the severity of the condition rosacea could be treated with oral or topical medications.