There are many reasons that you might be dealing with a skin rash; however, if you suspect that it might be ringworm you may be surprised to discover that there are other conditions that can often masquerade as ringworm but aren’t. This is why it’s important to have any rashes or skin problems thoroughly evaluated by a qualified dermatologist. After all, you want to make sure that you are getting the proper treatment you need depending on the type of condition you’re dealing with.
What does ringworm look like?
If you have ringworm, common symptoms include:
- A circular or ring-like rash that may be raised along the edges
- A rash that may be scaly, itchy, red, or burning
- Hair loss in the area where the rash has appeared
The rash may develop several red, raised rings at once, some of which may overlap. While ringworm can develop just about anywhere on the body it’s most commonly found on the arms, legs, and trunk.
If it’s not ringworm, then what else could it be?
There are a variety of ringworm imposters that could be causing you or your child’s rash. The two most common conditions are nummular eczema and granuloma annulare.
Nummular eczema causes circular patches of dry skin that can burn or become dry and scaly. This type of skin condition is often triggered by bug bites, certain medications, or a metal allergy. Granuloma annulare causes red or flesh-colored bumps to appear on the skin, but because they often appear ring-like this condition can be mistaken for ringworm. Everything from medications and viral infections to skin trauma and thyroid disorders can trigger granuloma annulare.
Other less common symptoms that may look like ringworm include,
- Contact dermatitis
- Pityriasis rosea
- Tinea versicolor (more common in children)
- Erythema migrans (common in those with Lyme disease)
Sometimes a skin biopsy of the lesion or rash is required for a dermatologist to be able to diagnose whether it is ringworm or not. If you are experiencing symptoms of ringworm or are concerned about a new or worsening rash, then call your dermatologist today to schedule an appointment.
Here’s how to tell the difference between dandruff and dry scalp:
- Dandruff will produce large, oily flakes that are often yellow or white in appearance while the dry scalp is more likely to produce a lot of dry little flakes.
- Dandruff may cause a red, scaly scalp while someone with dry scalp is more likely to experience dry skin on other parts of their body
- The only symptom that both dandruff and dry scalp have in common is an itchy scalp
Other tips to prevent dandruff include:
- Wash your hair every day to reduce excess oil on the scalp
- Use a shampoo that contains coal tar, pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide or tea tree oil (a natural alternative)
- Stay away from any har products that contain alcohols or bleach, as well as oily hair products that will only cause more oil to buildup on the scalp
- Find ways to effectively manage stress, which can trigger or exacerbate dandruff
- Get a small amount of sun exposure every day (just a couple of minutes), which could help get your symptoms under control (talk to your dermatologist before doing so, as excess sun exposure can be harmful)
- Eat a healthy diet that is rich in vitamin B, zinc, and healthy fats
Dealing with dry skin? Here’s what might be to blame:
About 75 percent of people are living in a chronic state of dehydration. So, chances are that if you are dealing with dry skin you should closely evaluate how much water you’re drinking every day. If you’re not drinking enough water, this is an easy fix. You should be getting anywhere from 11-16 cups a day, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences.
You are Washing too Much
Be aware of over washing. Yes, that is a thing, and it’s one of the main reasons people end up dealing with tight and overly dry skin. That’s because our skin contains oils that help keep it moisturized. When you wash too often (or too aggressively) you strip the skin of its natural oils. Look for oil-based cleansers if you are dealing with dry skin and maybe only wash your face at night right before bed.
You are Dealing with a Skin Condition
Sometimes dry skin is a sign of a skin disorder, more commonly eczema and psoriasis. However, other health problems may also make someone prone to dry skin such as diabetes or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). In this case, it’s important to treat the underlying problem. This is where having a dermatologist will come in handy, especially if you are dealing with eczema or other chronic skin problems.
There is nothing like cold, dry air to make dry skin worse. If you are already prone to dry skin, you must be protecting your skin from further problems during the winter months. One way to do that is to wear gloves and to protect your face. Harsh winds and cold weather can easily cause cracks in the skin, which can bleed or even result in an infection. Protect your skin during the winter and perhaps give your skin a little extra TLC by using more intensive moisturizers and cleansers.
If dry skin is causing your discomfort or if you are feeling self-conscious about your dry, scaly skin, then it’s time to talk with your dermatologist about what’s going on and how to best get it under control.
Treating Acne Scars
- Chemical peels: This treatment, which is often used for cosmetic reasons, can also reduce the appearance of acne scars. Chemical peels remove the outermost layer of the skin to reveal healthy new skin underneath.
- Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion offers similar results as a chemical peel, but instead of applying a chemical solution to the skin, microdermabrasion often uses a handheld device with a diamond or crystal tip at the end to blast away the outer layer of the skin.
- Laser skin resurfacing: This laser treatment will also remove the outermost layer of the skin, which is the most damaged layer, while also tightening the brand-new skin that’s revealed. The skin is numbed before treatment and the recovery time can take up to 10 days.
- Fractional laser therapy: Are you dealing with deeper acne scars? If so, then laser resurfacing or microdermabrasion may not give you the results you’re looking; however, your dermatologist may recommend fractional laser therapy, as this targets deeper levels of tissue.
Icepick scars: These tiny little depressions in the skin often respond best to chemical peels, skin resurfacing, or laser treatment.
Rolling scars: These depressions in the skin may respond best to an injectable treatment such as a dermal filler, which can raise the indented areas of the skin to smooth out your appearance. Dermal fillers can help to plump the skin in areas that have lost volume, to reduce the appearance of superficial scars. Your dermatologist may also recommend laser treatment.
Boxcar scars: These larger indentations with clearer edges are often caused by inflammatory acne. These are treated through a minor procedure in which your doctor uses a needle to break up the scar tissue underneath. Laser treatment and dermal fillers may also be recommended.
Dealing with acne scars can be embarrassing, but your dermatologist can help. If you want to discuss your acne scar treatment options, then it’s time to talk to a qualified dermatologist today to find out your treatment options.
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