It is estimated that dermatologists receive more than 600,000 consultations each month in Spain, according to a study by DIADERM (Dermatological Outpatient Diagnoses in Spain) published in the journal “Actas dermo-sifiliográfica” last June. 12% correspond to patients under 18 years of age and the most frequent reasons for consultation were acne , followed by atopic dermatitis , melanocytic nevi ( moles ) and common warts . In the case of those over 18 years of age, the most frequent pathologies consulted are actinic keratoses, non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma), melanocytic nevi and seborrheic keratoses.
To learn more about the most prevalent skin pathologies according to age ranges, we consulted Dr. Pablo Fernández-Crehuet Serrano , dermatologist and trichologist, winner of the Doctoralia Awards in his specialty about his daily practice .
Atopic dermatitis in childhood
The most frequent reason for consulting a dermatologist in Spain in childhood is atopic dermatitis, which affects between 10 and 20% of children. “Its incidence is higher in urban areas, it usually starts before the age of five and the prevalence is slightly higher in girls,” Fernández-Crehuet points out.
Bacterial ( impetigo ), viral (contagious molluscs and common warts) infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis are other frequent consultations at this stage. “It is worth highlighting the increase in recent years in the demand for spot or mole check-ups due to the growing awareness of parents regarding skin cancer,” adds the expert.
Acne in teens
Consultations about acne are the most frequent in the case of adolescents, as well as chronic inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, eczema and seborrheic dermatitis, reactive dermatoses such as urticaria and benign warty tumors (moles and fibroids). Virus infections (herpes) and fungi (athlete’s foot and pityriasis versicolor) also appear in the consultation topics at this age, as revealed by the dermatologist.
Hair loss, spots and wrinkles, adults
Consultations about eczema , rosacea , moles , viral and fungal infections and psoriasis are typical of the adult stage, although concern about hair loss also plays an important role, in addition to growing interest in knowing health guidelines daily skin care and improve the appearance and quality of the skin or correct wrinkles and blemishes.
From the age of 50, consultations for injuries caused by chronic sun exposure such as sun spots (lentigos), actinic keratoses and non-melanoma skin cancer (mainly basal cell carcinoma) begin to have a greater relevance.
Over 70 years of age, consultations for itchy skin tend to be more frequent due to the dryness caused by skin aging, in addition to spots, actinic keratosis and non-melanoma skin cancer.
Typical conditions depending on the time of year
The skin is subject to numerous external aggressions, especially environmental ones due to changes in temperature. Thus, as explained by skin doctor delhi, the most frequent consultations also vary depending on the season of the year.
With spring come allergies and the beginning of outdoor leisure activities. It is a time when awareness around sun protection is lower. “Allergic pathology is the main reason for consultation due to outbreaks of allergic eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne,” he says.
With summer the number and intensity of the hours of sunshine in the day increases. This, together with the greater exposure of the skin from being less covered and spending more time outdoors increases the risk of sunburn. Consultations are also frequent for insect bites, jellyfish and moles that have new appearance or have undergone significant changes. Moisture from sweat and bathing makes fungal and mollusk infections common. “There are pathologies that get worse with sun exposure such as lupus erythematosus and rosacea, and others that improve such as acne, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis”, he clarifies.
The protagonist of autumn is hair. Consultations for hair loss are increasing , which makes the dermatologist, according to Fernández-Crehuet, a key figure to avoid excessive duration and intensity. Consultations for acne are also frequent, and spots that appear in the summer and revisions around moles.
Outbreaks of atopic dermatitis , psoriasis and other eczema predominate in the dermatologist’s office in winter. There are diseases that appear at this time such as perniosis (chilblains). The expert insists that hydration of the body is essential: it should be intensified in the legs and feet, not forgetting the heels, which tend to dryness. The hands and lips are areas that are especially sensitive to cold, as they are the parts of the body most exposed to environmental factors. In addition, the skin must take care of exposure to the sun in the mountains with suitable photoprotective creams, since there is no sensation of heat and the snow has a mirror effect, enhancing radiation.
How to treat contact eczema?
The first treatment for contact eczema is to eliminate the allergen. Indeed, the doctor consulted specifies which products containing the allergenic substance to avoid. For this, skin tests (patch tests) can be carried out on the patient’s back to determine precisely which component is responsible for this eczema.
However, certain locations are evocative: at the level of the wrist, ears or navel: this suggests sensitization to nickel present in watches, earrings and belts. Eczema on the feet: sensitization to a component of the shoe: leather, rubber, glue… and on the face rather sensitization to cosmetics.
However, the elimination of the allergen is not always possible when the allergen has not been perfectly identified or when it is present in many products. The basic treatment for contact eczema lesions is also the use of topical corticosteroids, emollient creams and appropriate cleansing treatments. If the eczema is infected, treatment will require a prescription for antibiotics.
Ah eczema! This skin pathology which increases in frequency each year and which causes a real handicap in people who are affected. It is a complex disease with multiple triggers, but when atopic eczema appears in very young children, the good news is that it disappears in 70% of cases by the time of adolescence. Its management must be complete (basic treatment, treatment of seizures) to provide maximum daily comfort on the skin of people who suffer from it. To do this, do not hesitate to consult your pharmacist who can offer you a very large number of products available without a prescription and which can relieve lesions of atopic eczema, contact or even seborrheic dermatitis.