Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Dermatology

  • What are birthmarks? A birthmark is a colored mark on or under a newborn baby's skin. Some birthmarks show up soon after a baby is born. Most birthmarks are obvious at birth. Some kinds of birthmarks fade or go away as a child gets older. Others stay the same or get bigger, darker, or thicker. There are many...

  • Why do people sweat? Sweating is your body's way of cooling down and getting rid of some chemicals. Sometimes heavy sweating is normal. You may sweat a lot when you exercise, when you are too hot, or when you are frightened. It's normal for teenagers to sweat more than they did when they were younger. A teen's...

  • Try home treatment for blisters: A small, unbroken blister about the size of a pea, even a blood blister, will usually heal on its own. Use a loose bandage to protect it. Avoid the activity that caused the blister. If a small blister is on a...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines may reduce your blood's ability to clot and cause bruising or bleeding under the skin. A few examples are: Medicines (called blood thinners) that prevent blood clots. Also, taking a nonprescription medicine with a blood thinner may increase your risk of bruising and...

  • What is blepharitis? Blepharitis (say "bleh-fuh-RY-tus") is a skin problem that affects the eyelids and lashes. It may be caused by bacteria or by other skin conditions such as dandruff, skin allergies, or eczema. If you have blepharitis, you're also more likely to get styes. What are the symptoms? If you have...

  • Radiation therapy is used to destroy cancer cells. This procedure may require 15 to 30 visits to a facility with special equipment. Radiation therapy may be used in combination with other types of therapy to treat aggressive or recurrent skin cancer.

  • Guides you through the decision to have warts or plantar warts removed. Discusses types of treatments and their benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Curettage is the process of scraping skin with a spoon-shaped instrument (curette) to remove skin tissue. Electrosurgery is the burning of skin tissue with an electric current that runs through a metal instrument or needle. Electrosurgery may be done after curettage to control bleeding and destroy any remaining cancer...

  • Learn an easy way to drain blood from a smashed fingernail or toenail.

  • Pressure injuries are described in four stages. Stage 1 sores are not open wounds. The skin may be painful, but it has no breaks or tears. The skin appears reddened and does not blanch (lose color briefly when you press your finger on it then remove your finger). In a dark-skinned person, the area...

  • Psoriatic arthritis (say "sor-ee-AT-ik ar-THRY-tus") is a type of arthritis that sometimes occurs in people who have a skin problem called psoriasis. The arthritis causes joints to become swollen, tender, and painful. Psoriatic arthritis is an...

  • A yeast infection is usually caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. This kind of yeast naturally lives on your skin. When too much yeast grows, it is called a yeast skin infection. Yeast skin infections tend to happen in skin-to-skin areas....

  • What are head lice? Head lice are tiny insects that live close to the scalp where they lay and attach their eggs. Every year, millions of children get head lice. They are common because they can spread anytime a child's head comes into contact with another child's head or hair. For example, lice can...

  • Take a minute to learn about acne and what you can do about it.

  • Learn how to safely turn a person in bed.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help if your child has a minor burn.

  • Find out what to do and when to call for help if your child has a mild sunburn.

  • Discusses causes of blisters, including injury and infection. Offers symptom checklist to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Discusses how and why bruises and blood spots might develop. Offers checklist to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Most burns are minor injuries that occur at home or work. It is common to get a minor burn from hot water, a curling iron, or touching a hot stove. Home treatment is usually all that is needed for healing and to prevent other problems, such as infection. There are many types of burns. Heat burns...

  • Live zoster (shingles) vaccine can prevent shingles. Shingles (also called herpes zoster, or just zoster) is a painful skin rash, usually with blisters. In addition to the rash, shingles can cause fever, headache, chills, or upset stomach. More rarely, shingles can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems...

  • Recombinant zoster (shingles) vaccine can prevent shingles. Shingles (also called herpes zoster, or just zoster) is a painful skin rash, usually with blisters. In addition to the rash, shingles can cause fever, headache, chills, or upset stomach. More rarely, shingles can lead to pneumonia...

  • Provides links to information about skin, hair, and nail health. Includes info about skin cancer, hair loss, nail infections, acne, and skin protection.

  • You can use a dilute bleach bath to help heal your atopic dermatitis rash if you have skin infections caused by staph ( Staphylococcus aureus). The treatment is a little bit like soaking in swimming pool water. Doctors have been prescribing bleach baths for more than 20 years. Bleach baths are an easy, inexpensive...

  • Topic guides you through the decision to get the shingles vaccine. Explains your chances of getting shingles and how well the vaccine works. Lists risks and benefits of getting the vaccine. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Moles are skin growths made up of cells that produce color (pigment). A mole can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. Most people get a few moles during their first 20 years of life. They are usually brown in color but can be blue, black, or flesh-colored. Most moles are harmless and don't cause pain or...

  • What is swimmer's itch? Swimmer's itch is a rash caused by an allergic reaction to the larvae of certain parasites. The parasites can get under your skin when you swim in freshwater (such as lakes and ponds) and sometimes salt water. But you can't get swimmer's itch from swimming pools that are treated with chlorine...

  • Learn some tips that will help you put on your compression stockings.

  • Salicylic acid is available as a paint, cream, plaster, tape, or patch that you put on the wart. Be sure to read and follow the instructions that come with the medicine, or follow your doctor's instructions. Salicylic acid may take weeks to months...

  • What are kissing bugs? Kissing bugs are wingless insects that are about 0.75 in. (1.9 cm) long. Kissing bugs are dark brown or black with red or orange spots along the edge of their bodies. They are also called assassin bugs or cone-nosed bugs. Like mosquitoes, kissing bugs feed on blood from animals or people...

  • Learn how to wash so you won't spread the rash.

  • Learn how to treat minor burns and prevent infection, and when to see a doctor.

  • Learn how to care for your stitches to help them heal properly.

  • Learn how to care for your blister so it will heal and won't get infected.

  • Learn how to take care of your skin and your oxygen nosepiece.

  • Learn how to use a compression wrap for a sprained ankle to help control swelling.

  • Laser surgery uses a wavelength of light that is focused in a narrow beam. This high-intensity light is used to shrink or destroy skin cancers or pre-cancers (actinic keratosis). With lasers, there is usually less bleeding, swelling, and scarring. Healing is quicker, and you are less likely to get an infection. Several...

  • When people use a tanning bed or booth or a sunlamp to get a tan, it's called indoor tanning. Indoor tanning uses artificial ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) light, rather than sunlight, to tan the skin. People may feel that a tan makes...

  • Pityriasis alba (say "pih-tih-RY-uh-sus AL-buh") is a common skin problem that causes round or oval patches of skin that look lighter than the rest of the skin. The patches may look pink or slightly scaly at first. How the patches look may bother...

  • Relieve pressure on the skin Relieving and spreading out pressure is the most important part of both preventing and treating pressure injuries. Putting pressure on one spot for long periods of time decreases blood flow to that area. This damages or...

  • Guides you through decision to treat low-risk basal cell skin cancer with surgery or medicated creams. Explains types of surgery and types of creams used. Covers benefits and risks of both. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • A keloid (say "KEE-loyd") is a scar that grows bigger and wider than the original injury. Keloids most commonly grow on the breastbone, shoulder, upper chest and back, earlobes, and face. Keloids do not become cancer. But they can be bothersome or painful enough that you seek treatment. Keloids often grow back after...

  • As we get older, our skin gets more thin and dry, so it is easier to damage. The chance of skin damage is higher for people who can't move much and who spend most of their time in bed or in a wheelchair. The skin can develop rashes and sores, especially pressure injuries. These sores are caused by constant...

  • Lying in one position for a long time can cause pressure injuries. You can help avoid pressure injuries by helping your loved one turn and change position in bed. This is also helpful when you need to do things like change sheets, help with a bedpan, give a back rub, or change a bandage. When helping someone move in...

  • The groin area needs careful cleaning to prevent rashes and infections. Rashes are most likely to form in moist areas where skin touches skin, such as the folds of the groin, under the breasts, and on the stomach. For a larger-sized person, other areas of concern are the folds on the neck, arms, inner elbows, legs...

  • Checking the feet and keeping them clean and soft can help prevent cracks and infection in the skin. This is especially important for people who have diabetes. Keeping toenails trimmed—and polished if that's what the person likes—also helps the person feel well-groomed. If the person you care for has diabetes or...

  • Get tips on how to stay safe in the sun.

  • Learn how to check your skin for possible signs of skin cancer.

  • Get tips to prepare for and manage hair loss from chemotherapy.

  • Hirsutism (say "HER-suh-tiz-um") is extra hair on a woman's face or body. This hair is dark and coarse. It grows in a male pattern: on the face, like a man's facial hair, or on the body, especially the chest and back. What causes hirsutism? Usually extra hair growth is not a medical problem. It can run in...

  • What are body lice? Body lice are tiny insects that can make a temporary home in the seams of your clothing or bedding (sheets, pillows, and blankets). They'remost often spread by contact with a person who has body lice or with that person's clothes, bedding, or towels. Body lice are usually found only...

  • What are pubic lice? Pubic lice are tiny insects that usually live in your pubic area. Sometimes they're also found on facial hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, armpits, chest hair, and the scalp. They're different than the kind of lice that you can get on your head. Pubic lice are also called "crabs" because they look like...

  • Learn what wound debridement surgery is and how to prepare your child for it.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after wound debridement surgery.

  • Learn what skin graft surgery is and how to prepare your child for it.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after a skin graft.

  • The loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop to remove genital warts by heating the margin of the area to be removed, which separates the wart from the skin. LEEP is done in a doctor's office, clinic, or hospital on an outpatient basis. A local anesthetic is injected...

  • Stretch marks (striae gravidarum) are lines on the skin that may appear late in pregnancy. They look like slightly indented pink, red, dark, or white streaks, depending on your skin color. Stretch marks are most common on the belly, but they can...

  • Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a form of ringworm. Ringworm is not a worm at all. It is a fungal infection of the outer layers of skin, hair, or nails. Fungi (plural of fungus) are present everywhere in our environment. Ringworm of the skin appears as...

  • To prevent foot blisters that are caused by poorly fitting shoes or socks: Wear shoes and socks that fit properly. You should be able to wiggle your toes in your shoes while you are sitting and when you are standing.The inner seams of your shoes...

  • Chilblains (perniosis, also known as pernio) is a reaction to cold, nonfreezing temperatures. It is seen most often in young people who have Raynaud's phenomenon and people who are exposed to damp, cold weather. Symptoms develop 2 to 14 hours after...

  • Laser resurfacing is a treatment to improve the look of the skin. It uses a laser to send out brief pulses of high-energy light. This light is absorbed by water and substances in the skin called chromophores. The light is changed into heat energy. The heat then destroys (vaporizes) thin sections of skin, layer by layer...

  • Home remedies may relieve itching. To relieve itching Avoid further contact with whatever you suspect is causing the itching. Keep the itchy area cool and wet. Apply a washcloth that has been soaked in ice water, or get in a cool tub or shower. But remember that repeated wetting and drying will...

  • Excision is the removal of a skin cancer along with some of the healthy skin tissue around it (margin). For this procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. After the cancerous area is removed, the incision is closed with stitches. If the incision is large, sometimes a skin graft or flap is required...

  • Mohs micrographic surgery involves removing a skin cancer one layer at a time and examining these layers under a microscope immediately after they are removed. This procedure allows for a close examination of each layer of skin to detect cancer cells. It also allows a minimal amount of tissue to be removed while making...

  • Some changes in your feet and ankles are normal during pregnancy. These symptoms occur from normal hormonal changes and increased body weight and usually go away after delivery. Many women see a change in shoe size during pregnancy and that may not...

  • Guides you through decision to take medicine for nail fungal infection. Explains fungal infections and why treatment might be needed. Lists other treatments. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Dermabrasion is a treatment to improve the look of the skin. It uses a wire brush or a diamond wheel with rough edges (called a burr or fraise) to remove the upper layers of the skin. The brush or burr spins quickly, taking off and leveling (abrading or planing) the top layers of the skin. This process injures or wounds...

  • A chemical peel is a treatment to improve the look of the skin. A chemical is applied to the skin and allowed to soak in. Over the next 1 to 14 days, depending on how deep the chemical soaks into the skin, the skin peels off. This process destroys parts of the skin in a controlled way so that new skin can grow in its...

  • Many people have hair or scalp problems. Hair may thin or fall out, break off, or grow slowly. Dandruff or an itching or peeling scalp may cause embarrassment and discomfort. Hair and scalp problems can be upsetting, but they usually are not caused...

  • What is molluscum contagiosum? Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection that causes small pearly or flesh-colored bumps. The bumps may be clear, and the center often is indented. The infection is caused by a virus. The virus is easily spread but is not harmful. What are the symptoms? The bumps are round with a...

  • Hidradenitis suppurativa (say "hih-drad-uh-NY-tus sup-yur-uh-TY-vuh") is a skin condition that causes lumps on the skin that look like pimples or boils. It can come and go for many years. Doctors don't know exactly how this skin problem starts. But...

  • Discusses basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, two types of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Covers causes and what increases your risk. Discusses early detection. Covers treatment choices, including chemotherapy and surgery. Offers prevention tips.

  • Guides you through decision to take isotretinoin for severe acne. Looks at the benefits and risks of this medicine. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to see a doctor for acne. Covers symptoms like pimples and blackheads. Looks at treating with medicines like benzoyl peroxide (nonprescription) and isotretinoin (prescription). Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • How much hair loss is common? Everyone loses some hair every day. Losing up to 100 hairs a day is normal. But if hair loss runs in your family, you could lose a lot more hair. With this kind of hair loss, you may end up with bald spots if you are a man. If you are a woman, you may find that the hair on the top of your...

  • Foot odor is common when you wear shoes that don't "breathe." Usually, if you take off your shoes, wash your feet, and put on clean socks, the odor goes away. Occasionally the problem continues despite your efforts to get rid of the odor. Persistent...

  • Cryosurgery is the process of destroying a skin cancer (lesion) by freezing it with liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is applied to the lesion using a cotton applicator stick or an aerosol spray. The skin may first be numbed with a local anesthetic. The liquid nitrogen is applied or sprayed onto the cancer and the...

  • Hair transplant surgery involves moving scalp hair and hair follicles from an area with a lot of hair to an area with thinning hair or baldness. This technique can produce a natural look on the forehead, and a natural, dense look on the top of the head. The follicles and hair are removed from one part of the head with...

  • Scleroderma is a rare disease in which a person's immune system begins to destroy normal, healthy tissues. (This is called an autoimmune disease.) As a result, connective tissue of the skin, lungs, and internal organs—especially the esophagus,...

  • Use the following measures to reduce the chance of flea bites: Treat animals for fleas. Do not let pets sleep on your bed. Vacuum rugs daily. You may need to exterminate the house or kennel area if infested with fleas. You may need to contact a...

  • Discusses reasons to have or not have surgery or a procedure for varicose veins. Includes info on sclerotherapy, laser treatment, microphlebectomy, and radiofrequency closure. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Tape occlusion is an inexpensive method of wart removal that involves covering the wart with tape. It is often called the "duct tape" method. Cut a piece of duct tape as close to the size of the wart as possible. Leave the tape in place for 6 days....

  • Diaper rash (diaper dermatitis) is a skin problem caused by the skin staying wet, rubbing from the diaper, and contact with chemicals in the urine and stool. The skin may look red, raw, scalded, or burned. While a diaper rash is uncomfortable, generally it is not a serious problem. Diaper rash is the most common skin...

  • Many people have minor eye problems, such as eyestrain, irritated eyes, or itchy, scaly eyelids (blepharitis). These problems may be ongoing (chronic) but usually aren't serious. Home treatment can relieve the symptoms of many minor eye problems....

  • Covers finger, hand, and wrist problems caused by medical conditions and overuse. Offers symptom check list. Includes worksheet to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Discusses heat-related illnesses. Looks at heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash, and dehydration. Covers signs and symptoms. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Covers emergency first aid treatment.

  • Cryotherapy (cryosurgery) destroys genital warts by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. A doctor applies liquid nitrogen to and around the warts. First, the tissue is frozen with liquid nitrogen. Then, the tissue is allowed to thaw. The tissue is frozen again, if needed. The time of application varies by the doctor...

  • A laser can be used to destroy genital warts. Laser surgery may be done in a doctor's office or clinic, a hospital, or an outpatient surgery center. Local or general anesthetic may be used depending on the number of warts to be removed or the size of the area to be treated. For women, abnormal cervical cell changes...

  • Your doctor may take a sample, or biopsy, of abnormal tissue. The majority of warts do not require a biopsy. But a biopsy may be taken if genital warts cannot be easily identified with a physical exam or during a gynecology exam with a lighted magnifying instrument ( colposcopy). A microscopic exam on the biopsied...

  • Briefly describes the causes of dry skin. Covers home treatment options. Includes info to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers prevention tips.

  • Compression stockings help relieve the symptoms of varicose veins. They improve circulation and are a mainstay of treatment for varicose veins that are causing symptoms. (Mild varicose veins that are not causing symptoms don't need treatment.)...

  • Discusses sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins. Includes info on spider veins. Looks at how well sclerotherapy works and what to expect after treatment. Discusses risks.

  • What is tinea versicolor? Tinea versicolor (say "TIH-nee-uh VER-sih-kuh-ler") is a fungal infection that causes many small, flat spots on the skin. The spots can be flaky or mildly itchy. The many small spots may blend into large patchy areas, usually on the oily parts of the upper body like the chest and back. The...

  • What is folliculitis? Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles. Each hair on your body grows out of a tiny pouch called a follicle. You can have folliculitis on any part of your body that has hair. But it is most common on the beard area, arms, back, buttocks, and legs. What causes...

  • Discusses itchy skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into your skin and lay eggs. Covers rare crusted (Norwegian) scabies. Looks at treatment with prescription pills, creams, or lotions.

  • The different types of acne include: Newborn acne. About 20% of newborns develop mild acne. This may be because certain hormones are passed to them through the placenta by their mothers just before delivery. Or newborns may get acne because the stress of birth may cause the baby's body to release...

  • Benzoyl peroxide is a medicine you use to treat acne. It comes in different strengths in lotions, gels, soaps, and liquids. How does benzoyl peroxide treat acne? Benzoyl peroxide unclogs skin pores. It also helps stop bacteria from growing and...

  • Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid, mandelic acid, and glycolic acid (for example, Alpha Hydrox) are often used in products to treat acne. These products work by drying up whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples and causing the top layer of your...

  • Salicylic acid is an active ingredient in some nonprescription acne treatments. When you apply it to your skin, it dries up whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. It also causes the top layer of your skin to peel. Products that contain salicylic acid...

  • Doctors often prescribe antibiotics to treat severe acne or acne that is likely to leave scars. Antibiotics improve the look of your skin by killing bacteria that cause acne. This means you'll have fewer pimples and redness. Less acne means less...

  • Discusses acne, a skin problem. Lists symptoms, including pimples. Covers causes such as puberty, medicines, and conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome. Covers acne treatment for mild, moderate, and severe forms. Offers prevention tips.

  • When melanoma spreads (metastasizes), it usually spreads first into nearby lymph nodes. It can also spread through the bloodstream. Distant metastases of melanoma typically are found in the skin, liver, lungs, bone, and brain. If the melanoma is on...

  • Lymphadenectomy is surgery to remove lymph nodes. This surgery is done to see if cancer has spread to a lymph node. Some lymph nodes are located near the surface of the body, while others are deep in the abdomen or around organs, such as the heart...

  • Surgery to remove (excise) a melanoma removes the entire melanoma along with a border (margin) of normal-appearing skin. The width of the border of normal skin removed depends on the depth of the melanoma. More tissue, usually skin and fat, is also...

  • Discusses melanoma, skin cancer that may be caused by too much sun exposure. Covers symptoms. Discusses how it is diagnosed. Offers prevention tips and covers skin self-exams. Discusses treatment options, including surgery and radiation therapy.

  • Scratching chickenpox blisters can lead to skin infections, not to mention scarring. In rare cases, infected chickenpox lesions can lead to toxic shock syndrome. To keep children from scratching chickenpox blisters: Clean and closely trim your...

  • Electrocautery removes genital warts on the penis, vulva, or around the anus by burning them with a low-voltage electrified probe. Electrocautery is usually done in a doctor's office or a clinic. The injection of a numbing medicine ( local anesthetic) is usually used for pain control. Medicine that causes...

  • Visible genital warts on the penis or vagina or around the anus are removed by excision, which means cutting the warts off with a surgical knife (scalpel). Warts on the cervix may be removed by laser or loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP). The procedure is usually done in a doctor's office or clinic or an outpatient...

  • Phototherapy is the supervised use of ultraviolet (UV) light to treat skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis. Ultraviolet B (UVB), ultraviolet A (UVA), or a combination of UVB and UVA may be used during therapy. During phototherapy, you stand in a booth that contains light tubes that give off UV light. Goggles...

  • Covers long-lasting skin problem which is also known as eczema or atopic eczema. Looks at symptoms like dry skin, itching, and a red, raised rash. Covers treatments including using moisturizing creams and medicines. Offers prevention tips.

  • Discusses why and how skin biopsies are done. Covers preparing for surgery and postsurgery risks. Explains how to interpret results, including abnormal results. Covers what affects test results.

  • Body piercing is very popular with both men and women. Many areas of the body are used for piercing. Most people who have piercings do not develop any problems. The ears are the most common piercing site. Most of the time, an earlobe piercing heals...

  • Common problems may develop with artificial nails, such as: Bacterial infection. You may dislodge an artificial nail from the nail bed by bumping it or catching it. Infection can develop in the gap that forms between the two nails, especially if the...

  • What is a fungal nail infection? A fungal nail infection occurs when a fungus attacks a fingernail, a toenail, or the skin under the nail, called the nail bed. Fungi (plural of fungus) can attack your nails through small cuts in the skin around your nail or through the opening between your nail and nail bed. If you...

  • Nonsurgical (chemical) nail removal is a painless procedure for a fungal nail infection. This technique removes only the diseased and damaged nail, not the healthy part of the nail. It is done in a clinic or your doctor's office. Either the entire nail (avulsion) or part of the nail (debridement) can be removed. This...

  • Surgical nail removal can be done for severe or returning fungal nail infections. The entire nail (avulsion) or only part of the nail (debridement) can be removed. Surgical nail removal can be done in a clinic or your doctor's office. Your doctor will give you an injection in the finger or toe to prevent pain. He or...

  • Discusses causes and symptoms of athlete's foot. Lists behaviors that increase risk. Covers when to see doctor. Covers treatment options, including medicine choices. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • What are cold sores? Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. Often the first sign of a cold sore is a spot that tingles, burns, or itches. A blister usually forms within 24 hours. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The...

  • Bunion surgery generally involves an incision in the top or side of the big toe joint and the removal or realignment of soft tissue and bone. This is done to relieve pain and restore normal alignment to the joint. Small wires, screws, or plates may be used to hold the bones in place. There are no guarantees that a...

  • What is a bunion? A bunion is an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the base of the big toe. The big toe may turn toward the second toe. The tissues around the joint may be swollen and tender. A bony bump at the base of the little toe is called a bunionette or tailor's bunion. The little toe also...

  • If high blood sugar levels have damaged nerves that go to your skin, you may sweat less, and your skin may become dry and cracked. Damaged skin becomes infected more easily when you have diabetes. To prevent skin problems and allow for early...

  • Many people who have psoriasis have nail changes. This can involve: Pitting on the surface of the nail. Defects in the nail, such as ridges or crumbling nails. Yellowish color to the toenails (and sometimes fingernails). Thickening of the...

  • Phototherapy is the use of ultraviolet (UV) light to slow the rapid growth of new skin cells. This is helpful in treating psoriasis, which causes skin cells to grow too rapidly. There are two types of ultraviolet (UV) light therapy: Ultraviolet B (UVB) Exposure times start at 30 to 60 seconds when therapy begins...

  • Includes info on psoriasis, a chronic skin disorder. Covers causes and symptoms, including scaly patches on the knees, elbows, and scalp. Includes info on what increases your risk. Covers treatment with creams and oral medicines. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Cryotherapy involves freezing a wart using a very cold substance (usually liquid nitrogen). Cryotherapy is a standard treatment for warts and can be done in a doctor's office. The liquid nitrogen application usually takes less than a minute. Your doctor may trim the wart with a small knife before applying liquid...

  • Laser surgery uses an intense beam of light, or laser, to burn and destroy the wart tissue. It is usually done in a doctor's office or clinic. Local or general anesthetic may be used, depending on the number of warts to be removed or the size of the area to be treated.

  • Is this topic for you? This topic has information about warts on any part of the body except the genitals. For information about warts on the genitals, see the topic Genital Warts. What are warts, and what causes them? A wart is a skin growth caused by some types of the virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV)...

  • Explains ringworm causes, symptoms, and progression. Covers how it is diagnosed and treated. Includes information on medicines. Covers behaviors that increase risk of ringworm. Offers prevention and home treatment tips.

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about ringworm of the scalp or beard. To learn more about other fungal infections, see the topics: Athlete's Foot. Diaper Rash. Fungal Nail Infections. Ringworm of the Skin. What is ringworm of the scalp or beard? Ringworm is an infection on your skin, hair, or nails...

  • The oil (urushiol) that causes the rash from poison ivy, oak, or sumac can be spread to skin from: Sporting equipment, such as fishing rods, balls, baseball bats and gloves, and hockey sticks. Lawn and garden tools, such as lawn mower handles,...

  • If you have contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac, immediately wash areas of the skin that may have touched the plant. Sometimes the resulting rash (contact dermatitis) can be completely avoided by washing the affected areas with plenty of water...

  • A rash caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac may itch and produce blisters. If you get a mild rash, you can take care of it at home. Here are some tips to help with itching: Apply a cool, wet cloth for 15 to 30 minutes several times a day. Take short,...

  • Discusses rash (also called contact dermatitis) caused by touching poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Covers risks. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Covers medicines to relieve symptoms.

  • Discusses shingles, a condition caused by the virus that causes chickenpox (herpes zoster). Discusses who is most likely to get it. Describes how shingles rash causes pain and the treatment for it. Includes info on the shingles vaccine.

  • Discusses possible causes of swollen glands and other lumps under the skin. Covers bacterial and viral infections, noncancerous growths, hernias, aneurysms, and swelling caused by cancer. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • It is not unusual to have a problem with your mouth from time to time. A mouth problem can involve your gums, lips, tongue, or inner cheeks, the roof of your mouth (soft and hard palates), under your tongue, your neck, or your teeth. Your mouth may...

  • Minor fingernail and toenail problems are common. At one time or another, almost everyone has caught a nail on something, causing it to rip, or has smashed a finger in a door, leaving blood under the nail. These kinds of injuries can be quite painful but are usually not serious. You can often relieve pain and prevent...

  • Melanoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in melanocytes (cells that color the skin). The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but...

  • Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective...

  • Pruritus is an itchy feeling that makes you want to scratch your skin. It may occur without a rash or skin lesions. Pruritus sometimes feels like pain because the signals for itching and pain travel along the same nerve pathways. Scratching may cause breaks in the skin, bleeding, and infection. If your skin feels itchy...

  • Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome are diseases in which lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) become malignant (cancerous) and affect the skin. Normally, the bone marrow makes blood stem cells (immature cells) that become mature blood stem cells over time. A blood stem cell may become a myeloid stem cell or a...

  • Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the skin. The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but the two main...

  • Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to...

  • Merkel cell carcinoma is a very rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the skin. Merkel cells are found in the top layer of the skin. These cells are very close to the nerve endings that receive the sensation of touch. Merkel cell carcinoma, also called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin or trabecular...

  • Melanoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in melanocytes (cells that color the skin). The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but...

  • Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the skin. The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has several layers, but the two main...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause a rash. A few common examples are: Antibiotics. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve). Pain medicines, such as codeine. Seizure medicines. If a rash occurs after your child has begun a new medicine: Stop giving the medicine to your...

  • Problems that can develop when you have your tongue, inner cheek, uvula, or lip pierced include: Pain. Bleeding. Infection at the site of the piercing. Infections, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Speech problems. Chewing and swallowing...

  • Each body piercing site has its own normal healing time. Common sites usually heal within the time frames listed below. Healing depends on many things. It can depend on how big the piercing is and how thick the tissue is at the site. Your own...

  • Chili pepper burns are caused by an irritating substance found in the skin of the pepper. This burn can feel like a sunburn, a throbbing and prickling feeling, or a very intense, hot pain. The best treatment is to wash the area with soap and water...

  • Immediately run cold water over the hot tar or hot plastic to cool the tar or plastic and stop the burning. Do not attempt to peel the tar or plastic off after it has cooled. This may remove skin that is stuck to the tar or plastic. To remove tar or...

  • Try home treatment if you think you have an infection in the skin around your nail. Soak your foot or hand 2 to 3 times each day in a solution of 1 tsp (5 g) of salt dissolved in 4 cups (1 L) warm water. After soaking, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a bandage. Do not try to...

  • A hangnail is the strip of skin that separates from the side of the cuticle. Simple home treatment can help prevent problems with hangnails. Do not pull at or bite off a hangnail. This may cause the skin to rip. Clip off the hangnail neatly with...

  • Home treatment may help repair weak, brittle, or splitting nails: Wear disposable plastic gloves or rubber gloves with cotton liners to protect your hands from water or chemicals. Apply moisturizing lotion directly to your nail. Apply a moisturizer...

  • A painful sore or ulcer inside your mouth may make it hard to eat and drink. Be sure to let your doctor know you are having mouth sores. You may need to have your medicines adjusted. And try some of the following home treatment measures to help ease...

  • Acid products include toilet cleaners, battery acid, bleach, chemicals used in industry for crystal etching, and chemicals that are added to gas. Acid solids and liquids can cause injury, depending on the type, the strength, and the length of time the acid is in contact with the body. The damage is usually kept to the...

  • Alkaline products include lime products, plaster and mortar, oven and drain cleaners, dishwasher powders, fertilizers, and sparks from "sparklers." They can cause serious damage in a very short time, depending on the type, strength, and the length of time the alkali is in contact with the body. Alkaline chemicals are...

  • Discusses common skin rashes that affect those 11 and younger. Covers chickenpox, diaper rash, prickly heat, and contact dermatitis. Offers home treatment tips for fever and itching. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Lists common causes of skin rashes in those 12 and older. Covers allergies, chronic skin problems like eczema, or contact with poisonous plants like poison oak. Covers home treatment. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor.

  • Dust builds up throughout your home. The dust may contain substances that trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing or coughing, or another allergic reaction, such as the rash of atopic dermatitis or stuffy nose of allergic rhinitis. These substances are called allergens. Dust mites are another example of an allergen...

  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). It is not used to treat dry AMD. Photodynamic therapy may be recommended if you can't have injections of medicines to treat your AMD or if these injections don't work. In photodynamic therapy, a light-sensitive medicine...

  • Your wound will need care and observation. After the stitches or staples are put in, the area may be covered with a thin layer of ointment and covered with a nonstick bandage. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your stitches or staples. Be sure to follow those instructions. Check with your...

  • Before using tweezers or a needle, try using cellophane tape to remove a splinter. Simply put the tape over the splinter, then pull the tape off. The tape will stick to the splinter and remove it painlessly. If tape doesn't work: Wash your hands...

  • It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a doctor. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound remains open. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some wounds that...

  • Your skin type affects how easily you sunburn. Sun protection measures should be used to prevent sunburn. Skin types and sunburn Skin type Skin color when not exposed to sun How skin reacts to sun I White or freckled skin You sunburn very easily and are not likely to tan. II White You...

  • Allergy to dye Allergic reactions to tattoo dye are rare. The various colors in a tattoo are made from different materials. For example, the red color comes from mercury, the green from chromium, the yellow from cadmium, and the blue from cobalt. Allergic reactions to red dyes occur more often than allergic reactions...

  • Options for removing tattoos Treatment to remove a tattoo is not always successful. There are many ways to try and remove tattoos, including: Laser treatment. This is the treatment of choice. Many types of lasers have been used to remove tattoos. Different lasers remove different types of ink better than...

  • Discusses heat rash (prickly heat). Looks at causes and symptoms of heat rash in babies. Covers signs of infection. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • When you touch a light switch to turn on a light, you may receive a minor electrical shock. You may feel tingling in your hand or arm. Usually, this tingling goes away in a few minutes. If you do not have damage to the skin or other symptoms, there is no reason to worry. If your skin is burned by electricity, there is...

  • You can quickly estimate the size of a burn by using the "rule of nines." This method divides the body's surface area into percentages. Estimating burn size in adults See a picture of the "rule of nines" for adults. The front and back of the head and neck equal 9% of the body's surface area. The front and back of...

  • Note: If a chemical has been swallowed that may be a poison or may cause burning in the throat and esophagus, call your local Poison Control Center or the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) immediately for information on treatment. When you call the Poison Control Center, have the chemical container with...

  • The seriousness of a burn is determined by: The depth of the burn (first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree). First-degree burns are burns of the first layer of skin Second-degree burns. There are two types of second-degree burns: Superficial partial-thickness burns injure the first and second layers of skin...

  • What causes a detached nail? It can be very painful to tear or rip your nail from the nail bed. A nail may separate from the nail bed (detach) for many reasons, including: Injuries. Separation caused by injury is common in people who have long fingernails. The nail may pry away from the nail bed when it is hit or...

  • Color changes occur in nails for many reasons. A black nail may be caused by an injury. Bleeding or bruising under an injured nail will cause a black or purplish appearance. You may need to have the blood drained from under the nail. The black appearance will most often go away as the injury heals, but this may...

  • There are many reasons for changes in the shape and texture of the nails. Some changes, such as the minor pitting or the formation of ridges, occur with normal aging. Other changes in the shape and texture of nails include the following: Tube-shaped nails that curve inward (pincer nails) occur more...

  • The first steps to take when a person is in contact with an electrical source are: Have someone call or other emergency services. Do not touch the "electrified person" with your hands. Unplug the appliance or turn off the main power switch. Try to remove the person from the electrical...

  • Note: If a chemical has been swallowed that may be a poison or may cause burning in the throat and esophagus, call your local Poison Control Center or the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222) immediately for information on treatment. When you call the Poison Control Center, have the chemical container with...

  • For many second-degree burns, home treatment is all that is needed for healing and to prevent other problems. Rinse the burn Rinse burned skin with cool water until the pain stops. Rinsing will usually stop the pain in 15 to 30 minutes. The cool water lowers the skin temperature and stops the burn from...

  • Mouth sores may make eating and talking painful. The most common mouth sores are cold sores and canker sores. In severe cases of canker sores, a doctor may prescribe a medicine to ease inflammation and pain. Other possible causes of mouth sores include: Impetigo. Symptoms may include oozing...

  • Minor cuts on the head often bleed heavily because the face and scalp have many blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. Although this amount of bleeding may be alarming, many times the injury is not severe and the bleeding will stop with treatment you can do at home. But it is important to know the difference...

  • In the following situations, do not try to remove an object from the wound. Seek medical treatment immediately. Do not remove an object that has punctured and penetrated the eyeball. Note: Do not bandage or put any pressure on the eye. If an object has penetrated the eyeball, hold the object in place to prevent...

  • A bite injury may need to be closed by a health professional, may require antibiotic medicines, or both. The decision to close a wound with stitches, staples, or skin adhesive depends on: The type of biting animal. The size and location of the bite. The time that has passed since the bite occurred...

  • Hydrocortisone cream, gel, or ointment is available without a prescription. It is commonly used to treat skin inflammation and itching. Precautions Carefully read and follow all label directions on the medicine bottle or box. Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells...

  • Rashes in the groin or genital area are usually caused by irritation of the skin from many sources, such as clothes rubbing against the skin. Rashes that occur without other symptoms are usually minor and often go away with home treatment. Contact dermatitis A common cause of a rash is contact with a substance that...

  • Eyelid problems may be caused by irritation or infection. Common symptoms are redness, swelling, itching, and excess tearing; some drainage may also be present. Common symptoms of a stye (hordeolum) include swelling and tenderness or a tender red lump on the eyelid with occasional discharge from the lump. A chalazion...

  • Skin cancer can be cured if found and treated early. Your doctor may check your skin during your annual exam. Or your doctor may suggest a skin exam more often, especially if you have: Familial atypical mole and melanoma (FAM-M) syndrome. This is an inherited tendency to develop melanoma. Examine your skin every...

  • Discusses common skin changes and possible causes. Includes info on skin cancer. Includes home treatment tips for adults and children.

  • Sunlight can help our mental outlook and help us feel healthier. For people who have arthritis, the sun's warmth can help relieve some of their physical pain. Many people also think that a suntan makes a person look young and healthy. But sunlight can be harmful to the skin, causing immediate problems as well as...

  • Lists common sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, HIV, HPV (genital warts), syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Includes interactive tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Covers safer sex. Offers prevention tips.

  • If the herpes simplex virus (HSV) invades a part of the body other than the genital area, it may cause disease in that part of the body. In general, complications are rare. And they usually occur with the first-time (primary) genital herpes outbreak. Some of these complications include: Meningitis, an infection of the...

  • What are razor bumps? Razor bumps, or ingrown hairs, are small, irritated bumps on the skin. They happen after you shave, when strands of hair curl back on themselves and grow into the skin. They cause irritation and pimples. They also may cause scarring. How are razor bumps treated? The best way to treat razor bumps...

  • Ankle sprains are common injuries that can result in lifelong problems. Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness. Treating a sprained ankle can help prevent ongoing ankle problems. If an ankle sprain does not heal correctly, the joint may become unstable, resulting in a...

  • The injection of botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, has become very popular for reducing wrinkles and rejuvenating the aging face. The effects are only temporary, but the injections can be done quickly, require no recovery time, and are not as complicated as many other cosmetic procedures for the face. Botulinum...

  • Tretinoin (Avita, Renova, Retin-A) is a topical medicine most often used to treat acne. It is sometimes used to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and to smooth rough facial skin. Tretinoin is made from vitamin A and is sometimes called vitamin A acid or retinoic acid. It comes in cream, gel, and liquid forms. Side...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause a rash. A few common examples are: Antibiotics. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve). Pain medicines, such as codeine. Seizure medicines. If a rash occurs after you have begun a new medicine: Call the doctor who prescribed the medicine...

  • What is a lipoma? A lipoma is a growth of fat cells in a thin, fibrous capsule usually found just below the skin. Lipomas aren't cancer and don't turn into cancer. They are found most often on the torso, neck, upper thighs, upper arms, and armpits, but they can occur almost anywhere in the body. One or...

  • What is cradle cap? Cradle cap is an oily, yellow scaling or crusting on a baby's scalp. It is common in babies and is easily treated. Cradle cap is not a part of any illness and does not imply that a baby is not being well cared for. What causes cradle cap? Cradle cap is the normal buildup of sticky skin oils...

  • What is dandruff? Dandruff is a shedding of the skin on the scalp that leads to white flakes on the head, neck, and shoulders. What causes dandruff? Dandruff may be caused by a form of a skin condition called eczema, which causes increased shedding of normal scalp skin cells. Dandruff can also be caused...

  • What is seabather's eruption? Seabather's eruption is a rash that occurs when a swimmer is stung by marine life larvae. The condition has many names, including sea lice, pika-pika, sea poisoning, sea critters, and ocean itch. What causes seabather's eruption? Two types of marine life that generally...

  • The rash and skin irritation that occurs with minor jellyfish or Portuguese man-of-war stings will usually go away with home treatment. Seabather's eruption is a rash that develops from the stings of jellyfish or sea anemone larvae. Although these rashes are annoying, they are not a serious medical problem. When an...

  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines, including some that you put directly on the skin, may cause blisters. A few examples are: Antibiotics. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (for example, Advil or Motrin), naproxen (for example, Aleve), or piroxicam (for example, Feldene)...

  • Skin adhesives are clear gels that may be used to hold the edges of a small cut together. Your doctor may apply a skin adhesive instead of stitching your cut. A liquid will be applied to your skin and allowed to dry. As it dries, it creates a film that will hold together the edges of your cut. If a skin adhesive is...

  • A rash in your vaginal area ( vulva) may be caused by irritation of the skin from many sources, such as clothes rubbing against the skin. Rashes that occur without other symptoms are usually minor and often go away with home treatment. Contact dermatitis A common cause of a rash is contact with a substance that...

  • Discusses treating varicose and spider veins with a laser. Covers simple and endovenous laser treatment. Looks at sclerotherapy. Discusses why laser treatment is done and what to expect after treatment. Covers how well it works and possible side effects.

  • What is a venous skin ulcer? A skin ulcer is a type of wound that develops on the skin. A venous skin ulcer is a shallow wound that occurs when the leg veins don't return blood back toward the heart the way they should. This is called venous insufficiency. See a picture of abnormal blood flow caused by venous...

  • Venous skin ulcers develop when the lower leg veins are weakened and cannot efficiently move the blood back toward the heart. Pooled blood and fluid in the lower legs then leads to tissue breakdown. You can prevent or heal a venous skin ulcer by helping your blood circulate back toward your heart. Leg...

  • Specially fitted compression stockings are tight at the feet with a gradually looser fit on the leg. Because there are different types, it's best to use the kind that your doctor recommends and that work best for you. Compression stockings: Help...

  • Covers good skin care as an essential part of controlling the itch and rash of atopic dermatitis. Looks at what atopic dermatitis is. Explains why skin care is important. Gives tips on keeping your skin hydrated and avoiding irritants.

  • What are seborrheic keratoses? Seborrheic keratoses (say "seh-buh-REE-ick kair-uh-TOH-seez") are skin growths that some people get as they age. They are benign, which means they aren't a type of cancer. The way they look may bother you, but they aren't harmful. These skin growths often appear on the back or chest, but...

  • What are pressure injuries? A pressure injury on the skin is caused by constant pressure to that area. This often occurs when a person lies in bed or sits in a chair for a long time. Pressure reduces blood supply to the skin. Over time, this can cause the skin to break down and form an open sore. Pressure injuries are...

  • Briefly looks at impetigo, a common bacterial skin infection in children. Covers causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with antibiotics. Explains that it is contagious. Offers prevention tips.

  • Discusses ganglions, small cysts that look like bumps often on hands and wrists. Covers exams and tests used to diagnose ganglions. Covers nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Mucous cyst ganglions usually occur when osteoarthritis symptoms develop, at middle age or older. This type of ganglion is more common in women than men. Mucous cyst ganglions are found at the joint nearest the fingernail (distal interphalangeal [DIP] joint). The ganglion is firm and does not easily move under the...

  • Guides you through decision to take medicines to regrow thinning hair. Covers nonprescription minoxidil (Rogaine) and prescription finasteride (Propecia). Looks at benefits and risks. Covers side effects. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Discusses cellulitis, a skin infection caused by bacteria. Discusses how bacteria can get into the body through cuts, scrapes, and broken skin. Covers symptoms. Discusses treatment with antibiotics. Offers prevention tips.

  • Discusses actinic keratosis (solar keratosis), a type of skin growth caused by sun exposure. Describes how skin will look and feel. Covers treatment options. Explains risk for squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer). Offers prevention tips.

  • What is rosacea? Rosacea (say "roh-ZAY-shuh") is a very common skin disease that affects people over the age of 30. It causes redness on your nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. Some people get little bumps and pimples on the red parts of their faces. Rosacea can also cause burning and soreness in your eyes. Some...

  • Factors (called triggers) that may cause a flare-up of rosacea include: Alcohol, spicy foods, and hot drinks. Limit how much of these you drink and eat. Dry skin. Use a moisturizer to protect your face from dryness. Use skin care products for sensitive skin. And avoid any products that are...

  • Covers skin, scalp, and nail care for psoriasis. Includes info on why care is important. Offers tips on products that may help and those to avoid. Covers moisturizing skin and how to protect skin, scalp, and nails.

  • What is pityriasis rosea? Pityriasis rosea (say "pih-tih-RY-uh-sus ROH-zee-uh") is a common skin problem that causes a rash. Although it can occur at any age, it is seen most often in those between the ages of 10 and 35. Pityriasis rosea is usually harmless. What causes pityriasis rosea...

  • Hair loss can be emotionally distressing. Not all cancer treatments cause hair loss, and some people have only mild thinning that is noticeable only to them. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether hair loss is an expected side effect of your treatment. Hair loss from chemotherapy Chemotherapy can cause hair...

  • Covers possible effects of sun exposure, including sunburn and skin cancer. Explains UVA and UVB rays. Offers tips for children and adults on how much time to spend in the sun. Discusses protective clothing and sunscreen protection, including proper SPF.

  • Birthmarks are colored marks on the skin that are present at birth or develop shortly after birth. They can be many different sizes, shapes, and colors, including brown, tan, black, blue or blue-gray, pink, white, red, or purple. Some birthmarks appear on the surface of the skin, some are raised above the surface...

  • Using henna Direct application of henna to the skin to create a temporary tattoo is a process known as mehndi. Henna is a plant-based coloring that is approved in the United States only as a hair dye. It is not approved for direct application to the skin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received...

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages everyone to report adverse reactions to permanent and temporary tattoos and permanent makeup to the FDA's MedWatch. This agency monitors problems caused by cosmetic products and ingredients, including color additives. By mail: MedWatch 5600 Fishers Lane...

  • Questions on safety standards If you are thinking about having a tattoo or body piercing, go to a reputable studio. Look for or ask about the following: Is it clean? The entire shop, including the bathroom, should be clean. What type of sterilization procedures does the shop follow? Is there a...

  • Skin changes are a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription medicines. Common side effects include: Rash. Any medicine can cause a rash. Two examples are aspirin and antibiotics. Color changes in the skin. A few examples of medicines that can cause this are: Birth control...

  • Home treatment often can relieve discomfort and itching until a rash clears up. If you have come in contact with a substance that causes contact dermatitis (such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac), immediately wash the area with large amounts of water. Over-the-counter medicines may help relieve itching...

  • Home treatment for a lump, such as an epidermal (skin) cyst, may relieve symptoms but may not make the cyst go away. An epidermal cyst is a small, round lump in the top layer of skin called the epidermis. It may be filled with a soft, yellow substance called keratin. Epidermal cysts most often appear on the face, ears...

  • Physical sunscreens, such as zinc oxide, are usually thick white or colored cream. They prevent the skin from being exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays. They are useful for high-risk areas such as the nose, lips, and shoulders. It's safest to keep babies younger than 6 months out of the sun. Use sunscreens on children...

  • Some medicines may cause your skin to sunburn more easily. Medicines used for treatment on the skin (topical) or for the whole body (systemic) can cause two types of reactions: Phototoxicity. Medicines react with proteins in the skin and sunlight and cause a more severe sunburn reaction with increased...

  • The sunlight that reaches the earth has ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (UVA and UVB) rays. These ultraviolet rays are the main causes of damage to the skin from the sun. UVA and UVB rays affect the skin's sensitivity to sun exposure in different ways. UVA: Can pass through window glass. Is not affected by a change...

  • There is no evidence-based research to support the safety and effectiveness of the following home treatment measures, but they may help relieve your burn symptoms. Soak a washcloth in water to make a cool compress. Add a handful of oatmeal (ground to a powder) to your bath. Or you can try an oatmeal bath product...

  • Puncture wounds are less likely than cuts to be stitched, stapled, or have a skin adhesive applied because: Puncture wounds tend to be smaller than cuts and usually do not heal better or scar less when stitched. Puncture wounds tend to be deeper, narrower, and harder to clean than cuts. Sealing bacteria into a wound...

  • Nail-biting (onychophagia) is a common stress-relieving habit. You may bite your nails in times of stress or excitement, or in times of boredom or inactivity. It can also be a learned behavior from family members. Nail-biting is the most common of the typical "nervous habits," which include thumb-sucking, nose-picking...

  • Electrolysis is a common method of removing unwanted hair. A small needle or thin metal probe is inserted into the opening of the skin where hair grows (small sacs beneath the skin called hair follicles). Next, a low-level electrical current passes through the needle or probe into your skin and destroys the hair...

  • Guides you through how to control itching when you or your child has chickenpox (varicella) rash. Includes home treatment with baths, over-the-counter medicines, and lotions. Covers avoiding scratching to prevent infection and scarring.

  • Burns are a potential hazard in any home. There are four kinds of burning hazards that may hurt your child: Heat burns Electrical burns Friction burns Chemical burns Heat burns Heat burns, also called thermal burns, are caused by contact with fire, steam, hot objects, or hot...

  • What are calluses and corns? Calluses and corns are areas of thick skin caused by pressure or friction. They may cause pain when you walk or wear shoes. Calluses usually form on your hands or feet. They usually don't need treatment. Corns have an inner core that can be soft or hard. Soft corns are...

  • A pumice stone can be used to remove the dead skin from a callus or corn. Reducing the size of the callus or corn may result in less pressure or friction and less pain. Soak your foot or other affected area in warm, soapy water for 5 minutes or until the skin softens. Wet the pumice stone. Rub the pumice stone on...

  • A variety of pads may be used to treat or prevent calluses and corns. Protective padding cushions the callus or corn or holds the foot and toes in a more comfortable position so that calluses or corns do not develop. You can purchase protective padding in different sizes and shapes, or purchase sheets of material that...

  • Guides through decision to have bunion surgery. Provides general overview of what bunions are. Looks at types of surgery, possible complications, and effectiveness. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • There are many types of hair loss. It is often categorized according to when it takes place during the hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen phase is when your hair grows—your hair follicle forms a new hair shaft. Most (90%) of the hair on your scalp is in a growing phase that lasts from 2 to 6...

  • Medicines and medical treatments can cause hair loss. Medicines Many medicines that can cause hair loss include: Medicines used to treat cancer ( chemotherapy). Birth control pills. Women who lose hair while taking birth control pills usually have an inherited tendency toward hair thinning. If hair thinning...

  • What is alopecia areata? Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. The damage to the follicle is usually not permanent. Experts do not know why the immune system attacks the follicles. Alopecia areata is most common...

  • Excessive exposure to the sun and its ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin cancer. You can reduce your risk for skin cancer by: Protecting your skin, and that of your family members, from UV radiation. Performing frequent skin self-examinations. Finding out whether you have an increased risk for melanoma and other...

  • Most nonmelanoma skin cancer can be cured if it is found and treated early. The goal of treatment is to completely remove the cancer. But the method of removal will differ depending on the experience of your doctor and the type of cancer you have. Advantages and disadvantages of common treatments for nonmelanoma skin...

  • What is an ingrown toenail? An ingrown toenail is a toenail that has grown into the skin instead of over it. This usually happens to the big toe, but it can also happen to other toes. An ingrown toenail can get infected. It may be painful, red, and swollen, and it may drain pus. See a picture of an ingrown toenail...

  • What is a canker sore? A canker sore is a shallow sore shaped like a crater (ulcer) on your tongue or on the inside of your lip or cheek. Canker sores have a red border and a white or yellow center. They may be painful and can make it hard to talk and eat. You may have one or more than one canker sore at a time...

  • You can help prevent acne from getting worse by the way you wash your face: Gently wash your face once or twice a day with warm water and a mild soap or acne wash. Use gentle, circling motions rather than scrubbing your face. Always completely rinse your skin after you wash it, and gently pat it dry. Avoid rubbing...

  • What are the most common skin conditions in newborns? It's very common for newborns to have rashes or other skin problems. Some of them have long names that are hard to say and sound scary. But most will go away on their own in a few days or weeks. Here are some of the things you may notice about your baby's skin...

  • Briefly covers boils, bumps under the skin often caused by infected hair follicles. Explains that bacteria form an abscess (pocket of pus). Covers home treatment. Also discusses when you should call a doctor. Includes info on how to prevent boils.

Load More