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Skin changes associated with chemotherapy include dryness, hair loss, and scaly skin.

Skin Changes Associated with Chemotherapy

Individuals undergoing chemotherapy may notice various skin changes. While side effects such as hair loss can be unpleasant, they must be balanced against the effectiveness of cancer treatment. By definition, cancer is a fast-growing cell. It’s an unregulated cell in the body that grows at a more rapid rate than most other cells in our body. Chemotherapy drugs attack or destroy fast-growing cells. Unfortunately, some normal cells, such as hair follicles and skin, grow at a rapid rate as well. The chemotherapy agents do not know the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells and therefore attack both. The most common fast growing...

Although seborrheic keratosis is a harmless skin growth, you should still get it checked by a dermatologist to confirm what it is.

Seborrheic Keratosis Skin Growths: What They Are and Why You Shouldn’t Worry

You see a small, brownish growth on your skin and wonder for a moment what it is. Dismissing it as an inevitable sign of aging or a fact of life, you go on about your day. You continue to pay attention to it for several weeks, however, and can’t help but notice that it is growing. The moment you realize that it has a bumpy texture and has grown to the size of a quarter, you start to worry that it could be skin cancer. In some cases, such a growth on your skin is actually a seborrheic keratosis. It’s harmless,...

Cryosurgery with liquid nitrogen and photodynamic therapy are two methods of treating actinic keratosis.

Actinic Keratosis and Photodynamic Therapy

Actinic Keratoses, also known as solar keratoses or AKs, are the most common skin growths caused by sun exposure. While they can be considered as a measure or sign of sun damage, they are also considered precursors to skin cancer. Actinic Keratoses (referred to as Actinic Keratosis in the singular form) often appear as firm scaly red spots that persist for greater than one month. They are found in sun exposed areas of the skin including but not limited to the face, ears, scalp, hands, neck, and lip. An estimated 40 million Americans develop AKs each year. As stated above, Actinic...

Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that occurs after a triggering event. In this image, a woman is brushing her hair and looking at hair on her brush with a concerned expression.

Telogen Effluvium: Possible Causes of This Type of Hair Loss

Telogen effluvium is a common cause of temporary hair loss. The abrupt hair shedding typically occurs several months after a triggering event. It usually lasts for about 6 months, but chronic telogen effluvium can last longer. No specific treatment exists, but lifestyle and dietary changes can be effective in beginning hair regrowth. Diagnosing Telogen Effluvium When diagnosing telogen effluvium, a dermatologist will examine the hairs that have fallen out, as the diameter and length of the hairs can signal this condition. This may also help the doctor differentiate between telogen effluvium and alopecia (a disease that develops when the body attacks its own...