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Treating Skin Rashes, Discoloration, and Scars | Memorial Sloan Kettering

how do doctors usually treat rashes that

may occur rashes are treated based on

attacking the three eyes inflammation

itching as well as infections

inflammation is usually characterized by

any bumps on the skin that are red or

any skin swelling and pain and these are

usually treated with either topical or

oral corticosteroids and antibiotics

they are usually prescription itching of

the skin is usually treated with topical

or oral corticosteroids and the

histamines or other anti H medications

prescribed by your doctor but there are

many there are over-the-counter and

infections of the skin can frequently

occur and be a major and play a major

role in rashes and these are

characterized by pain swelling and

redness of the skin and skin infections

are treated usually with topical or oral

antibiotics antivirals

and antifungals again it is very

important to treat any skin condition

early on when it is mild so that it does

not progress to a point where any anti

cancer treatment needs to be interrupted

or discontinued so in the topic of skin

discoloration it is important again to

remember that in addition to a rash

causing a skin discoloration there are

some medications that can directly

affect the pigment forming capability of

skin and these are listed here the

medications in this list can cause

persistent skin discoloration that can

be either red white or even dark

discoloration however it is important if

you have received any of these

medications to discuss with the

dermatologist whether they are directly

caused by the medication and there is

something that can be done to mitigate

this discoloration so what can be done

if one experiences rare skin

discoloration it will depend on what

type of discoloration in other words

what color the skin has been discolored

with if the skin has become red one can

use medications that are applied

topically that shrink the blood vessels

such as oxymetazoline solution

camouflaging cosmetics can also be used

but for a permanent solution of redness

of the skin laser treatments by a

dermatologist or our plastic surgeon are

the best option what about if the skin

has become darker it is very important

to use sunscreen because even

fluorescent lights in a room will cause

the skin to become even darker so using

sunscreen rigorously is important the

use of bleaching creams that are

available with a prescription such as

hydroquinone 4% or vitamin A based

creams such as Stretton Owen or bleach

other types of bleaching creams such as

azelaic acid also that require a

prescription camouflage and cosmetics

are always a good option when in need of

a rapid improvement in the dark

discoloration of the skin and in some

cases laser treatments or peels by a

dermatologist on a plant or a plastic

surgeon can provide benefit from dark

skin discoloration in some cases as we

have seen before the skin can become

lighter in which cases ultraviolet light

therapy done at a dermatologists office

can stimulate the pigment forming

capabilities of skin or the use of

camouflaging cosmetics is another good

option to conceal this lighten areas

that occur after a certain anti-cancer

medication a very common complaint

especially in older cancer survivors is

the formation of these purple spots on

the back of their arms this condition is

known as actinic purpura actinic coming

from the Sun in other words chronic sun

damage and the backs of the arms results

in fragile blood vessels that can easily

break with minor trauma and this results

in this purple discoloration that can be

improved with the constant use of

vitamin A based creams that will

strengthen the skin and make the skin

thicker such as Stretton Owen and the

Sarah teen but this must be applied at

night and then they must be followed by

the application of a moisturizer in

addition to this in certain cases laser

treatments can help strengthen the skin

this can be done by a dermatologist or a

plastic surgeon and again camouflage in

cosmetics can give a very rapid relief

of any skin discoloration of this nature

so camouflaging cosmetics there are many

different types it is important to get a

camouflage in cosmetic that is matched

to your skin tone and most of the

camouflaging foundations come in many

different skin colors and they can hide

blemishes or discoloration they are

easily available in cosmetic stores and

the preferred ones are cover FX and

amazing cosmetics amazing concealer so

how do you apply these products for many

survivors it will be the first time that

a cream or a topical product is applied

so the sequence of product applications

if your doctor prescribes a certain

topical medication is the following the

first medication that should be applied

is the medicated cream that is

prescribed or recommended by your doctor

then if one needs to apply a moisturizer

it should be applied second then thirdly

a sunscreen should be applied and then

finally any cosmetics should be applied

last so that they do not smudge with the

other creams waiting about 3 to 5

minutes in between applications usually

will allow enough time for the topical

cream or ointment to dry so that these

second one can be applied in terms of

using cosmetics and survivors it is

important to know that cosmetics play an

important role because they can hide

many skin side effects of treatment such

as scars discoloration as well as side

effects of radiation but there are

several important tips that must be

remembered when using cosmetics when

survivors are considering using

cosmetics the first one is to throw out

old cosmetics and buy new products

second buy cosmetics with no more than

10 ingredients since cosmetics that have

more than 10 ingredients usually will

cause allergies also it is important to

select cosmetics without allergy causing

sunscreens such as paba esters or

another can

Nonna's methoxy cinemate make sure that

your makeup can be easily removed with

water since removing waterproof

cosmetics can dry and irritate the skin

so use waterproof cosmetics only if

necessary for instance you don't want

your mascara to run because you're

you're crying at a certain event or

something like that when possible choose

powder or cream cosmetics over lotion

formulas facial foundations should be of

the cream and powder variety but if

liquid they should be based on silicone

derivatives use an eyebrow powder or gel

to thicken the eyebrows and avoid eye

shadows that are creams sticks or

pencils powder eyeshadow is easier to

remove with water which is less

irritating to delicate eyelid skin than

regular makeup remover what are the

types of cosmetics to avoid those that

are reported to be all natural or

organic or that have unpreserved

products because they may contain

infectious germs believe it or not many

of the chemicals and cosmetics are meant

to prevent the growth of germs those

made with botanicals such as arnica

camphor eucalyptus ginseng menthol tea

tree and wintergreen

since they may result in allergies of

the skin and also products that use

abrasives to exfoliate such as loofas

salt scrubs or sugar scrubs

since friction on the skin will cause

inflammation and finally it is important

for women especially to avoid the use of

talcum powder in the general area since

this has been associated with ovarian

cancer another important point is that

the terms unscented dermatologist-tested

all-natural organic or cosmeceutical do

not guarantee that any of these products

are more effective or safe than other

products and these are considered to be

just more marketing methods for specific

populations there are certain cosmetic

products that are believed to have a

beneficial effect on certain skin

conditions the problem with many of

these products is that the

concentrations of active ingredients

that they have are not sufficient to

cause those effects these products have

been called cosmeceuticals and I am

showing you a list here of products that

have been shown to have an effect on

skin but when used at a

prescription-strength formulation for

example we know that as alayich acid

will lighten skin and reduce acne

benzoyl peroxide will also reduce acne

the matter Proust is a product that can

be used to stimulate eyelash growth if

fluorine Athene reduces facial hair

hydroquinone is a bleaching agent at

lighten skin as well as Mequon all

minoxidil is available over the counter

as you may know and it stimulates hair

growth sunscreens of course are also

considered cosmeceuticals because they

do provide and they do cause a very

important effect in skin which is the

prevention of skin aging and skin

cancers and vitamin A based creams such

as tretinoin and Tessa routine when

available in prescription strength

formulations reduce wrinkles lighten

skin and also remove or prevent acne

some important factors to know about

scars every surgical procedure will

result in a scar scars will continue to

form during the first year after a

surgery and sun protection is very

important during this first year it is

important not to massage the scar and

most of the advertised products you see

in commercials on TV are not effective

in reducing scars I will show you what

may be effective in this setting so this

timeline illustrates the time from when

a surgery is performed and after the

first month what can happen in a scar

during the first month after the surgery

the things to watch out for are

infections or or allergies around the

surgical wound infections characterized

by pain swelling redness or discharge

and allergies which is associated with

itching rash or blisters these are the

important things to prevent in the first

month after a surge

that would be prevented by what is

prescribed by your surgical team after

the first year one can do things to

improve a scar especially a problem scar

which is defined as a scar that is

associated with itching or pain which is

red which is large or is very tight

making it difficult to move certain

joints or parts of the body and problem

scars occur in five to 15% of people

more commonly occurring on the face ears

and upper trunk surveys and childhood

cancer survivors have shown that scars

can cause anxiety and also it is

important to know that scars from ports

can be treated and it's never too late

to improve a scar on the right of this

slide you see a list of some methods to

improve problem scars which include

silicone sheets and gels that can be

recommended by your dermatologist also

certain substances can be injected into

a scar to decrease its size or the

symptoms of itching when scars are

depressed a dermatologist or a plastic

surgeon can inject certain fillers to

elevate it to the level of the skin

laser treatments and surgery can also be

performed by a dermatologist or a

plastic surgeon to improve a problem

scar and finally some topical

medications prescribed by your

dermatologist or plastic surgeon can

also be beneficial in improving a

problem scar