+27 12 644 5250 (Centurion) | +27 12 807 2411 (Lynnwood) info@drramlachan.co.za

Acne Treatments

Acne is NOT caused by bad diet or greasy foods. In fact, acne develops when the sebaceous glands in a person’s skin produce excess oil (sebum). The oil combines with cells that line the gland walls and clog the skin’s pores.
Normal skin bacteria colonise these pores, and the body’s response causes the inflammation or reddening of the skin that we associate with acne.
Acne more commonly affects people between the ages of 12 and 25 and more so boys than girls. The face is usually the most affected area, but acne may also affect the back, neck and chest. In most cases, acne is treatable.

Treatments for Acne

What is Aktilite Photodynamic therapy?

One of the key bacteria responsible for the inflammation is Propionibacterium acnes or P.acnes. These bacteria produce natural chemicals called porphyrins, which are sensitive to light at different wavelengths. If stimulated, these chemicals will neutralise the bacteria and with no bacteria, present inflammation will subside.
Aktilite blue stimulates these chemicals and so eradicates the bacteria that cause the redness or inflammation of acne. This is combined with Aktilite revive, which has anti-inflammatory properties. This helps to minimise the redness of acne lesions and promotes healthier skin. More aggressive treatment can be given by combining a photosensitive cream with the light.

How safe is this treatment?

The light is safe and harmless to your skin and generates no heat. The light works naturally with your body to promote the healing response. The only safety measure is to wear goggles to protect your eyes from the light. If used in combination with the cream some redness and crusting may follow.

What result can be expected from a series of treatments?

Optimum results will be seen between 4-8 weeks after treatment. The light stimulates natural processes that continue after the treatment has stopped. On average you should expect 70% of lesions to clear. We suggest that the light therapy is used in conjunction with salicylic acid. Your adviser can discuss this combination treatment with you.

There is no pain! Because there’s no heat involved. If used in conjunction with ALA–cream, mild discomfort may be experienced.

What happens during treatment?

You will have to remove any make-up or sunblock before the treatment and you will be asked to wear some safety goggles. The light will then be positioned close to your face and the treatment will last 20 minutes. After that, you’re free to go home.

Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune diseases develop when the immune system decides your healthy cells are foreign. Your immune system then attacks your healthy cells.

There are as many as 80 different types of autoimmune diseases and they can affect one or many different types of body tissues and may also cause abnormal organ growth and changes in organ function. The symptoms of many of the autoimmune diseases are similar, making them difficult to diagnose. It is possible to have more than one at a time.

Autoimmune diseases often run in the family and about 75% of those affected are women.

Currently, treatment for autoimmune diseases focuses on relieving symptoms because there is no curative therapy.

No one is exactly sure what causes autoimmune diseases, but there are many theories about what triggers them. These triggers include:

  • Bacteria or virus
  • Drugs
  • Chemical irritants
  • Environmental irritants
  • Genetics – you are more susceptible to an autoimmune disease if you have a family member with one.

There are many symptoms that could indicate that you have an autoimmune disease. Here are the most common symptoms of autoimmune diseases include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Muscle ache
  • General malaise (feeling ill)
  • Inflammation which causes redness, heat, pain and swelling

Tissues and organs that are commonly affected by autoimmune diseases include:

  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Skin
  • Red blood cells
  • Blood vessels
  • Connective tissue
  • Endocrine glands

In order to diagnose an autoimmune disease, the doctor needs to run one of the various tests that are used to diagnose autoimmune diseases or a combination of the tests.

The various tests include:

  • Autoantibody tests: Any of several tests that look for specific antibodies to your own tissues
  • Antinuclear antibody tests: A type of autoantibody test that looks for antinuclear antibodies, which attack the nuclei of cells in your body
  • Complete blood count: Measures the numbers of red and white cells in your blood; when your immune system is actively fighting something, these numbers will vary from the normal.
  • C-reactive protein (CRP): Elevated CRP is an indication of inflammation throughout your body.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate: This test indirectly measures how much inflammation is in your body.

Autoimmune diseases are chronic conditions with no cure. The treatment involves attempts to control the process of the disease and to decrease the symptoms, especially during flare-ups. Below is a list of things you can do to alleviate symptoms:

  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Take vitamin supplements
  • Decrease stress
  • Limit sun exposure
  • Avoid any known triggers of flare-ups

If the symptoms persist after you have tried to alleviate them, make an appointment to see your doctor. The doctor can then diagnose your autoimmune disease and prescribe the best course of treatment. Treatment could include:

  • Hormone replacement therapy, if necessary
  • Blood transfusions, if blood is affected
  • Anti-inflammatory medication, if joints are affected
  • Pain medication
  • Immunosuppressive medication
  • Physical therapy

Common Autoimmune diseases:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – inflammation of joints and surrounding tissues
  • Celiac Sprue disease – a reaction to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley) that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases – a group of inflammatory diseases of the colon and small intestine
  • Vitiligo – white patches on the skin caused by loss of pigment
  • Type 1 Diabetes: destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas
  • Grave’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alopecia Areata


Eczema is a nonspecific term for many types of skin inflammation. There are different categories of eczema, which include allergic, contact, irritant, and nummular eczema. It is very common and it is generally manageable.

It is common for babies and children to develop eczema on their face. Often eczema goes away as a child grows. Adults can develop eczema even if they never had it as a child. Eczema is more common in children who suffer from asthma or hay fever.
People with family members who have eczema are also at higher risk of developing the condition.

There are 11 different types of skin conditions that produce eczema.

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Irritant dermatitis
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Stasis dermatitis
  • Fungal infections
  • Scabies
  • Pompholyx (dyshidrotic eczema)
  • Lichen simplex
  • Nummular eczema
  • Xerotic eczema
  • Seborrheic dermatitis

The symptoms of eczema include the following:

  • Skin is almost always itchy – Sometimes itching starts before a rash appears, but when it does appear, the rash generally appears on the face, the back of knees, the wrists, hands, or feet.
  • Dry, sensitive skin
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Affected areas usually appear very dry, thickened, or scaly
  • Tiny blisters that weep and ooze, eventually produce crusted, thickened plaques of skin.
  • Oozing or crusting
  • Areas of swelling

You may experience all of these symptoms of eczema or only just one or two.
The exact cause of eczema is unknown. It is thought to be linked to an overactive response by the body’s immune system to an irritant. It is the response that causes the symptoms of eczema.

An eczema flare-up is when one or more eczema symptom appears on the skin.

Common triggers of eczema flare-ups include:

  • Chemicals found in cleaners and detergents that dry out the skin
  • Rough scratchy material like wool
  • Synthetic fabrics
  • Raised body temperature
  • Sweating
  • Temperature changes
  • Sudden drop in humidity
  • Stress
  • Food allergies
  • Animal dander
  • Upper respiratory infections

To diagnose eczema, the doctor will order a complete physical exam and ask you questions about your symptoms.
There is no specific test that can be used to diagnose eczema. In most cases, a patch test is used to pinpoint certain allergens that trigger symptoms, like skin allergies associated with contact dermatitis. During a patch test, an allergen is applied to a patch that is placed on the skin. If you are allergic to that allergen, your skin will become inflamed and irritated.

It is important to distinguish the different causes of eczema because effective treatments often differ.
Oral over-the-counter antihistamines may relieve itching. They work by blocking histamine, which triggers allergic reactions.
Cortisone creams and ointments relieve itching and scaling. But they should not be used long-term because of the side-effects, which include thinning of the skin, irritation and discolouration.

If there is an infection, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.

Excessive Sweating – Hyperhidrosis

Sometimes excessive sweating is a sign of a medical condition. It may be a warning sign of thyroid problems, diabetes, or an infection; however, most cases of excessive sweating are harmless. Excessive sweating is more common in people who are overweight or out of shape. Excessive sweating is generally when you sweat heavily for no reason.

There are two types of excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis. The two types are Local Hyperhidrosis and Generalised Hyperhidrosis.

Localised Hyperhidrosis
This type of hyperhidrosis usually starts in childhood or adolescence. It does not cause any illnesses, you just sweat excessively.
Localised hyperhidrosis is not a sign of disease or a drug interaction.
The symptoms are fairly specific:

  • Only affects specific parts of the body (underarms, groin, head, face, hands, or feet)
  • Symptoms tend to be symmetrical, occurring on both sides equally.

Generalised Hyperhidrosis
Generalised hyperhidrosis is a less common form of hyperhidrosis that causes sweating all over the body, not just on the hands or feet.
This type of hyperhidrosis is more serious medically and is generally caused by something, such as an underlying health condition.
One of the major symptoms of generalised hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating at night.

Excessive sweating in women can be triggered by:

  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Infectious diseases like tuberculosis
  • Parkin’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stroke
  • Heart Failure
  • Cancers like Leukaemia and Lymphoma
  • Some medications
  • Some psychiatric drugs
  • Some blood pressure medications
  • Some medicines for dry mouth
  • Some antibiotics
  • Some supplements

If you have the following symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Night sweats – waking up in a cold sweat or you find your pillowcase and sheets are damp in the morning
  • Sweating all over your body, and not just from your head, face, underarms, groin, hands, or feet.
  • Asymmetrical sweating – if you notice that you’re only sweating from one side of your body, like one armpit
  • Sudden changes – if your sweating has suddenly gotten worse
  • Late onset – if you develop excessive sweating when you’re middle-aged or older.The more common localised hyperhidrosis usually starts in teenagers and young adults
  • Symptoms after medication changes – if an outbreak of excessive sweating started up after you began a new drug
  • Sweating accompanied by other symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, increased thirst, increased urination, or cough.

The two types of hyperhidrosis are treated differently.Localised Hyperhidrosis is easier to treat because it is only the excessive sweating that needs to be cured. There are no underlying conditions to complicate the procedure. Treatment includes:

Localised Hyperhidrosis is easier to treat because it is only the excessive sweating that needs to be cured. There are no underlying conditions to complicate the procedure. Treatment includes:

  • Antiperspirants
  • Iontophoresis
  • Medications
  • Botox
  • Surgery to remove some of the sweat glands.

Generalised Hyperhidrosis treatment is a little more complicated because the condition that is causing the excessive sweating needs to be treated. Sometimes the underlying condition can’t be cured. The symptoms of the underlying condition then need to be treated.

Melanoma Detection

Anyone can get Melanoma. Early detection is critical because melanoma is aggressive. If Melanoma is found early enough it can almost always be cured using surgery.
A thorough self-examination once a month and a visit to a dermatologist once a year can help with detecting melanoma early. During your self-examination check your entire body for any moles or discolouration that look new or different. Make sure to do the self-examination in a well-lit room in front of a full-length mirror. For those hard-to-see areas, use a hand-held mirror.
Examine all areas of your body, including your palms and soles, scalp, ears, nails, and your back.
If you find any spots on the skin that are new or changing in size, shape, or colour, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.

The dermatologist will check for suspicious moles or lesions on your entire body when you go for your yearly check-up. A photographic record of certain moles may be kept, so any changes can be tracked. A full-body photo may be taken
so moles can be tracked over time and new ones can be seen more readily. This is sometimes known as mole mapping.
Many dermatologists use a technique called dermatoscopy to look at spots on the skin more clearly. People who are at higher risk of melanoma should see a dermatologist on a regular basis.

If detected early a simple and painless surgical excision under local anaesthetic is all that is needed to get rid of a dangerous mole. Melanoma generally starts out by spreading on the superficial layers of the skin.
Once the melanoma starts to penetrate into deeper layers of the skin, curability drops 50% and procedures such as invasive surgery and chemotherapy will usually be needed.



Melasma is a very common patchy brown, tan, or blue-grey facial skin discolouration, usually seen in women in the reproductive years.
It can affect both genders and any race, but it is more common in women, and people with darker skin-types who live in sunny climates.
Melasma typically appears on the upper cheeks, upper lip, forehead, and chin of women 20-50 years of age.

The exact cause of Melasma remains unknown. Experts believe the dark patches in melasma could be triggered by several factors, including pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, family history of melasma, race, antiseizure medications, and other medications that make skin more prone to pigmentation after exposure to UV light. Uncontrolled sunlight exposure is considered the leading cause of melasma, especially in individuals with a genetic predisposition to this condition.
Individuals typically develop melasma in the summer months, when the sun is more intense.

For some women, melasma disappears on its own.
There are some creams that your doctor can prescribe that can lighten the skin. Sometimes topical steroids are prescribed to help lighten the affected areas.
Possible options for treatment include chemical peels, dermabrasion, and microdermabrasion if the creams do not work.

It is not guaranteed that melasma won’t come back after treatment. You have to go for follow-up visits and follow certain skin treatment guidelines to reduce the risk of the melasma returning.

Sometimes melasma can be very slow to respond to treatment, especially if it has been present for a long time.

Nail Fungus

Fungal infections can affect any part of the body. When a fungus begins to overgrow, you can get an infection. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that affects either the fingernails or the toenails. It begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolour, thicken and crumble at the edge.

Nail infections occur more often in men than in women, and they are found in adults more often than in children.

Nail fungus is typically caused by a dermatophyte fungus. Yeasts and moulds also can be responsible for nail fungal infections.
You’re more likely to develop a fungal infection if you:

  • Have diabetes
  • Have a disease that causes poor circulation
  • Wear artificial nails
  • Have a nail injury
  • Have a skin injury to the nail
  • Swim in public swimming pools
  • Are over the age of 65
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Have moist fingers or toes for an extended time
  • Wear closed-toe shoes.

Symptoms of nail fungus include:

  • Thickened nails
  • Brittle, crumbly or ragged edges
  • Distorted in shape
  • Dull, with no shine
  • A dark colour, caused by debris building up under your nail.
  • A distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed
  • An odour coming from the infected nail
  • Scaling under the nail
  • White or yellow streaks on the nail
  • Flaking white areas on the nail’s surface
  • The appearance of yellow spots at the bottom of the nail
  • Loss of the nail

If the condition is mild and does not bother you, you may not need treatment. If the nail fungus is painful and has caused the nail to thicken, self-care steps and medication may help. Even often successful treatment, nail fungus could come back.
If self-care strategies and over-the-counter products haven’t helped, your doctor may suggest a combination of prescription drugs and other approaches.

  • Medications:
    • Oral antifungal drugs
    • Medicated nail polish
    • Medicated nail cream
  • Surgical or other procedures
    • Nail removal
    • Laser and light-based therapy


Psoriasis is a skin disorder, which is an autoimmune disease.
Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful.

It typically occurs on the knees, elbows, and scalp, as well as on the nails and it can also affect the torso, palms, and soles of the feet. Psoriasis can also be found on the eyelids, ears, mouth and lips, and in skin folds.

If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your doctor:

  • Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
  • Small, scaling spots
  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
  • Itching, burning or soreness
  • Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
  • Swollen and stiff joints

The causes of psoriasis include:

  • Infections, such as strep throat or skin infections
  • Injury to the skin (cuts, scrapes, bug bites, or a severe sunburn)
  • Stress
  • Cold weather
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Certain medications

A variety of factors can cause an episode of psoriasis, including anything from trauma and emotional stress to streptococcal infection. The key cause of psoriasis is said to be some abnormality in the immune system.

There are no special blood tests or tools to diagnose psoriasis. A dermatologist usually examines the affected skin and determines if it is psoriasis. If the symptoms are unclear or if your doctor wants to confirm their diagnosis, a biopsy may be done with a small skin sample.

Psoriasis can be mild, moderate or severe. Treatment will depend on how severe your psoriasis is. The severity of psoriasis is based on how much of your body is affected.

Topical treatments, such as moisturisers, over-the-counter and prescription creams and shampoos, are generally used to treat mild psoriasis. Moderate to severe psoriasis usually involves using a combination of treatment strategies to treat it.

Light therapy may be prescribed along with topical treatments. Light therapy or topical treatments are often used when psoriasis is only limited to a specific part of the body. If it is widespread or greatly affects your quality of life, a doctor might prescribe oral or injectable drugs.
Most types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or month, then subsiding for a time or even going into complete remission.


Rosacea is a common, chronic, incurable, acne-like skin condition that is easily controllable and medically manageable. There are four subtypes of rosacea and each subtype has its own set of symptoms.

Rosacea may be mistaken for rosy cheeks, sunburn, or quite often, acne. It can be bothersome and embarrassing.

The symptoms of rosacea differ according to the subtype of rosacea. The most common symptoms include:

  • Facial flushing
  • Burning
  • Skin redness
  • Tiny red pimples and red fine lines
  • Rhinophyma – an enlarged, bulbous red nose
  • Visibly broken blood vessels

The symptoms of rosacea tend to come and go. The skin may be clear for a while and then erupt again.

The exact cause of rosacea has not been determined. A combination of hereditary and environmental factors may be the cause. Many things are known to trigger or make the symptoms of rosacea worse. These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Hot or spicy foods
  • Emotional stress
  • Hot or cold weather
  • Heavy exercise
  • A skin mite called demodex and the bacterium ii carries

Rosacea is generally diagnosed based on the red or flushed facial skin appearance and symptoms. In most cases, no specific tests are required for the diagnosis. Many people don’t even realise that they have rosacea. The facial redness of rosacea may be transient and come and go very quickly and many people may not associate the flushing symptoms with a medical condition. If rosacea is left untreated, it tends to worsen over time.

In the rare case that the dermatologist cannot confirm the diagnosis of rosacea based on the redness of the facial skin, a skin biopsy may be done. Blood tests are not usually required but may be used to help exclude less common causes of facial blushing.

Because there is no cure for rosacea, treatment focuses on controlling the signs and symptoms. Often this requires a combination of skin care and prescription treatments.

The medications that the dermatologist prescribes will depend on what signs and symptoms you’re experiencing. Prescription treatments include medications that reduce redness, oral antibiotics and isotretinoin.

Laser therapy may help to reduce the redness of enlarged blood vessels. Dermabrasion, intense pulsed light therapy and electro-surgery may also be used to treat the signs and symptoms of rosacea.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a common and locally destructive cancerous growth of the skin. It originates from the cells that line up along the membrane that separates the superficial layer of skin from the deeper layers. The vast majority of these sorts of skin cancers have a limited potential to spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening.

There are three major types of skin cancer: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma.

Skin cancers are not considered to be hereditary; however, genetics is important because your skin colour is hereditary. Skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV light, putting fair skinned people at more risk of getting skin cancer. Skin cancer typically appears on the skin that has been exposed to sunlight repeatedly for many years, such as the nose, ears, back of the neck and the bald area of the scalp.

If any of the below-mentioned symptoms are experienced, an appointment with a dermatologist needs to be made to check for the possibility of skin cancer.

  • Pink skin growths or lesions with raised borders that are crusted in the centre
  • Open sore that does not go away for weeks
  • A wart-like growth
  • Raised reddish patch of skin that may crust or itch, but is usually not painful
  • A white, yellow, or waxy area with a poorly defined border that may resemble a scar
  • A raised growth with a rough surface that is indented in the middle.

The most important warning sign for melanoma is any change in size, shape, or colour of a mole or other skin growth. Watch for changes that occur over a period of time.
The ABCDE system tells you what changes to look for:

  • A – Asymmetry. One-half of the mole or skin growth doesn’t match the other half.
  • B – Border irregularity. The edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • C – Colour. The colour is not the same throughout the mole.
  • D – Diameter. The mole or skin growth is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
  • E – Evolution. There is a change in size, shape, symptoms, surface, or colour of a mole.

A definitive way to determine if you have skin cancer is to have a skin examination done by a dermatologist. A skin biopsy is then done to confirm the diagnosis. A small portion of the tumour is sliced away and then examined under a microscope by a pathologist.

There are several effective ways of treating skin cancer. The location and the size of the tumour, the microscopic characteristics of cancer, as well as the general health of the patient determine what form of therapy will be needed.

Topical medications can be used in the case of superficial basal cell carcinomas. A fast, easy, and relatively inexpensive method of treatment is destruction by electrodesiccation and curettage. The more expensive and complicated procedure to remove skin cancer would be a surgical excision. Mohs micrographic surgery is the treatment of choice for tumours where normal tissue preservation is vital, where the tumour margins are poorly defined, in tumours that have been previously treated and have recurred, and in certain high-risk tumours. For patients who are not candidates for surgical procedures, radiation therapy is recommended.

Early detection of skin cancers can lead to better outcomes. If you have any moles or spots that are suspect, see a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening.

Sweat Reduction

Sweating can be difficult to treat because you have to find the right course of treatment for you. The doctor will generally recommend a non-invasive treatment first.

Some doctors will recommend changing your lifestyle a bit to help improve your symptoms. Things that make your sweating worse, like spicy foods, should be avoided. Avoid wearing tight-fitting or restrictive clothing, as well as clothing made from man-made fibres, like nylon. White or black clothing may help reduce the signs of sweating. Use antiperspirant instead of deodorant and get armpit shields that absorb sweat and protect your clothes.

Sometimes anxiety can be a factor that makes your sweating worse. In this case, medication may not be prescribed because it may increase the sweating; however, the doctor will recommend that you go for therapy to help with the anxiety.

If you have excessive sweating that affects your hands and feet, Iontophoresis may help. The affected areas are treated with a weak electric current passed through water or a wet pad. This helps block the sweat glands. This form of treatment is not painful; it may just cause mild discomfort and a possible skin irritation.

Special over-the-counter antiperspirants or prescription sprays, lotions and roll-ons can help control the symptoms of sweating. There are also some medications that can help stop the sweat glands producing excessive sweat.

Some doctors may recommend Botox. Botox injections can temporarily stop the nerves from triggering sweating. This procedure has been approved for treatment of excessive underarm sweating.

A more invasive method of treatment includes surgery.
Surgery is usually a permanent solution to excessive underarm sweating. There are a few different surgical procedures a doctor may choose to treat your sweating.
One of the procedures is Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS). ETS is usually used to treat cases of sweating that affects the palms and armpits. This procedure involves making small incisions on the side of the chest cutting or clipping the nerves that control sweating.

Another procedure involves removing or destroying the sweat glands. This procedure is generally performed to reduce the sweating in the armpits. The doctor may make an incision in the armpit and scrape away or cut out the sweat glands. The doctor may insert a laser device under the skin through a small incision that will destroy the sweat glands. Alternatively, the doctor may use a probe that is held above the skin, which emits electromagnetic radiation that destroys the sweat glands.

These procedures will usually be carried out under local anaesthetic.

Vascular Lesions


Vitiligo is a disease that causes the loss of skin colour in blotches. It can affect the skin on any part of your body. Other parts of the body that can be affected are your hair, the inside of the mouth and even the eyes. The extent and rate of colour loss from vitiligo is unpredictable. Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or stop functioning. Often vitiligo appears before the age of 20, but it can start at any age. People of all skins types can be affected, but it is more noticeable in people with darker skin. It is neither life-threatening nor contagious.

Doctors don’t know why the cells fail or die, but it may be related to:

  • A disorder in which your immune system attacks and destroys the melanocytes in the skin
  • Family history
  • A trigger event, such as sunburn, stress or exposure to industrial chemicals.

The main sign of vitiligo is a colour loss that produces light or white patches on the skin. Other signs include whitening or greying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows or beard, loss of colour in the tissues that line the inside of your mouth and nose, loss of or change in colour of the inner layer of the eyeball, and discoloured patches around the armpits, navel, genitals and rectum.

If a doctor suspects you have vitiligo, they will ask about your medical history and do an examination to try to rule out other medical problems. A small sample of the affected skin may be taken and some tests will be done in addition to the examination and gathering of your medical history.

Treatment for vitiligo may improve the appearance of the affected skin but does not cure the disease. Medication alone or combined with light therapy can help to improve the skin’s appearance. There are creams that control the inflammation. The creams are easy to use and they are effective. They help return the colour to your skin. Medications that affect the immune system can also be used. Light therapy is also used to help treat vitiligo on the face, trunk and limbs. Laser therapy brings back colour to the light patches by treating them with an excimer laser; however, it can only be used in small areas.

Surgery may only be an option for you if light therapy and medication don’t work.


A wart is a skin growth caused by one of over 100 types of human papillomaviruses (HPV). HPV infects the top layer of skin. The virus then causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, forming a wart. Within months, most wars go away on their own.
Warts are considered to be contagious and although they often only affect one part of the body, they can spread to other areas by picking them.

There are different types of warts which include: common warts, plantar warts, periungual warts, flat warts and filiform warts.

The different types of warts look different and are found on different parts of the body.

Common warts are dome-shaped and found on the backs of fingers, toes and knees. Plantar warts are found on the sole of the foot and grow into the skin, not out of it. Periungal warts grow around or under the nails and can be quite painful. Flat warts arise on the face, thighs or arms, often in large numbers. Filiform warts have a single long stalk and are the same colour as your skin, often growing around your mouth and nose.
Most warts have a rough surface and a number of black pinpoint spots that represent small clotted capillaries.


There are many methods of treatment for warts. These include:

  • Freezing – Spray concentrated cold air onto your warts that kill the skin and allows you to scrape away the surface of the wart.
  • Treatments and patches containing salicylic acid – These products have to be used every day, often for a few weeks.
  • Duct tape – Cover the wart with a small piece of duct tape for several days, then soaking the wart, and, finally rubbing the wart to remove the dead skin.
  • Liquid Nitrogen – Warts are frozen with liquid nitrogen that causes a blister under the wart, lifting it away from the skin.
  • Surgery – usually considered when warts do not respond to other treatments.

Warts may recur after treatment.