Medical Dermatology

Mount Sinai Dermatology Department specializes in treatment of various medical dermatology condition. Actively involved in research and contributing to the medical understanding of dermatological conditions, Mount Sinai Dermatology researches and sees patients each day with skin conditions that require medical attention. Chronic skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema can be effectively treated and have their recurrences significantly reduced with current treatments. Light therapy is often recommended. It is a popular, painless, and extremely effective option. Certain oral and biologic medications have been proven to help patients suffering from more severe cases of psoriasis.

There are a variety of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that may affect the appearance of skin and could lead to more serious health problems. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is known to be associated with genital warts and can be spread very easily, which necessitates its effective treatment. Molluscum, another viral infection often spread through sexual contact, is also highly contagious and results in unsightly physical changes to the skin. Both can be treated by excision and a variety of topical treatments.

With age, natural wear, and constant sun exposure, the skin is subject to developing areas of discoloration. While generally harmless and mostly treated for cosmetic purposes, certain patches of discoloration may point toward possible development of skin cancer. Actinic keratosis, the most common condition treated by dermatologists in the adult population, a precancerous skin condition. Mount Sinai Dermatology specializes in helping patients deal with and take preemptive measures to prevent serious complications associated with solar damage.

Acne is a problem that afflicts almost everyone at some point of their lives, with some people being more severely aff ected than others. Acne can be reasonably treated by targeting the bacteria responsible as well as targeting and weakening the sweat glands near the surface of the skin. More severe cases of acne may require more aggressive approaches, including minimally-invasive surgical excision or steroid injections directly into cysts. Powerful oral medications have been approved for use for patients with extremely severe acne.

Acne scars may develop at sites where acne lesions have resolved and the severity of acne correlates with the severity of scarring. "Picking" can predispose to the development of acne scars, which are typically depressed. Deeper skin tones generally develop darkening within the scars, while lighter skin tones usually scar with redness. Treating acne lesions by seeing a dermatologist early may prevent potentially permanent scarring. Therapeutic options for acne scars include vitamin A derivatives, chemical peels, fillers, and laser skin resurfacing. The pulse dye laser may be used for redness within scars, and topical bleaching agents may mitigate hyperpigmentation.

Bullous diseases are a heterogeneous group of disorders that result in detachment of the skin and/or mucous membranes. We treat a broad spectrum of these diseases, such as pemphigus vulgaris, bullous pemphigoid, dermatitis herpetiformis, among many others. We offer the latest in biologic therapy, including Rituxan® (rituximab) and intravenous immune globulins (IVIg), as well as a gamut of other options, such as mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, methotrexate, prednisone, and Dapsone.

Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) generally starts in childhood, but it can also present later in life. Eczema presents as an itchy red rash, most often on the arms, legs, and trunk. There is no definitive cause of eczema, but we know that it is most likely a due to a disruption in the skin's ability to hold moisture and maintain a healthy skin barrier. There are many targeted treatment for eczema, including topical anti-inflammatories, medical-grade ultraviolet therapy, and oral medications. We are fortunate to have a special program dedicated to eczema care and research in our Department, so you can be assured that you are getting the most advanced treatment.

Hyperhidrosis (excessive perspiration) is a condition in which patients experience excessive sweating. It can be generalized or localized to armpits, hands, and/or feet. Generalized hyperhidrosis is usually associated with a medical condition that can be diagnosed and treated appropriately by your primary care doctor. However, the majority of cases are localized, and it is not usually associated with a medical disease. In this case, your dermatologist may consider several treatments, including topical or oral medications, BOTOX® injections, an innovative new medical device called miraDry®, or surgical procedures.

Moles (or nevi) are dark bumps or flat areas on the skin. These are made of a collection of melanocytes, or pigment-producing cells, underneath the skin. Sometimes, you might be born with a mole, but it is also common to have them occur in childhood or beyond. Although there are certain criteria to look for in moles to determine if they are abnormal or not, it is best to have any suspicious mole examined by a board certified dermatologist.

Mycosis fungoides is a rare form of T-cell lymphoma of the skin, which is typically slowly progressive and chronic. In individuals with mycosis fungoides, the skin becomes infiltrated with patches or lumps composed of white cells called lymphocytes. In advanced cases, the disease can cause ulcerated tumors and infiltration of lymph nodes and spread to other parts of the body. The cause is unknown, and the diagnosis is often delayed for months or years and may require several biopsies, as early mycosis fungoides can be difficult to differentiate from other skin conditions, especially eczema. Treatment of individual patients varies and depends on the stage. Topical treatments including corticosteroids are frequently used as well as light therapy called phototherapy, which is available at The Mount Sinai Hospital.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune, genetic condition caused by inflammation of the skin, as well as other organs. Most commonly, psoriasis presents as thick, silvery, scaly plaques on the elbow, knees, scalp, and trunk – although the condition can affect any area of the skin. Psoriasis is associated with arthritis, known as psoriatic arthritis, in approximately 30 percent of patients. Other associated conditions include heart disease, diabetes and insulin resistance, obesity, metabolic syndrome, depression, and alcoholism. Treatment of psoriasis includes topical agents (e.g., creams, ointments, lotions, foams, and sprays), light therapy, and oral and biologic injectable (shots) medications. Biologics are the latest class of medication available to treat psoriasis. These medications not only treat the skin, but these also help with joint pain and in some studies have been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular (heart and vessel) disease in psoriasis patients. Since there are so many options available for treatment, it's important for the patients to work with a doctor they know and trust. Since no approach is right for all the patients, our doctors will choose a personalized treatment regimen for you.

Rosacea is a common chronic skin condition characterized by many symptoms that may include facial redness/swelling, skin bumps, visible tiny blood vessels, and eye redness. Some common triggers that may cause flare-ups of rosacea include, but are not limited to, eating hot/spicy foods, drinking hot drinks, drinking alcohol, extremes of temperature, sun exposure, and stress. Depending on the severity of this condition, treatment is composed of gels, creams, lotions, and oral medications. To avoid flares and control symptoms, patients should use daily sunscreen and sun protection, avoid triggers, refrain from using irritating products on your face, and wash skin with a gentle cleanser.

"Unknown rashes:" We are a tertiary center treating the most complicated of rashes. Our doctors take pride in our ability to clarify and treat challenging conditions. We are experienced in treating skin manifestations of lupus, lichen planus, pyoderma gangrenosum, leg ulcers, infectious diseases like methicillin-resistant staph infection (MRSA), and many others.

Vitiligo is a skin condition that involves complete loss of pigment. Typically, the area of skin affected is small, but it can increase over time. Vitiligo can affect any race, but it is more noticeable in patients with darker skin. There is currently no cure for vitiligo, but common therapies include narrow-band UVB phototherapy and excimer laser. The Department of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital was the first to patent the use of the excimer laser for treatment of vitiligo.