University of Minnesota Medical School

Recent Articles

Treating skin of color

Conclusion of a 4-part column

 

 

Most skin diseases occur in people of all nationalities, regardless of their skin color. Certain problems encountered in the skin are more common in people with different hues of skin, and sometimes a disorder seems more prominent because it affects skin color. This week concludes our review of these disorders and their treatments.  

 

Tinea capitis

Tinea capitis, also known as ringworm, is endemic in African American children. Any child with a scaling, itching scalp should be thoroughly investigated for tinea capitis. Continue Reading →

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What is melasma and why should I care?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melasma is a condition where one develops dark brown and gray patches most notably on the forehead, upper lip, nose and cheeks. It can also occur on the forearms and neck. I consider melasma to be a very rapid, uneven suntan.  

Why should I care about melasma? Melasma is a condition that occurs in both men and women. Ninety percent of melasma cases occur in women; however, 10 percent of cases will occur in men. Continue Reading →

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What are shingles and why should I care?

Shingles, medically called Herpes Zoster, is a rash caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus. The rash is very itchy and usually presents with grouped blisters. The rash follows a band-like pattern on the skin, and a big clue is that it does not cross the midline. Often times, the area will feel odd, itchy, tingle or burn a few days before the rash appears. About 20 percent of people who have chicken pox will develop shingles later in life. Continue Reading →

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Why should I care about heart failure?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD

and Monica Colvin-Adams, MD, MS, FAHA

 

Heart failure is one of the few cardiovascular diseases that continue to increase. Heart failure is a leading cause of death and is strongly linked to high blood pressure.  

 

What is “congestive” heart failure? When your heart is too weak or too stiff to pump blood efficiently, fluid can back up in the lungs and tissues causing congestion. This is often referred to as “congestive heart failure.” This does not always happen during heart failure, and as a result the term “heart failure” is preferred over “congestive heart failure.”

 

What causes heart failure? Heart failure is the syndrome that is created by a heart that is too weak to pump or too stiff to eject blood efficiently. Continue Reading →

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From picky eaters to overeating: childhood nutrition in a nutshell

By Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD and Tamiko Morgan, M.D., FAAP
 

Childhood nutrition has taken the spotlight recently, especially due to the fact that childhood obesity has at least tripled in the past three decades. Many parents are seeking answers to the questions “What should my child eat? How much? Why?”

Although we are currently living in the “information age,” information overload has caused some parents to be confused, making it challenging for them to understand good nutritional recommendations. In this column, we will attempt to summarize some basic recommendations regarding childhood nutrition. Continue Reading →

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Should I take vitamins and other supplements?

Physician recommendations on taking vitamins seem to be constantly changing. Over the past few years, researchers have found that some vitamins thought to be helpful might not be as beneficial as originally believed. In fact, some may even be harmful. In the Iowa Women’s  Health Study, which tracked supplementation habits in women 55 years of age and older for nearly 20 years, research found that taking a multivitamin may increase the risk of premature death. Commonly, people take vitamins for general health or as a way to prevent disease, and on the surface this seems to make a lot of sense. Continue Reading →

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Recognizing and treating Molluscum Contagiosum

What is Molluscum Contagiosum? 

Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral infection that produces small, flesh-colored, dome shaped bumps that can often become irritated or painful. They may appear to have a shiny surface in a small central indentation, or white core.  

Why should I care about Molluscum Contagiosum? Molluscum Contagiosum is a benign condition that will spread through direct skin contact. This contact can be in the patient’s own skin spreading to other areas, or from direct skin-to-skin contact, especially in children. Molluscum Contagiosum can also be transmitted through swimming pools and shower room floors. Continue Reading →

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Why should I care about nail health?

 

 

Nail problems are very common and troubling. Nails often reflect our general state of health and can often be the first sign of serious general health issues.  

Nail facts

Fingernails grow out in four to six months. Toenails grow out in nine to 12 months. Individual rates depend on age, time of the year, activity levels and heredity. Continue Reading →

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Hair loss: a vexing problem

 

 

Why should I care about hair loss? While the physical symptoms of hair loss can be dramatic for patients, the psychosocial impact can be just as severe. In quality-of-life studies of people with androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern hair loss, researchers found that men and women both report a significant loss of self-esteem, being introverted, and feeling less attractive with hair loss. It really is a self-esteem issue. What causes hair loss? Continue Reading →

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Why should anyone care about warts?

By Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD 

 

Warts are rough surface bumps that can occur mainly on the hands and feet but may occur anywhere on the body. Warts can be very tender, painful, can get infected, and are transmissible. Some warts can be associated with a certain type of reproductive cancer. Because this is an infectious disease with other healthcare ramifications, most warts should be treated. Discuss treatment options with your doctor. Continue Reading →

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