The therapeutic approaches to the five common skin problems described range from standard topical and systemic agents to newly introduced alternative medications and techniques. In acne, the type of lesion found on physical examination determines the severity of the disease and its subsequent treatment. When necessary, appropriate precautions must be taken before and during therapy. Fortunately, with the drugs available today, only the most extreme cases of acne should progress to the stage where physical and/or psychological scarring occurs. The number of therapeutic approaches to psoriasis, from steroids to UV light, pays testament to the difficulty in treating this cyclic disease. Until an effective and safe medication is developed, research is sure to continue. Sources of the antigen causing contact dermatitis are sometimes unusual, but the lesions have a characteristic appearance. Several topical and systemic agents are available. Patient education and prophylactic measures play an important role. Therapies for both venereal and nonvenereal warts are proliferating. The evolving understanding of viral oncogenesis in both types of warts promises that this will be an area of continued intense research in the next few years.
Millikan LE, Shrum JP