For patients in their 20s

Cold Sores and fever blisters

Cold sores or fever blisters are skin infections caused by the herpes simplex virus. It can be passed through contact through skin or saliva.

Triggers and symptoms

Triggers include sun exposure, physical and emotional stress, flu or other illness.  Procedures such as laser hair removal or dental procedures may also precede a flare.

Symptoms involve tingling or burning sensation of the lip. Soon after these symptoms, a blister develops.  The entire process lasts one to two weeks.

At Fairfield Dermatology we can diagnose the condition by asking about your medical history and by physical examination.  Occasionally a viral culture can be obtained for a specific laboratory diagnosis. 
Over the counter creams such as Abreva may shorten the duration of the symptoms. Prescription medications such as Acyclovir are the treatments of choice and can be very effective.


Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the virus that causes warts. These growths are common yet can be disfiguring and recurrent. Unfortunately, this viral infection is contagious, and family members and friends often spread the infection amongst each other.

At Fairfield Dermatology, we treat warts with a combination of topical medications as well as physical modalities, such as liquid nitrogen, laser, and desiccation. Patients should anticipate multiple visits to conquer this stubborn infection.

Fungal Infections

The saying that fungus is “all among us” is actually true.  When provided the right environment, the fungi can multiply leading to an infection.
Fungal organisms thrive in damp, dark and warm environments.  Nail salons, tanning beds, hot tubs, sauna and locker room floors are covered with these opportunistic creatures hungry for a new adventure between our toes and crevices.

Fungal infections appear as round scaly plaques. Because of their ringed shape fungal infections have been called “ringworm.”  These infections are contagious and we may catch them through direct contact with another person, object or animal.

When fungi infect the nails, they become thick, yellow and hard. 

When infections involve the feet or groin we refer to these infections as athlete’s foot or jock itch.

Diagnosing Fungal Skin or Nail Infections
At Fairfield Dermatology we may diagnose a fungal infection by examining your skin or by performing a scraping to analyze the scale under a microscope. Rarely, a skin biopsy is performed to clinch the diagnosis.
Your Provider may prescribe an antifungal cream or power if a yeast or dermatophyte skin infection develops.  In circumstances where infection is widespread, an antifungal pill may be necessary. 
Fungal infections of the nails are more challenging because the topical agents cannot easily penetrate nail plate. These nail infections usually require a prescription antifungal pill. Despite the many treatment options for fungal infections recurrence often do occur.
Currently, we do not have cures for these infections, however lifestyle modifications, preventative creams and powders can keep these infections away.

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