By some estimates, somewhere around 60 million people suffer from active acne. Most of those are young adults and about 25% of those people will actually have long-term scars as a result of severe acne that goes untreated.
Needless to say, acne can be a real problem for some people and a constant source of anxiety for many others. Many people are not aware that the everyday habits they engage in can be causing or exacerbating their acne.
Your skin is the most important (and one of the most sensitive) organs in your body. Here are some little-known acne-fighting tips to keep your skin clear, beautiful, and healthy.
Clean Your Face Regularly
The most important thing you can do to prevent acne from taking hold on your skin is to wash your face. Every time you go out into the world, exercise, sweat in any way, swim in a pool or lake, or expose your skin at all to the elements; dirt and oil can become trapped in your pores.
Other than genetic factors, these are the primary vehicles for acne to form. Even sleeping on dirty sheets or other surfaces can make your facial skin dirty. It may not look dirty but trust us, it’s there.
Each morning when you wake up, wash your face with a gentle exfoliator. Then do the same each night when you go to bed. Develop a routine habit of this and you should start to see improvement of existing mild acne and prevent new acne from forming.
Clean Your Phone
This sounds silly but our phones are some of the dirtiest objects we use each day. Some people say they are even dirtier than our money because we use our phones in all situations. We use them when we are eating, when we are in the bathroom, after we’ve handled other dirty objects, etc.
With that said, no consider the fact that you put your phone to your face at least a couple times each day. If you have never cleaned your phone, all of the things you touched in the time before you put it to your face are on there.
A good tip is to keep some wipes that are labeled as antibiotics. Choose something that kills germs and keep it in your car, at home, and at your place of work. Make a habit of wiping your phone screen down at least once a day.
If cleaning your phone is not practical, try using devices that allow you to use a phone function without touching your face. For example speakerphone, Bluetooth headsets, or the headphones that came with your phone are all good options.
Washing your skin is great but keeping it moisturized is even better. Moisturizers keep pores in your skin open and make it less likely that dirt and oil will become trapped in your skin. Moisturizing after you’ve washed your face in the morning and at night is a good routine to follow.
It is a common myth that hot water or steam opens the pores in your skin and cold water makes them close. In reality, your pores are not activated by temperature. Hot water has a tendency of making the outer layers of your skin swell which can make them look open but that is not why they are opening.
Heat causes enlargement of the capillaries near the surface of your skin and makes the area swell. In other words, hot water does nothing for you and cooler water is easier on the skin.
Plan a Healthier Diet
What you eat has a lot to do with what your skin looks like. You can help prevent acne by simply avoiding certain foods. While every person’s body and metabolism are different, here are some basic things you should avoid eating too much of:
Sugar: This is probably the worst for your skin. Some studies have shown that sugar has some sort of link to breakouts and consuming a lot of it can throw your body off balance. Keep track of your sugar intake. If you notice a breakout hours or days after consuming a lot of sugar, it’s best to steer clear.
Fast food: This is probably not good for anyone anyway but for acne sufferers, fast food can be a big no-no. Much of this kind of food is high in fatty acids and oils which make their way through your body and into your skin.
Wash Your Pillowcase
You would be surprised at how much a person can sweat in their sleep and we all do it. Even if you wash your face, shower, and moisturize before bedtime, your pillowcase and sheets accumulate dirt and oil overnight. Sweat builds up on our bodies and then it has no other place to go than into our bed linens.
Make a point to wash your pillowcases as often as you wash your other clothes. Change your pillowcase at least every couple of days to a clean one. This is one of those strategies where if you’ve tried a lot of other things to prevent acne, this may be yet another opportunity to avoid getting your skin dirty.
If you’ve tried many of these and failed, do not beat yourself up. Sometimes acne requires professional care and there is no way around it. Some people are predisposed to developing severe acne and require medical intervention. If you have chronic mild or severe acne and you haven’t done anything about it yet, these tactics are great places to start.
We are all products of our environment and the same principle can be applied to our skin. Make changes in your daily habits as a first step in combating your acne before contacting a professional or using more aggressive treatments. You may be able to save yourself a lot of frustration and money by simply doing things a little different in your everyday life instead of adding treatments that may not be necessary.
*Photo courtesy of Karolina Misev with www.cushyspa.comLear More
According to the National Rosacea Society, rosacea is a progressive acne-like condition that starts from the face and over time, may spread to other parts of the body including the chest and neck. The condition causes painful pimple-like bumps to appear on various parts of your face including the ears, eyes, nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin.
In addition to being painful, the condition may also cause facial swelling. When left untreated, it may cause the capillaries (small blood vessels) on your face to dilate and become visible on the skin. Furthermore, it may cause your skin to become hard and thick, causing your nose to appear enlarged.
Currently, this condition affects more than 15 million people in the US alone and about 45 million people worldwide. The risk factors for it include age, hereditary factors, gender, and race. With that in mind, here is a detailed look at this potentially life-disruptive skin condition.
The Different Types of Rosacea
As mentioned above, rosacea is a progressive skin condition, meaning its symptoms tend to get progressively worse over time. In essence, rosacea progresses in four distinct stages, with the signs and symptoms of the disease varying at each stage. Because of this, researchers have classified rosacea into four subcategories. These subcategories include:
Erythematotelangiectatic or Vascular
Erythematotelangiectatic or vascular rosacea is essentially early-stage rosacea (pre- rosacea), meaning it is a mild condition. The signs and symptoms of erythematotelangiectatic rosacea include chronic skin redness, flushing of the skin and in some cases, telangiectasia (visible capillaries). The treatment options for this type of rosacea include laser treatment and oral or topical rosacea medications, such as minocycline and doxycycline. However, it is important to note that these treatment options do not completely cure the disease. In other words, they only relieve the symptoms of the disease.
Inflammatory Rosacea or Papulopustular
This is the second stage of the disease. At this stage, pustules and papules will appear on your face, causing you to experience persistent facial redness and flushing. To relieve the symptoms, use topical gels such as metronidazole.
At the third sage (phymatous rosacea), the symptoms include all the symptoms for stages one and two, as well as the growth of new skin tissue on the affected areas, causing your skin to become hard and thick. Moreover, the excess skin tissue may cause your nose to grow bigger and become bulbous, a condition called rhinophyma. To get rid of the excess skin tissue, you would need to undergo surgery or laser treatment.
This is the fourth and final stage of the disease and as the name implies, it primarily affects the eyes. The signs and symptoms associated with this type of rosacea include a burning sensation of the eyes, blurred vision, recurrent styes, swollen eyelids, tearing and dry eye. It is worth noting that, when left untreated, ocular rosacea can easily damage the cornea, eventually causing blindness. Physicians usually use low-dose antibiotics to manage this condition.
At this point, it is important to note that you can develop all the aforementioned types of rosacea either in sequence or at once. In fact, it is quite common for patients to develop multiple types of rosacea at once. Additionally, it is worth noting that, although rosacea is a progressive condition, it does not always progress from one stage to another. However, the symptoms tend to get progressively worse over time. For this reason, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, even for early-stage rosacea.
While rosacea can affect virtually anyone, certain people are more susceptible to the disease. According to surveys by the National Rosacea Society, the risk factors for rosacea include:
- Age – A survey by the National Rosacea Society found that rosacea mainly affects people aged 30 years or older. Specifically, the survey revealed that people between the ages of 30 and 50 account for nearly 45% of all new rosacea infections, people above the age of 50 account for nearly 40% of all new infections and people under the age of 30 account for only 17% of new infections.
- Fair skin – the aforementioned survey also found that people with fair skin account for more than 70% of all rosacea infections.
- Blushing and flushing – People who tend to blush and flush easily are nearly six times as likely to develop rosacea compared to people who do not blush or flush easily.
- Hereditary factors – People with a family history of rosacea are more likely to develop the disease.
- Ancestry – Although rosacea affects people of all racial backgrounds and nationalities, Americans of Eastern European, Scandinavian, Scottish, Irish and English ancestry are particularly prone to the condition.
- Gender – The disease is more common in women than in men.
Oral and Topical Therapies
Currently, there is no cure for this long-term skin condition. However, oral and topical therapies can help manage the condition and ease the symptoms of the disease. Long-term use of topical therapy is particularly important to maintain remission. In certain cases, dermatologists use both invasive and non-invasive surgical techniques to manage the condition. This includes laser skin treatments that we offer at our office.
You can use a gentle-skin care routine to manage the condition. In essence, you should clean your face with a non-abrasive cleanser and lukewarm water. After cleaning your face, blot it dry with a soft cotton towel instead of rubbing it with a rough washcloth. At the same time, always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 when outdoors in the sun.
Things that increase blood flow to the surface of your face can actually aggravate the condition. For this reason, you should identify and avoid triggers.
Rosacea is a long-term skin condition that mainly affects people ages 30 and older. The signs and symptoms of the disease include pimples that appear on the face, neck, and chest. Researchers do not yet know what causes this condition. As a result, there is no current cure for the condition. The available treatment options, including oral, topical and surgical therapies, only manage the symptoms of the disease. If you suspect you have rosacea, contact us for a consultation today.
Microneedling shrinks pores, gets rid of fine lines and wrinkles, and treats uneven pigmentation caused by sun damage, pollution, hormonal changes, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or a combination of the four. This minimally-invasive procedure can also improve the appearance of scars (including those caused by acne).
The Procedure What is Microneedling?
Some also refer to microneedling as collagen induction therapy because it triggers natural collagen production. This treatment can effectively rejuvenate your skin in just three sessions. Please note, though, that this is the minimum number of sessions, but can go higher depending on the skin’s condition. Scar reduction, for example, requires up to six sessions.
If you are thinking of going to your dermatologist to have this procedure, it’s important to keep in mind that collagen production peaks at two weeks after the treatment. The frequency of this procedure depends on the intensity. Mild microneedling sessions, for example, can be repeated once a month or every two weeks while deeper treatments specific for scar visibility reduction can be repeated every month or every six weeks.
Read “What is Microneedling?“ for a more detailed explanation of the procedure.
Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Microneedling can smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, which makes it a great solution for older men and women. In fact, this procedure is often associated specifically with the removal of fine lines although the treatment can do so much more. Microneedling is a simple yet very effective treatment that can benefit people of all ages.
Older individuals who want to get rid of their wrinkles can now have younger-looking skin faster. Many love this treatment because it is more natural since it encourages natural collagen production.
Effective Scar Treatment
Microneedling is an effective way to reduce the visibility of scars and is especially popular as an acne scar treatment. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery supports this claim. The researchers in this study invited participants who have acne scars to undergo microneedling treatments. After the sessions, almost 100 percent of the participants reported a reduction of scar visibility.
A study published in the “Dermatologic Surgery Journal” in 2016 found that microneedling is an effective procedure that gets rid of acne-related scarring. The study reports that the recovery time is markedly less and there are fewer side effects compared to other treatments for the same conditions.
Sun Damage and Pigmentation Reversal
Because of the treatment’s ability to encourage natural collagen production, it can reverse discoloration and damage caused by sun exposure. It is even effective in treating hyperpigmentation brought about by melasma. Several studies show that microneedling has positive effects on blotchy pigmentations on the skin. According to the National Center for Biotechnology and Information (NCBI), the role of microneedling in melasma treatment is promising.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but microneedling actually reduces the size of your pores. Due to the amount of collagen produced by the skin after the treatment, the skin tightens and appears plumper than before. Because of this tightening effect, the pores become visibly smaller.
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, regular microneedling sessions can also help your skin absorb beauty creams and other products better. Under normal circumstances, only 4 to 8 percent of beauty products can penetrate your skin. The tiny punctures on the skin made by the microneedles function as tiny channels that allow your creams and products to penetrate your skin more effectively.
If you would like to find out if microneedling is right for you, contact our office to schedule a consultation.Lear More
Currently, there are a lot of effective skin care treatments that reduce signs of aging and improve the condition of the skin. These treatments range from using simple topical creams to actual procedures that can be done to improve the skin’s condition. Laser treatments, in particular, are very popular skin care options and the technology used in the treatments continue to evolve—becoming more sophisticated and effective.
The Value of Healthy Glowing Skin
When it comes to skincare, the aim is always to maintain blemish-free, glowing, and youthful-looking skin. This is especially true for the skin on our face as we age. After all, our face is the first thing others may notice about us, so the skin thereof plays an important part in how we feel about our social interactions with others.
Great-looking skin tends to give us more confidence, while the opposite is also true—blemished or aged skin can negatively affect our self-esteem. Everything from fine lines and wrinkles to acne scars and age spots can affect the quality of our skin and our social confidence. It is, therefore, important that we take the steps necessary to take good care of our skin and enjoy the many benefits of proper skin care.
Overview: About the Fractional CO2 Laser Technology
Laser treatments, though more invasive than many topical skin care options are increasingly popular treatments. Laser technology can treat a number of skin conditions. One of the latest options—the fractional CO2 laser—uses the most advanced skin revitalization laser treatment technology and has been shown to produce astounding anti-aging results for skin care patients. In fact, studies prove that the fractional CO2 treatment not only reduces the effects of aging on the skin, but also reverses existing signs of aging, including:
– Acne and other trauma-related scars
– Age Spots
– Crow’s feet
– “Smoker’s Lines”
After just one treatment, skin appears significantly healthier, rejuvenated, and smoother than prior to the treatment.
How It Works
The fractional CO2 laser treatment works by using a pattern of carbon dioxide laser beams to treat the skin below the surface. A doctor sends carbon dioxide beams into the skin. The beams create strategically-placed microscopic holes in the skin that allow the body to start producing more collagen. Collagen is the body’s natural hormone that keeps the skin healthy and youthful.
The secret to the effectiveness of the fractional CO2 laser technology rests in the fragmented nature of its treatment patterns. This treatment does not allow its laser energy to affect all parts of the skin at once. Instead, it affects a portion of the skin and not the entire skin’s surface. This allows the recovery time to speed up, thereby enhancing results. Patients are usually fully healed within four to five days on average.
The QuadraLASE Fractional CO2 Laser treatment has many important features. For starters, the treatment sessions are not very long. Each session lasts an average of one hour. Additionally, while the treatment is not in any way painful, there are some sensations that patients can look out for. These sensations include a slight sunburned feeling accompanied by some peeling. Thankfully, these symptoms usually pass within the average healing and recovery time of about four to five days.
The results, however, are practically immediate, and patients will notice that their scars, wrinkles, age spots, and other skin conditions are far less noticeable as the skin continues to heal. As time goes on, the skin continues to clear as the newly-produced collagen helps the skin become tight, moisturized, and vibrant. Finally, the QuadraLASE Fractional CO2 laser treatment produces permanent results. Over time, it reduces the need for using over-the-counter topical treatments—making the treatment a real, lasting solution.
Additionally, it is possible to use the fractional CO2 laser treatment on the neck as well. Depending on the patient’s condition, a doctor may use the laser to spot treat specific problem areas. After all, all skin ages and oftentimes, most don’t think about the neck as a prime spot for anti-aging treatments.
As you consider the fractional CO2 laser treatment, remember that this will naturally cost more than everyday over-the-counter options you may already use. That said, it is a worthy investment as the treatment continues to pay for itself in value as time goes on. Having amazing, vibrant, and glowing skin is already worth its weight in gold. Of course, the confidence you get from having that glowing, healthy, youthful skin is the icing on the cake.
Am I a Candidate for Fractional CO2 Laser Treatments?
Science and research back the fractional CO2 laser technology. We offer this treatment because our certified and experienced dermatologists have carefully vetted the treatment and seen real results.
Now is the perfect time to undergo this treatment. Since you spend less time outside and more time bundled up, your skin will be more likely to be protected while it heals. Also, if you have this treatment now, your skin will be beautiful, and glowing when the warm weather hits.
We are not able to treat without first having a consultation with each patient. This helps us guarantee that the treatment will be a safe and effective for the individual and his or her needs. We also do the consultations to manage expectations. There is a $50 consultation fee that goes towards the price of the treatment.
Universal Dermatology believes in being transparent with our prices and services. Therefore, we would like to let you know that the price ranges from $1000 to $3100 for eye or lip area only up to entire face, neck, and chest. Insurance does not cover this procedure.
To get started weighing your treatment options, contact our office today.Lear More
Sclerotherapy is a versatile treatment that targets spider veins, varicose veins, and other vein issues. It has been tried and tested over many years and has proven to be very effective. If you have any of these vein issues, this procedure may be right for you.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive procedure that treats spider and varicose veins. Depending on how deep the abnormal vein is under your skin, your doctor may need to use ultrasound technology to see where the vein is located. Then, he or she will inject a specialized solution directly into the target vein. This solution is usually saline-based, but the chemical agent depends on the size of the vessel that needs to be treated.
Sclerotherapy will not only improve the appearance of veins, but it will improve venous blood flow and lower chronic swelling as well.
How Does Sclerotherapy Work?
Injecting the saline solution into a vein damages the inside lining of the vessel. This forms a clot that blocks circulation in the vein. This forces the body to reroute blood flow through healthier veins. The damaged vein will eventually become scar tissue and the body will reabsorb it under the skin. This absorption causes the vein to fade from view.
Who is a Possible Candidate for Sclerotherapy?
Anyone who is in general good health and experiences unsightly spider or varicose veins is a good candidate for sclerotherapy. It can also be helpful for someone who suffers from venous insufficiency and cannot control the issue with the use of compression stockings.
Causes of Spider or Varicose Veins
There are a number of things that increase a person’s risks of developing vein issues.
Genetics. Almost half of the population of people who develop varicose veins have family members with the problem.
Age. As a person gets older, wear and tear cause vein valves to become weak.
Obesity. When a person is overweight, the extra weight strains the veins.
Gender. Women are much more likely to develop varicose veins. Hormones, pregnancy, and menopause increase the risks for development.
Prolonged Sitting or Standing. When a person sits with his or her legs bent, the veins must work harder to push blood to the heart.
What to Expect During the Procedure
When the procedure is about to begin, the patient lays on his or her back with legs elevated. Your doctor will clean the area and then insert the needle. When he or she removes the needle, the doctor will apply compression and then massage the area to prevent blood from entering the vessel. Immediately following sclerotherapy, the patient will need to stand and walk so blood clots do not form.
Is Sclerotherapy Painful?
Sclerotherapy does require an injection into the skin, so the patient may experience some stinging or cramps when the syringe is inserted. Also, some feel pain from the saline solution being injected into the vein. The procedure should be otherwise pain-free unless a rare difficulty occurs.
All medical procedures pose a risk, but your doctor will discuss side effects before deciding if this therapy will work for you. For example, a person may experience hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin), pain at injection site, temporary swelling, or an allergic reaction. In severe cases, a person may experience nerve damage.
Recovery and Aftercare of Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is performed on an outpatient basis; therefore, patients do not require hospitalization. Following the treatment, the patient will need to wear compression dressings for up to three weeks. A follow-up appointment after this recovery time will determine if further action is necessary.
After treatment, veins will fade within a few weeks. On rare occasions, it may take more than a month to see total results. More than one treatment may be necessary for larger veins.
Is Sclerotherapy Covered by Insurance?
Since sclerotherapy is often linked to the correction of spider veins, some see it as purely cosmetic. In these cases, most insurance companies will not cover the elective procedure. However, it can be used for other medical purposes, and if so, a doctor must document a patient’s condition. An insurance provider may cover the procedure if they understand the problems associated with a malfunctioning deep vein.
If you suffer from varicose veins or spider veins, you may wish to consider sclerotherapy. Contact us to ask any additional questions you may have or to schedule a consultation where our providers will meet with you to discuss the issues you are facing and establish a plan of action.Lear More
Healthy skin and skin care routines are not just for women, men need to take care of their skin as well. Your skin is the barrier protecting your body from the outside elements, so protecting it is very important for your overall health. Here are some skin care tips for men.
What is a Holistic Approach to My Skin Care and Health?
A holistic approach to health involves treating your body as a machine. This means that each part needs to be tended to in order to keep the other parts functioning properly. Here are some ways you can take care of your body holistically:
Be Attentive to Your Whole Body
When many people think of skin care and dermatology, they only think of the skin on the face. However, skin care is about total body care. While it is true that some areas of the skin may be more sensitive or easily noticeable than others, it is a single organ that needs to be tended to. Therefore, use products that protect all of your skin—this includes full-body moisturization and finding a soap or body wash that does not dry out your skin.
There are some people who can eat poorly without seeing negative effects on their skin. However, for most of us, what we eat and how we live will directly affect our skin. As such, the first step to healthy skin is usually the same as taking the first step toward good general health—eat well and drink plenty of water.
Opt for natural, organic, and non-processed food items during mealtimes. A great place to start is increasing your fruit and vegetable intake. If you eat meat, stick to a leaner variety. Avoid sugars, sodas, and overly-salty foods.
Be sure to get regular, vigorous exercise as well. Exercise helps you exfoliate the skin, release toxins, manage your weight, and metabolize the food you eat. We recommend exercising each day at varying levels of intensity for at least a half an hour.
Be sure to get the rest you need. Deep, relaxing sleep helps the body recuperate and replenish itself. This includes the skin. Without sufficient rest, the skin is likely to look aged, wrinkled, or swollen. The opposite is also true. Periods of physical and mental rest can do wonders for your total health and skin.
Keep Stress Levels Low
We may not be able to control all that we face, but we can manage how we respond to it. Developing a system of coping mechanisms—from meditation to nature walks—is a good place to start. This will prevent stress lines and promote overall well-being.
Should I Develop a Skin-Care Routine?
Yes! What you do to your skin topically is just as important to how well you eat and otherwise take care of yourself. The products you use and the actions you take can directly affect the look and feel of your skin. While it is often the last thing men think about, a skin-care routine including cleansing, moisturizing, and utilizing anti-aging options is the place to start.
Why is Moisturizing Important?
Many people undervalue and underutilize moisturizing, particularly men. Some consider it to be too feminine, while others are simply unaware of the value of a good moisturizer for one’s skin, and especially for men. Now that you have been informed, your next step is to seek out a moisturizer that works for you.
Admittedly, because men and women are different, it is important that men choose from among the moisturizers that are engineered for their skin.
What is a Good Shaving Routine to Protect My Skin?
Shaving is an important part of grooming for men. It is important to do it properly to avoid razor burn and other skin irritations. Therefore, when shaving your face, use this checklist:
- Wet your facial hair thoroughly.
- Use a high-quality shaving cream—these usually moisturize the skin and are less irritating to sensitive skin.
- Use high-quality shaving tools including a beard brush and a quality razor with clean and frequently-changed blades.
- Cleanse properly after shaving and use an aftershave lotion.
Should I Do Anything Differently for My Skin in the Winter?
All the aforementioned tips are great for every season of the year and should be practiced daily. However, these tips are particularly important for those times of the year when the weather is harshest.
In other words, it is even more important to use an effective moisturizer during the drying winter months. Contrary to popular belief, it is also important to wear sunscreen during these colder months. Cold weather does not mean the sun can no longer cause burns or other skin damage. Also, increasing water intake during these months can help. Adequate hydration maintains fresh, youthful-looking skin and serves as a great support for the other topical options you are using.
Contact Us for More Skin Care Options
Here at Universal Dermatology and Vein Care, we offer skin care services, treatments, and product options that both men and women can benefit from. Available options are tailored to suit a wide range of skin conditions and skin-care goals and routines. The best place to start is by scheduling a consultation with one of our qualified dermatologists. Contact us today!Lear More
Many people undervalue the importance of skin care and skin checks. However, the fact remains that our skin is our first point of contact with the outside world. Because of this, the skin needs to be properly cared for. Just as there are many layers of the skin, there are also many layers and levels of skin care. The first level of skin care is taking care of your skin from the inside out. This includes eating and drinking well, resting sufficiently, and exercising regularly.
Skincare Inside and Out
In many ways, the old adage, “you are what you eat” is true. What you eat and drink will show up on your skin. Do your best to stay away from processed foods and sugary drinks. Drink lots of water, eat fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and exercise regularly.
In addition to taking care of your skin from the inside, there are lots of things you can do topically to take care of your skin. With the right topical care and treatment coupled with the skincare from the inside, you will be able to have youthful, glowing, and healthy skin. The first step in good topical skin care is, of course, scheduling an annual check with your dermatologist.
The Importance of Annual Skin Checks
A regular skin check is just as important as an annual physical. This is because it is easy to take the condition of your skin for granted, especially because we are used to looking at it every day—its condition is our normal. However, there are many conditions that can go undetected. With an annual check, you are able to take the necessary corrective and preventative steps for conditions like these.
For example, skin cancer is on the rise, and one of the reasons for this is the inability to identify early symptoms and warning signs. Annual skin checks will help ensure early detection. Additionally, with harsh winter weather rolling in, it is even more important to protect and care for your skin.
Taking Care of Your Skin Between Annual Skin Care Checkups
Naturally, it is expected that you will continue to take care of your skin between annual checks. Here are two of the most important aspects of skincare that you should do daily.
Moisturizing the skin regularly is an often overlooked part of skincare. However, it is one of the most recommended practices in dermatology. Keeping your skin properly moisturized can help guard against certain diseases and skin conditions, so it is always recommended—especially in the summer and winter months when the weather can be particularly harsh and drying for the skin.
Wearing protective creams
Sunscreen, like moisturizers, is another often ignored skincare habit. UV rays have been directly linked with skin cancer. As such, it is important that you protect yourself and your skin. A sunscreen with SPF 30 has been proven to effectively block out around 97% of the sun’s rays from harming the skin.
Get Professional Dermatology Care Today
It is easy to think of dermatologists as the doctors you turn to when something is wrong. However, you shouldn’t wait until there is a problem to schedule an appointment. Dermatological care is an important part of overall health. Therefore, whether you are noticing symptoms of certain conditions or seem to have clear skin, annual checks and skincare treatments by professionals is important.
Universal Dermatology & Vein Care can provide comprehensive dermatology care for your skin, hair, and nails. We have a friendly and competent team of trained dermatologists waiting to answer your questions and provide you with any treatment options you may need. Contact us today to schedule an annual skin check!Lear More
Have you experienced redness and irritation after using a skin-care product or trying out a new detergent? How about a skin reaction with no explanation? If so, you may have suffered from contact dermatitis, which occurs when contact with chemicals causes an irritation or allergic reaction. Although most cases are not severe, contact dermatitis can be unpleasant and also frustrating if the cause is not clear.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis is an immune response to an allergen. It can be itchy and can also make the skin dry, flaky, or scaly. However, the symptoms associated with this allergic reaction depend on your skin’s sensitivity. This substance may bring about other symptoms including oozing blisters, redness, leathery appearance, burning sensation, hives, sun sensitivity, and swelling.
Patch Testing and Why It’s Necessary
If you already know what you’re allergic to, that’s great! It will be much easier for you to avoid these chemicals and ingredients. However, if you came in contact with an allergen by accident, it is best to consult with a dermatologist to get the skin treatment you need. For those who suddenly develop patches of dermatitis due to unknown causes, patch testing is necessary.
Metals, leather, rubber, and cosmetics, for example, contain a number of chemicals that can cause allergic reactions. Through patch testing, you and your doctor will be able to identify the allergen. This will help your dermatologist determine which treatment is right for your skin and will be able to help you avoid the allergen in the future.
How Does Patch Testing Work?
An experienced dermatologist will perform the patch test. During the test, small amounts of certain substances are applied to your skin and secured with hypoallergenic tape. These are usually placed on the upper back to ensure they are not disturbed. You will need to come back after 48 hours to get the patches removed. At this time, your dermatologist will do a thorough examination of your skin’s reaction to the substances. Two additional days later, the specialist will examine the spots again to see if there is any delayed reaction.
Dermatologists have a standard set of substances they test on individuals with suspected Allergic Contact Dermatitis. This includes Balsam of Peru, benzocaine, lanolin or wool alcohols, rosin, rubber accelerators, quaternium-15, formaldehyde resin, formaldehyde, p-tert butylphenol, plants, paraben mix, paraphenylenediamine, nickel, neomycin, fragrances, imidazolidinyl urea, ethylenediamine, cobalt, epoxy resin, clioquinol, and chrome. This list includes additives in leather, ointments, clothes, and other items we come in contact with on a regular basis.
Please note that if your dermatologist suspects other allergens, more patches will be added for testing. This can include substances that you come in contact with in your workplace or substances contained in your specific makeup or creams. Bringing in samples of the products you use would also be useful to your doctor, especially if you suspect one of these products is causing the allergic reaction.
Once the test results are in, your dermatologist will be able to give you details on what caused your recent allergic reaction. Your dermatologist will give you advice on how to avoid the substance you are allergic to. If the results reveal that you do not suffer from allergic contact dermatitis, you will be able to rule it out and your doctor can proceed with other tests to determine what is causing the skin irritation.
Irritant Contact Dermatitis
If an irritant caused the contact dermatitis, the symptoms are slightly different. This can include skin blistering and cracking because of extreme dryness, stiff or tight skin, swelling, ulcerations, and open sores. This form of contact dermatitis is caused by skin injuries due to environmental factors, chemicals, or friction. The severity of the condition can vary depending on the strength of the irritant, frequency or length of exposure, and skin susceptibility.
Solvents you have come in contact with including detergents, metalworking fluids, adhesives, acid, alkalis, friction, and water can also cause it. Sometimes, two or more of these irritants act together in irritating the skin.
Anyone can experience irritant contact dermatitis if they come into contact with an irritant. However, those who suffer from atopy (a predisposition to allergic reactions) are more susceptible to the condition.
Testing for Irritant Contact Dermatitis
Because this condition can coexist with allergic contact dermatitis, your dermatologist may decide to perform the test to rule this out. The rash typically heals on its own as long as you avoid exposure to the irritant, but special treatment is available if needed. Be sure to contact your dermatologist to get the right treatment for the condition.
If it’s necessary that you handle the irritant again, make sure to cover up and protect your skin. However, try to avoid them altogether if possible.
Patch testing is important to prevent and treat redness, irritation, and itching caused by contact with an allergen or irritant. If you think you may be experiencing contact dermatitis or would like to prevent it, contact us today.Lear More
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