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Posts for category: Dermatology

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
August 16, 2019
Category: Dermatology

Sun DamageToo much exposure to sunlight can be harmful to your skin. Dangerous ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays damage skin, which leads to premature wrinkles, skin cancer and other skin problems. People with excessive exposure to UV radiation are at greater risk for skin cancer than those who take careful precautions to protect their skin from the sun.

Sun Exposure Linked to Cancer

Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. To limit your exposure to UV rays, follow these easy steps.

  • Avoid the mid-day sun, as the sun's rays are most intense during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that clouds do not block UV rays.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps which emit UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear hats and protective clothing when possible to minimize your body's exposure to the sun.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to your exposed skin. Re-apply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and area around your eyes.

Risks Factors

Everyone's skin can be affected by UV rays. People with fair skin run a higher risk of sunburns. Aside from skin tone, factors that may increase your risk for sun damage and skin cancer include:

  • Previously treated for cancer
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Several moles
  • Freckles
  • Typically burn before tanning
  • Blond, red or light brown hair

If you detect unusual moles, spots or changes in your skin, or if your skin easily bleeds, make an appointment with our practice. Changes in your skin may be a sign of skin cancer. With early detection from your dermatologist, skin cancers have a high cure rate and response to treatment. Additionally, if you want to reduce signs of aged skin, seek the advice of your dermatologist for a variety of skin-rejuvenating treatment options.

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
July 30, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Fillers   Dermal Fillers  

Are Fillers Right for You?

Thinking about fillers? Dermal filler injections can give you a more youthful look for a fraction of what a facelift costs. Dermal fillers are soft tissue fillers injected into the skin to improve your facial appearance or reverse the signs of aging. Dermatologists offer a variety of dermal fillers to meet their patients' individual needs. Here are several signs that dermal fillers are right for you.

1. You want to erase facial wrinkles.

As people age, fine lines, folds, and wrinkles start to appear. The hyaluronic acid and collagen in the skin diminishes, causing the skin to lose volume and structure. Dermal filler injections eliminate wrinkles by adding plumpness to the skin and replacing the collagen lost due to skin damage or aging. The treatment will fill fine lines and wrinkles in less than 30 minutes with results that can last up to 18 months.

2. You want to smooth away laugh lines.

Don't be afraid to laugh! Nasolabial folds, also known as laugh lines, are nothing to laugh about. These creases and lines run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth, and are the result of the loss of facial volume as we age. Dermal filler injections smooth laugh lines by filling in deep creases. For laugh lines, you should opt for hyaluronic acid fillers, like Juvéderm, Sculptra, Restylane, or Juvéderm Voluma.

3. You want to enhance your cheeks.

Wrinkles and fine lines aren't the only signs of aging. Over time, your skin may start to sag and your cheeks may flatten. This happens because volume is lost in the cheeks. Using dermal fillers, your doctor can improve the appearance of your cheeks without surgery. Injectable treatments add volume to correct age-related volume loss in the cheeks and help create a youthful appearance.

4. You want to get rid of acne scars.

While acne scars may fade over time, they often don't go away completely without treatment. Injectable treatment fades acne scars by adding volume to them. Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, and Belotero are the injectables for treating acne scars. They are able to reduce the appearance of certain types of scars and improve the texture of your skin.

5. You want to make your lips look bigger.

Some patients have thin lips and want to make them bigger. Other patients have noticed their lips thinning over time. Your dermatologist can use dermal fillers to increase volume in your lips. Juvederm can improve the appearance of your lips by adding volume, structure, and shape. The effects typically last up to one year. After that, more injections will be required to maintain your new look.

Say goodbye to those signs of aging. Search for a qualified dermatologist in your area right now and schedule an appointment for a dermal filler treatment. Dermal filler treatment is the secret to looking younger! With dermal filler treatments, you will look as incredible as you feel!

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
July 15, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Poison Ivy  

Have you heard of Toxicodendron radicans? No? Well, you have likely heard of their colloquial name—poison ivy. Sporting leaves filled with Urushiol, an oily resin that can cause a painful rash when in contact with human skin, poison ivy can cause a number of painfully uncomfortable symptoms. 

Read on to learn the symptoms of poison ivy exposure, how to treat its symptoms, and whether those symptoms warrant a trip to your local dermatologist.

Rash Symptoms

Poison ivy rashes often show up right after exposure to the plant leaves, although they do sometimes spring up a couple days afterward, as well. Symptoms of the rash include:

  • Red streaks and patches on the skin
  • The emergence of hives, blisters, and red bumps
  • General swelling
  • Acute itching

Treatment Options

Once you have discovered the rash, there are some initial steps that you can take to relieve your symptoms. These include:

  • Immediately run cool water over your skin at the first sight of rash
  • Use over-the-counter cortisone and calamine creams to relieve itching
  • Take an oral antihistamine (e.g. Benadry) to reduce itching and inflammation

After 1 to 3 weeks, the rash should dissipate on its own, without the requirement for medical care. However, there are some scenarios in which you should seek out the attention of your local dermatologist. For instance, call a doctor if you experience:

  • Pus emitting from the rash
  • A general spreading of the rash
  • A failure of the rash to clear up after a couple weeks

In other scenarios, emergency care may prove necessary. Call 911 if you experience:

  • Trouble breathing or a swelling of the throat
  • Extreme swelling, especially around the eyes
  • A spreading of the rash to the mouth, eyes, or genitals

Concerned? Give Call Your Local Dermatologist

Are you experiencing overly distressing symptoms of poison ivy exposure or a rash that just won’t go away? If so, contact your dermatologist and find relief. 

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
June 28, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Warts  

Warts are small, harmless growths that develop on the skin. You may notice only one or they may grow in clusters. While they are usually painless, sometimes they can develop in places like the soles of the feet (known as plantar warts), which can be uncomfortable. Common warts often appear on the hands and arms while flat warts develop on the face and forehead. Plantar warts are typically found on the soles of the feet. Apart from developing these skin-colored growths, there usually aren’t any other symptoms associated with this condition.

What causes warts?

Warts are caused by an infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 strains of HPV that can develop in different areas of the body, from the mouth and skin to the genital region. The type of HPV that causes warts on the hands, feet, or rest of the body isn’t the same type that causes genital warts.

How do I treat warts?

Warts usually go away on their own once the body fights the infection; however, it can take months to years for the wart to go away. Therefore, if you feel embarrassed by the wart or if the wart is in an awkward or uncomfortable place then you may choose to visit a dermatologist to have it removed. If you are a healthy individual you may also consider trying an over-the-counter wart removal option before turning to a dermatologist.

You should see a dermatologist if:

  • Warts are spreading or getting worse
  • Warts aren’t responding to at-home treatment
  • Warts are developing on your face or genitals
  • Warts are painful, bleeding, or itching
  • You have a weakened immune system
  • You have diabetes

When you visit your dermatologist, they will first need to make sure that the growth is a wart. Depending on the type and location of the warts, your skin doctor will talk to you about your treatment options. Common ways to treat warts include,

Salicylic Acid

This topical treatment is often used on warts of the hands, feet or knees, and you will need to apply the topical treatment daily for several weeks. After the solution is applied you will also use a pumice stone to file away the dead outer layer of skin from the wart. The acid treatment will continue to kill the wart layer by layer until it’s completely gone.

Freezing the Wart

This is another common method for removing a wart. Liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the wart to freeze it. This is also referred to as cryotherapy. More than one liquid nitrogen treatment session may be needed in order to completely remove the wart.

Other options for removing a wart include burning, cutting or removing the wart with a laser, and these treatment options are often used on warts that don’t respond to the other treatments above. If you are dealing with warts and want to turn to a dermatologist to have it removed, then call to make your next appointment.

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
June 14, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Vitiligo  

Find out how this pigmented skin condition is treated.

Are you or someone you love dealing with vitiligo? The Mayo Clinic reports that there are more than 200,000 new cases of vitiligo each year in the US alone. Vitiligo is a chronic disease where the melanin, which gives your skin its pigment, either dies or the body stops producing it. As a result, there are white patches of skin all over the body. So, you may be wondering how this condition occurs or how you can treat it. This is when it’s important to turn to your dermatologist.

What causes vitiligo?

Unfortunately, researchers still do not know why some people develop vitiligo. It may be the result of an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks the melanocytes in the skin. Some researchers also believe that something as simple as a sunburn or even emotional stress could cause vitiligo; however, the cause is still unknown.

Who is at risk for developing vitiligo?

Even though this condition can appear at any time in a person’s life it more commonly occurs in your 20's. It affects both men and women of all races; however, vitiligo is more noticeable in those with darker skin. Those with autoimmune disorders are often more likely to develop vitiligo than those who do not have an autoimmune disorder. Genetics may also play a role; however, parents with vitiligo won’t necessarily pass this condition onto their child.

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

Vitiligo is characterized by large white patches of skin, which may appear anywhere on the body. These patches most commonly appear on the face, hands, feet, arms, and other sun-exposed areas. Sometimes the white patches will spread over time. How quickly the patches spread will vary from person to person; however, sometimes the patches won’t spread at all.

How is vitiligo treated?

It’s important to turn to a dermatologist that you trust if you think you or a family member is dealing with vitiligo. During your consultation, your doctor will examine your skin to determine how widespread and numerous the patches are so that we have a better idea what type of treatment will be the most effective.

We will also go through your medical history and ask you questions about your condition. Treatment for vitiligo, like most skin disorders, will not work overnight. In fact, there is often a trial-and-error period to try and find the best treatment option.

The most common types of vitiligo treatment include medication, light therapies, and surgery, all of which are designed to restore pigmentation back into the skin.

Prescribed medications may be applied topically or taken orally. Certain UVA/UVB light therapy treatments may also improve your condition. Skin grafting surgery may be recommended, in which your dermatologist will remove skin from another area of the body and apply it over the patches to hide them and even out skin tone.

Your dermatologist can also recommend a full-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin when going outside, as well as any counseling and support you may need. If you or someone you love is looking for vitiligo treatment, contact your dermatologist today.