My Blog

Posts for category: Dermatology

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.

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
April 16, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Hyperhidrosis  

Why Do I Have Excessive Sweating? 

Do you commonly find that your armpits or feet are drenched with sweat, despite being in mild weather and not being active? If so, you may be one of the 1-3%  of the population that has hyperhidrosis, a disorder that entails having hyperactive sweat glands. Read on to learn the signs of this condition and to find out how your local dermatologist can help you cope with the often-uncomfortable symptoms that define it!

The Two Types of Hyperhidrosis

Before going further into the discussion of hyperhidrosis symptoms, it is important to establish that there are two types of the condition:

  1. Primary Hyperhidrosis: People afflicted this disorder type possess a certain type of gland, termed, “eccrine sweat glands.” These sweat glands will cover the entire body, although they will be especially prevalent on the feet, armpits, face, and palms.

  2. Secondary Hyperhidrosis: While also causing excessive perspiration on the body, this kind of hyperhidrosis is in fact a side effect of another medical condition or medication (hence the “secondary” designation). Conditions that generally cause secondary hyperhidrosis include, fever, anxiety disorder, menopause, and obesity among others.

Possible Treatment Options For Hyperhidrosis

We know how uncomfortable excessive sweating can be, and luckily, there are a number of different treatment options available to those who struggle with hyperhidrosis. Of course, given that each case differs largely from the next, you will need to meet with your local dermatologist to find out which treatment course is best for you!

Some possible treatment options include:

  • Aluminum chloride containing prescription antiperspirant
  • Glycopyrrolate containing prescription creams.
  • Nerve-blocking medications
  • Botulinum injections
  • Antidepressants or anxiety relieving medication (in the case of secondary hyperhidrosis)
  • A number of surgical options (reserved for very serious cases)

Need Relief? Give Us a Call!

We know how uncomfortable it can be to live with hyperhidrosis. If you are looking to relieve your symptoms, give contact your local pediatrician today!

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
January 03, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Botox  

The Benefits of Botox

Want to erase the signs of aging this year? Millions of men and women are discovering the benefits of BOTOX treatments. BOTOX is a medicine that is injected into muscles to erase the signs of aging and treat certain conditions. Dermatologists are physicians who are trained in diagnosing and treating conditions and diseases of the skin. BOTOX is available from dermatologists. Read on to learn about the benefits of BOTOX.

1. It rejuvenates the skin.

BOTOX treatment is an excellent adjunct for rejuvenation of the face. BOTOX should be considered in addition to laser therapy, skin care, chemical peels, and resurfacing to improve the appearance of the face. It tightens and rejuvenizes your skin to help you look and feel younger. 

2. It can remove your wrinkles.

BOTOX works by blocking nerve impulses that cause muscles to contract and cause wrinkles. It's commonly injected into the face to eliminate wrinkles. Many patients who get BOTOX treatments can experience an improved complexion without the need for surgery. 

3. It can erase smile lines.

For most people, nasolabial folds— also known as smile lines— are nothing to smile about. Smile lines are fine lines that primarily develop around the sides of your mouth. They are more noticeable when you laugh or smile. BOTOX can reduce the appearance of smile lines. BOTOX can improve your look with minimal to no downtime. You will be able to go about your normal routine immediately after your treatment.

4. It can make crow's feet disappear.

Before you know it, crow's feet can leave you looking older than you feel. Crow’s feet are the lines that appear around the eyes. BOTOX is injected into crow’s feet with a tiny needle to improve the skin’s appearance. You may begin to notice the results of your BOTOX treatment within a few days, with results lasting up to 4 months.

Ready for an anti-aging makeover? Say yes to BOTOX! Find a dermatologist near you and schedule a consultation. BOTOX has helped many people enhance their appearance, giving them more self-confidence and improving their lives. And it will do the same for you.

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
July 02, 2018
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Cold sores  

Cold Sores can appear on the outside of the lipWhat are cold sores and what can you do to relieve your symptoms?

Most people who have had cold sores often know when they are about to appear. The tingling and burning sensation around the mouth is often the first indicator that a cold sore is imminent. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of Americans have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV­1), which causes cold sores. If you have cold sores then you are probably wondering more about this condition, how to treat it and what it means for your health.

What are the symptoms of cold sores?

Symptoms often stick around for about two to three weeks. Besides experiencing oral sores around the mouth, people may also experience flu­like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and fatigue. These oral sores will often appear as tiny blisters that break open and scab over.

When should I see a doctor about cold sores?

While cold sores often don’t warrant a trip to the dermatologist, there are certain times when it might be advisable. These sores can be painful, so if you find it difficult to eat or talk then you will want to talk to your doctor about the best ways to alleviate the pain to make eating easier. The last thing you want to deal with is dehydration on top of an outbreak.

If these oral sores look different from other cold sore outbreaks, then it’s also worth seeing your dermatologist to receive a proper diagnosis. Those with weakened immune systems due to chronic illness or chemotherapy should also see their dermatologist to prevent further complications.

What treatments are available for cold sores?

While many cold sores will go away without the need for treatment, if you are experiencing pain we may prescribe a topical anesthetic to reduce your discomfort. There are also over­the-counter treatments that speed up healing and reduce pain. However, for those with severe infections your dermatologist may also prescribe an oral antiviral medication.

Those with weak immune systems and those who become dehydrated as a result of cold sores may need to go to the hospital to prevent further problems and to receive oral antivirals.

While you cannot cure the virus that causes cold sores, there are certainly ways to reduce your symptoms. Talk to your dermatologist to find out more!

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
July 17, 2017
Category: Dermatology

Poison IvyIf you spend time outdoors, then you’ve probably come into contact with poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac at some point in your life. The plants’ oily sap, known as urushiol causes many people to break out in an itchy rash. Urushiol is colorless or pale yellow oil that exudes from any cut part of the plant, including the roots, stems and leaves.

The intensely itchy rash is an allergic reaction to the sap and can appear on any part of the body. The severity of the reaction varies from person to person, depending on how much sap penetrates the skin and how sensitive the person is to it. The most common symptoms include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Redness or streaks
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Small or large blisters
  • Crusting skin when blisters have burst

When other parts of the body come into contact with the oil, the rash may continue to spread to new parts of the body. A common misconception is that people can develop the rash from touching another person’s poison ivy rash. However, you cannot give the rash to someone else. The person has to touch the actual oil from the plant in order have an allergic reaction.

When to See Your Dermatologist

Generally, a rash from poison ivy, oak or sumac will last 1 to 3 weeks and will go away on its own without treatment. But if you aren’t sure whether or not your rash is caused by poison ivy, or if you need treatment to relieve the itch, you may want to visit a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and care. You should also see your dermatologist if the rash is serious, in which case prescription medicine may be necessary. Swelling is a sign of serious infection.

Other signs that your rash may be serious include:

  • Conservative treatments won’t ease the itch
  • Rash begins to spread to numerous parts of the body
  • Pus, pain, swelling, warmth and other signs of infection are accompanying the rash
  • Fever
  • Facial swelling, especially on the eyelids
  • Rash develops on face, eyelids, lips or genitals
  • Breathing or swallowing becomes difficult

To avoid getting the rash caused by poison ivy, oak or sumac, learn how to recognize what these plants look like and stay away. Always wear long pants and long sleeves when you anticipate being in wooded areas, and wear gloves when gardening. If you come into contact with the plants, wash your skin and clothing immediately.  

Poison ivy, oak and sumaccan be a real nuisance and often difficult to detect. As a general rule, remember the common saying, “Leaves of three—let them be.” And if you do get the rash, visit our office for proper care.