My Blog

Posts for category: Skin Conditions

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
November 22, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Dry Skin  

Dry skin can cause a lot of problems. Healthy, well-hydrated skin can help you look younger, provide better protection for your internal organs, and can help prevent infection.

So, what causes dry skin? There are quite a few factors that can cause dry skin, including:

  • Environmental exposure to wind, sun, and cold or hot temperatures
  • Stages of life including aging and menopause
  • Medical conditions of the skin including rosacea and eczema
  • Inadequate hydration from perspiring heavily and drinking too little water
  • Exposure to harsh chemicals including alcohol and other cleaning agents

You can do a lot to help prevent dry skin, and it all begins with an excellent skincare regimen, which should include:

  • Washing your skin using only mild cleansing products, not soap
  • Gently patting your skin almost dry, leaving a layer of moisture still on your skin
  • Using an alcohol-free toner, which will balance your skin’s pH and not dry out your skin
  • Applying a moisturizer that contains an SPF of at least 15 to protect and hydrate your skin

You should change to a thick, creamy moisturizer during winter months and harsh weather. Other tips you can do to prevent dry skin include:

  • Staying hydrated by drinking lots of water, especially in summer and when you exercise and perspire
  • Wear protective clothing if you are outside in harsh weather, wind, sun, or hot or cold temperatures
  • Always wear appropriate protective gear including gloves, a mask, safety glasses, and clothing when handling chemicals

If you suffer from dry skin, it’s important to visit your dermatologist, who is an expert at skin conditions. Your dermatologist can help if your dry skin is caused by age-related skin changes, or a medical skin condition like rosacea, eczema, or dermatitis.

Your dermatologist offers a wide range of skincare services to help you enjoy hydrated, beautiful, younger-looking skin. Your dermatologist may recommend:

  • Serums and facials
  • Hydration treatments
  • Anti-aging treatments
  • Skincare products and cosmetics

To learn more about prevention, causes, and treatments of dry skin, talk with your dermatologist today.

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
September 02, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Dry Skin   Cracked Skin  

Find out why cracked, dry skin happens and what you can do about it.

Dry or cracked skin can be a real nuisance, and you must be giving your skin the care it needs to keep it hydrated. You may find that your feet or hands are particularly susceptible to cracking and dryness, especially during the cold winter months.

What Is Causing My Dry, Cracked Skin?

Pay attention to your symptoms so you can pinpoint what might be causing your dry or cracked skin. Dry skin may be the result of,

  • Exposure to hot water (e.g., washing dishes; taking a hot shower)
  • Cold weather
  • Chemicals (e.g., laundry detergent; dish soap)
  • Medications
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Athlete’s foot

How Is Dry Skin Treated?

There are many ways to tackle dry skin depending on what’s causing it and where the dry skin is located. Luckily, dry skin can easily be treated with certain home care, including,

Using a daily moisturizer

A moisturizer will become your new best friend if you are prone to dry skin. Moisturizers lock in moisture in the skin and can be particularly helpful when applied after showering. A thick emollient moisturizer will be best for dealing with severely dry or cracked skin.

Applying petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly is a simple topical remedy that can help protect the skin while healing cracks. Petroleum jelly can be beneficial when dealing with cracking skin or dry lips.

Gentle Exfoliation

Sometimes, exfoliation can be a great way to remove dead cells from the skin’s surface and reduce dryness and cracking, particularly on the hands and feet. After soaking feet in water for about 20 minutes, exfoliation can be done with a pumice stone. Apply a moisturizer after using the pumice stone.

When Should I See a Dermatologist?

If you’ve tried just about everything to get your dry skin under control on your own and you still aren’t seeing results after two weeks, it’s time to turn to your dermatologist. You should also call your dermatologist if your symptoms get worse or if your skin shows signs of infection, such as,

  • Bleeding
  • Pus
  • Severe or increased redness
  • Fever

If dry, cracked skin has become the norm, and no moisturizer seems to be helping, it’s probably a good idea to turn to your dermatologist for answers.

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
August 22, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Mole  

Noticing a suspicious mole?

When was the last time you put on sunscreen? If you didn’t say this morning or yesterday then we might have a problem. Apart from turning to your dermatologist once a year for skin cancer screenings, there are definitely things you can be doing every day to reduce your risk for skin cancer during your lifetime. One of them is to check your own skin regularly to look for new or changing moles that could be signs of melanoma.

“See Something, Say Something”

Here’s what to look for when performing your own skin check,

New moles: By the age of 30, you should already have all the moles that you’re going to have. So, if you notice any new moles or growths cropping up where there was nothing before, it might be time to have a dermatologist check it out.

Oddly shaped moles: Healthy moles are asymmetrical, which means that you could draw an imaginary line down the mole and both halves would look identical. Asymmetrical moles are more likely to be precancerous or cancerous, so it’s a good idea to have them checked out by a skin care professional.

Moles without borders: Healthy moles have a clearly defined border or outline while moles that are cancerous are more likely to have an irregular or poorly defined border. If your mole doesn’t have a clearly defined shape, it’s time to see your dermatologist.

Moles with multiple colors: While healthy moles will range in color from skin-colored to nearly black, it’s important that your moles are one color. If you notice a mole that contains multiple colors, particularly one, pink or blue, schedule an immediate evaluation with your skin doctor.

Moles that change: Moles should stay relatively the same over time, which also means that you probably shouldn’t notice them much; however, if a mole hurts, is red or swollen, crusts over, bleeds or oozes, these are also signs of a problem.

Even if everything looks great, you should still schedule an annual skin cancer screening with your dermatologist just to play it safe. After all, skin cancer is one of the leading cancers in the US. These annual screenings offer early detection of skin cancer, which also means a swifter treatment and a higher cure rate. Call your dermatologist today to make sure you don’t miss out on your annual skin cancer screening.

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
June 24, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Psoriasis  

Learn more about psoriasis, its warning signs and how to treat it.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that can impact a person’s appearance, health and quality of life. You should turn to a dermatologist if you suspect that you might be dealing with psoriasis. While there is no cure for this disease, there are ways for a dermatologist to help you better manage your symptoms and provide you with relief.

What is psoriasis?

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, more than 7.5 million adults in the US are living with psoriasis. This immune disorder causes widespread inflammation, particularly of the skin, which results in the development of raised, scaly red plaques on the skin. These plaques may also sting or burn and typically appear on the knees, elbows and scalp.

In some cases, some people with psoriasis may also develop joint stiffness, swelling and pain. This condition is known as psoriatic arthritis, and it’s essential that you turn to a doctor right away if you notice symptoms of arthritis and psoriasis.

What can cause psoriasis to flare up?

Psoriasis comes and goes, so it’s essential to recognize what triggers your flare-ups to avoid them as much as possible. Common triggers include,

  • Stress
  • Other infections, including skin infections
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Sunburn
  • Injuries to the skin such as a bug bite
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Steroid use
  • Certain drugs, such as high blood pressure medication
  • Smoking or being around smoke

When should I see a dermatologist?

If you notice red, cracked or dry patches of skin on your body, it’s a good idea to have your dermatologist look to determine whether or not you could have psoriasis. Suppose you have already been diagnosed with psoriasis. You may wish to turn to a dermatologist regularly if your current treatment plan isn’t working or noticing new or worsening flare-ups.

How is psoriasis treated?

The fast turnover of skin cells leads to the formation of these plaques. To prevent this rapid turnover, there are a variety of lifestyle, topical treatments and therapies that a dermatologist can provide you. Common treatment options for psoriasis include,

  • Topical steroids
  • Retinoids
  • Salicylic acid
  • Phototherapy
  • Biologics (for severe and treatment-resistant forms of psoriasis)

Suppose you live with psoriasis or think you might be dealing with psoriasis. In that case, it’s important that you turn to a dermatologist who can provide you with a proper diagnosis and customized treatment plan.

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
May 10, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Rash  

Wondering when a rash is a cause for concern?

We’re all going to deal with a rash at some point, and while the good news is that many of them can be treated from the comfort of your own home, sometimes you will need to turn to a dermatologist for medication. Here are the causes of a rash,

Fungal Infection

One of the most common fungal infections that result in a rash is ringworm. Fungal infections can also affect the nails and hair. Yeast infections caused by the candida fungus can also result in rashes of the mouth, groin, or vagina. Less common fungal infections may result in those with compromised immune systems (e.g., patients who have HIV).

Minor fungal infections may be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal creams or ointments. A dermatologist should treat more severe or persistent fungal infections.

Viral Infection

The most common virus to produce a rash is the herpes simplex virus, both type 1 and type 2. Type 1 usually causes cold sores of the lips and nose, while type 2 leads to sores on the genitals. Those with an HSV flare-up may develop a tender rash on the palms. Chickenpox and shingles (caused by the herpes zoster virus) also result in itching, burning, and painful rashes.

Epstein-Barr virus, best known as mononucleosis or “mono,” can also lead to a mild rash that appears within a few days of being infected. If you develop a rash, a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and a fever, you should see a doctor.

Bacterial Infection

Staphylococcus (e.g., folliculitis; cellulitis; impetigo) and streptococcus (e.g., strep throat; scarlet fever) are two common bacterial infections that lead to a rash. Sometimes Lyme disease is characterized by a bull’s eye-like rash surrounding the tick bite.

Parasitic Infections

Parasites that cause a rash include lice and scabies, which can be passed from person to person. Lice most commonly affect the scalp, while scabies can cause an itchy, pimple-like rash that usually appears on the armpits, wrists, elbows, beltline, and buttocks.

Other Causes

Noninfectious rashes are also caused by drugs, eczema (e.g., atopic dermatitis), allergic dermatitis, autoimmune disorders (e.g., lupus), and food allergies.

It isn’t easy to tell what’s causing your rash, but if you are dealing with new, worsening, or severe symptoms or the rash is spreading, it’s always good to turn to your dermatologist for treatment.