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Posts for: October, 2021

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
October 28, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Shingles  
ShinglesMany of us who have had chickenpox as children may be aware that the virus that causes it can become active again in adulthood as Shingles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “An estimated 1 million people get shingles each year in this country.” The varicella-zoster virus, which triggers chickenpox, also leads to the Shingles virus. Although adults over 50 are most afflicted, it can also affect younger people and children. The most common symptoms are burning pain and a rash with blisters on one side of the chest and belly. Some may also experience fever, chills, headaches, and fatigue. While the blisters are still open, the shingles virus can be spread to pregnant women, newborns, people with weakened immune systems, or those that haven't had the chickenpox or vaccine. Until you can seek the proper medical attention, avoid any contact with these compromised populations.

Although there is no cure for Shingles, antiviral medication can shorten the duration of the illness.  Acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir are typical antiviral treatments that are most effective when taken as soon as a rash appears. Contact a dermatologist or other physician right away if you think you might have Shingles or within three days of receiving a rash. Delay in or lack of medical treatment can cause complications such as nerve pain called Postherpetic Neuralgia (PHN) after the rash has healed. An affliction in or near the eye could lead to blindness if not cared for by an ophthalmologist.

In addition, the pain that accompanies the rash is extremely uncomfortable and can impede your everyday functions.  Ibuprofens can help alleviate pain; however, the following methods can also provide some relief and promote faster healing:
  • Take a cool or lukewarm bath with oatmeal
  • Reduce stress with a relaxing activity
  • Apply cool compresses
  • Use Calamine lotion
  • Keep the rash dry by applying corn starch or baking soda
  • Wear loose clothing

Although Shingles can be quite debilitating and painful, keep in mind that it is treatable. The sooner you seek medical care, the sooner you can shorten its duration, avoid further complications, and speed recovery. Adhere to the following guidelines if you suspect or know for sure you have contracted the Shingles virus:

  • Contact your physician right away
  • Take the prescribed dosage of antiviral medication without delay
  • Follow any instructions given for ease of rash pain
  • Avoid contact with vulnerable groups while the rash is still present
  • Tell your doctor if you continue to have pain.

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
October 14, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Diaper Rash  
Diaper RashDiaper rash is a common problem for babies and toddlers who are not yet toilet trained. Diaper rash is defined as any red rash appearing on the area of skin normally covered by a diaper. If you notice that your baby is fussier than usual or crying at diaper changes, a rash may be the cause. 
 
Causes of Diaper Rash
  • Sensitivity to diapers or wipes
  • Food sensitivities
  • Excess moisture
  • Bacteria or fungus
There is a myriad of reasons a diaper rash might occur and many of them look similar. Babies have sensitive skin that sometimes doesn't take well to scented diapers or wet wipes. This can be remedied by changing brands or asking your provider for a gentler suggestion. Excess moisture in the diaper from too infrequent changes can wreak havoc on a baby's skin, causing red, uncomfortable rashes. Sometimes rashes occur because of bacteria or fungus in the diaper area, most likely due to left behind fecal particles.
 
Treating and Preventing Diaper Rash
  • Creams 
  • Frequent diaper changes
  • Good hygiene
 
Treating diaper rash is usually fairly easy and most rashes should clear up in a matter of days. Once treated, it is recommended that caregivers help prevent future rashes by keeping the area dry and clean as much as possible. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the use of warm water to clean the diaper area during changes, should wet wipes not be enough. Creams or emollients can serve as a barrier between the skin and the diaper to prevent further chafing and to keep the skin dry in between changes. 

Diapers should be changed every few hours and whenever they become soiled. Your child's provider will be able to tell you more if you notice a diaper rash that is persistent or not responding to frequent changes, good hygiene, and diaper creams. Oral medicines or medicated creams may be prescribed on a case-by-case basis. These steps should prevent more discomfort and make diaper changing time a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.