My Blog

Posts for category: Skin Conditions

By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
February 04, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Spider Veins  
Spider VeinsMost of us, at some point during our lifetime, will develop spider veins—those tiny, purple, web-like veins caused by twisted blood vessels. While they aren’t serious they can be uncomfortable and unsightly. If you’ve been wondering about ways to get rid of spider veins, a dermatologist is going to be the ideal medical specialist to turn to, to discuss treatment options.

What are spider veins?

These small raised, swollen, and twisted blood vessels are often red, purple, or blue and are easily seen through the skin. Spider veins most commonly appear on the legs and face.

Are there any symptoms of spider veins?

Both spider and varicose veins often don’t produce any symptoms; however, some people may experience swelling, aching, burning, tingling, or cramping of the legs.

What causes spider veins?

There are a variety of reasons why spider veins may develop including,
  • Obesity
  • Heredity
  • Jobs that require standing for long periods (e.g. nursing)
  • Birth control pills
  • Medical history of blood clots
  • Pregnancy
Are there risk factors for developing spider veins?

Besides the causes above, age and gender also play a role. More women than men develop spider veins. The likelihood of developing spider veins as you age also increases. It’s believed that anywhere from 30 percent to 60 percent of adults have spider veins.

What can I do to treat spider veins?

There are many different ways in which a dermatologist can treat spider veins including,
  • Recommending support stockings: They can reduce any pain or discomfort associated with spider veins
  • Altering your lifestyle: this includes losing weight if necessary, taking care of your skin, and increasing physical activity (which can sometimes help spider veins)
  • Sclerotherapy: a common procedure used to remove unsightly spider veins. By injecting saline solution into the vein, the vein will disappear over the next couple of weeks
There are other solutions out there as well including surgery, intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment, radiofrequency occlusion, and endovenous laser treatment. We would be happy to sit down and talk with you about which treatment would work best for your needs.

Dealing with spider veins? Want to get spider vein-free legs that you can wait to show off? If so, it’s the perfect time to turn to your dermatologist to discuss ways of getting rid of your spider veins.
By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
January 24, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Dry Skin  
Dry SkinFor most of the US, winter is here! Temperatures are dropping and snow is already falling. If you live in a wintry region of the country you may be finding that your skin is a little drier these days. If so, you aren’t alone. Dry skin is a common problem, particularly during the winter months. Here are some ways to improve dry skin on your own,

Pick the right moisturizer: Not all moisturizers are created equal but it’s important to quench your skin, particularly if it’s dry. Therefore, when you purchase a moisturizer look for one that contains lanolin or petroleum. These agents help to lock in moisture.

Other helpful ingredients to be on the lookout for include urea or lactic acid, which helps the skin hold water. However, those with eczema or sensitive skin may experience some stinging when applying products that contain lactic acid or urea.

Skip hot, steaming shower: While a hot shower after a long day might sound like heaven, it definitely won’t be for your skin. Hot water strips your skin of that much-needed moisture. The same goes for when you wash for face. Use warm water instead of hot and don’t linger in the shower.

Shave less frequently: Shaving can certainly be rough on skin, particularly if it is already dry. Therefore, it might be best to shave less frequently, if you can get away with it. On the days you do need to shave be sure to be generous with your shaving cream and to stick with warm, and not hot, water.

Use a humidifier: If you notice that your skin experiences more intense dryness during the winter months, then it might be time to invest in a humidifier. This household product can help add moisture back into the air, so your environment doesn’t suck all the healthy moisture from your skin.

Consider prescription medications: If you are suffering from extremely dry skin, then commercial moisturizers and other local drugstore skincare products just won’t cut it. You need to see your dermatologist for a topical prescription. We can prescribe corticosteroids and other medications that can help relieve the annoying itching and redness you experience with seriously dry skin. If over-the-counter products aren’t helping, talk to your dermatologist.

When to See a Dermatologist

It might seem strange to see a dermatologist for dry skin, but if your dry skin is severe, making you feel miserable and uncomfortable, or not responding to at-home treatments then it may be worth turning to a dermatologist for more effective treatment options.

Don’t let dry skin get you down this season when there are so many ways to get it under control. Remember that if dry skin and other issues are impacting your health, appearance, and confidence, a dermatologist can be the ideal doctor to help you feel better fast.
By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
December 09, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Carbuncle  
CarbuncleA boil is an infection of the hair follicle that develops under the skin. When multiple boils develop this is known as a carbuncle. In a carbuncle, this cluster of boils is interconnected under the skin and can lead to pain, inflammation, and redness. This infection most often develops on areas of the body that contain hair such as the neck, back, or armpits, but can also develop on the thighs and groin. Here’s what you should know about this condition, as well as how a dermatologist might treat this infection.

What causes a carbuncle?

Most of the time, bacteria known as staphylococcus aureus are to blame for carbuncles. This bacteria is already present on the skin, but can easily get into a hair follicle through a cut or opening. Since a carbuncle is the result of a bacterial infection, the infection can be spread to others by sharing items such as towels or through skin-to-skin contact. It’s important to cover the area and keep it clean so that it heals properly.

Who is at risk for carbuncles?

There are many risk factors that can cause someone to be prone to carbuncles. These risk factors include:
  • Chronic skin problems
  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • Poor hygiene
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • A weakened immune system
Of course, people don’t have to have these risk factors to develop this skin infection. Many health individuals deal with this issue too. For example, those in community settings such as a dorm room may be more at risk for spreading this infection.

How should I treat a carbuncle?

It is important that you do not pick at or squeeze the bump, as this can spread the infection even further or lead to scarring. Apply warm compresses to the area several times a day. Make sure to keep the area clean (wash with soap and water) and cover the area. Since heat can help to facilitate natural drainage, you may want to use a heating pad on the area for up 20 minutes at a time.

Should I see a dermatologist?

Since there are many infections and conditions that can lead to painful bumps and growths, it’s important that you see a dermatologist if you’ve never been diagnosed with a carbuncle before. If the carbuncle doesn’t drain after a few days or if it’s very painful or in a sensitive area such as the nose or eyes, it’s important that you see your dermatologist right away so they can drain it and properly treat it.

If you are dealing with any new or worsening bumps or growths on the skin that have you concerned, know that a dermatologist is going to be the best specialist to turn to for diagnosis and treatment. When in doubt, call your dermatologist to schedule an evaluation.
By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
December 01, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Actinic Keratosis  
Actinic KeratosisIf you’ve ever spent time basking in the sun or even in a tanning bed, then you’ve exposed your skin to UV rays, which can be incredibly damaging to the skin and increase your risk for skin cancer. If you’ve spent extensive amounts of time exposed to UV rays, then you’re at an increased risk for developing actinic keratosis, a rough scaly patch of skin that’s also a form of precancer.

What does an actinic keratosis look like?

These small, scaly flat patches of skin are often felt before they are seen. They can be flesh-colored, white, tan, or pink and most often show up on sun-exposed areas of the skin such as the lips, ears, hands, face, or shoulders. Since most squamous cell carcinomas begin as actinic keratosis (AK), it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist if you are concerned that you might have actinic keratosis.

Am I at risk?

If you have a history of unprotected sun exposure or exposure to artificial UV light (e.g. tanning beds), if you are fair-skinned, or if you have a family history of actinic keratosis, it’s a good idea to examine your body and face once a month to keep tabs on any changes you may see. You should also see a dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive checkup and skin cancer screening.

What can I do to protect myself?

One of the best ways to reduce your risk for actinic keratosis is to limit sun exposure and to wear a full-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you are also wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses if you do plan to spend any time out in the sun.

How is actinic keratosis treated?

The good news is that your dermatologist caught your actinic keratosis before it had a chance to turn into a squamous cell carcinoma, which also means removing this precancerous patch is quick and easy. Actinic keratosis may be treated with cryotherapy (to freeze off the lesion), topical medication, or laser therapy. Your dermatologist will discuss the best way to remove your actinic keratosis. Since actinic keratosis can come back, it’s important that you come in at least once a year for a skin exam.
 
Actinic keratosis is more common than you might think, affecting tens of millions of Americans. If you notice any changes to your skin it’s important that you turn to a dermatologist for an evaluation. Even if you aren’t noticing changes, it’s still a good idea to visit a dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening.
By Mid Atlantic Dermatology & Laser Center
November 10, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Seborrheic DermatitisSeborrheic dermatitis is one of the most common skin conditions that dermatologists diagnose and treat here in the US. If you notice any weird skin rashes or lesions on the skin, you may naturally be concerned about what’s going on. Whether you suspect that you might have seborrheic dermatitis or you’re not quite sure what’s going on, here are answers to some of the top questions dermatologists get regarding this chronic skin disorder.

What is seborrheic dermatitis?

This condition can affect both children and adults. This problem may first begin in infants. This scaly skin that develops on your infant’s head is also referred to as cradle cap. As an adult, seborrheic dermatitis can also affect the ears, nose, and eyebrows, as well as the armpits and groin. This scaly rash may also be itchy.

What causes it?

While the cause is still unknown certain things might trigger or cause a flare-up. This includes everything from stress and genetics to certain medical conditions and living in cold, dry climates.

Who is at risk for developing seborrheic dermatitis?

Newborns are more likely to develop seborrheic dermatitis; however, adults between the ages of 30-60 are also at risk. Some risk factors that can raise your risk as an adult include:
  • Acne
  • Oily skin
  • Alcoholism
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • AIDS
  • Depression
Is there a cure?

While there is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis, the good news is that sometimes this condition clears up on its own without treatment. If you are dealing with persistent or severe flare-ups, then it’s time to talk with a dermatologist about ways to better control your symptoms.

How is it treated?

A dermatologist will start with simple, conservative treatment options such as topical medications, lotions, creams, or shampoos that contain ingredients such as coal tar, salicylic acid, or zinc pyrithione. If your baby is dealing with seborrheic dermatitis, make sure you talk to the child’s pediatrician before you use anything on their scalp.

Sometimes sulfur-based skincare products or corticosteroid creams are prescribed by a dermatologist to treat more severe flare-ups that aren’t responding to over-the-counter treatment options.

If you are experiencing symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, it’s always a good idea to turn to a dermatologist who is qualified to properly evaluate, diagnose, and treat any conditions impacting the skin, nails, or hair. Turn to a dermatologist today for the treatment and care you need to get seborrheic dermatitis under control.