Posts for category: Skin Treatments
Most Birthmarks are Harmless
As we mentioned before, most birthmarks won’t cause you any harm or affect the health of your skin. Of course, some birthmarks could potentially cause complications and should be monitored by a dermatologist. For example, a strawberry mark can sometimes evolve into an open wound and become infected. If you’ve been told that your birthmark is a melanocytic nevus, then this is something that should be monitored regularly to make sure that it doesn’t develop into cancer later in life.
Treating a Birthmark
If you are feeling a bit self-conscious about your birthmark you’ll be happy to hear that many of them will fade over time. Of course, you may want to talk with your dermatologist about birthmark removal options if the birthmark you have could potentially cause some health risks for you or if your birthmark embarrasses you.
It’s always a good idea to talk to a dermatologist who can assess whether the benefits of having your birthmark removed outweigh the cons. For example, birthmarks that could potentially affect vision or hearing should be removed. Some removal methods include:
- Corticosteroids: injections or oral steroids can stop the birthmark from growing and can shrink it
- Interferon alfa-12: this can also shrink the birthmark (particularly if corticosteroids do not work effectively)
- Laser therapy: can be used on certain birthmarks like port wine stains
Whether you want to find out if you should have a birthmark removed or you just want to schedule a skin cancer screening, a dermatologist can help you make important decisions regarding treatment options and your skin health.
Here are some of the top ways a dermatologist may treat facial scarring:
Sometimes, simply injecting collagen or other substances into indented areas of the skin can help to plump up the scar so that it’s more level with the rest of your face. While it won’t make the scar go away it can make it more noticeable. Since results from injectables are temporary, you’ll need to talk with your dermatologist about how often you should come in for treatment.
During a chemical peel, your dermatologist will apply a chemical to the surface of the skin to remove the outermost and often most damaged layer. This can target and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and even scarring. Since chemical peels can be tailored to you and your needs, it may even be a good option for someone who is dealing with deeper scarring.
This is another option for those dealing with deeper facial scarring. Like chemical peels, dermabrasion also removes the outermost layer of skin with a special device or brush. This system is so powerful it may even get rid of superficial scars while also reducing the appearance of more severe scars.
This option has become a popular way to treat a wide range of skin imperfections including facial scarring because it can often provide similar results to dermabrasion but with more advanced and precise technology. However, this option may not be ideal for individuals with darker skin or those who are prone to keloid scars.
If you are interested in treatment options that could lessen the appearance of your scars, a dermatologist is the best specialist to speak to about your options. Call your dermatologist today to learn more.
How is vitiligo treated?
There is currently no cure for vitiligo but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to target and add pigment back into these depigmented patches of skin. Some of these treatment options include:
UVB Light Therapy
This is one of the oldest and most commonly used treatment options for vitiligo, which exposes areas of the body to light therapy multiple times a week. This narrow-band light therapy works by triggering the production of melanocytes, a skin cell responsible for producing pigmentation in the skin.
Various topical creams can repigment the skin. Your dermatologist will look at the size and location of your vitiligo patches to determine the best topical medications for the job. Common topical medications include corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, calcipotriene, and depigmentation medications.
Steroids are topical anti-inflammatories that can slow vitiligo and allow the body to produce more melanocytes. It can take up to a month to start seeing results. When steroids aren’t the ideal option, which is particularly common if a patient has patches of vitiligo in more sensitive areas such as the genitals or lips, your dermatologist may recommend calcineurin inhibitors.
If the majority of your body contains vitiligo patches, the best option may be to lighten the rest of your skin to reduce the appearance of these depigmented patches. This can be done with a topical depigmentation medication or light therapy. Medications are often recommended in conjunction with light therapy, but if light therapy isn’t being used then your dermatologist may recommend two or more medications to be used at the same time.
You don’t have to deal with vitiligo alone. A dermatologist can be the best medical specialist for helping you treat and manage your vitiligo symptoms. To learn more or to schedule an evaluation, call your dermatologist today.
If you are a healthy individual then you can easily treat blisters with simple first aid and home care; however, those with diabetes or weakened immune systems should call their dermatologist for treatment. Even minor skin injuries such as blisters can lead to an infection if you have certain preexisting conditions.
To treat a blister at home here are some helpful tips:
Cover the area: Just as you would place protective padding over a bunion or a callus, you should do the same for a blister. This will provide an additional layer of protection to prevent shoes or clothes from rubbing against the blister to make it worse.
Don’t pop the blister: We know that it might be tempting to pop the blister but it’s best just to leave it alone and to let your body heal it naturally; however, we also understand that the blister may be large, painful, or in an awkward place and you may need to drain it. In this case, make sure to thoroughly sterilize a needle with alcohol before gently piercing the blister so that it can drain.
Clean the area: If you do decide to drain the blister yourself, it’s important that you keep the area as clean as possible afterward to prevent infection. This means cleaning the area with soap and water after draining it.
When to See a Doctor
In some cases, a blister may need to be treated by a medical professional; more specifically, a dermatologist. If the blister doesn’t get better in a few days or shows signs of infection, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. If you develop clusters or several blisters on your body, along with other symptoms such as fever and pain, these could be signs of a viral infection, skin disease, or autoimmune disorder. Conditions such as impetigo, herpes zoster, and dermatitis herpetiformis can also cause blisters.
If you are dealing with a painful or infected blister, or if you have diabetes, it’s important that you turn to a dermatologist right away for treatment to prevent complications.
Warts are the result of a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV), and they can easily be spread from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact or by sharing items such as towels or clothes with the infected individual. While warts of the hands may be unsightly or embarrassing, it’s important to note that these growths are benign and harmless. Here’s what you should know about treating warts, including how a dermatologist will treat this common skin problem.
How do I know that it’s a wart?
If you’ve never had a wart before then you may not know what this little growth is at first. Warts are raised, skin-colored bumps that may be rough to the touch and grainy in appearance. If you look closely at the bump you may notice little black dots. These are small blood vessels. Since warts can be confused for cysts and other lesions, it may be a good idea to see a dermatologist first before you begin treatment.
How are warts treated?
Some people simply wait until their body fights the infection and the wart eventually goes away, but this can take months or even years. People who are dealing with warts in more sensitive and visible places such as their hands are more likely to want to get rid of the wart a lot sooner. Many healthy individuals turn to over-the-counter remedies first. There are salicylic acid solutions that you can apply directly to the wart and will need to continue to reapply regularly. This solution will shed layers of the wart until gone.
While no study tests the effectiveness of duct tape for removing warts, it not an unsafe practice or option (and if it works for you, great!). If you’ve given it a valiant effort to treat the wart on your own but it just doesn’t seem to respond to over-the-counter treatment options, or it returns, then it’s time to see your dermatologist. A dermatologist offers a variety of ways to remove a wart, including,
- Cryotherapy: Freezing the wart off is a common method for removing warts
- Cantharidin: A chemical is applied to the wart, which causes it to blister and fall off
- Surgical excision: If the bumps do not respond to other treatment options or are in hard-to-treat areas, this may be the ideal method for removal
We understand that warts can develop in rather awkward and sometimes uncomfortable places like the hands. If this happens to you and you don’t want to wait until your body clears the infection to get rid of your wart, then a dermatologist can provide you with the treatment you need to remove the wart more quickly.