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By The Dermatology Center
October 27, 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 The Dermatology Center
October 13, 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.
By The Dermatology Center
September 28, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Skin Pigmentation DisordersMelanin is a substance produced by skin cells known as melanocytes, which are responsible for giving our skin its color. When these cells are damaged or impacted in some way that they are unable to produce enough melanin, people often deal with skin pigmentation disorders. These disorders may impact just the face or the body, or they may impact everything as a whole. Here’s what you should know about skin pigmentation disorders and how a dermatologist can help.
 
Melasma

This condition causes dark brown patches to develop on the skin and is more common in women who are pregnant, as well as women who take birth control pills and/or spend time in the sun. You can often prevent melasma by simply wearing sunscreen and staying out of the sun, especially if you take birth control pills. However, those with more moderate to severe brown spots may be prescribed hydroquinone or tretinoin creams, to lighten these patches.
 
Vitiligo

Instead of dark brown patches, vitiligo causes white patches to develop on the skin. As you might imagine, white patches of skin are very susceptible to sunburns, so you must protect your skin when outside. While this condition can’t be cured there are ways to improve the appearance of the skin through topical creams and medications, as well as light therapy. Your treatment options can be discussed further with your dermatologist.
 
Albinism

This rare disorder results in a lack of melanin in the hair, skin, and eyes. This is why albinos are often very pale with light blue eyes and white hair. There is no way to reverse or cure this disorder; however, it is incredibly important for someone with albinism to protect their skin and eyes from sun exposure by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses whenever they are outside.
 
Damage to Skin

In some cases, infections or burns can also cause a loss of melanin in certain areas of the face and body. While laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and other treatment options may improve the appearance, in these more minor cases, skin patches can be covered up with special cosmetics.
 
If you are dealing with skin pigmentation issues it’s always best to see a qualified dermatologist get the answers and specialized care you need to get this disorder under control.
By The Dermatology Center
September 16, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Hair Follicle InfectionsWhen red inflamed bumps appear it’s easy to assume it’s just acne, but it could be a sign of an infected hair follicle. This common skin problem, which is referred to as folliculitis, is caused by either bacteria or fungus and can develop just about anywhere on the body or face. While minor cases may be treated at home, it’s also important to recognize when you should turn to a dermatologist for care.

What are the signs and symptoms of folliculitis?

You could have folliculitis if you notice,
  • Small red bumps that develop around hair follicles (most common on the legs)
  • Bumps that contain pus
  • Bumps that blister or burst open
  • Tender, itchy, or burning skin around these bumps
It can be easy to mistake folliculitis for other skin disorders and conditions, so it’s also a good idea to see a dermatologist if your symptoms don’t go away in a few days or if your symptoms are widespread or spreading.

What are the types of folliculitis?

There are different forms of folliculitis. The most common type is known as razor bumps, which you may notice around the groin or face, especially in those with naturally curly hair. “Hot tub” folliculitis is a bacterial infection that is often found in hot tubs (as well as heated pools) and can lead to a red, itchy, and bumpy rash.

Bacterial folliculitis is a common form and is characterized by whitehead-like or pus-filled bumps. This is a sign of a Staph infection and should be treated by a dermatologist as soon as possible.

How is folliculitis treated?

A lot will depend on the cause; however, treatment is often necessary if the infection doesn’t go away within a few days. Bacterial infections will respond best to antibiotics while yeast infections and other fungi will require antifungal medications. Of course, there are a ton of skin conditions and infections that can cause similar symptoms, so it’s always best to see a dermatologist before trying over-the-counter remedies.

If you notice any signs of a new or worsening skin infection, it’s always a good idea to turn to your dermatologist right away for a proper evaluation and to make sure you get the appropriate treatment you need to get rid of the infection fast.
By The Dermatology Center
August 20, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Sebaceous Cysts  
Sebaceous CystsIf you notice a lump or bump on the skin you may be wondering what it is. Could it be a sebaceous cyst? There are hundreds of cysts that can develop on the skin, and it’s more common for someone to be dealing with an epidermoid cyst or a cyst that originates in the hair follicles rather than a true sebaceous cyst; however, if you are dealing with a new growth or lump on the skin you may want to turn to your dermatologist to find out if it could be a sebaceous cyst.
 
What is a sebaceous cyst?

Your body is covered in sebaceous glands, which produce oil known as sebum that covers the hair and skin. If a gland’s duct becomes damaged or block, a sebaceous cyst can form (most often the result of trauma).

Sebaceous cysts are often painless, fluid-filled noncancerous bumps that most often develop on the neck, face, or back. They are not dangerous and they are typically slow growing; however, it is possible for them to grow large enough or to develop in an uncomfortable area of the body, particularly if they aren’t being monitored by a dermatologist.
 
What are the signs of a sebaceous cyst?

It can be difficult to pinpoint the differences between a sebaceous cyst and other types of cysts, which is why it’s a good idea to turn to a dermatologist for an evaluation. Some signs that it’s a sebaceous cyst include:
  • A white or yellow lump in the skin
  • A lump that’s soft to the touch
  • A lump that’s often painless, but may become uncomfortable
It’s also important to recognize the signs of an infected sebaceous cyst such as redness, tenderness, soreness, or drainage. If you notice any of these symptoms you must turn to your skincare provider to treat the infected cyst.
 
Does a sebaceous cyst require treatment?

If the cyst isn’t infected then treatment is rarely required; however, depending on the size and location of the cyst, and whether it’s uncomfortable, your dermatologist may recommend surgically removing it.
 
Any new lump or growth that doesn’t go away warrants visiting a dermatologist for an evaluation. If you notice any of the signs above that could indicate an infection, you must call your dermatologist right away.




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