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Signs of Rosacea

Managing Rosacea
Avoiding Rosacea Triggers
Many people with rosacea find that certain activities, foods and environmental conditions will aggravate a flare-up. But since triggers can vary from person to person, keeping a journal can help you find and avoid potential problems like:
•    Sun exposure
•    Hot water
•    Exercise
•    Cold weather
•    Wind
•    Spicy foods or hot drinks
•    Alcoholic beverages
•    Hormonal changes (menopause)
•    Stress
•    Certain skin care products or medications with steroids

It is absolutely essential to discuss your condition and triggers with your skin care professional for successful treatment and management of your rosacea symptoms.

The word rosacea comes from the Latin word for “rose colored,” but it is far from pleasant for those who struggle with the condition. At the very least, it causes a reddening of the face. It often affects people with fair complexions and adults between 30-60, including a prevalence among women going through menopause. There are 4 categories of rosacea, each with different symptoms and potential treatment regimens:

1.    Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR)—The face appears flushed and red, especially in the center; broken blood vessels may appear and the skin may be swollen, dry, rough and very sensitive with a burning or stinging sensation.

2.    Papulopustular rosacea—The signature redness, broken blood vessels and sensitive skin also comes with acne-like flare-ups. The skin may be oily and develop plaques (raised, thickened patches of skin).

3.    Phymatous rosacea—A rarer subtype than the previous two, this type of rosacea often follows either ETR or Papulopustular rosacea. In this case, the skin of the nose, cheeks, chin, forehead and/or ears starts to thicken as well and the skin develops a bumpy texture, along with visible broken blood vessels and very large pores.

4.    Ocular rosacea—This type affects the eyes, which will appear bloodshot and teary; sometimes it looks like the person has a sty. It may feel like sand is in the eyes, or they may feel itchy or sensitive to the light. Cysts and broken blood vessels may be visible on the eyelid, and vision may become blurred.

Rosacea can make its sufferers feel self-conscious, anxious and uncomfortable. However, although there is no cure for rosacea, there are a lot of things your skin care professional can do to diagnose and treat the symptoms so that they are less severe. There are several types of medication, creams and even laser therapy that can significantly improve the quality of life for those with rosacea.

It is also important to talk with your skin care professional about your daily skin-care regimen if you have rosacea. In particular, you should only use gentle, fragrance-free cleansers with lukewarm water—and absolutely no harsh scrubbing with a wash cloth! Gentle moisturizers and sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 are also a good idea. Your skin care professional can also recommend green-tinged cosmetics that can successfully cover up red patches, followed by yellow-tinged foundations.
Speak to your skin care professional to get more information about how to get your rosacea under control..

Sources:

American Academy of Dermatology, “ Rosacea: Signs and Symptoms.” 2015.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, “ What is Rosacea?” 2009.

National Rosacea Society, “All About Rosacea.” 2015.

Does this Mole Look Weird?

examining moles
Put Your Mind at Ease
While performing regular self-examinations will help your chances of catching skin cancer before it spreads, an examination with a skin care professional is always a good idea. Not only will an examination with a professional put your mind at ease, but will also assist you in checking areas of the body which are difficult to see, like the neck and back.

If during a self-examination you find any moles or irregularities which concern you, schedule an appointment with a skin care professional immediately. He or she will examine the area and perform a biopsy if deemed necessary.

Like most types of cancer, early detection is essential to a successful recovery from skin cancer. Remaining observant and paying close attention to your skin can help you spot skin cancer before it spreads.

Doctors recommend patients check their own skin regularly for any abnormalities, including a sore that does not heal, new growths, or other changes. When performing these self-inspections, it is best to stick to a routine. In a full length mirror, start at the top of your body and work your way down, looking at every part of your body (front, back, and sides). Be sure to check the bottoms of feet, fingernails, and toenails too. If it helps, take a pictures of the moles and date them to track any possible changes.

While you might be aware that you should inspect your moles regularly, you might not know what to look for. People often become confused about which features constitute an irregular mole, thinking, for example, that a raised or itchy mole is cause for concern. These features, however, are usually nothing serious. So, what does a regular or irregular mole look like? When checking moles, remember this handy mnemonic device which will help you remember what to look for: A, B, C, D, E.

  • Asymmetrical – A mole is asymmetrical if its two halves do not match or have an irregular shape.
  • Border – Abnormal moles usually have irregular, jagged, or blurred borders.
  • Color – Normal moles have a normal, uniform color. Look for varying shades of black, tan, brown, blue, red, or white in abnormal moles.
  • Diameter – Look for a diameter larger than a pea or a pencil eraser.
  • Evolving – Has the mole changed in shape, color, or size over the past weeks or months?

Any of these abnormalities in moles, or skin changes about which you feel uncertain, should be brought to a skin care professional’s attention. The development of any new moles should also be carefully examined for possible cancer.

Sources:

“Skin Cancer Screening (PDQ®).” National Cancer Institute. National Cancer Institute, n.d. Web.

“What Are the Symptoms?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Dec. 2013. Web.

“Make the Most of Your Visit to the Dermatologist.” Skin Care Foundation, n.d. Web.

Can Spider Veins Be Removed?

spider-veins
Are Spider Veins Dangerous or Just Unsightly?
Fortunately, spider veins are more of a cosmetic concern than a serious health problem. They rarely, if ever, cause complications that require medical treatment. Other than being unsightly, spider veins may be uncomfortable, especially for individuals that spend a significant amount of time on their feet.

Spider veins are a common, albeit unsightly medical condition that causes a “spider web” like appearance of veins on the body. They typically present on the backs of the knee or on other areas of the leg. While spider veins can be annoying, the good news is they rarely cause harm and may be treatable.

What Are Spider Veins?

Like varicose veins, spider veins are dilated blood vessels in the legs. However, spider veins are much smaller than varicose veins and resemble a “web” of blue or red on the skin, hence their name. They are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins, and are extremely common. Studies show up to 84% of individuals may have spider veins and while the condition can appear in anyone, there are also indications that family history may also increase the risk of developing spider veins. Aside from appearance, symptoms of spider veins may include a heavy feeling or tiredness in the legs, or swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet.

How Can Spider Veins Be Reduced or Removed?

There are a variety of treatments available to decrease the appearance of spider veins, including things that can be done at home as well as treatments that must be administered by a medical professional.

How to Reduce Spider Veins at Home

  • Aim for healthy weight loss if you are overweight
  • Prop your feet up to relieve pressure in the legs
  • Avoid sitting with your legs crossed
  • Wear compression stockings or diabetic socks

Medical Treatments for Spider Veins

There are generally two different treatments for spider veins, both of which are relatively painless.

Laser Therapy: Laser therapy is commonly used for small, red spider veins. A laser is used to heat the veins, effectively destroying them and causing them to be absorbed by the body and disappear over time.

Sclerotherapy: This technique is used more frequently for larger spider veins. The vein is closed off and blood flow is stopped to the vein by injecting a safe solution into the vein. The veins then begin to fade into a pale scar, and this treatment is generally considered very effective.

Discuss Spider Veins with Your Dermatologist

If you are suffering from spider veins that have become uncomfortable, or their appearance is a nuisance for you, treatment may be a great option. Discuss both home remedies and medical therapies for spider veins with your dermatologist and together, you and your doctor can customize the best treatment plan for you.

Sources:

“Spider Veins.” University of Nebraska Medical Center. College of Medicine, Department of Surgery. Web.

Suszynski, Marie. “What Causes Spider Veins?” Everyday Health. Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH. Web.

Microdermabrasion Benefits

Microdermabrasion Benefits
Are You a Candidate for Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is useful for treating and approving the appearance of:

  • Light scarring
  • Age spots
  • Black heads
  • Hyperpigmentation (patches of darkened skin)
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Elongated pores
  • Acne and acne scars

If you are interested in microdermabrasion, talk to your skin care professional about  different treatment options. During this consultation, be prepared to discuss your treatment goals. In general, microdermabrasion is a safe and effective treatment. However, only you and your skin care professional can decide whether this treatment is right for you.

Rejuvenate Skin Without Surgery

Are you frustrated by the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, black heads, acne scars or stretch marks? If so, microdermabrasion may be an effective treatment option for improving your skin’s appearance. Microdermabrasion is a non-surgical way to rejuvenate the skin.

The skin is made up of two layers: the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the top skin layer and is made of mature skin cells as well as those that have died. The topmost part of the epidermis is known as the “stratum corneum,” which acts as a barrier between the outside world and your lower skin layers. The stratum corneum is the skin layer that is home to many imperfections, including fine lines and blemishes, as well as dead, dry skin cells.

Microdermabrasion specifically targets the stratum corneum, removing dead and dying skin cells.
Microdermabrasion uses an abrasive instrument with tiny sand particles or a single, diamond-tipped wand to gently break up the stratum cornea. Professional treatments use a specialized tool equipped with a stream of tiny crystals and a vacuum suction to collect the leftover dead skin cells. The body interprets this abrasion as a minor injury and rushes to replace lost skin cells with new healthy ones.

Initially following treatment there may be mild swelling and redness. Depending on skin sensitivity, this swelling and redness can last between a few hours or up to two days. Once the swelling and redness is gone, the skin will feel smoother thanks to the new, healthy skin cells. Additionally, some of the skin’s visible imperfections, including fine lines, blemishes and sun damage, will be removed. Finally, by disturbing the stratum corneum, this temporarily removes the skin’s outer barrier, so the active ingredients in creams and moisturizers can penetrate through to the lower layers of skin. Following treatment, most skin care professionals will recommend a special moisturizer or facial product to penetrate the stratum corneum and prolong treatment results.

Studies suggest that repeated microdermabrasion treatments are an effective way to promote new skin growth while removing fine lines and deep blemishes. Microdermabrasion is especially effective for cleaning out clogged pores. It is a popular alternative treatment for individuals with skin that is too sensitive for anti-acne drugs like Retin-A. Depending on the severity of skin damage, most individuals receive an initial two treatments in the first month, followed by monthly treatments as part of a maintenance plan.

Source:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “Mircrodermabrasion Treatments.” 2014

Identifying Skin Cancer: Are You at Risk?

Identifying Skin Cancer
Could You Have a Cancerous Mole?
Unusual blemishes, markings, sores, lumps or changes to a mole’s appearance could be symptomatic of skin cancer.

Check your moles each month using the “ABCDE” guidelines (asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, diameter increase, evolution), in addition to keeping an eye out for changes to a mole’s surface and pigmentation. Keep in mind that not all cancerous moles will exhibit these symptoms. Should you be unsure about the appearance of any mole, schedule an appointment with your skin care professional. Early detection is key to making a successful recovery from skin cancer.

Are you at risk for skin cancer? While regularly wearing sunscreen or an SPF moisturizer can help reduce your risk for skin cancer, it is not possible to prevent all occurrences. That’s why it is critical that you regularly check your skin for the warning symptoms of cancer.

Early detection is critical to the successful treatment of skin cancer. This starts by being vigilant about the appearance of your moles. A normal mole is typically an even brown, tan or black color. Normal moles can be flat or raised. Some are present since birth, while many others appear during childhood or early adulthood. Once a mole develops, it typically stays the same shape, color and size for many years. A skin care professional should check moles that develop later in life or suddenly change in appearance – this is a warning sign that a melanoma may be developing.

Most moles on the body look similar to one another. A mole or freckle that looks different from the other moles – or has the “ABCDE” characteristics described below – could be cancerous. While the “ABCDE” criteria won’t catch every single case of cancerous moles, it is an important part of early skin cancer identification. Here’s what to look for:

“A” for asymmetry
“B” for irregular border
“C” for color variation
“D” for diameter greater than 6mm
“E” for evolution or change in appearance

Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are typically found on parts of the skin that are regularly exposed to the sun. This includes the face, arms, neck and hands. Melanoma is less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer, but it is more serious. While melanomas are usually brown or black, but they can also appear tan, white or pink. Other symptoms of possible skin cancer include a sore that does not heal, a change in sensation (e.g. itchiness, tenderness or pain), a change in the surface of the mole (e.g. scaliness, oozing or bleeding), and the spread of pigment from the mole to the surrounding skin.

When checking your moles, keep in mind that you may have moles in places that are difficult for you to see without a mirror, like your back. It’s important to have your skin care professional  regularly check all your moles, including those that are difficult to see. Early detection significantly increases the likelihood for successfully recovering from skin cancer.

Sources:

American Skin Cancer Foundation. “Signs and Symptoms of Melanoma Skin Cancer.” October 29, 2013.

Scope, Alon, M.D. “The Ugly Duckling Sign.” The Skin Care Foundation, 2014.

What’s New in Skin Rejuvenation?

 
 What You Need To Know
Skin resurfacing or skin rejuvenation is a great treatment option for many people. There are a few things you should consider before your appointment.

Are you physically healthy? There are many medical conditions that may affect your treatment and recovery time. Discuss any of your pre-existing conditions with the specialists.

Do you smoke? Smoking contributes to early aging, and the chemicals in second-hand smoke weaken the facial skin over time.

Do you have realistic goals? A facial treatment such as skin rejuvenation is not a magic fix for all of your skin issues. However, this treatment can give you great results and obvious improvement.

A dermatologist is experienced in skin rejuvenation techniques. Talk to a dermatologist to see which type of rejuvenation is the best fit for you.

Skin rejuvenation, and any form of skin resurfacing, has proven to be an excellent treatment option for individuals who wish to return their skin to a youthful glow. This super simple facial procedure improves the texture of your skin, lightens dark spots, helps remove signs of aging and generally improves your skin’s overall appearance.

Over the years, skin rejuvenation specialists have attempted many different ways to rejuvenate or resurface the skin. The most recent technological procedures are proving to be the most effective yet. Today, skin rejuvenation can be achieved through many different methods, here are some of the most popularly used treatments:

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is a simple outpatient procedure that allows the face to regenerate a new layer of younger, fresher looking skin. Laser resurfacing is often used to treat wrinkles primarily around the eyes and signs of aging on the face. The recovery time from laser skin resurfacing is minimal and the results have proven to be quite positive.

Alternative Light Source Resurfacing

Your skin specialist will determine if traditional laser resurfacing is right for you. If not, then an alternative light source can be used with equal effects. Some alternative light-source treatments can accomplish the same results by using broadband light sources and heating the desired areas of treatment.

Results

The results of skin resurfacing and skin rejuvenation can be quite dramatic. There are several skin issues that respond very well to skin rejuvenation.

Pigmentation issues — Pigmentation issues such as sun spots, freckles, and other types of darkening can be resolved with skin rejuvenation.

Skin firmness — A loss of skin firmness, or skin tone, can result when the facial skin loses collagen over time. Skin rejuvenation can help the skin build back this important firmness improving the skin’s appearance.

Static and dynamic wrinkles — Skin rejuvenation can improve the appearance of wrinkles that are either permanent or expressive.

Scarring — Scars are a huge issue for many people and can have a big impact on an individual’s self-confidence. Skin resurfacing can reduce the appearance of scars improving the quality of your skin.

Top Five Treatments for Acne Scars

Five Treatments that Will Improve Acne Scars

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 Prevention Tips to Avoid New Scars
There is much you can do to prevent new acne scarring and to improve the appearance of existing scars. It is very important to avoid picking at existing acne as this is the number one contributor to unsightly scarring. Staying hydrated and using a broad spectrum sunscreen will also help to improve the overall appearance of your skin, and thus improve the appearance of your scarring.

A dermatologist can discuss treatments for reducing scars from acne. Additionally, a dermatologist can prescribe the right skin care program to prevent or reduce future breakouts.

For those who suffered with Acne in their youth, managing its lingering issues can be quite troublesome. For most people acne does not last long into their adulthood, however, acne scars can be a painful reminder of this past condition. The good news is that advances in technology have spawned successful treatment options for clearing up acne scars.

1. Glycolic Acid Peel

A glycolic acid peel is a facial treatment that can be done in your dermatologist’s office. Something to note, this type of treatment is great for individuals with darker skin who may experience discoloration as a result of past acne. Glycolic acid peels exfoliate the skin and speed up the natural renewal process which, over time, causes dark post-acne spots to fade.

2. Soy-based Brightening Creams

Soy-based brightening creams have proven very effective in treating mild, discolored acne scarring. These treatments are effective because they brighten the skin quickly fading the discolored areas. This treatment is most effective for individuals who are not dealing with deep acne scarring but rather, mild surface scarring characterized by discoloration.

3. Use Sunscreen

Sun exposure can greatly increase the discoloration and severity of acne scarring. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen is a great way to prevent your acne scarring from getting worse.

4. Prescription Medication

There are some prescriptions medications your dermatologist can prescribe to help your body better heal the scar tissue left by your acne. Before beginning any prescription treatment for your acne scarring, be sure to discuss any existing medical conditions with your dermatologist. Be sure to tell your dermatologist if you’re currently taking any medications. This will help reduce your risk of a negative interaction with newly prescribed medications.

5. Laser Treatments

Some individuals suffering from acne scarring find that none of these remedies really make a difference. When this is the case, laser treatments may be the best option. Laser treatments can be done in your dermatologist’s office and will target the red, inflamed areas reducing the irritation and shrinking the underlying blood vessels. To discuss laser treatment options for your acne scarring, talk to your Dermatologist.

Sources

University of Miami Health System, “Acne Scar Removal.”

John Hopkins Medicine, “Acne Scar Removal.”

The Truth About Blackheads

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 What About Whiteheads?
Whiteheads are very closely related to blackheads and usually respond well to the same facial care and acne treatment regimen as their “open comedone” cousins. The difference between blackheads and whiteheads is that instead of the pore remaining open and appearing dark, “closed comedones” (whiteheads) are closed instead of open. This means no air can get into the pore at all, so the oil, dead skin cells and bacteria clogging the pore can cause more pressure and pain. Whiteheads are slightly raised and you can see the whitish or yellowish plug buildup underneath.

A dermatologist can help prevent whiteheads, blackheads and other forms of acne and its scars. Talk to a dermatologist to get on the right skin care regimen for your skin.

Blackheads are a type of acne-related blemish.1 Also called “open comedones,” they develop on your skin when oil, bacteria and dead skin cells block pores. The plugs appear dark in color, so they’re commonly known by their nickname “blackheads.” Alone, they are a milder form of acne. Common on facial regions like the nose and chin, they can also appear in the ears on occasion. Blackheads are not usually painful and can often be treated with many dermatology-approved skin-care products you can find at the drugstore or over the counter. If they are treated properly with the right skin-care regimen, they might not produce the same deep, dramatic scars that other types of more severe acne can leave behind (like papules, pustules, cysts and nodes).
A proper skin-care regimen to treat and prevent blackheads can do wonders for your skin:
1. Gently wash your face twice each day with a non-comedogenic facial cleanser containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
2. Wash your hands first, then use your fingertips to massage in the cleanser and rinse with lukewarm water. Do not use a washcloth or sponge; these harbor bacteria and are too harsh on sensitive skin.
3. Anytime you get sweaty, wash your face right afterward.
4. Research non-comedogenic cosmetics and topical creams that can help prevent pore blockages.
5. Wash your hair daily and change your pillowcase often.
6. Avoid touching your face; never poke or squeeze blackheads—that spreads bacteria and dirt, and leads to scars.
Keep in mind that blackheads and their close cousins, whiteheads, can very well appear in combination with more severe and painful forms of acne. To get the most effective treatment and prevent long-lasting scars, it is important to visit with your dermatologist, to develop a skin care regimen appropriate for your skin type.