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By Choice Dermatology
November 02, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Shingles  
Treating ShinglesAs kids, we dealt with that notoriously itchy rash caused by chickenpox. Unfortunately, as we get older, the same virus that caused our childhood chickenpox can also cause shingles. If you’ve had chickenpox in the past, then that same virus is lying dormant within the body. This means that at some point during your lifetime, the virus does have the ability to reactivate, causing a painful, blistering rash on the stomach and sides. This is known as shingles.

Think You Have Shingles?

If you notice a blister-like rash developing on one side of the body it’s possible that you could have shingles. If you suspect that you have shingles, you must see a doctor.

Those over the age of 60 years old as well as those with chronic conditions such as diabetes are more at risk for complications related to shingles, so you must seek immediate dermatology care from a qualified doctor. A dermatologist can also rule out other possible conditions or infections.

Treating Shingles

For the antiviral medication to be most effective, you must see a doctor right away if you think you have shingles. The most common types of antiviral medications used to treat shingles include acyclovir and valacyclovir. These antivirals can speed up the healing process and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
There are also simple home remedies that you can use to ease discomfort associated with the rash. Some of these remedies include:
  • Applying cold compresses to the rash
  • Soaking in a cool oatmeal bath
  • Wearing light, loose-fitted clothing that won’t rub against the rash
  • Applying calamine lotion to reduce itching
  • Managing stress effectively and finding ways to help you relax
  • Eating healthy, balanced meals
  • Getting good quality sleep every night
Preventing Shingles

The good news is that there is a shingles vaccine that can protect you against this infection. If you are over the age of 50, you could benefit from the shingles vaccine so ask your doctor. The vaccine can protect you from shingle for up to five years.

If you are worried that you might have shingles, or if you’re interested in finding out whether or not you should get the shingles vaccine, a qualified dermatologist will be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with the custom dermatology treatment you need to ease your symptoms. 
By Choice Dermatology
October 09, 2020
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Poison Ivy   Rash   Sumac   Oak   Itchy Skin  
ItchingSome many conditions and problems could lead to itchy skin; however, if you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, sumac, or oak you must be able to recognize the symptoms. It’s possible that you came into contact with poison ivy or any of these plants while on your typical walk or you may not even realize that the plants are hanging in your garden. If you do come into contact with poison ivy, sumac and oak here are what you should know.

You’re Allergic to the Oil from these Plants

Poison ivy secretes an oil known as urushiol. When a person comes in contact with the oils from these plants this causes an allergic reaction. You may notice a rash that forms in a straight line (as if you brushed against a poison ivy leaf). If you suspect that you’ve come into contact with poison ivy, sumac, or oak, it’s important to wash your clothes immediately and to take a shower to prevent the oils from spreading further.

You Can Usually Treat It Yourself

While the rash can be unpleasant, symptoms should go away within 2-3 weeks. Since the rash can be quite itchy and uncomfortable, here are some ways to ease your symptoms:
  • Take cool, oatmeal baths to alleviate inflammation and itching
  • Apply calamine lotions to the skin to temporarily alleviate itching
  • Steroid creams (aka: cortisone cream) may also alleviate redness and inflammation
  • Apply cold compresses to the area when symptoms flare-up
  • Whatever you do, do not scratch your rash (this can lead to an infection)
Severe Symptoms Warrant a Doctor’s Visit

Some people have severe allergic reactions when they come into contact with poison ivy, sumac, or oak. You must call your dermatologist as soon as possible if:
  • Pus develops on the rash
  • You also have a fever over 100 F
  • You experience severe itching
  • The rash keeps spreading
  • You aren’t sure whether the rash is caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac
  • The rash spreads to the mouth or the eyes
  • Symptoms don’t improve within a week
From poison ivy rashes to psoriasis, a dermatologist can treat a wide range of skin conditions and provide you with the treatment you need. If you have concerns about symptoms you are experiencing, call your dermatologist right away.
By Choice Dermatology
October 06, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Acne  

Different Treatments for Acne

If you suffer from acne, you know the discomfort, insecurity and even pain that can come with chronic cysts and blemishes. While everyone experiences the occasional breakout, acne that doesn't abate or respond to drugstore creams and solutions can be frustrating and distressing.

Those with severe acne may require professional intervention to effectively treat their blemishes and prevent them from coming back. At Choice Dermatology, with locations in Basking Ridge and Union, we offer several options for treating acne, and can help you find a solution that fits the needs of your skin.

Topical treatments

The most commonly used acne treatments are applied to the surface of the skin, penetrating the surface to reduce oiliness, kill bacteria and clear pores. These treatments usually come in cream, ointment or liquid form and contain powerful ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or retinol. Your dermatologist Dr. Marc Meulener can prescribe you a topical treatment with a higher percentage of these powerful ingredients than are available in over-the-counter versions.

Oral treatments

Medications are another method for treating acne. Taken orally, medications can help with cystic acne or especially red and swollen blemishing. Your dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, or a medication that regulates hormone levels, like birth control, for females who experience flare-ups during certain stages of their menstrual cycle.

Isotretinoin, commonly known as Accutane, is another option, which uses a vitamin A derivative to treat nodular acne.

In-office treatments

Acne that doesn't respond to oral or topical medications may require treatments done in our Basking Ridge or Union offices. Light or laser therapy can be effective in killing the bacteria that causes acne, and those with blackheads may benefit from chemical peels. The chemicals used in-office are stronger and more effective than those found in drugstore pads or masks designed for acne-prone skin. We also offer acne facials done by a licensed aesthetician for the removal of blackheads a thorough cleaning of the skin.

For large cysts, your dermatologist may carefully extract the blemish after draining the fluid, relieving pain and reducing the chance of scarring your skin. To quickly diminish a large pimple, your dermatologist may offer a cortisone injection.

The specialists at Choice Dermatology are here to help you effectively treat your acne so feel and look great. Call our Basking Ridge, NJ office at 908-766-7546 or our Union, NJ office at 908-355-0112 today to make an appointment.

By Choice Dermatology
September 24, 2020
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Scalp Psoriasis  
Scalp PsoriasisDealing with an itchy, flaky scalp? It could be dandruff or it could be a sign that you’re dealing with a common condition known as scalp psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis isn’t just the result of a dry scalp, it’s an autoimmune disorder. Of course, it’s important to be able to pinpoint the warning signs of scalp psoriasis so that you can turn to a qualified dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment.


Is it scalp psoriasis?

Symptoms of scalp psoriasis can range from mild to severe. Mild cases may only cause small patches of flaky skin, while those with more severe symptoms may experience a burning and intensely itchy scalp. If you pull back your hair you may notice scaly patches of skin and/or red bumps. It’s important not to scratch your scalp, as scratching could lead to infection and temporary hair loss.

Since scalp psoriasis shares symptoms with other conditions such as ringworm or dermatitis, you must see a dermatologist to find out what’s causing your scaly, itchy, and dry scalp.
 

How is scalp psoriasis treated?

While there is no cure for scalp psoriasis, a dermatologist can provide you with medications, as well as recommend certain over-the-counter products that can reduce itchy, dryness, and flaking. Shampoos or topical treatments containing coal tar or salicylic acid may help clear up symptoms.

Since psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder, an oral medication that acts on the body as a whole may offer the most effective relief. Oral medications that act on the immune system (e.g. biologics) may be recommended in more severe cases or in cases where scalp psoriasis isn’t responding to topical treatment options.

Your dermatologist may also recommend light therapy, natural remedies (e.g. tea tree oil; aloe vera), and supplements, as well as other alternative treatment options to help alleviate your symptoms.

If you are dealing with a scaly, itchy, and inflamed scalp it could be scalp psoriasis. Schedule an evaluation with a skincare professional today to learn more.
By Choice Dermatology
September 16, 2020
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Rashes   Ringworm  

RingwormThere are many reasons that you might be dealing with a skin rash; however, if you suspect that it might be ringworm you may be surprised to discover that there are other conditions that can often masquerade as ringworm but aren’t. This is why it’s important to have any rashes or skin problems thoroughly evaluated by a qualified dermatologist. After all, you want to make sure that you are getting the proper treatment you need depending on the type of condition you’re dealing with.

What does ringworm look like?

If you have ringworm, common symptoms include:

  • A circular or ring-like rash that may be raised along the edges
  • A rash that may be scaly, itchy, red, or burning
  • Hair loss in the area where the rash has appeared

The rash may develop several red, raised rings at once, some of which may overlap. While ringworm can develop just about anywhere on the body it’s most commonly found on the arms, legs, and trunk.

If it’s not ringworm, then what else could it be?

There are a variety of ringworm imposters that could be causing you or your child’s rash. The two most common conditions are nummular eczema and granuloma annulare.

Nummular eczema causes circular patches of dry skin that can burn or become dry and scaly. This type of skin condition is often triggered by bug bites, certain medications, or a metal allergy. Granuloma annulare causes red or flesh-colored bumps to appear on the skin, but because they often appear ring-like this condition can be mistaken for ringworm. Everything from medications and viral infections to skin trauma and thyroid disorders can trigger granuloma annulare.

Other less common symptoms that may look like ringworm include,

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Pityriasis rosea
  • Tinea versicolor (more common in children)
  • Vitiligo
  • Erythema migrans (common in those with Lyme disease)
  • Lupus

Sometimes a skin biopsy of the lesion or rash is required for a dermatologist to be able to diagnose whether it is ringworm or not. If you are experiencing symptoms of ringworm or are concerned about a new or worsening rash, then call your dermatologist today to schedule an appointment.





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