Brown spots and skin discoloration are frequent complaints for many people. The most common form of irregular pigmentation is hyperpigmentation, a condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. Some people have abnormal skin pigmentation from a young age, and for others it is brought on later in life by sun damage or injury to the skin. Individuals of all ages, ethnicities and skin types can be affected, although those with darker skin tones are more prone to develop it.
Hyperpigmentation usually appears as brown spots and dark patches on the face, chest, arms and hands. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin. Sun exposure, acne, genetics and hormonal changes can trigger or worsen irregular pigmentation.
Not all pigmentation problems can be avoided, but you can follow preventive measures to control and reduce dark spots from forming. It is especially important to use adequate sunscreen, manage your acne and discontinue the use of any oral medications that may be contributing to the problem.
How Can I Combat Hyperpigmentation?
The good news is that skin hyperpigmentation isn’t dangerous, and proper treatment can help rejuvenate troubling patches on the skin. There are many treatments at your dermatologist’s disposal, ranging from topical creams and dermabrasion to chemical peels and laser procedures. Your dermatologist will work with you to determine the most suitable treatment for your particular skin type and problem.
Although a frustrating condition, your skin complexion can be improved and corrected. Talk to your dermatologist about the best treatment options for you.
What is Psoriasis?
Have you been experiencing bumpy, white-scale-topped patches of red skin erupting over certain parts of your body? These itchy, sometimes painful plaques could be the result of an undiagnosed case of psoriasis. Although this skin disorder does not have a cure, there are several treatment options that can lead to symptom relief. Read on to learn more about psoriasis and how your local dermatologist can help!
The Background on Psoriasis
While there is no medical consensus on what exactly causes psoriasis, experts generally point towards an abnormality in how T cells operate in a patient’s immune system. T cells are normally used by the body in order to defend against foreign threats, such as viruses or bacteria. However, for those with psoriasis, these cells become overactive and start to treat healthy skin cells as if they were harmful. In turn, this leads the body to behave as if it had a wound to heal, or an infection to fight. As a result, sporadic patches of irritated skin begin to erupt on certain parts of the body.
Both the appearance of these symptoms and the level of their severity can be triggered through a number of factors, including:
- Skin infections
- Skin injuries
- Heavy stress
- Regular tobacco use
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Use of specific medications, such as lithium, beta blockers, antimalarial drugs, and iodides
Although there is no cure for the disorder, your local dermatologist has a number of treatment methods that can slow down the growth of skin cells responsible for psoriasis’ uncomfortable rashes. An appointment with your skin doctor can determine which of these options is right for you:
- Steroid cream
- Coal tar (available in lotions, creams, foams, soaps, and shampoos)
- Ultraviolet therapy
- Retinoid (not recommended for women who are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant)
- Methotrexate (only for serious cases)
Need Relief? Give Us a Call!
You don’t need to live with the full discomfort of psoriasis; give our office a call today and discover how we can help!
At some point during our lifetime most of us will develop spider veins, those tiny little purple, red or blue web-like lines that are the result of twisted blood vessels. While they can develop anywhere on the body they most often appear on the legs.
What causes spider veins?
The purpose of veins is to deliver blood to the heart. Of course, if something is wrong with the vein blood can pool inside of it, causing a buildup of pressure that can weaken the walls of the vein. This can cause the veins to twist, which results in spider veins.
While anyone can develop spider veins women are far more likely than men to deal with this problem. There are certain risk factors that can make you prone to spider veins. These factors include:
- Being on your feet all day
- Hormonal changes
- Traumatic injuries
- Prior leg surgeries
Are spider veins painful?
Even though spider veins can be unsightly they are usually harmless; however, there are instances where someone with spider veins may experience aching, burning, or leg cramping.
Can you get rid of spider veins?
If you are experiencing discomfort due to spider veins you may want to wear compression stockings, which can apply the ideal amount of pressure to the damaged vein to improve blood flow to the heart. Compression stockings are great if you are looking to improve blood flow while also reducing the aching or cramping you may experience as a result of your spider veins; however, compression stockings will not repair or remove spider veins.
If you want to have your spider veins removed then it’s time to turn to a dermatologist. There are two ways in which a skin doctor can treat your spider veins. The most common method is sclerotherapy, in which a special solution is injected into the vein. The solution will cause the vein to collapse, where the vein will then be reabsorbed by the body and fade over the course of a few weeks. Depending on the severity of your spider veins, you may require more than one sclerotherapy treatment.
Another treatment option is called endovenous laser treatment (ELT), in which a catheter is inserted into the vein. Inside the catheter is a laser that will heat up the vein to seal it. This will seal out blood so that the blood can be rerouted through healthy veins. This is an ideal option for those with smaller veins or those dealing with spider veins that are on the surface of the skin. Again, several treatment sessions may be necessary to see full results.
If you are dealing with unsightly spider veins then it’s time to consult your dermatologist to find out the best treatment options to match your needs.
Could those rough, white bumps actually be Keratosis Pilaris?
If you are dealing with rough patches of skin on your body, then you may be dealing with a condition known as keratosis pilaris. While this is a fairly common and nonthreatening dermatological issue it can be hard to effectively treat. Luckily, most cases of keratosis pilaris go away by the age of 30. However, find out everything you need to know about this condition and how to manage your symptoms properly.
Are you noticing any of these symptoms?
- Rough, scaly patches that are sometimes itchy
- White or red bumps that look like acne
- Bumps on the arms, legs, cheeks or butt
- An increase in symptoms during the winter
If you’ve said “yes” to any of these symptoms above, then your bumps may be the result of keratosis pilaris. Luckily, this isn’t a serious condition and often won’t require treatment. However, some people feel embarrassed by how their skin looks. If this is the case, then consult your dermatologist.
Keratosis Pilaris Treatments
There is no one treatment that effectively helps those with keratosis pilaris. However, your dermatologist might recommend a medicated exfoliant, a retinoid cream or gel, or laser treatment. While using these medications may improve the look of your skin, if you stop taking this medication there is a significant chance that the problem will return. The biggest issue with this dermatological condition is that it lasts for many years.
SelfCare Measures for Keratosis Pilaris
While your treatment options might not sound ideal, there are also some easy things you can do at home that can improve the look of your skin.
- Avoid scrubbing or rubbing your skin, which can further aggravate your condition.
- Always pat your skin dry and never rub. This will also help to maintain moisture.Apply a moisturizer after getting out of the shower. This can further help to improve the appearance of dry, irritated skin.
- Look for products with urea or lactic acid. Both of these ingredients can be found in over-thecounter skin care products and they remove excess keratin from the outermost layer of the skin.
Talk to your dermatologist about which prescription medications and lifestyle changes would improve your condition. Even though this condition isn’t serious you can still seek medical advice and treatments to help with your problem.
Developing facial wrinkles is a normal part of getting older, but that doesn't mean you don't have options for minimizing them. At Choice Dermatology in Basking Ridge and Elizabeth, New Jersey, our dermatology team—Dr. Marc Meulener, Sydne Miller PA-C, Cennia Hernandez PA-C, and Melissa Miao- PA—offers a variety of ways to battle wrinkle development. Learn about how we can help you look and feel younger by reading below!
What causes wrinkles?
Wrinkling is a natural part of the aging process, and it is caused when skin thins and becomes less hydrated. A natural breakdown of collagen and elastin, proteins that give skin its firmness and resilience, starts taking place around age 20. Places on your body where your muscles are constantly moving, like around your eyes and mouth, are at a particular disadvantage for developing wrinkles. Other wrinkle-causing factors, such as chronic sleeplessness, a history of excessive sun exposure, or regular tobacco use, shouldn't be discounted either.
How can wrinkles be treated?
At Choice Dermatology in Basking Ridge and Elizabeth, NJ, we offer a variety of topical and minimally invasive wrinkle remedies. Your dermatologist can recommend the most effective anti-aging lotions or serums for your skin type. These often contain hyaluronic acid, enzymes, and vitamins that help fill in wrinkles while hydrating and stimulating the skin. You may additionally benefit from Botox or dermal fillers, which help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles for several months at a time. Laser treatments can also help to smooth over wrinkles and encourage the skin to produce more collagen. Most importantly, keeping your skin moisturized with products that contain Vitamin A and sunscreen helps prevent new wrinkles at bay.
You can find out how to keep your wrinkles in check by contacting Choice Dermatology and making an appointment with Dr. Marc Meulener or our physician's assistants, Sydne Miller, Cennia Hernandez and Melissa Miao, at either our Elizabeth or Basking Ridge locations in New Jersey. Call (908) 524-0796 for Basking Ridge, or (908) 355-0112 for Elizabeth.
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