Posts for category: Skin Conditions
Dealing with dry skin? Here’s what might be to blame:
About 75 percent of people are living in a chronic state of dehydration. So, chances are that if you are dealing with dry skin you should closely evaluate how much water you’re drinking every day. If you’re not drinking enough water, this is an easy fix. You should be getting anywhere from 11-16 cups a day, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences.
You are Washing too Much
Be aware of over washing. Yes, that is a thing, and it’s one of the main reasons people end up dealing with tight and overly dry skin. That’s because our skin contains oils that help keep it moisturized. When you wash too often (or too aggressively) you strip the skin of its natural oils. Look for oil-based cleansers if you are dealing with dry skin and maybe only wash your face at night right before bed.
You are Dealing with a Skin Condition
Sometimes dry skin is a sign of a skin disorder, more commonly eczema and psoriasis. However, other health problems may also make someone prone to dry skin such as diabetes or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). In this case, it’s important to treat the underlying problem. This is where having a dermatologist will come in handy, especially if you are dealing with eczema or other chronic skin problems.
There is nothing like cold, dry air to make dry skin worse. If you are already prone to dry skin, you must be protecting your skin from further problems during the winter months. One way to do that is to wear gloves and to protect your face. Harsh winds and cold weather can easily cause cracks in the skin, which can bleed or even result in an infection. Protect your skin during the winter and perhaps give your skin a little extra TLC by using more intensive moisturizers and cleansers.
If dry skin is causing your discomfort or if you are feeling self-conscious about your dry, scaly skin, then it’s time to talk with your dermatologist about what’s going on and how to best get it under control.
Wondering what’s causing those itchy red spots and whether you should see a dermatologist about your rash? Most rashes are harmless and usually go away on their own; however, some rashes may require further treatment. Here are some of the different kinds of rashes and how they are treated,
Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema causes a red itchy and weepy rash to develop. While eczema can develop just about anywhere on the body it is more common on the elbows, face, neck, and ankles. It’s important to recognize triggers (e.g. dry skin; pet dander; household cleaners) to reduce flare-ups.
Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines can be used to manage flare-ups; however, you may want to turn to a dermatologist for steroid creams, light therapy, and other treatment options to better manage your eczema.
Has your child developed an intensely itchy rash all over their body and face? If they haven’t been vaccinated against chickenpox than this viral infection may be to blame for these insanely itchy spots. Chickenpox is a highly contagious infection that appears most often in school-age children. The rash may itch and ooze for a couple of days before crusting over.
It usually takes about a week for a chickenpox rash to go away. If you suspect that your child might have chickenpox it’s important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. While the infection will just need to run its course there are ways to ease symptoms at home through special ointments, creams, and soothing oatmeal baths.
Hives or urticaria causes red itchy welts to appear. These flat bumps can be extremely itchy and may continue to disappear and appear over the course of several hours. Most cases of hives usually go away within 12 hours. Stress, drugs, food allergies, insect stings, and bites, and certain infections can also trigger hives.
While most acute cases of hives will go away, if you are dealing with symptoms that last more than six weeks or are accompanied by trouble breathing, facial swelling or other signs of a serious allergic reaction it’s important that you see a doctor immediately.
This is another common and harmless rash that appears during those hot, humid days. A heat rash will usually appear suddenly and is characterized as a cluster of red, pimple-like bumps. They can appear anywhere on the face or body but are most often found on the arms, chest, or groin. Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine may help manage the itching. It’s also important to find a cooler environment and to wear lightweight clothes with breathable fabrics.
Notice a red, burning scaly rash between your toes? If so, this could be a fungal infection known as athlete’s foot. There are over-the-counter antifungal creams that can be applied directly to the infection to kill the fungus. If over-the-counter antifungal medications aren’t providing you with relief or if you’re unsure whether you have athlete’s foot it’s important that you see a dermatologist.
If you are dealing with a painful, widespread, or persistent rash it may be time to see your dermatologist to find out what’s going on. If in doubt, give your doctor a call. Based on your symptoms we can determine whether or not you should come into the office.
If you’ve suddenly noticed your skin breaking out in a red, itchy rash, you could be dealing with dermatitis, a common skin condition that often leads to a red, swollen rash, or dry and intensely itchy skin. Sometimes dermatitis can even cause oozing or scaling blisters to form. This condition may be embarrassing but don’t worry—it isn’t contagious.
The most common types of dermatitis include:
- Contact dermatitis: occurs when an allergen comes in contact with your skin
- Eczema or atopic dermatitis: most commonly inherited
- Dyshidrotic dermatitis: often appears on the hands and feet
- Seborrheic dermatitis: a type of dermatitis that often affects the scalp (dandruff)
The causes really depend on the type of dermatitis you have. For example, contact dermatitis occurs when you come in contact with an allergen such as certain detergents, poison ivy, or nickel. Eczema most often runs in families and occurs more frequently in those with allergies or asthma.
With dermatitis, it is common to experience flare-ups with bouts of remission. Common symptom triggers include environmental or hormonal changes, stress, or certain irritants (e.g. new detergents; perfumes).
Since the symptoms of dermatitis are similar to other skin conditions, it is important to see a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis. Some types of dermatitis can be diagnosed through a simple physical exam; however, if your dermatologist believes that your symptoms are due to an allergic reaction, then allergy testing may be necessary to determine what’s causing your dermatitis.
Those with mild symptoms may find relief through over-the-counter antihistamines and topical creams to stop itching and redness; however, a dermatologist can create a customized treatment plan based on the type of dermatitis you are dealing with and your symptoms. Along with home care (e.g. oatmeal baths; cold compresses) and over-the-counter medications, a dermatologist may also prescribe stronger antihistamines, topical steroids, or oral medication to ease more serious flare-ups.
Your dermatologist can also discuss ways to prevent flare-ups including treating and preventing dry skin, using a proper moisturizer, and implementing necessary dietary changes. Some patients also find that alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage therapy help reduce the number and severity of flare-ups.
If you are experiencing symptoms of dermatitis, it is important that you see your dermatologist right away for care. The sooner you seek treatment the sooner you will experience relief.
If you are affected by a skin condition such as acne, psoriasis, or rosacea, we here at Choice Dermatology in Elizabeth and Basking Ridge, NJ, can help. Led by Dr. Marc Meulener, read on to learn how we can treat these common skin conditions.
The most common skin condition to affect adults and teens in the U.S. is acne, which can appear as pimples, cysts, whiteheads, or blackheads. Acne is likely to develop when the pores on your skin become clogged with debris, leading to an unsightly appearance, and sometimes swelling, pain and even permanent scarring.
Fortunately, we have several ways to treat acne at our offices. Our knowledgeable dermatologists can recommend an appropriate treatment based on the type of acne you are suffering from, as well as other factors. Acne treatments include topical ointments applied directly to the skin, oral medications to reduce inflammation and target acne-causing bacteria, laser therapy, chemical peels, and removal of acne cysts through medical injections and extraction.
Psoriasis is another common skin condition that affects many people. Psoriasis is associated with red patches on the skin, as well as scaliness and flakiness. It can affect any area of the body, but most often appears on the elbows, knees, and scalp. Psoriasis is a genetic condition caused by an overactive immune system that generates new skin cells faster than it can shed old ones. These skin cells then build up and cause red, scaly patches. Treatments include laser therapy, topical creams, pills, and injectable medications.
Associated with redness and inflammation of the skin, as well as itchiness, rosacea is a genetic condition with no cure. Fortunately, treatments help manage these bothersome symptoms. Treatments for rosacea include topical ointments, oral medications, and laser therapy. Laser therapy works by collapsing the blood vessels that cause the redness associated with rosacea. Following laser therapy, many patients enjoy long-lasting relief from rosacea symptoms.
Need care? Give us a call
We can help you achieve relief from a variety of common skin conditions. To discuss your specific skin issue and its treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Meulener or his associates by calling Choice Dermatology at either our Elizabeth location or our Basking Ridge office:
- (908) 355-0112 for Elizabeth
- (908) 766-7546 for Basking Ridge
Over 9,000 people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer every day in the United States according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. In addition to taking precautions to protect yourself from harmful UV ray exposure from the sun and tanning beds, monitoring any changes to existing moles or new growths is an important factor in skin cancer prevention. Dr. Marc Meulener, a dermatologist in Basking Ridge and Elizabeth, NJ, recommends performing self-checks and scheduling regular skin cancer screenings to protect yourself from skin cancer.
Get Your Moles Checked in Basking Ridge and Elizabeth, NJ
Moles are very common and generally harmless, however, changes to the size, shape, color, or texture of an existing mole or new growths should be examined to be on the safe side. In rare cases, an abnormal or atypical mole can be a signal of melanoma risk. Like most forms of cancer, skin cancer is most treatable when diagnosed early, especially with melanoma.
What You Need to Know About Your Moles
Q: What is a mole?
A: Moles are benign growths of melanocytes, the cells responsible for pigmentation in the skin. They are usually black or brown in color and can be flat or raised from the skin, and develop almost anywhere on the body. They are typically round or oval in shape, and can vary in size from small to very large.
Q: What causes moles?
A: Moles form when melanocytes develop in a cluster. Most people have dozens of moles, and they usually appear in childhood and young adulthood. In most cases, they are normal and benign growths and not a cause for concern.
Q: Can moles become cancerous?
A: In rare cases, abnormal and atypical moles can become cancerous over time, or indicate an elevated risk for melanoma. But in most cases moles are benign and not a sign of cancer.
Q: Should I get my mole removed?
A: If you are worried about a mole, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist for a consultation. Look out for changes to the size, shape, texture, color, and borders, or if you notice new growths at any time. The dermatologist will thoroughly inspect the mole and order a skin biopsy if the cells look suspicious and remove the mole as a precaution.
Find a Dermatologist in Basking Ridge and Elizabeth, NJ
For more information about skin cancer prevention and treatment and what to look out for, contact Choice Dermatology to schedule an appointment today by calling (908) 766-7546 for Basking Ridge, or (908) 355-0112 for Elizabeth.