Discover more about this common skin condition, and what you can do to treat your itchy symptoms.
What are hives? What are the symptoms of hives?
Also referred to as urticaria, hives are characterized by an outbreak of red bumps that suddenly show up on skin. Hives can appear anywhere on the body and often cause itching, burning and stinging. Some hives may be small, while others might form alongside other bumps to create larger swellings.
What causes hives?
The most common causes of hives are foods, medications, and infections. Hives can also be triggered by insect bites. Foods that often bring about hives include dairy, fish, nuts and eggs. Medications such as aspirin and other overthecounter antiinflammatories like ibuprofen have also been known to cause hives.
There is another form of hives known as physical urticaria, which is triggered by and external physical factor such as cold, pressure, heat, exercise or sweating. This variety of hives usually appears within an hour after contact with one of these elements.
Are hives dangerous?
The majority of hives outbreaks are not dangerous however, if you also experience dizziness, problems breathing, swelling of the face or tightness in your chest, then you should call for emergency assistance immediately! These can be signs of a lifethreatening allergic reaction.
How are hives treated?
If you know what might be triggering your outbreaks, the best thing you can do is remove the trigger right away and avoid it as much as possible. Some people are able to take overthe-counter antihistamines like Benadryl to help relieve the itching. However, those with chronic hives may need to take a stronger antihistamine in combination with corticosteroids.
If you experience a severe outbreak, an epinephrine injection will need to be administered right away. Again, seek medical attention immediately!
To help relieve symptoms until the hives go away, you can also apply cold compresses to the areas to help ease any burning or itching. Also keep your bedroom and living space cool and opt for roomier clothing that won’t rub against the infected areas and exacerbate itching.
How long do hives last?
Some cases of hives clear up in only a few hours, while some can last for a full day before starting to fade.
If you are dealing with a nasty bout of hives that overthecounter remedies don’t seem to fix, then it might be time to talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options. Call our office to schedule an appointment right away!
Find out what this autoimmune disorder means for your skin health.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million Americans and five million people globally have some form of lupus. While lupus can affect both men and women, about 90 percent of those with diagnosed lupus are women between the ages of 15 to 44. Even though this chronic autoimmune disease affects millions, significantly less than half of people are actually somewhat familiar with the disease.
So, what exactly is lupus, how can you contract this disorder and what treatment options are available?
Our immune system is meant to attack foreign agents in our body to fight diseases and other infections. However, if you have been diagnosed with lupus then your immune system actually responds by attacking the healthy cells within your body. This ultimately causes damage to certain organs in the body like your heart, skin and brain.
There are different types of lupus; however, the most common form is systemic lupus erythematosis. Discoid lupus is known for causing a persistent skin rash, subacute cutaneous lupus causes skin sores when exposed to the sun, druginduced lupus is the result of a certain medication and neonatal lupus affects infants.
Know that you aren’t alone when it comes to handling your lupus symptoms. While symptoms can be severe and affect your daily life talk to your dermatologist about the best ways to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Lupus Risk Factors
While anyone can develop lupus, women are more likely to develop this condition. Also, African American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian women are at an increased risk over Caucasian women. While the cause is unknown, some research has found that perhaps genes play an influential role in the development of lupus; however, there are several factors that could be at play.
Those with lupus may experience some or all of these symptoms:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Joint pain and swelling
- Skin rashes, most commonly found on the face
- Chest pain when breathing deeply
- Loss of hair
- Pale fingers and toes
- Sun sensitivity
- Mouth sores
- Extreme fatigue
- Leg or eye swelling
- Swollen glands
These symptoms may not be present all the time. Those with lupus have flareups in which the symptoms will appear for a little while and then go away. Also new symptoms may also arise at any time.
If you’ve been diagnosed with lupus then you will most likely need to see several specialists regarding your condition. If you are dealing with skin sores and rashes, then you will want to talk to your dermatologist about the best treatment plan for you. About 40 to 70 percent of those with lupus experience symptoms when exposed to sunlight.
When you come in our office for treatment our goal is to find certain medications that can reduce pain, swelling and redness and prevent further flareups. Furthermore, we will recommend a sunscreen and other lifestyle changes that can help to protect your skin from damaging sun exposure.
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic dermatology procedure for removing unwanted hair from the face and body with long-lasting results. Laser hair removal significantly slows the growth of unwanted hair so that it does not grow back for extended periods of time. The results of laser hair removal are longer lasting than other hair removal methods, such as shaving or tweezing. At Choice Dermatology, Dr. Marc Meulener is your dermatologist for laser hair removal in Elizabeth and Basking Ridge, NJ.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
Laser hair removal involves the use of a laser that emits beams of light. The beams of light are aimed at areas of the skin targeted for hair removal. As the laser is gently passed over the skin, hair follicles in the skin absorb the light emitted from the laser. The light damages the hair follicle, which causes hair growth to stall. Any hairs in the growth stage at the time of treatment will be destroyed and the growth of new hairs will be delayed. Since hair grows in different stages, multiple treatments will be needed to achieve optimal results.
Laser hair removal can be used to remove hair on various parts of the body and face. It can also be used with a variety of skin types and hair colors. The best results tend to be achieved with darker hair colors. Hairs that are red, blonde, or gray tend to be more difficult to eliminate with laser hair removal and could require additional treatments. Your dermatologist can give you a more accurate estimate of the number of treatment sessions needed to achieve the desired results for your skin type and hair color.
There are multiple benefits to choosing laser treatments to remove unwanted body and facial hair. Some of the primary benefits of laser hair removal include:
- Saves time by not having to shave daily
- Eliminates the risk of razor nicks and cuts
- Delivers long-lasting hair removal results
- Eliminates in-grown hairs associated with shaving
- Is safe and gentle for a variety of skin types
- Can be used on the face and body
Laser hair removal offers several benefits, including long-lasting results. For laser hair removal, schedule an appointment with Dr. Meulener by calling the Elizabeth office at (908) 355-0112 or (908) 766-7546 for the Basking Ridge office.
Find out the most effective ways to remove a wart.
The common wart is a small tumor caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can occur anywhere on the body. They may come and go over the years. The HPV infection can produce everything from the common, noncancerous wart, to cancerous warts of the mouth or genitals.
Since a virus causes warts, these benign growths are also contagious. Sharing towels and clothing, or even just coming in contact with their wart can cause the virus to spread. The good news is that most warts often go away on their own without treatment; however, it can often take months or even years for them to go away. If the wart is unsightly or in an uncomfortable spot then you may want to have it removed. Here are some of the top ways to effectively remove a wart yourself.
Salicylic Acid Treatment
Salicylic acid treatment can come in several forms including pads or gels. They can be used to get rid of a variety of different kinds of warts from the small ones to the large, lumpier ones. Salicylic acid works by breaking down the protein that makes up the layers of the wart.
At Home Freezing
While your dermatologist is able to remove warts with liquid nitrogen, if you’re looking to remove the wart yourself, then you can also opt for aerosol wart removals that can be sprayed on the wart to freeze it. While the overthecounter products are nearly as effective as the freezing methods your dermatologist can use, many patients still find athome freezing to be just as effective.
If none of these athome treatments remove your wart, then it’s time to talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options. Keep in mind that even the most effective wart treatment can’t guarantee that the wart won’t grow back. This is because most of the treatments available only get rid of the wart but not the actual virus.
If you’re dealing with a painful or unsightly wart but overthecounter treatments aren’t working, then it’s time to call our dermatology office today.
Find out how your dermatologist can improve the appearance of your facial scars.
From traumatic injuries to acne, there are a variety of reasons why you may be dealing with facial scars; however, it doesn’t mean you have to live with them for the rest of your life. Your dermatologist offers up a range of cosmetic treatment options that can improve the appearance of your skin and reduce the look of your scars. If you’re ready to get newer, healthierlooking skin, find out more about what treatments could help you.
Dermabrasion: This cosmetic procedure uses a handheld device to remove the outermost layer of the skin. By abrading this top layer, we are able to remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of healthy new skin. Dermabrasion is used to effectively reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, enlarged pores and acne scars. However, this treatment is not effective against deepset scars.
Laser Resurfacing: By using a highpowered laser, we can remove damaged skin and surface scars, helping to minimize the appearance of unsightly dermatological problems like lines, wrinkles, age spots, pigmented areas and scars caused by acne, injury or surgery.
Chemical peels: This treatment requires your dermatologist to apply a strong chemical solution over your skin to remove the top, damaged layer of skin and exfoliate the healthier, smoother-looking layer of new skin that is revealed. Chemical peels are another great way to dramatically reduce wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and acne scars.
If you are dealing with superficial scars that are close to the surface of the skin, you will benefit greatly from this cosmetic procedure; however, those with deeper scars will not experience a significant improvement.
Injections: Your dermatologist is happy to offer both collagen and cortisone injections to help shrink and reduce the appearance of scars. By increasing the collagen in your face, we can give your skin more fullness to smooth out visible scars.
If you are interested in any of these dermatological treatments talk to your dermatologist today. Don’t let facial scarring affect your selfesteem. Make the choice to improve your skin and your confidence!
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