Posts for category: Dermatology
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Fortunately, it rarely develops without warning, and the number of fatalities caused by melanoma could be greatly reduced if people were aware of the early signs and took time to examine their skin. With early diagnosis and treatment, your chance of recovery from melanoma is very good.
What Causes Melanoma?
The main cause of melanoma is too much skin exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays from the sun and tanning booths can damage skin cells, causing the cells to grow abnormally. The best way to prevent melanoma is to reduce the amount of time you spend in the sun, wearing hats and protective clothing when possible and generously applying sunscreen.
Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body, including the soles of your feet or your fingernails. In women, melanoma is most often seen on the lower legs, and in men, it most commonly forms on the upper back.
Anyone can get melanoma, but people with the following traits are at a higher risk:
- Fair skin
- Excessive sun exposure during childhood
- Family history of melanoma
- More than 50 moles on the skin
- Several freckles
- Sun-sensitive skin that rarely tans or burns easily
Melanoma can appear suddenly as a new mole, or it can grow slowly, near or in an existing mole. The most common early signs of melanoma are:
- An open sore that repeatedly heals and re-opens
- A mole or growth that takes on an uneven shape, grows larger or changes in color or texture
- An existing mole that continues to bleed, itch, hurt, scab or fade
Because melanoma can spread quickly to other parts of the body, it is important to find melanoma as early as possible. The best way to detect changes in your moles and skin markings is by doing self-examinations regularly. If you find suspicious moles, have them checked by your dermatologist.
Visiting your dermatologist for a routine exam is also important. During this skin cancer "screening," your dermatologist will discuss your medical history and inspect your skin from head to toe, recording the location, size and color of any moles. Melanoma may be the most serious form of skin cancer, but it is also very curable when detected early.
The nails take a lot of abuse. From gardening and dishes to regular wear and tear, harsh chemicals and hard work can really take a toll on the condition of fingernails and toenails. Many nail problems can be avoided with proper care, but others may actually indicate a serious health condition that requires medical attention.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nail problems comprise about 10 percent of all skin conditions, affecting a large number of older adults. Brittle nails are common nail problems, typically triggered by age and the environment. Other conditions include ingrown toenails, nail fungus, warts, cysts or psoriasis of the nails. All of these common ailments can be effectively treated with proper diagnosis from a dermatologist.
Mirror on Health
A person’s nails can reveal a lot about their overall health. While most nail problems aren’t severe, many serious health conditions can be detected by changes in the nails, including liver diseases, kidney diseases, heart conditions, lung diseases, diabetes and anemia. That’s why it’s important to visit your dermatologist if you notice any unusual changes in your nails.
Basic Nail Care
It’s easy to neglect your nails, but with basic nail care, you can help keep your fingernails and toenails looking and feeling great. Here’s how:
Keep nails clean and dry to prevent bacteria from building up under the nail.
Cut fingernails and toenails straight across to prevent ingrown nails and trauma.
Avoid tight-fitting footwear.
Apply an anti-fungal foot powder daily or when needed.
Avoid biting and picking fingernails, as infectious organisms can be transferred between the fingers and mouth.
Wear gloves to protect your fingernails when doing yard work or cleaning house to protect the nails from harsh chemicals and trauma.
When in doubt about self-treatment for nail problems, visit your dermatologist for proper diagnosis and care.
Always notify a dermatologist of nail irregularities, such as swelling, pain or change in shape or color of the nail. Remember, your nails can tell you a lot about your overall health, and a dermatologist can help determine the appropriate treatment for any of your nail problems.
The telltale signs of aging skin—wrinkles, puffy eyes, age spots—may start to appear as we grow older. We can’t fight the aging process, but we can take steps now to help reduce and prevent wrinkles from appearing prematurely.
Many factors can contribute to the onset of wrinkles, which are frequently produced by years of unprotected sun exposure in combination with each person’s unique genetic predisposition. Wrinkles are a by-product of the aging process. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity, is less capable of retaining moisture and is slower to heal. All of these contribute to the development of wrinkles and sagging skin.
How Can I Slow the Progression of Wrinkles?
Daily skincare and proper sun protection are important factors in slowing the aging process, diminishing fine lines and minimizing wrinkles.
- Take your vitamins. Many vitamins are good for the skin. Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant found in citrus fruits and dark green leafy vegetables, can help reduce the appearance of sun damage.
- Apply sunscreen. Protecting yourself from sun exposure can help prevent the progression of fine lines. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 to protect against harmful UV rays.
- Moisturize. Dry skin causes the skin to look dull and aged. To prevent dry skin, apply moisturizer every day.
- Get your beauty sleep. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it produces excess cortisol, a hormone that breaks down skin cells. Keep your skin looking and feeling young by getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.
- Avoid tanning beds. Tanning beds emit harmful UVA rays and are never 'safe' alternatives to the sun.
- Take care of your hands. Our hands are often the first part of our body to reveal signs of aging, as they are the most used and exposed parts of the body. Protect the hands by wearing gloves, moisturizing and applying sunscreen.
- Quit smoking. Smoking may damage more than your lungs—it causes skin aging and wrinkles around the mouth.
Like it or not, wrinkles are a natural part of aging. Even the most diligent skincare regimen or the most expensive wrinkle cream won’t totally eliminate your fine lines. You can significantly reduce the appearance of your wrinkles, however. Start taking care of your skin now, embrace your age and love the skin you’re in!
Are Fillers Right for You?
Thinking about fillers? Dermal filler injections can give you a more youthful look for a fraction of what a facelift costs. Dermal fillers are soft tissue fillers injected into the skin to improve your facial appearance or reverse the signs of aging. Dermatologists offer a variety of dermal fillers to meet their patients' individual needs. Here are several signs that dermal fillers are right for you.
1. You want to erase facial wrinkles.
As people age, fine lines, folds, and wrinkles start to appear. The hyaluronic acid and collagen in the skin diminishes, causing the skin to lose volume and structure. Dermal filler injections eliminate wrinkles by adding plumpness to the skin and replacing the collagen lost due to skin damage or aging. The treatment will fill fine lines and wrinkles in less than 30 minutes with results that can last up to 18 months.
2. You want to smooth away laugh lines.
Don't be afraid to laugh! Nasolabial folds, also known as laugh lines, are nothing to laugh about. These creases and lines run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth, and are the result of the loss of facial volume as we age. Dermal filler injections smooth laugh lines by filling in deep creases. For laugh lines, you should opt for hyaluronic acid fillers, like Juvéderm, Sculptra, Restylane, or Juvéderm Voluma.
3. You want to enhance your cheeks.
Wrinkles and fine lines aren't the only signs of aging. Over time, your skin may start to sag and your cheeks may flatten. This happens because volume is lost in the cheeks. Using dermal fillers, your doctor can improve the appearance of your cheeks without surgery. Injectable treatments add volume to correct age-related volume loss in the cheeks and help create a youthful appearance.
4. You want to get rid of acne scars.
While acne scars may fade over time, they often don't go away completely without treatment. Injectable treatment fades acne scars by adding volume to them. Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, and Belotero are the injectables for treating acne scars. They are able to reduce the appearance of certain types of scars and improve the texture of your skin.
5. You want to make your lips look bigger.
Some patients have thin lips and want to make them bigger. Other patients have noticed their lips thinning over time. Your dermatologist can use dermal fillers to increase volume in your lips. Juvederm can improve the appearance of your lips by adding volume, structure, and shape. The effects typically last up to one year. After that, more injections will be required to maintain your new look.
Say goodbye to those signs of aging. Search for a qualified dermatologist in your area right now and schedule an appointment for a dermal filler treatment. Dermal filler treatment is the secret to looking younger! With dermal filler treatments, you will look as incredible as you feel!