Blog

23
Mar

Battle the Leading Causes of Dry Skin

Dry skin, also called xerosis, is one of the most common skin conditions in the U.S., affecting millions of Americans. If you suffer from a chronic dry skin condition, it is likely caused by one of the following:

  1. Lack of Proper Hydration – Human bodies are made up of 70% water. If your daily water intake is not high enough, your skin will show it! Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your skin moisturized, especially during winter months or if you live in an environment with dry heat and low humidity.
  2. Overexposure to the Sun – UV rays from the sun have a drying effect on the skin. Prolonged overexposure to the sun can cause dry skin and, over time, it will even prematurely age your skin. To protect yourself from harmful UV rays, wear protective clothing and hats when you’re in the sun. Wearing moisturizing sunscreen is also highly recommended. Our favorite sun care line is EltaMD, a company that strives to provide the best sun protection available.  
  3. Baths or Showers that are Too Long or Too Hot – A few minutes spent under warm water will actually increase your skin’s moisture levels. However, if you take baths or shower often for longer than ten minutes at a time, or in overly hot water, it is likely this will result in dry skin. To combat this, use warm water rather than hot and limit the number and length of your baths and showers. It is also a good idea to moisturize your skin immediately after toweling off, as this is when your body will be most receptive to lotions. Some of the best lotions we offer are CeraVe and EltaMD because they provide maximum moisture to the skin without any overbearing scents.
  4. Skin Conditions – Dry skin can often be a symptom of other existing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dermatitis and many others. If your dry skin is chronic and accompanies other symptoms such as warts, bumps, lesions or scales, be sure to visit your dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis and effective treatment.
15
Mar

Acne: Types and Treatments

Acne is an embarrassing and often painful affliction which is characterized by inflamed or infected sebaceous glands in the skin. It is typically found in the form of red pimples on the face, chest and back.

While most common in adolescents, acne is a problem which can plague adults as well. Acne can appear during cyclical hormonal fluctuations (e.g. a woman’s menstrual cycle), and is also a common side effect of menopause.

Listed below are some common types of acne, and their defining characteristics:

Acne Vulgaris

This is the most prevalent form of acne. It is typically characterized by mild outbreaks consisting of blackheads or whiteheads. Acne Vulgaris can sometimes be treated by over-the-counter topical remedies, but more severe, persistent strains probably require dermatological treatment.

Papules

A papule is a type of acne that forms around the base of a hair follicle (comedones). Papules are comedones that become inflamed, creating small red or pink bumps on the skin.

Pustules

Pustules are a type of inflamed pimple that look similar to a whitehead, but with a red ring around the base. The pimple is filled with a white or yellow-white pus. Picking at pustules (or any type of acne) should be avoided, as it may cause infection, scarring and discoloration to the skin.

Nodules

Nodules are inflamed bumps which are typically larger than regular acne. Nodules occur deep within the skin and can be painful. Nodules often require treatment by a dermatologist because, in many cases, medication may be the only effective remedy.

Cysts

Cysts appear as large, pus-filled lesions. Similar to nodules, cysts can be incredibly painful and usually require dermatological treatment.

Acne Conglobata

This form of acne is a very severe affliction. It involves several inflamed nodules, and can often spread to areas such as the back, chest, and buttocks. It can be exacerbated by the use of steroids or testosterone. In this case, treatment by a dermatologist is absolutely necessary.

While over-the-counter treatments may sometimes be effective for treating milder forms of acne, it is always wise to consult a dermatologist for advice. Your dermatologist will be able to identify the type and severity of your acne, and will recommend the best treatment for your specific condition. At Gainesville Dermatology, we carry the most effective treatment lines available on the market, including Blue Light Treatment.

The doctors and healthcare professionals at Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery can treat acne problems of any variety for fast, effective results. To schedule an appointment, call (352) 332-4442.

Photo: ShutterStock

29
Feb

Types of Warts and How to Spot Them

Warts are an unsightly skin phenomenon that are a great nuisance to those who suffer from them. They are typically characterized by a raised, hardened area of skin with a calloused surface, but can appear in many forms.

Warts are caused by a viral infection in the upper layer of skin. The virus which causes them is in the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) family. When this virus enters through a scratch in the skin, it causes rapid cell growth and results in the formation of a wart.

While warts are typically easy to differentiate from other skin afflictions (e.g. acne, eczema), determining which type of wart you have is more difficult and a dermatologist should be consulted.. Here’s a quick list of the most commonly diagnosed types of wart. (Who would have guessed there were so many?!)

Common Wart

Common warts appear as hard, raised lumps with rough surfaces. Although they can be found on any part of the body, these warts are typically found alone or in clusters on the hands or knees.

Flat Warts

Flat warts look like smooth, flattened lumps. Any part of the body can have flat warts, but the most commonly afflicted areas are the face and lower legs. Flat warts are often spread through shaving, as the virus is redistributed to other areas of skin.

Filiform Warts

Filiform warts appear as thin, long threads of calloused skin. These warts usually affect the face, especially near the eyes.

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts appear as small, hard bumps, often with little black dots on them. Plantar warts most commonly appear on the soles of feet.

Warts are unsightly and no fun at all, but they are typically easily diagnosed and treated by a trained dermatologist. The Gainesville Dermatology team is well-versed at removal techniques ranging from freezing to surgical removal. To schedule a consultation for wart removal with Gainesville Dermatology and Skin Surgery, call (352) 332-4442.

Photo: ShutterStock

22
Feb

The Cause and Spread of Molluscum Contagiosum

The skin condition Molluscum Contagiosum is a common skin infection caused by a contagious virus. Symptoms of Molluscum include the appearance of raised bumps, or blisters, on the skin that will leak a milky fluid when squeezed. Molluscum is not harmful but is highly contagious.

Children and athletes are among the most likely candidates to contract Molluscum, and diligent hand washing practices, as well as proper handling and cleaning of athletic equipment, are two main ways to limit the spread of the Molluscum virus.

Molluscum also spreads easily through water (hence its nickname “water warts,”) and public swimming pools and hot tubs are prime locations where people are likely to contract the virus.

Molluscum is not dangerous and will usually go away eventually if left untreated. However, in some cases the virus will result in particularly bad blisters which should be treated by a dermatologist to avoid infection. Topical treatments exist for Molluscum, and physical removal can be carried out by a specialist through the use of liquid nitrogen or painless topical medications. It is best to consult a professional for removal to avoid potentially infecting other areas of your body.

If you are concerned that you or your child may have contracted Molluscum, contact the experts at Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center for a consultation.

Photo: ShuterStock

28
Jan

Eczema Symptoms

Eczema is a skin disease that first appears as an itchy, red rash. Eczema can appear anywhere on your body and makes it uncomfortable to perform normal daily activities. Worst of all, the more you scratch the rash, the worse it gets. Many people with eczema get rashes on their elbows or behind their knees, but it is also not uncommon to find it on the neck, wrists and ankles. Eczema is very common among infants and children; most people who suffer from eczema will first experience it before they turn five years old. Eczema tends to come and go without warning, making it an irritating and unpredictable disease.

If your child has eczema, you will see dry, scaly red patches on their skin. In infants, they often appear on the scalp, forehead and cheeks. The areas where eczema develops become very itchy, so it’s important to control your child’s impulse to scratch to prevent the situation from getting worse. Scratching will lead to the patches cracking and leaking clear fluid, while leaving your child exposed to germs that could enter through the broken skin.

While scientist and dermatologist don’t know the exact cause of eczema, they do know what all eczema patients lack the ability to hold on to adequate moisture in the skin. The most important step in treating and preventing eczema breakouts is moisturizing with a good moisturizer such as Elta MD lotions and creams. The Elta MD line can infuse dry skin with long-lasting moisture while being gentle for sensitive skin.

The good news is that eczema symptoms in children often fade away with time; only about half of eczema sufferers will carry the disease into adulthood. Not all eczema cases are alike, so effective remedies can vary from case to case. Our dermatologist can examine you or your child and recommend the best course of action based on the specific characteristics of your case. Call today to schedule with one of our specialists.

Photo: Shutterstock

21
Jan

Controlling Rosacea

Still suffering from acne decades after your teen years? Do you blush or get flushed often? You might be suffering with Rosacea.

Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects millions of Americans. Typically, those with fair skin, blue eyes and northern european ancestry are the most likely to be affected. Rosacea cases in women tend to be milder than those of men, who are affected in fewer numbers but suffer more severe cases and can experience more intense levels of redness.

Rosacea is a chronic and disruptive disorder of the facial skin, often characterized by frequent flare-ups and remissions. Rosacea presents itself as redness across your nose and cheeks, acne-like breakouts, skin that feels sore and easily irritated, visible thin purple veins or bloodshot eyes. It’s most commonly seen among 30-50 year olds. Rosacea becomes more noticeable with time and it’s marks can even become permanent.

If you find yourself with the symptoms of rosacea, you should consult one of our professionals. We will help you to identify and avoid triggers for your redness flare-ups, which can include spicy foods, caffeine and alcoholic drinks. We can design a skin care program for you with our professionals skin care products to decrease irritation and acne breakouts, as well as improve the health of your skin.

In addition to our prescription medications and professional skin care, we also offer effective laser treatments to permanently reduce and even erase the redness and visible blood vessels from rosacea. Although there is no cure for Rosacea, treatment can control the disease. At Gainesville Dermatology we specialize in rosacea treatment and determining what triggers your symptoms.

Photo: Shutterstock

22
Dec

Understanding Acne

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting approximately 50 million people. Many are teens and young adults dealing with an influx of oils and hormones during adolescence, but the reality is that acne can affect anyone at any age. Even people who have had clear skin for several years can suddenly experience breakouts.

Acne first appears when pores in the skin clog, often because of a build-up of dead skin cells. People shed dead skin cells everyday, but when paired with an excess of facial oils, skin cells can get trapped inside the pores and become a breeding ground for bacteria. This combination of bacteria and oil in the pores causes the surrounding skin to become irritated and inflamed.

While many people treat acne with over-the-counter products rather than consulting a doctor, it is highly recommended to pay the dermatologist a visit to make sure your specific type of acne does not require special treatment. Failure to do this can result in recurring acne throughout your life and even acne scarring in some cases.

When going in for treatment, it is important to manage your expectations. There is no overnight remedy, but there are many safe and effective treatments that will work if used consistently and as prescribed by your dermatologist.

Gainesville Dermatology specializes in personalized treatment plans for acne patients. Give us a call if you’re interested in knowing more about our practices and procedures to treat your acne.

Photo: Shutterstock

8
Dec

Psoriasis: Celebrities Get it Too

Psoriasis is a condition that can be very tough on the self-esteem and confidence of those who suffer from it. A long-term skin condition, psoriasis causes skin cells to grow too quickly and creates thick red patches of skin on the elbows, scalp, hands and feet. Having these patches can be embarrassing, so people who suffer from psoriasis tend to avoid situations where their patches are visible. However, there’s no need to be embarrassed as the condition is treatable! Check out this list of celebrities who overcame problems with psoriasis and enjoyed happy, successful careers.

 

Kim Kardashian

Psoriasis typically first appears in individuals between the ages of 15 and 35. Such was the case for this reality television icon who was diagnosed in 2011. Her mother, Kris Jenner, has the condition as well, so it was likely passed down from her. Kardashian does not shy away from discussing her psoriasis, and often remarks upon the condition publicly, recommending several creams and specific kinds of makeup for women in her same situation.

Art Garfunkel

The 1960’s singer-songwriter that reached into our hearts alongside Paul Simon also suffers from psoriasis. Back when he was diagnosed, he was told that the salinity of the ocean could help alleviate the symptoms. There have been many innovations in treatment since then, luckily. While in his youth Garfunkel was often seen in long sleeves and pants, he has since stopped worrying about the cosmetic aspects of his condition.

Dara Torres

You might remember her as the 40-year-old Olympic swimmer from 2008 who became the oldest swimmer to medal. Torres has said that the chlorine in swimming pools helps keep her psoriasis at bay, however it often causes irritation for other people. Part of her post-retirement mission is to make sure others with the condition aren’t kept out of the pool because they’re self-conscious or because people think it’s contagious, and she has become an advocate and spokesperson to raise awareness about psoriasis.

Phil Mickelson

About 30% of people who have psoriasis go on to develop psoriatic arthritis and professional golfer Phil Mickelson is one of them. He developed painful joint inflammation eight years after he was diagnosed with the skin condition. Michelson controls the arthritis largely with biologic drugs, for which he appears in commercials. He told USA Today that as a result of early treatment, he has regained 20% of the strength he lost the year he was diagnosed.

 

While psoriasis is a very serious condition, these celebrities show that it should not keep you from being confident and successful. If you have any questions about treatment for psoriasis, give Gainesville Dermatology a call today.

Photo: Shutterstock

27
Oct

The “ABCDE” Rules of Mole Care

Melanoma,  the most dangerous form of skin cancer according to the American Cancer Society, is formed from the melanocytes in the skin. Melanocytes produce the pigments (melanin) that make up the color of skin. When melanocytes are exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight without protection, changes occur that can sometimes lead to skin cancer. Melanoma skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body, but is frequently found on the legs of women and the chests and backs of men. Melanomas can form in the beds of fingernails and even on the eyes. Doctors recommend giving yourself a head-to-toe body inspection at least once a month to check for new or evolving skin lesions.

Doctors have come up with a simple phonemic device (ABCDE rules for melanoma) to help determine the severity of moles based on appearance. The first signs of melanoma occur when there is a physical change in the appearance of the mole. A common mole can evolve into melanoma and, according to the National Cancer Institute, people with more than fifty moles are more likely to develop melanoma. It is important to remember that not all melanomas show all five of the ABCDE features and sometimes only one is actually distinct. Check out the ABCDE rules of melanoma skin care to help catch skin cancer in the earliest possible stage.

    1. Asymmetrical Shape. Cancerous moles often appear to have one half that does not mirror the other.
    2. Border. The edges of melanoma are irregular and uneven. Common, harmless moles are often circular, whereas melanoma can be ragged or blurred. The color of the lesion seeping onto the surrounding skin is another red flag for melanoma.
    3. Color. The color of melanomas are irregular, inconsistent and uneven. They are often shades of black, brown, red, white, gray and even blue. The different shades of colors act as red flags and a dermatologist should be consulted sooner rather than later for confirmation. If a mole contains more than one color, it may be melanoma.
    4. Diameter. Melanoma differs in size, but if you notice that a mole has increased in size quickly, than melanoma may be present. Most melanomas are at least a quarter of an inch wide (the width of a sharpened crayon). Larger melanomas can be greater than the size of a pencil eraser.
    5. Evolution. Any change in mole color, size, shape or texture can be a sign of melanoma and a doctor should be notified.
13
Oct

Helpful Hints for Daily Skin Care

Photo Credit

After a long summer, it’s time to jump back into a great skin routine. Check out these helpful hints to keep your skin youthful and cancer-free.

  • Pat your face dry. After washing your face, try patting or blotting your skin dry instead of rubbing it with a fabric towel. Rubbing your skin removes moisture from it and can cause dry, flaky skin.
  • Stop showering excessively.  Taking more than one shower a day can remove essential oils from the skin that are needed to help retain moisture. Mayo clinic also recommends bathing in warm water, instead of hot, to further prevent stripping your skin of these beneficial oils.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. No matter the time of year, it is important to protect your skin from exposure to the sun, especially here in Florida. Purchasing a moisturizer with sunscreen is an easy way to stay protected. Always choose a sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher to offer adequate protection. Your dermatologist can help you choose the best brands for your skin.
  • Shave carefully. Using shaving cream or gel can help moisturize your skin while shaving and protect against nicks and cuts. It is also important to shave in the direction your hair grows, and not against it. Shaving against the grain may save time, but it is a shortcut to razor burn.
  • Use moisturizer. Regular use of facial moisturizer helps keep skin hydrated by increasing  the moisture level of the uppermost layer of the skin.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Consuming nutrient-rich foods will not only help your entire body feel better, it will also give you better skin! Eating healthy foods leads to your skin absorbing more nutrients. Hydration is another important aspect of skin care. Without proper hydration, the skin can’t flush out toxins. Dehydrated skin will become inflamed or irritated and can result in breakouts. If you want healthy, glowing skin you should also avoid smoking as it causes wrinkles to form and will make your skin look and feel older.