Posts for: September, 2018
What are the symptoms of and treatments for this painful dermatological condition?
Did you know that anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for shingles, and that those over the age of 50 are more likely to develop this condition? Approximately one out of three Americans will have shingles at some point in their lives. Read on to learn more about this common problem.
What is shingles?
Shingles is caused by a virus known as the varicellazoster virus, which is the same virus known to cause chickenpox. If you’ve had chickenpox before the virus never truly goes away. Instead it lies dormant within the nerves of the spinal cord and brain. When the virus is reactivated, it manifests as shingles.
What are the symptoms of shingles?
The main symptom of shingles is a red, painful rash that usually appears on one side of the body. The rash may be tender to the touch and typically causes intense itching. The rash is made up of blisters that burst and crust over. Your rash may also be accompanied by malaise, fever, or headache.
What are the risk factors for shingles?
Anyone who has been infected by chickenpox can have shingles. However, this illness is more common in those over the age of 50 and the risk continues to increase as you age.
Also, those who have a weakened immune system due to certain chronic diseases like HIV, or those currently undergoing cancer treatment may be at an increased risk of developing shingles.
Different shingles treatments
While there is no cure for this disease there are antiviral medications you can take to promote faster healing and to reduce your risk of developing other complications. If you are experiencing severe pain, we may also recommend prescription pain medications or creams to help ease your symptoms. Most people experience shingles symptoms for about two to six weeks.
Can I prevent shingles?
There are two vaccines that we recommend for preventing shingles. The first is the chickenpox vaccine, which is recommended for children and any adults who have never had chickenpox. The second vaccine is the shingles vaccine. While these vaccines aren’t 100 percent effective, they can greatly reduce your chances of developing shingles.
If your shingles rash has developed near your eye or is severely painful, then it’s time to see your dermatologist right away for treatment.
Finding an effective acne treatment isn't always as easy as the pimple cream ads and commercials imply. Although over-the-counter treatments may be helpful, they may not be the best choice for you, particularly if you have severe or stubborn acne. Your Belleville, NJ, dermatologist Dr. Joseph Eastern of The Belleville Dermatology Center offers several treatments that can help improve your complexion and boost your self-confidence.
Prescription-strength topical medication may be the answer
If pimples keep appearing despite your use of drugstore products, your Belleville dermatologist may recommend a prescription-strength topical medicine, like adapalene, tazarotene or tretinoin. Acne occurs when your pores become blocked with dead skin cells, debris and skin oil. These medications unblock pores, promote healing and trigger rapid skin cell turnover, which helps your pores remain unblocked. Creams, gels and ointments are applied at night and be used every night or several times a week, depending on your skin doctor's recommendation.
Antibiotics offer additional help
Adding a topical or oral antibiotic to your skin care regimen may be a good idea if topical medications alone aren't helpful. Antibiotics kill p. acnes bacteria, the germs responsible for the red, inflamed appearance of pimples.
Medications aren't the only option
Your dermatologist may recommend a few other treatment options, such as:
- Blue Light Therapy: Blue light therapy shrinks the glands that produce skin oils and kills bacteria in the oil glands.
- Chemical Peel: Chemical peels remove the top layers of skin, eliminating acne in the process. Just a few days after the chemical solution is applied, the outer layers of your skin will peel away, revealing smoother, acne-free skin underneath.
- Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is also used to remove the top layers of the skin. Your dermatologist uses a handheld device that exfoliates the layers with a fine spray of crystals. Unlike chemical peels, you won't have to wait a few days to notice results.
Clearer skin is possible, thanks to the acne treatments your Belleville, NJ, dermatologist offers. Call Dr. Joseph Eastern of The Belleville Dermatology Center at (973) 751-1200 to schedule your appointment.
Give your skin the TLC it needs while still enjoying your pool days.
If the swimming pool is a second home to you, then you may definitely label yourself a swimmer. Swimming is a wonderful and refreshing workout that can help us lose weight, maximize muscle and strengthen our core; however, whether you choose to swim in a chlorinated pool or natural water, all that time in the water can certainly take its toll on your skin. It’s important to know just how to care for your skin the next time you jump into the pool for your refreshing workout.
Shower Right Away
This is the most important rule you can follow after you take a dip in the pool. You need to wash the irritants of the pool or water from your body using warm water and soap. Chlorine found in the majority of pools sticks to your skin and can cause rashes and other skin problems. To minimize irritation, you will want to jump into a shower right away.
The same goes for those who swim in the ocean or lake. Saltwater, algae and bacteria from natural bodies of water can cause redness, rashes, and other irritation.
Wash Your Bathing Suit
Besides just washing your body, you’ll also want to wash your bathing suit with soap to remove any possible contaminants from the pool or seawater. Don’t wear the same bathing suit twice unless the suit has been thoroughly washed and is completely dry.
Apply a Moisturizer
The chlorine in pools is meant to kill bacteria to prevent infection; however, these pool chemicals can also dry out your skin. To combat this, we highly recommend using a thick, creambased moisturizer after your shower to keep dryness away. Most swimmers can get away with using an overthecounter moisturizer from their local drugstore; however, talk to your dermatologist if you need a stronger moisturizer to take on your pool dryness.
Sure you just spend a lot of time in the water, but how much water are you actually consuming each day? Working out alone takes water out of our bodies, so it’s important to replenish as much as possible. Furthermore, drinking water is a great purifier for our skin and it keeps our skin moist. Drinking more water will also help flush out pool toxins and keep you hydrated.
To learn more about how to take care of your skin, call your dermatologist today!