Posts for: October, 2019
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.
Find out what’s causing your acne so you know how to best treat the root problem.
Treating acne isn’t always simple. In fact, it can be downright frustrating. While there are certainly products that can shorten the lifespan of a pimple or reduce redness these are quick fixes and aren’t designed to address the underlying problem. Learn more about what causes acne and the treatment options that our Belleville, NJ, dermatologist Dr. Joseph Eastern offers.
What causes acne?
The bacteria that live on the skin are often to blame for acne. It’s when a follicle gets block that oil builds up under the skin and causes acne. There are many factors that can trigger acne, but one of the most common triggers is hormones. Increased androgens (which is turned into estrogen in women) can cause oil glands to grow and produce more oil, which can lead to more bacteria.
Other causes of acne may be:
- Emotional stress
- Greasy/oily cosmetic
- Certain medications
How is acne treated?
The most effective treatment option will depend on the type and severity of your acne. For example, those dealing with mild acne in Belleville, NJ, may be able to get their acne under control with over-the-counter acne medications and cleansers. These products may contain any of these acne-fighting ingredients:
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Salicylic acid
- Azelaic acid
Most products can take up to eight weeks or more to see results. If you aren’t getting relief from your acne symptoms despite months of trying over-the-counter products then you’ll want to turn to our dermatologist for a stronger oral or topical medication. Some ways to treat acne include:
- Oralcontraceptives: This medication can help control acne in women whose acne is influenced by their hormone levels. These medications aren’t right for all women so you’ll want to talk with your doctor first.
- Oral antibiotics: Antibiotics may be prescribed for several months to treat moderate-to-severe forms of acne by reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin. It can also reduce inflammation caused by breakouts.
- Topical antimicrobials: Sometimes topical medications can reduce bacteria and improve more serious acne symptoms. Topical retinoids can unclog pores and prevent the formation of whiteheads and blackheads.
- Isotretinoin: This medication is only prescribed to patients dealing with severe cystic acne that isn’t responding to other treatment options. This is a very strong medication with potentially serious side effects so it’s important to talk with your dermatologist about the risks before deciding whether this medication is right for you.
Are you living with acne in Belleville, NJ, and having trouble treating the problem yourself? If so, call The Belleville Dermatology Center today to schedule a consultation. Get one step closer to clearer skin.
Acne is the most common of all skin disorders, affecting almost everyone at some point in their lives. While most people outgrow acne in their late teens or early twenties, many are affected into adulthood or even experience late onset acne. Although the exact cause of adult acne is unknown, possible causes include stress, cosmetics and hormones.
How Can I Treat Adult Acne?
Not only is chronic adult acne frustrating, but it can also have long-lasting effects on the self-esteem and confidence of those suffering from it. To combat blemishes, follow a few basic guidelines to improve your skin's condition.
- Avoid the urge to pick or squeeze pimples. Aggravating your acne will only increase inflammation, delay the healing process and lead to scarring.
- Follow a daily skincare regimen to remove oils, make up, and sweat from the surface of your skin.
- When wearing make-up, only use oil-free cosmetics.
- Avoid over-washing your skin, as this can make your acne worse.
- Wash gently with a mild facial cleanser once or twice a day. Be cautious of harsh cleansing products that lead to dry, irritated skin.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Limit exposure to sun and excess cold.
Fortunately, the physical and emotional effects of acne can be reversed with proper treatment. While adult acne can be persistent, an individualized treatment plan from our office can help you reduce blemishes, prevent scarring and eliminate your acne. With diligent home care and help from your dermatologist, your acne can be significantly improved, allowing you to regain your confidence!
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.