Tired of having to pluck, wax, and shave every few days? Dealing with thick, dark and unsightly hair in visible areas such as the chin or shoulders? If so, a dermatologist can provide you with a more effective solution for getting rid of unwanted body hair faster and easier. The answer lies in laser hair removal.
Plucking and waxing can be painful and shaving can leave you with ingrown hairs and irritation. None of these methods are fun. Plus, you have to keep doing it every few days or every week if you want smooth skin. Why go through the hassle when a dermatologist can help you get rid of hair without ever having to lift a finger?
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments. This procedure makes it easy to get smoother skin without having to deal with tweezing, shaving, or waxing. This non-invasive laser treatment can treat just about any part of the body; however, it’s most often used to treat the,
- Upper lip and chin
- Bikini line
Thanks to advanced laser technology, our dermatologist can provide patients with a safe, effective, and comfortable laser treatment to help them target and remove unwanted hair for the long term. Most laser systems offer a built-in cooling system to make treatment as comfortable as possible. Depending on the size of the treatment area, laser hair removal can take as little as 10 minutes for regions such as the upper lip or chin and as long as one hour (for a full back).
Since hair grows in cycles, you will need to get several laser hair removal sessions to ensure that our dermatologist removes as much of the hair as possible. The average person will get anywhere from 4-6 sessions. During laser hair removal, the handheld device will be directed over the skin to target and heat up the hair follicles to destroy them, preventing them from growing back. While laser hair removal will not permanently get rid of the hair, it will help the hair grow back fewer, finer, and lighter so they are far less visible.
If you think laser hair removal could help you feel more confident in your appearance, then your cosmetic dermatologist can give you the smoother results you want before summer hits.
Tattoo removal has become one of aesthetic and medical dermatology's most sought-after services. Read on to learn about how this treatment works.
Dermatologists mostly use Q-switched, or quality-switched, laser instruments for tattoo removal. Short, focused bursts of light break up the tattoo pigment that lies embedded in skin. With repeated treatments, the pigment particles eventually clear the body, and the tattoo lightens or fades away completely. Your skin doctor will tailor your treatments to your skin and to your tattoo.
Skin doctors find that older tattoos composed of darker hues such as brown or green respond best to laser removal. Colors such as red or yellow are more easily retained and may not fade completely.
These treatments are best performed by a board-certified dermatologist who will examine your skin and your tattoo, review your medical history, and give you the safest and most effective treatment options available.
The American Society for Aesthetic Surgery reports that skin doctors performed more than 45,000 tattoo removal procedures in 2013, and those numbers continue to rise. In just a few treatments, many patients experience complete erasure of their body artwork.
After your tattoo removal
As you may have some blistering, bleeding, and swelling after your laser removal procedure, you must treat your skin gently afterward. Keep the area clean and dry to avoid infection.
Additional aftercare involves:
- Avoiding sun exposure
- Keeping the treated skin covered
- Wearing loose clothing over the tattoo site
- Applying antibiotic ointment or cream as directed
If you want a tattoo removed...
See your board-certified dermatologist for a personalized consultation. They have the credentials, skill, and tools to do the job safely and effectively. Call your skin doctor today to find out more about removing tattoos.
Eczema isn’t curable, and people who suffer from it usually go through remissions or symptom-free periods as well as flare-ups, when their symptoms suddenly appear. It primarily causes itchy and dry skin that when left unaddressed could lead to rashes, inflammation, weepy skin, and blisters. In addition, fungal, viral, and bacterial infections could develop since eczema compromises your skin barrier.
But because there’s still no cure for eczema, the main aim of treatment is the reduction and management of symptoms when they appear. Here at Advanced Desert Dermatology, in both our Thunderbird Rd. and Lake Pleasant Parkway locations in Peoria, AZ, Dr. Vernon Mackey offers various eczema treatment regimens depending on the severity of your case.
Topical Medications for Treating Eczema
The go-to, standard eczema treatment that usually works for many people is topical corticosteroids. When applied to the affected areas, corticosteroid ointments, lotions, or creams can minimize inflammation and reduce allergic reactions. They can likewise decrease itchiness and alleviate soreness and irritation. TCIs or topical calcineurin inhibitors such as Elidel and Protopic may also be prescribed to manage eczema symptoms. These work by minimizing flare-ups and controlling inflammation by suppressing your immune system.
Oral Medications for Eczema
If you have widespread symptoms, your doctor may likewise recommend that you take an oral antihistamine like diphenhydramine, doxylamine succinate, or hydroxyzine. This medication will also help make it easier for you to sleep at night without scratching. If you develop a skin infection due to your eczema, your doctor may also prescribe antifungal, antiviral, or antibiotic medications to address it. Additionally, you may be prescribed an oral immunosuppressant if you have an especially severe case of eczema.
Home Treatments for Eczema
Aside from treatments prescribed by our dermatologist in our Thunderbird Rd. and Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria, AZ, offices, you can try to manage your eczema symptoms using these home remedies:
- Avoid scratching the affected skin and keep your nails short and dull.
- Use a humidifier when the air is particularly dry.
- Moisturize your skin regularly with lotions, creams, or ointments without dyes, fragrance, and alcohol.
- Avoid exposure to airborne allergens like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.
- Avoid irritants like manmade fibers or wool, harsh detergents and soaps, and environments or situations that cause sweat.
- Limit your time bathing and opt for lukewarm or cool water. Use gentle cleansers or washes and pat, don’t rub, when drying your skin.
- Apply a moisturizing cream right after you dry your skin, preferably when it’s still a bit damp. Opt for moisturizers marketed as barrier repair creams and with ingredients such as ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. These can help manage your symptoms by repairing your skin barrier.
Remember, you can’t cure eczema, but you can manage your symptoms effectively and heal your skin barrier to prevent flare-ups and further damage. You just need to determine the right combination of home remedies, moisturizers, and medications that will keep your eczema under control.
Need eczema relief now?
Contact Advanced Desert Dermatology by calling (623) 977-6700 to schedule a consultation at either our Thunderbird Rd. or Lake Pleasant Parkway in Peoria, AZ. Dr. Vernon Mackey will assess your symptoms and craft an eczema treatment plan that best fits your needs.
Do you have a mole? Chances are good that you have few of them, actually. The average person has around 30-40 moles, and while moles are usually nothing to worry about it is important to be able to spot any changes that could be warning signs of skin cancer. That’s why you should perform self-exams every month to check the state of your moles. Just because they could be harmless doesn’t mean you should ignore them.
A mole that develops after the age of 30, a mole that bleeds or a changing mole could be a sign of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. This is why it’s important to check your moles regularly. When found early, melanoma is highly treatable. When it comes to pinpointing melanoma your dermatologist may teach you about the ABCDE's of skin cancer:
Asymmetry: If you were to draw a line down the middle of a mole both sides would be completely symmetrical; however, an asymmetrical mole could be a sign of melanoma.
Border: Melanoma is more likely to produce growths that have jagged or poorly defined edges.
Color: Healthy moles are usually a single color, while melanoma will often contain different colors or dark spots.
Diameter: Most healthy moles are smaller than a pencil eraser. If you notice that one or more moles are getting bigger you should speak to your dermatologist.
Evolution: Moles stay relatively the same over time; therefore, if you notice any changes to the size, color, shape, or texture then it’s time to consult with a skincare professional.
Of course, melanoma isn’t the only type of skin cancer to be on the lookout for. The two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancers include basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinomas often present as waxy-looking pale bumps on the skin, often on the head or neck, while squamous cells feel like firm nodules that may be smooth at first but become scaly.
Even if you aren’t noticing changes in your moles it’s still a good idea to schedule a skin cancer screening with your dermatologist once a year. Those at an increased risk for skin cancer may want to discuss coming in more often for exams. This exam is non invasive and could just save your life. If you’ve never had a skin cancer screening before it’s high time that you scheduled one.
If you had a cancerous skin lesion, would you know it? Here at Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ, Dr. Vernon Thomas Mackey educates his patients about skin cancer, including on how to recognize prevent it. After all, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that 9500 new cases are diagnosed in the US every day. Therefore, no one can ignore the threat of skin cancer.
Kinds of skin cancer
The most common type of skin malignancy is basal cell carcinoma, followed closely by squamous cell carcinoma. While neither is necessarily life-threatening, both require prompt detection and treatment.
Malignant melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer that, if left undetected, spreads quickly to other areas of the body, including major organs such as the brain. The American Society of Clinical Oncology mentions that while melanoma accounts for only one percent of skin cancer diagnoses, it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths.
What you should look for
Most people develop skin cancer on areas of the body that are prominently exposed to sunlight—ears, shoulders, and face to name a few. However, you could acquire lesions anywhere, so it's critical for you to both inspect your skin for changes on a monthly basis as well as see Dr. Mackey for an annual skin cancer check-up in his Peoria office.
At home, take note of freckles, spots, or moles that itch, burn, or bleed. Sores that do not heal within a week or so are suspicious as well. The American Academy of Dermatology advises using this mnemonic to evaluate your moles or skin spots at home:
- A means asymmetry. The left side of the cancerous mole is not equal in size and shape to the other side.
- B means border. Healthy moles have smooth edges. Cancerous ones have notched or irregular ones.
- C stands for color. A mole that changes in color over time or has many colors throughout should be checked by your physician.
- D means diameter. Healthy moles are no larger than a pencil eraser or pea.
- E equals evolution. Has your mole changed in size, shape or texture?
Preventing skin cancer
The team at Advanced Desert Dermatology recommends the following tips to prevent skin cancer:
- Stay inside or seek shade at peak sun times--between 10 am to 4 pm.
- Cover up if you must be in the sun.
- Wear an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen.
- Re-apply sunscreen lotion every two hours, whenever sweating or after swimming.
- Avoid sunburns.
If you are concerned at any time about a spot on your skin, see Dr. Mackey right way. Dial (823) 977-6700 today to set up an appointment with Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ.
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