Posts for category: Dermatology
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.
Though they are often nothing to worry about, discovering a rash on your skin can be an alarming experience. Understanding some common types of rashes and how you can care for them can help you successfully deal with your condition. Find out more about rashes and their treatments with Dr. Vernon Mackey at Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ.
Examples of Common Rashes
- Contact Dermatitis: This type of rash produces red, itchy skin and occurs due to physical contact with an allergen. This rash may blister, ooze, or become crusty after a day or two.
- Rosacea: This chronic condition can have flare-ups where it becomes worse. Rosacea often has a trigger, such as spicy food or stress, and normally occurs on the face, neck, and chest.
- Impetigo: Impetigo occurs on the face, usually around the mouth, chin, and nose areas. This condition produces blisters which, after popping, form a crusty layer.
- Eczema: Eczema causes a rough, inflamed rash that can itch and bleed. Eczema often occurs on the inner elbows and knees and neck.
- Psoriasis: This condition causes scaly, silvery patches of skin that often produces no symptoms, but can become itchy. Psoriasis normally presents itself on the knees, lower back, scalp, and elbows.
- Hives: Hives are raised, red, swollen bumps that are usually the result of an allergic reaction but can sometimes happen for no known reason. Hives usually itch but may sting or burn.
Rash Treatments in Peoria, AZ
Treating a rash depends on what kind of rash you have and its severity. In some cases, a simple over-the-counter ointment is enough to relieve the symptoms of your rash. However, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication if over-the-counter varieties do not prove successful. Working with your doctor can ensure that you find the best treatment option for your rash.
For more information on treating rashes, please contact Dr. Vernon Mackey at Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ. Call (623) 977-6700 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mackey today!
What are cold sores and what can you do to relieve your symptoms?
Most people who have had cold sores often know when they are about to appear. The tingling and burning sensation around the mouth is often the first indicator that a cold sore is imminent. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of Americans have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), which causes cold sores. If you have cold sores then you are probably wondering more about this condition, how to treat it and what it means for your health.
What are the symptoms of cold sores?
Symptoms often stick around for about two to three weeks. Besides experiencing oral sores around the mouth, people may also experience flulike symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and fatigue. These oral sores will often appear as tiny blisters that break open and scab over.
When should I see a doctor about cold sores?
While cold sores often don’t warrant a trip to the dermatologist, there are certain times when it might be advisable. These sores can be painful, so if you find it difficult to eat or talk then you will want to talk to your doctor about the best ways to alleviate the pain to make eating easier. The last thing you want to deal with is dehydration on top of an outbreak.
If these oral sores look different from other cold sore outbreaks, then it’s also worth seeing your dermatologist to receive a proper diagnosis. Those with weakened immune systems due to chronic illness or chemotherapy should also see their dermatologist to prevent further complications.
What treatments are available for cold sores?
While many cold sores will go away without the need for treatment, if you are experiencing pain we may prescribe a topical anesthetic to reduce your discomfort. There are also overthe-counter treatments that speed up healing and reduce pain. However, for those with severe infections your dermatologist may also prescribe an oral antiviral medication.
Those with weak immune systems and those who become dehydrated as a result of cold sores may need to go to the hospital to prevent further problems and to receive oral antivirals.
While you cannot cure the virus that causes cold sores, there are certainly ways to reduce your symptoms. Talk to your dermatologist to find out more!
Those red/orange patches have returned to your hands and elbows. The itchiness bothers you, but you know that if you scratch your skin, you'll just worsen these scaly areas. What would relieve your eczema? Please consult your dermatologist, Dr. Vernon Thomas Mackey, at Advanced Desert Dermatology. Dr. Mackey diagnoses and treats skin conditions of all kinds, including eczema, in his Peoria, AZ, office. He is an expert on the various types of eczema, their triggers, and how patients just like you can control this chronic skin condition.
The details on eczema
Research indicates that the inflammation, itchiness, burning and raised skin patches common to eczema in Peoria, AZ, stem from auto-immune sources. The National Eczema Association states the 30 million adults and children in the United States suffer with eczema, and yes, it originates in their own bodies, runs in their families, and flares up in response to a wide range of triggers.
Areas behind the knees and on the face, back, elbows and abdomen become inflamed because of an allergic reaction to or contact with certain substances, including:
- Pet dander or animal proteins (such as dog saliva)
- Fabrics such as wool
They aggravate the two most common forms of eczema: atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis. Both appear associated with two other autoimmune disorders: asthma and hay fever.
After visual inspection by your dermatologist, he'll likely recommend some common sense treatments for these kinds of eczema, including:
- No scratching to avoid the itch/scratch cycle
- Moisturizing creams
- Topical steroids in severe cases
- Avoidance of what triggers your symptoms
Other forms of eczema
Another common kind of eczema is dyshidrotic eczema, and it's primarily a women's skin issue. Marked by small, super-itchy, red blisters on the hands and feet, dyshidrotic eczema comes on with stress, moisture on the hands and feet (sweat), and contact with pollen, nickel (jewelry) and cobalt (often found in paint).
Other individuals suffer with lichen simplex chronicus , an eczema that causes large leathery skin patches. Stress is the major trigger with this skin problem, and medications containing deep moisturizers, zinc, or steroids are the treatment of choice for this stubborn condition.
Finally, nummular (discoid), seborrheic (involving the hair follicles), and stasis eczema (resulting from poor circulation in the extremities) cause varying degrees of itchiness, lesions and
skin breakdown. While all forms of eczema may lead to scarring and skin thickening if untreated, stasis dermatitis may damage the skin extensively, leaving ulcers and infection.
Finding relief for eczema
You can when you consult Dr. Mackey and his team at Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ. Call his office team at (623) 977-6700 to schedule your appointment.
While fine lines may be an inevitable fact of life, that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to improve the health and appearance of your skin. There are a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make to help diminish wrinkles. And with the popularity of cosmetic dermatology, you can talk to your dermatologist about safe and long-lasting procedures, such as Botox™, that help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Visible signs of aging may not be unavoidable, but the causes that lead to wrinkles and fine lines aren’t completely out of your control. The first step to diminishing the appearance of your wrinkles is to understand what causes them in the first place.
- Protect your skin from the sun. Sun exposure is the leading cause of wrinkles. When you must be in the sun, always wear sunscreen and protective gear such as a hat and sunglasses. This will not only help you prevent wrinkles, it will also help prevent skin cancer.
- Moisturize. Dry skin turns plump skin cells into shriveled ones, creating lines and wrinkles prematurely. Skin that is moist looks better and retains the skin’s elasticity.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking causes premature wrinkles and fine lines around the mouth. It upsets the body’s mechanism for breaking down old skin and renewing it.
- Wear protective sunglasses. Avoid crow’s feet and prevent wrinkles around your eyes by wearing protective eyewear, as repeated squinting causes these wrinkles.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables that contain powerful antioxidants, such as berries and leafy greens, can help fight against the harmful molecules that damage skin cells.
- Stay hydrated. Water helps keep your body and skin hydrated, giving your skin a radiant glow while helping to rid waste out of your system.
A More Youthful Appearance with Cosmetic Dermatology
For fast and long-lasting results, you may want to visit your cosmetic dermatologist. Today, cosmetic dermatology offers a wide spectrum of safe and effective procedures that can help you dramatically reduce the visibility of your wrinkles, improve your overall skin health and help you achieve your skin care goals.
Three popular cosmetic procedures include:
- Botox™: This popular treatment for facial wrinkles involves injecting Botox™ which relaxes and weakens the muscles beneath the wrinkle. This temporarily prevents the formation of expression type wrinkles, such as frown lines and crow’s feet.
- Wrinkle fillers: Popular wrinkle fillers, such as Juvederm™ and Restylane™, are composed of gel-like compounds that reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and folds.
- Chemical Peels: This process involves applying a safe and gentle chemical solution to the skin of the face, neck and hand, which includes exfoliation of the upper skin layers. This procedure is not only used for the reduction of wrinkles but for the treatment of acne and pigmentation problems as well.
Wrinkles may be a natural part of the aging process, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for an aged appearance. With a healthy lifestyle, good sun protection and regular visits to your dermatologist, you can help keep your skin looking youthful for years and years. If you are considering treatment for wrinkles, talk to your cosmetic dermatologist about your options.