My Blog
June 04, 2020
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: rashes  

RashesWondering what’s causing those itchy red spots and whether you should see a dermatologist about your rash? Most rashes are harmless and usually go away on their own; however, some rashes may require further treatment. Here are some of the different kinds of rashes and how they are treated,


Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema causes a red itchy and weepy rash to develop. While eczema can develop just about anywhere on the body it is more common on the elbows, face, neck, and ankles. It’s important to recognize triggers (e.g. dry skin; pet dander; household cleaners) to reduce flare-ups.

Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines can be used to manage flare-ups; however, you may want to turn to a dermatologist for steroid creams, light therapy, and other treatment options to better manage your eczema.


Has your child developed an intensely itchy rash all over their body and face? If they haven’t been vaccinated against chickenpox than this viral infection may be to blame for these insanely itchy spots. Chickenpox is a highly contagious infection that appears most often in school-age children. The rash may itch and ooze for a couple of days before crusting over.

It usually takes about a week for a chickenpox rash to go away. If you suspect that your child might have chickenpox it’s important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. While the infection will just need to run its course there are ways to ease symptoms at home through special ointments, creams, and soothing oatmeal baths.


Hives or urticaria causes red itchy welts to appear. These flat bumps can be extremely itchy and may continue to disappear and appear over the course of several hours. Most cases of hives usually go away within 12 hours. Stress, drugs, food allergies, insect stings, and bites, and certain infections can also trigger hives.

While most acute cases of hives will go away, if you are dealing with symptoms that last more than six weeks or are accompanied by trouble breathing, facial swelling or other signs of a serious allergic reaction it’s important that you see a doctor immediately.

Heat Rash

This is another common and harmless rash that appears during those hot, humid days. A heat rash will usually appear suddenly and is characterized as a cluster of red, pimple-like bumps. They can appear anywhere on the face or body but are most often found on the arms, chest, or groin. Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine may help manage the itching. It’s also important to find a cooler environment and to wear lightweight clothes with breathable fabrics.

Athlete’s Foot

Notice a red, burning scaly rash between your toes? If so, this could be a fungal infection known as athlete’s foot. There are over-the-counter antifungal creams that can be applied directly to the infection to kill the fungus. If over-the-counter antifungal medications aren’t providing you with relief or if you’re unsure whether you have athlete’s foot it’s important that you see a dermatologist.

If you are dealing with a painful, widespread, or persistent rash it may be time to see your dermatologist to find out what’s going on. If in doubt, give your doctor a call. Based on your symptoms we can determine whether or not you should come into the office.

May 13, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: rash  

You suddenly develop a rash. Should you be concerned? At Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ, your dermatologist, Dr. Vernon Thomas Mackey, sorts through rashes and their accompanying symptoms.You get the best treatment and healthy skin returns.

What does your rash look like?

The appearance and location of your rash tells your skin doctor much about its type and severity. While most rashes are not dangerous or life-threatening, a rash which has additional symptoms likely should be evaluated.

So, consider these rash characteristics and as needed, contact Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria:

  • Circular rash pattern (Lyme Disease from a tick bite)
  • Raised blisters on the hands or legs (poison oak, ivy or sumac)
  • Blisters on the eyes, mouth or genitals (herpes)
  • Widespread over the face, chest, arms and legs (often a reaction to medication, such as penicillin or sulfa, or to food, such as shellfish or peanuts)
  • Hives, raised, puffy wheals or bumps which itch and feel very warm (contact, or atopic, dermatitis)
  • Accompanying pus and odor (a secondary infection or impetigo, a contagious staph or strep infection)
  • Itchy, oozing bumps (fungal infection, such as athlete's foot or jock itch)
  • Bruising or duskiness without injury (a blood clotting disorder, such as vasculitis)
  • Accompanying shortness of breath, fever or pain (shingles or chicken pox)
  • Recurring (acne, eczema, rosacea)

Experts at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center say a rash which continues to spread or lingers is very concerning. It may indicate an underlying medical problem--even cancer.

Treating rashes

Don't try treating a rash on your own. Dr. Mackey will inspect your rash and ask you when it began and what, if anything, seems to help it. He may take a skin culture or biopsy or order blood work.

Your skin treatment plan will depend on his findings. For mild rashes, such as atopic dermatitis, he may prescribe a steroidal cream, cool compresses, and avoiding known triggers such as soaps and irritating fabrics. Refrain from scratching and picking so you don't develop an infection.

Find out more

Your skin is your largest body organ and protects you from many invaders, such as bacteria, so it's important to take good care of it. Don't delay if you develop a rash and bring your rash to Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peroria, AZ. Dr. Vernon Thomas Mackey can help you have your very best skin. He has two offices to serve you. For either the West Thunderbird Road or the West Lake Pleasant Parkway locations, phone (623) 977-6700.

April 28, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Skin Cancer PreventionWith the warmer months just around the corner you may be getting ready to plan some fun in the sun. The summertime always finds children spending hours outside playing, as well as beach-filled family vacations, backyard barbeques, and more days just spent soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.

While it can certainly be great for our emotional and mental well-being to go outside, it’s also important that we are protecting our skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. These are some habits to follow all year long to protect against skin cancer,

Wear Sunscreen Daily

Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. So it’s important that you generously apply sunscreen to the body and face about 30 minutes before going outside.

Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Everyone should use sunscreen, even infants. Just one sunburn during your lifetime can greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so always remember to lather up!

Reapply Sunscreen Often

If you are planning to be outdoors for a few hours you’ll want to bring your sunscreen with you. After all, one application won’t be enough to protect you all day long. A good rule of the thumb to follow is, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Of course, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen even sooner if you’ve just spent time swimming or if you’ve been sweating a lot (e.g. running a race or playing outdoor sports).

Seek Shade During the Day

While feeling the warm rays of the sun on your shoulders can certainly feel nice, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful and most dangerous during the hours of 10am-4pm. If you plan to be outdoors during these times it’s best to seek shady spots. This means enjoying lunch outside while under a wide awning or sitting on the beach under an umbrella. Even these simple measures can reduce your risk for skin cancer.

See a Dermatologist

Regardless of whether you are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or you don’t have any risk factors, it’s important that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. This physical examination will allow our skin doctor to be able to examine every growth and mole from head to toe to look for any early signs of cancer. These screenings can help us catch skin cancer early on when it’s treatable.

Noticing changes in one of your moles? Need to schedule your next annual skin cancer screening? If so, a dermatologist will be able to provide you with the proper care you need to prevent, diagnose and treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

April 07, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: social distancing  
Social distancing may be the most effective strategy to flatten the curve. Here’s how you can practice it!

You’re hearing the term “social distancing” everywhere now. You know that it’s designed to keep yourself and others healthy and to social distancingreduce the spread of coronavirus, but perhaps you’re not exactly sure what social distancing actually entails. From the office of our Peoria, AZ, dermatologist, Dr. Vernon Mackey, here are some social distancing tips designed to keep you healthy and safe during the pandemic.

What is Social Distancing?
Many people are using the terms “isolation”, “quarantine” or “social distancing” interchangeably but they mean something a bit different. Isolation and quarantine are designed to prevent people who are sick or are believed to be infected from being able to come in contact with others. These people may be under self-quarantine or may be confined to a hospital. People with weaken immune systems may also choose to self-quarantine in order to protect themselves from being exposed to the virus.However, social distancing is what the rest of the currently uninfected community should be practicing. Social distancing means avoiding gatherings and public spaces where there are more than 10 people at a time.

Here’s what you should know about social distancing,
  • You can still go out to get groceries, medications, and other things you need to live; however, it’s best to minimize how much time you spend in public, so only go out when it’s absolutely essential.
  • When you’re out in public (e.g. grocery store) make sure to keep at least six feet between you and others.
  • Cancel or postpone events, parties, weddings, and other mass gatherings for the foreseeable future.
  • If you’re sick, it’s important that you stay home
  • Wash your hands frequently and properly
  • If you are over 65 years old or if you have chronic health problems (e.g. diabetes), it’s best to stay home as much as possible, wear a mask if you have to be in public, and have neighbors/family members pick up prescriptions or groceries for you.
Make Social Distancing Easier
We know that canceling plans and having to stay indoors most of the day may feel a little strange at first. But there are ways to make social distancing easier, productive, and perhaps even fun:
  • Been wanting to work out? Now is the perfect time to start! There are tons of trainers, fitness classes, and programs that are providing people with both free and paid classes online. Make your apartment or house your very own gym.
  • There are also tons of chefs that are offering up tips, recipes and cooking courses right now. Choosing a recipe that the family can make together could be a fun at-home bonding experience in the evenings.
  • Still working from home? Designate a bonafide workspace and set your hours each day so you aren’t tempted to get up and do laundry or clean the house instead. Once your set hours are over, then you can kick back and relax or tackle those chores. Make the most of your day even when working from home!
At Advanced Desert Dermatology we are doing our part to keep everyone safe and healthy. If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call (623) 977-6700.
March 30, 2020
Category: Dermatology

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,

  • Chest
  • Upper lip and chin
  • Back
  • Bikini line
  • Underarm
  • Legs
  • Shoulder

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.

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