What is acne?
- Acne is a common skin condition that results from the interplay of clogged pores, increased oil production, inflammation and bacteria that lead to breakouts. Most commonly, acne affects the face, but it can also appear on the chest, arms, and back.
Who gets acne?
- Acne most commonly affects teenagers, but can often extend into adulthood.
How is acne treated?
- There are a variety of medical and aesthetic procedures to accelerate acne clearing and lessen redness, hyperpigmentation and scarring resulting from acne. Our healthcare providers specialize in the treatment of acne and acne scarring. We offer many of the latest procedures and technologies for the management of acne and acne scarring.
What is acne LED light therapy?
- Blue LED light therapy targets the sebaceous glands, which are also called oil glands that are located beneath the hair follicles. These glands help lubricate the skin, however the glands can become overactive, leading to oily skin and acne. Blue light therapy can target these oil glands and make them less active. As a result, you may see fewer acne breakouts. Blue light can also kill acne-causing bacteria beneath the skin, which can help treat severe acne pimples, including cysts and nodules.
- Red, or infrared, light is used for treating the epidermis, which is the outer layer of skin. When the light is applied to your skin, the epidermis absorbs it and then stimulates collagen proteins. In theory, more collagen means that your skin will look smoother and fuller, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Red LED light is also thought to reduce inflammation, while improving circulation, which can give you a healthier glow.
Does my diet affect acne?
- The main trigger for acne is the hormones stimulating the oil glands in the skin, which clog the pores and provide the environment for bacteria to grow. Therefore, changes in hormones will impact acne and breakouts. Studies have found that consuming foods with high sugars and non-dairy fats can also impact the severity of acne, while other studies show eating dairy can worsen acne severity due to the hormones in milk.
Is my makeup making my acne worse?
- Makeup does not cause acne, however, different brands and types of makeup can clog your pores and lead to more breakouts. It is beneficial to use products that are “non-comedogenic,” meaning they will not clog pores. Be careful of other products that you use around your face such as hair cream/gel, as some ingredients can worsen acne.
Will my acne go away?
- Most acne may improve at the end of puberty, however, some patients continue to struggle with more severe acne or tend to struggle in adulthood. It is important to be properly examined by your dermatology provider in order to provide the best treatment for you to successfully clear your skin.
What are age spots?
- Age spots are the result of sun-damaged skin. This includes lackluster skin, enlarged pores, blotchy pigmentation, age spots, wrinkles and visible blood vessels.
How do age spots form?
- Most commonly, age spots form from increased sun exposure, however, other factors like medications and hormones can make these spots worse.
What is recommended for age spots?
- We recommend the daily use of a broad spectrum sunscreen along with the most effective topical over the counter and prescription remedies to improve the appearance of sun damaged skin. We also utilize the non-invasive aesthetic and medical skin rejuvenation technologies for the treatment of sun damaged and aged skin including chemical peels and laser treatments.
Do age spots come back after laser treatment?
- Your skin type and sun exposure/wearing sunscreen will determine if your sun spots will come back. To prevent them, it is important to limit sun exposure/wear protective clothing and to wear at least SPF 30 daily and it is best if it contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
What is an allergy?
- An allergy is a hypersensitive immune reaction by the body against a substance that entered or came into contact with the body. Most common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, dry cough, hives/rash, itching, swelling, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, bloating, and trouble breathing. The most common causes of allergies are foods like nuts/dairy/gluten, dust mites, animal/pet dander, mold, pollen, insect bites, medications, chemicals/dyes/fragrances/
cosmetics/metals, and some plants like poison ivy.
What are hives?
- Hives, or urticaria, is a common allergic reaction that is described as itchy swollen red welts on the skin that is made worse by scratching, exercise, and stress. Some people are aware of the triggers for their hives, while others require further testing.
How do I find out if I have skin allergies?
- Our healthcare providers can check your symptoms and perform certain skin tests to determine possible allergens. A test can be performed, which involves placing a series of patches on your back, which contain possible allergens. After a couple days of wearing the patches, the healthcare provider will evaluate your skin’s response and make a diagnosis and proper treatment plan.
Alopecia / Hair Loss:
What is alopecia?
- There are many different types of alopecia, or hair loss. The causes of hair loss include underlying medical conditions, genetics, changes in hormones, medications, and even stress. Our providers will discuss your concerns and evaluate your symptoms to determine the best treatment plan for you.
Who can be affected by alopecia?
- Alopecia affects millions of men and women every year. Most people naturally shed about 50 to 100 hairs a day, but sometimes men and women can shed much more, leading to thinning hair, hair loss and over time, baldness.
Is alopecia an autoimmune disease?
- Alopecia areata is the type of alopecia that is an autoimmune disease that can cause hair loss on the scalp and other areas. It begins as one or multiple round smooth patches in an area of hair growth. The affected hair follicles are mistakenly attacked in a person’s immune system and cause the patches of hair loss. In some patients, the hair growth can occur spontaneously and others can improve with treatment.
How is alopecia treated?
- Our healthcare providers will put together a personalized treatment plan for each individual patient, based on their underlying causes of hair loss. This can include topical treatments, oral medications, injections and more.
How long does it take to see results?
- Results may vary for each patient depending on gender, age, and cause of hair loss. However, the majority of patients tend to see results by the third month of consistent treatment.
Does minoxidil work?
- Minoxidil, or Rogaine, works best for androgenic alopecia because it targets DHT, which is a testosterone that impedes hair growth. Minoxidil does not work as well for alopecia areata because it is an autoimmune response.
What is a cyst?
- Epidermoid Cysts, also known as sebaceous cysts, are the most common cyst of the skin. It ranges in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. Its contents are a cheesy, malodorous mixture of lipid and keratin. Cysts can stay quiescent, or they can become painful and inflamed and rupture.
What are other types of cysts?
- Sebaceous and epidermoid cysts are the most common types of cyst that affects the skin. They form when a hair follicle is damaged or a duct becomes blocked, and fluid becomes trapped in a sac beneath the skin.
- Ganglion cysts mainly appear near joints and on tendons. They are filled with a jelly-like material and vary in size. They are benign, but can become painful if they press on a nerve as they grow and can make joint movement difficult – this is usually why they will be removed by a surgeon..
- Pilar cysts grow on the scalp and can lead to hair loss in the area where the cyst is located. They can be surgically excised once properly evaluated.
- Digital mucous cysts form at the base of fingernails and toenails and contain a thick, sticky fluid, which lubricates joints. They usually look like a clear bubble and resemble blisters.
What is the treatment for cysts?
- Treatment varies depending on discomfort, location and size. Our providers will evaluate your cyst and determine the treatment, which can include injections of cortisone, incision and drainage, or an excision.
What is eczema?
- There are various forms of eczema, including atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and dyshidrotic eczema. Patients with eczema experience extreme itchiness and usually itch-scratch-rash cycle that comes with eczema worsens your condition.
What causes eczema?
- Research shows that eczema is generally a genetic condition, affecting both children and adults alike. There is no definitive cause for eczema, but it is linked to the immune system dysfunction and a breakdown of the barrier cells on the skin.
How is eczema treated?
- Our providers specialize in the medical treatment of eczema and will implement a skincare regimen that will safely treat your eczema. Our effective eczema medications include topical steroids, topical immunomodulators, antibiotics, antifungal and anti-inflammatory drugs. Many people with eczema will purchase over the counter creams, lotions and ointments to try to treat their skin, but some of these medications may contain allergenic or irritating ingredients that will exacerbate the eczema instead, so it is important to consult your dermatology provider to avoid worsening your condition.
Is eczema contagious or preventable?
- Eczema is not contagious. It is common to see eczema in patients that also have asthma and other allergies. There is no way to prevent or alter your genetics to avoid it, however, you can help minimize the effects by taking good care of your skin and avoiding potential triggers.
What is the recommended eczema care?
- It is important to be properly evaluated by a dermatology specialist regarding your eczema and treated with the proper medications. In addition to this, you should follow proper eczema care including using fragrance free products ( like Vanicream) and detergents (Dreft), avoid fabric softeners and fragrances that may irritate your skin, and using petroleum jelly (vaseline or aquaphor) on wet skin.
What is a fungal infection?-Fungal infections, also called tinea, are a common type of skin problem that can also affect the hair and nails. Tinea can occur on any part of the body and ringworm, jock itch and athlete’s foot are some of the most recognized names for fungal infections.
Who gets fungal infections?
- Fungal infections frequently affect teens and children, but adults can also get fungal infections. You can be at a greater risk for fungal infections depending on your medical conditions, medications, activities, and travel.
Can I prevent fungal infections?
- Some individuals may be more prone to getting fungal infections more often than others. Also, fungus thrives in moist and wet environments, so it may help to wear more breathable/cotton clothing, change and take off socks/shoes in clean environments/home, avoid walking barefoot at the gym/pool/etc., and to keep your nails short and clean .
How are fungal infections treated?
- Topical medications are usually effective for treating fungal infections. However in some cases, oral medications may also be needed. Our providers will prescribe the best treatment after examining your infection.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are visible and bulging veins often associated with symptoms such as tired, heavy, or aching legs. In severe cases, Varicose Veins can rupture, or cause ulcers. Varicose veins are most common in the legs and thighs but can sometimes be found in the groin.
What are Spider Veins?
“Spider Veins” are thread-like veins that appear on the skin’s surface. These may look like “starburst” clusters or a web-like maze. Spider veins are most common in the thighs, ankles and feet. They may also appear on the face and nose.
What causes Varicose and Spider Veins?
- The causes of varicose and spider veins are not entirely understood. In some instances, the absence or weakness of valves in the veins allow the backward flow of blood away from the heart. This causes a build up of pressure in the veins resulting in outbursts of spider veins or bulging varicose veins. Less commonly, varicose veins are caused by diseases such as phlebitis or congenital abnormalities of the veins. Venous disease is generally progressive and cannot always be entirely prevented. However, in some cases wearing support hosiery and maintaining normal weight and regular exercise may be beneficial. Hormones, family history and long periods of standing are also thought to cause varicose veins.
What treatments are available to treat Varicose and Spider Veins?
Larger varicose veins can occur on their own or can underline spider veins. In most cases the varicose veins should be treated before spider veins. Sclerotherapy uses a fine needle to inject a solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing collapse of the inner lining and ultimately the vein. The vein turns into scar tissue that fades from view. Following the injection of the solution into the vein, it is important to apply compression such as bandages or stockings to the treated leg. This causes the collapsed vein wall to stick together and seal shut.
What is sclerotherapy?
- Sclerotherapy is a procedure that can reduce the appearance of spider veins and reticular veins. Sclerotherapy is performed by injecting the problem vein with a sclerosing agent that irritates the vein lining, causing it to constrict. Over time the vein fades as it is naturally reabsorbed by the body. This redirects blood flow to other, healthier, veins located deeper beneath the surface skin. The procedure is most commonly performed for cosmetic reasons. Patients should have an in-office consult prior to scheduling to determine if the veins in question are good treatment candidates for sclerotherapy. The procedure itself takes approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Since the injection needle is so small, patients often feel little pain and do not need any anesthesia.
- The Sclerotherapy treatment is one of the safest and most effective treatments available for treating varicose and spider veins. This method of treatment has been used for over 20 years and is also known as Ultra-Sound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy. Dr Sasan Azar is our specialist in this field, and performs these procedures at our clinic; he has had more than 25 years experience in Sclerotherapy, and is a Board Certified Radiologist.
- Sclerotherapy can eliminate large veins, either alone, or in conjunction with less invasive out patient surgery. Sclerotherapy is the recommended treatment for smaller accessory veins to prevent their deterioration into larger bulging veins and of course is without parallel and most effective in the treatment of leg spider veins.
- Prior to treatment, an initial consultation is required so the Doctor can assess your veins, he uses a Doppler scan to locate the origin of the vein and assess the severity of the veins, at the consultation he will also recommend the most suitable treatment for your condition and give you an estimate of how many treatments you may require.
Does the procedure hurt?
The microinjections are hardly felt and are virtually painless. The injected solution can cause a mild sting for several seconds, and the treated veins, if large, may feel a little sore for several days.
What are the side effects of Sclerotherapy?
- Injection sclerotherapy is a very safe procedure with very little risk. The treating doctor will discuss this with you in detail
How long will the results last?
In the large majority of patients, once the veins have sealed (sclerosed) the result is permanent. Depending on the underlying causes of the veins, new veins may form over time that will require further treatment. Some patients may require ongoing maintenance of 1 – 2 treatments each year for recurring spider veins (just as regular haircuts are required for growing hair).
What is laser therapy?
- Lasers are great tools for eliminating spider veins and small varicose veins. Our healthcare providers use a unique high-powered laser that can destroy unwanted veins without affecting the skin. The system also features innovative cooling technology that helps ensure patient comfort during the short procedure. While some patients may experience redness, swelling, or mild discoloration, side effects are generally minimal. There are no long-term side effects and no downtime. Most patients tolerate the procedure well.
What is expected with laser therapy?
- To completely clear unwanted veins, you may need multiple sessions.
Simple laser vein treatment is done on the outside of your skin. It can treat spider veins and tiny varicose veins just under the skin’s surface. Usually, more than one laser session is needed. They are scheduled every 6 to 12 weeks, as prescribed by your doctor. (If you have poor blood circulation feeding these tiny veins, the larger “feeder” vein must first be treated with surgery, endovenous laser or radiofrequency treatment, or sclerotherapy.)Melanoma: What is melanoma?
- Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma occurs when the pigment-producing cells that give color to the skin become cancerous.
What are the causes and risk factors of melanoma?
- The exact cause of all melanomas isn’t clear, but exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning lamps and beds increases your risk of developing melanoma. Other risk factors include fair skin, a history of sunburn, having many moles or unusual moles, and a family history of melanoma. The risk of melanoma seems to be increasing in people under 40, especially women.
What does melanoma look like?
- The first signs and symptoms of melanoma include the “ABCDEs” which are asymmetry (irregular shape), borders (irregular or notched), color (changes in color), diameter (larger than pencil eraser), and evolve/elevation (change in size/shape/texture). It is important to examine your skin regularly for new skin growth or changes, as well as getting a yearly skin cancer screening by a dermatology healthcare provider
Can melanoma spread to other body parts?
- When detected early, melanoma is localized and can be cured with surgical excision. In some cases, malignant melanoma can spread to other body parts, such as lungs, bones, brain, liver, stomach, and lymph nodes, which would cause other symptoms. This is why it is important to have regular annual skin exams with your dermatology provider.
Psoriasis: What is psoriasis?
- Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition in which skin cells build up and form scales and itchy dry patches. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that often comes and goes. It is described as thick scaly plaques on elbows, knees, and scalp, but can occur on other parts of the body.
Is psoriasis genetic?
- Family history increases the chance for you to have psoriasis, about one third of patients with psoriasis have a relative that also has it and if the relative is a parent then your chances are even greater.
Are there different types of psoriasis?
- There are several different types of psoriasis including plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and it is important to discuss your symptoms with your dermatology provider.
How is Psoriasis treated?
- There is no cure for psoriasis, however there are many treatments available to help manage symptoms. Topical ointments can help relieve the itching and irritation, as well as oral non-biologic medication and biologic injectables can help control psoriatic outbreaks. Light therapy, such as the Excimer laser, also proves to be effective in the treatment of psoriasis. Based on severity and location, our healthcare providers will determine what treatment option is best for each patient. Our patient-centered approach and extensive experience and background ensure that patients receive the treatment that’s right for them.
Is there a cure for psoriasis?
- Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and currently there is no known cure. Since it is an autoimmune condition, it can worsen in times of stress and infection and it is important to understand your triggers in your lifestyle as well. There are many types of medications that are used to help treat outbreaks and manage symptoms to improve quality of life.
What is the Excimer laser?
- The Excimer laser uses a focused beam of UVB light to treat targeted areas of the skin affected by common skin disorders including psoriasis, vitiligo, eczema, or atopic dermatitis. Patients who suffer from chronic skin disorders, like psoriasis, may notice a reduction in symptoms during the summer months due to the Ultraviolet B (UVB) light from sun exposure, which has been shown to help slow skin cell proliferation while minimizing redness, inflammation, and irritation.
Rashes: What causes rashes?
- Rashes and skin irritations are caused by many different factors including illness, allergies, insect bites and even heredity. Most rashes are not contagious, but in the event that a contagion is found, proper precautions will be taken to contain the rash. Rest assured that there is a medical treatment for almost every type of rash and skin irritation.
When should I see my dermatology provider for a rash?
- If you have any concerns about a particular rash on your body, it is best to see your dermatology provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. More concerning rashes that should be promptly evaluated is if it is all over your body, you have a fever, blisters, it is sudden and spreading quickly, it lasts over a week, and if the rash is painful.
What is the treatment for rashes?
- Our provider will examine your rash and obtain a complete medical history. In most cases, rash treatment will consist of a prescription for a topical medical cream to reduce inflammation or physician strength skin care products. In some cases, laser or chemical treatments might be necessary. In rarer cases, our provider may need to take a tissue sample to determine the exact cause and extent of the rash followed by a proper treatment regimen.
Rosacea: What is rosacea?
- Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that can cause flushing, red skin, pimples, visible facial blood vessels and even an enlarged nose with prominent sebaceous glands.
Who can get rosacea?
- Rosacea occurs most commonly in women between the ages of 30 and 50, but can also occur in men.
Are there any risk factors for rosacea?
- While genetic predisposition is the most important etiologic factor, a multitude of external factors can flare rosacea including sun exposure, heat, stress, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, spicy foods and certain skin care products.
Can other skin conditions resemble rosacea?
- Other conditions may first resemble rosacea such as acne, eczema, and lupus to name a few, however, after taking careful history and examination rosacea can be properly diagnosed.
How is rosacea treated?
- While there is no cure for rosacea, minimizing exposure to factors that trigger rosacea is helpful. Our healthcare providers specialize in the treatment of rosacea. In addition to medical therapy and a customized skin care program, we offer the latest in office procedures to minimize the manifestations of this distressing condition including chemical peels and laser treatments.
Skin Cancer:What is a skin cancer screening?
- A skin cancer screening is a visual exam of the skin that can be done by one of our skilled healthcare providers. The screening checks the skin for moles, birthmarks, or other marks that are unusual in color, size, shape, or texture. Certain unusual marks may be a sign of skin cancer. It is recommended that skin cancer screenings be done once yearly, unless recommended to come in sooner by a healthcare provider.
What is skin cancer and how is it treated?
- Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. These cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body and are usually curable with treatment such as simple excision, Mohs micrographic surgery, curettage and electrodessication, and cryosurgery.
How can I avoid skin cancer?
- The best way to prevent skin cancer is minimizing sun exposure/UV light. Avoiding the sun is not always practical, so it is important to wear protective clothing from the sun and wear sun-screen daily with at least an SPF 30 while re-apply every other hour. Also, you should also schedule annual full body skin exams with your dermatology provider.
What does skin cancer look like?
- Different types of skin cancer have different appearances. It is important to do self-skin checks to notice any new or changing lesions on your skin, followed by a specialist’s skin exam. Basal cell carcinoma usually looks shiny or pearly bump, red patches, or a sore that does not heal. Squamous cell carcinoma is usually crusted, red and raised. Melanoma usually begins to look like a small brown-black or even pink mole, but changes in size, shape, color, or even bleeds over time.
Can skin cancer come back?
- Skin cancer treatment aims to eliminate the skin cancer, although some forms may recur. Our providers use the latest procedures and technology to treat skin cancer, and continue monitoring your skin with regular full body skin exams as advised by your provider.
Warts: What is a wart?
- Warts, also called verruca, are a very common and noncancerous skin growths which can occur on both children and adults. There are many different types of warts and the most commonly caused by a virus called the human papilloma virus. Because they are caused by a virus, the warts can easily spread to other parts of the body and even other people, especially through open cuts/scrapes.
Are there different types of warts?
- Yes, there are many different types of warts including flat, plantar, condyloma, and molluscum contagiosum.
- Common warts are the most common and resemble cauliflower as they are raised, dry and flaking and most commonly appear on hands, elbows, knees.
- Flat warts are flat-topped and smooth warts. They are most commonly the face and legs.
- Plantar warts develop on the feet and usually grow deep and inward because of their location, making them more difficult to treat.
- Condyloma, or genital warts, are transmitted by sexual interactions.
- Molluscum contagiosum, or “water warts,” usually look like small pimples and very contagious. They are common in children.
How are warts treated?
- Treatments for warts depend on the location, size, and how bothersome they are to the patient. Some treatments include, but are not limited to: prescription topical creams, cryosurgery (freezing with liquid nitrogen), excision, electrosurgery, immunotherapy, and laser surgery.