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By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER, P.A.
July 02, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer   Tanning  

tanning

During the much longed-for summer months, people work on their tans. While enjoying a richer skin tone now, tanners take huge risks for premature aging and skin cancer. 

Sun and artificial tanning

It's what we use to get those tans. But, did you know that when you tan, you actually burn the top layer (epidermis) of your skin and damage your DNA, too?

According to Live Science, DNA damage mutates normal skin cells into cancer cells. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the most common kinds of skin cancer. Malignant melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer as it easily metastasizes to major body organs. About one-third of melanoma cases in the US kill their sufferers annually, says The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Unfortunately, artificial tanning is just as dangerous as sitting in the sun. Intermittent sun exposure or occasional tanning in the sun or tanning beds are harmful, too. Damage to the skin is cumulative, and both kinds of ultraviolet radiation (there are UV-A and UV-B rays) breakdown your skin's DNA over time. Further, UV-B harms your skin's natural elasticity normally provided by a protein called collagen.

Don't tan: protect

To protect your skin, avoid sunburns, intentional tanning and excessive day to day sun exposure with these strategies from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD):

  1. Cover up any exposed skin (face, arms, legs, ears) with a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeves and other sun-protective clothing.
  2. Use sunscreen lotion--SPF 30 or higher--on all exposed skin, and re-apply every two hours or whenever you sweat it off or swim.
  3. Stay indoors or in the shade from 10 am to 2 pm.

Also, all adults, particularly those 40 or older, should see a dermatologist for an annual skin exam. Do a careful self-exam once a month at home, looking for changes in the color, size, and shape of existing spots or moles. Report changes to your skin doctor as well as any sore which does not heal in a week or so.

It's your skin

Don't sacrifice its health for a little fashionable color. Tanning really is bad for you. Find healthy ways to enjoy the summer months and that wonderful sun. Your skin and your overall health will be better for your efforts.

By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER, P.A.
June 11, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Care Products  
Skin Care ProductsIn a world where appearance is important, everyone wants flawless skin. This is much easier said than done. For people who struggle with dry skin or acne, talking to a dermatologist is a great first step. They can help you find products that work the best for you. Here are their professional tips and tricks on what to look for when buying skin care products.
 
Understanding Your Skin Type
If you want to buy yourself the best products you’ll need to first understand the ins and outs of your skin. Identifying your skin type is the top priority, according to Dermatology experts. People with sensitive or acne-prone skin need different products than someone with oily skin. Otherwise, you increase your chances of triggering a breakout or irritating your skin. 
 
Best Products for Oily Skin
Double-check that the labels on your skincare products contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), hyaluronic acid, or benzoyl peroxide. 
 
AHA products shrink enlarged pores, along with smoothing out wrinkles and lines. Just make sure you wear sunscreen when applying this product. You’ll want to start by only using this product every other day at a concentration of 10-15%.
 
Hyaluronic acid goes hand-in-hand with vitamin C in skin care products. Products containing these substances hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. It supplies moisture in the areas of the face that need it. For people with oily skin, these products restore firmness and wrinkles in damaged areas. 
 
Best Products for Dry Skin
Dry skin is sensitive, requiring specific products to avoid a bad reaction. Dermatologists recommend skincare tools that contain lactic acid or shea butter. Lactic acid is a kind of AHA, meaning it moisturizes your skin while it exfoliates. Moisturizing is incredibly important for dry skin. Products with lactic acid restore your skin while giving it a healthy and plump look.
 
Best Products for Sensitive Skin
Aloe vera is your best friend when you have sensitive skin. Moisturizing with products containing it provides hydration without irritation. This is because the vitamins and nutrients nourish the skin. It's an essential part of sensitive skin care. 
 
Reading the Product Label
Don’t be fooled by products that claim to be natural or organic. Certain natural substances and ingredients can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to essential oils. Instead, memorize the ingredients you know work for your skin type. This includes the materials listed above, like AHA, lactic acid, aloe vera, shea butter, etc. Look at the primary ingredients listed on the skincare product’s label. The top five items listed make up the majority of the product. You’ll want to make sure your material is there, otherwise, you should consider a different product. 
By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER, P.A.
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,

Eczema

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.

Chickenpox

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

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.

By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER, P.A.
May 26, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Mohs Surgery  

Mohs surgery, also called Mohs micrographic surgery, is a surgical procedure used for treating skin cancer. During treatment, thin layers of cancer-cell-containing skin are extracted and inspected until only tissues without cancer cells are left.


When is Mohs Surgery Recommended?

Mohs surgery is commonly recommended for treating common types of skin cancers including squamous and basal cell carcinomas, some forms of melanoma, and other more atypical forms of skin cancer. It is, however, particularly effective for skin cancer types that:
•    Are aggressive and/or large
•    Have indefinable borders or edges
•    Are situated in bodily areas where preservation of healthy tissue is paramount, like those around the ears, eyes, mouth, nose, genitals, feet, and hands
•    Have an increased risk of recurring or have already recurred following treatment in the past
 

Mohs Surgery Results and Other Vital Things to Remember

Among the most practical advantages offered by Mohs surgery is that you’ll be able to quickly obtain results. It’s also performed under local anesthesia and is an outpatient procedure. To ensure that the site is healing properly, you simply need to attend follow-up appointments at our Winston Salem, NC office.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that while Mohs surgery is usually successful, your risk of developing another type of skin cancer or your previous cancer recurring will always be there. Studies have shown that individuals who’ve had skin cancer have a higher risk of developing it again when compared to individuals who haven’t had skin cancer. This is why routine follow-up visits and skin cancer screenings with your dermatologist are vital.

For Any Concerns or Questions About Skin Cancer, Contact Us

Mohs surgery is performed by Jenny Stone, M.D. at our Winston Salem, NC office.  Arrange a consultation with her at Westgate Dermatology and Laser Center by calling (336) 768-1280

By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER, P.A.
May 14, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Facial Treatments  

FacialsGetting a facial can certainly feel like a luxurious, relaxing, and pampering experience but did you know that a facial could also provide your skin with some amazing health benefits? Not only does turning to a dermatologist ensure that you get quality and comprehensive care to treat everything from sun damage to acne, but also a dermatologist has the knowledge, skills, and tools to be able to provide customized facials that can target and treat common skin problems.

A facial offers the skin a variety of benefits including:

  • Deep cleaning
  • Extractions
  • Exfoliation
  • Hydration and moisturizing

A facial can also be tailored to your skin type and the concerns or dermatological issues you are worried about. A facial can be used to treat:

  • Redness and uneven skin tone
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Dry, dull and flaky skin
  • Acne-prone skin
  • Rosacea
  • Eczema
  • Sun damage
  • Enlarged pores

One facial won’t be able to address all skin issues you may have, but our dermatological team can work with you to create a customized facial and treatment plan that will be able to treat any and all problems you’re concerned about.

The products that we use during your facial will also depend on the results you’re hoping to achieve. For example, certain enzyme peels and products with glycolic acid can help to remove dead skin cells to produce fresh, radiant skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you have questions about the different products we use and their ingredients, or if you have any allergies, it’s important to discuss this first with your skin doctor.

Getting regular facials can be a great way to keep skin looking and feeling its best, and it should be a normal part of most people’s skincare routines. Along with keeping skin clean and hydrated, facials can also target problem areas when they arise. Have questions about facials? Ask your dermatologist today.





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