My Blog
By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER, P.A.
May 07, 2021
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Rash  
Skin RashFrom coming in contact with poison ivy to dealing with a high dose of stress, there are many reasons a rash might appear. Most of the time, a rash will go away on its own without treatment; however, it’s also important to recognize when a rash may warrant turning to a dermatologist for treatment.

What causes rashes?

There are so many reasons why a rash may surface. Rashes may be the result of a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection, or it could be caused by an allergy. Common causes of a rash include,
  • Atopic or contact dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Pityriasis rosea
  • Hives
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Poison ivy, oak, or sumac
  • Rosacea
  • Measles
  • Ringworm
  • Impetigo
  • Psoriasis
  • Diaper rash
  • Shingles
  • Lichen planus
  • Chickenpox
  • Lupus
  • Scabies
  • Allergy to a drug/medication
How do I treat a rash?

Most rashes are mild, self-limiting, and can be treated on your own without having to turn to a doctor. Some ways to ease a rash and promote faster healing is by,
  • Using only gentle cleansers and soaps that do not contain harsh chemicals or fragrances
  • Avoiding hot water and only using lukewarm or cold water
  • Being gentle when cleansing, bathing, and handling the skin
  • Not covering the rash (let it breathe)
  • Using only unscented products
  • Applying calamine lotion to control itching
  • Using hydrocortisone cream to reduce itchiness, swelling, and redness
  • Not scratching the rash, as this can lead to an infection
When should I see a dermatologist about my rash?

It’s important to recognize when a rash probably requires medical attention. You should schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if,
  • The rash is widespread and takes over most of your body (this could be a sign of an allergic reaction, which requires immediate attention)
  • The rash is spreading quickly and suddenly
  • Your rash is accompanied by a fever (this is often a sign of serious infection)
  • The rash is painful or contains blisters
  • There are signs of infection such as oozing, crusting, or skin that’s warm to the touch
Dealing with a rash that is painful or causing your concern? If in doubt, don’t hesitate to call your dermatologist. We can discuss your symptoms over the phone and determine whether you should come in for a consultation.
By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER, P.A.
April 16, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Bed Sores  
Bed SoresIf you or a loved one is bed-bound, one of the main concerns is bedsores, which can develop when there is persistent pressure placed on the skin for extended periods. Bedsores can develop within as little as 2-3 hours. Bedsores most often develop on bonier areas of the body where there isn’t as much skin, such as the shoulder blades, buttocks, hips, and tailbone.

It’s important to follow these tips to treat bedsores,
  • Immediately take the pressure off the area
  • Apply dressings to the area to cover the wound
  • Make sure to clean and dress the wound daily to prevent infection
If the person has diabetes or any chronic health problems, you must turn to your doctor right away for treatment, as even minor bedsores can lead to ulcers and serious infections.

A dermatologist can easily remove damaged or dead tissue and prescribe medications such as antibiotics to treat any infection that may be present. Your doctor will need to closely monitor bed sores to make sure it is responding to treatment and isn’t getting worse. If you or a loved one is dealing with bedsores, call your physician immediately.

How do you prevent bedsores?

Even though they are called bedsores, these ulcers can develop in any part of the body in which a lot of pressure is being placed. Therefore, people who are sitting or lying down for long periods, as well as those who are wheelchair-bound, are more at risk for developing bedsores. The person must be checked every day for redness and early signs of bedsores so the problem can be treated right away.

Some ways to reduce your risk for developing bedsores include,
  • Moving or at least changing position every 2-3 hours
  • Using additional pads or cushions in your bed or wheelchair to help take the pressure off certain areas of the body that are prone to bedsores
  • Making sure that you get adequate and proper nutrition to assist in healing
  • Properly care for and clean the skin every day
If you notice any changes in the skin that indicate bedsores, you must continue to change positions every 2-3 hours every day. If symptoms don’t improve within a day, or if there are signs of an infection, it’s important to see your dermatologist immediately for care.
By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER, P.A.
April 05, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Atopic DermatitisWhen we think of skin disorders, we most often assume that these are problems that mostly adults deal with; however, children and teens can also deal with a wide range of skin problems. One of them is atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis, also referred to as pediatric eczema, is a chronic skin problem that causes flare-ups of itchy, dry, red skin.

What causes atopic dermatitis in children?

Atopic dermatitis is surprisingly common among newborns and kids. Certain factors may play a role in whether your child develops atopic dermatitis. Some of these factors include genetics, weather, environment, temperature, and allergies. If dermatitis runs in your family then your child may be more at risk.

What are the signs of pediatric atopic dermatitis?

Not sure if your child is dealing with atopic dermatitis? Many of the symptoms are not unique to atopic dermatitis so it can be difficult to tell. This is why it’s important to turn to a qualified dermatologist if your child is dealing with any of these issues,
  • Dry skin
  • Intensely itchy skin
  • Thick, red, or swollen skin
  • Fluid-filled or crusty bumps on the skin
  • Rough bumps on the face or arms
  • Hives
How is atopic dermatitis treated?

There are several factors that a dermatologist will need to take into account to determine the best treatment plan for your child. Factors such as their overall health as well as the severity of their symptoms will play roles in the type of treatments we recommend. Your child’s treatment plan will include,
  • Avoiding known irritants and triggers such as certain soaps, detergents, and allergens (e.g., pet danger)
  • Keeping your child’s nails trim to prevent scratching and infection
  • Using gentle cleansers and products on your child’s skin
  • Corticosteroid creams
  • Antihistamines
  • Phototherapy (light therapy)
  • Biologics (strong medications used only in severe and unresponsive cases)
If your child is displaying signs of atopic dermatitis, you must schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to find out what’s going on. Any kind of persistent or recurring rash should be looked at by a skincare professional.
By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER, P.A.
March 23, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Skin Tag  
Skin TagIf you’ve ever noticed a little piece of dangling skin on your body, then you’ve most likely found a skin tag. While these little growths are completely benign, they can develop in places where clothes can rub against them and cause discomfort. Skin tags are most often found in and around the armpits, eyelids, groin, and neck. If you find that your skin tag is in an awkward or uncomfortable place, a dermatologist can easily remove it.

Treating Skin Tags Yourself

Chances are good that you’ve already googled “skin tags” and found a variety of home remedies and ways to remove the skin tag yourself. While some methods are safe and even effective at removing skin tags, it’s incredibly important that you consult your dermatologist first before trying any of these at-home treatments.

Not all skin tags should be treated with home remedies. Any large skin tags, are bleeding or painful, or are located in sensitive areas such as the genitals or the eyes should be treated by a dermatologist who will make sure to provide a safe, effective removal treatment.

Turning to a Dermatologist

There are several ways in which a dermatologist can remove skin tags. Some of these methods include,
  • Cryotherapy: Just like with warts, a dermatologist will freeze off the tag with liquid nitrogen (it usually only takes 1-2 treatments to remove the tag)
  • Cauterization: Burning off the skin tag can also effectively remove the benign growth after a couple of treatment sessions
  • Ligation: Tying a thread around the tag will cut off blood flow and make the growth eventually fall off
  • Excision: Your dermatologist may simply cut off the skin tag
If the skin tag isn’t large, uncomfortable, or in an awkward location then there is no reason to remove it; however, we understand that this may be purely for cosmetic reasons. In which case, your dermatologist is happy to remove the skin tag (but your health insurance is unlikely to cover the procedure).

If you want to have a skin tag removed, or if you aren’t sure whether a skin growth could be a tag, you must see your dermatologist first before you start trying any home remedies or treatments. It’s also important that everyone get an annual skin cancer screening with their dermatologist to check for suspicious or potentially cancerous growths.
By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER, P.A.
March 15, 2021
Category: Skin Treatments
Tags: Acne  

One of the biggest obstacles people have when dealing with acne is the number of myths that surround its care. It can make the search for treatment much more difficult than it has to be. It's why it's always best to turn to an expert for help. To learn more reach out to Dr. Paul Kostuchenko of Westgate Dermatology and Laser Center in Winston-Salem, Thomasville, and Kernersville, NC.

Myths About Acne Treatment

Many of the most common myths regarding acne treatment put a lot of needless blame on the sufferer without offering much of a real solution.

For example, many accuse chocolate, and greasy and fried foods of causing acne. But there is no scientific link between these or any other food to the presence of acne.

People who suffer from acne are also sometimes accused of having poor hygiene as if that's to blame for their acne. But simple soap and water alone cannot keep your skin clear.

Lastly, something you may hear a lot is that acne cannot be treated and that the best thing to do is to simply allow it to improve on its own. While it sometimes can, this is not the best advice for everyone, acne is very much a treatable condition. Because not all treatments work the same for everyone and because treating acne is itself a slow process, many just give up. But if your goal is clear skin, you should not.

Acne Treatment in Winston-Salem, Thomasville, and Kernersville, NC

Over-the-counter treatments can in fact be effective, but you should be wary of anything that promises instant results. But if you've not seen the results you've been hoping for then it's time to come into the office and speak with an expert, let them guide you to the best possible treatment. Make an appointment today with Dr. Kostuchenko of Westgate Dermatology and Laser Center by dialing (336) 768-1280 for the Winston-Salem location, (336) 714-0238 for Thomasville, and (336) 768-1280 in Kernersville.





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