Posts for category: Skin Conditions
At some point during our lifetime most of us will develop spider veins, those tiny little purple, red or blue web-like lines that are the result of twisted blood vessels. While they can develop anywhere on the body they most often appear on the legs.
What causes spider veins?
The purpose of veins is to deliver blood to the heart. Of course, if something is wrong with the vein blood can pool inside of it, causing a buildup of pressure that can weaken the walls of the vein. This can cause the veins to twist, which results in spider veins.
While anyone can develop spider veins women are far more likely than men to deal with this problem. There are certain risk factors that can make you prone to spider veins. These factors include:
- Being on your feet all day
- Hormonal changes
- Traumatic injuries
- Prior leg surgeries
Are spider veins painful?
Even though spider veins can be unsightly they are usually harmless; however, there are instances where someone with spider veins may experience aching, burning, or leg cramping.
Can you get rid of spider veins?
If you are experiencing discomfort due to spider veins you may want to wear compression stockings, which can apply the ideal amount of pressure to the damaged vein to improve blood flow to the heart. Compression stockings are great if you are looking to improve blood flow while also reducing the aching or cramping you may experience as a result of your spider veins; however, compression stockings will not repair or remove spider veins.
If you want to have your spider veins removed then it’s time to turn to a dermatologist. There are two ways in which a skin doctor can treat your spider veins. The most common method is sclerotherapy, in which a special solution is injected into the vein. The solution will cause the vein to collapse, where the vein will then be reabsorbed by the body and fade over the course of a few weeks. Depending on the severity of your spider veins, you may require more than one sclerotherapy treatment.
Another treatment option is called endovenous laser treatment (ELT), in which a catheter is inserted into the vein. Inside the catheter is a laser that will heat up the vein to seal it. This will seal out blood so that the blood can be rerouted through healthy veins. This is an ideal option for those with smaller veins or those dealing with spider veins that are on the surface of the skin. Again, several treatment sessions may be necessary to see full results.
If you are dealing with unsightly spider veins then it’s time to consult your dermatologist to find out the best treatment options to match your needs.
Could those rough, white bumps actually be Keratosis Pilaris?
If you are dealing with rough patches of skin on your body, then you may be dealing with a condition known as keratosis pilaris. While this is a fairly common and nonthreatening dermatological issue it can be hard to effectively treat. Luckily, most cases of keratosis pilaris go away by the age of 30. However, find out everything you need to know about this condition and how to manage your symptoms properly.
Are you noticing any of these symptoms?
- Rough, scaly patches that are sometimes itchy
- White or red bumps that look like acne
- Bumps on the arms, legs, cheeks or butt
- An increase in symptoms during the winter
If you’ve said “yes” to any of these symptoms above, then your bumps may be the result of keratosis pilaris. Luckily, this isn’t a serious condition and often won’t require treatment. However, some people feel embarrassed by how their skin looks. If this is the case, then consult your dermatologist.
Keratosis Pilaris Treatments
There is no one treatment that effectively helps those with keratosis pilaris. However, your dermatologist might recommend a medicated exfoliant, a retinoid cream or gel, or laser treatment. While using these medications may improve the look of your skin, if you stop taking this medication there is a significant chance that the problem will return. The biggest issue with this dermatological condition is that it lasts for many years.
SelfCare Measures for Keratosis Pilaris
While your treatment options might not sound ideal, there are also some easy things you can do at home that can improve the look of your skin.
- Avoid scrubbing or rubbing your skin, which can further aggravate your condition.
- Always pat your skin dry and never rub. This will also help to maintain moisture.Apply a moisturizer after getting out of the shower. This can further help to improve the appearance of dry, irritated skin.
- Look for products with urea or lactic acid. Both of these ingredients can be found in over-thecounter skin care products and they remove excess keratin from the outermost layer of the skin.
Talk to your dermatologist about which prescription medications and lifestyle changes would improve your condition. Even though this condition isn’t serious you can still seek medical advice and treatments to help with your problem.
Learn the best way to care for your skin based on your skin type.
Just like fingerprints are unique to each individual person, so too is our skin. So what kind of skin type do you have, and why is it important? Let’s learn how to identify your skin type, so you can plan an effective skin care regime and combat the issues you may be prone to.
Normal Skin Type
Normal skin is characterized by few to no imperfections, no sensitivities and nearly invisible pores. Normal skin doesn’t have dry or oily patches.
Oily Skin Type
Oily skin is common in teenagers, who are going through various hormonal changes, but can affect adults as well. People with oily skin will deal with enlarged pores, shiny skin, and different kinds of blemishes (e.g. whiteheads; blackheads).
Dry Skin Type
Dry skin is exactly as it sounds; however, if you battle with dry skin you’ll most likely notice visible pores, red patches on your skin and the appearance of fine lines. Your skin may look dull and contain less elasticity than someone with normal skin. Factors that cause dry skin or exacerbate the condition include:
- Weather conditions
- Hormonal changes
- Indoor heating
- Certain ingredients in skin care products
Combination Skin Type
If you have combination skin then you may notice that some parts are dry while others are oily. It’s not unusual to have an oily Tzone, which makes up the nose, chin and forehead. It’s common for many people to have combination skin, and this skin type is prone to enlarged pores, blackheads and shiny areas.
Sensitive Skin Type
If you have been dealing with sensitive skin for a while now, then you may already know what triggers it. Those with sensitive skin often respond poorly to harsh or fragranced skin care products, which can create red, burning patches. Be sure to look for hypoallergenic products, which typically contain no potentially irritating fragrances or ingredients.
If you are still not sure what skin type you have, then you can always talk to your dermatologist. We are always here to discuss the best skin care regime for you. Remember, no two people’s skin is ever the same, so take time to figure out what works best for you. Call us today to schedule an appointment!
Find the solution that will finally help you manage your acne symptoms.
Acne is one of the most common complaints for patients of all ages. While some people may just let the issue run its course, our Winston-Salem, NC, dermatologists Dr. Paul Kostuchenko, Dr. John Southard, and Dr. Jenny Lee Stone, understand that many people want to nip their acne in the bud. Luckily, there are many ways in which to do this—read below to learn more!
Your habits and lifestyle can play a major role in the health of your skin. If you are prone to breakouts here are some tips to reduce your acne symptoms,
- Stay hydrated
- Using acne-fighting cleansers and at-home products
- Wash with warm (not hot) water
- Wash your face twice a day
- Use an exfoliant
- Be gentle with your skin
- Don’t pick at your skin
- Use sunscreen daily
- Clean your cell phone screen regularly to remove germs
- Use oil-free hair and styling products
If your acne requires more aggressive care, then our dermatologists can provide a wide variety of treatment options to help you get your acne under control. Of course, it’s important to understand that treating acne is a process that takes time. Acne cannot be cured overnight, no matter how effective a product might be. It will take several weeks to see if the medication or product is helping your breakouts. Common acne treatments include,
- Topical treatments (e.g. retinoid)
- Salicylic acid or azelaic acid
- Oral contraceptives (for women dealing with hormonal acne)
- Isotretinoin (for severe cystic and inflammatory acne)
- Laser therapy
- Chemical peels
When to See a Dermatologist
Are you wondering if it’s time to call our Winston-Salem, NC, skin doctor about your acne issues? Here’s when you should turn to a doctor for care,
- Your acne isn’t responding to at-home treatments or is getting worse
- You have severe acne (e.g. inflammatory or cystic acne)
- You are feeling depressed or embarrassed by your acne
While you may want to try simple over-the-counter and DIY treatments to see if your acne responds to it first, if they aren’t working for you or if your acne is too severe for these milder treatments, then it’s time to see a dermatologist who can create a customized and more effective treatment plan.
Struggling with Acne? Give Us a Call!
Westgate Dermatology and Laser Center has offices in Winston-Salem and Thomasville, NC, to serve you better. Call one of our offices today at either (336) 768-1280 for Winston Salem and (336) 714-0238 for Thomasville.
Discover more about this common skin condition, and what you can do to treat your itchy symptoms.
What are hives? What are the symptoms of hives?
Also referred to as urticaria, hives are characterized by an outbreak of red bumps that suddenly show up on skin. Hives can appear anywhere on the body and often cause itching, burning and stinging. Some hives may be small, while others might form alongside other bumps to create larger swellings.
What causes hives?
The most common causes of hives are foods, medications, and infections. Hives can also be triggered by insect bites. Foods that often bring about hives include dairy, fish, nuts and eggs. Medications such as aspirin and other overthecounter antiinflammatories like ibuprofen have also been known to cause hives.
There is another form of hives known as physical urticaria, which is triggered by and external physical factor such as cold, pressure, heat, exercise or sweating. This variety of hives usually appears within an hour after contact with one of these elements.
Are hives dangerous?
The majority of hives outbreaks are not dangerous however, if you also experience dizziness, problems breathing, swelling of the face or tightness in your chest, then you should call for emergency assistance immediately! These can be signs of a lifethreatening allergic reaction.
How are hives treated?
If you know what might be triggering your outbreaks, the best thing you can do is remove the trigger right away and avoid it as much as possible. Some people are able to take overthe-counter antihistamines like Benadryl to help relieve the itching. However, those with chronic hives may need to take a stronger antihistamine in combination with corticosteroids.
If you experience a severe outbreak, an epinephrine injection will need to be administered right away. Again, seek medical attention immediately!
To help relieve symptoms until the hives go away, you can also apply cold compresses to the areas to help ease any burning or itching. Also keep your bedroom and living space cool and opt for roomier clothing that won’t rub against the infected areas and exacerbate itching.
How long do hives last?
Some cases of hives clear up in only a few hours, while some can last for a full day before starting to fade.
If you are dealing with a nasty bout of hives that overthecounter remedies don’t seem to fix, then it might be time to talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options. Call our office to schedule an appointment right away!