My Blog
By Westgate Dermatology and Laser Center, P.A.
May 31, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Shingles  

The effects of chickenpox may last beyond your childhood infection. Shingles, a widespread, itchy, painful rash, can break out at any time in adulthood because the causative agent, the Varicella Zoster virus, lies dormant within the body for life. Your dermatologist can help you control the awful pain and dangerous complications of shingles. He or she also has suggestions on avoiding an outbreak of this common and contagious skin disease.

What does shingles look like? A shingles rash is a reddened, itchy, oozing skin rash composed of raised blisters. Typically, it is widespread on the face near the eye, on the torso (front wrapping around to the back), or on the neck. People experience exceptional pain for at least two to six weeks, and due to damaged nerve endings, some individuals have unresolved pain for years.

What are the potential complications? Just like its childhood counterpart, shingles is contagious. So, people exposed to your shingle rash may develop chickenpox if they have never been sick with it previously.

Plus, shingles may lead to serious vision or hearing problems, fever, balance issues, and light sensitivity. People with a weakened immune system are potential shingles sufferers, and unfortunately, perfectly healthy people who have a shingles flare-up can then become immunosuppressed. In short, shingles is nothing to joke about.

How is it treated? Mild cases respond to cool baths, skin calming lotions, topical steroids and over the counter pain relievers. More severe flare-ups may require narcotic pain relievers, anti-convulsants, steroidal injections and numbing medications applied directly to the skin. Medications such as Acyclovir and Valacyclovir help dampen the spread of the virus.

Can you prevent an outbreak of shingles? Your dermatologist or primary care physician may provide you with a shingles vaccine to greatly reduce your chances of having shingles. The American Academy of Dermatology says that Zostavoax is for patients over 60, and the Shingrix vaccine may be administered beginning at age 50.

Find out more

Your dermatologist is an excellent resource for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of simple to complex skin conditions and diseases. If you are starting a shingle outbreak or desire to prevent one, call your skin doctor for a consultation. He or she will inform you on the best ways to stay as healthy as possible.

By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER
May 16, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Rosacea  

Does your face sometimes appear extremely red and flushing? While a slight blush is certainly nice, if the blush is severe or widespread you may be dealing a common condition known as rosacea. People with rosacea often liken their redness to looking like they are sunburned even though they are not, and the redness often appears across the nose and cheeks but can spread to the forehead, as well.

Along with redness those with rosacea may also experience:

  • Sensitivity
  • Stinging or burning
  • Hard bumps that look similar to acne
  • Visible blood vessels
  • Thicker skin (in more advanced cases)

Rosacea is more common in women than men, as well as those over 30 years old. Rosacea is characterized by flare-ups of redness that may go away and then come back when in contact with certain triggers. Common rosacea triggers include:

  • Sunlight
  • Heat or cold
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Caffeine
  • Certain skincare products
  • Wind
  • Certain medications
  • Exercise

It’s important to note when you experience triggers to figure out what might be causing your flare-ups so you can avoid them whenever possible.

Treating Rosacea

There are no over-the-counter medications designed to treat rosacea, so the only way to get the proper treatment you need to get your symptoms under control is to see a dermatologist. There are certain prescription medications that may be prescribed to lessen your symptoms. These medications include:

  • Certain drugs and topical medications that reduce redness
  • Oral antibiotics (to kill the bacteria responsible for inflammation)
  • Isotretinoin (for severe and unresponsive rosacea cases)

In some cases, your skin doctor may also recommend laser therapy to reduce redness and the appearance of blood vessels. Common laser therapies for rosacea include dermabrasion and intense pulsed light therapy.

Along with medication and laser therapy it’s important to be gentle with your skin and to always wear sunscreen before going outside. Choose a sunscreen that offers full-spectrum protection and has an SPF of at least 30. Even on cloudy or windy days you should apply sunscreen. Also be aware of certain products and makeup that could also be causing flare-ups. There is also makeup on the market that can conceal redness.

If you think that your redness may be the result of rosacea isn’t it time you got answers? Schedule a consultation with our trusted dermatologist today.

By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER
May 01, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Mole  

Mole Removal: What to Expect

Worried about that mole? A mole is a dark spot or irregularity in the skin. Everyone is at risk of skin cancer and should keep an eye on their skin and moles. Simply thinking about having a skin mole removed might send shivers down your spine, but sometimes it’s necessary for your health. For example, if a biopsy is cancerous, removing the mole can help to stop any cancer from growing more. But many individuals also have moles removed for cosmetic reasons.

What Causes Moles?

Skin moles occur in all races and skin colors. Some individuals are born with moles. Most skin moles appear in early childhood and during the first 20 years of a person's life. New moles appearing after age 35 may require medical evaluation, and possible biopsy. Some moles appear later in life. Sun exposure seems to play a role in the development of skin moles. People with high levels of exposure to UV light tend to have more moles. However, moles may also occur in sun-protected areas.

How Is It Done?

Mole removal is a simple kind of surgical procedure. Your doctor will likely choose one of two ways: surgical shave or surgical excision. Surgical shave is done more often on small skin moles. After numbing the area, your healthcare provider will use a blade to shave off the mole and some tissue underneath it. Stitches aren’t usually required. During the surgical excision procedure, your doctor will numb the area. He or she will use a circular blade or scalpel to cut out the mole and some skin around it. The doctor will then stitch the skin closed.

Can a Mole Grow Back?

There's a small chance that a mole can grow back after mole surgery, although there's no way to predict whether this will happen. It's important to understand that no surgery has a 100 percent cure rate. Some mole cells may remain in the skin and may recur in the same area. Some skin moles are more aggressive than others and need closer follow-up and additional treatment.

Are There Any Risks?

Risks of mole removal methods include infection, rare anesthetic allergy, and very rare nerve damage. Follow your doctor's instructions to care for the wound until it heals. This means keeping it covered, clean and moist. The area may bleed a little when you get home, especially if you take medications that thin your blood. It's always prudent to choose a doctor with appropriate skills and experience with these removals. This will lower the risks associated with this procedure.


Take charge of your health today. Regular self-skin examinations and annual skin examinations by a doctor help people find early skin cancers. If you need a mole check, find a dermatologist near you and schedule your annual skin cancer screening.A simple skin cancer screening could save your life.

By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER
April 25, 2019
Category: Botox
Tags: Botox  

Facial lines and wrinkles, even if they're fairly small, have an undeniable effect your appearance. Botox Cosmetic smooths and minimizes botoxlines and wrinkles for as long as three to four months, helping you look more youthful. Your Winston Salem and Thomasville, NC, dermatologists, Drs. Paul Kostuchenko and Jenny Lee Stone, offer Botox and a variety of other cosmetic treatments at Westgate Dermatology and Laser Center.

How does Botox work?

Your facial muscles contract every time you frown, squint, laugh, and smile. Over time, fine lines and wrinkles develop in the skin covering those muscles. Botox injections relax the muscles, which causes the skin to become smoother.

Is Botox safe?

Botox Cosmetic contains tiny amounts of the botulinum toxin. The toxin is purified and is perfectly safe to use for line and wrinkle reduction treatment. In fact, the injections have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of lines and wrinkles.

Who can benefit from Botox injections?

Botox is often used to minimize vertical lines between the forehead, forehead furrows, crow's feet, lip lines and nasolabial fold lines. The treatment is a good choice for many people but isn't appropriate for people who have muscle diseases, myasthenia gravis, or are pregnant or nursing.

The injections are very helpful in treating shallow to moderate lines and wrinkles. If you have very deep lines and wrinkles, dermal fillers may be a better option.

Are Botox injections painful?

Your Winston Salem or Thomasville dermatologist uses a small needle to minimize injection-site pain. You'll probably only notice a slight stinging sensation when you receive the injections. Your treatment may take as little as 10 minutes, depending on the number of areas to be treated.

When will I see results?

Your fine lines and wrinkles may begin to look a little smoother two or three days after treatment. It usually takes about 10 days to two weeks to see the full effects of Botox injections. Scheduling regular follow-up treatments every three to four months will help you maintain your appearance.

Improve your appearance with Botox! Call your Winston Salem and Thomasville, NC, dermatologists, Drs. Paul Kostuchenko and Jenny Lee Stone of Westgate Dermatology and Laser Center, at (336) 714-0238 for our Winston Salem office and (336) 714-0238 for our Thomasville office to schedule an appointment.

By WESTGATE DERMATOLOGY AND LASER CENTER
April 16, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Hyperhidrosis  

Why Do I Have Excessive Sweating? 

Do you commonly find that your armpits or feet are drenched with sweat, despite being in mild weather and not being active? If so, you may be one of the 1-3%  of the population that has hyperhidrosis, a disorder that entails having hyperactive sweat glands. Read on to learn the signs of this condition and to find out how your local dermatologist can help you cope with the often-uncomfortable symptoms that define it!

The Two Types of Hyperhidrosis

Before going further into the discussion of hyperhidrosis symptoms, it is important to establish that there are two types of the condition:

  1. Primary Hyperhidrosis: People afflicted this disorder type possess a certain type of gland, termed, “eccrine sweat glands.” These sweat glands will cover the entire body, although they will be especially prevalent on the feet, armpits, face, and palms.

  2. Secondary Hyperhidrosis: While also causing excessive perspiration on the body, this kind of hyperhidrosis is in fact a side effect of another medical condition or medication (hence the “secondary” designation). Conditions that generally cause secondary hyperhidrosis include, fever, anxiety disorder, menopause, and obesity among others.

Possible Treatment Options For Hyperhidrosis

We know how uncomfortable excessive sweating can be, and luckily, there are a number of different treatment options available to those who struggle with hyperhidrosis. Of course, given that each case differs largely from the next, you will need to meet with your local dermatologist to find out which treatment course is best for you!

Some possible treatment options include:

  • Aluminum chloride containing prescription antiperspirant
  • Glycopyrrolate containing prescription creams.
  • Nerve-blocking medications
  • Botulinum injections
  • Antidepressants or anxiety relieving medication (in the case of secondary hyperhidrosis)
  • A number of surgical options (reserved for very serious cases)

Need Relief? Give Us a Call!

We know how uncomfortable it can be to live with hyperhidrosis. If you are looking to relieve your symptoms, give contact your local pediatrician today!





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