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Posts for category: Dermatology

By Dawson Dermatology
July 15, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Poison Ivy  

Have you heard of Toxicodendron radicans? No? Well, you have likely heard of their colloquial name—poison ivy. Sporting leaves filled with Urushiol, an oily resin that can cause a painful rash when in contact with human skin, poison ivy can cause a number of painfully uncomfortable symptoms. 

Read on to learn the symptoms of poison ivy exposure, how to treat its symptoms, and whether those symptoms warrant a trip to your local dermatologist.

Rash Symptoms

Poison ivy rashes often show up right after exposure to the plant leaves, although they do sometimes spring up a couple days afterward, as well. Symptoms of the rash include:

  • Red streaks and patches on the skin
  • The emergence of hives, blisters, and red bumps
  • General swelling
  • Acute itching

Treatment Options

Once you have discovered the rash, there are some initial steps that you can take to relieve your symptoms. These include:

  • Immediately run cool water over your skin at the first sight of rash
  • Use over-the-counter cortisone and calamine creams to relieve itching
  • Take an oral antihistamine (e.g. Benadry) to reduce itching and inflammation

After 1 to 3 weeks, the rash should dissipate on its own, without the requirement for medical care. However, there are some scenarios in which you should seek out the attention of your local dermatologist. For instance, call a doctor if you experience:

  • Pus emitting from the rash
  • A general spreading of the rash
  • A failure of the rash to clear up after a couple weeks

In other scenarios, emergency care may prove necessary. Call 911 if you experience:

  • Trouble breathing or a swelling of the throat
  • Extreme swelling, especially around the eyes
  • A spreading of the rash to the mouth, eyes, or genitals

Concerned? Give Call Your Local Dermatologist

Are you experiencing overly distressing symptoms of poison ivy exposure or a rash that just won’t go away? If so, contact your dermatologist and find relief. 

By Dawson Dermatology
July 10, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Skin Care  

The sun and hot temperatures can come with risks to your skin. Sun damage can lead to premature skin aging, wrinkles and even skin cancer. Led by Dr. Kevin Dawson, Dr. Douglas Chun, and Dr. Sarah Grekin, Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu, HI offer a range of dermatological services to their patients. Here are 7 skin care tips for maintaining healthy skin.

1. Clean and moisturize your skin. You may shower more often during the summer, but harsh soaps can remove protective oils from your skin, so limit your shower time and use warm water - not hot water- to avoid drying out your skin. Apply moisturizer to your skin soon after showering.

2. Avoid the sun during peak hours. Avoid the sun during the peak hours of UV radiation, from 10 am and 4 pm. This is the time the sun’s rays are most intense and damaging. You want to avoid getting sunburns because they increase the chances of skin cancer. If you're outdoors during peak hours, seek shade under a large umbrella, tree, or other shelters.

3. Use sunscreen every day. Sunscreens are designed to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, on both clear and cloudy days. Put it on about 20 minutes before you go outside. Apply sunscreen to all bare skin. Reapply every two hours, or after sweating or swimming.

4. Rinse your skin after you swim. Both salt water and chlorinated water can dry outy our skin. Always wash or rinse after a swim to remove residues which may later react in the sun or interfere with your sunscreen.

5. Know the risks of tanning. Tanning bed sessions and sunbathing increase your chances of damaging your skin and getting skin cancer. Self-tanners can give your skin a sunkissed look without exposing it to harmful UV rays. Self-tanners are commonly sold as sprays and lotions you apply to your skin. Professional spray-on tanning is also available.

6. Do a skin self-exam. Examine your skin head-to-toe every month, so you can find any changing or new lesions that might be precancerous or cancerous. By examining your skin once a month for spots that might be signs of skin cancer, and bringing those changes to your dermatologists' attention, you can play a key role in protecting the health of your skin.

7. Get a skin cancer screening. Get a professional skin exam, or skin cancer screening, at least once a year. A skin cancer screening is a visual inspection of your skin by a healthcare professional. Annual skin exams are the key to diagnosing the disease at an early stage.

Ready to take control of your health? A professional skin exam could save your life! If you need a skin cancer screening, call Dawson Dermatology at 808-599-3780 right now to schedule an appointment in Honolulu, HI. You will experience exemplary service and state-of-the-art care at Dawson Dermatology.

By Dawson Dermatology
June 28, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Warts  

Warts are small, harmless growths that develop on the skin. You may notice only one or they may grow in clusters. While they are usually painless, sometimes they can develop in places like the soles of the feet (known as plantar warts), which can be uncomfortable. Common warts often appear on the hands and arms while flat warts develop on the face and forehead. Plantar warts are typically found on the soles of the feet. Apart from developing these skin-colored growths, there usually aren’t any other symptoms associated with this condition.

What causes warts?

Warts are caused by an infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 strains of HPV that can develop in different areas of the body, from the mouth and skin to the genital region. The type of HPV that causes warts on the hands, feet, or rest of the body isn’t the same type that causes genital warts.

How do I treat warts?

Warts usually go away on their own once the body fights the infection; however, it can take months to years for the wart to go away. Therefore, if you feel embarrassed by the wart or if the wart is in an awkward or uncomfortable place then you may choose to visit a dermatologist to have it removed. If you are a healthy individual you may also consider trying an over-the-counter wart removal option before turning to a dermatologist.

You should see a dermatologist if:

  • Warts are spreading or getting worse
  • Warts aren’t responding to at-home treatment
  • Warts are developing on your face or genitals
  • Warts are painful, bleeding, or itching
  • You have a weakened immune system
  • You have diabetes

When you visit your dermatologist, they will first need to make sure that the growth is a wart. Depending on the type and location of the warts, your skin doctor will talk to you about your treatment options. Common ways to treat warts include,

Salicylic Acid

This topical treatment is often used on warts of the hands, feet or knees, and you will need to apply the topical treatment daily for several weeks. After the solution is applied you will also use a pumice stone to file away the dead outer layer of skin from the wart. The acid treatment will continue to kill the wart layer by layer until it’s completely gone.

Freezing the Wart

This is another common method for removing a wart. Liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the wart to freeze it. This is also referred to as cryotherapy. More than one liquid nitrogen treatment session may be needed in order to completely remove the wart.

Other options for removing a wart include burning, cutting or removing the wart with a laser, and these treatment options are often used on warts that don’t respond to the other treatments above. If you are dealing with warts and want to turn to a dermatologist to have it removed, then call to make your next appointment.

By Dawson Dermatology
June 14, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Vitiligo  

Find out how this pigmented skin condition is treated.

Are you or someone you love dealing with vitiligo? The Mayo Clinic reports that there are more than 200,000 new cases of vitiligo each year in the US alone. Vitiligo is a chronic disease where the melanin, which gives your skin its pigment, either dies or the body stops producing it. As a result, there are white patches of skin all over the body. So, you may be wondering how this condition occurs or how you can treat it. This is when it’s important to turn to your dermatologist.

What causes vitiligo?

Unfortunately, researchers still do not know why some people develop vitiligo. It may be the result of an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks the melanocytes in the skin. Some researchers also believe that something as simple as a sunburn or even emotional stress could cause vitiligo; however, the cause is still unknown.

Who is at risk for developing vitiligo?

Even though this condition can appear at any time in a person’s life it more commonly occurs in your 20's. It affects both men and women of all races; however, vitiligo is more noticeable in those with darker skin. Those with autoimmune disorders are often more likely to develop vitiligo than those who do not have an autoimmune disorder. Genetics may also play a role; however, parents with vitiligo won’t necessarily pass this condition onto their child.

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

Vitiligo is characterized by large white patches of skin, which may appear anywhere on the body. These patches most commonly appear on the face, hands, feet, arms, and other sun-exposed areas. Sometimes the white patches will spread over time. How quickly the patches spread will vary from person to person; however, sometimes the patches won’t spread at all.

How is vitiligo treated?

It’s important to turn to a dermatologist that you trust if you think you or a family member is dealing with vitiligo. During your consultation, your doctor will examine your skin to determine how widespread and numerous the patches are so that we have a better idea what type of treatment will be the most effective.

We will also go through your medical history and ask you questions about your condition. Treatment for vitiligo, like most skin disorders, will not work overnight. In fact, there is often a trial-and-error period to try and find the best treatment option.

The most common types of vitiligo treatment include medication, light therapies, and surgery, all of which are designed to restore pigmentation back into the skin.

Prescribed medications may be applied topically or taken orally. Certain UVA/UVB light therapy treatments may also improve your condition. Skin grafting surgery may be recommended, in which your dermatologist will remove skin from another area of the body and apply it over the patches to hide them and even out skin tone.

Your dermatologist can also recommend a full-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin when going outside, as well as any counseling and support you may need. If you or someone you love is looking for vitiligo treatment, contact your dermatologist today.

By Dawson Dermatology
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!