My Blog

Posts for category: Skin Care

By Dawson Dermatology
December 18, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Lichen Planus  
Lichen PlanusLichen planus is an autoimmune disorder that attacks both the skin and mucous membranes inside the mouth. This chronic condition causes flat, itchy reddish-purple bumps to develop on the skin (mostly the wrists, ankles, and forearm) and white, painful sores to develop within the mouth and sometimes the genitals. This condition cannot be spread from person to person and mild itching and other symptoms are often managed through simple home care; however, if you are dealing with severe symptoms it’s important to see a dermatologist as soon as possible.

What causes lichen planus?

Lichen planus is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. In fact, it typically appears when the immune system starts attacking the skin or mucous membrane. Certain things can trigger it including:
  • Certain OTC pain medications (e.g. ibuprofen)
  • Medications used for arthritis, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Viral infections
  • Certain allergens
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Certain chemicals or metals
Those with autoimmune disorders may also be more likely to develop lichen planus. The good news though is that this condition is not dangerous.

Should I see a dermatologist?

If you have developed a purple rash or bumps that resemble lichen planus it’s worth it to pay a visit to your dermatologist to find out what’s going on, especially if you notice any unusual bumps on the genitals.

To determine that you do have lichen planus, we will need to biopsy some skin cells to diagnose lichen planus and to also determine whether it’s being caused by an underlying infection or an allergen. From there, further testing may be needed.

How is lichen planus treated?

So, you found out from your dermatologist that you have lichen planus. Now what? In some cases, this condition may just go away on its own; however, it’s important to recognize that there is no cure for lichen planus but there are ways to help alleviate certain symptoms such as burning or pain. Common treatment options that your dermatologist can recommend or prescribe include,
  • Antihistamines: To help with itching
  • Corticosteroid creams: To reduce inflammation and redness
  • Oral or injectable steroids: This treatment is more effective for persistent, recurring, or more severe bumps
  • Photochemotherapy: Light therapy can be effective for treating oral lichen planus
Dealing with dark itchy bumps that have you wondering whether you could be dealing with lichen planus or another skin disorder? If so, a dermatologist will easily be able to diagnose your skin condition, usually through a simple physical exam. If you are experiencing symptoms of lichen planus, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist today.
By Dawson Dermatology
December 14, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Microdermabrasion  

Even the healthiest of the skin may not always look its best due to aging, acne scars, and sun exposure. If you wish to rejuvenate your face to have a younger, brighter look, talk to your dermatologist at Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu, HI. Drs. Douglas Chun, Kevin Dawson, and Sarah Grekin offer the latest in medical and aesthetic dermatology. Microdermabrasion is one of their easiest and most effective services.

Just what is microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a medically-supervised aesthetic treatment that exfoliates the skin on the neck and face. The gentle procedure employs a mildly abrasive cream and a small handheld tool to remove the top layer of skin, revealing smoother, more evenly pigmented, and brighter skin beneath. Microdermabrasion promotes skin cell growth as well.

Your dermatologist at Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu, HI, recommends microdermabrasion for healthy men and women who wish to reduce the appearance of:

  • Fine lines and creases
  • Areas of hyperpigmentation (melasma) on the cheeks and neck
  • Acne scars (Microdermabrasion is not advisable for active acne.)
  • Age spots
  • Dullness

Microdermabrasion also removes excess oil, dead skin cells, and whiteheads/blackheads.

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that people of all skin textures may undergo this in-office procedure successfully. There is no appreciable downtime, and you may see only slight redness and puffiness afterward. Also, as it heals, your skin may feel more sensitive to the sun.

Is microdermabrasion permanent?

No, it is not permanent, but the treatment yields significant results. However, one treatment is insufficient and results do not last indefinitely. Most people have several weekly treatments, and likely, your dermatologist will ask you to use a moisturizer before and between your treatments at Dawson Dermatology. Sunscreen lotion of SPF 15 or high is a must-have on a continuing basis. Microdermabrasion may be just part of a comprehensive skin makeover.

Renew your skin

You'll look great and feel better about yourself after a gentle microdermabrasion treatment at Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu, HI. You can expect a friendly consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists and a care plan individualized to your skin needs and preferences. Call us for an appointment at (808) 599-3780.

By Dawson Dermatology
November 30, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Acne  

Drs. Kevin Dawson, Douglas Chun, and Sarah Grekin of Dawson Dermatology, in Honolulu, HI, understands the difficulties of acne. About 5% of adults and 80% of adolescents suffer from acne, a confidence-crippling condition.

More About Acne

Sebaceous glands secrete sebum, an oil, that moisturizes the skin. Sebum travels from the root of the hair follicle to the surface of the skin. People suffering from acne have a problem with this process. The sebum doesn't reach the surface of the skin but, instead, creates a blockage of sebum and dead cells.

Whiteheads vs. Blackheads

  • Whiteheads are formed when the opening of the hair follicle is completely blocked.
  • Blackheads are formed when the hair follicle's pore is still open.

The inflammation of whiteheads and blackheads can produce red pustules that lead to skin scarring when inflamed.

How can you treat acne?

Treating acne isn't easy but your Honolulu dermatologist knows just how to help. Here are a few treatment options your dermatologist provides:

  1. Benzoyl Peroxide can reduce blocked skin pores for mild acne
  2. Antibiotics, oral and topical, can help you deal with acne infections
  3. Vitamin A, like tretinoin, helps exfoliate blocked pores
  4. Metal instruments extract whiteheads and blackheads manually

What are the acne scars?

Here are some procedures your dermatologist provides:

  • Microneedling: This is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that treats skin using collagen induction therapy.
  • Chemical peels: This treatment targets different pathophysiological factors to help you deal with photoaging, deep scars, wrinkles, and precancerous skin lesions.
  • Laser Skin Treatment: Your dermatologist treats acne scars using laser skin treatment to minimize the appearance of scars by removing people's residual scarring.

Contact Dawson Dermatology

Acne isn't fun for anyone and can deteriorate confidence. Drs. Kevin Dawson, Douglas Chun, and Sarah Grekin of Dawson Dermatology can help you treat acne. For more information on acne, acne scars, and the various acne treatments, call your Honolulu, HI, dermatologists at 808-599-3780.

By Dawson Dermatology
November 30, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Not all organs are internal. The skin is the largest and contains three layers: the epidermis (outer), dermis (middle), and hypodermis (deepest). When cancer cells affect any of these areas, the situation can potentially be life-threatening. Several factors can raise an individual's risk of developing skin cancer. But the condition is preventable. Minimizing your exposure begins with a visit to the dermatologist. At Dawson Dermatology, you can expect a quick and efficient head-to-toe examination from Dr. Kevin L. Dawson, Dr. Douglas Chun, or Dr. Sarah J. Grekin performed in our Honolulu, HI, office to review family medical history and look for suspicious moles that may need additional testing.

Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer

Skin cancer prevention starts with protection. UV rays that emit from the sun, as well as tanning beds, are harmful, so it's best to avoid both whenever possible. When you're outside, be sure to apply 30-SPF sunscreen and lip balm year-round, wear additional clothing like a brimmed hat and stay in the shade - especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when rays are the strongest. It also helps to wear sunglasses, avoid reflective surfaces, and choose cosmetic products that offer sun protection.

Signs and Symptoms to Observe

Different types of skin cancer have distinct traits. We encourage you to visit our Honolulu, HI, office at the first sign of something unusual. If you're unsure of what to look for when performing a physical exam at-home, our dermatologist can teach you how to spot skin damage. At Dawson Dermatology, we always remind our patients to remember their "ABCDE's." This acronym stands for asymmetrical, border, colorful, diameter, and evolving. When a mole or freckle doesn't look like the rest, has an irregular border, color changes, or becomes bigger than a pencil eraser, it may be cause for concern and require extra attention.

If you observe new moles, lesions, or freckles with an "ugly duckling" appearance, or find yourself itching or bleeding, schedule a consultation with our dermatologist. We have a team of board-certified professionals who are dedicated to catching signs and symptoms early when they are most treatable. For more information about skin cancer, other conditions we treat, and services provided at Dawson Dermatology, visit our website. Please call (808) 599-3780 for appointment scheduling with Dr. Kevin L. Dawson, Dr. Douglas Chun, or Dr. Sarah J. Grekin in our Honolulu, HI, office.

By Dawson Dermatology
November 03, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Shingles  
Treating ShinglesAs kids, we dealt with that notoriously itchy rash caused by chickenpox. Unfortunately, as we get older, the same virus that caused our childhood chickenpox can also cause shingles. If you’ve had chickenpox in the past, then that same virus is lying dormant within the body. This means that at some point during your lifetime, the virus does have the ability to reactivate, causing a painful, blistering rash on the stomach and sides. This is known as shingles.

Think You Have Shingles?

If you notice a blister-like rash developing on one side of the body it’s possible that you could have shingles. If you suspect that you have shingles, you must see a doctor.

Those over the age of 60 years old as well as those with chronic conditions such as diabetes are more at risk for complications related to shingles, so you must seek immediate dermatology care from a qualified doctor. A dermatologist can also rule out other possible conditions or infections.

Treating Shingles

For the antiviral medication to be most effective, you must see a doctor right away if you think you have shingles. The most common types of antiviral medications used to treat shingles include acyclovir and valacyclovir. These antivirals can speed up the healing process and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
There are also simple home remedies that you can use to ease discomfort associated with the rash. Some of these remedies include:
  • Applying cold compresses to the rash
  • Soaking in a cool oatmeal bath
  • Wearing light, loose-fitted clothing that won’t rub against the rash
  • Applying calamine lotion to reduce itching
  • Managing stress effectively and finding ways to help you relax
  • Eating healthy, balanced meals
  • Getting good quality sleep every night
Preventing Shingles

The good news is that there is a shingles vaccine that can protect you against this infection. If you are over the age of 50, you could benefit from the shingles vaccine so ask your doctor. The vaccine can protect you from shingle for up to five years.

If you are worried that you might have shingles, or if you’re interested in finding out whether or not you should get the shingles vaccine, a qualified dermatologist will be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with the custom dermatology treatment you need to ease your symptoms. 


Contact Us

Our Location

Queen's Physician's Office Building 1 (POB1)
1380 Lusitana Street, Suite 412 Honolulu, HI 96813
Queen's Health Care Center
377 Keahole Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825