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Posts for category: Skin Condition

By Dawson Dermatology
March 13, 2020
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Dermatitis  

If you’ve suddenly noticed your skin breaking out in a red, itchy rash, you could be dealing with dermatitis, a common skin condition that often leads to a red, swollen rash, or dry and intensely itchy skin. Sometimes dermatitis can even cause oozing or scaling blisters to form. This condition may be embarrassing but don’t worry—it isn’t contagious.

The most common types of dermatitis include:

  • Contact dermatitis: occurs when an allergen comes in contact with your skin
  • Eczema or atopic dermatitis: most commonly inherited
  • Dyshidrotic dermatitis: often appears on the hands and feet
  • Seborrheic dermatitis: a type of dermatitis that often affects the scalp (dandruff)

The causes really depend on the type of dermatitis you have. For example, contact dermatitis occurs when you come in contact with an allergen such as certain detergents, poison ivy, or nickel. Eczema most often runs in families and occurs more frequently in those with allergies or asthma.

With dermatitis, it is common to experience flare-ups with bouts of remission. Common symptom triggers include environmental or hormonal changes, stress, or certain irritants (e.g. new detergents; perfumes).

Since the symptoms of dermatitis are similar to other skin conditions, it is important to see a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis. Some types of dermatitis can be diagnosed through a simple physical exam; however, if your dermatologist believes that your symptoms are due to an allergic reaction, then allergy testing may be necessary to determine what’s causing your dermatitis.

Those with mild symptoms may find relief through over-the-counter antihistamines and topical creams to stop itching and redness; however, a dermatologist can create a customized treatment plan based on the type of dermatitis you are dealing with and your symptoms. Along with home care (e.g. oatmeal baths; cold compresses) and over-the-counter medications, a dermatologist may also prescribe stronger antihistamines, topical steroids, or oral medication to ease more serious flare-ups.

Your dermatologist can also discuss ways to prevent flare-ups including treating and preventing dry skin, using a proper moisturizer, and implementing necessary dietary changes. Some patients also find that alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage therapy help reduce the number and severity of flare-ups.

If you are experiencing symptoms of dermatitis, it is important that you see your dermatologist right away for care. The sooner you seek treatment the sooner you will experience relief.

By Dawson Dermatology
November 07, 2019
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Psoriasis  

Psoriasis doesn’t just impact someone’s appearance but it can also affect someone’s quality of life. Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that leads to itching, burning patches of skin known as plaques. These plaques can be embarrassing for the sufferer and have a serious impact on their life. If you have psoriasis that is causing you to avoid social situations or you are noticing symptoms of psoriasis it’s important that you have a dermatologist that you can turn to. A dermatologist can both diagnose and treat your skin condition.

Since symptoms of psoriasis can also resemble other skin problems it’s always a good idea to see a skin doctor to find out what’s causing your symptoms. Symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Red, inflamed, and sometimes-scaly patches of skin
  • Dry skin that may crack or bleed
  • Tenderness, itching, or burning around the plaques

Plaques may be raised, dry, or contain white scaly skin. While plaques can develop anywhere on the body they are more prevalent on the knees, elbows, back, and scalp.

Certain things can trigger flare-ups including:

  • Injury to the skin
  • Infections
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Cold weather
  • Certain medications (e.g. beta-blockers; lithium)

Avoiding these triggers can be an effective way to reduce the amount of flare-ups a patient experiences.

Treating Psoriasis

Treatment for psoriasis includes a variety of home remedies, lifestyle modifications and medications. At-home care is focused on alleviating the itchy and burning associated with the formation of plaques. Mild to moderate itching may be relieved through:

  • Moisturizing the skin daily
  • Taking cold showers
  • Apply ice packs to the skin
  • Using skincare products containing lactic acid or urea, which can remove scaly skin

Finding the right medication and treatment plan takes time and having a dermatologist that you trust is crucial. Common medications and therapies for treating psoriasis include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Topical anesthetics
  • Steroids
  • Certain antidepressants
  • Phototherapy

Despite the fact that there isn’t yet a cure for psoriasis, a dermatologist can certainly provide you with the treatment plan you need to get flare-ups under control.

If you are dealing with psoriasis it’s important that you have a dermatologist that you can turn to for care, treatment and support. Together you and your dermatologist can create a treatment plan to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.

By Dawson Dermatology
March 19, 2019
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Hyperpigmentation  

HyperpigmentationBrown spots and skin discoloration are frequent complaints for many people. The most common form of irregular pigmentation is hyperpigmentation, a condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. Some people have abnormal skin pigmentation from a young age, and for others it is brought on later in life by sun damage or injury to the skin. Individuals of all ages, ethnicities and skin types can be affected, although those with darker skin tones are more prone to develop it.

Hyperpigmentation usually appears as brown spots and dark patches on the face, chest, arms and hands. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin. Sun exposure, acne, genetics and hormonal changes can trigger or worsen irregular pigmentation.  

Not all pigmentation problems can be avoided, but you can follow preventive measures to control and reduce dark spots from forming. It is especially important to use adequate sunscreen, manage your acne and discontinue the use of any oral medications that may be contributing to the problem.

How Can I Combat Hyperpigmentation?

The good news is that skin hyperpigmentation isn’t dangerous, and proper treatment can help rejuvenate troubling patches on the skin. There are many treatments at your dermatologist’s disposal, ranging from topical creams and dermabrasion to chemical peels and laser procedures. Your dermatologist will work with you to determine the most suitable treatment for your particular skin type and problem.  

Although a frustrating condition, your skin complexion can be improved and corrected. Talk to your dermatologist about the best treatment options for you.

By Dawson Dermatology
March 04, 2019
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Acne  

Are you faithfully treating your acne but still seeing new breakouts? Your skin care routine could be to blame.  Our Honolulu dermatologists acne Dr. Kevin Dawson, Dr. Douglas Chun and Dr. Sarah Grekin discuss10 skin care habits that can worsen acne and dermatologists’ tips to help you change those habits.

 

1. Try a new acne treatment every week or so. This approach can irritate your skin, which can cause breakouts.

What to do instead: Give an acne treatment time to work. You want to use a product for 6 to 8 weeks. It takes that long to see some improvement. If you don’t see any improvement by then, you can try another product. Complete clearing generally takes 3 to 4 months.

 

2. Apply acne medication only to your blemishes. It makes sense to treat what you see, but this approach fails to prevent new breakouts.

What to do instead: To prevent new blemishes, spread a thin layer of the acne medication evenly over your acne-prone skin. For example, if you tend to breakout on your forehead, nose, and chin, you’d want to apply the acne treatment evenly on all of these areas of your face.

 

3. Use makeup, skin care products, and hair care products that can cause acne. Some makeup along with many skin and hair care products contain oil or other ingredients that can cause acne breakouts. If you continue to use them, you may continue to see blemishes.

What to do instead: Use only makeup, sunscreen, skin and hair care products that are labeled “non-comedogenic” or “won’t clog pores.” These products don’t cause breakouts in most people.

 

4. Share makeup, makeup brushes, or makeup applicators. Even if you use only non-comedogenic products, sharing makeup can lead to blemishes. Acne isn’t contagious, but when you share makeup, makeup brushes, or applicators, the acne-causing bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells on other people’s skin can wind up in your makeup. When you use that makeup, you can transfer their bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells to your skin. These can clog your pores, leading to breakouts.

What to do instead: Make sure you’re the only person who uses your makeup, makeup brushes, and makeup applicators.

 

5. Sleep in your makeup. Even non-comedogenic makeup can cause acne if you sleep in it. 

What to do instead: Remove your makeup before you go to bed. No exceptions. If you’re too tired to wash your face, use a makeup remover towelette. Just make sure it’s a non-comedogenic towelette.

 

6. Wash your face throughout the day. Washing your face several times a day can further irritate your skin, leading to more breakouts.

What to do instead: Wash your face twice a day — when you wake up and before you go to bed. You’ll also want to wash your face when you finish an activity that makes you sweat.

 

7. Dry out your skin. Skin with acne is oily, so it can be tempting to apply astringent and acne treatments until your face feels dry. Don’t. Dry skin is irritated skin. Anytime you irritate your skin, you risk getting more acne.

What to do instead: Use acne treatments as directed. If your skin feels dry, apply a moisturizer made for acne-prone skin. Don't apply the moisturizer twice a day, after washing your face, and only when it feels dry.

You also want to avoid using astringents, rubbing alcohol, and anything else that can dry out your skin.

 

8. Over-scrub your skin clean. To get rid of acne, you may be tempted to scrub your skin clean. Don’t.  Gentle exfoliation is important, but over doing it can irritate your skin, causing acne to flare.

What to do instead: Be gentle when washing your face and other skin with acne. You want to use a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser. Use a nylon or cotton wash cloth, using a gentle circular motion. Gently rinse it off with warm water. Then pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

 

9. Rub sweat from your skin during a workout. Using a towel to roughly rub away sweat can irritate your skin, which can cause breakouts.

What to do instead: When working out, use a clean towel to gently pat sweat from your skin.  A quick rinse with water is always helpful when possible.

 

10. Pop or squeeze breakouts. When you pop or squeeze acne, you’re likely to push some of what’s inside (e.g., pus, dead skin cells, or bacteria) deeper into your skin. When this happens, you increase inflammation. This can lead to more-noticeable acne and sometimes scarring and pain.

What to do instead: Resist the temptation to pop or squeeze acne. You want to treat your acne with acne medication. If you have deep or painful acne, seeing a dermatologist is necessary to help clear your acne.

 

When to see a dermatologist

Many people can control their acne by following these skin care tips and using acne treatment that they can buy without a prescription. If you continue to see acne after giving these tips a chance to work, then it’s time to talk Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu, HI. Some people need prescription-strength acne treatment.  Our dermatologists are here to help you find the best acne treatment to give you clearer skin.
With the right help, virtually everyone who has acne can see clearer skin.

By Dawson Dermatology
December 03, 2018
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Lupus   Sun Sensitivity  

Lupus can affect the skinFind out what this autoimmune disorder means for your skin health.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million Americans and five million people globally have some form of lupus. While lupus can affect both men and women, about 90 percent of those with diagnosed lupus are women between the ages of 15 to 44. Even though this chronic autoimmune disease affects millions, significantly less than half of people are actually somewhat familiar with the disease. 

So, what exactly is lupus, how can you contract this disorder and what treatment options are available?

About Lupus

Our immune system is meant to attack foreign agents in our body to fight diseases and other infections. However, if you have been diagnosed with lupus then your immune system actually responds by attacking the healthy cells within your body. This ultimately causes damage to certain organs in the body like your heart, skin and brain.

There are different types of lupus; however, the most common form is systemic lupus erythematosis. Discoid lupus is known for causing a persistent skin rash, subacute cutaneous lupus causes skin sores when exposed to the sun, drug­induced lupus is the result of a certain medication and neonatal lupus affects infants.

Know that you aren’t alone when it comes to handling your lupus symptoms. While symptoms can be severe and affect your daily life talk to your dermatologist about the best ways to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Lupus Risk Factors

While anyone can develop lupus, women are more likely to develop this condition. Also, African American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian women are at an increased risk over Caucasian women. While the cause is unknown, some research has found that perhaps genes play an influential role in the development of lupus; however, there are several factors that could be at play.

Lupus Symptoms

Those with lupus may experience some or all of these symptoms:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Skin rashes, most commonly found on the face
  • Fever
  • Chest pain when breathing deeply
  • Loss of hair
  • Pale fingers and toes
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Mouth sores
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Leg or eye swelling
  • Swollen glands

These symptoms may not be present all the time. Those with lupus have flare­ups in which the symptoms will appear for a little while and then go away. Also new symptoms may also arise at any time.

Lupus Treatments

If you’ve been diagnosed with lupus then you will most likely need to see several specialists regarding your condition. If you are dealing with skin sores and rashes, then you will want to talk to your dermatologist about the best treatment plan for you. About 40 to 70 percent of those with lupus experience symptoms when exposed to sunlight.

When you come in our office for treatment our goal is to find certain medications that can reduce pain, swelling and redness and prevent further flare­ups. Furthermore, we will recommend a sunscreen and other lifestyle changes that can help to protect your skin from damaging sun exposure.