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Posts for: December, 2021

By Dawson Dermatology
December 22, 2021
Category: Skin Treatments
Tags: Blisters  
BlistersMost people experience blisters on their feet, often due to friction or pressure from tight or poorly fitted shoes; however, blisters can develop just about anywhere on the body. If clothes are too tight or you are running you may find a blister on other parts of the body, as well. Whether your blisters are due to physical activity or you think they might be caused by an underlying skin problem, a dermatologist is going to be the best medical professional to turn to for answers and care.

Treating Blisters

If you are a healthy individual then you can easily treat blisters with simple first aid and home care; however, those with diabetes or weakened immune systems should call their dermatologist for treatment. Even minor skin injuries such as blisters can lead to an infection if you have certain preexisting conditions.

To treat a blister at home here are some helpful tips:

Cover the area: Just as you would place protective padding over a bunion or a callus, you should do the same for a blister. This will provide an additional layer of protection to prevent shoes or clothes from rubbing against the blister to make it worse.

Don’t pop the blister: We know that it might be tempting to pop the blister but it’s best just to leave it alone and to let your body heal it naturally; however, we also understand that the blister may be large, painful, or in an awkward place and you may need to drain it. In this case, make sure to thoroughly sterilize a needle with alcohol before gently piercing the blister so that it can drain.

Clean the area: If you do decide to drain the blister yourself, it’s important that you keep the area as clean as possible afterward to prevent infection. This means cleaning the area with soap and water after draining it.

When to See a Doctor

In some cases, a blister may need to be treated by a medical professional; more specifically, a dermatologist. If the blister doesn’t get better in a few days or shows signs of infection, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. If you develop clusters or several blisters on your body, along with other symptoms such as fever and pain, these could be signs of a viral infection, skin disease, or autoimmune disorder. Conditions such as impetigo, herpes zoster, and dermatitis herpetiformis can also cause blisters.

If you are dealing with a painful or infected blister, or if you have diabetes, it’s important that you turn to a dermatologist right away for treatment to prevent complications.

By Dawson Dermatology
December 09, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Carbuncle  
CarbuncleA boil is an infection of the hair follicle that develops under the skin. When multiple boils develop this is known as a carbuncle. In a carbuncle, this cluster of boils is interconnected under the skin and can lead to pain, inflammation, and redness. This infection most often develops on areas of the body that contain hair such as the neck, back, or armpits, but can also develop on the thighs and groin. Here’s what you should know about this condition, as well as how a dermatologist might treat this infection.

What causes a carbuncle?

Most of the time, bacteria known as staphylococcus aureus are to blame for carbuncles. This bacteria is already present on the skin, but can easily get into a hair follicle through a cut or opening. Since a carbuncle is the result of a bacterial infection, the infection can be spread to others by sharing items such as towels or through skin-to-skin contact. It’s important to cover the area and keep it clean so that it heals properly.

Who is at risk for carbuncles?

There are many risk factors that can cause someone to be prone to carbuncles. These risk factors include:
  • Chronic skin problems
  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • Poor hygiene
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • A weakened immune system
Of course, people don’t have to have these risk factors to develop this skin infection. Many health individuals deal with this issue too. For example, those in community settings such as a dorm room may be more at risk for spreading this infection.

How should I treat a carbuncle?

It is important that you do not pick at or squeeze the bump, as this can spread the infection even further or lead to scarring. Apply warm compresses to the area several times a day. Make sure to keep the area clean (wash with soap and water) and cover the area. Since heat can help to facilitate natural drainage, you may want to use a heating pad on the area for up 20 minutes at a time.

Should I see a dermatologist?

Since there are many infections and conditions that can lead to painful bumps and growths, it’s important that you see a dermatologist if you’ve never been diagnosed with a carbuncle before. If the carbuncle doesn’t drain after a few days or if it’s very painful or in a sensitive area such as the nose or eyes, it’s important that you see your dermatologist right away so they can drain it and properly treat it.

If you are dealing with any new or worsening bumps or growths on the skin that have you concerned, know that a dermatologist is going to be the best specialist to turn to for diagnosis and treatment. When in doubt, call your dermatologist to schedule an evaluation.

By Dawson Dermatology
December 08, 2021
Category: Skin Care

Know how to spot skin cancer!

When was the last time you gave your body a thorough self-exam to check your moles? If you’ve never done this before it’s important that you start. After all, moles can show us when they are turning cancerous, but we have to be looking for these changes. Along with visiting our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists Dr. Kevin Dawson, Dr. Douglas Chun, Dr. Erin Fuller, and Dr. Sarah Grekin once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening, it’s also important that you are performing screenings on yourself once a month.

Moles Stay the Same Overtime

Healthy moles will stay relatively the same color, shape, and size over time. So, if you notice a mole suddenly changing colors, growing larger, or changing in appearance then it’s important that you see our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists for an immediate evaluation.

Know the Red Flags

Wondering what the signs and symptoms of skin cancer will look like? It’s important that you, or a loved one, be able to spot these changes in a mole so that you can come in right away and get this problem addressed by a qualified dermatologist. When it comes to spotting melanoma it’s important to know your ABCDEs…

A for Asymmetry

Both halves of a healthy mole will look identical in shape and size, so an asymmetrical mole could be a telltale sign of melanoma

B for Border

A healthy mole has a clearly defined border, but cancerous growths tend to have jagged or poorly defined borders

C for Color

Moles can be various shades of brown, however, if you notice a mole that is changing color or developing multiple colors it’s time to see the dermatologist

D for Diameter

Most healthy moles are smaller than the size of a pencil eraser, while cancerous moles tend to be, but aren’t always, larger than 6mm

E for Evolving

If you have a mole that bleeds, oozes, crusts over, is painful, or just looks different it’s worth seeing a skin doctor find out if the mole could be cancerous

Protect Against Skin Cancer

Along with visiting your dermatologist once a year and performing monthly self-exams on your skin, you can also reduce your risk for skin cancer by simply limiting exposure to sunlight and by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 every day. Even on cloudy, rainy, or chilly days!

Do you want to schedule a skin cancer screening with our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists? If so, simply call Dawson Dermatology at (808) 599-3780 to book your next appointment with us. Protect your health by getting regular skin cancer checkups with our dermatology team.


By Dawson Dermatology
December 01, 2021
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Actinic Keratosis  
Actinic KeratosisIf you’ve ever spent time basking in the sun or even in a tanning bed, then you’ve exposed your skin to UV rays, which can be incredibly damaging to the skin and increase your risk for skin cancer. If you’ve spent extensive amounts of time exposed to UV rays, then you’re at an increased risk for developing actinic keratosis, a rough scaly patch of skin that’s also a form of precancer.

What does an actinic keratosis look like?

These small, scaly flat patches of skin are often felt before they are seen. They can be flesh-colored, white, tan, or pink and most often show up on sun-exposed areas of the skin such as the lips, ears, hands, face, or shoulders. Since most squamous cell carcinomas begin as actinic keratosis (AK), it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist if you are concerned that you might have actinic keratosis.

Am I at risk?

If you have a history of unprotected sun exposure or exposure to artificial UV light (e.g. tanning beds), if you are fair-skinned, or if you have a family history of actinic keratosis, it’s a good idea to examine your body and face once a month to keep tabs on any changes you may see. You should also see a dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive checkup and skin cancer screening.

What can I do to protect myself?

One of the best ways to reduce your risk for actinic keratosis is to limit sun exposure and to wear a full-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you are also wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses if you do plan to spend any time out in the sun.

How is actinic keratosis treated?

The good news is that your dermatologist caught your actinic keratosis before it had a chance to turn into a squamous cell carcinoma, which also means removing this precancerous patch is quick and easy. Actinic keratosis may be treated with cryotherapy (to freeze off the lesion), topical medication, or laser therapy. Your dermatologist will discuss the best way to remove your actinic keratosis. Since actinic keratosis can come back, it’s important that you come in at least once a year for a skin exam.
 
Actinic keratosis is more common than you might think, affecting tens of millions of Americans. If you notice any changes to your skin it’s important that you turn to a dermatologist for an evaluation. Even if you aren’t noticing changes, it’s still a good idea to visit a dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening.



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