My Blog
By Dawson Dermatology
March 05, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Psoriasis  

What is Psoriasis?

Have you been experiencing bumpy, white-scale-topped patches of red skin erupting over certain parts of your body? These itchy, sometimes painful plaques could be the result of an undiagnosed case of psoriasis. Although this skin disorder does not have a cure, there are several treatment options that can lead to Psoriasis are itchy, painful plaques that appear on the skin.symptom relief. Read on to learn more about psoriasis and how your local dermatologist can help!

The Background on Psoriasis

While there is no medical consensus on what exactly causes psoriasis, experts generally point towards an abnormality in how T cells operate in a patient’s immune system. T cells are normally used by the body in order to defend against foreign threats, such as viruses or bacteria. However, for those with psoriasis, these cells become overactive and start to treat healthy skin cells as if they were harmful. In turn, this leads the body to behave as if it had a wound to heal, or an infection to fight. As a result, sporadic patches of irritated skin begin to erupt on certain parts of the body.

Both the appearance of these symptoms and the level of their severity can be triggered through a number of factors, including:

  • Skin infections
  • Skin injuries
  • Heavy stress
  • Regular tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Use of specific medications, such as lithium, beta blockers, antimalarial drugs, and iodides

Treatment Options

Although there is no cure for the disorder, your local dermatologist has a number of treatment methods that can slow down the growth of skin cells responsible for psoriasis’ uncomfortable rashes. An appointment with your skin doctor can determine which of these options is right for you:

  • Steroid cream
  • Moisturizer
  • Coal tar (available in lotions, creams, foams, soaps, and shampoos)
  • Ultraviolet therapy
  • Retinoid (not recommended for women who are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant)
  • Methotrexate (only for serious cases)

Need Relief? Give Us a Call!

You don’t need to live with the full discomfort of psoriasis; give our office a call today and discover how we can help!

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
February 14, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Spider Veins  

At some point during our lifetime most of us will develop spider veins, those tiny little purple, red or blue web-like lines that are the result of twisted blood vessels. While they can develop anywhere on the body they most often appear on the legs.

What causes spider veins?

The purpose of veins is to deliver blood to the heart. Of course, if something is wrong with the vein blood can pool inside of it, causing a buildup of pressure that can weaken the walls of the vein. This can cause the veins to twist, which results in spider veins.

While anyone can develop spider veins women are far more likely than men to deal with this problem. There are certain risk factors that can make you prone to spider veins. These factors include:

  • Being on your feet all day
  • Age
  • Hormonal changes
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Prior leg surgeries
  • Genetics

Are spider veins painful?

Even though spider veins can be unsightly they are usually harmless; however, there are instances where someone with spider veins may experience aching, burning, or leg cramping.

Can you get rid of spider veins?

If you are experiencing discomfort due to spider veins you may want to wear compression stockings, which can apply the ideal amount of pressure to the damaged vein to improve blood flow to the heart. Compression stockings are great if you are looking to improve blood flow while also reducing the aching or cramping you may experience as a result of your spider veins; however, compression stockings will not repair or remove spider veins.

If you want to have your spider veins removed then it’s time to turn to a dermatologist. There are two ways in which a skin doctor can treat your spider veins. The most common method is sclerotherapy, in which a special solution is injected into the vein. The solution will cause the vein to collapse, where the vein will then be reabsorbed by the body and fade over the course of a few weeks. Depending on the severity of your spider veins, you may require more than one sclerotherapy treatment.

Another treatment option is called endovenous laser treatment (ELT), in which a catheter is inserted into the vein. Inside the catheter is a laser that will heat up the vein to seal it. This will seal out blood so that the blood can be rerouted through healthy veins. This is an ideal option for those with smaller veins or those dealing with spider veins that are on the surface of the skin. Again, several treatment sessions may be necessary to see full results.

 

If you are dealing with unsightly spider veins then it’s time to consult your dermatologist to find out the best treatment options to match your needs.

By Dawson Dermatology
February 05, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Keratosis Pilaris  

Keratosis Pilaris can cause bumps on your armsCould those rough, white bumps actually be Keratosis Pilaris?

If you are dealing with rough patches of skin on your body, then you may be dealing with a condition known as keratosis pilaris. While this is a fairly common and non­threatening dermatological issue it can be hard to effectively treat. Luckily, most cases of keratosis pilaris go away by the age of 30. However, find out everything you need to know about this condition and how to manage your symptoms properly.

Are you noticing any of these symptoms?

  • Rough, scaly patches that are sometimes itchy
  • White or red bumps that look like acne
  • Bumps on the arms, legs, cheeks or butt
  • An increase in symptoms during the winter

If you’ve said “yes” to any of these symptoms above, then your bumps may be the result of keratosis pilaris. Luckily, this isn’t a serious condition and often won’t require treatment. However, some people feel embarrassed by how their skin looks. If this is the case, then consult your dermatologist.

Keratosis Pilaris Treatments

There is no one treatment that effectively helps those with keratosis pilaris. However, your dermatologist might recommend a medicated exfoliant, a retinoid cream or gel, or laser treatment. While using these medications may improve the look of your skin, if you stop taking this medication there is a significant chance that the problem will return. The biggest issue with this dermatological condition is that it lasts for many years.

Self­Care Measures for Keratosis Pilaris

While your treatment options might not sound ideal, there are also some easy things you can do at home that can improve the look of your skin.

  • Avoid scrubbing or rubbing your skin, which can further aggravate your condition.
  • Always pat your skin dry and never rub. This will also help to maintain moisture.Apply a moisturizer after getting out of the shower. This can further help to improve the appearance of dry, irritated skin.
  • Look for products with urea or lactic acid. Both of these ingredients can be found in over-the­counter skin care products and they remove excess keratin from the outermost layer of the skin.

Talk to your dermatologist about which prescription medications and lifestyle changes would improve your condition. Even though this condition isn’t serious you can still seek medical advice and treatments to help with your problem.

By Dawson Dermatology
January 16, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Skin Type  

Learn the best way to care for your skin based on your skin type.

Just like fingerprints are unique to each individual person, so too is our skin. So what kind of skin type do you have, and why is it important? Let’s learn how to identify your skin type, so you can plan an effective skin care regime and combat the issues you may be prone to.

Normal Skin Type

Normal skin is characterized by few to no imperfections, no sensitivities and nearly invisible pores. Normal skin doesn’t have dry or oily patches.

Oily Skin Type

Oily skin is common in teenagers, who are going through various hormonal changes, but can affect adults as well. People with oily skin will deal with enlarged pores, shiny skin, and different kinds of blemishes (e.g. whiteheads; blackheads).

Dry Skin Type

Dry skin is exactly as it sounds; however, if you battle with dry skin you’ll most likely notice visible pores, red patches on your skin and the appearance of fine lines. Your skin may look dull and contain less elasticity than someone with normal skin. Factors that cause dry skin or exacerbate the condition include:

  • Genetics
  • Weather conditions
  • Hormonal changes
  • Indoor heating
  • Medications
  • Certain ingredients in skin care products

Combination Skin Type

If you have combination skin then you may notice that some parts are dry while others are oily. It’s not unusual to have an oily T­zone, which makes up the nose, chin and forehead. It’s common for many people to have combination skin, and this skin type is prone to enlarged pores, blackheads and shiny areas.

Sensitive Skin Type

If you have been dealing with sensitive skin for a while now, then you may already know what triggers it. Those with sensitive skin often respond poorly to harsh or fragranced skin care products, which can create red, burning patches. Be sure to look for hypoallergenic products, which typically contain no potentially irritating fragrances or ingredients.

If you are still not sure what skin type you have, then you can always talk to your dermatologist. We are always here to discuss the best skin care regime for you. Remember, no two people’s skin is ever the same, so take time to figure out what works best for you. Call us today to schedule an appointment!





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