Wart Removal and Treatment Options

In this video, Dr. Mejia talks about wart removal and some of the treatment options. It all depends on what it looks like, how big the wart is, how flat it is  and the location.

A simple wart treatment is an over the counter 14% salicylic acid that is applied into the wart. The salicylic acid will slowly peel it away. Another common way to treat it with salicylic acid is to cover it with duct tape so it can penetrate deeper.

If those treatments don’t work, another alternative is to freeze it with liquid nitrogen at a dermatologist office or in some cases surgically remove it by lightly shaving it off and cauterizing it from the base. This is a simple procedure that can be done in the doctor’s office without any discomfort. The dermatologist will usually add some anesthesia which does cause some slight stinging or burning. But once the wart is removed and cauterized, it should not recur.

What’s Up With This Skin Rash?

Contact-Dermatitis-Treatment
Contact Dermatitis Treatment

 

A lot of my patients come to our office with a new rash, and the main question asked is: “What caused this skin rash?” Many times it can be very difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes a skin rash without formal testing. One of the most common causes of skin rashes are due to contact with certain chemicals used in our day to day lives such as:

  • Lotions
  • Laundry detergents
  • Clothing dyes
  • Jewelry
  • Perfumes

Allergic Contact Dermatitis  is the name we use for reactions to chemicals found in these products.  The most common misconception is that products we have used in the past cannot cause our skin to react.  This concept is wrong, due to the fact that our skin can become sensitized to chemicals.

Sensitized means our body does not have an allergic reaction when it first comes into contact with the chemical, but the following time(s) our skin is exposed. An example would be the antibiotic ointment Neosporin, many people used this product throughout childhood without a problem, and over time our body has the ability to become sensitized and allergic to it. Neosporin is an extremely common contact allergy due to this.

How can I find out which chemicals I’m allergic to?

Answer: Patch Testing.

Patch-Test-Jupiter-Dermatology
Patch Testing

Patch Testing is a series of testing where 80 different chemicals are applied to the back. At our office, the patches are left in place for two days, removed and read on day three and on day five. Chemicals range from fragrances, dyes, metals, plant chemicals, and even gold!

When patches are removed, we can determine whether or not the skin has mounted an immune response to the allergens, and let you know what to look for in products for possible triggers. The most important thing a patient can do after being told what they react to on a patch test is the detective work at home to see what products they use which actually contain the allergen.

Patients with an allergic contact dermatitis are recommended to avoid potential allergens, and commonly given a prescription for topical steroid use during flares of rashes on the skin. Over the counter 1% hydrocortisone may be used in milder reactions as well.

Laser Stretch Mark Removal Options

Laser-Stretch-Mark-Removal
Laser Stretch Mark Removal

Stretch Marks (Striae) form on areas of the skin that undergo continuous or rapid stretch and tension, and most commonly occur on the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and breasts. Both males and females experience stretch marks, commonly during rapid growth periods (puberty), weight gain, pregnancy, and even from body building. Stretch marks occur when skin distension affects the connective tissue framework of the skin and damages collagen and elastin. Stretch marks may appear as thin flattened pink skin, red and raised, or as white depressed bands on the skin.

Laser-Stretch-mark-Removal (2)
Laser Stretch Mark Removal

Many people become concerned with the appearance of their stretch marks and want to know the options available for treating them. While many treatments are available to improve the appearance of striae, it has been very difficult to completely get rid of them. Expectant mothers may use intense moisturizers such as cocoa or shea butter, and other over the counter products to help prevent striae from forming. Patients should avoid rapid weight gain or building of body mass in a short period of time, as skin cannot compensate for such quick changes. Topical retinoids and antioxidants have been shown to improve the appearance of stretch marks. These products are available through your provider at Jupiter Dermatology.

ND-YAG

Our office provides three laser and light treatments that may further improve the appearance of stretch marks. ND YAG is a vascular laser which helps lessen the appearance of stretch marks by targeting the dilated blood vessels within stretch marks that are red and raised. We typically recommend 3-6 laser treatments for optimal results. CO2  Fractional lasers are used for laser resurfacing in stretch marks that have been present for a longer time. During this procedure, the CO2 laser targets pinpoint areas of the skin in a grid-like pattern, allowing healthy surrounding skin to contract and tighten skin as well as inducing collagen production. More than one treatment may be needed for this procedure. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is a non-laser treatment that helps to induce the production of collagen and elastin, thereby improving the appearance of stretch marks over time. Your provider can evaluate which treatments would be most beneficial, and review any side effects or expected downtime associated with each of these treatments.

Dysport or Botox: What’s the Difference and Which Lasts Longer?

Jupiter-dermatology-Botox

Many of our patients have heard of Dysport or Botox (abobutulinum toxin A and onobotulinum toxin A, respectively) but are not clear on the difference between the two cosmetic products. Both of these FDA approved products are composed of an isolated protein used to relax the muscles of the forehead, glabella, and crows feet. The difference between these two products chemically is minimal, making their use and the results of their use almost identical. In our practice we say “Comparing these two is like comparing Coke and Pepsi”- ie. two great sodas, each with their own brand recognition but in the same category of soft drinks.

The duration of treatment when using botulinum proteins are very similar as well. Typically, Botox and Dysport last approximately 3 months. In some patients we see the product may last slightly longer or slightly shorter, due to our body’s metabolism of the product. Just as one may prefer Coke over Pepsi, many of our patients who have tried both products feel that they like the results of one product over the other. Continue reading “Dysport or Botox: What’s the Difference and Which Lasts Longer?”

Melanoma Of The Nail Bed – What’s Hiding Under Your Nails?

melanoma-nail

Melanoma nail beds are a rare type of skin cancer that can often go misdiagnosed in those who keep nails covered in polish. As our practice takes a hair to toe approach, we recommend removing polish prior to your annual skin check for the best evaluation and prevention of skin cancer.

They are typically diagnosed later in life (ages 40-70) and can be easily mistaken for nail bed trauma, bruising under the nail, or nail fungus. Such nail abnormalities should be watched closely to ensure a melanoma does not get missed.

Melanoma nail beds tend to be thicker when diagnosed when compared with other melanomas, making treatment more in depth. The Skin Cancer Foundation has developed the CUBE acronym to help know what to look for and when to go see a specialist:

C-Colored lesions
U-Uncertain Diagnosis
B-Bleeding under the nail/ Beefy red tissue
E-Enlargement
D-Delay in healing beyond 2 months

Let us know if you have any questions about the health of your nails.

Psoriasis Treatment and Alternatives to Use

scalp psoriasis

Psoriasis is a disorder of the immune system which causes the skin to have red raised scaling patches and plaques. It most commonly occurs on the elbows, knees, trunk and scalp, although it may occur anywhere on the body. We may diagnose psoriasis by its clinical appearance or by performing a biopsy.

Many of our patients are very self-conscious of the appearance of it and seek psoriasis treatment that will reduce the appearance of it.  Some treatments are available for treating this condition, ranging from topical creams, shampoos, to oral or injectable medications. We have highlighted some alternative therapies below due to increased inquiry on these remedies.

psoriasis trunk

Typically we choose topical therapy with steroids and medications called keratolytics, which help to reduce inflammation and the thickness of psoriasis plaques, respectively.

Psoriasis Treatment:

  • Over the counter shampoos.
  • Topical medications that can be used including Salicylic acid (a keratolytic).
  • Coal tar (used to slow down the rapid growth of skin cells in psoriasis).

We recommend that patients perform test spots with any new topical medications as some may be irritating to the skin.

Many patients today with chronic conditions, including psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, have an interest in complementary and alternative therapies—these focus more on preventative care and pain management.

Surveys for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and National Center for Health Statistics (part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention) show more than a third of Americans (36 percent) use complementary and alternative therapies. These therapies include diet, herbs and supplements, mind/body therapies such as aromatherapy, yoga and meditation, physical therapies, exercise and the ancient arts of acupuncture and tai chi.

psoriasis knees

Much of the evidence supporting complementary and alternative therapies for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is anecdotal. Increasingly, researchers have studied complementary and alternative therapies particularly in looking at drug interactions, dietary outcomes and safety. Most complementary and alternative therapies are safe. However, some can interfere with your treatments prescribed by your doctor.

psoriasis-locations-scalp

Always talk to your doctor or consult with a licensed health care professional before adding any complementary and alternative treatments to your treatment plan for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Clarisonic Cleanser For Anti Aging

clarisonic-Cleanser

 

Clarisonic Cleanser not only helps to give you softer and more radiant skin, but has also been shown to remove complex particles of pollution that can prematurely age your skin. In a study presented at the American Academy of Dermatology Conference in Denver this year.

Researchers showed that the Clarisonic Brush has the ability to remove up to 30X the amount of fine particles of pollution (termed Particulate Matter) when compared to manual cleansing alone. These particles damage the skin and may lead to accelerated aging.

clarisonic-Cleanser-brush

Melanoma Monday

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Every year, May 5th is Melanoma Monday. In an effort to educate the public on this deadly disease, The American Academy of Dermatology has created some public service announcements to educate you in early prevention.

Here are Melanoma statistics:

  • On average, one American dies from melanoma every hour. In 2014, it is estimated that 9,710 deaths will be attributed to melanoma.
  • Melanoma is the most common cancer for young adults 25 to 29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old
  • When caught early, skin cancer – including melanoma – is highly treatable. The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent.

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Melanoma-Monday-Infographic

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Download the Mole Map: Mole Map from AAD

Download Dr. Mejia’s ABCDE’s of Melanoma 

spot-skin-cancer

The American Academy of Dermatology also has created an online quiz to Spot Skin Cancer to test your knowledge.  Prevention is key. If you see any signs,  please get checked right away. Dr. Mejia is a Mohs skin cancer surgeon and one of the only MD’s in the nation that is Board Certified in dermatology and dermatologic surgery. Be safe and stay covered.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Vitamin A Supplements May Be Linked To Reduced Melanoma Risk.

WebMD (3/2, Mann) reports that, according to research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vitamin A supplements may be linked to a reduced risk of melanoma. Investigators “analyzed melanoma risk among 69,635 people.” The investigators “found that those participants who took vitamin A via supplements were about 40% less likely to develop melanoma than those who did not.”

        HealthDay (3/2, Reinberg) reports, however, that “no relationship was seen between melanoma risk and vitamin A in the diet.”

Maternal Third-Trimester Smoke Exposure May Raise Baby’s Eczema Risk.

HealthDay (3/4, Mozes) reported, “A mother’s exposure to tobacco smoke during the last three months of pregnancy may increase the risk that her child will develop the allergic skin condition eczema during infancy,” according to a study presented Saturday at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s annual meeting. After examining data on “1,400 infants between the ages of two…and 18 months,” researchers “found that eczema rates were significantly higher among children who had been exposed to smoke during their mother’s third trimester than among children who had no smoke exposure.”