Discover more about this common skin condition, and what you can do to treat your itchy symptoms.
What are hives? What are the symptoms of hives?
Also referred to as urticaria, hives are characterized by an outbreak of red bumps that suddenly show up on skin. Hives can appear anywhere on the body and often cause itching, burning and stinging. Some hives may be small, while others might form alongside other bumps to create larger swellings.
What causes hives?
The most common causes of hives are foods, medications, and infections. Hives can also be triggered by insect bites. Foods that often bring about hives include dairy, fish, nuts and eggs. Medications such as aspirin and other overthecounter antiinflammatories like ibuprofen have also been known to cause hives.
There is another form of hives known as physical urticaria, which is triggered by and external physical factor such as cold, pressure, heat, exercise or sweating. This variety of hives usually appears within an hour after contact with one of these elements.
Are hives dangerous?
The majority of hives outbreaks are not dangerous however, if you also experience dizziness, problems breathing, swelling of the face or tightness in your chest, then you should call for emergency assistance immediately! These can be signs of a lifethreatening allergic reaction.
How are hives treated?
If you know what might be triggering your outbreaks, the best thing you can do is remove the trigger right away and avoid it as much as possible. Some people are able to take overthe-counter antihistamines like Benadryl to help relieve the itching. However, those with chronic hives may need to take a stronger antihistamine in combination with corticosteroids.
If you experience a severe outbreak, an epinephrine injection will need to be administered right away. Again, seek medical attention immediately!
To help relieve symptoms until the hives go away, you can also apply cold compresses to the areas to help ease any burning or itching. Also keep your bedroom and living space cool and opt for roomier clothing that won’t rub against the infected areas and exacerbate itching.
How long do hives last?
Some cases of hives clear up in only a few hours, while some can last for a full day before starting to fade.
If you are dealing with a nasty bout of hives that overthecounter remedies don’t seem to fix, then it might be time to talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options. Call our office to schedule an appointment right away!
Find 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?
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.
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
- 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.
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.
Find out the most effective ways to remove a wart.
The common wart is a small tumor caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can occur anywhere on the body. They may come and go over the years. The HPV infection can produce everything from the common, noncancerous wart, to cancerous warts of the mouth or genitals.
Since a virus causes warts, these benign growths are also contagious. Sharing towels and clothing, or even just coming in contact with their wart can cause the virus to spread. The good news is that most warts often go away on their own without treatment; however, it can often take months or even years for them to go away. If the wart is unsightly or in an uncomfortable spot then you may want to have it removed. Here are some of the top ways to effectively remove a wart yourself.
Salicylic Acid Treatment
Salicylic acid treatment can come in several forms including pads or gels. They can be used to get rid of a variety of different kinds of warts from the small ones to the large, lumpier ones. Salicylic acid works by breaking down the protein that makes up the layers of the wart.
At Home Freezing
While your dermatologist is able to remove warts with liquid nitrogen, if you’re looking to remove the wart yourself, then you can also opt for aerosol wart removals that can be sprayed on the wart to freeze it. While the overthecounter products are nearly as effective as the freezing methods your dermatologist can use, many patients still find athome freezing to be just as effective.
If none of these athome treatments remove your wart, then it’s time to talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options. Keep in mind that even the most effective wart treatment can’t guarantee that the wart won’t grow back. This is because most of the treatments available only get rid of the wart but not the actual virus.
If you’re dealing with a painful or unsightly wart but overthecounter treatments aren’t working, then it’s time to call our dermatology office today.
Find out how your dermatologist can improve the appearance of your facial scars.
From traumatic injuries to acne, there are a variety of reasons why you may be dealing with facial scars; however, it doesn’t mean you have to live with them for the rest of your life. Your dermatologist offers up a range of cosmetic treatment options that can improve the appearance of your skin and reduce the look of your scars. If you’re ready to get newer, healthierlooking skin, find out more about what treatments could help you.
Dermabrasion: This cosmetic procedure uses a handheld device to remove the outermost layer of the skin. By abrading this top layer, we are able to remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of healthy new skin. Dermabrasion is used to effectively reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, enlarged pores and acne scars. However, this treatment is not effective against deepset scars.
Laser Resurfacing: By using a highpowered laser, we can remove damaged skin and surface scars, helping to minimize the appearance of unsightly dermatological problems like lines, wrinkles, age spots, pigmented areas and scars caused by acne, injury or surgery.
Chemical peels: This treatment requires your dermatologist to apply a strong chemical solution over your skin to remove the top, damaged layer of skin and exfoliate the healthier, smoother-looking layer of new skin that is revealed. Chemical peels are another great way to dramatically reduce wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and acne scars.
If you are dealing with superficial scars that are close to the surface of the skin, you will benefit greatly from this cosmetic procedure; however, those with deeper scars will not experience a significant improvement.
Injections: Your dermatologist is happy to offer both collagen and cortisone injections to help shrink and reduce the appearance of scars. By increasing the collagen in your face, we can give your skin more fullness to smooth out visible scars.
If you are interested in any of these dermatological treatments talk to your dermatologist today. Don’t let facial scarring affect your selfesteem. Make the choice to improve your skin and your confidence!
Find out how to care for your dry skin effectively.
Despite the fact that spring isn’t too far behind, we still have to put up with snow, cold temperatures and freezing winds. These winter elements can wreak havoc on our skin, causing it to become dry, chapped and red. If you are one of those people who are currently trying to find some way to alleviate their dry skin, then you’ve come to the right place. Find out the best moisturizer to help your chapped, cracked skin, and how to prevent this problem from happening to you next winter.
The Right Moisturizer for You
It can be difficult to choose the right product for your skin. After all, not all skin was created equally and there is often some trial and error when it comes to choosing the most effective moisturizer. So what kind of lotion should you look for? If you have sensitive skin, seek out a soothing, creamy moisturizer containing ceramide, which is gentle enough for delicate skin.
If you don’t have sensitive skin but you are suffering from severe dryness, then you’ll want to look for a richer moisturizer that contains urea, beeswax, or petroleum jelly, which help to lock in moisture and offer the skin a protective barrier against the drying elements.
Also, keep in mind that the skin on your face is different than the skin on your body so you’ll want to choose a different moisturizer for both. When it comes to choosing a moisturizer for your face look for a bottle that says that it’s noncomedogenic, which means that it won’t clog your pores and leave you prone to breakouts. Also opt for a moisturizer that acts as a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. This will also act as a protective shield against sun, wind, and cold.
Apply Your Moisturizer
How you apply your moisturizer is often just as important to choosing the proper moisturizer. We recommend applying a generous amount of moisturizer right after you step out of the shower and pat yourself partially dry. You want to apply your moisturizing cream to your skin while it’s still a bit moist to help your skin absorb more water.
If your skin needs some serious moisturizing then you may want to consider applying the cream before bedtime and then wearing breathable gloves or socks over the hands and feet overnight to offer a deeper moisturizing experience.
Don’t let dry skin drive you crazy. If you haven’t found a lotion that helps combat your dry skin, then it’s time to talk to your dermatologist today to find out what products are right for you. Call us to schedule an appointment and lets nip your dry skin in the bud.
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