Also known as spider veins; varicose veins are one of the biggest complaints of my patients.
Spider veins are not attractive and we feel very self conscious when they appear, making us reluctant to wear shorts, bathing suits, or shorter skirts.
What can be done to combat them?
Unfortunately, most over the counter products that are touted to "cure" spider veins, really do very little to change their appearance.
Varicose veins (spider veins) are caused when the valves in our bloodstream weaken and allow blood to flow backward. This leads to pooling of blood, and when enough blood accumulates, it causes bulges and visible veins. They are usually blue in appearance. They twist and stick out from the surface of your skin. Some people even have spider veins appear on their face.
Varicose veins are caused by a number of things: hereditary, hormonal changes, sun damage, and rosacea.
How do you get rid of them?
There are no over the counter remedies that actually work. There is a pulse dye laser treatment that can zap those dilated blood vessels, and help to eradicate or at least minimize the appearance of spider veins.
You'll need to visit your dermatologist for three months in a row to achieve the best results, but once they're gone, you'll be really glad you made that first appointment.
Most people experience a burn when they are exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. There are other people who seem to be even more sensitive to sun as shown by how quickly they burn, or if they develop other reactions when exposed to sunlight. This is called "photosensitivity", which is sometimes called an allergy to the sun.
People who suffer from this seem to have a strong immunological response to UV light and will break out in a rash when exposed to sunlight. The severity of this allergy varies from person to person. Those with the most severe form of this will even react to fluorescent lighting indoors.
You may begin to suspect you have this condition if you develop a rash that has blisters, is blotchy, has scaly areas or even raised spots after you've been out in the sun. These areas my itch and burn and will last for a few days.
There are treatments for this condition that you'll want to discuss with your doctor. These could include taking oral beta-carotene, steroids, or other medications. Some people find that with small doses of sun exposure they are able to build up a tolerance to the sun.
Everyone must practice safe sun exposure methods as sunscreen and protecting your skin with clothing, or seeking shade whenever possible.View Thread
Swimmer's itch is called cercarial dermatitis, caused by an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites in bodies of water like lakes, ponds, and oceans. These parasites are found around the world, and are not located in isolated areas.
The symptoms of swimmer's itch include a prickly stinging feeling on the areas of the skin that were exposed to water; most often the torso is affected. This can into an itchy rash that looks like small red pimples or blisters. The itching will likely last about a week or so and will gradually go away.
Most people do not need medical attention for this condition as it is self-limiting, and usually does not evolve into a bigger problem. If the rash spreads, becomes infected, or lasts longer than about two weeks, it is certainly appropriate to see your medical care provider for an evaluation.
What you can do to help alleviate the itching is to use over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, cool cloths, bathe with baking soda or Aveeno oatmeal baths, or use Calamine lotion.
While it IS difficult, try not to scratch as the rash could become infected. It is important to note that if you have developed swimmer's itch from exposure to water at a specific beach, you will likely have a similar reaction, possibly even stronger, each time you enter that body of water.
Warts can grown on the skin of your hands, face, feet, and in your genital area. They are the result of a virus called HPV (human papillomavirus) which causes sections of your skin to grow more rapidly than the surrounding area. They are not moles. They are not cancerous. Most of the time they are harmless and many disappear on their own.
There are more than 100 types of HPV, most of which are relatively harmless causing conditions like common warts. Only a few are more dangerous causing genital warts and cancer of the cervix.
When warts on your hands are bothersome, you may wish to remove them. Removal can help to prevent them from spreading to other parts of your body or to other people. Some people end up having warts as a persistent problem, and others find that their wart problem simply disappears on its own.
Warts are very infectious and it is relatively easy to pass warts on to another person from skin to skin contact, or even touching an object someone infected with warts has touched. It can take up to six months for warts to develop after exposure. The best way to prevent warts is to bolster your immune system and practice good hygiene.
Warts on your hands can occur as groups or as a single lesion. Most of the time, warts do not require medical treatment, but if they are spreading or present a cosmetic problem, you can look into getting treatment for them. If the warts persist after home treatment, become painful, or begin to spread rapidly you may wish to get a medical opinion.
WARNING: NEVER TREAT GENITAL WARTS AT HOME! SEEK TREATMENT FROM A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.View Thread
Skin cancer continues to be the number one preventable cancer in the entire world. And yet, we're still not paying attention to the dangers! Over 73 million people in the United States alone suffer from a damaging sunburn every year. Just one such sunburn can more than quadruple your chances of developing skin cancer at a later date.
There are three basic types of skin cancer:
Basal Cell Cancer — BCC is the most common form of skin cancer that is detected. It usually presents as a pearly raised bump with a hard edge. It doesn't ever heal or go away. While it is a skin cancer, it is not considered to be metastatic. If you have had a single diagnosis of a BCC, you are at a greater risk of developing more of them in the future.
Squamous Cell Cancer — SCC is less common than basal cell carcinoma, roughly by two-thirds. Men are four times more likely to present with a SCC than women are. This type of cancer is directly related to sun exposure. Most people who experience sun damage develop a precancerous lesion called an actinic keratosis. This is a rough, red, scaly patch that appears on sun-exposed areas of your skin. It may seem to go away, but it will always reappear.. This is your warning sign! Do NOT ignore it! With treatment, SCC is completely curable. Without treatment, it is often fatal.
Melanoma — These are the most dangerous skin cancers of all, occurring only about one tenth as often as BCC. This type of skin cancer is deadly. This erupts from the melanin producing cells of your skin and presents as a dark, uneven colored freckle or mole with ragged edges. Usually this type of cancer is asymmetrical, meaning that one half of the dark spot does not match the other half. There will be some mottling of color, and one side can be larger than the other. Melanoma is deadly, even if it is smaller than an eraser, not raised, not painful. If you suspect that you have a suspicious lesion, get to a dermatologist today! The longer you wait, the more chance this lesion can metastasize, meaning a single cell breaks apart and travels to another area of your body. When this happens, you will die of this disease. Once you have been diagnosed with a melanoma, you are considered a cancer patient.
Treatment for Skin Cancer
BCC and actinic keratoses can often be treated in the office of your dermatologist either by freezing off the precancerous or cancerous lesion. You may be given the choice of cryotherapy (freezing) or a topical chemotherapy with Efudex. Efudex is applied twice a day directly on the lesion until it becomes inflamed and develops a scab. At this point, you stop applying the Efudex and apply a soothing cream prescribed by your dermatologist until the scab falls off and all the redness goes away.
For bigger lesions that will not respond to either cryotherapy or topical chemotherapy, you may undergo in-office simple surgical excision. Melanomas are almost always treated with Mohs surgery. This is a microscopically controlled surgery that is used to ensure that you have completely free margins all around the cancer. Small sections of your skin are taken examined under a microscope. If there are still any cancer cells present, another section will be taken until there are no cancer cells seen. In this way your dermatologist can tell you that all the cancer has been removed.
Any cancers that have progressed will require the attention of an oncologist, or a cancer doctor. Whatever you do, do not delay if you suspect you have a cancerous or precancerous spot on your skin. The sooner it is examined, the better the outcome.View Thread
From a man's perspective, the number one skin care problem would be ingrown hairs as a result of shaving. When guys shave, they scrape their face with a very sharp metal object. This could be an electric or a manual blade razor. The razor cuts each whisker, leaving a sharp, and often angled, end. Facial hair is much coarser than the hair on the rest of your body; as a result it has a tendency to curl just a bit.
When you cut each hair during your daily shave, the razor leaves a very sharp end to each whisker hair. When this hair grows just a little bit, it tends to curl on itself, pierces the skin and embeds itself into your skin. This results in razor bumps, and some of them will end up inflamed and infected. How do you take care of this? Try the following suggestions:
· First, when you shave, I recommend a manual razor with a single blade. The double and triple blades promise to give you a very close shave. This sounds good, but the closer you shave, the more likely you are to have those hairs curling below the surface of your skin resulting in razor bumps and infected hairs.
· Secondly, shave in the shower. By having your face very wet, you minimize the likelihood of developing razor burn from too much friction.
· Use a good lubricating shave cream or gel. Trial and error is my suggestion here. No single product works for every person.
· After shaving, make sure you moisturize your face. No, you don't have to use the perfumed products of your sweetheart. There are very good men's products out there. Find one you like and use it. EVERY DAY!
· Lastly, when you shave, shave in the direction your hair grows. When you shave against the direction of your hair growth, you may get a closer shave, but you will increase the likelihood of developing ingrown hairs.
Almost any product will improve the condition of your skin. With the exception of acne, most bad skin conditions are the result of neglect. Too much sun, wind, water without doing any repair will leave skin rough, dry, dull, red, irritated, and feeling tight. Simply paying attention to what your skin needs will result in a clear improvement.
Rather than paying attention to the ads on television and in magazines, try products for yourself. Not every product works the same way on every person, so take advantage of those free samples. When you find one that feels really good, stick with it and use it as directed.
Some of these product lines suggest that you use a cleanser, toner, eye cream, daytime face cream, and nighttime face cream. If you find a product that works well with your skin, the companion products will likely work well for you too because they are made from similar base products. If you need eye cream, use it. If you're pretty young, you can get away without it.
Remember, anything that you use on a daily basis is going to do more good for you than something that you will resist using.View Thread
Spring is a good time to remind you that taking good care of your skin now helps prevent aging and disease like skin cancer. Tip #1 is to limit your sun exposure.
Sun exposure is responsible for a multitude of skin problems from age spots to skin cancer.
Unprotected skin suffers greatly from the UV rays of the sun, promoting premature aging of the skin and wrinkle production. A single bad sunburn in your youth greatly increases your chances of developing skin cancer decades later.
Wear a hat and sunglasses and be sure to use sunscreen on all your exposed skin, especially your face.
Ladies, that SPF 8 make-up you're wearing is not protecting your face enough from the sun. It helps, but it isn't enough.
Remember to protect your face from the rays of the sun throughout the day. Reapplying sunscreen as needed and wearing a wide-brimmed hat will help keep your skin fresh, young, and disease free.
Feel free to share your ideas on how you protect your skin from the sun. How do you protect your children?