Posts for category: Dermatology
Find out everything you need to know about canker sore causes and treatments.
Canker sores are small painful ulcers that appear in the mouth. You may find that your canker sore makes it difficult to eat or talk without experiencing pain. If you are experiencing sores in the mouth that you think could be canker sores, find out what might be causing this pesky little problem and what you can do to reduce your symptoms and eliminate this mouth ulcer.
Canker Sore Causes
Unfortunately experts are unsure about what causes canker sores; however, it’s been speculated that either stress or injury to the oral tissues can bring about canker sores. Some canker sores may be brought about by other health disorders that weaken the immune system.
It’s important to note that canker sores and cold sores are not the same thing. A virus known as herpes simplex type 1 causes cold sores, and these sores occur outside the mouth. Canker sores, on the other hand, can be brought on by multiple factors, and appear only inside the mouth.
Canker Sore Symptoms
The most obvious symptom is a painful sore or ulcer that appears in the mouth, whether on the tongue, the roof of the mouth or inside of the cheeks. You may also notice a burning or tingling sensation a couple days before the sore manifests. The sore is usually round or oval in nature, with a red border and a white, grey or yellow center.
Canker Sore Treatments
The majority of canker sores will go away on their own without any kind of treatment; however, if you experience pain for more than a few days you may want to talk to your dermatologist about a corticosteroid cream or prescription medication that could help alleviate your symptoms.
If you suspect that you have a canker sore talk to your dermatologist about the most effective defense against canker sores and whether there are certain things you can do to prevent this condition from recurring. Call us today!
What are cold sores and what can you do to relieve your symptoms?
Most people who have had cold sores often know when they are about to appear. The tingling and burning sensation around the mouth is often the first indicator that a cold sore is imminent. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of Americans have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), which causes cold sores. If you have cold sores then you are probably wondering more about this condition, how to treat it and what it means for your health.
What are the symptoms of cold sores?
Symptoms often stick around for about two to three weeks. Besides experiencing oral sores around the mouth, people may also experience flulike symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and fatigue. These oral sores will often appear as tiny blisters that break open and scab over.
When should I see a doctor about cold sores?
While cold sores often don’t warrant a trip to the dermatologist, there are certain times when it might be advisable. These sores can be painful, so if you find it difficult to eat or talk then you will want to talk to your doctor about the best ways to alleviate the pain to make eating easier. The last thing you want to deal with is dehydration on top of an outbreak.
If these oral sores look different from other cold sore outbreaks, then it’s also worth seeing your dermatologist to receive a proper diagnosis. Those with weakened immune systems due to chronic illness or chemotherapy should also see their dermatologist to prevent further complications.
What treatments are available for cold sores?
While many cold sores will go away without the need for treatment, if you are experiencing pain we may prescribe a topical anesthetic to reduce your discomfort. There are also overthe-counter treatments that speed up healing and reduce pain. However, for those with severe infections your dermatologist may also prescribe an oral antiviral medication.
Those with weak immune systems and those who become dehydrated as a result of cold sores may need to go to the hospital to prevent further problems and to receive oral antivirals.
While you cannot cure the virus that causes cold sores, there are certainly ways to reduce your symptoms. Talk to your dermatologist to find out more!
Treating Your Chronic Acne: How your dermatologists in RI, can help
Acne is one of the most annoying, troublesome skin conditions you can have. It affects both teenagers and adults and is the most common skin condition in this country, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione at South County Dermatology want to share their knowledge about acne and acne treatment. They have several convenient office locations in East Greenwich, Narragansett, Barrington, and Westerly, RI, to serve your skin care needs.
Acne can cause several different skin formations including:
- Blackheads or whiteheads
- Papules or pustules
- Cysts or nodules
Many people have acne and don’t treat it. This may be a bad idea because acne can cause dark spots or permanent scarring. Acne also can make you lose your self-confidence and self-esteem.
Dermatologists begin by grading your acne. Grade 1 is mild acne, going up to grade 4, which is severe acne. If you have mild, grade 1 acne, with just a few blemishes, many over-the-counter products may work well for you. Make sure the products contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which can help to unblock pores and clear up small blemishes.
For moderate to severe acne, grades 2 through 4, you need to visit your dermatologists at South County Dermatology. They offer several effective treatments to reduce or eliminate acne blemishes. They may recommend:
- Topical and oral antibiotic medications to treat the underlying infection in your pores
- Professional strength benzoyl peroxide products to reduce or eliminate blockage in your pores
- Tretinoin to unplug your pores and eliminate whiteheads and blackheads
- Extraction using a small instrument to completely remove whiteheads and blackheads
- Acne treatments for women with hormone-related acne
You don’t have to hide your face because of unsightly acne. There is help to clear your face, so pick up the phone and call Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione at South County Dermatology, with offices in East Greenwich, Narragansett, Barrington, and Westerly, RI. Get rid of acne for good by calling today!
Find out whether your moles are healthy or may need to be removed.
Moles are common skin growths that most people have at least one of, if not a few. While those with fairer skin may sport more moles than someone with darker skin, it’s important that if you do have moles that you can continue to monitor them regularly for any changes. Our East Greenwich, RI, dermatologists, Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione, are here to tell you the telltale warning signs that may mean it’s time to have that mole removed.
Most of the moles that we have on our bodies appeared during childhood or our teen years. Moles come in a variety of different sizes and colors. Of course, if you are starting to notice any changes to a mole this could be an early warning sign of melanoma, a very serious type of skin cancer that can be life-threatening if left untreated.
You should schedule a consultation with our East Greenwich skin doctor if you have:
- An asymmetrical mole (if you were to draw a line down the middle of mole, both sides would be symmetrical in size and shape, if they aren’t this could be an early warning sign)
- A mole that contains several different colors
- A mole that itches, bleeds or scabs over or becomes raised
- A mole that has a fuzzy, poorly defined border
- A mole that is larger than the eraser end of a pencil
Everyone from children to adults should come in once a year to get a full skin cancer screening. While you should certainly be examining your skin on your own and checking moles once a month this thorough professional evaluation will ensure that if there is melanoma present that it’s detected and treated right away.
Of course, not all moles are cancerous but patients just find them unsightly or a nuisance. If you have a mole that makes you feel uncomfortable to bear your arms in the summer or you have a mole on your face, then you may just want to have it removed to improve your appearance. Luckily, a mole can easily be removed right here in our office. While you should never try and remove a mole at home, our dermatologists can easily perform a simple surgical procedure to remove the mole and stitch up the area. A mole can often be removed in just one visit.
If in doubt, call South County Dermatology in East Greenwich, RI, to find out if you need to have a mole removed. No matter whether you are noticing any changes to the mole or it’s in a less-than-ideal spot, we can help.
The Skin Cancer Foundation says that one in five people in the US will develop skin cancer. That's a whopping 20 percent, a statistic well-worth our attention. At South County Dermatology in East Greenwich, RI, your board-certified dermatologists, Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione, want you aware of the kinds of skin cancers, how they are treated in East Greenwich and ways to prevent them.
Kinds of skin cancer
There are three types: basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma. All three affect the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis, with basal cell located most deeply around sweat glands and hair follicles. Melanoma is best known for its virulence and high morbidity and mortality rates. All kinds are linked to sun exposure.
What skin cancer looks like
Basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma look different. Common to all, however, is location: they can appear virtually anywhere on the body. Of course, those areas most exposed to the sun grow cancer more easily.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends patients look at their skin frequently, using a mirror to visualize the back and other hidden areas or have your spouse help you examine your skin. Know your skin well, and if it changes, the difference will be obvious. Use the following ABCDEs of skin examination:
Asymmetry A mole or other blemish should stay the same top to bottom and side to side. Growth in a new direction may indicate malignancy.
Borders should be smooth--not scalloped or rough.
Color Most benign moles are one color--brown typically, although others may be OK. Watch for color variations throughout the mole as changes may indicate cancer.
Diameter Anything larger than a pencil eraser should be examined by your dermatologist.
Evolution Change is dangerous. If color, texture, shape or anything about your mole looks different, call South County Dermatology for an appointment.
Treatment of skin cancer in East Greenwich
Many skin cancers can be biopsied and treated in-office. If Dr. Dyer or Dr. Criscione suspects a cancerous lesion, he will formulate a treatment plan right for you.
Treatments vary and may be used in combination. They include:
- Surgical excision
- Topical creams
- Cryosurgery (freezing)
- Curettage and desiccation (scraping and use of heat)
Preventing skin cancer
The Skin Cancer Foundation says that the incidence of malignant melanoma in young women has skyrocketed because of tanning and excessive sun exposure during the summer months. So, again, watch how much sun (UV rays) you get, and follow these guidelines:
- Apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), and reapply after swimming or sweating excessively.
- Stay in the shade between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
- Wear broad-brimmed hats, long sleeves, and sunglasses.
- See your skin doctor yearly for a skin exam or anytime you are concerned about your skin.
Find out more
The staff at South County Dermatology in East Greenwich, RI loves to teach patients about keeping skin healthy. Call today for your routine appointment: (401) 471-3376.