South County Dermatology

Posts for: December, 2018

By SOUTH COUNTY DERMATOLOGY
December 14, 2018
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Hives  

Hive outbreaks can be very itchyDiscover 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!


By SOUTH COUNTY DERMATOLOGY
December 11, 2018
Category: Skin Health
Tags: moles  

Mole ExamIt is normal for people to have a few moles present somewhere on their body. In most cases, moles are harmless. However, some moles do present a risk for developing skin cancer. Any moles that are a concern can be removed by a dermatologist. A dermatologist can examine any moles you have to assess whether or not removal is necessary. At South County Dermatology, Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione are your dermatologists for mole removal in East Greenwich, RI.

When Mole Removal is Necessary

Mole removal could be necessary when there are signs of possible cancer growth. Changes in the appearance of moles can be an indication of cancer development. The change can be in the color, size, shape, or texture of the mole. The bottom line is that any change is suspicious and should be examined by a dermatologist. American Academy of Dermatology has identified the following characteristics as being possible indicators of cancerous growth that could necessitate removal of a mole:

  • The mole is asymmetrical
  • The mole has a poorly defined or an irregular border
  • The mole is not a consistent color throughout
  • The mole is 6mm or greater in size
  • The appearance of the mole has changed

It is important that you schedule a skin-cancer screening with a dermatologist if you observe any of the above characteristics in any of the moles on your body. A dermatologist can perform a biopsy of any suspicious moles to determine if cancer cells are present. Even if there is no sign of cancer, the dermatologist could still recommend removal of suspicious moles as a preventive measure.

The Mole Removal Process

The mole removal process is fairly straightforward out-patient procedure so you can return home the same day. To remove a mole, the doctor can either shave the mole off with a scalpel or remove it through excision. The doctor will first numb the area around the mole before removing it. If the mole is removed by excision, stitches will be required to close the area following removal of the mole. If the mole is shaved off, no stitches are typically necessary as the mole is generally removed flush with the skin level.

A dermatologist can determine if removal of any moles is necessary. For mole removal in East Greenwich, RI schedule an appointment with Dr. Dyer or Dr. Criscione by calling South County Dermatology at (401) 471-3376. Other office locations include Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington, RI.


By SOUTH COUNTY DERMATOLOGY
December 03, 2018
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Lupus   Sun Sensitivity  

Lupus can affect the skinFind 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?

About Lupus

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.

Lupus Symptoms

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
  • Fever
  • 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.

Lupus Treatments

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.