South County Dermatology

Posts for category: Dermatology

By Robert K Dyer, MD
June 14, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Vitiligo  

Find out how this pigmented skin condition is treated.

Are you or someone you love dealing with vitiligo? The Mayo Clinic reports that there are more than 200,000 new cases of vitiligo each year in the US alone. Vitiligo is a chronic disease where the melanin, which gives your skin its pigment, either dies or the body stops producing it. As a result, there are white patches of skin all over the body. So, you may be wondering how this condition occurs or how you can treat it. This is when it’s important to turn to your dermatologist.

What causes vitiligo?

Unfortunately, researchers still do not know why some people develop vitiligo. It may be the result of an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks the melanocytes in the skin. Some researchers also believe that something as simple as a sunburn or even emotional stress could cause vitiligo; however, the cause is still unknown.

Who is at risk for developing vitiligo?

Even though this condition can appear at any time in a person’s life it more commonly occurs in your 20's. It affects both men and women of all races; however, vitiligo is more noticeable in those with darker skin. Those with autoimmune disorders are often more likely to develop vitiligo than those who do not have an autoimmune disorder. Genetics may also play a role; however, parents with vitiligo won’t necessarily pass this condition onto their child.

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

Vitiligo is characterized by large white patches of skin, which may appear anywhere on the body. These patches most commonly appear on the face, hands, feet, arms, and other sun-exposed areas. Sometimes the white patches will spread over time. How quickly the patches spread will vary from person to person; however, sometimes the patches won’t spread at all.

How is vitiligo treated?

It’s important to turn to a dermatologist that you trust if you think you or a family member is dealing with vitiligo. During your consultation, your doctor will examine your skin to determine how widespread and numerous the patches are so that we have a better idea what type of treatment will be the most effective.

We will also go through your medical history and ask you questions about your condition. Treatment for vitiligo, like most skin disorders, will not work overnight. In fact, there is often a trial-and-error period to try and find the best treatment option.

The most common types of vitiligo treatment include medication, light therapies, and surgery, all of which are designed to restore pigmentation back into the skin.

Prescribed medications may be applied topically or taken orally. Certain UVA/UVB light therapy treatments may also improve your condition. Skin grafting surgery may be recommended, in which your dermatologist will remove skin from another area of the body and apply it over the patches to hide them and even out skin tone.

Your dermatologist can also recommend a full-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin when going outside, as well as any counseling and support you may need. If you or someone you love is looking for vitiligo treatment, contact your dermatologist today.

By SOUTH COUNTY DERMATOLOGY
April 16, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Hyperhidrosis  

Why Do I Have Excessive Sweating? 

Do you commonly find that your armpits or feet are drenched with sweat, despite being in mild weather and not being active? If so, you may be one of the 1-3%  of the population that has hyperhidrosis, a disorder that entails having hyperactive sweat glands. Read on to learn the signs of this condition and to find out how your local dermatologist can help you cope with the often-uncomfortable symptoms that define it!

The Two Types of Hyperhidrosis

Before going further into the discussion of hyperhidrosis symptoms, it is important to establish that there are two types of the condition:

  1. Primary Hyperhidrosis: People afflicted this disorder type possess a certain type of gland, termed, “eccrine sweat glands.” These sweat glands will cover the entire body, although they will be especially prevalent on the feet, armpits, face, and palms.

  2. Secondary Hyperhidrosis: While also causing excessive perspiration on the body, this kind of hyperhidrosis is in fact a side effect of another medical condition or medication (hence the “secondary” designation). Conditions that generally cause secondary hyperhidrosis include, fever, anxiety disorder, menopause, and obesity among others.

Possible Treatment Options For Hyperhidrosis

We know how uncomfortable excessive sweating can be, and luckily, there are a number of different treatment options available to those who struggle with hyperhidrosis. Of course, given that each case differs largely from the next, you will need to meet with your local dermatologist to find out which treatment course is best for you!

Some possible treatment options include:

  • Aluminum chloride containing prescription antiperspirant
  • Glycopyrrolate containing prescription creams.
  • Nerve-blocking medications
  • Botulinum injections
  • Antidepressants or anxiety relieving medication (in the case of secondary hyperhidrosis)
  • A number of surgical options (reserved for very serious cases)

Need Relief? Give Us a Call!

We know how uncomfortable it can be to live with hyperhidrosis. If you are looking to relieve your symptoms, give contact your local pediatrician today!

By SOUTH COUNTY DERMATOLOGY
August 02, 2018
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Canker Sore  

Canker sores appear within the mouthFind 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!

By SOUTH COUNTY DERMATOLOGY
July 02, 2018
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Cold sores  

Cold Sores can appear on the outside of the lipWhat 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!

By SOUTH COUNTY DERMATOLOGY
April 04, 2018
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Acne  

Treating Your Chronic Acne: How your dermatologists in RI, can helpacne

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!