Posts for: July, 2018
Arm yourself with the best habits for healthy, cancer-free skin.
With the warm summer months fast approaching, some people’s minds turn to the beach while others consider ways to protect their skin from the effects of the sun. Anyone can develop skin cancer, and the sooner you create a skin cancer prevention regimen the better. Our East Greenwich, Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington, RI, dermatologists, Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione, are here to provide tips for preventing skin cancer, as well as warning signs to look out for.
How to Prevent Skin Cancer
There are a myriad of things you can do to prevent skin cancer. The number one rule is to always wear sunscreen before going outside. Make sure to lather on a generous amount of sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays while also offering an SPF of 15 or higher.
Here are some other tips to follow to keep skin healthy and cancer-free:
- Apply sunscreen all over your body and face about 30 minutes before going outside
- Make sure to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours (or immediately after getting out of the water or sweating)
- Avoid being in the sun (stay in the shade) between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM
- Visit your dermatologist once a year for a thorough physical exam
- Make sure to perform monthly skin exams
- Stay away from the tanning bed
- Wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat
Early Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
Not sure what you’re supposed to be looking for when it comes to performing a skin exam? Check all moles, growths, and markings on your body and follow your ABCDEs to figure out whether the growth might require further evaluation from our East Greenwich, Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington skin doctors. Here are some things to look for:
- Asymmetry: If you were to draw an invisible line down a healthy mole both sides should look identical. An abnormal growth or mole will not look the same on both sides.
- Border: Suspicious growths will have uneven or poorly defined borders.
- Color: Healthy moles should only be one color, while cancerous growths may contain multiple colors of brown, black, blue, white, or pink.
- Diameter: While melanoma can be small, most often than not, they appear larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
- Evolving: A healthy mole will look the same over the years, but melanoma will often change in shape, size, or color
It’s a good idea to come in once a year to visit our skin specialists in East Greenwich, Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington, RI, for a skin cancer evaluation. No matter if you have risk factors or not, these checkups could just end up saving your life. Schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists at South County Dermatology today.
Acne is one of the most common and yet one of the most challenging skin problems people face. We know how frustrating it can be to try one over-the-counter acne product after another, thinking you are giving your skin everything it needs to combat acne and then suddenly the acne returns. What’s going on? If you find yourself struggling to find the perfect formula and treatment options for getting clearer skin a dermatologist will be able to help.
From children to teens to adults, anyone can develop acne. Of course, when we think about acne we do often think about those adolescent years; however, dermatologists also see a lot of adults that are still dealing with different forms of acne. When you come in for a skincare consultation a skin doctor will perform a thorough physical exam. From there we may ask you a series of questions regarding your skin care regime, lifestyle and habits, as this will provide some insight into what could be triggering your acne symptoms.
After your consultation is complete we will create a customized treatment plan that will cater to addressing the source of your acne symptoms; fortunately, today there are so many different treatment options out there. A dermatologist will most often recommend different strategies for handling your acne. These options may include,
Treatments that you place directly on your skin
Many of your acne treatments can be applied right on your skin to reduce both acne-causing bacteria and oil. Popular topical acne medications often contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or retinoids. Your dermatologist will determine the topical treatment that will work best for your skin.
Treatment that is systemic and works throughout the body
Sometimes it’s necessary to systemically treat acne, particularly if it’s causing serious redness or swelling. By taking pills such as antibiotics, birth control pills or isotretinoin (the best course of action for severe acne), we can reduce both of these symptoms while also preventing acne breakouts.
Different dermatological treatments that can reduce or even get rid of acne
There are also some in-office treatment options available from your skin doctor that can help eliminate acne-causing bacteria and even get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. These common procedures include:
Laser or light therapy
Dermabrasion (to reduce the appearance of superficial acne scars)
Know that you aren’t alone when it comes to treating acne and a dermatologist can help you get your skin clearer. It’s important to be patient when it comes to acne treatment, as it can take several weeks to see results. Talk to a dermatologist today about how they can help you.
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!