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Skin Allergy Treatment, Causes, and More from Knox Dermatology

What Causes an Allergic Reaction?

An allergic reaction to the skin occurs when your skin comes in contact with substances that your body mistakes as a threat.  The inflammation, bumps, and patches of dry skin that appear and form a rash is your immune system’s response to the supposed “threat.”

Here is Knox Dermatology’s guide on skin allergy treatment, prevention, and causes.

Common Skin Allergy Treatment and Conditions

Skin allergies can affect an individual on both a long-term basis or circumstantially.  Here are some examples of types of skin allergies.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Have you recently switched to a new shampoo, tried a self-tanner over the holidays, or changed your laundry detergent? If you answered yes to any of these questions and have noticed strange bumps and itchiness on your skin, you could have allergic contact dermatitis.

This skin allergy is circumstantial, and the rash it causes is due to an allergen directly touching the skin.  Many other substances could be to blame such as chemicals found in perfumes, deodorant, metal jewelry and make-up.

To ease pain and stop the rash from spreading, at the first sign of the rash forming, rinse off the affected area in case the substance causing the reaction is still present on your skin.  To reduce itching and pain, antihistamines and antibiotic cream can be applied to the skin.

To avoid a future contact dermatitis incident, it’s important to recognize what induced your body’s response.  If you are unsure of the exact cause, a skin patch test can be conducted.  With this test, small doses of substances are placed on the skin to determine which brings about a reaction.

Eczema 

According to the National Eczema Association, “Over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema.”  Eczema has similar symptoms to contact dermatitis, but is a long-term condition that often is due to genetics.  With eczema, skin is extremely itchy and dry.  Cuts and discharge caused by constant scratching is common.  Although eczema can remain a consistent skin condition, it’s possible that it will flare-up and periodically worsen.

Flare-ups can be prevented by consistently using lotions to keep your skin moist.  If over the counter ointments and creams don’t relieve symptoms, contact your dermatologist to explore other treatment options.

Hives and Angioedema

Hives, or raised patches on the outermost layer of the skin, are formed when histamines are released from the blood vessels.  This occurs when the body is exposed to specific foods or other allergens.  Angioedema, on the other hand, is when the deeper layers of the skin are affected and induce swelling. Figuring out the cause of the reaction and using antihistamines can be used as a treatment method.

This information does not substitute for professional care or recommendations from your physician. If you have any skin allergy concerns or would like to have your skin looked at by a professional to determine the severity of a reaction, skin allergy treatment options, and more contact Knox Dermatology today to schedule an appointment.

Common Skin Conditions Treated by Your Dallas Medical Dermatologist

Dermatology isn’t always cosmetic; there are many medical skin conditions and diseases that might require care from a medical dermatologist. George Wooming, M.D. provides Dallas medical dermatology services including treatment for common skin conditions like acne, eczema, hair loss, psoriasis, skin cancer, and more.

Acne

The most common skin condition in the United States, acne often causes physical and psychological problems such as permanent scarring, poor self-image, depression and anxiety. Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and cysts or nodules occurring on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. There are many effective acne treatments available – cleansers, creams and lotions, and prescription medications.

Eczema

Rashes characterized as eczema have many different causes, including allergic reactions, friction, prolonged exposure to heat and moisture and contact with irritants such as harsh chemicals. Eczema treatment depends on the cause, but often includes medication, proper skin care, trigger avoidance, and treatment for symptoms, such as: moisturizers, cold compresses, corticosteroids, antihistamines, and phototherapy or immune-suppressing oral medications.

Hair Loss

There are many conditions and diseases that can result in hair loss, but hair thinning or balding is most commonly hereditary. Other causes of hair loss, some of which are temporary, include improper use of styling products and improper hair care; a variety of diseases, including thyroid disease; childbirth, major surgery, high fever or infection, stress, flu, inadequate protein or iron, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, certain prescription drugs, hormonal imbalances, fungal infections such as ringworm, and alopecia. Treatment for hair loss may include topical treatments, injectable medications, oral medications, and hair transplantation and restoration surgery.

Psoriasis

A chronic inflammatory disease of the immune system mostly affecting the skin and joints, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can be associated with other diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Psoriasis is a serious medical condition that may be treated with any number of therapies, including topical treatments, phototherapy, or traditional systemic or biologic agents.

Skin Cancer

One in five Americans will develop some sort of skin cancer in their lifetime. Types of skin cancer include non-melanoma skin cancers called basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It can develop quickly and frequently spreads to the lymph nodes and internal organs, making early detection and treatment essential. Skin cancer can be prevented with proper skin care and protection from ultraviolet exposure.

Other medical dermatology issues commonly treated include diabetic ulcers, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), pre-skin cancers, moles, rashes such as poison ivy, rosacea, scars, skin allergies, skin tag removal, and warts. If you suffer from any of the skin conditions mentioned above, contact the Dallas medical dermatology experts at Knox Dermatology today.

5 Tips to Fight Hyperhidrosis From Dallas, Tx Dermatologist George Wooming

What is hyperhidrosis?

There are certain times when sweating can feel great: after leaving the gym, while going on a jog, or playing a quick game of pick-up basketball with your friends. Other times, sweating can be a huge inconvenience: during a first date, shaking hands at an important job interview, or before a big presentation.

For most people, sweating due to nerves or exercise is just a sign that your body is operating according to procedure; sweat keeps your body from overheating and is often an unconscious, automatic response to situations that make you feel angry, afraid, or embarrassed. If you experience excessive sweating while the temperature is cool or you are at rest, there is a good chance you are one of the estimated 8 million Americans who struggle with hyperhidrosis. The medical condition can affect anyone regardless of race, age, or gender.

Hyperhidrosis can affect just about any part of the human body, but is commonly seen in the hands, feet, and armpits. All this extra sweating can make using a computer or opening a door more difficult, the stains in clothing can be embarrassing, and the extra moisture can create the perfect conditions for the development of an infection. The emotional and physical discomfort exacerbates the problem, and soon you are stuck in a vicious cycle of sweat.

How to Fight Excessive Sweating

Here are some helpful tips to combat excessive sweating from your Dallas, Tx Dermatologist, George Wooming.

Avoid spicy food and caffeine.

While those jalapeño peppers on your nachos or that first morning cup of coffee may taste great, that extra heat can activate neurotransmitters in our brain that can lead to extra sweat. Try cutting back on the heat.

Choose the right clothing.

Ditch your heavier clothing for lighter, more breathable fabrics, make sure to wash clothes before re-wearing, and change your shoes and socks often; your skin will thank you.

Amp up the antiperspirants.

Speak with a dermatologist about upgrading to a clinical strength antiperspirant; sometimes all your sweat glands need is that extra kick to stop overproducing. Also, try applying before you go to sleep. Overnight, the antiperspirant will have the opportunity to soak into your skin, so it will be even more effective when you wake up.

See a dermatologist.

If these at-home methods prove to be fruitless, make an appointment with your Dallas, Tx dermatologist to learn more about treatment for hyperhidrosis. We will find the right treatment to counteract the neurotransmitters in your brain that lead to extra sweating.

Consider your options.

If you want to stop the extra sweating for good, and you have exhausted all the other options, a surgical treatment may be right for you. Botox injections to the armpits can be an effective way to halt sweating forever, as sweat glands do not regenerate. Contact Knox Dermatology to learn more about Botox and the many other procedures we offer.

If you would like to speak to a doctor about your excessive sweating, don’t hesitate to contact your Dallas, Tx Dermatologist, George Wooming, MD.

Taking Action Against Aging Skin: Advice from Your Dallas Skin Specialist

Sweet summertime has arrived. For your Dallas skin specialist and many others, this means spending time outside on the patio presiding over our grills, playing at the pool or participating in virtually any other outdoor activity that the weather will allow us. In short, this is the time of the year when we are exposed to the sun the most. UV radiation is emitted from the sun as well as indoor tanning beds.

Overexposure to this type of radiation is the leading cause of aging skin, aging itself being the only other cause to compete. Most of us are seeking ways to look more youthful and vibrant, not older. Thankfully, there are preventative measures that you can employ to evade overexposure, such as seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and most importantly, applying broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more. Now that we’ve equipped you with essentials in skin protection, lets cover signs of skin aging.

AGENTS OF AGING

One of the most obvious skin aging signs are wrinkles. What’s not so obvious is the fact that wrinkles can appear on any person of any age and can manifest anywhere on the body, although, they are most commonly found on the face and neck. One of the tricky things about wrinkles is that they aren’t always the result of aging skin. Wrinkle development can derive from further factors such as genetics or frequent indoor tanning use.

Another sign is age spots, which are typically brown in color and flat in shape. They can surface on the face, back, chest, backs of the hands and tops of the feet. Medical research has determined that these solar markings are cause by; you guessed it, UV radiation from the sun. If sunscreen and shade aren’t shielding you from skin aging symptoms, then it’s time to defer to your Dallas skin specialist.

SKIN CARE FOR SUN WEAR AND TEAR

Confer with your dermatologist about over-the-counter products and cosmetic procedures available to treat the skin for aging. Tretinoin is a vitamin A based topical cream that can treat fine facial wrinkles and is FDA approved. Another vitamin A based ingredient is retinol, which is found in many anti-aging products. No matter the product, your Dallas skin specialist recommends you do the following:

    • Wear sunscreen every day.
    • Do not tan.
    • Utilize moisturizers.
    • Follow directions for prescribed medications.
    • Stop using products that sting or burn.
    • Limit the amount of products you use.
    • Be patient with the product prescribed to you.

 

Aging is inevitable, that much we know. However, it doesn’t have to be immediate. If you feel like prescription medications may be necessary to combat your skin’s aging, then secure a session with your Dallas skin specialist, Dr. Wooming, today.

Fighting Acne: Why You Should Double Down with Your Dallas Dermatologist

Are you one of 50 million people who are affected by acne each year? Overactive oil glands can produce too much oil, latch onto skin cells, and clog pores. When this happens, bacteria on the skin multiply, which results in whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, nodules and pimples. While this is often the reason for the emergence of acne, it is not the only reason. Other factors such as heredity, hormones, and stress can serve as catalysts for these blemishes. Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States and affects people both psychologically and physically through poor self-image, permanent scarring, anxiety and depression. Due to its commonality, your Dallas dermatologist, Dr. George Wooming has heavily researched it. This intensive research has lead to breakthroughs in treatment and prevention plans for those affected by the condition.

Fighting Acne: Treatment and Prevention

Treatment options and prevention methods come in many forms. Your Dallas dermatologist will determine which treatments are best for you based on your skin type and health record. Acne treatment options include:

  • Topical therapy for mild acne such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, salicylic acid, and antibiotics
  • Oral antibiotics for moderate to severe acne
  • A combination of the therapies that uses oral antibiotics and retinoids
  • Oral contraceptives containing estrogen for women
  • Oral isotretinoin for severe cystic acne
  • Laser and light-based therapies for mild to moderate acne

Prevention methods include:

  • Gently scrubbing the affected area once or twice a day after sweating with a mild, nondrying cleanser
  • Avoiding vigorous scrubbing
  • Shampooing hair often – daily if your hair is oily
  • Avoiding astringents, toners, exfoliants, and other oil based skin and makeup products
  • Resisting the urge to pick or pop acne

Both you and your Dallas dermatologist must fight the battle for clearer, healthier skin. Your prevention methods coupled with your doctor’s skin therapies should set the course towards a happier, more confident lifestyle. However, it is imperative that you use the medications and products prescribed for your acne as directed and exercise patience, as treatments may take four to eight weeks before you see results. Contact your Dallas dermatologist today if you are ready to partner with the best in the skin restoration business.

The Low-Down on Acne Treatment and Prevention: Tips From Your Dallas Dermatologist

What is Acne and Where Does it Come From?

Do you suffer from acne on your face, neck, upper arms, shoulders, or back? Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States and annually affects up to 50 million people each year. Acne is not only identified by the itchy red pimples that appear on the areas of the body mentioned above during puberty for an adolescent teenager, but also in the forms of blackheads, whiteheads, nodules, and cysts that can affect any person in any age range. Different factors may be responsible for acne that include but are not limited to: hereditary reasons, hormones, stress, and overactive oil glands that clog pores. Bacteria on the surface of the skin are usually the primary source from which various forms of acne derive. Due to its prevalence, acne is a bit of a double edged sword in that it can cause physical and psychological problems in permanent scarring or poor self-image. Because it is so commonplace, it has been heavily researched, especially by Dr. Wooming, your Dallas dermatologist, which has resulted in treatment and prevention plans for those affected by acne.

Acne Treatment and Prevention

There are several methods and guidelines for acne treatment. One of the most important rules is remembering that scrubbing harder while washing, scratching, or popping acne will only cause the affected area to become more irritated than it already is. Using products such as toners, exfoliants, and astringents should be avoided and replaced with oil-free cosmetics, lotions, and other toiletries. There are many variations of treatment depending on the severity and type of acne you have. Dr. Wooming, your Dallas dermatologist, can determine which treatments are best suited for you. Always use medications and products as instructed with patience as medications may take several weeks to complete their course. Acne affects every individual independently so it is imperative to contact your Dallas dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and prevention strategy in order to keep your skin as clean and healthy as possible.

What is Earlobe Repair?

Earlobe repair is a procedure to fix earlobes that have been damaged or have an abnormal appearance.

Who needs earlobe repair?

You may be a candidate for earlobe repair or otoplasty if your earlobes are torn, split or stretched from trauma or years of wearing heavy earrings. The abnormal appearance of earlobes can be an embarrassment and having your earlobes repaired is a simple in-office procedure that will allow you to wear earrings again.

What is the procedure like?

The earlobes are marked and numbed. Then the edges are surgically corrected and realigned. Your doctor will place very fine sutures hold the repaired skin together and steri-strips will be applied for a few days. The sutures are usually removed after about ten days. Make sure you keep the area clean and dry. Applying a topical antibiotic ointment is also recommended. Complete healing will take about two to three weeks. If you want to re-pierce your ears, wait until three months after the earlobe repair.

Earlobe repair for keloid scars

Many people develop keloid scars after ear piercing. Keloid scars are thickened, discolored, itchy or abnormal scars. Earlobe keloid scars can be surgically removed along with an earlobe repair procedure. However, keloid scars can return after they have been removed. To help prevent the keloid from coming back, your dermatologist may inject the area with small volumes of a steroid medication during follow up visits.

Do you have questions regarding earlobe repair?

Are you thinking about having an earlobe repair? If so, contact us to setup an appointment. We will be happy answer your questions and help determine the best options for your earlobes. George Wooming, M.D. will be happy to address your needs at Dallas Dermatology.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month! Learn How to Prevent Skin Cancer

Most Common Form of Cancer

Prevent Skin CancerMay is Skin Cancer Awareness Month! Skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and about 73,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year. Learn how to prevent skin cancer.

Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are more common than melanoma, although Melanoma is the most likely form of skin cancer to grow and spread to other parts of the body, making it more difficult to treat. For this reason, melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer, accounting for nearly 10,000 of the 13,000 skin cancer deaths every year.

Risk factors for skin cancer include:

  • Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds
  • Pale skin and natural red, or blond hair
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Multiple or unusual moles
  • Older age (though young people are not immune to skin cancer)
  • Severe sunburns in the past

Most Preventable Cancer

If found and treated early, all forms of skin cancer are almost always curable. Your skin does a lot to protect you from illness and injury; but skin needs protection too. You can help prevent skin cancer by:

  • Staying out of the sun during peak hours of the day when the sun’s rays are the strongest (10am to 4pm).
  • When you are in the sun, cover as much of your body with protective clothing as possible.
  • When outside, apply generous amounts of sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and at least SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
  • Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays to protect the eyes and surrounding skin.
  • Avoid other sources of UV light, including tanning beds and sun lamps.
  • Have regular skin cancer screenings to detect possible skin cancer in early stages.

Skin Cancer Screenings

George Wooming, M.D. offers skin cancer screenings to look for skin cancer before symptoms appear. If caught in the early stages, skin cancer is easiest to treat and usually curable. If a screening test is abnormal, follow up diagnostic tests may be necessary to find out if you have skin cancer. Dr. Wooming has a Dallas dermatology location to make your visits convenient. Don’t wait until the symptoms of skin cancer appear. Be proactive against skin cancer and call today to schedule a screening.

Is There Such a Thing as a Healthy Tan?

Sunless tanning: a safe and healthy alternative to tanning booths

If you’re wondering if it’s possible to safely tan in the sunlight, you might be worried about exposure to the sun’s damaging rays, but still want that sun-kissed glow. Consider striking a compromise with sunless tanning products. There’s a better way to get that golden glow. Bronzers and sunless tanners are safer and faster and can achieve results that are just as beautiful as the real deal. Sunless tanning products generally fall into two categories: cosmetic bronzers that wash off like regular makeup and sunless tanners that actually stain the skin and fade as skin cells slough off.

Sunless tanning products are commonly sold as creams, gels, lotions and sprays that can be applied to the skin. Professional spray-on tanning also is available at many salons, spas and tanning businesses. The active ingredient in most sunless tanning products is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). When applied to the skin, DHA reacts with dead cells in the outermost layer of skin to temporarily darken the skin’s appearance. The coloring does not wash off, but it gradually fades as the dead skin cells slough off, typically within a few days.

Topical sunless tanning products are generally considered safe alternatives to sunbathing, as long as they are used as directed. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved DHA for external application to the skin. However, the FDA has not approved the use of DHA for application to areas near the eyes, mouth or nose. If using a sunless tanning cream, it is easy to avoid these areas. Primary concerns about self-tanning sprays relate to the risk of inhalation and ingestion, which is not recommended.

Dermatologists now steer their patients toward these products if they want more color on their skin. Sunless tanning products, also called self-tanners, can give skin a “sun-kissed glow” without exposing it to harmful, cancer-causing ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun or tanning booths. According to the American Cancer Society, most of the more than one million skin cancers diagnosed each year in the U.S. are considered sun-related.

Why Should I Wear Sunscreen Every Day?

Why should I wear sunscreen every day?

Although dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen every day, most people do not follow this advice. It is recommended that a person should apply some sort of SPF face lotion before applying any face makeup even if the foundation being worn has a SPF already in it.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that SPF should be 15 or higher and be reapplied every two hours. Most bottles recommend applying liberally and applying it all over the face, ears, neck and arms. The SPF value indicates the level of sunburn protection provided by the sunscreen product. The SPF test measures the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure it takes to cause sunburn when a person is using a sunscreen in comparison to how much UV exposure it takes to cause a sunburn when they do not use a sunscreen.

When choosing a sunscreen the American Cancer Society recommends that you read the label before buying: “Sunscreens with broad spectrum protection (against UVA and UVB rays) and with sun protection factor (SPF) values of 30 or higher are recommended.”

Many people, especially younger men and women, do not realize the skin-damaging effects the sun can have. The ugly head of sun damage does not rear its head till people are much older and by then the effects cannot be reversed. Sun damage can lead to more than just prematurely aged skin, it can lead to skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with two million people being diagnosed annually. There are two kinds of skin cancers, non-melanoma and melanoma. Non-melanoma, which is the most common form, has about 1.3 million cases each year in the United States. On the other hand, melanoma, which is the least common accounts for the majority of skin cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. Sun is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. Applying a sunscreen daily is a small step that will make a dramatic difference in a person’s skin health in the long run.

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