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Helpful Ways to Manage and Control Chronic Urticaria (Hives)

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

What Is Chronic Urticaria?

Chronic urticaria, otherwise known as chronic hives is a condition that is typically characterized by the recurring presence of red raised welts somewhere on the body. These welts are typically itchy, and the source of the breakout is often unidentified. If this is the case, the condition is known more specifically as chronic idiopathic urticaria.

However, it is important to note that for the condition to truly be considered chronic, the same set of welts must last for six weeks or longer without disappearing. Indeed, sometimes breakouts may even repeatedly recur for years at a time before they totally been to clear up.

As such, anybody who believes that they may be suffering from chronic urticaria should reach out to a dermatologist in Pleasanton to learn about what may be available to them as a skin treatment in San Francisco to help manage the condition. That said, there are plenty of things that people can do in their day-to-day lives to help minimize the prevalence and severity of hives that are associated with chronic urticaria.

With that in mind, here are some helpful suggestions for keeping the condition under control.

Managing the Condition

Avoid Triggers

Hands down, one of the best ways to prevent breakouts of chronic urticaria is to avoid any contact with known triggers whenever possible. One of the best ways to help identify triggers is to book an appointment with a dermatologist in Placerville or the surrounding area who can help to identify the source of the reaction and suggest helpful ways to avoid contact.

However, for those who suffer from chronic idiopathic urticaria, they may never be able to identify the actual source of their reactions, and therefore, contact with triggers will be much harder to avoid. That said, allergy testing can often be very helpful in narrowing down the root of the issue.

With that in mind, some common foods that are known to trigger allergic reactions that can lead to the development of chronic urticaria include eggs, nuts, certain types of food additives, shellfish and peanuts. Common anti-inflammatory painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen can also be a source, as can indoor allergens like pollen or pet dander.

In some people, reactions can even be triggered by physical changes such as experiencing different temperatures, air pressures or even simply sun exposure or bodily changes triggered by working out or exercising. If a concrete trigger can still not be identified, a dermatologist in Cameron Park or elsewhere might try to identify the existence of other conditions that tend to be predictive of chronic urticaria, such as autoimmune diseases, for example. Oftentimes, treating the underlying condition will help alleviate symptoms.

Keep the Area Clean and Well-Moisturized

If the area is dry, it will be prone to aggravated itching sensations. This is turn can prompt sufferers to scratch or rub the affected area, therefore, increasing the severity of the reaction. As such, taking measures to reduce dryness can go a long way to helping minimize the severity of the reaction itself as well as the temptation to scratch the area.

The best way to keep skin well-hydrated is to use a gentle moisturizing product that contains plenty of healthy oils that will nurture the area. Try to avoid perfumed products as well as those that contain alcohol and other drying ingredients in favor of more natural-based and gentle products. For anybody who is experiencing itching, taking a bath can also be a great way to soothe the skin. Try adding coconut oil for extra hydrating benefits.

Many people will often find relief from the itching by cooling down the area by using a prescribed skin treatment in San Francisco. Other ways to cool the area include using a fan or applying a well-sanitized cold compress to the area.

Avoid Tight-Fitting or Heavy Clothing

Clothes that cause pressure, rubbing or friction on the affected area will often only exasperate a reaction, and therefore, it is always best to make a point to try to wear loose-fitting clothing that is made of a light, non-irritating fabric like pure organic cotton.

Wearing belts too tight can also further irritate hives, as will tight-fitting shoes when the reaction is on or near the feet.

Practice Healthy Stress Management Techniques

Research has shown that experiencing stress can, in turn, increase the severity of a reaction, so likewise, practicing healthy ways to manage stress can in turn help minimize symptoms or even help prevent breakouts from occurring in the first place.

Indeed, the presence of chronic urticaria is often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression as well. Even worse, people who experience a breakout of chronic urticaria might suffer emotional distress as a result of their condition, thus further isolating themselves from others.

If this is the case, practicing regular relaxation techniques commonly used in yoga, meditation exercises and breathing techniques can provide the tools that people need to help stress in check in the face of a busy day-to-day life. Some research has shown that acupuncture might be helpful in managing chronic urticaria as well. Therapy may also be helpful in learning to regulate the emotional reactions that can trigger and exacerbate the condition.

In addition, it is important for people to learn to prioritize their own self-care, especially during those moments of life that feel especially busy or hectic. Everybody has different ways of relaxing and decompressing, whether it is going for a massage, curling up with a good book, taking a hot bath, gardening or spending time in nature or breaking out a puzzle.

What is important is that people learn to identify those activities that help them relieve stress and feel more calm and relaxed and give themselves permission to enjoy a time out every now and then to rest and recharge.

Talk to a Dermatologist in Pleasanton to Learn More

Anybody who believes they are suffering from chronic urticaria should book an appointment with their local dermatologist in Placerville or the surrounding community to learn more.

A prescribed skin treatment can help minimize the severity of a reaction as well as prevent more breakouts from occurring in the future and is often the most effective means to manage and control chronic urticaria.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

Understanding Some Common Triggers for Allergic Contact Dermatitis and How to Avoid Them

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

What Exactly is Allergic Contact Dermatitis?

Allergic contact dermatitis is characterized by the presence of a red rash after coming into contact with a triggering object. The rash may or may not be itchy, and other common symptoms include inflammation, the presence of clear fluid, crusting, blistering or the presence of pustules, crusting, unusual dryness or peeling.

Most cases of allergic contact dermatitis, like those caused by contact with poison oak or poison ivy, are often acute, while others may develop chronic allergies in which breakouts of this condition may recur continually throughout their lifetime. Anybody who believes that they may be suffering from allergic contact dermatitis, whether acute or chronic, should reach out to a dermatologist in Palo Alto, who may be able to help identify the source of the reaction as well as provide a skin treatment in Walnut Creek that can help alleviate the symptoms.

That said, when it comes to allergic contact dermatitis, the best policy is to avoid contact with any objects or products that contain or consist of the irritating agent. As such, this article is going to outline some common sources of reactions related to allergic contact dermatitis as well as the type of goods that they are commonly found in so that sufferers can know what types of things they should avoid touching.

Common Triggers for Sufferers to Avoid

Nickel and Other Metals

One of the metals that people tend to experience an allergic reaction to most commonly is nickel, and this is especially true of children, teens or people in their twenties.

However, even people who have a known allergy to nickel may accidentally come into nickel without knowing it since it is such a common component in the types of alloy metals like zippers, belt buttons, jewelry, cookware, coins and even the materials used for many types of orthopedic joint replacement. Some types of food, including chocolate, even contain trace amounts of nickel. In addition, since cobalt is so often paired with nickel, some people who experience an allergic reaction to nickel can also experience a reaction to cobalt by proxy.

While not as common of a trigger as nickel, some people will often experience allergic symptoms when exposed to chromium salts, which are commonly found in many types of paints, and well as cement-based mixes and anything made of natural leather.

Poison Oak and Poison Ivy

Hands down, one of the most common sources of allergic contact dermatitis reactions in through contact with the resin of either poison oak or poison ivy plant.

This is because the sap of these plant varieties contains a unique component called urushiol that is naturally irritating to human beings. This means that almost anybody will suffer a reaction should they accidentally come into contact with these plants, and thus should take precautions to understand how to identify and avoid them, especially when spending time outdoors or in nature. As such, people who work outdoors are especially prone to experiencing this type of unique condition.

Keep in mind that the reaction from this type of contact may be delayed by many hours or not even appear until days after contact. Washing the area with a gentle soap soon after contact will help prevent the spread of the reaction and minimize the symptoms.

Formaldehyde

This popular preservative agent will often produce an allergic reaction in adults and children alike and can be found as an ingredient in many commonly used household products.

The list of things that might contain formaldehyde includes certain types of vaccines, adhesive agents, cigarettes, permanent press clothing, aspartame, as well as many types of personal care and disinfectant products. It is also a key ingredient in embalming fluid.

Other Common Preservatives

Isothiazolinones are a type of preservative that is used to limit a product’s exposure to both light and oxygen, both of which can speed up the aging process. The addition of the types of agents also inhibit the growth of fungi as well as bacteria in many common household products.

The type of isothiazolinones most commonly associated with allergic contact dermatitis includes methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone, which are commonly referred to as MCI and MI, respectively. They will often be listed amongst the ingredients in hygienic products like moistened towelette tissues, including baby wipes, as well as many types of body wash, shampoo and cosmetic products.

Perfumes

It is not uncommon for people to be sensitive to perfume products, and this may be especially true if the barriers of the skin are broken or disrupted in some way or another as is the case with conditions like atopic dermatitis.

Perfumes in fragrances are used in a myriad of goods that are often used on a daily basis including perfumes, cosmetics, toothpaste and even as a flavoring in many different types of food, particularly processed varieties.

Antibacterial Ointments

While these commonly used topical products are generally of beneficial use, in that they help to treat open scratches and wounds, both working to prevent infection and speed the healing process.

However, they also can be an allergic trigger for some people who suffer from allergic contact dermatitis. If this is the case, they will want to be sure to ask their dermatologist in San Francisco about alternative treatment options that may be available for use in these types of situations.

Paraphenylene-Diamine

The allergy-causing potential of paraphenylenediamine, commonly referred to as PPD, is so great that this sensitizing chemical is actually banned in products that people need to touch to use.

However, it is still a common component in many types of hair-dye as well as many black shoe dyes. It can also sometimes be found in the type of products that are not well-regulated including the type of temporary black hen tattoos that are commonly dispensed to children. In can also trigger a reaction when it comes into contact with some common types of medications, such as antihistamines, for example.

Things to Keep In Mind

For anybody experiencing a reaction, scratching and rubbing the area will only increase the duration and severity of the symptoms experienced.

Anybody who is having difficulty identifying the source of a recurring condition or is experiencing discomfort as a result of their symptoms should speak to a skin doctor in Roseville to learn more about what types of skin treatment in Walnut Creek may be available.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

Understanding Seborrheic Keratoses

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Seborrheic keratoses, also commonly referred to as basal cell papilloma, or seborrheic warts is a common and typically painless condition that might be detected during middle age or in the later years of life.

That said, a lot of people don’t understand what seborrheic keratoses are, and what types of treatment options might be available to them in order to minimize the sometimes unsightly appearance of this otherwise harmless type of skin growth.

As such, this article will address some commonly asked questions about this particular condition as outlined some helpful information that anybody diagnosed with seborrheic keratoses might want to know about.

What Does a Seborrheic Keratosis Look Like?


Seborrheic keratosis is a very common type of noncancerous growth that typically resembles a wart or a mole and will appear somewhere on the body. 

It can show up in a range of colors varying from more pale shades to tan, brown or even blackish tones and sometimes can be described as having a waxy or stuck-on appearance. It may be commonly found on the shoulders, face, chest, back, scalp or genital area, but will never appear on the soles of the feet or the palms of the hands. They are typically round, oval or oblong in shape. Instances of seborrheic keratoses may be confined to as few as one marking or one affected area of the body or in other individuals, there may be thousands of markings spread across the surface of the body.

In the early growth stages, seborrheic keratosis will typically appear as a slightly elevated patch that may or may not be colored, but will often take on darker pigments or grow in size over time. The end result is usually a darkly pigmented patch that will be one to six centimeters in diameter, but the inverse can also be true and in some rare cases the skin will actually lose all pigment in the affected area. Typically, people with darker skin tones will be more inclined to develop darker pigmented patches.

Is Seborrheic Keratoses Dangerous or Harmful?


When people start to notice unusual mole-like markings on their bodies that seem to grow and change, they may be concerned that they have contracted melanoma or another form of skin cancer. As such, it can sometimes feel confused when a dermatologist in Pleasanton or elsewhere assures them that there is nothing to worry about and their health is not at risk as is often the case when people receive a diagnosis of seborrheic keratoses.

In fact, seborrheic keratosis is a very common occurrence. Indeed, it is estimated that over a quarter of the American population can expect to detect at least one instance seborrheic keratosis by the time they reach the age of 40, and the numbers only rise with age. Indeed, three out of four people over the age of 75 can expect to encounter this somewhat baffling condition at least once in their later years. Interestingly enough, it is very rare to find a seborrheic keratosis on anybody under the age of thirty, so age is a major predictive factor when it comes to this particular type of growth.

While it is incredibly rare that seborrheic keratosis is cancerous, the mole-like growth can resemble certain conditions like cancer. In fact, unlike its cousin actinic keratoses which are almost always caused by direct exposure to UV rays, seborrheic keratosis may or may not be related to sun-exposure. Whether or not somebody comes down with the condition is likely much more related to their specific genetic makeup than anything, and as such, there is not much a person can do to prevent developing seborrheic keratosis. That said, it is not contagious and cannot be spread by any form of person to person contact.

However, despite the fact that seborrheic keratosis is almost always a totally harmless condition that will have no negative physical effects on the body, it is still important to get a professional diagnosis in order to differentiate the growth from other more harmful conditions which it may resemble each other in physical appearance. This means that even if a person is not interested in receiving skin treatment in San Francisco, they should still schedule a visit with a board-certified dermatologist in Placerville as soon as possible if they suspect that they are developing seborrheic keratosis.

What Kinds of Skin Treatment in San Francisco are Available?


Anybody who wants to remove a seborrheic keratosis completely has a variety of options depending on the particular shape or extent of the marking. The most common skin treatment in San Francisco for this type of condition entails freezing off the marking with a highly targeted dose of liquid nitrogen. While the procedure will often need to be repeated a few times, it is more often than not very highly effective. In some cases, the mark can be shaven off after a painless numbing procedure.

After a removal procedure, the blistering of the affected area is very common. Some crusting or fluid is to be expected and will clear up in time.

Meanwhile, smaller markings can sometimes be removed simply using a small electric needle. The procedure is quick and straightforward and usually does not require the use of a numbing agent. Laser procedures have also been shown to be highly effective and may be available in certain contexts.

The Takeaway


Seborrheic keratosis may look unsightly, but it is really nothing to worry about in terms of all-around physical health.

That said, anybody wanting to minimize the look of seborrheic keratosis or eliminate a marking all together can talk to a dermatologist in Cameron Park who can detail case-specific treatment options that can be tailored to fit a particular individual’s unique budget and needs, so don’t be afraid to reach out and find out more. Almost all types of skin treatment in San Francisco for this type of condition are not only highly effective but are also relatively quick and painless, although repeat visits may be required to remove the marking completely.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

Helpful Tips for Managing Alopecia Areata

Thursday, October 31, 2019

What is Alopecia Areata and What Causes It?


Alopecia areata is a relatively common condition that causes hair to fall out in small, distinct patches which may be more or less noticeable depending on the size and the location of the hair loss.

This may become particularly bothersome for somebody living with this type of condition if smaller patches of hair loss begin to connect and start to give the impression of larger bald patches. Hair loss may occur on any part of the body where hair grows naturally including the eyebrows, eyelashes, face and other body parts, but it most commonly occurs around the scalp.

Sometimes alopecia areata may result in total hair loss that may or may not grow back. In this particular circumstance, the condition can be referred to as alopecia universalis or alopecia areata. When hair does grow back on a person who has had alopecia universalis, it may also be inclined to fall out again in the future, maybe even years after the condition first appeared.

Much like other skin conditions like rosacea and vitiligo, alopecia areata can be broadly characterized as an autoimmune disorder. A person who already has one autoimmune disorder is likely to suffer from others as well. This is because of the nature of autoimmune disorders in themselves. When people have an autoimmune disease, their immune system mistakenly attacks normal parts of the body, like hair follicles, joints and other cells. This is because the immune system mistakes these components as foreign, and releases antibodies in defense.

There is no cure for alopecia areata or other skin disorders, but a dermatologist in Palo Alto can administer skin treatment in Walnut Creek that may slow hair loss or help maximize the chances that hair will regrow. The good news is that most people living with alopecia areata and other autoimmune disorders are otherwise healthy, and these types of conditions are not an indication of cancer or another more serious underlying disease.

In addition, there are some simple strategies and tips that people living with alopecia areata can keep in mind to help themselves take back control of their condition and make things feel more manageable, and this article is meant to cover some simple self-care advice to help prevent flare-ups and make things easier.

Helpful Advice For People Living With Alopecia Areata


Talk to a dermatologist in San Francisco

When many people first discover signs of hair loss, they feel embarrassed about seeking out the advice of a professional skin doctor in Roseville. In fact, many even try to hide their hair loss from close friends and loved ones by wearing hats or caps to cover the baldness. Some even mistakenly believe they are suffering from a life-threatening disease like cancer.

In reality, the sooner that a person opens up about their hair loss, the better that they are likely to feel. Support of family members and friends can be very reassuring in times like these, and talking to an expert will allow for an accurate diagnosis that can put their minds at ease. The sooner the alopecia areata is detected, the more likely an available skin treatment in Walnut Creek is to be effective.

A professional dermatologist in Palo Alto will also be the best equipped to give specialized tips and advice that is specific to the individual and the type of condition that they are living with. Alopecia areata often come with the side effect of changes to the nails, which may become dry, brittle or yellow. Any noticeable changes in the nails should also be reported to a dermatologist in San Francisco so they can work to help minimize any pain or discomfort experienced as a result.

Bundle Up

Human hair forms a natural form of insulation from colder temperatures, and therefore; those who are experiencing any kind of hair loss are much more likely to feel cold or chilled. As such, it is important to take extra precautions to protect the affected area from cold temperatures.

Feeling chilled can cause added stress, which may in turn trigger an immune response that can exacerbate the condition. It is likewise important to apply extra sunscreen to any areas of the scalp that might have experienced hair loss before heading outdoors. Use a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and seek out brands formulated for sensitive skin. These fragile areas of the body can be especially inclined to burn easily when exposed.

Take Extra Precautions for Facial Hair Loss in Sensitive Areas

Anybody who has experienced alopecia areata of the nose hairs may not be sad to see these hairs go, but they actually perform a vital duty in keeping the sinuses clear of dust, particles and other invaders. If this is the case, a skin doctor in Roseville will probably recommend an antibiotic to help fight against foreign invaders, so to speak.

Meanwhile, those who have lost hair from their eyelashes or eyebrows will need to take extra care to protect their eyes. Interestingly enough, false eyelashes can often be an effective solution, as can stick-on eyebrows or eyeglasses. A dermatologist in San Francisco will be able to make more specific recommendations.

Prioritize Self-Care

Stress and anxiety will trigger an immune response that causes hair loss to occur, so it is important to take extra precautions to avoid stressful situations.

Self-care and relaxation techniques like bodily massage, yoga, meditation, warm baths, herbal teas or whatever else helps a person feel calm and relaxed can be some of the most effective means to combat the effects of day-to-day stressors and can help reduce the chances of experiencing more hair loss in the future. 

For anybody dealing with issues of self-esteem as a result of alopecia areata, talking to a professional therapist or joining a support group can also help a person feel more confident in confronting the condition head-on.

The Takeaway


Receiving a diagnosis of alopecia areata is never fun, but it need not have any significant effect on a patient’s overall self-esteem and quality of life. Keep in mind that anybody diagnosed with an autoimmune condition should be sure to follow up with regular physical examinations since they will be more at risk for developing certain other medical conditions as a result.

Working with a qualified skin doctor in Roseville is the best way to ensure that the condition is properly managed and treated, and anybody experiencing unexplained hair loss should always seek out professional advice as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

At-Home Winter Facial Care Tips

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Winter can wreak havoc on the face, leaving it prone to dryness and irritation that can, in turn, lead to the development of numerous painful and undesirable conditions. This is why it is so important for people to pay special attention to their facial care routine, particularly during the colder months of the year.  Adverse weather conditions will not only irritate the face but also leave it vulnerable to drying due to the cold temperatures.

The more extreme climate, the more precautions that people need to take to keep their delicate faces well moisturized, because they are not only particularly vulnerable to elements but also tend to be more susceptible than other areas of the body to irritation and the conditions that come with this.

The worst part is that because people need their mouths and noses to be at least partially exposed to breathe and their eyes unobstructed to see, it can be a lot more difficult to protect the vulnerable face from the elements compared to other parts of the body. In addition, the electrically and gas heated indoor environments that people use to shield themselves from the colder outdoor weather can be equally disruptive to the face, causing the skin to dry out and become even more irritated. Even typically relaxing activities like taking a nice hot shower or curling up to a cozy fireplace will contribute to pulling out all those natural oils that the face needs to stay healthy, so the only thing to be done is to take proactive measures to protect the face from harm.

The good news is that while there are few ways to avoid the unpleasant conditions that often come with winter weather, short of leaving town, that is, there are a lot of things that people can do to proactively protect their faces. That said, anybody who notices they are being affected by chronic irritation during the colder months of the year will definitely want to be sure to talk to a qualified dermatologist in Palo Alto to explore what types of procedures might be available to them. After all, skin treatment in Walnut Creek or the surrounding area can help keep the face looking young and healthy even when the weather isn’t cooperating.

So what can people do to modify their winter facial care routine to ensure they don’t require frequent trips to a skin doctor in Roseville during the colder winter months? Read on to find out.

1. Purchase a Humidifier

One of the best ways to counteract the not-so-great effects on the face that can be caused by a dry, artificially heated indoor environment is to purchase a humidifier that will help retain a reasonable amount of moisture in the air to keep the face soft and supple.

People should shoot to at least have a humidifier in the rooms that they use most frequently or spend the most time in, like the bedroom and living area. That said, there really isn’t such a thing as having too many humidifiers during the colder months of winter, and it can be a good idea to consider purchasing one for the office or workplace as well, or at least ask the boss to shell out for one so that everybody can benefit from healthier air quality.

2. Avoid Cranking the Heat

Sure, the contrast of coming in from the cold into a superheated home can feel really good, but it is actually not so great for the face. Rather than cranking the heat or periodically turning it up or down, people should keep their thermostat at a sufficiently warm and comfortable, yet even temperature setting. Generally, a temperature between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit should be more than sufficient and will help homeowners save money on their energy costs as well.

If a person is feeling cold or chilled, they might want to consider grabbing a blanket, a warm sweater, a heating pad, or a fuzzy pair of slippers rather than reaching automatically to adjust the temperature setting. Their face will thank them for it in the end. 

3. Avoid Taking Long, Hot Showers

Stepping into a hot shower, especially right after coming in from the cold, can feel really good. That said, all that heat is not so great for the face. This is why it is important to avoid cranking the temperature to skin searing heat levels and try to limit shower time to five to ten minutes maximum during winter.

It may feel great to stay in the shower or bath until a person’s fingertips are wrinkled like raisins, but it may also result in the need for a visit to the dermatologist in the San Francisco area later down the line. It may seem like a sacrifice to cut that shower off in a reasonable time frame, but it’s all about forsaking a bit of short-term comfort in favor of a healthier and younger-looking face in the long term.

4. Use Gentle Cleansing Products

It is always a good idea to pay special attention to the products that one puts on their face, but during the winter, it is especially important to opt for gentle, fragrance-free products as recommended by a dermatologist in Palo Alto. Keep in mind that many products that are marketed as unscented still contain drying fragrances, so fragrance-free is the term to seek out instead. Looking for products that are designed to be particularly gentle or formulated for sensitive skin can be a good place to start.

Many commercial cleaners contain harsh additives that can further irritate the face. Look instead for soothing ingredients like natural oils and aloe that will help counteract the drying effect that standard cleansers tend to have on the facial area. Cream-based cleansers are usually the best pick during the colder months of the year.

5. Moisturize Often

The first thing that people need to keep in mind is that during the winter they should be moisturizing their faces much more frequently than they do in the summer. Keep a portable facial moisturizer in a handbag or purse to always have on hand and apply liberally after spending any period of time outdoors in the cold and well as when sitting inside in artificially heated environments.

Second, it is a good idea to stock up on richer, heavier moisturizers, especially for use during bedtime. Look for products rich in the oils that the face craves like jojoba oil, argan oil, almond oil, or coconut oil. Some people even like to apply these oils directly to their face, but they should also be wary that this can cause acne, especially in those with oily or combination skin types.

Keep in mind that just because it is winter, there is no reason people should be skimping on the SPF. Just because the sun isn’t as warm doesn’t mean that it isn’t shining, and it is easy to cause skin damage by exposure even on a cold day. Look for a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizing product that contains an SPF value of at least 15 and apply it often throughout the course of the day.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

Tips for Managing Rosacea

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Living With Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic condition that involves redness and inflammation, and most commonly occurs in the facial area. Common symptoms are redness, blushing easily, large pores, dry or rough feeling skin, acne-like bumps, and warm or inflamed blood vessels. Because it mimics many other common facial conditions, many people fail to realize that they are living with rosacea, believing they are suffering from an allergy or acne instead. The signs associated with rosacea will most often appear on the forehead, cheeks and nose area but rosacea can also occur around the ears, neck, top of the head, or even the chest area.

While the exact causes of rosacea are unknown, there are certain risk factors that make it more likely for some people to develop the condition than others. For instance, people with fair skin tones are more likely to develop rosacea than people with darker tones. Women also have a higher risk of developing rosacea than men do, as do people in their early thirties. Genetics may also be a significant predictor.

Rosacea will only get worse over time if it is not treated. This is why anybody who suspects that they have rosacea should visit a dermatologist in Pleasanton who can provide skin treatment in San Francisco and the surrounding area.

That said, even people who are already receiving treatment by a dermatologist in Cameron Park and elsewhere for their rosacea symptoms should also take special precautions to ensure their face or the part of the body most vulnerable to rosacea is always well cared for and protected.

A good facial care routine will support skin treatment in San Francisco by increasing the efficacy of the procedures, contribute to a greater sense of overall comfort, and reduce the incidences of uncomfortable flare-ups as a result of coming into contact with a trigger. That said, people should always follow the advice of their dermatologist in Placerville first and foremost when it comes to facial care for rosacea.

With that in mind, what are some general advice that people can apply in their everyday lives to help ensure their rosacea symptoms are kept in check? Read on to find out.

Helpful Advice for Keeping Rosacea in Check

Cleanse the Area Twice a Day

Many people who live with rosacea will avoid cleaning the affected region, because it is already red, sore, and irritated. That said, it is important to keep the area clean and free from bacteria to avoid further exacerbating the problem. That said, people living with rosacea should not wash their face in the same way as they would if they didn’t have rosacea. Rather, they should only use gentle, soap-free rosacea free cleansers and apply it to the area only with the fingertips, making gentle circles. Using washcloths, scrubbers, or any other facial accessories or tools can cause irritation, so be sure to stick with just the fingertips and nothing else.

Rinse in a similar manner, using comfortable lukewarm water that is neither hot nor cold enough to shock the affected area. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to the point that all cleanser is certainly removed, because any particles of the cleanser left on the face might aggravate the condition. Gently pat dry the face with a soft clean towel. This routine should be repeated twice daily.

Moisturize Regularly

Dryness and irritation are both common symptoms of rosacea, and using a gentle, rosacea-friendly, fragrance-free moisturizer or barrier cream on the area on a daily basis can help keep these uncomfortable symptoms at bay. Cream-based products will usually be less irritating than gels or liquids.

Be sure to do the research and make sure any skincare product is truly rosacea-friendly. Meanwhile, avoid any skincare products that contain any of the following ingredients, because they are likely to further irritate the condition:

     Alcohol

     Urea

     Glycolic acid

     Camphor

     Fragrances or perfumes

     Menthol

     Lactic acid

     Sodium lauryl sulfate

In addition, people living with rosacea should eliminate any toners or astringents completely from their daily facial care routine.

Use Sunscreen

The sun can wreak havoc on anybody’s face, but rosacea sufferers are especially vulnerable to the effects of UVA and UVB radiation, exposure to which can actually worsen the condition. This is why it is important for rosacea sufferers to keep a gentle sunscreen on hand to apply whenever they head outdoors, regardless of the weather conditions.

Look for a rosacea-friendly or reef-safe variety, which tends to use gentle non-irritating ingredients like coconut oil. Zinc-oxide and or titanium oxide-based products are usually best, and the product should always have a minimum SPF level of 30 and be fragrance-free. Be wary of products that are marketed as unscented, because they may use abrasive perfumes or additives to mask the natural scent of the ingredients.

Wearing other forms of practical sun-protection accessories like hats, hoods, or scarves will add an extra layer of protection and help rosacea sufferers make a fashion statement while they are at it. Be sure to always test a product in an isolated area before using it. To do so, apply a small drop of product to an area of the face just outside of the rosacea-prone area and wait four full days to ensure the face has no reaction to the product.

Rosacea sufferers want to also be sure to take special care to avoid overheating their face, because this is a common trigger for flare-ups. This means they might want to skip out on the sunbathing during a hot summer afternoon and pass on the hot showers in favor of a more gentle warm water temperature. Making use of shade structures and other apparatuses like portable umbrellas can help rosacea sufferers enjoy time outside while ensuring their face stays relatively cool and comfortable. Midday is typically the time when the sun is at its brightest and hottest, and people living with rosacea will probably want to opt for cooler morning or late afternoon rays to get their daily dose of sunshine.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

Decoding the Skincare Routine

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Whether you’re someone who’s just beginning to incorporate a skincare routine, or are already following a carefully selected skincare regimen, it can be daunting to try something new. There are so many products in the market, each with a different function, and new products coming out every day!

To get you started, we’ve broken down the skincare routine. By separating the main product categories and will explain what the function and importance of each product is; we hope that you’ll be able to make an informed choice when tailoring your own routine. Let’s get started:

Cleansers

The first step to any skincare routine is cleansing so that you can remove any sebum buildup overnight, or during the day, and can remove any makeup that you have applied. This step is important as it keeps everything from being a breeding ground for bacteria (and acne!) and prepares a clean canvas for the rest of your routine.

There are many types of cleansers, and knowing which type to use for your  type is important, as the wrong product could be overly drying or too oily. Here are the main types:

        Oil Cleaners: A gentle way to remove pore-clogging debris like makeup and won’t strip skin’s moisture (most types)

        Cream Cleaners: Usually thick with moisturizing properties and gently cleanses without being drying (dry and sensitive)

        Gel Cleansers: Has a clear, gel-like consistency and is for deep cleansing and unclogging pores (oily/combination)

        Foam Cleansers: A lightweight cleanser that transforms into a rich lather and effectively removes excess oil (oily/combination)

        Micellar Cleansers: Water-like consistency, and can easily remove oil, dirt, and makeup without having to rinse off (dry and sensitive)

Toners

Toning your face is a very understated second step, but we can assure you it is the unsung hero of every skincare routine. Your pH is usually thrown off balance after being cleansed, which can trigger sebum secretion and disturb the microflora that keeps everything healthy. Using a toner helps to restore the skin the optimal pH of 4–4.5.

Toners also help to remove any residual debris left from cleansing and preps it to absorb moisturizers more effectively.

Moisturizers

Contrary to what the name suggests, moisturizers don’t add moisture to your skin, but actually pulls moisture from the air and helps it retain its hydration. Moisturizers also come in different textures, and there are many moisturizers on the market that help target different concerns (acne, rosacea, sensitivities, dullness, etc.).

Here are the basic types of moisturizers:

        Lotion: This has the lightest texture and can spread easily as water is the main ingredient. It is perfect for those who dislike products that feel heavy on the face, and those who have oily skin

        Cream: This has a slightly thicker texture than lotion and has more hydrating properties. Creams are suitable for those who have normal to combination skin

        Ointment: This is the thickest moisturizer type and locks in moisture the most effectively. This greatly helps those with itchy or extremely dry skin.

        Anti-aging: This targets aging skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and helps lifts it. However, if you’re looking to address any signs of aging more drastically, you can speak with your local Pleasanton dermatologists to discuss your concerns and possible treatments.

After you decide on which texture best suits you, you can start looking for ones that are formulated to address your top concerns.

Eye Creams

A lot of people tend to lump eye creams into the moisturizer category, but they are actually completely different. The area around the eye area is more delicate and has much smaller pores compared to the surrounding areas. As a result, eye creams are formulated with ingredients that have smaller molecules so that the benefits can penetrate properly, and not cause and clogs.

The most popular reason people use eye cream is to prevent early signs of aging, such as smile lines and loss of elasticity, which causes the eyes to sag. While eye creams are a good preventative measure, if the signs of aging have already started, you can also supplement with extra anti-aging treatments, which can be performed by your local Placerville dermatologist.

Others

There are also supplementary products that you may consider incorporating into your routine, depending on your needs. Here are some examples:

        Exfoliators: Exfoliators are a gentle way to slough off the dead skin on your face to help even out and brighten up a dull complexion. This step should be added into the routine once or twice a week (depending on sensitivity) and is done right after cleansing.

        Serums: Serums are made with smaller molecules so that the ingredients can penetrate faster and deliver the benefits at a higher concentration. This step is applied after cleansing and before moisturizing.

        Face Masks: Face masks are a great compliment to any skincare routine, as the main purpose is to give extra nourishment. It can also be a great way to relax and pamper your skin after a stressful day. There are many types of masks on the market—you can choose between sheet masks, cream masks, etc. depending on what concerns you want to target.

Having so spent so much time researching and picking out the perfect products, you may want to also want to consider additional services to elevate the effectiveness of your home routine. You may want to contact dermatologists in Cameron Park, or even around San Francisco to discuss what types of skin treatment they can provide to compliment your skincare!

Different Types of Acne and How to Manage Them

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Most people have gone through phases of acne where it was bad enough that it made them lose confidence and feel self-conscious. Some of them have outgrown this phase after their teenage years, with occasional outbreaks. Yet for some, the acne is recurring throughout their adult life.

To help you combat acne problems, we must first understand what acne is, its causes, and what typically triggers them.

So what is acne? It is usually a clogged and/or inflamed oil (sebaceous) gland found on the face, but can also occur on the back, neck, and other areas of the body. Most of the time it appears as a red and inflamed pustule, but can also look like blackheads, whiteheads, or cysts.

In the case that you think it might not be acne, we recommend researching dermatologists in the San Francisco area and booking an appointment so that they can assess if it could be something malignant.

Causes and Triggers

At the baseline, acne is caused by excessive production of sebum from the sebaceous gland, which creates a plug in the pore and can lead to inflammation if left as is. In some cases, the plug reaches the surface, oxidizes, and becomes blackheads. In other cases, they can stay beneath the surface and form whiteheads.

Genetic and environmental factors are also thought to be the cause of acne. Here is a list of common factors and how it triggers the onset of acne:

        How oily it is — oilier skin tends to be more prone to acne breakouts as pores get clogged up more often

        Sensitivity — if the skin is sensitive to its environment, even the slightest trigger, like a tight collar, can lead to acne

        Hormone levels — and imbalance of hormones usually cause outbreaks, which is why many experience more acne during puberty and menstruation

        Emotional stress — higher stress levels tend to trigger acne

        Diet — a diet high in sugars, simple carbs and dairy are usually the culprits for increased acne

        Personal hygiene — someone who doesn’t shower or wash their face periodically can be more prone to acne breakouts due to bacterial buildup on the surface

If you feel that your acne has been out of control lately, and don’t know why, it could be beneficial to look up what type of skin treatment you can get at clinics in Walnut Creek and get a consultation.

Acne Severity

The causes and triggers of acne affect people differently, and the severity of acne varies from person to person. Generally, acne can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

Mild Acne

Those with mild acne don’t get breakouts often, and they are fairly minor when it does occur—there will be some blackheads and unevenness, as well as very few (if any) inflamed pustules, but the acne is not widespread. This can usually be soothed and managed by over-the-counter acne products, as well as changing the diet.

However, if the acne persists and is left untreated, there is a possibility of it developing into a more severe form.

Moderate Acne

Those with moderate acne have more noticeable breakouts, where they have all the symptoms of mild acne, but also regularly get inflamed pustules. Some may be able to manage these breakouts from over the counter medication and diet modification, but for most, this doesn’t work.

If the acne really bothers you, you can consider calling your local Roseville skin doctor to ask for advice.

Severe Acne

Those with severe acne have a much higher degree of inflammation in their skin, and their blemishes are often much larger, red, and constantly swollen and painful. It is almost impossible to control severe acne with over the counter products and we recommend seeing a dermatologist so that they can help you tailor a specific skincare regimen with more specialized products, as well as possibly giving you an oral prescription to keep the inflammation down.

Managing Acne

No matter how severe your acne is, you can take steps to minimize factors that may be contributing to your breakouts. Here are some things you can change in your daily routines that can help reduce the frequency of your breakouts:

        Keep good personal hygiene
Removing makeup before bed, face washing, showering: don’t skip them. Keeping good personal hygiene will help you prevent bacterial buildup on the surface, as well as remove any excess oils on the face that could’ve blocked your pores. This can help you lower the chances of acne forming.

        Don’t be lazy with skincare
It may be counterintuitive to go through a whole skincare regimen (toner, serums, moisturizers) when your skin is oily. However, excess production of sebum could be an indication your face is trying to compensate for the dryness. Moisturizers can help the sebum secretion calm down over time once the surface thinks it’s getting enough moisture.

        Watch your diet
Knowing that a high sugar, carb and dairy diet can trigger acne breakouts, try to adjust how much of each you consumer. You don’t have to cut everything out completely, but slowly reducing these triggers may help reduce breakouts.

        Moderate Exercise
Since a lot of acne breakouts are due to hormonal imbalance, doing more exercise can help bring your hormones back into balance and thus reduce the frequency of your breakouts! If you don’t normally exercise, try starting out light with mini workout sessions, and build up the intensity to suit your needs

        See a dermatologist
If the acne is really out of hand, or you want more quantifiable results, try booking an appointment with your local dermatologist in Palo Alto, or wherever you live. Together, you can explore the skin treatment options and determine which course of action to take from there.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

Seasonal Skin Care Tips

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Extreme weather can have a long term effect on your skin. Depending on the season, your skin will go through slight changes based on the climate because it is the largest organ of the body that needs to adapt to exterior conditions. Unfortunately, your wardrobe isn’t the only facet to change when a new season comes along, but also your skincare routine as well. A dermatologist based in Cameron Park can recommend ways to take better care of your skin or special products designed for extreme temperatures.

Depending on your skin type: oily, dry, combination or normal - your skin may feel overly dry in winter and super greasy in the summer. For some people, they can have skin that is so naturally dry that it feels even drier in freezing temperatures and dried out from the sun in summer. Either way, our skin still needs a little extra care around seasons with extreme temperatures and in transitional seasons too. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can care for your skin come summer, winter and for those in between seasons like spring and fall.

Summer

For those with oily skin, in summer the natural oils from your pores will be even more active, and for those with dry skin, patchy skin tone may be more visible in the hotter months. With both of these hot temperatures induced conditions, you're more likely prone to pimples, rashes, and redness. Knowing how hot weather affects you will make skin treatment easier during those warm San Francisco days.

What does summer do to your skin? In the summer, the days are longer which means the sun is shining more. Overexposure to sun rays can cause premature aging and dehydrate the skin. In addition, heat rashes can occur, making the skin on your body more irritated. Lastly, bacterial infections are common during the hottest time of the year and this is what causes acne. The rising temperatures give bacteria an environment to live in and can be found anywhere, especially in hot locations. When you touch your face after touching a germ-infested object, you’re spreading the live bacteria to your body. However, you can always visit a skilled dermatologist in Pleasanton to clear up summer inflicted skin conditions. In between visits, here are some ways to prep your skin against the scorching sun.

Facial Care

The first thing that you notice is your face. So why wouldn’t you take the best care of it? During the summer, opt for a skin care routine that will hydrate your skin and keep it clean after a long day. Any dermatologist from Placerville will recommend exfoliating a few times a week to remove any excess oil and dirt because in the summertime sweat is more prevalent and can cause acne breakouts. If you have dry skin, refreshing your face throughout the day will do wonders. This can be as easy as splashing clean water on your face or using a facial mist. Mists can consist of rose water for those with sensitive skin. Either one you choose, refreshing your skin on a hot day will feel calming and your skin will be less irritated from the sun. Lastly, sunscreen is an absolute must and should be reapplied throughout the day. Sunscreen will block harmful sun rays that cause aging and sunspots.

Body Care

The skin on your body should be taken care of relatively the same as your face. Exfoliating your entire body should be done weekly, and reapplying sunscreen will prevent any that may occur. For hydration to your body, thick lotions that are not tacky will make your body feel plump without the added thickness. For ultimate hydration, drinking plenty of water will replenish what the sun is absorbing from your skin.

Winter

In winter, freezing temperatures can quickly dry out your skin. Skin treatment for these weather conditions in San Francisco may not be absolutely necessary, but they are very handy to know if you ever travel to a cooler climate. As it gets cooler, humidity levels drop and the air becomes drier. This results in flaky skin and for those will ailments such as eczema, the issue can get worse. For those with oily, acne-prone skin, the colder months can relieve you from pimples but there are extra ways to keep them at bay. Here are some ways to put the moisture back into your skin and take better overall care for it. 

Facial Care

Believe it or not, those harmful sun rays mentioned earlier are not just exclusive to summer. Even on the most cloudy days, UV rays are still able to get to us, therefore, sunscreen cannot be skipped during the darker, colder months! For those that live in areas where snow, when the sun reflects on blankets of white snow, it can do just as much harm that it can in the summer. Because skin becomes drier in winter, exfoliating your face to remove dead skin will help. If dryness makes your face feeling tight, humidifiers can add moisture to your skin, and even your hair.

Body Care

For colder month body care, applying oils after a warm shower will help your skin retain moisture. In addition, applying a thick cream all over will lock in the oil while providing more hydration. This ritual is perfect for those who suffer from eczema or psoriasis. However, for these issues, a skin treatment from your local Pleasanton dermatologist will be able to tailor a more specific skin care regimen 

Transitional Seasons

Transitional seasons can be conditioned spring and autumn, the months when the days aren’t too cold or too hot but they’re reaching for those days. Most likely your skin will be at its most normal and natural state during these months, however, there are some ways to prep it for extreme weather. Swapping your facial moisturizer with something that is lighter in consistency won't clog pores because in spring your skin will hold more water before the scorching sun can absorb it. Lastly, don’t forget to keep sunscreen on your vanity table! No matter what season, or what the temperature is, the sun always shines and when it does, you’ll need to protect your delicate skin all year round.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.                     

Psoriasis and Eczema: Differences and Treatments

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Dry and itchy skin is a lot more common than you may think. There can be several causes for such a skin ailment, sometimes they are issues that go away by itself and others may need extensive treatment. However, knowing the symptoms and differences between psoriasis and eczema can rule out possible guesses and confusion. Visiting a dermatologist in Palo Alto will be able to diagnose a patient, but in between skin treatment, there are preventative measures and knowledge that can be useful to a Walnut Creek client.

Both eczema and psoriasis are considered to be chronic skin disorders that both have similar features. They are both red, dry, flakey skin rashes. Regardless of the symptoms being similar, the causes are different which means that the way they are treated will be different as well. Because their traits are so similar it can be difficult to know which one a patient has and which treatment would work best. Knowing the differences, and slight differences in symptoms will give you a better understanding of both psoriasis and eczema.

Fundamental Differences

As mentioned earlier, knowing the difference between the two will better help you understand why your Roseville skin doctor chooses one method of treatment over the other. Before getting into different ways to cure these skin ailments, let's take a look at how psoriasis and eczema differ.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is known to be a chronic immune disease. But what does this mean? Essentially, that means a patient with this skin condition possesses an immune system dysfunction that is constantly activated, resulting in skin changes. The immune system attacks healthy cells resulting in this condition that causes raised, irritated, and scaly patches on the skin. They can be found in any part of the body, including the scalp, however, the most common areas are elbows and knees.

Individuals with psoriasis may experience breakouts and flare-ups that are extreme one week, and the week next it may calm down. Because it is an immune dysfunction, the persistence of it will vary. The cause of psoriasis due to the patient's immune system may be unknown but triggers can be identified. Sometimes sunburns, scrapes, and stress can be enough to prompt a flare-up. These are just a few triggers that can spark psoriasis. A San Francisco based dermatologist will be able to advise a psoriasis patient on potential triggers that can be dependant on lifestyle habits.

Eczema

Similar to psoriasis, eczema is also an inflammation to the skin and can also have several triggers. Instead of this skin condition being a result of a dysfunctional immune system, it is caused by allergies. It is best to think of eczema as an external allergic reaction, rather than internal, such as runny eyes and sneezing. Eczema mostly occurs in people who have a history of this condition in their family. If they do not have the skin condition, history of asthma, hay fever or other allergies, may pass down to others in the form of eczema.

Triggers of eczema can come from various sources, these include food and environmental stimulants. Nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy, soy, and wheat are just a few examples of food allergies that can cause eczema. The environment can be airborne particles from pollen, mold, pet hair, cigarette smoke, and dust. Your Palo Alto skin doctor will be better at finding the exact trigger based on an allergy test. Just like psoriasis, eczema can also be triggered by stress if you are prone to getting this skin ailment. It can also develop at any time in your life.

Symptoms

It’s important to remember that psoriasis and eczema are not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person. However, if it runs in the family, it can be transmittable through genetics. In addition, the symptoms are in some ways different but relatively the same. For precautionary measures, it is best to look out for these consistent symptoms and then make an appointment with a skin doctor in Roseville to better hone in the type of skin condition you have and what treatment will work.

Visually speaking, it can be difficult to know if it is psoriasis or eczema. Common signs for both are dry, cracked, itchy patches of skin. However, those with psoriasis, the patches on the skin will be thicker in flaky scales, but sometimes it still may be difficult to catch to the naked eye. One distinct feature of eczema is fluid, or wetness may persist in the dry patches, this is known as serous exudate. For proper skin treatment by a dermatologist in Walnut Creek, a biopsy will be able to disclose which condition it is. 

Different Types

Unfortunately, psoriasis and eczema are not just two similar but different skin ailments, but there are different types for each condition. Visiting a San Francisco dermatologist can pinpoint the type of psoriasis or eczema a patient has, but knowing that there is even a subcategory of them will help patients better understand their skin.

For psoriasis, there are several different types, but the most common is known as plaque psoriasis. This is thick and scaly patches on the skin that is red and sometimes even a silvery-white color. It looks this way on account of built-up dead skin cells.

Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema that is associated with asthma and it is common to see the signs in childhood. Flare-ups are caused by internal or external allergies. Lastly, contact dermatitis is one of the most common types of eczema. This is when an allergen or substance touched the skin and irritates it, creating flaky, itchy skin. For this type, cortisone creams can reduce the symptoms, however, there are alternative treatments you can discuss with your Roseville skin doctor.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.


 
 

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