What Causes Bags Under My Eyes Other Than Lack of Sleep?

As we get older the one thing that may shoot down our confidence faster than feeling tired is looking tired. Ice packs to reduce puffiness, makeup to camouflage or an extra shot of espresso with your morning cup of coffee can only masquerade the bags under your eyes for so long. Once you are refreshed and have caught up on your recommended 8 hours of sleep, you may still have a tired look. Could it be you have caught up on your zzz’s and there’s a different reason your eyes are giving away your age? What causes bags under my eyes other than lack of sleep?

Sleep deprivation can cause dark circles around the eyes. Lack of sleep decreases oxygen that is available to the eyes causing blood vessels to dilate making the eyes look red or bloodshot. Beause the skin around the eyes is already thin and translucent, dark circles and puffiness are more noticeable. Finding ways to rest and relax with a good night’s sleep can be the simple solution for bags under the eyes. Still, there may be other reasons that cause bags under the eyes other than a lack of sleep. Allergies, sun exposure and sodium intake are top contributors to bags under the eyes. Seasonal or perennial allergies can affect the eyes. Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine and scheduling allergy testing with your doctor are the best ways to treat and diagnose allergies to see if they are the cause of bags under your eyes. It’s no secret that you should be using a daily sunscreen. However, many people forget the importance of applying sunscreen around the eyes. Skin discoloration and risk for skin cancer can still occur in the small, delicate area around the eyes. Consuming foods with a high amount of sodium can increase fluid retention in the body and be the reason for bloated skin around the eyes as well as other areas of the body. Simply eliminating a high intake of salty foods will help alleviate the bags under your eyes. Be sure to eliminate smoking and alcohol use as well. Not only will it provide you with better overall health, but tobacco use and excessive alcohol ages the skin. Sometimes bags under the eyes may be an indicator of an underlying health concern such as thyroid issues so consult with your doctor for a healthy lifestyle plan as well as any necessary testing to determine any ongoing health issues. 

The most common explanation for dark circles or bags under the eyes is structural. We lose subcutaneous fat as we age. In addition, muscles and tissues also weaken over time. This combination can result in dark circles or bags under the eyes. Although bags may cause psychological or emotional stress, they do not pose any harmful health concerns. Under eye bags can be treated with at-home remedies like a cool compress, eliminating some poor habits and covering with makeup. If these options do not satisfy you, a surgical option known as a lower blepharoplasty will remove or reposition the fat or skin underneath the eyes. This process is effective in addressing bags under the eyes. Other options include laser treatments, dermal filler or Botox injections. 

For more information on under eye treatments, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or WEBSITE

Posted: August 25, 2023 By:

What Is the Best Way to Deal with A Sunburn?

Fun in the sun can leave you with carefree memories, peaceful tranquility in the outdoors or a boost of immunity. But spending too much time in the sun puts you at risk for skin damage. The first effects of skin damage are sunburns. Sunburns are inflammation or irritation of the skin caused by exposure to the sun. Symptoms include red, itchy, pained skin, sometimes accompanied by blisters that are often hot to the touch. Ouch. If you have developed this condition, what is the best way to deal with a sunburn?

The best course of action for a sunburn is a combination of medication and self-care. Combining soothing remedies of pain relievers and topical creams is the most effective way to treat a sunburn. If your skin can tolerate it, take quick, frequent cool baths or showers to bring down the temperature of the skin and then immediately apply a moisturizer before fully dried to help lock moisture into the skin. Use aloe vera or hydrocortisone to provide relief to the skin. Avoid petroleum jelly or any over the counter treatments that end in “caine” as they may cause further irritation to the skin. Take an oral aspirin or ibuprofen to alleviate discomfort and swelling. Drink extra water to rehydrate the body. If returning to the sun, wear tight-woven, loose-fitting, dark fabrics that do not allow in any light to protect the skin while it heals. 

The average sunburn is much like a first degree burn in that it affects the outer layer of skin. If your sunburn blisters or brings on symptoms of nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness or fatigue, contact your doctor to avoid scarring, infection or permanent skin color changes.

Ultimately the best way to deal with a sunburn is to avoid getting one. Always wear sunscreen with SPF 30 and reapply every 2 hours. Wear sun-protective clothing when possible. Stay in the shade or wear a wide-brimmed hat that provides shade. Finally, schedule an annual skin exam with THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology by calling 602-867-7546 or book online at WEBSITE. Sun damage is the fastest way to age the skin. Keep young skin looking young but avoiding long term sun exposure, wearing sunscreen, and talking with your dermatologist about ways to care for and improve the skin you are in. 

Posted: August 18, 2023 By:

Are There Different Types of Skin Cancer?

Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid getting the dreaded and potentially life-threatening C word for the skin: skin cancer. In addition to a yearly skin exam at CLIENT NAME, we recommended seeking shade when available when outdoors, wearing sun protective clothing including a wide-brimmed hat and UV blocking sunglasses, wearing a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of an SPF 30 or higher that protects from UVA and UVB rays and reapplying every 2 hours, avoiding tanning beds, and performing regular skin self-exams to monitor any changes in moles or additional marks, bumps or color changes to the skin.

The skin is made up of many different types of cells. Skin cancer develops when cells grow and multiply in a disorderly fashion. New skin cells form when cells grow old and die off or become damaged. When this process goes awry, a rapid growth of cells occurs; some of the collection of cells could be benign or noncancerous and some may be cancerous, in which case the cancerous cells could spread to nearby tissue or organs if not detected early. The good news is that nearly all skin cancers can be treated and cured if found early so be sure to schedule an annual exam.

Are there different types of skin cancer? The 3 most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer accounting for nearly 80% of cases. Research indicates that prolonged sun exposure, longer life span and early detection methods account for the higher rate of basal cell carcinoma diagnosis. Basal cell is found in the outer layer of skin known as the epidermis. Signs include a flesh-colored, round growth, a pearl-like bump, a pink-colored patch of skin and a bleeding or scabbing scab that heals but returns. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the flat cells of the epidermis and can present as a firm, red bump, a flat lesion with a crusted surface or a sore that heals and eventually reopens. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer that can develop in an existing mole or present as a new dark spot on the skin.

Skin cancer can develop anywhere but most often affects areas exposed to the sun such as the face, arms, legs and back. For more information on how to prevent skin cancer, visit our website at WEBSITE. To schedule your skin screening with THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology, fill out our request form online or give our office a call at 602-867-7546. 

Posted: August 11, 2023 By:

Are Tanning Beds Safe?

“I look thinner when I’m tan.” “My teeth are whiter and brighter when I’m tan.” “My skin imperfections like varicose veins and cellulite don’t show when I’m tan.” You may have heard these comments from friends or even said them yourself. It’s true, having a tan improves the visual appearance of the body, slimming your look, emphasizing characteristics and defining muscles. But what are the drawbacks of tanning beds? Namely, skin cancer. Most skin cancers are caused by harmful ultraviolet rays either from the sun or UV tanning beds. Indoor tanning can increase the risk of developing the 2 most common types of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma by 58% and basal cell carcinoma by 24%. Are tanning beds safe? Ultimately, no. There is no such thing as a safe tanning bed.

Proponents of tanning beds use often tout myths such as “a base tan before vacation prevents damage from the real sun” or “year-round tanning provides essential vitamin D necessary for good health” or “tanning beds are one of the best ways to improve mood and counteract seasonal affective disorder for those who do not live in sunny climates.” As research improves over time, we now know that securing a base tan to eliminate sunburns is untrue. Science has proven that a tan is in fact just as damaging as a sunburn since any tan is an indication of damage to the skin cells. Tanning beds not only age the skin with UVA light but the wavelengths that penetrate the skin during tanning bed use are strongly linked to melanoma. In a recent study of 63 women who were diagnosed with melanoma before age 30, 97% had used tanning beds. Vitamin D is essential for the body but the argument for tanning does not compute. In fact, the real answer to the vitamin D argument is natural sun because the UVB rays from the sun interact with protein in the skin to convert it to vitamin D, tanning beds mostly emit UVA rays. Vitamin D supplements are a great alternative to sun damage. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is absorbed best when paired with healthy high fat foods. Exercise, time in nature, light boxes that do not harm the skin or eyes, social activities, aromatherapy, vacations and vitamin D supplementation are responsible and safe ways to combat seasonal affective disorder and improve mood.

Alternatives to tanning beds include more cost-effective options like spray tanning or sunless self-tanners that will provide you with a stunning all-over glow with the harmful UV exposure and risk of skin cancer. For more information on protecting your skin, visit WEBSITE. To have your skin assessed for any abnormalities or sun damage, call THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546. 

Posted: August 4, 2023 By:

How to Find a Trustworthy Dermatologist

Dermatology covers nearly everything related to the hair, nails and skin. When you notice any abnormalities or something that concerns you that you may want checked, you must start somewhere. Knowing where to begin is the first step in how to find a trustworthy dermatologist. 

Referrals are the easiest way to find a dermatologist without having to do a lot of the leg work yourself. If you already have a trusted general practitioner, start by asking your primary care doctor for reputable suggestions on who to see for your dermatological needs. Referrals from friends and family are helpful too to find someone reputable in your area. You can always search online reviews and read patient testimonials. The next most important factor in selecting a dermatologist is to search for a doctor that has the acronym FAAD after their name. FAAD stands for Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and tells you that the dermatologist is board-certified. Being board certified means that a doctor has undergone countless hours and additional years of education and extensive training in their field. You can trust that the care you receive from the dermatologist comes from someone who has proven dedication to their specialty because of thoroughly tested experience.  

Once you have found a list of dermatologists who have been personally referred and are board-certified, it is time to schedule a consultation, possibly with multiple doctors, to get a feel for them personally. All the research you have accumulated will not establish trust in a doctor-patient relationship. Patients can define trust in different ways. One patient may want a dermatologist that spends time detailing the root causes of the issue and all the options in treating the issues and another patient may be most concerned about cost and what is or is not covered by insurance. Personality types may be a factor in what you need from your experience. It may also be important to you to discover what dermatologist you are seeing-if your needs are medical, cosmetic or surgical. You may require multiple treatments which means finding a doctor that will take time to listen to you and allow you to feel heard will be key in finding a trustworthy dermatologist. 

At THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology, we invite you to come in to get to know our team. We hope that you will find our dermatologists and support staff to be trustworthy in addressing your dermatology needs. For an appointment, call 602-867-7546 or schedule online at WEBSITE

Posted: June 18, 2023 By:

What is Melanoma and How Do I Prevent Skin Cancer?

More than 90% of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure which means that less than 10% of skin cancer derives from sources other than prolonged sun exposure and frequent sunburns. Bottom line: stay out of direct sunlight at frequent intervals and always use sun protection. Common causes of non-melanoma skin cancer include rare, inherited genetic skin disorders such as Gorlin syndrome, a history of fragile skin, use of tanning beds, fair complexion or freckles, precancerous skin conditions such as actinic keratosis and a weakened or compromised immune system. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are 2 common types of non-melanoma skin cancer that usually develop after many years of sun exposure. These usually present on the face, ears, neck, hands and lower arms. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer because it can spread to other parts of the body. The exact cause of melanoma remains unclear but exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning beds increases the risk of developing melanoma. Unlike non-melanoma skin cancers, melanoma develops after intense and brief exposure to ultraviolet radiation such as sunburns. 

What is melanoma and how do I prevent skin cancer? Melanoma develops in the cells, known as melanocytes, that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. Early indicators of melanoma include new moles, lumps, marks, sores or blemishes. A general rule for determining potential skin cancer is to follow what is called the ABCDE guideline. This acronym stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolving. If moles, birthmarks or other skin marks have changed in any of these areas, it is wise to consult with a dermatologist to assess your skin with a skin cancer screening. 

While skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, the good news is that it is the most treatable when caught in the early stages. For continuous exposure to the sun, protection of the skin is necessary to prevent skin cancer. This includes an SPF 30 or greater sunscreen applied every 2 hours and wearing of hats and protective clothing. Shading oneself whenever possible will also provide a barrier between your skin and the sun. Knowledge is power when it comes to preventing cancer. Knowing if you pose certain risk factors will help you to keep a lookout for any new changes to the skin. Melanoma risk factors include fair skin, history of sunburns, excessive UV light exposure, living near the equator or at higher elevations, many moles or unusual moles, a family history of melanoma and a weakened immune system. 

For a full skin assessment, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or for more information visit our website at WEBSITE.

Posted: June 11, 2023 By:

What Do I Do If I Have Dry Skin?

As the seasons transition, it is not uncommon to experience changes to your skin in reaction to temperature and humidity changes. Inflammation, excessive oiliness and dryness are realistic reactions to your skin adjusting to environmental conditions. In addition to fluctuations in weather, certain chemicals, hot water and underlying medical conditions can cause dry skin. Dry skin alone is not abnormal, but it is important to find out what is causing dry skin so that you are able to treat it properly. Severe or chronic dry skin can cause irritation, such as easily flaking or cracked skin that leads to sores, that makes lifestyle changes or medical treatment necessary. 

Most people can successfully treat dry skin by using a daily moisturizer that rehydrates the skin bringing it back to its previous smooth and soft state. Moisturizing products include lotions, creams, ointments, balms and oils with emollients or hyaluronic acid. Dry skin moisturizers should be fragrance and alcohol free, they should also be free of moisture attracting ingredients like glycerin, prevent itching, offer sun protection and are designed for the application to a specific area of the body. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, sugar and salt as well as any other foods or drinks that cause dehydration is important. 

Untreated or severely dry skin can cause the skin to crack and bleed exposing the body to infection. If your dry skin is not cured with a moisturizer, you should contact a dermatologist at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology to ask, “what do I do if I have dry skin?” Your doctor can assess your skin and determine the cause of the dry skin and how to best heal your skin. Common types of dry skin are contact dermatitis (when the skin reacts to something it touches and the skin becomes inflamed), seborrheic dermatitis (too much oil produced by the body that typically affects the scalp with a red and scaly rash), atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema that causes dry, scaly patches on the skin) or athlete’s foot. 

You can prevent dry skin by cleansing with a mild, moisturizing soap, taking warm (not hot) baths or showers, moisturizing as soon as you finish bathing, managing stress levels, minimizing sun exposure, not smoking, using a humidifier and drinking plenty of water. If you have concerns about dry skin, especially dry skin that itches non-stop and interferes with sleep or daily activities, appears infected or swollen, is painful to the touch or develops a rash, you should see your healthcare provider. Fortunately, dry skin is usually a simple fix and does not cause any long-term problems. If you have dry skin, let’s get an appointment schedule to help soothe your skin with prescription medications or solutions to make you feel good in your skin. Call 602-867-7546 or book online at WEBSITE

Posted: June 4, 2023 By:

How to Know if You are Ready for BOTOX?

Pesky forehead and facial fine lines usually start out as easy to camouflage with makeup. But as we age, some of us begin to feel like those lines aren’t quite as faint as they used to be and prominently display our age and stress for the world to see. At this stage you may be contemplating the pros and cons of Botox including how to ensure the natural look of your face as well as the future maintenance of beginning something you likely won’t want to stop. How do you know if you are ready for Botox?

Expression lines that refuse to fade may indicate the perfect time to start a Botox discussion. Although wrinkles add character, not everyone wants a permanent reminder of their emotions all over their face. As one of the most effective and well-known wrinkle treatments on the market, Botox treats aesthetic conditions such as fine lines, crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles and the 11 lines that form between the eyebrows as well as medical treatments for migraines, teeth grinding and excessive sweating. Botox can also be used as a preventative measure before the effects of aging set in.

Botox is the brand name for botulinum toxin, a chemical that blocks the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine causing a paralysis to the muscle in which it is injected. In small doses, Botox injections reduce the wrinkling of the skin that leaves behind lines on the skin causing a smoothness to the area. There are 5 key ways to know that you are ready for Botox: 1. You see fine lines appear on your face. 2. You want to improve facial symmetry. 3. You want to soften the jawline. 4. You want to look refreshed or rejuvenated especially before a big event. 5. You are willing to invest in regular Botox treatment. Surprising to many, age is not a barometer in which to gauge whether you are ready for Botox. A combination of the emotional effect you will receive with a wrinkle-free face and the ability to avoid repeated treatments for long term efficacy. Likewise, there are some reasons that may exclude a patient from being an ideal candidate for receiving Botox treatments. These include heavy brows (which may require an eyebrow lift versus Botox injections), super-aged skin (deeper set or static wrinkles may not respond to Botox, dermal filler, lasers or a facelift may offer a better solution), those who have a muscle-related disorder and if you have unrealistic expectations. Botox generally lasts only 3 months or so and works best on the upper face where muscles are close to the overlying skin. Those who are looking to tighten sagging skin or contour their cheeks will find other aesthetic treatments options more beneficial.

To learn more about Botox injections at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology and all our dermatological treatment options, call our office at 602-867-7546. You can set up your appointment conveniently online as well at WEBSITE

Posted: May 25, 2023 By:

When Should I Set up a Skin Cancer Screening?

One of the best things you can do for your skin is to protect it from the sun. Liberally applying sunscreen throughout the day will shield your skin from the effects of ultraviolet rays including sun damage, sun burns, premature aging and wrinkles. The biggest worry with exposure to the sun is skin cancer. At THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology our patients are proactive in asking “when should I set up a skin cancer screening?”

Skin cancer is the most common type of skin cancer in the United States with 1 in 5 Americans developing skin cancer in their lifetime. A skin cancer screening is a visual, full-body inspection by a dermatologist who can diagnose and treat all sorts of conditions and diseases of the hair, nails and skin. Screening provides an opportunity to assess the skin and look for atypical moles, unusual spots, growths, lesions and changes to the skin that may indicate a concern. Detecting cancer early can be lifesaving. More than 3 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year. With such a significant portion of the population affected by skin cancer, patients should schedule a skin cancer screening once a year beginning in their 20s. Those with higher risk factors or patients who notice changes to their skin, should consider more frequent skin evaluations. Risk factors for skin cancer include having blonde or red hair, light colored eyes, fair skin that burns or freckles easily, family history of skin cancer, personal history of skin cancer, history of suspicious moles, history of sunburns, frequent tanning bed use and those who have more than 50 moles on their body.

If you are interested in a skin cancer screening at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology, fill out a submission form here WEBSITE and a member of our team will reach out to you to schedule an appointment. For more information on how to protect your skin and for how to prepare for your skin cancer screening, call our friendly front office at 602-867-7546.

Posted: May 18, 2023 By:

At Home Acne Treatments You Should Stay Away From

Just because a product is made of natural ingredients does not mean it belongs on your face. If you have suffered from acne, especially stubborn persistent breakouts, you probably feel like you have tried every option under the sun with little to no results. While it is true that our skin generally can improve with a healthy diet (you are what you eat, as the saying goes), searching your pantry or refrigerator for home remedies to apply topically to your face may make acne worse. And honestly, if the secret to clear skin was in our kitchen, there wouldn’t be a need to develop acne medications and skin improving treatments.

It doesn’t take much to discover from a single Internet search that the world wide web is quick to offer advice on the latest acne quick fixes that offer affordability and convenience by shopping your local produce aisle. And who doesn’t love the idea of treating their skin naturally? Learning to discern which foods are helpful and which ones are not will help you avoid worsening your acne. At home acne treatments you should stay away from include using honey, toothpaste, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil and combinations that include garlic cloves, cinnamon or lemons. Honey draws out excess water and while that may dry out red, inflamed blemishes it will likely worsen blackheads or open acne, not to mention make a sticky mess all over your face. Honey is touted as a cure for acne since it can fight and kill bacteria, but there is no evidence to show that honey alone is effective for acne. Toothpaste is designed for teeth. The chemicals in toothpaste that include lauryl sulfate, fluoride and baking soda can irritate the skin causing inflammation, which will lead to more breakouts on already sensitive skin. Apple cider vinegar is thought to be a great exfoliant due to its acidity. Unfortunately, it is too acidic and can easily strip the skin of its natural oils. People should opt instead for skin care acids specifically targeted for acne such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid. Unlike apple cider vinegar, coconut oil has a great smell and feels silky on the skin. Although it can be a soothing moisturizer it is also likely to clog pores which will lead to whiteheads and blackheads. Acne-fighting recipes that include lemons, garlic cloves or cinnamon can cause an allergic rash known as contact dermatitis that can potentially take weeks to clear up. 

If you are battling acne, steer clear of home remedies that not only offer false hope but may break you out even more or create other skin issues in addition to acne. To help improve your acne, seek the advice of a board-certified dermatologist at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology. Our doctors can help you patch test tried and true prescription products while respecting and advocating for your right to try at home treatments that can benefit the skin. Call 602-867-7546 or book online at WEBSITE

Posted: May 11, 2023 By: