Should I Go to the Dermatologist for Nail Fungus?

Nail fungus is a chronic and potentially contagious condition that affects millions of people worldwide and should be treated by a dermatologist. There are several different types of nail fungus and as such, the symptoms, progression and treatment can vary slightly depending upon the precise ailment that’s infecting the nail bed. One of the most common nail fungus infections is called Onychomycosis. It is the most common disease of the nails and constitutes about half of all nail abnormalities. This condition may affect toenails or fingernails, but toenail infections are particularly common. 

Nail fungus often begins as a small spot of white, yellow or green that appears under the nail, typically near the edge. This is often paired with an array of other symptoms that worsen as the infection spreads deeper below the nail. Ultimately, the fungus can affect the entire nail, including the nail bed – the area where the new nail grows from. This will cause all new nail growth to be infected as well.

Symptoms of nail fungus include:

  • A white, yellow or green patch of discoloration under the nail, typically near the edge
  • Painful or sore nails
  • Thickened nails
  • Discoloration, often yellow, green or black
  • Brittle or crumbling at the edges
  • Rough, abnormal nail surface texture
  • Foul odor
  • Distorted nail shape
  • Dull, with no shine
  • Scaly skin around the nail
  • Inflammation, redness and swelling under and around the nail
  • The nail may separate or lift from the nail bed

Not all nail infections are fungal infections. Conditions with similar symptoms include eczema, psoriasis and Reiter’s syndrome.

If you notice any symptoms of nail fungus, it is important to have your nails examined by a professional. In Phoenix, dermatologist Dr. Holy is familiar with nail fungus and able to treat many conditions. To schedule an appointment, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website today.

Posted: May 11, 2021 By:

How Do Dermatologists Remove Moles?

Moles are growths or lesions found on the skin and come in various shapes and sizes. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin – from the facial area, as well as arms and chest areas, in groups or by themselves. They can be present at birth or can begin to appear over time. Moles are bothersome to some people and can even lead to dangerous health risks. Mole removal can help people wanting to improve their appearance and reduce associated health risks.

The mole removal process, whether for cosmetic or preventive reasons, requires a fair level of surgical skill to prevent unpleasant scarring. It is best to seek the professional services of a dermatologist. Never attempt to remove a mole on your own. 

Concern over the presence of moles on the skin is mainly an issue of appearance for most people. In Phoenix, Dr. Holy can remove moles from skin using one of several techniques. If a mole is suspicious looking, Dr. Holy can run tests to determine if the mole is cancerous and/or should be removed. If a mole begins to crack, bleed, ooze or becomes itchy or painful, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology promptly to schedule an evaluation.

You may choose to remove a mole for health, cosmetic or comfort-related reasons. The type and size of mole being removed determines what technique is used.  

Scalpel Excision: The most basic type of mole removal is the scalpel excision that can be performed quite simply in Dr. Name’s office. This mole removal process begins with numbing the area with an anesthetic, cleaning the area to prevent infection and then using a scalpel to remove the blemish. Stitches are generally used with this technique. 

Cauterization: If the mole is only slightly raised from the skin, Dr. Holy may choose to cauterize the blemish off your skin instead of using a scalpel. First, the area will be numbed and cleaned and then a burning tool will be used to burn away the blemish and its base. This procedure does not require stitches, the burned skin will heal over time, although it will likely leave a light scar.

Laser Excision: This method of mole removal is the least likely to leave noticeable scarring. This procedure is similar to scalpel excision only a laser is used in place of a scalpel to remove the mole and base. Lasers also decrease the chance of infection, as they make cleaner cuts. This method does not require stitches, as the laser will evaporate the colored cells of the blemish without cutting into the skin. While scarring is not an issue for this technique, it is important to know this is not a method used for treating deep moles because the laser does not penetrate deeply enough.

If you have a mole you would like evaluated for removal, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website to schedule an appointment.

Posted: May 4, 2021 By:

What is the Main Cause of Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes the rapid build-up of skin cells. This build-up of cells causes scaling on the skin’s surface with inflammation and redness around the scales. 

Scales typically develop on joints such as elbows and knees. They may develop anywhere on the body including the hands, feet, neck, scalp and face. Less common types of psoriasis affect the nails, the mouth and the area around genitals.

There are 5 types of psoriasis and most common symptoms include:

  • Plaque psoriasis: This is the most common type of psoriasis — about 80% of people with the condition have plaque psoriasis. It causes red, inflamed patches that cover areas of the skin. These patches are often covered with whitish-silver scales or plaques. These plaques are commonly found on the elbows, knees and scalp.
  • Guttate psoriasis: Guttate psoriasis is common in children. This type of psoriasis causes small pink spots. The most common sites for guttate psoriasis include the torso, arms and legs. These spots are rarely thick or raised like plaque psoriasis. 
  • Pustular psoriasis: Pustular psoriasis is more common in adults. It causes white, pus-filled blisters and broad areas of red, inflamed skin. Pustular psoriasis is typically localized to smaller areas of the body, such as the hands or feet, but it can be widespread.
  • Inverse psoriasis: Inverse psoriasis causes bright areas of red, shiny, inflamed skin. Patches of inverse psoriasis develop under armpits or breasts, in the groin or around skinfolds in the genitals.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis: This type of psoriasis often covers large sections of the body at once and is very rare. The skin almost appears sunburned. Scales that develop often slough off in large sections or sheets. It’s not uncommon for a person with this type of psoriasis to run a fever or become very ill.

Psoriasis symptoms differ from person to person. Most people with psoriasis go through cycles of symptoms. The condition may cause severe symptoms for a few days or weeks, and then the symptoms may clear up and be almost unnoticeable. Then, in a few weeks or if made worse by a common psoriasis trigger, the condition may flare up again. Sometimes, symptoms of psoriasis disappear completely. When you have no active signs of the condition, you may be in remission. That doesn’t mean that the psoriasis won’t come back, but for now you are symptom free.

If you have psoriasis symptoms, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holy.

Posted: April 25, 2021 By:

What Are the Benefits of Chemical Peels?

A chemical peel is a skin resurfacing technique that uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of the skin by removing its damaged outer layers. It involves the application of toxic chemical solutions to the skin in a controlled manner, producing controlled tissue death and resulting in a superficial wound. As the tissue damage is repaired by the natural healing process, the skin’s appearance is improved.

There are many benefits of a chemical peel. Chemical peels effectively treat a host of skin problems including acne, discolorations and fine lines and wrinkles. Most procedures take less than an hour to perform, with minimal discomfort during the treatment. There are several types of chemical peels offered today, which allows you and your dermatologist to partner together to find the best formula for your specific needs. 

Chemical peels are available in different strengths and use different types of chemicals to achieve specific results. The type of peel that will benefit you will depend on the results you’re looking for and your skin type, as well as any underlying medical conditions.

In Phoenix, Dr. Holy will use a specific formula for your chemical peel based on the characteristics of your skin and your desired result. There are three main types of chemical peels; light, medium and deep, categorized by the differing levels of “peeling” and utilizing varying amounts of chemicals for the desired results. 

A light chemical peel is most commonly performed and is the mildest of the peel formulas that uses Alpha hydroxy acids. You may experience a slight tingling or warming sensation of the skin. AHA may be applied weekly or at longer intervals to achieve the desired results.

A medium chemical peel is performed using a trichloroacetic acid. Medium deep peeling can sting mildly with much warmer sensations on the skin. Because of deeper penetration, it can remove larger wrinkles and precancerous skin lesions; however, this peel can also make the skin temporarily look like a sunburn.

Deep chemical peels, using Phenol acid, are rarely performed. The application is very painful and is done under a general anesthesia. 

To learn more about chemical peel treatments in Phoenix or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Holy, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website today.

Posted: April 18, 2021 By:

How Often Should You See a Dermatologist?

Many people assume that because they haven’t noticed any significant problems with their skin, they don’t need to make the time to see a dermatologist. The truth is, an appointment at the dermatologist’s office can be beneficial — even if you don’t have concerns about your skin.

Dermatologists treat skin problems that range from mild irritations to quite serious diseases. In some cases, common conditions that affect the skin can be hazardous to your health or even life-threatening, if left untreated. You should consider seeing a dermatologist if you suffer from any of the following conditions, among others:

Acne: Acne is caused by oil trapped in ducts beneath your skin. On your face alone, 15,000-20,000 oil glands work to keep the skin elastic and soft. When the oil cannot rise to lubricate the surface of your skin, it builds up in the ducts, bacteria grow and inflammation occurs. Acne is most common among teenagers, but it can start or continue into adulthood. 

Psoriasis: This genetic condition is characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin. The scalp, elbows and knees are commonly affected, although it can surface anywhere. Arthritis is associated with this rash in 40% of psoriasis patients. Topical creams and ointments are successful in controlling small areas of psoriasis. More severe cases can be treated with ultraviolet light or systemic medications.

Contact Dermatitis: Many substances in the environment react with our skin. Some are found in plants, such as poison ivy. Chemicals found in clothing, jewelry, creams and perfumes may cause direct irritation or stimulate an allergic response. The affected skin becomes tender or itchy and, in extreme cases, blisters may appear. If the offending chemical is unknown, allergy testing may be able to identify the cause.

Eczema: This is a chronic condition in which the skin becomes itchy, reddened, cracked and dry. It affects both males and females, as well as people from different ethnic backgrounds. This condition can affect children, teens and adults. Dr. Holy offers many treatment options for relieving eczema.

Warts: These are skin growths caused by a virus. The virus causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, forming a wart. Warts can grow anywhere on the body and are most common in children and young adults. 

Sun Damage: Overexposure to the sun can cause a variety of skin conditions, not just sunburns, wrinkles or skin cancer. You may also experience uneven pigmentation, lentigines (also referred to as age spots or liver spots), labial lentigo (a dark brown lesion that develops on lips) and solar elastosis (a breakdown of collagen and connective tissue, which causes the skin to sag). Dr. Holy can effectively diagnose and treat existing sun damage and help you prevent future damage.

Atypical Moles: These most commonly appear on the back but may appear anywhere on the body, including below the waist, on the scalp or other areas. They may fade into surrounding skin and include a flat portion that is level with the skin surface. They may be smooth, slightly scaly or have a rough, irregular appearance. Atypical moles are usually not present at birth but develop some time later. Several types of atypical moles are known to develop before melanoma. Atypical moles are the most common precursor, but not all atypical moles develop into melanoma. It is important to have Dr. Holy examine any mole that you feel is suspicious or is changing.

Skin Care Education: Dr. Holy will spend time with each patient, educating them on the best way to take care of their skin and what steps can be taken to prevent the occurrence of serious skin conditions.

How Often Should I See a Dermatologist?

Even if you have no concerns about the health of your skin, you still need to see a dermatologist regularly as a way of maintaining your health. Seeing a dermatologist is a proactive way of monitoring for early detection of cancer or other dermatologic issues. We recommend that every adult have a full body examination a minimum of one time each year.

Contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix by calling 602-867-7546 or visiting website to schedule an appointment.

Posted: April 11, 2021 By:

At What Age Should You Start Botox?

Botox is a prescription medication approved for several different uses. Although the drug is well known for its ability to improve the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles, it is also approved for treating other conditions.

Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about 3-12 months, depending on what you are treating. The most common side effects of Botox are pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site. 

Botox injections are very simple to perform and usually take less than 5 minutes per facial area. A topical anesthetic is typically used to ensure comfort during the treatment. During Botox treatment in Phoenix, Dr. Holy uses a tiny micro-needle to very precisely inject the botulinum toxin type A serum into select facial muscles.

Some patients see results within a few days, while most see results by one week. Within 1-2 weeks of the Botox injections, the treated facial muscles become temporarily relaxed, causing the overlying skin to lay flat and unwrinkled. The untreated facial muscles contract in a normal fashion, allowing normal facial expression to be unaffected.

Although individual results vary, most patients can expect significant wrinkle reduction for about 4 months following the Botox injections. To maintain the desired wrinkle reduction effects, treatments can and should be repeated about every four or five months. The results tend to last longer with subsequent treatments.  

When to Begin Botox Treatment

There is no legal age for Botox per se. Botox Cosmetic is FDA approved for use in patients 18 to 65 years.

Botox is one of the most popular wrinkle treatments available – among many different age groups. Middle-aged patients with existing facial lines use Botox to regain youthful skin. And younger patients (even some in their 20s) choose Botox to prevent wrinkles from ever forming. Depending on your aging concerns, taking an offensive approach to facial lines may be the ideal plan.

Botox is just one of several cosmetic procedures to reduce facial wrinkles. If you’re frustrated with lines on your face, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holy to determine the best wrinkle reducing option for you.

Posted: April 4, 2021 By:

How to Get Rid of Spider Veins

Varicose veins, often referred to as spider veins, are a common condition that affect many adults. These abnormally enlarged vessels, which affect women more often than men, appear most often on the legs and become more prevalent with age.

Spider veins can be caused by:

  • Pregnancy
  • Birth Control Pills
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Occupations that require prolonged standing, such as teaching or hairdressing
  • Abnormal Larger Deeper Blood Vessels
  • Weight Gain
  • Family History

There are several treatments available for spider veins. These include:

Sclerotherapy — This treatment is the most commonly used and involves injecting a solution into the vein with a tiny needle. The solution alters the vein wall which closes down. The body then absorbs the vein and it disappears. Blood flow is shifted from the abnormal vessel to other healthy veins.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Therapy — This treatment works very well for dilated blood vessels, redness, flushing and blushing on the face, neck, chest, arms and the back of the hands. It can be helpful for very tiny blood vessels that sometimes occur after sclerotherapy but is less effective than sclerotherapy for removing spider vein on the legs.

Laser Therapy — The Excel V laser utilizes a unique high-power green laser that is absorbed by the abnormal blood vessels in the skin, resulting in improved skin appearance. The Excel V laser is highly customizable, allowing Dr. Holy to precisely treat individual conditions with a high level of accuracy. Results will always vary depending on the individual patient, but the Excel V typically has a high satisfaction rate.

Most treatments require multiple sessions spaced out over several weeks. Results may not be noticeable right away. You will typically see improvement several weeks after initial treatment. While the treated veins will not re-appear, new veins may develop and require further treatment. 

To learn more about treating spider veins or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Holy, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website today.

Posted: March 25, 2021 By:

How Do I Know if I Have Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the rapid build-up of skin cells. Typically, skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface, eventually falling off. The typical life cycle of a skin cell is one month. For patients with psoriasis, this production process may occur in just a few days. Because of this, skin cells don’t have time to fall off. This rapid, overproduction leads to the build-up of skin cells. This build-up of cells causes scaling on the skin’s surface. Inflammation and redness around the scales is a common symptom. Typical psoriatic scales are whitish-silver and develop in thick, red patches. Sometimes, these patches will crack and bleed.

Psoriasis symptoms differ from person to person and depend on the type of psoriasis. There are five official types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic. There are also subcategories of psoriasis types which appear differently depending on where it is located on the body. Scales typically develop on joints such elbows and knees although they may develop anywhere on the body including the hands, feet, neck, scalp and face. Less common types of psoriasis affect the nails, the mouth and the area around genitals.

Symptoms of plaque psoriasis, the most common form of the disease, include:

  • Red, raised, inflamed patches of skin
  • Silver-white scales or plaques on the red patches
  • Dry skin that may crack and bleed
  • Soreness around patches
  • Itching and burning sensations around patches
  • Thick, pitted nails
  • Painful, swollen joints

Not every person with psoriasis will experience all of these symptoms. Some people will experience entirely different symptoms if they have a less common type of psoriasis. 

Most people with psoriasis go through cycles of symptoms. The condition may cause severe symptoms for a few days or weeks, and then the symptoms may clear up and be almost unnoticeable. Then, in a few weeks or if made worse by a common psoriasis trigger, the condition may flare up again. Sometimes, symptoms of psoriasis disappear completely. 

Psoriasis triggers include infection (such as strep or a cold), stress, cold weather, smoking, certain medicines and many others. 

If you think you have psoriasis, it is important to seek treatment from a qualified dermatologist. Dr. Holy in Phoenix can help you treat the condition based on your individual symptoms and needs. Contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Posted: March 18, 2021 By:

How Does Excel V Laser Work?

Most people are affected by some sort of skin condition. Even if mild, any problem with your skin can have an impact on your quality of life. The Excel V laser is a new, state-of-the-art laser treatment used to improve various skin conditions. If you are suffering from rosacea, port wine stains, varicose veins or uneven skin tone, the Excel V laser may be able to help.

The Excel V laser utilizes a unique high-power green laser that is absorbed by the abnormal blood vessels in the skin, resulting in improved skin appearance. The Excel V laser is highly customizable, allowing Dr. Holy to precisely treat individual conditions with a high level of accuracy. Results will always vary depending on the individual patient, but the Excel V typically has a high satisfaction rate.

The Excel V laser has multiple settings; these different modes are used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including:

  • Rosacea
  • Broken Blood Vessels
  • Varicose Veins
  • Facial Veins (red and blue)
  • Venous lake (purple lesions on lips)
  • Redness 
  • Birthmarks
  • Scars and keloids
  • Port Wine Stain
  • Hemangiomas
  • Cherry Angioma
  • Freckles
  • Sun Damage
  • Age spots
  • Warts

The number of treatment sessions required will depend on the specific condition being treated as well as on the patient’s individual skin. Some patients will see results after just one session, while others may require more.

Excel V generally has minimal side effects. The most common side effect a patient might experience is redness or swelling in the treated areas. In rare cases, bruising may occur. These side effects should not be serious, and often resolve themselves within just a few days.

The Excel V laser has proven to be safe and effective when administered by an experienced dermatologist such as Dr. Holy. Because of its efficiency and versatility, it has become a popular treatment at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix.  

If you have a skin condition that may be treated with the Excel V laser, contact us today at 602-867-7546 or website to schedule a consultation with Dr. Holy.

Posted: March 11, 2021 By:

Spider Vein Treatments

Spider veins are a mild form of varicose veins that appear on the surface of the skin as thin red purple lines or web-like patterns. Spider veins commonly appear on the surface of the thighs, calves and ankles but can also appear on the face. Spider veins aren’t always just an aesthetic concern, but can occasionally cause symptoms like swelling, itching, night cramps, fatigue, aching and/or burning.

Spider veins don’t typically go away on their own and usually require treatment. If you experience spider veins, there are minimally-invasive procedures to effectively remove or reduce the appearance of your spider veins. The two kinds of treatments available for spider veins use either chemical injections or light to shrink your veins so that they eventually fade away and disappear.

Sclerotherapy – Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for spider veins. During this procedure at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology, Dr. Holy injects a chemical solution into the spider veins with a very fine needle, causing them to slowly shrink, collapse, and eventually disappear. The procedure is performed in the office, is almost pain-free, and requires no down time.

After the injections, the treated area will be compressed with bandages or wraps and you will need to wear compression stockings for about a week. This makes the procedure more effective and speeds healing.

Multiple sessions are often needed for the best effect.

Laser/Light Treatments – In spider vein laser treatment, a high-intensity beam of light is pointed at the spider veins, heating them up and destroying them, eventually causing them to disappear. Laser treatment is considered the optimal treatment for spider veins on the face and can be used on other parts of the body, but it’s rarely used on the legs. It may take multiple treatments for full effectiveness.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment is much like laser treatment, but it’s not as precisely focused. IPL uses concentrated pulses of light which selectively damages and destroys abnormal veins, including small spider veins and small vascular birthmarks. Intense light therapy is best suited for vascular lesions located slightly deeper in the skin than those treated with other procedures. This treatment may be recommended when other options can’t effectively treat the superficial vein.

Both laser and IPL treatments may be an option for some patients who are unable to undergo sclerotherapy, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Results of Spider Vein Treatments

It can take several weeks to see results from both light-based treatment and sclerotherapy. It is possible that not all treated veins will disappear completely after a single treatment, so multiple sessions, spaced out, may be required.

To learn more about spider veins and treatment options in Phoenix, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website.

Posted: March 4, 2021 By: