What is Macular Disease?

Macular disease affects the macula, the part of the retina at the back of the eye. Although small in size at only 5mm, the macula has a big job. It is responsible for central vision, most of the color vision, and the fine details we see. The macula contains a very high concentration of photoreceptor cells that detect light. These cells send signals to the brain along the optic nerve that interprets the images before us. The rest of the retina processes peripheral vision. 

The most common type of macular disease is age-related macular degeneration. Other types of macular disease or diseases caused by macular disease include dry age-related macular degeneration, wet age-related macular degeneration, early AMD, retinal vein occlusion, macular hole, myopic macular degeneration, Stargardt disease, bestrophinopathies, cone dystrophy, Doyne honeycomb dystrophy, Sorsby fundus dystrophy, pattern dystrophy, Bull’s eye maculopathy, pseudoxanthoma elasticum, diabetic macula oedema, central serous retinopathy, punctate inner choroidopathy, and 

Charles Bonnet syndrome. 

Macular disease, specifically age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is an eye disease that progresses over time affecting vision. In fact, age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 60 years of age. Macular disease occurs as the retina begins to wear down due to age. There are 2 types of age-related macular degeneration: dry and wet. With dry macular degeneration, the center of the retina deteriorates. With wet macular degeneration, blood vessels grow and leak underneath the retina. Signs and symptoms include blurred central vision that can also produce wavy lines in the field of vision and trouble seeing in low light. There is no known cure for macular disease, but the progression may be slowed with dietary supplements, injections, and laser therapy. Lowering the risk of macular disease includes physical activity, maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol levels, eating a balanced diet that includes leafy greens and lean protein such as fish, and if you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. 
If you have further questions about macular disease or other concerns about the health of your retina, THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology recommends a comprehensive eye exam to ensure the health of your eyes and quality of your vision. Call our office today at 602-867-7546 or visit our website at WEBSITE for more information.

Posted: January 25, 2024 By:

Genetic Macular Diseases

Heredity and genetics play a role in macular diseases. Aged-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of severe vision loss among people aged 50 or older and affects nearly 10 million people in the United States. The 2 primary types of age-related macular degeneration are dry and wet. The dry form of AMD is more common, accounting for 80% of cases. Central vision loss is gradual but generally affects one eye at a time as the light sensitive cells in the macula, the back part of the retina that is responsible for the detection of light as well as color vision and finite details, break down. The wet form of AMD is less common and often leads to more severe vision loss than dry AMD. The wet form of AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels start to grow beneath the retina leaking blood and fluid into the visual field. Research has found that a family history with a parent or sibling who has AMD increases the odds that an individual is three to four times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration themselves. Juvenile macular degeneration is usually detected in late childhood or early adulthood. Signs and symptoms caused by these genetic macular diseases include progressive vision loss, impaired color vision and problems with night vision. Gene changes and mutations passed down through families affect the odds of developing these eye conditions. 

Parents often worry about any genetic disorders that may be passed to their children. As many genetic macular diseases develop much later in life, juvenile macular degeneration, which includes Stargardt’s disease, Best’s disease, and juvenile retinoschisis, may be something a family has to address in early years. Stargardt’s disease affects one in 10,000 children in the United States. Children develop this condition due to a specific gene inherited from their parents. If both parents carry a mutated form of the gene and one normal gene, the child is 25% likely to develop JMD. If the child only inherits one mutated gene, they will not develop the condition but can still pass it on. Best’s disease has 50/50 odds if just one parent carries the mutated gene. If the child does not develop JMD, they will not pass it on. Juvenile retinoschisis is related to an abnormal gene linked to the X chromosome. Women have a 50% chance of passing along the gene to both her sons and daughters while men with the genetic macular disease always pass it along to their daughters who will carry it, but it will not pass along to their sons. 

Other genetic macular diseases include macular dystrophy, choroideremia, retinis pigmentosa, achromatopsia, congenital stationary night blindness, liber congenital amaurotic, pattern dystrophy, rod/cone dystrophy, Stickler syndrome and Usher syndrome. 

If you are concerned about genetic macular diseases, there are tests available to better understand your risk while assessing your family history. THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology can accurately diagnose any vision changes you may be experiencing and help you develop a treatment plan to preserve your vision. Contact our office today at 602-867-7546 or WEBSITE

Posted: January 18, 2024 By:

Diabetic Eye Specialist

Annual eye exams are important for general vision health but extra important for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes can cause a variety of health complications, including the possibility of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy does not usually appear until 5 years after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes but may already be present when type 2 diabetes is diagnosed.

Elevated glucose levels can cause swelling in the lens of the eye blurring vision. If blood sugar is left unmanaged, diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the retina. As diabetic eye disease progresses, you may develop the following symptoms: blurred vision, straight lines that appear wavy, dark spots in your vision, reduced color vision, increased eye floaters, flashes of light, and vision loss. However, effects of diabetes in the eyes are asymptomatic until development is severe. Irreversible damage can be caused before you even know your eyes have been impacted by diabetic eye diseases. For this reason, it is necessary to visit an ophthalmologist once a year to ensure the health of your eyes. 

A diabetic eye specialist is an ophthalmologist that specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating eye diseases. During a comprehensive exam, your ophthalmologist can offer a variety of tests, specifically to check the health of your retina. A diabetic eye test would include dilating the pupils and possibly the use of fundus photography to document the condition of the retina. Diabetic eye specialists also use optical coherence tomography (OCT) to study the retina in greater detail. 

If it is determined you have diabetic eye disease, your diabetic eye specialist may offer treatment in the form of glucose management, anti-VEGF medication or steroids, or surgery options including laser and vitrectomy. The goal of these treatment options is to stop the growth of or remove abnormal blood vessels.

For more information on how one of our board-certified diabetic eye specialists can help you, call our office at 602-867-7546 or book your appointment online at WEBSITE. THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology cares about your vision and is committed to providing you with full service optical care that includes personalized attention, the latest state-of-the-art technology, and quality treatment options to ensure the health of your eyes while optimizing your vision. 

Posted: January 11, 2024 By:

Retinal Detachment Causes

Retinal detachment is as alarming as it sounds. In fact, if you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of retinal detachment, you should seek immediate medical attention. A detached retina is considered an emergency wherein the retina is pulled from its normal position. The retina is the thin, light sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. When the retina detaches, it no longer receives oxygen and nourishment from blood vessels. The longer you wait for treatment, the greater likelihood of vision damage or vision loss. 

Retinal detachment usually occurs due to age or eye injury. There are 3 main retinal detachment causes: rhegmatogenous, tractional and exudative. Rhegmatogenous is the most common type of retinal detachment and is brought on by age. This type of detachment causes a small tear or hole in the retina. When this break takes place, vitreous, the gel-like substance in the center of the eye, can escape to the back of the retina. The vitreous pushes the retina out of place causing detachment. Tractional retinal detachment is when scar tissue causes to the retina to pull out of place. The most common cause of tractional retinal detachment is diabetic retinopathy, an eye condition associated with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy damages blood vessels in the retina. Proper management and control of diabetes is important for the health of the eyes. Exudative covers all other retinal detachment causes such as injury or trauma to the eye, age-related macular degeneration, tumors in the eye, diseases that cause inflammation of the eye, and the rare Coats disease. With this type of detachment, fluid accumulates beneath the retina without causing a hole or tear. 

The best course of prevention is scheduling a comprehensive eye exam with your doctor annually. Series of tests can be performed to ensure the health of your eyes and allow your doctor to see the back of the retina including the optic disk and blood vessels that nourish the retina. Common retinal detachment symptoms include floaters, flashing lights, gradual reduction of peripheral vision, blurred vision and a dark or gray curtain or shadow over the field of vision. 

If you are concerned about retinal detachments causes or any other eye health issues, our team at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology welcomes the opportunity to get to know you and how we can help you achieve the best vision possible. Simply fill out our online contact form here WEBSITE or reach out to our friendly office staff by calling 602-867-7546 so we can schedule your next appointment. Remember that retinal detachment is an emergency so if you think you may be experiencing any of the above listed symptoms, make sure you receive prompt medical attention. 

Posted: January 4, 2024 By:

The Future of Dermatology-Breakthroughs in Skin Care Technology

Innovation in technology advances humanity in a multitude of ways. While trends in skincare come and go, advancement in the diagnosis and treatment of various conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, hair loss, skin cancer and more are improving the quality of life for millions of people.  Dermatological diagnostics is an important part of medical research and is key to identifying the underlying causes of skin conditions. Healthcare professionals are increasingly hopeful about the future of dermatology with breakthroughs in skincare technology.

Amazing technologies that are changing the future of dermatology are rooted in digital technologies. These include telemedicine, skin checking apps, robotics, artificial intelligence, artificial skin with 3D printing, regeneration, health sensors, and nanotechnology and nanoparticles. Telemedicine has become an increasingly popular and convenient way for patients to connect with their doctors and skin concerns. Patients and doctors alike save time. With ten billion online searches aimed at hair, nail and skin issues, Google launched an artificial intelligence-based app to diagnose skin conditions. Other tech companies around the world including Skin Vision, Derm Assist and Advanced Human Imaging all have apps capable of screening skin conditions in over a hundred different categories with a simple touch on a smartphone. 

Naturally when we think of technology, we think of computers. Robotics have been coming alongside doctors for some time now as robotic arms have been proven superior to manually guided treatments, specifically in laser therapies. There are currently whole-body skin lesion mapping systems that can take 360-degree scans of the entire body to identify lesions on the skin. Artificial intelligence has seemed futuristic, but the future is now. Researchers at Stanford University created an AI diagnosis algorithm for skin cancer, developed by Google, to identify 1.28 million images representing over 2,000 different diseases. Artificial skin and 3D printing in collaboration with engineering are paving the way to create synthetic skin and helping to ensure that critical tissue shortages would not interfere with treatments offered by dermatologists. Skin regeneration is necessary for healing injuries to the skin including cosmetic treatments that cause injury to the skin by means of promoting skin cell turnover to fight the effects of aging. Researchers are working toward various innovations for regeneration. Health sensors encompass tiny gadgets that measure vital signs and health parameters. While these can benefit in the treatments of all kinds of disease, when it comes to the skin, sensor-like materials such as a wearable sensor created by Loreal can measure sun exposure and notify the user when they are about to get a sunburn, warning against skin cancer. Nanotechnology and nanoparticles have a lot to offer in the fight against cancer as well as UV-light absorbing sunscreens, anti-aging products and the topical delivery of retinoids, antioxidants and medicines for skin rejuvenation. 
Evolving technology is just scratching the surface of the wonders to behold in the future of dermatology. To stay updated on breakthroughs in skincare technology, subscribe to our WEBSITE. For your own personalized skin assessment, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546.

Posted: December 25, 2023 By:

Dermatologist or Esthetician-Who Should You See for Your Skin Concerns?

When skin worries arise you may wonder which specialized care provider can best address the issue. Dermatologist or esthetician-who should you see for your skin concerns? Both are licensed to care for your skin and can offer solutions for optimal skin health. In an ideal world we would have youthful, glowing, problem-free skin all the time. But because that dream has yet to become a reality, we know that finding answers to improving skin quality will likely be found in someone with greater training and information than we can find on our own. 

Requirements for estheticians vary by state but usually between 300 and 1,000 hours of training at a cosmetology school are necessary in addition to passing a state exam with practical and written components for licensure. Continuing education and renewal certifications are often required as well. Dermatologists on the other hand are required to complete a 4-year undergraduate degree, a 4-year medical degree, a 1-year internship, and a 3-year dermatology residency. In addition, at the end of the residency program, many dermatologists elect board-certification. Dermatologists can evaluate and treat pretty much anything related to hair, nails and skin. While many will think of a dermatologist as only related to medical issues like skin cancer, moles, psoriasis, eczema and other chronic skin conditions, dermatologists can assess the skin for minor and major issues including cosmetic treatments. Estheticians offer more aesthetic type services that do not involve prescribing medication or offering surgical intervention. Some of these services include facials, hair removal, chemical peels, makeup application and exfoliation. It is advised if you are looking to improve your appearance with Botox or dermal fillers that you choose a provider with medical training to precisely gauge the facial nerves and the effects of needles or lasers on the skin.

Dermatologists and estheticians both seek to beautify the skin and help you achieve the best version of yourself. Your safest bet is to reach out to a dermatologist about any changes to the skin. From there a dermatologist can diagnose and prescribe treatment options. When it comes solely to skin rejuvenation including prevention and maintenance, you can book an appointment with an esthetician to enhance your skin on top of what is working based on your dermatologist’s recommendations. Bottom line-there is wisdom and benefit in both doctor options. Base your selection upon your skin’s unique needs. 

To schedule a consultation for a full skin screening at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology, call our office at 602-867-7546 or fill out a request form online at WEBSITE

Posted: December 18, 2023 By:

Aging Gracefully-Dermatology Tips for Healthy and Youthful Skin

The demand for Botox and fillers continues to rise, especially among young people, as the desire to erase wrinkles, contour the jawline, boost the fullness of the lips, highlight certain features and shrink others becomes top priority. Everyone wants to grow older, but not everyone wants to look older. Is there a way to avoid the overdone look of aesthetic trends while still caring for and achieving your most desirable skin? The art of aging gracefully can be found in some tried and true dermatology tips for healthy and youthful skin. 

At THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology, we offer effective anti-aging strategies that are backed by scientific research and a high patient satisfaction rate. Evidence based treatments that rejuvenate the natural aging of the skin due to gradual loss of collagen and elastin, the cause of wrinkles, dull skin, and sagging, are designed to restore and help you maintain healthy and youthful skin. These treatments include topical retinoids, chemical peels, microneedling, laser therapy, ultherapy and hydrafacials. In addition to resurfacing treatments and prescription medications, embracing your age with confidence and vitality naturally means incorporating healthy lifestyle choices that allow you to age gracefully. These include the following:

  • Staying hydrated. Improve skin’s elasticity by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, with at least 6 glasses per day. Water can do wonders for your skin including helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Eating a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. The best foods for glowing skin include fatty fish, avocados, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, red/yellow bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and bone broth. 
  • Getting regular exercise. By improving blood circulation and maintaining a healthy weight, essential nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the skin. Exercise also reduces stress which can lead to premature aging of the skin. 
  • Managing stress, to the best of your ability. Relaxation and meditation techniques and changes to your routine as necessary can calm the mind and body thereby not accelerating skin issues. 
  • Aiming for quality sleep. Adequate, uninterrupted sleep allows the body the rest it needs to repair itself. Insomnia often results from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is needed to make melatonin so that you can fall asleep. Taking magnesium glycinate before bed will help change your sleep habits for the better. 
  • Exfoliating weekly. Removing layers of dead skin cells can greatly improve the appearance and feel of your skin. 
  • Always wear sunscreen. Use of a broad-spectrum 30+ sunscreen will aid in aging of the skin as well as protect against skin damage and skin cancer.  

Customized plans for skin aging prevention, therapy and prescription only products are offered by THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology. Call 602-867-7546 or visit WEBSITE to learn more about our treatment options and to select a consultation appointment day and time. We want you to feel comfortable and confident in your skin.

Posted: December 11, 2023 By:

Skin Tales-What Your Skin’s Appearance Says About Your Health

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Your face may be the first telltale sign that something abnormal may be developing. Changes on your face and other parts of the body may alert you to what your skin’s appearance says about your health. Sometimes certain foods or the addition of new products affect the skin and simply eliminating those things or adding complementary ingredients to your routine can restore skin’s appearance. Other times, changes to the skin may indicate an underlying medical condition. 

From discoloration to imperfections showing up on the skin, some painless while others causing discomfort or even severe pain, it is important to recognize warning signs when something does not look right with your skin. In addition, changes to the skin can range from a simple cause to a life-threatening illness. For example, hyperpigmentation can be the result of a long day at the beach or any other kind of prolonged sun exposure or it could be caused by Addison’s disease which is a failure of the adrenal glands. Dry, itchy skin could simply be rooted in the need to moisturize more often, or it could be attributed to allergies, or it could be linked to something more concerning like liver disease. If your skin and eyes develop a yellowish tint, you could possibly have jaundice, liver disease or hepatitis. Moles range from harmless skin tags to various forms of cancer. Dark circles, sagging under eyes, and puffiness around the eyes could be caused by lack of certain nutrients, dehydration, or lack of sleep. Alternatively, fatty eyelids could mean high cholesterol which can lead to heart disease. 

Because signs and symptoms can reveal themselves on the skin but can have a wide range of causes, it is important to schedule a comprehensive skin exam with a dermatologist as soon as you notice any changes to your skin. A skin assessment can offer early intervention and effective treatment. Dermatologists can also offer cosmetic and rejuvenating solutions as well so that your skin looks and feels as healthy as possible. 

Call THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology today at 602-867-7546 to book your appointment. For more detailed information on what to expect at your appointment, visit WEBSITE.

Posted: December 4, 2023 By:

The ABCs of Skin Cancer-Early Detection and Prevention

Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells most often developed by exposure to the sun. Too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun or artificial sun such as tanning beds can damage DNA in skin cells. Over 80% of skin cancer is caused by overexposure to UV radiation.  DNA communicates to cells and tells them how to function. If enough DNA damage accumulates over time, it can cause the cells to start growing out of control, potentially leading to skin cancer. 

Changes are made to the skin because of the sun including effects of aging and an increased risk of developing wrinkles, freckles, liver spots and skin cancer. Significant impacts on the body related to sun exposure include tumors, skin discoloration, dilated small blood vessels, damaged elastic in skin tissue, damage to the eyes such as cataracts, pterygium and macular degeneration, premature aging, and precancerous and cancerous lesions on the skin. There are 3 main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma appears as small, smooth pearly or waxy bumps on the face or neck that present as a flat, pink, red or brownish in color lesion. Squamous cell carcinoma appears as a red nodule or as a rough, scaly, flat lesion that often becomes crusty, itchy and can bleed. Melanoma appears as a pigmented patch with an irregular appearance. Melanoma is the most serious because if left untreated can spread to other organs and be life-threatening. If caught and treated early, before it advances and spreads to other parts of the body, melanoma can almost always be cured. 

Detection of skin cancer begins with a visual assessment of the skin. The ABCs of skin help with both early detection and prevention of growth. The ABCDE acronym stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolving for the characteristics of skin damage that dermatologists look for when diagnosing and classifying melanomas.  Asymmetry refers to one half of a mole that does not match the other. Border refers to the edges of the mole, specifically if they are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred as opposed to normal moles that are round or oval. Color refers to the uneven color of the mole. It may include shades of brown or black or patches of pink, red, white or blue. Diameter refers to whether a spot is larger than 6 millimeters across. Evolving refers to if the mole is changing in size, shape or color. 
If you notice any new spots on your skin, spots that appear different from any other, and any of the ABCs of skin cancer, make an appointment with THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology for early detection and prevention. Skin evaluations can be made by calling 602-867-7546 or visiting WEBSITE for more skin cancer and skin care information.

Posted: November 25, 2023 By:

Skin Mysteries Unveiled-Rare and Unusual Skin Conditions

Acne, eczema and dry skin are such common skin conditions that a simple online search will yield you countless options ranging from effective home remedies to surgical interventions. But there are not so common skin conditions that pose chronic issues, are not always easily treatable, and can impact overall health. Let’s review some skin mysteries unveiled, rare and unusual skin conditions that are identified and treated by dermatologists at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology. 

Ten uncommon skin conditions along with their management options include Argyria, Peeling skin syndrome, Elastoderma, Morgellons Disease, Vitiligo, Harlequin ichthyosis, Hidradenitis suppurativa, Blau syndrome, Chromhidrosis and Necrobiosis lipoidica. Here are the details on these rare conditions:

  1. Argyria, also known as blue skin disease, causes the skin’s complexion to turn blue or grey due to excessive build-up or overexposure to silver salt build up at toxic levels in the body. It often affects people who work in manufacturing, silver refining, jewelry factories or photographic processing centers where high levels of silver can be found. Some people also develop argyria because of an allergic reaction to colloidal silver supplements. Symptoms can be irreversible and difficult to treat but some people find 5% hydroquinone treatment as well as laser therapy effective. 
  1. Peeling Skin Syndrome can be caused by genetic changes in the TGM5 gene and is usually present at birth but can appear later in childhood or early adulthood. The painless shedding of the outermost layers of skin cannot be stopped but can be managed and soothed with hydrating creams and ointments. 
  1. Elastoderma is increased skin laxity typically in the knees, elbows and neck. Surgical excision is usually the most effective treatment option. 
  1. Morgellons disease is the belief that parasites or fibers are emerging from the skin. Morgellons disease causes irritating and painful symptoms along with rashes, skin sores, absurd sensations, small black fibers, fatigue, anxiety, lesions and depression. 
  1. Vitiligo is a chronic, long-lasting autoimmune disorder that causes patches of skin to lose pigment or color. The condition is almost untreatable but cosmetic treatments can minimize the patchy appearance. 
  1. Harlequin ichthyosis is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from mutated genes, causing hard, thick skin and diamond-shaped scales that crack and split apart. It affects mostly infants and is seen in eyelids, mouth, nose and ears bringing distorted facial features. In severe cases, it can restrict movements of the limbs and chest.
  1. Hidradenitis suppurativa is a painful, long-term skin condition that causes skin abscesses and scarring on the skin. The cause is unknown, but it develops near hair follicles and sweat glands in sensitive areas like the groin, buttocks, upper thighs, breasts and underarms. 
  1. Blau syndrome is a hereditary autoinflammatory disease that presents in early childhood characterized by rash, arthritis and uveitis. There is currently no cure and complications with pain or infection can impact quality of life. 
  1. Chromhidrosis is essentially yellow, brown, green, blue or black colored sweat. It is a rare condition brought on by the excessiveness of lipofuscin in sweat glands. Regular medication and Botox can halt the sweat glands so that colored sweat does not secrete. 
  1.  Necrobiosis lipoidica is linked to blood vessel inflammation with those with diabetes at greater risk for getting the disease. It can affect the lower legs with a painful or tender rash that can eventually damage proteins in the skin causing a loss of collagen. Topical steroids, niacinamide, steroid injections, tablets and prescription combinations have been successful at treating this rare skin condition. 

To learn more, visit WEBSITE. To book an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist with extensive knowledge of skin conditions both common and rare, call 602-867-7546.

Posted: November 18, 2023 By: