Acne is a very common skin condition – about 85% of us will have it at some point in our lives. And, with the abundance of over-the-counter acne treatment products available today, it’s easy to forget that acne is not just a cosmetic issue. It’s an actual medical condition that very often should be treated by an acne doctor. Acne vulgaris is a long-term skin disease that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. Acne is characterized by areas of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and greasy skin. It often results in scarring. The resulting appearance can lead to anxiety, reduced self-esteem and, in extreme cases, depression.
So, how do you know when to call a dermatologist about your acne? Here are 5 signs that it’s time:
- You’ve Never Been Diagnosed with Acne Before
If you suddenly begin to break out in red bumps on the face, upper chest, back or elsewhere, and you have never before been diagnosed with acne, you should contact your dermatologist.
- Your Acne Is Getting Worse Despite Using Over-the-Counter Acne Products
Mild cases of acne can often be successfully cleared with over-the-counter acne products. But many cases just don’t respond well to OTC treatments. In this case, it’s best to see an acne doctor about prescription acne treatments.
If you’ve been treating your acne consistently and your breakouts aren’t getting better, or if your acne seems to be worsening, you should contact your doctor. Your dermatologist can prescribe an acne medication that will give you better results and will have helpful advice regarding proper acne skin care and home treatment.
- You Have Moderate to Severe Inflammatory Acne, Nodules or Cystic Breakouts
If your acne is moderate to severe or very inflamed, skip the over-the-counter products altogether. They just aren’t strong enough to improve acne at this level and you’ll waste time and money on products that won’t work for you.
Nodules and cysts are very severe forms of breakouts and should always be evaluated by a dermatologist. These deep blemishes can easily cause scarring, so they should be treated promptly.
- You Think Your Acne May Be Caused by a Medication
Certain medications such as steroids and birth control pills may cause acne. If you are taking any medications and your skin begins breaking out, let your doctor know.
- You Are Extremely Upset or Depressed About Your Skin
Let’s face it — acne can affect more than just your skin, it can affect your life! At Center for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix, Dr. Holy has treatment options available that can not only improve your skin, but also help you deal with the feelings of frustration and despair that can come along with acne.
Don’t wait! There’s no reason to just accept acne breakouts. With the right treatment you can see your skin start to improve in just a few short weeks. Contact Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com today to schedule an appointment.
In Phoenix, Dr. Holy recommends a proactive approach to aging skin prevention. Let’s take a closer look at some skin aging prevention tips that will help maintain your skin in a healthy and young looking state.
Dealing properly with sun exposure helps prevent many skin aging problems ranging from wrinkles to skin cancer.
- For maximum skin aging prevention, avoid sun exposure on the skin during the hours that the sun is most intense.
- Wear a hat, protective clothing and sun ray blocking glasses to guard against exposure, especially during peak hours.
- Use appropriate sunscreen offering UVA and UVB protection (broad spectrum protection). Sun Protection Factor (SPF) should be greater than 15 and applied at least 20 minutes before the skin is exposed to the sun; sunscreen should be reapplied after swimming or heavy sweating.
- Use antioxidant topical products (usually include ingredients such as vitamins A, C, E, selenium, coenzyme Q10 and alpha-lipoic acid) to protect the skin from sun damage and premature aging; antioxidants neutralize free radicals which will cause damage to skin cells.
- Avoid using tanning beds.
- Avoid sunburns.
Diet and Health:
- Adequate fluid intake (6 to 8 glasses of water per day) is essential for hydrating skin, flushing out toxins from the body and for aging prevention.
- A diet with plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, use of healthy oils such as olive oil or flax seed oil and reduction of saturated fats helps protect the skin.
- Exercising regularly helps promote capillary functioning, brings oxygen to the skin which is important for healthy skin and flushes out body toxins.
- Avoid stress.
- Avoid large weight fluctuations.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Quitting smoking is effective in skin aging prevention.
- Not smoking prevents the formation of skin wrinkles, yellowing of the skin, certain types of skin cancer and the breakdown of collagen in the skin.
Dry Skin and Itching:
- Clean the skin, exfoliate the skin surface gently to remove dead skin cells and moisturize the skin regularly especially in cold and dry climates to prevent dry skin.
- Avoid the use of fabric preservatives, harsh detergents, bleaches and harsh soaps in order to prevent allergic type itching.
The skin you have now is the only skin you’ll ever get. Keeping it at its best starts with how you treat it every day. With proper skin care to pamper skin from the outside and with a good diet to nourish from within, healthy skin is achievable with simple steps. Should you ever notice any problems, get medical attention to resolve them quickly and avoid putting your skin at risk. If you have concerns about aging skin or would like more information about aging skin prevention, contact Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com.
When it comes to your health and skin cancer, it’s a good idea to be proactive and keep an eye out for dangerous moles. It is recommended that moles be checked every month for irregularities that might indicate a problem like skin cancer. The following are some signs to look out for when checking a mole:
- Color Changes: The first sign of a potentially cancerous mole is a drastic change in color—for instance, moles that are dark, brown, grey or inconsistent in color.
- Evolving Moles: A mole that has inconsistencies—for example, it transitions in color, shape, height or surface texture—might be dangerous or unhealthy and should be inspected by a medical professional.
- Blurred Border: Healthy moles have a defined border around the outside circumference. However, melanomas (or cancerous moles) tend to appear blurred or irregular around the outside edges. They can also feel raised to the touch with ragged, scalloped edges and color may run into the surrounding tissues.
- Pain: Any mole that causes pain or is tender to the touch should be considered dangerous, particularly if the mole exudes fluid or blood.
- Size: Healthy moles don’t grow any larger in size than 6 millimeters (or ¼ inches) in width. If you have a mole that’s large or gradually growing in size, book a medical exam to determine if it’s cancerous.
- Asymmetry: Healthy moles are usually symmetrical, which means they are equally sized (or both sides would match if folded in half). If you find a mole that’s uneven, you may want to get it looked at.
- Sores that Don’t Heal: A new mole or a sore that won’t heal no matter how much time, air, cleaning and ointment you apply may be a potential cancer risk.
- Bleeding and Scabbing: Particular attention should be paid to any mole that is lumpy, rough, dry or scaly on the surface, especially if it’s itchy or tender to the touch. Any mole that bleeds or develops a crusty scab needs attention immediately.
- Heredity: Unfortunately, many of our health issues are passed down by family members. In the case of skin cancer or a lot of suspicious moles, a history of the disease can put you at increased risk.
If you notice changes in a mole’s appearance, contact Center for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com to schedule an evaluation. Dr. Holy is an experienced dermatologist, able to diagnose and treat many skin conditions.
Breakouts can be hard to figure out, one day your skin is clear and the next it’s a war-zone. Did you know that your acne could be linked to other health issues? According to traditional Eastern Medicine, internal imbalances in our body can show up on our face. These issues can show up in the form of acne, dark circles or rashes. When you are trying product after product and still not achieving clear skin, the truth is, it might be your insides that are causing the problem. Here’s how the ancient Chinese practice of face mapping may help.
Forehead: Forehead zits are affected by your liver and gall bladder. If you’re experiencing forehead breakouts, it’s time to throw out your junk food and fill your fridge with fruits and veggies. You may be eating too much fat, sugar or diary, or your body may not be processing these things like it should in your digestive system.
T-Zone: According to face mapping, breakouts on your t-zone are the result of an unbalanced kidney, stomach or spleen. To get rid of them start hitting the juice bar with friends instead of the actual bar. Eliminating binge-drinking and smoking will do wonders for your skin. Plus, not only will your insides thank you, but you’ll wake up feeling much better than you would after a night on the town.
Nose: Dirty, dilated pores are the most common culprits of nose pimples, but if you wash your face every night and still get awful red bumps, it might be because of your heart. Improve your heart health by lowering your cholesterol and consuming less salt and sodium-based products. You might also want to up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, so buy more nuts, fish and flaxseed.
Mouth: If blemishes around your mouth are keeping you quieter than usual, your liver and stomach may be to blame. If you’ve been eating too many unhealthy foods or drinking too often, the toxins from those habits start building up and the results aren’t pretty when reflected on your face. Try cleansing your body by cutting down on alcohol and adding alkaline foods such as asparagus, broccoli and potatoes into your daily diet.
Cheeks: Poor respiratory health is a common cause of cheek acne. Smokers or people suffering from allergies will often find that they are more prone to break out in this area. Fresh air and exercise can help keep these areas clear. Another major culprit could be a dirty cell phone screen. Wipe down your phone every night. Avoid caffeine, fatty foods and alcohol. Stop smoking. Fresh air will do wonders for your lungs, so try to make a habit out of morning walks.
Jawline: This area is a hot spot for “hormonal” acne. Women may notice it at certain times of the month, and men may find that their spots wax and wane depending on their testosterone levels. Talk to your doctor about regulating your hormones. For example, you might change birth control pills or take testosterone supplements to improve your body’s internal processes.
These are just a few ways to use a face map to your advantage while treating acne. Keep in mind that this system may only help you discover how to treat your acne more effectively and is not a cure. An acne face map is more effective for occasional acne breakouts and not for severe or consistent breakouts. If you would like to schedule a skin evaluation and discuss your acne or other skin issues, contact Center for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com today. Dr. Holy would be happy to help you achieve the clear, beautiful skin you deserve.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and skin cancer is the most common of all human cancers. Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It most often develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun’s rays. Skin cancer affects people of all colors and races, although those with lighter skin who sunburn easily have a higher risk.
There are three major types of skin cancers:
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
This is the most common type of skin cancer.
- BCCs frequently develop in people who have fair skin, yet they can occur in people with darker skin.
- BCCs look like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or a pinkish patch of skin.
- BCCs develop after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning.
- BCCs are common on the head, neck and arms, yet can form anywhere on the body, including the chest, abdomen, and legs.
- Early diagnosis and treatment for BCC is important. BCCs can invade the surrounding tissue and grow into the nerves and bones, causing damage and disfigurement.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer.
- People who have light skin are most likely to develop SCC, yet they can develop in darker-skinned people also.
- SCCs often look like a red firm bump, scaly patch or a sore that heals and then re-opens.
- SCCs tend to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest and back. SCCs can grow deep in the skin and cause damage and disfigurement.
- Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent this and stop SCC from spreading to other areas of the body.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
- Melanoma frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin.
- Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
Skin cancer is almost always cured when it is found early and treated properly. It is very important to see your doctor if you notice any changes in your skin. In Phoenix, Dr. Holy can diagnose and treat many skin conditions and cancers. Contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com for more information or to schedule an evaluation.
With age, the skin suffers natural wear-and-tear, just like the rest of our bodies. But much of what we think of as natural aging is in fact due to sun exposure and other factors. That means it can be avoided — and it’s never too late to start. In Phoenix, Dr. Holy provides comprehensive care for a variety of skin-related conditions. Below are some tips to prevent unnecessary aging and they will keep your skin as healthy as possible.
Protect yourself from the sun
One of the most important ways to keep your aging skin healthy is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems — as well as increase the risk of skin cancer.
For the most complete sun protection:
- Use sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.
- Seek shade: Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Wear protective clothing: Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also consider special sun-protective clothing which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays.
Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health.
Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — can contribute to wrinkles.
If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Dr. Holy can provide tips to help you stop smoking.
Treat your skin gently
Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. To keep it gentle:
- Limit bath time: Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm, rather than hot, water.
- Avoid strong soaps: Strong soaps and detergents can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers.
- Shave carefully: To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
- Pat dry: After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
- Moisturize dry skin: If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturizer that contains SPF.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Some research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin.
Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.
Your skin may change with age, but remember, there are things you can do to help. For more information on how to keep your aging skin healthy contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or www.mddermsolutions.com.