What is it?
What causes it?
- genetic conditions
- a defect in the cells
- chronic inflammatory conditions
- blockages of ducts in the body that cause fluids to build up
- a parasite
- an injury that breaks a vessel
Our practice has skilled dermatologic experts who have the experience and knowledge to provide effective solutions for your particular needs and goals. Our focus on you as a person is what makes us different from others, and we’ll be with you each step of the way with empathy, advice, and support. Healthy skin is our passion. Contact us today if you have actinic keratosis so that we can help you.
We realize that our culture tends to associate suntanned skin with a lifestyle that is healthy and active. Unfortunately, this is a myth that should be retired; sun and age damage go hand in hand and can affect you both physically and psychologically. A “healthy tan” is not good for your skin; any sun exposure, no matter how small, causes irreversible damage. The subsequent damage is not just skin deep, as it alters the DNA of your skin cells. That’s why as much as 90 percent of the signs of aging are related to sun exposure.
The sun gives off ultraviolet light that damages the skin and contributes to premature skin aging, dark spots, and other problematic conditions.
The sun’s UV rays are the main cause of aging, sun-damaged skin. Sun and age damage are linked because they exacerbate one another. Together, they reduce your skin’s elasticity by breaking down collagen while decreasing your skin’s shape and fullness. Telltale signs of sun and age damage include wrinkles on your face, neck, and chest, lines around your mouth and eyes, sagging skin, age spots, and freckles and/or moles.
At West Dermatology, we have a variety of options to address sun and age damage, and we have the knowledge and experience to tailor it to your unique case. However, there are many steps you yourself can take to prevent and even repair your skin. These steps include wearing 30+ SPF sunscreen daily (even on cloudy days!), covering up exposed skin when outside, avoiding intense sun between the hours of 10:00am to 3:00pm, the avoidance of indoor tanning beds, and the use of moisturizing creams and lotions at night.
At West Dermatology, we focus on you as a person. Our compassionate community staff works with you to address your signs of sun and age damage, and you can rely on us to answer your questions and be an integral part of your support system. Healthy skin is our passion. Contact us today if you notice sun and age damage so that we can help you repair and restore your skin.
Affecting nearly 5 million Americans, alopecia areata is a medical condition in which the hair falls out in patches. It is unpredictable; if you have it, your experience may not be the same as someone else’s. For example, you may have hair loss followed by full regrowth while another person may have only partial regrowth. Or your case may last a few months while someone else’s may last several years. In addition to patchy hair loss, other symptoms of this condition include widespread hair loss, nail irregularities (e.g., splitting or changes in color, texture, shape), and single strands of hair in or near the bald patch(es).
Alopecia areata occurs when your immune system mysteriously attacks hair follicles, causing hair to fall out in clumps. Although the reasons for this are still unclear, it’s thought to be related to genetics.
Despite there being no known cure for this type of alopecia areata, there are ways to manage the loss of hair and/or help it grow back. Among the options are Minoxidil, an over-the-counter topical lotion also offered in prescription strength; corticosteroids for immune system suppression; Anthralin, a topical medication that disrupts the immune system and promotes hair growth; and Diphencyprone, a topical medication that disturbs the immune system to stop hair loss and stimulate hair growth.
Affecting more than 50 million Americans, acne is the most common skin problem in the country. Acne is the result of clogged pores that eventually become small red bumps, or pimples, which can be characterized as blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, pustules, and more. While these blemishes commonly appear on your face, they also can develop on the neck, shoulders, upper arms, chest, back, and buttocks.
When the clogging in your pores builds up too much, they become a breeding ground for P. acnes, the bacteria that cause pimples to develop. However, it’s important to remember what doesn’t cause acne: stress, fried foods and other poor diet choices, poor hygiene, and hormones. While it is true that these things can worsen your acne, there is no truth to the myth that they actually cause the condition.
Many acne treatments are available, but their efficacy can differ from person to person; what works for you may not work for someone else. Furthermore, some medications and treatments are more effective for milder cases of the condition, while other treatments are better for severe breakouts. Mild or moderate cases of acne (i.e., a few blemishes, whiteheads, and/or blackheads) can be erased with simple over-the-counter medications with benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, or salicylic acid. However, for severe acne cases (red, swollen, often painful blemishes consisting of cysts and/or nodules), an array of treatments can work: these include prescription-strength topical or oral medications, antibiotics to destroy the acne-causing bacteria, a variety of light therapies (including lasers), chemical peels, and drainage and extraction procedures for the most stubborn acne.
Though psoriasis is not contagious, it is unpredictable. You may heal without warning only to have it return just as quickly or years later. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for psoriasis, but our dermatologists have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you manage your symptoms. Our psoriasis treatment options include topical medications, Vitamin D (steroids or retinol creams/gels), oral treatments, biologic treatments (retinoid pills, chemotherapy medicine), light therapy, and UV-B light (controlled doses of sunlight).
We know that an aggressive and troublesome skin condition like psoriasis can affect you both physically and psychologically. As your community skin specialists, we’re here to provide encouragement and answers to questions you may have about this problematic skin issue. Contact us today if you notice symptoms of psoriasis so that we can help you deal with this unpredictable condition. We provide treatment options that can be tailored to suit your needs and goals, and we’ll be by your side each step of the way, addressing your concerns and providing advice and after-care support.
Botox is an extremely popular wrinkle treatment that’s ideal for dynamic wrinkles (wrinkles that form over time from repeated movements, such as smiling or frowning). Derived from Botulinum toxin, Botox is injected through a very fine needle into a muscle underlying a bothersome wrinkle. This process blocks the nerve impulses that move the muscle, causing it to relax. The result is a smoother wrinkle and a softer-looking appearance. Since only the targeted muscle is affected, surrounding muscles continue to move freely, allowing your facial expressions to be easily shown and avoiding the dreaded “frozen face” look when performed by an experienced dermatologist. Botox is ideal for the upper half of the face, including the areas around the eyes, the upper nose, forehead, cheeks, and jaw.
A single Botox injection session often lasts under an hour and is virtually painless. You may feel a tingling sensation during the process, but there is no downtime; you can go about your daily routine afterward. Side effects are typically mild and typically include tenderness at the injection site, muscle stiffness or weakness, bruising, itchiness, and swelling.
Within a week after your Botox injections, you should start to notice results, although this can vary from patient to patient. Over the following 3-4 months, the targeted wrinkles gradually vanish, and touch-up injections are suggested every 6 months in order to maintain the rejuvenating effects of the treatment.
If you’re like many people, you may think that a double chin only affects overweight people and that it can be eliminated with conventional fat loss methods. However, a double chin can develop even if you are in good shape and keep an ideal weight. Kybella is an FDA-approved injectable designed specifically to destroy fat cells in a saggy chin. It consists of synthetic deoxycholic acid, which naturally and easily breaks down and absorbs fat. It’s a minimally-invasive way to eliminate a double chin that does not disappear due to exercise, diet, or regular fat-loss methods.
What to expect
The experts have the experience to administer Kybella treatments that reduce a double chin. One treatment session with our skillful practitioners takes a half hour and depending on your aesthetic goals, you may need one session every 4-6 weeks for about 6 months. Another benefit of Kybella is that the destroyed fat cells will no longer store or accrue fat; it’s a permanent solution that other options cannot duplicate.
After the procedure
The full results of Kybella will be visible within 2-3 weeks after your injections, but results can vary. Downtime is minimal, although you should take it easy for 24-48 hours, and side effects such as swelling, redness, tenderness, and bruising are usually mild and subside in 5-7 days.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US, affecting around 20 percent of Americans. However, it does not have to be fatal, especially when caught early. That’s why you shouldn’t ignore unusual skin bumps, lesions, discolorations, and other irregularities when they appear. Although the causes of skin cancer vary, there are common risk factors to be aware of, which include chronic sun exposure, a family history of skin cancer, fair skin, multiple sunburns throughout your life, precancerous skin lesions, and sunny and/or high-altitude climates and locales.
Skin cancer is caused by mutations in the DNA of skin cells, which then spreads to adjacent cells. When the spread is rapid or uncontrolled, it can easily become malignant. Three types of skin cancer are prevalent. The first is squamous cell carcinoma, which is located in cells just beneath the skin surface. The second is basal cell carcinoma (the most common type of skin cancer) which develops in the layer beneath squamous cells. Lastly, there is melanoma, the most dangerous variant. Melanoma forms under the other two layers of cells. A precancerous lesion, actinic keratosis (AK), also is possible; it usually is not life-threatening, but it can become cancerous if ignored.
Our skin cancer experts have the experience and training to help you overcome this disease. We highly recommend regular skin cancer screenings, especially if you are prone to the above risk factors. If a carcinoma is found, we’ll discuss the best solution with you from among the following treatment options: excisional surgery, electrodesiccation and curettage (EC&D), cryotherapy, and Mohs micrographic surgery.
We provide an assortment of treatment options that can be customized to suit your needs based on your goals, concerns, and opinions about which treatment is right for you. We’ll be with you throughout the process with compassionate care and support so you can have your life back and live it to the fullest. We understand that a diagnosis of skin cancer can be traumatic and painful, both physically and emotionally. As your community skin cancer specialists, we’re here to provide encouragement, advice, and answers to your questions should you ever receive such a diagnosis. What sets us apart is our focus on you as a person. Our warm, compassionate practitioners are ready to address your concerns to be here as an essential part of your support.