Articles

GOING THROUGH A ROUGH PATCH?

Those rough patches and small acne-like bumps usually found on the arms, thighs, cheeks, and buttocks may not hurt, but they can be difficult to treat. Keratosis pilaris is an inherited skin condition that arises from a buildup of a hard protein (keratin) that gets trapped around hair follicles. The keratin forms a scaly plug that blocks the opening of the hair follicle. Usually many plugs form, causing patches of rough, bumpy skin. The condition often worsens during winter when low humidity dries out skin. While keratosis pilaris improves with age and may go away on its own, temporary relief can be achieved with applications of moisturizer and manual exfoliation, followed by use of alpha-hydroxy-acid lotions.

Keratosis pilaris is a common but harmless skin condition. Except for some itching, keratosis pilaris doesn’t hurt and doesn’t get worse. Many children and teens get it, and it usually disappears as they get older. If you are concerned about your skin, you may want to contact ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at630-832-2111. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Certain types of keratosis pilaris involving severe redness and inflammation can be successfully treated with laser therapy.

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ACID COMMENTS

When shopping for skincare products, have you ever wondered what the ingredient “salicylic acid” is? Salicylic acid is a type of phenolic acid and a beta hydroxy acid. It works by increasing the moisture content in the skin and dissolving the substance that causes the skin cells to stick together. It is very useful in the treatment of everything from acne to warts. For instance, it breaks up the sticky cells in skin pores that create blackheads and whiteheads. It is also used to treat psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis since salicylic acid acts as a “keratolytic” to loosen keratin (a protein that forms the structure of skin). As a result, thickened, scaly plaques of skin shed more easily.

Over the counter Salicylic Acid preparation is a reasonable choice for mild acne and other conditions. If it is not effective consider a consultation with a Board Certified Dermatologist.

If you would like to learn about the many treatments our practice provides, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. A member of the same family of drugs as aspirin (salicylates), salicylic acid also exerts an anti-inflammatory effect.

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MEN LIVING ALONE FACE RISK

It seems that marital and habitation status can affect a man’s risk of dying from melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. According to recent research, single men of all ages face a higher fatality risk from melanoma than other patients partially because their cancer tends to be more advanced when they are diagnosed. Researchers also found that older women who lived alone often had more advanced melanoma at the time of diagnosis. However, their single status had no bearing on women’s melanoma survival rates. These findings clearly indicate the need to convince single men and older women to commit to more frequent comprehensive dermatological exams for earlier detection of melanoma.

Dermatologists recommend being proactive about your skin health by having a regular full-body skin scan for benign and cancerous lesions. By examining your skin from head to toe, front to back, a dermatologist can analyze areas of skin that you cannot see and diagnose a variety of skin conditions. Call 630-832-2111 to schedule a scanning appointment at ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY. We will check your skin for lesions and areas of discoloration and monitor changes in your skin from year to year. New and established patients are always welcome at our office located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. In the absence of an observant spouse, partner, or friend, single individuals are less likely to spot signs of skin cancer on places of their bodies that are hidden from their view.

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TREATING ROSACEA

Rosacea is a skin disease that causes flare-ups of reddened, bumpy facial skin. Over time, the 16 million Americans who suffer from the chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder may also display ruddier and more persistently red skin as well as visible blood vessels. Fortunately, there are effective treatments, including topical gels, lotions, and creams containing either metronidazole or azeleic acid. Their continued use helps keep rosacea under control without producing side effects. At the same time, very low doses of antibiotics such as doxycycline (beginning with oral medications and transitioning to topicals) help control inflammation. If blood vessels become dilated, treatment with pulsed dye laser, pulsed green-light laser, and intense pulsed light may help eradicate them.

There are several types of rosacea and their symptoms vary in both severity and extent. Due to the raised, red bumps that may contain pus, rosacea is sometimes dubbed “adult acne.” If you are concerned about any skin rash, you may call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111 to schedule an appointment. Our office is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7. Because everyone’s skin is different, a board-certified dermatologist will examine you and create a personal treatment regimen to give you a healthier more youthful appearance. New patients are always welcome. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. To avoid rosacea flare-ups, avoid spicy foods and thermally hot drinks (such as coffee).

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KEEPING AN EYE ON YOUR SKIN

If you believe that having healthy skin is as important as having healthy teeth, you should visit the dermatologist at least as often as you visit the dentist. That is to say that even people with a low risk of developing skin cancer should visit the dermatologist once a year. If you have a history of cancer or are in a high-risk group, the number of visits to the dermatologist should be tailored to your needs. Factors that raise skin cancer risk and make it necessary to visit the dermatologist more often (such as every four to six months) include being fair-skinned, having one or more childhood sunburns, advanced age, and having many moles or precancerous skin lesions (“actinic keratoses”).

Early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment of skin cancers, including melanoma. A dermatologist can use a dermatoscope to magnify areas of the skin so that pigmentation and structure can be examined. Questionable areas may be treated or partially removed for biopsy at a lab. A board-certified dermatologist at ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY can perform your whole-body skin scans on a regular basis and track any changes observed from visit to visit. Call 630-832-2111 to schedule an appointment at our office located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7. New patients are always welcome. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Actinic keratoses (also called “sun spots”) are scaly pink or brown patches that most often develop on the arms, face, and hands of fair-skinned individuals as a result of sun exposure.

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NICKEL ALLERGY

Nickel allergy, which is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis, affects about 10 to 12 percent of the female population and 6 percent of the male population. The rash, redness, swelling of skin, dry patches, and sometimes blisters that characterize nickel allergy are caused by nickel contacting skin and reacting with perspiration, allowing nickel ions to penetrate skin in susceptible people. Left untreated, the affected skin can become dark, leathery, and cracked. The reaction is most often caused by contact with jewelry that contains nickel. For mild symptoms, over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and antihistamine pills may help. To treat more severe symptoms, the dermatologist may prescribe a topical steroid cream or oral steroid or antihistamine pills.

There are many causes of allergic dermatitis. The rashes that accompany this condition can itch, ooze, and crust. Some rashes appear immediately and others develop over a period of time. Whenever you are concerned about the appearance of your skin, call 630-832-2111 to schedule an appointment at ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY. Wewill examine your skin condition. Sometimes patch testing may need to be performed to isolate the allergen that is causing your particular skin reaction. Medicine, skin care, and lifestyle changes may prevent future outbreaks. New patients are welcome at our office located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

 

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Once nickel allergy develops, it usually lasts a lifetime.

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PSORIASIS

About 80 percent of people who develop the inflammatory skin condition known as psoriasis have so-called “plaque” psoriasis. Symptoms include patches of raised, reddish skin covered by silvery-white scales. These plaques usually form on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp, although they may appear anywhere on the body. This uncomfortable skin condition is also associated with severe itching and cracked and bleeding skin. Treatment for moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis includes the use of adalimumab (Humira), a tumor necrosis factor blocker. This drug is administered by injection under the close supervision of a dermatologist and is approved for use in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

Psoriasis is not contagious, although it may be hereditary. Climate, stress, infections, and some medications are things that can sometimes trigger flare-ups. If you suspect that you have psoriasis or some other skin condition, call 630-832-2111 to schedule an appointmentwithELMHURST DERMATOLOGY. A board-certified dermatologist will examine at our office located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7. Your condition will be carefully analyzed, and a treatment protocol will be created to meet your personal needs. Let our friendly, experienced staff help you. New patients are welcome. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

 

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. About one in ten people develop psoriasis in childhood, which makes it more likely that the condition will be widespread and recurrent.

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INFORMATION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

If you get regular manicures, you should be aware that new research shows that the ultraviolet (UV) lamps used in some nail salons to dry and cure nail polish may pose a skin cancer risk. These UV lamps deliver the same UV rays that make tanning beds so dangerous. While previous research has proposed that the lamps in nail salons may prove hazardous, no one actually measured the UV exposure until this most recent study. After testing 17 different lamps in nail salons, it found that it would take between 8 and 208 visits to damage the skin in a way that raises skin cancer risk, depending on the machine. Is that a risk you want to take?

It is always important to understand the health risks of your actions. Manicures with gel polish may have more lasting effects than you want. In addition to extra ultraviolet exposure on your skin, your nails can become thin and cracked due to the inability of oxygen to penetrate the layers of gel. If you are concerned about this topic or any other issue related to hair, skin, or nails, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111 to schedule an appointment Our dermatologists have up-to-date information so that we can work together to keep you healthy. New patients are welcome at our office located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. The American Cancer Society reports that exposure to ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for most types of skin cancer.

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HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?

If you are concerned enough about the health of your skin to regularly apply sunscreen, be sure that you use enough. With this in mind, make sure that you use at least nine teaspoons of sunscreen when you go to the beach or partake in other outdoor activities that require head-to-toe coverage. This formula entails using at least one teaspoon of sunscreen to cover your face, head, and neck (and ears); two teaspoons for your front and back torso; one teaspoon for each arm (forearm and hand, too); and two teaspoons for each thigh, leg, and foot. If you are using a spray-on sunscreen product, be sure that all skin surfaces have a glossy coating.

Despite your most diligent efforts in applying broad-spectrum sunscreen, you can’t completely protect your skin from invisible damage and age-related spotting. It is important to have whole-body screenings done annually by an accredited dermatologist. The skilled doctors at ELMHURST DERMATOLOGYcan diagnose existing or potential skin problems. Call us at 630-832-2111 to make an appointment at our well-equippedoffice located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7. New patients are alwayswelcome. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

 

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 is the minimum protection recommended by dermatologists.

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DO YOU EXPERIENCE CHRONIC HIVES?

Hives (known medically as “urticaria”) are raised, red, itchy areas of skin that vary in size and shape. While each hive typically lasts no more than 6-12 hours, they can disappear from one place and appear in another. Their cause is often elusive, and some individuals have a long-term problem with chronic hives that last more than six weeks or go away and return repeatedly. Treatment includes antihistamines as well as H-2 antagonists, oral corticosteroids, or tricyclic antidepressants. Recent research also indicates that high doses of vitamin D may also work to tame symptoms of chronic hives. In a randomized trial, patients who took 4,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 on top of their allergy medications saw a significant reduction in symptoms.

Hives are just one cause of red and itchy skin. There are many other skin conditions that produce similar dermal reactions. If you are suffering with any abnormal skin inflammation, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGYat 630-832-2111 to schedule an appointment. Our board-certified dermatologists will examine you to assess the severity of your condition and your overall health before choosing the best treatment option for you. New patients are always welcome at our office located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

 

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. High doses of vitamin D may help reduce symptoms of chronic hives by regulating the immune system.

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