ADULT ACNE

Acne may be an adolescent affliction, but it also affects many adults, particularly women. In some cases, adolescent acne may not disappear completely (“persistent acne”). Otherwise, acne may develop for the first time in adulthood (“late onset acne”). The problem largely rests with the glands at the base of hair follicles secreting too much oil (“sebum”) as a flood of androgen hormones fuel oil secretion. When combined with excess amounts of dead skin cells, the mixture can clog the follicles, causing whiteheads and blackheads. Adult women may be especially susceptible to adult acne when hormones related to menstruation and pregnancy prompt excess oil secretion. Fluctuating hormone levels during perimenopause can also prompt acne. Proper treatment starts with a medical evaluation.

Today there are many effective treatments for acne. This doesn’t mean that every acne treatment works for everyone, but it does mean that almost every case of acne can be controlled. By using medications correctly and consistently, patients can prevent new acne pimples from forming. If you are concerned about your skin, please call Elmhurst Dermatology at 630-832-2111.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Genetics, climate, cosmetics and skin care products, certain medications, emotional stress, and lack of sleep may contribute to acne.

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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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FASTER WOUND HEALING

Chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, and bedsores typically take weeks or even months to heal. If so, prolonged healing time gives rise to the risk of developing potentially life-threatening complications. Fortunately, there is a treatment available, called “debridement,” which can dramatically reduce healing time. Essentially, debridement involves the removal of dead tissue and debris that stand in the way of healing. There are various forms of debridement, including surgical (using a scalpel or scissors), mechanical (pulling dead skin off through various means), enzymatic (using enzymes and chemicals to dissolve tissue), and autolytic (using the body’s own dead tissue-dissolving ability). Because debridement is not suitable for all cases, consultation with the dermatologist is essential.

At my practice, we have special expertise in a wide variety of conditions affecting the skin, hair, and nails. We offer a full range of dermatology services, from general to specialized care. Whether you have questions about your skin’s health or are looking for a way to improve your appearance, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Because patients with peripheral arterial disease cannot undergo debridement (because the treatment can worsen wounds), revascularization may be considered to improve blood flow.

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