HIVES WITH NO IDENTIFIABLE CAUSE

“Chronic idiopathic urticaria” is the medical term for hives that appear on the skin for no readily identifiable reason. When these itching, burning, painful skin rashes appear daily over prolonged periods, it can lead sufferers to become demoralized. While most cases of “acute urticaria” lasting less than six weeks seemed to be triggered by an allergic reaction, longer-lasting chronic idiopathic urticaria is seldom due to an allergy. In approximately one-third of cases, an autoimmune reaction may underlie the condition. In the absence of any identifiable cause to treat, chronic hive sufferers should avoid harsh soaps as well as any known triggers. In the meantime, the dermatologist can prescribe a number of medications, ranging from antihistamines to anti-inflammation drugs.

Some chronic urticaria sufferers have other signs of autoimmune problems. Some have autoimmune thyroid disease, vitiligo, swollen joints, or certain abnormalities in the blood. When you have any dermatological problem, please call Elmhurst Dermatology at 630-832-2111.

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

P.S. Research shows that the injectable drug omalizumab (Xolair) is very effective against difficult-to-treat chronic hives  without side effects.

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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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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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BLUSH MUCH?

The rapid reddening of the face, neck, and upper chest known as blushing (or flushing) is a common physical response to anxiety, stress, embarrassment, anger, or other extreme emotional states. Often accompanied by feelings of warmth, skin blotchiness, or solid patches of redness, blushing is more of a social worry than a medical concern. However, there are cases where blushing is linked to an underlying medical condition such as Cushing syndrome or a niacin (vitamin B3) overdose. Cushing syndrome occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for a long time, while niacin is often taken to boost blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the “good” cholesterol). Recurring blushing should prompt a medical checkup.

With a range of treatments to suit your needs, we are able to care for all medical skin conditions, skin allergies and help you achieve the look you’ve always wanted. We will manage your care from your first consultation to your follow up appointment. For more information, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111.Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite 7. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Rosacea is another skin condition that produces facial flushing.

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EARLY ANTIBIOTIC USE RAISES ECZEMA RISK

According to a recent review of previous studies, children who took antibiotics during their first year of life were found to have about a 40 percent greater likelihood of developing eczema. However, researchers found no evidence that antibiotics taken by mothers during pregnancy raised the risk of developing the itchy skin disorder. Eczema is especially common among children, with between 10 and 20 percent experiencing symptoms of the disease. More than half of them continue to have symptoms into adulthood. It is thought that antibiotic use during the first year of life predisposes children to developing the skin disease since antibiotics eliminate intestinal microbes that play an important role in the immune system’s development after birth.

Your dermatologist is an excellent resource for questions about skin care at all stages of life. At our practice, we have advanced training and experience to detect and treat virtually any skin problem, including suspicious moles, eczema, acne, and more. For professional medical care for your skin, contact ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite. We are accepting new patients and most insurance plans are accepted. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

 

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

 

P.S. According to the study mentioned above, the more antibiotics a child under the age of one year took, the more his or her risk of developing eczema increased.

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NEW HELP IN DEALING WITH ROUGH PATCHES

It is estimated that 58 million Americans have “actinic keratoses,” those small rough patches of skin that develop due to repeated exposure to the sun’s rays. Because these pea-sized, scaly lesions can develop into skin cancer, patients often turn to dermatologists to remove them  by freezing them, scraping them, applying chemical peels, or using medicated creams (sometimes for weeks). Now, a new treatment has been developed, known as “photodynamic therapy” (PDT). This treatment involves applying medicine to the skin that is only absorbed by problem cells. When a special light is then shone onto the skin, the actinic keratoses are destroyed. PDT works best for treating hard-to-detect actinic keratoses. It has minimal side effects.

If you spend a lot of time in the sun, you have an increased risk of developing actinic keratoses, certain types of skin cancer and various other skin problems. To reduce the risk of these conditions, always wear a broad spectrum sun screen with a sun protection factor (SPF), avoid mid-day sun (between 11 am and 3 pm) and wear protective clothing, such as a hat and long sleeve t-shirts. For more information, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite. We are accepting new patients. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Another good treatment for eliminating actinic keratoses is a topical cream known as imiquimod (Aldara), which requires fewer applications than other creams and has milder side effects.

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THE COMMON PROBLEM OF DRY, ITCHY SKIN

Older adults are more likely to develop “xerosis” (very dry skin) that leads to “pruritus” (itchy skin), one of the most common skin complaints among seniors. Without treatment, dry skin can lead to a vicious cycle of itching and scratching that can cause “lichenification” (hardened, thickened patches of leathery skin). Preventing dry skin largely consists of adding moisture and sealing it in while avoiding products that strip the skin of its natural oils. To this end, limit showers and baths to 5-10 minutes, and use warm water (not hot). After gently drying the skin, apply emollient (moisturizer) within three minutes to seal moisture in. Moisturizers containing lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerine, lanolin, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly are best.

As the body’s largest organ, your skin works constantly to protect the organs, regulate body temperature, and it reflects your overall health. If you notice or experience any changes to your skin, it’s best to see a dermatologist.  Our goal is to provide only the highest quality, compassionate care for patients that need dermatologic care. For more information, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. We provide all full breadth of dermatological services and most insurance plans are accepted.  Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite. We are accepting new patients. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. If a simple at-home regimen of skin moisturizing doesn’t stop skin dryness and itching from leading to breaks and cracks in the skin, the dermatologist can prescribe a cream or an ointment.

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PSORIASIS’ LINK WITH DIABETES

In addition to dealing with chronically irritated patches of flaky skin, those suffering from psoriasis should be aware that they may be at risk for another chronic disease. According to new research, there is a strong correlation between psoriasis and type-2 diabetes. Both diseases are triggered by inflammation. In this case, the same cells that trigger the inflammation of psoriasis are also linked with insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes. Moreover, there may be a connection between other inflammation-sensitive conditions such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease. With all this in mind, dermatologists are likely to recommend that their psoriasis patients also be screened for cardiovascular risk factors including obesity, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, and type-2 diabetes or insulin resistance.

At our practice, we treat a variety of skin problems and educate our patients about proper long term care.  For professional advice about a dermatologic condition affecting you, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite. We are accepting new patients. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Psoriasis is not merely a skin condition. It is a system-wide inflammatory disease.

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DRY WINTER SKIN

One of the ironies of winter weather is that the cold air is so dry that it resembles desert air. Consequently, dry skin is one of winter’s itchiest conditions. Dry skin is not only an outdoor problem. Central heating, space heaters, wood stoves, and other heating devices also lead to damaged, dry, itchy skin. To counter these problems, it is important to treat skin with a daily moisturizer. Upon emerging from the shower, it also helps to rub oil into the skin all over the body before toweling off. Also remember that long, hot showers and baths remove oils from the skin, which is a good reason to limit showers to fifteen minutes or less with warm (not hot) water.

We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of medical skin care possible. With compassion and respect, we can treat even the most challenging skin problem utilizing the most recent advances in dermatologic therapy. For appointment information, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111.Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite 7. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis,
MD Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. To prevent skin from becoming dry and itchy, it is important to hydrate properly by drinking plain water (and limiting coffee and/or alcohol intake) daily.

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MORE THAN SKIN DEEP

Psoriasis is a painful chronic condition characterized by a buildup of dead skin cells and dry, itchy, red patches. These symptoms are caused by immune system over-activity that inflames the skin and is also associated with increased levels of C-reactive protein, which is a marker for system-wide inflammation. In turn, systemic inflammation has been linked with a variety of medical problems including insulin resistance and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Recent research has also found associations between psoriasis and systemic inflammation and other disorders. Generally speaking, the more serious the psoriasis, the greater the risk for disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attack, type-2 diabetes, kidney disease, mild liver disease, and peptic ulcer disease.
At my practice, we treat all diseases and disorders of the skin, hair and nails including acne, rashes, skin cancer, eczema, warts, psoriasis, and wrinkles. Understanding that patients are individuals, we design customized treatments to meet unique concerns, lifestyles and expectations. For additional information, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite. We are accepting new patients and most insurance plans are accepted. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

 

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

 

P.S. Patients diagnosed with psoriasis by the dermatologist may want to use the diagnosis as a starting point to meet with other doctors and be screened for other potentially related illnesses.

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