INK’S STAINING REPUTATION

While we hear that those with tattoos may someday come to regret their decisions to get “inked,” less is known about more immediate concerns over medical complications. According to one survey of about 300 adults between the ages of 18 and 69, ten percent of the respondents experienced some form of short-term complication within weeks of getting a tattoo. These complications included rashes, swelling, and severe itching lasting longer than four months and up to several years. While the exact cause of these problems is difficult to pinpoint, researchers noted that long-term complications often occurred around the areas injected with red and black ink. Further research may help establish what ink colors and possible dye components lead to adverse reactions.

The lack of controls dictating what substances can be used to create tattoo ink has resulted in formulas that may cause mild to severe reactions in certain individuals. Should you be experiencing a reaction to tattoo ink, contact Elmhurst Dermatology at (630) 832-2111.

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

P.S. Most reactions to tattoos can be treated with anti-inflammatory steroid drugs and, in some cases, surgery.

 

Posted:

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.

Posted:

STARTING FROM SCRATCH

We all know that scratching provides temporary relief from itchy skin by creating a mild sense of pain that nerve cells transmit to the brain instead of itch signals. The problem is, particularly among those with chronic itching problems, scratching often leads to a vicious cycle of more itching and scratching. Recent research has led to new insight into this phenomenon, which could lead to better treatments. It seems that scratching causes the brain to release the pain-relieving hormone serotonin, which also targets cells that control itch intensity, further increasing the impulse to scratch. New research may lead to ways of blocking communication between serotonin and itch-transmitting cells, hopefully leading to new itch treatments.
See a dermatologist if itchy skin lasts more than two weeks and doesn’t improve with self-care measures. If you are concerned about your skin, please contact ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. The best way to deal with chronic itching involves having the dermatologist identify its cause and treat it accordingly.

Posted:

CONTAGIOUS CHILDHOOD SKIN INFECTION

The highly contagious skin infection known as “impetigo,” which primarily affects infants and children, is caused by streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria, or both. The infection produces symptoms of red sores, often on the face, especially around a child’s nose and mouth. The condition starts as tiny, barely perceptible blisters on the skin, usually at the site of a skin abrasion, scratch, or insect bite. The sores then burst and develop honey-colored crusts. Because impetigo spreads through contact and may spread quickly to other children, it should be treated immediately. Impetigo may clear on its own in two to three weeks, but antibiotics can shorten the course of the disease and help prevent the spread to others.

When properly treated, the lesions of impetigo heal with little to no scarring. Prompt, effective treatment also diminishes the chances of serious secondary complications that could affect the kidneys, joints, bones, and lungs. When you have any dermatological problem, you may call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. While impetigo typically is not dangerous, potential complications include kidney problems.

Posted: