Getting Rid of Stubborn, Unsightly Warts Once and For All

October 30th, 2014

Dr. Joshua Fox and Christopher Byrne, PA with Advanced Dermatology PC offer tips for treating the most common types of warts

A common virus causes most types of warts, but these small, unsightly growths can be a lot harder to shake than the common cold. According to Dr. Joshua Fox, board certified dermatologist and medical director of Advanced Dermatology in NY and NJ, “warts are blister-like growths caused by the human papilloma (HPV) virus, which enters the system through a cut or break in the skin. Warts occur on various parts of the body, most notably the hands and feet, and they’re extremely common. The good news is that warts can disappear on their own. The bad news? It can take years, and during that time, the warts may spread to other parts of your body.” Some warts can also promote skin cancer particularly in certain areas of the body and especially if the patient is immunocompromised. So warts are not to be ignored.

Tips for understanding and treating warts

Since warts are contagious, you can also infect other people through direct skin-to-skin contact or when you walk barefoot in the gym or share towels. Typically, warts have been traced to wet public places, such as pools or locker areas. However, children are more likely to get their warts elsewhere, according to a 2013 study of Dutch schoolchildren. Researchers spent 18 months studying the hands and feet of 1,100 children between the ages of four and 12 in three different schools. Rather than contracting warts from wet public places like pools and locker rooms, researchers found that children were most likely to get warts through direct contact with friends and relatives that had warts.

“Treatment can decrease the chances of the warts spreading to other parts of your body and to other people,” said Christopher Byrne, a physician assistant in the Fresh Meadows office of Advanced Dermatology.

The type of treatment used depends on the type of wart as well as the patient’s age and health. There are five different types of warts, with varying sizes and appearance, including common warts, plantar warts, flat warts, filiform warts, and periungual warts.
Many people turn to natural or home remedies at first, such as rubbing banana peels, castor oil, or apple cider vinegar on the wart, or even covering the wart with duct tape. Another option is trying over-the-counter treatments like salicylic acid (the main ingredient in products like Compound W). Some warts can be treated at home, but if these remedies are ineffective, it’s time to see a doctor, said Dr. Fox. “You should see a doctor if you have several warts, you cannot get rid of them, they are clearly spreading, or if the warts are causing pain,” he said. Sometimes what people think are warts are really something else necessitating a different type of treatment. ”Many patients will ignore warts without obtaining professional treatment, only to find the wart become larger, or spread to other parts of the body,” said Christopher Byrne.

One first-line treatment ideal for small children is putting a topical medication called Cantharidin on the wart, which causes a blister to form under the wart. After a week, the dermatologist will remove the dead wart. ”This is a great treatment as it is initially painless and does not require needles, and is also minimally invasive” says Christopher Byrne.

There are many other treatments in the dermatologist’s toolkit, including stronger drugs and surgical techniques. The most common include: cryotherapy (freezing the wart), excision (cutting out the wart), electrosurgery (burning the wart), and curettage (scraping off the wart). “Getting rid of warts takes time because they can be stubborn and persistent,” said Dr. Fox. One unique method that Christopher Byrne uses is using the body’s own immunity to help get rid of the wart. This is using the Candida antigen and does not hurt at all and is especially useful when the patients has many warts.

The idea behind the Candida antigen is to signal the body’s innate immune defense mechanisms to attack the wart virus. “I have found that most patients respond well to Candida, especially when other treatments have failed” says Christopher Byrne. The treatment involves a simple injection into the wart and requires re-treatment approximately every 3 weeks until the wart is gone. With a healthy immune system, most warts respond favorably even as early as the first treatment.

If warts do not respond to these therapies or they keeping returning or spreading, Dr. Fox sometimes uses laser treatments and injections of different medicines to treat warts.

Advanced Dermatology is proud to offer a comprehensive solution to one of the most common dermatological problems. If you have warts, contact us today.


Dr. Smart on Graceful Aging

October 27th, 2014

woman_beachSome people age gracefully, some don’t. Why? The answer is actually quite complex and multi-faceted, with genetics, diet, personality, stress, environment, and exercise all playing a likely role. But a recent article in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology discusses the role of pollution in aging and skin health, and speculates that it may play a bigger role then we often acknowledge.

We’ve all heard stories of persons in rural areas across the world living robustly in good health well into their 100’s. Such observations have always incited speculation as to what brings these people their longevity, and much has been written about these observations and credit given to the diet and environments that may best prolong health. It also makes sense on multiple levels that maybe avoiding pollution is a key in graceful aging.

Pollution from combustion creates nanoparticles and reactive oxygen species. These are toxic in that they cause damage and mutations in DNA. A portion of DNA that directly correlates to aging is the telomere. Telomeres are pieces of DNA found on the end of chromosomes that are designed to protect the ends from degrading. The shorter the telomere gets, the older the cell. This DNA damage predisposes the skin to premature aging.

Thankfully, there are many ways to help combat these effects such as healthy diets high in antioxidants and diligent sun protection. Also, there are many easy and noninvasive procedures that work nicely to correct and improve the signs of aging and damage. Chemical peels and a variety of laser and light treatments (for example Fraxel) are quick and effective ways to cosmetically treat the signs of aging that combustible pollution can cause. And the results are wonderful. Speak with your dermatologist about the many great options available to keep you looking your best.

However, it must be said, sometimes the best treatment is prevention. And while avoiding pollution may be impractical for many and impossible for some, your skin will certainly thank you for trying.


About Dr. David Smart

Dr. Smart was born in Salt Lake City and grew up climbing and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and must have enjoyed the harsh winters of the upper Midwest so much that he decided to stay in nearby Chicago to complete a residency in dermatology at the University of Illinois Chicago. With a particular interest in laser and cosmetic medicine, as well as general dermatology, Dr. Smart is excited to join the Advanced Dermatology team as the laser and cosmetic fellow.


Athlete’s Foot: Prevention is the Best Strategy

October 20th, 2014

Drs. Joshua Fox and John Troccoli Provide Tips on Warding Off Fungal Infections of the Foot

Athlete’s foot is the most common fungal infection, so common that as many as 70% of people will suffer an episode at least once in their lives and up to ¼ of adults have it at any time. Athlete’s foot got its name because the fungi that cause it to thrive in warm, damp areas frequented by athletes like showers, lockers rooms, and around swimming pools are often infected with fungi since the areas are warm and damp. But athletes aren’t the only ones who get athlete’s foot. It is easily spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or from the affected area of someone who is infected. “Not everyone who contracts the fungus will become infected,” says Dr. John Troccoli of Advanced Dermatology, P.C. in NYC. “The fungus needs the right conditions to flourish but when it does take hold, it can be difficult to eliminate. Also, having it once increases the likelihood of having it again. That’s why it’s important to understand how to prevent contracting the fungus.”

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is characterized by itchy, peeling skin anywhere on the foot but most commonly between the fourth and fifth toes. The infected skin may crack, blister and burn as the infection gets worse and may spread to the toenails. The fungi that cause athlete’s foot, known as dermatophytes, grow on non-living tissue, such as the nails, hair and outer layer of skin. They thrive in moist, dark, damp, poorly ventilated places – like the inside of shoes. “The primary strategy in preventing athlete’s foot is to deprive the fungus of the environment it likes best,” says Dr. Fox. “Good personal hygiene and simple precautions can prevent the infection and reduce the risk of spreading or recurrence.”

Drs. Troccoli and Fox’s Tips for Preventing Athlete’s Foot

  • Avoid tight shoes. Wear leather or perforated shoes that allow air to circulate. Avoid plastic or rubber footwear. Wear sandals in warm weather. Avoid going barefoot in bathing and showering areas. Allow shoes to air out for 24 hours before wearing them again. Wear shower sandals around public pools or showers.
  • Always wear clean socks when wearing closed shoes, especially sneakers. Wear cotton socks and change them if they get damp. Don’t wear socks of synthetic fiber. Never wear someone else’s socks or shoes.
  • Dry feet thoroughly, especially between the toes, after bathing or swimming. Use talcum or an anti-fungal powder daily, especially between your toes or in your socks. If you perspire excessively, put cotton between your toes at night to help absorb moisture. Toenails should be trimmed short and straight across and kept clean.

Some people are more susceptible to athlete’s foot than others. It is more common in men than in women and is rare in children under 15. Susceptibility may increase with age and people with sweaty feet, a history of diabetes, regular infections, or a weakened immune system are also more vulnerable.

Not all rashes on the foot are athlete’s foot. And there are different forms of athlete’s foot whose symptoms vary. It is best to obtain a definitive diagnosis from a dermatologist who will perform a physical examination and may look at skin scrapings under a microscope or take a culture. Simple cases generally respond well to anti-fungal creams and sprays. Oral anti-fungal medication may be prescribed if topical applications fail to eliminate the infection. “It’s important to complete the entire course of prescribed treatment even if symptoms have abated,” Dr. Fox says. “Failure to do so may enable the infection to flourish and make it harder to eliminate and more likely to spread to other parts of the body or to other people.”

“Athlete’s foot is a troublesome and tenacious ailment,” Dr. Fox concludes. “Conscientious adherence to hygienic practices can prevent it and prompt treatment can reduce its severity.”


Skin Care Mistake: Sleeping with Makeup

October 14th, 2014

Most women have slept in their makeup at least once or twice. Sleeping in your favorite foundation or mascara seems harmless, right? Wrong! This makeup mistake can do some serious damage to the skin! Breaking your face washing routine just once can have negative effects on your complexion.

Side Effects

The skin is exposed to a lot of pollution throughout the day. Pollution and free radicals stick to the face more when you’re wearing makeup. If the makeup is not removed, the harsh chemicals stay on the face and cause damage while you sleep. The more you sleep in your makeup, the greater the damage is to the skin. Like every other part of the body, the skin has a function. The skin renews while we sleep. Sleeping in makeup prevents the skin from renewing itself. It can cause infection, larger pores, acne, and premature aging.


One third of women in the U.S sleep in their makeup. However, unlike a lot of bad habits this one is easy to correct. To prevent premature aging, acne, larger pores, and infection, always wash your face every night before bed to remove all makeup.


Best of Long Island 2015

October 6th, 2014

Advanced Dermatology has been nominated for Best of Long Island 2015 in the categories of Best Laser Treatment Center, Best Botox Practice, Best Plastic Surgery Group, and Best Skin Care. Voting is easy and can be done once a day for each category. Just follow the easy steps below:

  1. Go to this link: Best of Long Island
  2. Scroll down to each category: Laser Treatment Center, Botox Practice, Plastic Surgery Group, and Skin Care.
  3. Check the box next to Advanced Dermatology, PC
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page, click the Terms of Service box, and click on Enter Now

That’s it! Thank you for supporting Advanced Dermatology!