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Tips for Treating Vitiligo

March 20th, 2015

from Dermatology Specialist Dr. Alicia Cool

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Dermatology specialist Dr. Alicia Cool with Advanced Dermatology PC Answers Questions about Vitiligo, Loss of Skin Pigmentation


Vitiligo isn’t contagious and it isn’t medically harmful but it can have serious consequences for emotional and psychological well-being.
Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) March 20, 2015

One to two million Americans suffer with a blotchy loss of skin color that is characteristic of the condition called vitiligo. It can affect anyone but is more noticeable in those with darker skin. “Vitiligo isn’t contagious and it isn’t medically harmful but it can have serious consequences for emotional and psychological well-being,” says dermatology specialist Dr. Alicia Cool with Advanced Dermatology, P.C. “And while we cannot cure it, we can treat it in ways that minimize or camouflage its cosmetic effects.”
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Dr. Fox on Protecting Your Skin in Winter

February 16th, 2015

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Winter is a wonderful time for outdoor adventurers. Many hit the slopes, others continue their outdoor exercise regimens and some simply enjoy a regular walk in the winter sunshine. However, you must be careful because you can get skin cancer in the winter too. It is imperative to protect your skin from the sun, and especially for men, to protect your ears and lips.

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Dr. Joshua Fox

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, men’s increased risk for skin cancer is due to their shorter hairstyles combined with improper sunscreen application. Women are also vulnerable, especially if they have thin or short hair, or wear their hair pulled back in a ponytail. There is a much greater prevalence of ear skin cancer in men than women. We also have more basal cell cancer of the lip in men than women. This is because women use lipstick and other balms that typically have some sun protection.
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Winter is Dangerous for Skin Cancer Too

January 28th, 2015

winterskin2Dermatology specialist Dr. Joshua Fox, medical director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C., discusses skin care tips for the winter in a recent article. According to Dr. Fox, “Winter weather can intensify the negative effects of UV exposure in several ways. First, snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light, meaning the same sun rays can hit you twice. And second, snow and strong winds can erode sunscreen protection.” Click here to read more.

10 Tips to Manage Psoriasis and Eczema This Winter

November 21st, 2014

PRWEB.COM Newswire Roslyn Heights, NY (PRWEB) November 19, 2014
A shocking number of Americans have psoriasis and eczema–39 million adults and children–which is more than four times the population of New York City, the largest city in the US. According to dermatology specialists Dr. Joshua Fox and Dr. Robert Levine with Advanced Dermatology, PC, the seasonal change to cold, dry air creates difficulties for people dealing with these chronic skin disorders.

“It is important to manage symptoms,” says Dr. Fox, who has served on the board of the National Psoriasis Foundation. “Psoriasis and eczema can be painful. They can make everyday actions uncomfortable for adults and children, men and women, and they carry a stigma that can lead to a loss of self-esteem, depression, and other health complications.”

psoriasis

Psoriasis on the elbow

Symptoms

Psoriasis appears on the skin as red or white, scaly patches that often itch and bleed. The patches can also look scaly or silvery in color. Nails can become yellow, ridged and separate from the nail bed. Up to 30 percent of people with the disease develop psoriatic arthritis, and recent studies indicate that patients with moderate to severe disease are also at increased risk for other associated health conditions, including heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression and hypertension.

Eczema, a hypersensitivity disease, inflames the skin, causing pain, itching, dryness, swelling, cracking, weeping and scaling. Eczema lesions can bubble, ooze, and crust over if scratched. Skin infections can occur if bacteria invade the skin lesions.

Diagnosis

“Once patients understand their psoriasis or eczema is not contagious, they seem to be relieved,” says Dr. Fox. “They are comforted to know there is help for their symptoms.”

Psoraisis is an autoimmune disease apparently cause by an overactive immune system that overproduces skin cells. Eczema, on the other hand, is caused by a deficient immune system in which an imbalance of skin proteins creates skin sensitivities. “This is a significant distinction because it informs treatment,” explains Dr. Fox. “A dermatologist will diagnose the condition and provide the most effective care for individual patients.”

Psoriasis treatments:

  • Topical creams, such as corticosteroids, calcipotriene, anthralin, salicylic acid, and coal tars, to reduce inflammation and dissolve skin lesions
  • Laser therapy with ultraviolet (UVB) light
  • Systemic medications taken orally or by injection that suppress or control the immune system

Eczema treatments:

  • Topical creams, such as corticosteroids (severe) and hydrocortisones (mild), to reduce inflammation
  • Immunomodulator creams that control inflammation and immune system reactions
  • Systemic pills that suppress the immune system
  • Prescription strength moisturizers that restore the skin barrier
  • Oral antihistamines to relieve inflammation
  • Diluted bleach baths and antibiotics to treat infection

Dr. Fox’s and Dr. Levine’s tips for managing psoriasis and eczema throughout the winter

  • Moisturize. Use a non-irritating, fragrance-free moisturizer. Thick ointments are best for locking in moisture and repairing the skin barrier.
  • Limit bathing. Take warm (not hot) baths not more than once per day. Pat the skin dry with a towel (do not rub) and apply moisturizer immediately following.
  • Choose a mild, non-irritating soap. Use sparingly.
  • Use a humidifier indoors. The ideal range is 45-55 percent humidity.
  • Wear loose, soft clothing. Choose cotton over wool, denim, or other harsh fabrics. Wear gloves and scarfs outside to protect exposed skin.
  • Avoid sweating. Sweat can trigger flare-ups. Wear wicking fabrics and change out of damp or snowy clothes as soon as possible.
  • Keep fingernails short. This decreases the likelihood that scratching will tear the skin and lead to infection.
  • Hydrate. Drink plenty of water.
  • Reduce stress. While this is easier said than done during the busy holidays, stress can trigger flares.
  • Identify and eliminate possible triggers. Some common triggers include wool, soaps, fragrance, pet fur, cosmetics, and household cleaners. Some patients have found relief by altering their diets.

Dr. Levine counsels that people with either psoriasis or eczema should consult their dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis and discuss the pros and cons of different treatments options.

Advanced Dermatology P.C., the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) provides cutting edge medical, laser & cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery services. http://www.advanceddermatologypc.com

Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D. is the founder and medical director at Advanced Dermatology P.C. He is a leading authority in the field of dermatology with expertise in skin cancer, cosmetic surgery and laser procedures and is program director of a fellowship in laser and cosmetic surgery

Robert Levine, D.O., F.A.O.C.D. is experienced in many areas of medical and surgical dermatology with an interest in cosmetics.

Preventing Molluscum Contagiosum

October 15th, 2014

(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Roslyn Heights, NY, October 15, 2014 – Summer can be rough on skin, says Joshua Fox, MD, medical director of Advanced Dermatology P.C. Beyond the dangers associated with sunburn, a recent report in JAMA Dermatology found bikini waxes and shaving can increase the risk of contracting a contagious and unsightly skin rash known as molluscum contagiosum. In warm months, 61 percent of women remove hair from the bikini line at least once per week.

“Healthy skin acts as a barrier against infection,” explains Dr. Fox. “While waxing and shaving with a razor blade are normally considered safe procedures to remove body hair, they can cause deficits to the membrane barrier of the skin, allowing viruses or bacteria to enter the body more easily.” Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that causes small, fleshy-colored, raised bumps, often with a whitish center, to appear. It is spread through skin-to-skin contact or by touching a wet surface contaminated with the virus.

“It is one of the most common skin conditions we see in the summer,” Dr. Fox says. “Molluscum is a virus that loves warm, wet places and is spread easily.” He adds, “Until recently, molluscum was seen primarily in young children at swimming pools, where it earned the nickname ‘water warts,’ but it is on the rise among adult populations. Adults can also contract the virus through sexual contact.”

Molluscum is found worldwide, affecting 2 to 10 percent of children annually. It is common for the virus to spread among family members, with 35 percent of children having a positive family contact.

Tips to avoid molluscum contagiosum

According to Dr. Fox, good hygiene is the best way to avoid getting molluscum. Never pick or scratch bumps or rashes on the skin. In addition,

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Never share towels
  • Avoid swimming, skin-to-skin, or sexual contact immediately after waxing or shaving to allow skin to heal
  • If waxing, use new or sterile equipment and do not re-use wax applicators during the treatment
  • Avoid sharing boogie boards, surf boards, and kick boards
  • Clean or sanitize swim and athletic equipment before and after use
  • Bathe thoroughly before and after swimming or other sports

Signs, symptoms and treatment

The rash usually appears on the torso, buttocks, lower belly, or thighs about 7 weeks after exposure to the virus. In adults, the rash can also appear on the genitals and armpits.

Sometimes individual molluscum disappear in about 2-3 months, however, new growths tend to appear as old ones are going away. If not properly treated, advises Dr. Fox, “molluscum can spread and the virus can take years to resolve on its own. There are steps you and your doctor can take to stop it from spreading or causing discomfort or anxiety.”

  • Keep areas with growths clean
  • Cover with clean clothing or watertight bandages before participating in sports or contact with others
  • Do not pick at lesions with fingernails
  • Do not shave or do electrolysis over areas that have bumps
  • Dress in loose cotton clothing to reduce irritation
  • Moisturize dry skin with hypoallergenic moisturizers

Dermatologists use treatments to help the growths disappear more quickly, such as:

  • Removal by freezing (cryotherapy) or scraping off with a sharp instrument (curettage).
  • Applying a topical agent or cream to dissolve the growth such as blister beetle juice with Cantharidin, potassium hydricide, retinoic acid or Aldera.

Treatment works best when started early. Your doctor will discuss the advantages and disadvantages, (e.g. risk of bleeding), of treatment for you or your child. “Pools, sports and your normal beauty routines can sometimes leave you with more than you bargained for,” cautions Dr. Fox. “Failure to treat can lead to further infection and scarring. There is no point in suffering in silence when treatment is so readily available.”

Advanced Dermatology P.C., the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) provides cutting edge medical, laser & cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery services. www.advanceddermatologypc.com

Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., is the founder and medical director at Advanced Dermatology P.C. He is a leading authority in the field of dermatology with expertise in skin cancer, cosmetic surgery and laser procedures and is program director of a fellowship in laser and cosmetic surgery.

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