Winter is Dangerous for Skin Cancer Too

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.

Summer is Coming – Beware of Rashes!

Tips for Understanding Contact Dermatitis from Dermatology Specialist Dr. Joshua Fox

According to Dr. Joshua Fox with Advanced Dermatology, contact dermatitis may seem perplexing because rashes can be triggered by an exhaustive list of substances.

Roslyn Heights, NY (PRWEB) May 20, 2014

Just as temperatures rise and you’re ready to don warm-weather clothes again, bam! You come down with a nasty red rash. But are you having an allergic reaction or is your skin just irritated? Contact dermatitis – which can be triggered by either allergens or skin irritants – is likely to blame, according to Joshua Fox, MD, medical director of Advanced Dermatology P.C.

Contact dermatitis is the medical name for rashes caused by culprits ranging from soaps, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry or plants such as poison ivy or poison oak. Some jobs also expose us to substances that can cause contact dermatitis, Dr. Fox explains.

“The red, itchy rash of contact dermatitis isn’t contagious or life-threatening, but it sure can be uncomfortable and unslightly,” Dr. Fox says. “Many people get these sorts of rashes from time to time. It’s important to know that a variety of home treatments and medical approaches can be used to quickly and effectively tackle contact dermatitis.” It is also possible now, through new testing to find the etiology of what caused the contact dermatitis and how to safely avoid it in the future.

Many possible causes

Contact dermatitis may seem perplexing because rashes can be triggered by an exhaustive list of substances. There are two main types of contact dermatitis, irritant dermatitis and allergen dermatitis. Irritant dermatitis, the most common type, can be caused by:

  • Soaps, fabric softeners and detergents
  • Hair dyes and shampoos
  • Cement
  • Pesticides or weed killers
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Solvents or chemicals

Allergic dermatitis, on the other hand, does not occur the first time you’re exposed to a substance – the reaction usually only happens after subsequent exposure. This form of contact dermatitis can be caused by:

  • Adhesives, including those used for fake eyelashes or toupees
  • Antibiotics rubbed on the skin surface, such as neomycin, bacitracin or polysporin.
  • Fabrics and clothing
  • Fragrances in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps and moisturizers
  • Nickel or other metals that are found in jewelry, buttons, bra straps and zippers
  • Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac and other plants
  • Rubber or latex gloves

Additionally, some products cause contact dermatitis only after the skin is also exposed to sunlight (photo contact dermatitis), including shaving lotions, sunscreens, coal tar products, some perfumes, and even oil from the skin of a lime.

“It’s not always easy to tell if your rash was caused by an allergy or by an irritant because some of the symptoms may be identical,” Dr. Fox explains. “But an allergy usually provokes symptoms on or near the skin you touched the allergen with, while a rash from skin irritants may be more widespread.”

“Also, with an allergy, it may be a day or two before the rash shows up,” he adds. “But with an irritant, the rash usually shows up immediately, and it tends to be more painful than itchy.”

Home treatments, medications can help

Successfully treating contact dermatitis starts with identifying what’s causing your reaction. Avoiding the trigger usually gives the rash a chance to resolve on its own, though it may take two to four weeks. Home treatment measures, which can reduce inflammation and soothe skin, include:

  • Washing affected skin with water to remove any traces of remaining irritant
  • Using anti-itch creams such as calamine lotion or corticosteroid skin creams or ointments

If your rash doesn’t get better after a few days, it’s time to call your dermatologist, who may – for patients with long-term, repeated contact dermatitis – perform allergy testing with skin patches. So-called “patch testing” can determine which allergen is causing the reaction. We have hundreds of test so we can discover the correct allergens. The American Contact Dermatitis Association, of which I am a member, will tell us, through an agreement with multiple manufacturers, which products the patient should avoid as well as which products can be safely used with their specific allergy.

Clinicians may also prescribe heavy-strength ointments, creams or even pills to treat more severe cases of contact dermatitis.

“While sometimes treatment may be necessary, if it’s painful or uncomfortable and you are losing sleep or are distracted from your everyday life, it’s time to get your rash checked professionally. There’s no point in suffering in silence when treatment is so readily available. Failure to treat can lead to skin infection and scarring.”

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

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/advamceddermatology/contactdermatitis/prweb11854086.htm

Treating Melasma

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Dr. Joshua Fox of Advanced Dermatology, PC

Treating Melasma

Tips for a step-by-step approach to prevent and target the issue.

By Dr. Joshua Fox, Advanced Dermatology PC

Melasma is a common skin disorder that affects an estimated six million people in the United States. In fact, 90% of those afflicted are women, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Melasma is often associated with sun exposure but it’s also common in pregnant women, hence the nickname the “mask of pregnancy.” Other common triggers include estrogen supplements and birth control pills.

The good news for patients is that technologies are evolving to better treat Melasma. The Fraxel laser (a type of fractional laser) is a tool that is increasingly used to treat Melasma, especially in severe cases and in cases where it doesn’t respond to other treatments. The Dual 1550/1927 Fraxel laser received new FDA approval specifically to treat skin pigmentation problems such as Melasma in June 2013. The benefit of the Fraxel laser is that it can safely treat the cells producing pigment yet it protects the outer layer of skin at the same time. Patients who go this route must be vigilant about avoiding the sun and must wear a high grade UVA/UVB sunscreen at all times.

Signs of Melasma

Melasma most often affects young women with so called “olive” or brownish skin tone. The condition is characterized by skin discoloration typically located on areas of the body more exposed to the sun, such as the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin, and to a lesser extent, the neck and arms.

While Melasma does not cause any physical discomfort, managing the psychological stress associated with the appearance can be a challenge. Melasma can rarely fade on its own but most women prefer to treat it because it’s not only unsightly but it also causes some degree of embarrassment. Appropriate treatment can significantly improve quality of life and restore self-confidence.

Tips for Treating Melasma

Fortunately, there are many treatment options to help manage Melasma. Dermatologists are excited about the FDA’s approval of Fraxel for treating Melasma. And while there is no magic bullet for the problem, we have additional therapies at our disposal that are safe and effective. These include:

· The first line of defense is a broad spectrum sunscreen, which will help prevent further skin discoloration. If a patient is vigilant about sunscreen use and stays out of the sun, the condition can spontaneously improve. More importantly, it will help prevent further discoloration.

· One of the first-line treatments is often a hydroquinone (HQ) cream, lotion or gel to lighten skin, which is available over-the-counter and in prescription doses. A dermatologist may also prescribe other topical medicines to lighten skin such as tretinoin (Retin-A), corticosteroids, azelaic acid and kojic acid. Several new products have been developed without HQ to treat the condition.

· Procedures for Melasma include chemical peels, microdermabrasion (a non invasive treatment that exfoliates skin), Fraxel Dual 1550/1927, Q-switched Nd-YAG and Ruby Lasers.

· A final option is a combination of several aforementioned therapies. In one recent study researchers in New York found that microdermabrasion and laser treatments used together can be a safe, a non-invasive approach with minimal or no recovery time, and it had long-lasting effects.

Note the importance of sun avoidance and sunscreen to help prevent Melasma. I recommends everyone apply sunscreen 20 minutes prior to going out in the sun. This is particularly important for people aiming to prevent or minimize Melasma. In addition, reasonable efforts to reduce sun exposure such as wearing a wide-brimmed hat and large sunglasses can also be helpful in avoiding the sun and aiding in the prevention of Melasma.

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

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.

– See more at: www.happi.com

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Are You Helping Your Clients Avoid Skin Cancer?

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Are You Helping Your Clients Avoid Skin Cancer?

Posted: November 29, 2010

Editor’s note: As a spa professional, you are in a unique position to be able to help clients identify skin cancer. Be sure to make note of any marks that appear odd, according to the information below, and be sure to recommend a visit to the dermatologist if it is in order. Also, it is important to be able to refer clients to a reputable dermatologist if they don’t already have one. One more thing … make sure that clients perform the home skin care checks as advised in this piece.

Skin cancer is a scary subject. “No one wants to think about developing a disfiguring, even deadly, disease, therefore so many Americans live in a state of denial,” says Joshua Fox, MD, a leading dermatologist and medical director of Advanced Dermatology of New York and New Jersey. “Most people know they are supposed to be checking their skin monthly for changes that might be cancer, but they aren’t exactly diligent about it. It’s something that gets put off for later, often indefinitely.”

But skipping the skin scans can be dangerous, says Paige Farkas, MD, a dermatologist specializing in skin cancer screening at Advanced Dermatology. “There have been significant advances in the treatment of skin cancer, including the deadly types, but we know that the front-end things–detection, diagnosis and immediate treatment–are still critical.” In fact, she says, despite the fact that skin cancer is among the simplest types of cancer to identify since it’s visible on the outside of the body, the rates continue to rise. And although nonmelanoma cancers have a relatively good prognosis, melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, can quickly become lethal. In fact, new research shows that melanoma cells have a unique ability to override even the healthiest immune system, eventually spreading far beyond the initial site.

The truth is, checking your skin regularly, and making an appointment to have your dermatologist do the same, is the best and only way to catch skin cancer before it spreads. “For the past 25 years, we’ve told people to pay attention to the ABCDs of pigmented skin irregularities,” Fox says. “Asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, and diameter more than 6 mm (about ¼ inch). These are still the key to identifying a problem growth among a bunch of innocuous looking freckles and moles,” he says.

Here are the rules of skin cancer screening. Make sure your clients do these at home.

The Importance of Skin Cancer Checks

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The Importance of Skin Cancer Checks

Head-to-toe skin exams, at home and in your dermatologist’s office, can save your life

Head-to-toe skin exams, at home and in your dermatologist’s office, can save your life

(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Roslyn, NY, November 2010 – Skin cancer is a scary subject. “No one wants to think about developing a disfiguring, even deadly, disease, therefore so many Americans live in a state of denial,” says Joshua Fox, M.D., a leading
dermatologist and medical director of Advanced Dermatology of New York and New Jersey. “Most people know they are supposed to be checking their skin monthly for changes that might be cancer, but they aren’t exactly diligent about it. It’s something that gets put off for later, often indefinitely.”

But skipping the skin scans can be dangerous, says Paige Farkas, M.D., a
dermatologist specializing in skin cancer screening at Advanced Dermatology.
“There have been significant advances in the treatment of skin cancer,
including the deadly types, but we know that the front-end things—detection,
diagnosis and immediate treatment—are still critical.” In fact, she says,
despite the fact that skin cancer is among the simplest types of cancer to
identify since it’s visible on the outside of the body, the rates continue
to rise. And while non-melanoma cancers have a relatively good prognosis,
melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, can quickly become lethal. In
fact, new research shows that melanoma cells have a unique ability to
override even the healthiest immune system, eventually spreading far beyond
the initial site.

The truth is, checking your skin regularly, and making an appointment to
have your dermatologist do the same, is the best and only way to catch skin
cancer before it spreads. “For the past twenty-five years, we’ve told people
to pay attention to the ‘ABCDs’ of pigmented skin irregularities,” Dr. Fox
says: “Asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, and diameter more
than 6 mm (about ¼ inch). These are still the key to identifying a problem
growth among a bunch of innocuous looking freckles and moles,” he says.

Here are the rules of skin cancer screening:

Make it a habit to check your skin at home.
Dr. Fox recommends checking yourself, head to toe, once a month. That means
stripping down to your birthday suit and looking over every inch of skin,
even in areas where you’ll need a hand mirror to get a good look. “Many
cases of melanoma and other cancers develop on the scalp,” Dr. Fox says.
“These cancers can be deadly, but unfortunately, most people don’t check the
tops of their heads very often.” Be sure to check the palms of your hands,
your nails, and the soles of your feet, too.

Know what is normal.
In most cases, a normal mole is an even brown, tan, or black color, which
can be either flat or raised, round or oval. Some moles are present at
birth, others develop during childhood or even later in life, especially in
areas that get lots of sun. Once a mole is there, it will most likely stay
the same size, shape and color. Some moles eventually fade and disappear.
“Almost everybody has moles, and almost all of those moles are harmless,”
Dr. Fox says. But people with lots of moles, more than 50, are at a higher
risk for skin cancer.
What’s not normal: Flesh-colored, pearl-like bumps or pinkish or reddish
patches of skin that flake or scale (or even bleed), which can be basal cell
or squamous cell carcinomas.

Pay attention to changes in your skin.
Look for anything new, a new mark, or an old mark that looks different, as
well as any new sensations in or around a freckle or mole. In some cases,
the skin can become crusty or scaly, or start to feel itchy or even sore.
Pay attention to any marks that change in color, size or shape, as well as
marks that just look different from the other marks on your body. “Spots on
the skin come in all shapes and sizes, and not every mark you see will be
cancer,” Dr. Fox says. “But if you see something that really stands out,
what dermatologists call an ‘ugly duckling’, be sure to tell your
dermatologist in a timely manner.”

Find a dermatologist who uses dermatoscopy technology.
Also known as epiluminescence microscopy [ELM], or surface microscopy, this
is a relatively new (and not-too-common) method of screening that’s
extremely effective at identifying cancers, helping the doctor distinguish
malignant lesions from benign ones, says Dr. Farkas, who uses a dermatoscope
in her practice at Advanced Dermatology. “The dermatoscope uses polarized
light and a magnifying lens to let us ‘see’ the skin more clearly,” she
explains. “It significantly increases the accuracy of the exam, meaning we
can detect problems much more reliably than with the naked eye.”

About Dr. Fox: Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., earned his medical degree
from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He completed an
internship at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, followed by a three-year
dermatology residency at the New York University School of Medicine. A
Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Fox is a leading
authority in the field of dermatology, with an expertise in skin cancer,
cosmetic surgery and laser procedures
(http://www.advanceddermatologypc.com).

About Dr. Farkas: Dr. Paige Farkas is a board certified dermatologist with
experience in all areas of medical, cosmetic and laser dermatology. The
focus of her practice is general and cosmetic dermatology and skin cancer
screening examinations utilizing dermatoscopy technology. Dr. Farkas
received her medical degree at Yeshiva University – Albert Einstein College
of Medicine with distinction in research, and was a member of the Alpha
Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. She completed her residency and served as
chief resident in the Department of Dermatology at Albert Einstein. For many
years, she worked as Clinical Instructor at Montefiore Medical Center, and
supervised medical residents in the Dermatology Department. She has been
Staff Dermatologist at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ since 1993, and
provides outpatient dermatology clinics for the underprivileged in the
community.