My Blog
By Priya Thakker, MD
October 03, 2022
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Skin Care  

Your skin needs protection through all seasons of the year. Now that fall is here, and winter is approaching fast, you need to know how to protect your skin through fall and winter. Your dermatologist can help with the expertise, guidance, and skincare treatments you need.

In the colder months, your skin can dry out, from spending time indoors in heated rooms. During fall and into winter, your skin can become:

  • Dry
  • Red
  • Flaky
  • Irritated

When you are out in colder weather, you need to protect your skin from harsh winds and colder temperatures. Remember to:

  • Wear a thicker moisturizing cream on exposed skin.
  • Avoid products with alcohol because they can dry your skin.
  • Cover as much of your skin as possible with face masks, hats, gloves, and other warm clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher for everyday protection because sun exposure can be just as damaging to your skin in colder weather.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher if you are outdoors in the weather for a long period of time.
  • Avoid taking long, hot showers because they can dry your skin.
  • Take shorter showers with lukewarm water.
  • Use gentle soaps and washes to clean your skin and avoid exfoliating during the winter.
  • Wear lip balm to protect your lips when you are outside.
  • Consider installing a humidifier in your home to help moisten the air. It will soothe your skin, and your sinuses, and nasal passages.

Fall and winter months contain less moisture, so the drier climate can dry out your skin. If you suffer from psoriasis or eczema, it can get worse in the fall and winter. You should visit your dermatologist for psoriasis and eczema care.

Fall is the gateway to winter and fall and winter weather can be harmful to your skin. The effects of harsh winds, cold temperatures, and sun exposure can all accumulate and age your skin prematurely. You can develop fine lines, wrinkles, creases, and other early signs of aging, especially if you don’t protect your skin. To find out more about skin care tips for the fall and into winter, call your dermatologist today.

By Priya Thakker, MD
September 14, 2022
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Moles   Mole  

Most moles are normal, but sun exposure, genetics, and other factors can work to turn a normal mole into an abnormal, even cancerous mole. It’s important to know what to look for in abnormal moles. Knowing the signs and symptoms of an abnormal mole can even protect you from skin cancer.

Moles are caused by skin cells known as melanocytes. These melanocytes are responsible for determining skin color. Melanocytes can clump together, causing a mole to form.

So, when should you worry about a mole?

Abnormal Moles Typically Are:

  • Large, usually over 6 millimeters in diameter
  • Irregularly shaped, usually with ragged borders
  • Asymmetrical, usually not uniform in shape

In Addition, You Need to Watch Out for Moles That Are:

  • Itching, burning, or painful
  • Bleeding or oozing
  • Recurring after being previously removed

You should perform a self-check of your moles regularly, looking for any of the signs and symptoms listed above. In fact, pay attention to any mole that has changed in size, color, height, or shape.

You should also visit your dermatologist regularly, especially if you are at a high risk for skin cancer. People who are at a higher risk of skin cancer:

  • Burn easily
  • Have fair skin, light hair, and light eyes
  • Have a family history of skin cancer

When you visit your dermatologist, your doctor may want to biopsy the mole to check for abnormalities. This means taking a sample of tissue or removing the mole entirely. This can be done several ways, including:

Shaving the mole if the mole is small; this option doesn’t require sutures.

Removal of the mole with an instrument, if the mole is large; this option requires a few sutures.

MOHS micrographic surgery, which removes the mole one layer at a time, and the tissue is examined under a microscope.

Remember to protect yourself against skin damage and skin cancer by always wearing a sunscreen of at least SPF 15, or 30 if you are out in the sun for an extended period. Use a higher SPF of 50 and above if you are at high risk for skin cancer.

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of an abnormal mole, and mole removal options, talk with your dermatologist. Call today.

By Priya Thakker, MD
September 02, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Dry Skin   Cracked Skin  

Find out why cracked, dry skin happens and what you can do about it.

Dry or cracked skin can be a real nuisance, and you must be giving your skin the care it needs to keep it hydrated. You may find that your feet or hands are particularly susceptible to cracking and dryness, especially during the cold winter months.

What Is Causing My Dry, Cracked Skin?

Pay attention to your symptoms so you can pinpoint what might be causing your dry or cracked skin. Dry skin may be the result of,

  • Exposure to hot water (e.g., washing dishes; taking a hot shower)
  • Cold weather
  • Chemicals (e.g., laundry detergent; dish soap)
  • Medications
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Athlete’s foot

How Is Dry Skin Treated?

There are many ways to tackle dry skin depending on what’s causing it and where the dry skin is located. Luckily, dry skin can easily be treated with certain home care, including,

Using a daily moisturizer

A moisturizer will become your new best friend if you are prone to dry skin. Moisturizers lock in moisture in the skin and can be particularly helpful when applied after showering. A thick emollient moisturizer will be best for dealing with severely dry or cracked skin.

Applying petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly is a simple topical remedy that can help protect the skin while healing cracks. Petroleum jelly can be beneficial when dealing with cracking skin or dry lips.

Gentle Exfoliation

Sometimes, exfoliation can be a great way to remove dead cells from the skin’s surface and reduce dryness and cracking, particularly on the hands and feet. After soaking feet in water for about 20 minutes, exfoliation can be done with a pumice stone. Apply a moisturizer after using the pumice stone.

When Should I See a Dermatologist?

If you’ve tried just about everything to get your dry skin under control on your own and you still aren’t seeing results after two weeks, it’s time to turn to your dermatologist. You should also call your dermatologist if your symptoms get worse or if your skin shows signs of infection, such as,

  • Bleeding
  • Pus
  • Severe or increased redness
  • Fever

If dry, cracked skin has become the norm, and no moisturizer seems to be helping, it’s probably a good idea to turn to your dermatologist for answers.

By Priya Thakker, MD
August 22, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Mole  

Noticing a suspicious mole?

When was the last time you put on sunscreen? If you didn’t say this morning or yesterday then we might have a problem. Apart from turning to your dermatologist once a year for skin cancer screenings, there are definitely things you can be doing every day to reduce your risk for skin cancer during your lifetime. One of them is to check your own skin regularly to look for new or changing moles that could be signs of melanoma.

“See Something, Say Something”

Here’s what to look for when performing your own skin check,

New moles: By the age of 30, you should already have all the moles that you’re going to have. So, if you notice any new moles or growths cropping up where there was nothing before, it might be time to have a dermatologist check it out.

Oddly shaped moles: Healthy moles are asymmetrical, which means that you could draw an imaginary line down the mole and both halves would look identical. Asymmetrical moles are more likely to be precancerous or cancerous, so it’s a good idea to have them checked out by a skin care professional.

Moles without borders: Healthy moles have a clearly defined border or outline while moles that are cancerous are more likely to have an irregular or poorly defined border. If your mole doesn’t have a clearly defined shape, it’s time to see your dermatologist.

Moles with multiple colors: While healthy moles will range in color from skin-colored to nearly black, it’s important that your moles are one color. If you notice a mole that contains multiple colors, particularly one, pink or blue, schedule an immediate evaluation with your skin doctor.

Moles that change: Moles should stay relatively the same over time, which also means that you probably shouldn’t notice them much; however, if a mole hurts, is red or swollen, crusts over, bleeds or oozes, these are also signs of a problem.

Even if everything looks great, you should still schedule an annual skin cancer screening with your dermatologist just to play it safe. After all, skin cancer is one of the leading cancers in the US. These annual screenings offer early detection of skin cancer, which also means a swifter treatment and a higher cure rate. Call your dermatologist today to make sure you don’t miss out on your annual skin cancer screening.

By Priya Thakker, MD
August 05, 2022
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Dermatologist  

Is it time to see a skincare specialist?

Your skin is your largest organ, so it’s important that you take care of it. That sometimes means turning to a dermatologist for specialized care. Whether you are dealing with skin problems or want to improve your skin’s appearance, a dermatologist can provide you with the cosmetic and medical treatments you’re looking for. Here are some reasons to turn to a dermatologist,

Your Acne Doesn’t Respond to Home Care

Yes, it will take time for acne to respond to treatment. There is no overnight fix; however, if you’ve been using the same over-the-counter acne treatments for twelve weeks or more and aren’t seeing results, it might be time to turn to a dermatologist. Over-the-counter options are only good for milder acne cases. A dermatologist can provide customized treatment options if acne is more severe or treatment-resistant.

You Want a Skin Cancer Evaluation

You don’t have to be fair-skinned or have a family history of skin cancer or tanning beds to benefit from turning to your dermatologist once a year for a skin cancer screening. Everyone can benefit. An annual screening with a dermatologist can catch melanoma and non-melanoma cancers early.

You Have a Chronic Skin Condition

When dealing with eczema, psoriasis or chronic dry skin, these problems require personalized care only a dermatologist can offer. If you are dealing with red, itchy, scaling or burning patches of skin and you’re not sure what’s going on, a dermatologist can provide you with a swift diagnosis and a customized treatment plan to help you get your flare-ups under control.

You Want to Look Younger

Apart from all the medical benefits of turning to a dermatologist, another reason to seek care from a skin care professional is that you’re looking to enhance your skin’s appearance. Whether you want to smooth away lines and wrinkles with Botox or improve skin tone and texture with microneedling or laser resurfacing, a dermatologist is an ideal doctor to turn to for safe, effective cosmetic treatments.

Are you dealing with skin problems that impact your everyday routine or self-esteem? Do you want to treat imperfections to get skin you feel more confident in? If so, call your dermatologist today to schedule a consultation and find out how this specialist can help you get healthy, radiant skin.





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