Search Results for: dermatologist

Should I See a Dermatologist About My Scars?

Should I See a Dermatologist About My Scars?

When you have a prominent and unsightly scar, especially in a location not easily hidden by clothing, you likely want to work on minimizing its appearance. There are many different scar treatment options, and the most effective for you will depend on the type and severity of scarring from which you suffer. There are many scar treatment options that do not require any doctor’s intervention. However, there are times where seeing a dermatologist about your scars is the best way to proceed. Therefore, it is beneficial to know when you should see a dermatologist about your scars.

What Does a Dermatologist Do?

Dermatologists are specialized doctors who work on conditions affecting the skin, including acne, scarring, eczema, and more. Therefore, they are experts in solutions for reducing the appearance of scars, especially prominent ones such as keloid scars. They also offer more invasive procedures to remove scars, including laser surgery, dermabrasion, grafting, and more. However, not all scars require the assistance of a dermatologist to treat.

What Type of Scars Require a Dermatologist?

Large, prominent, and raised scars, especially keloid scars, will most likely not find any help from a scar treatment cream. Instead, you will need to see a dermatologist to discuss other scar treatment options. Any injury to the skin that harmed many layers of the skin tissue, such as a third degree burn, or did not heal correctly typically forms a larger and more prominent scar that will need more advanced treatment options to reduce the appearance of the scars. Certain acne scars, including ice pick scars, rolling scars, and boxcar scars also often require more invasive treatments offered by dermatologists.

When Don’t You Need to See a Dermatologist?

Any time you have scarring or other skin conditions about which you have a question, you can typically benefit from the expertise of a dermatologist. However, for less prominent scars, you do not have to see a dermatologist for help. These include scars formed by injury to the skin that only affects the top layers of skin or from wounds that healed correctly, such as occur after surgery or with some cases of acne. Those scars that have not caused much damage to the collagen or to deeper layers of skin can typically be reduced by over the counter scar treatment creams. You can also use many of these scar reduction creams for pigmentation problems, such as hyperpigmentation, also known as dark spots. For hypopigmentation (aka white scars) tattooing a white scar flesh-colored is also an option. Over the counter creams are beneficial, but they do take time to work. If you do not see any improvement in the appearance of your scar or discoloration after you have been using the cream for a few months, then you should see a dermatologist for help.

A dermatologist can be your partner and best friend when it comes to ensuring you have smooth and flawless skin, especially when you are working to reduce the appearance of any scarring. They not only will be able to offer you help with the invasive procedures, but they can also provide expert advice on the best ingredients for an effective scar treatment cream.

Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer!

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Cosmetic Surgeon Red Flags You Should Not Ignore

Cosmetic Surgeon Red Flags You Should Not Ignore

As more and more cosmetic procedures become readily available and mainstream, it seems as if everyone is having something done. However, easy access to treatments and procedures comes with concerns.

As captured on the popular TV show “Botched,” things can go very wrong with serious, even life-threatening consequences. Anyone conducting cosmetic procedures can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon. However, to be considered a plastic surgeon one must be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Stanley Poulos, a Board-Certified San Francisco area Plastic Surgeon offers the following red flags not to ignore when selecting a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, aesthetician or anyone else you plan to trust your body with. [Read more…]

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Is it Hyperpigmentation or Melanoma?

Is it Hyperpigmentation or Melanoma?

Noticing a brown or black spot on your skin that wasn’t there before can be scary. Sometimes, these spots are nothing more than hyperpigmentation, a common and harmless—but somewhat alarming—condition where small sections or patches of your skin take on a darker color than the rest of your skin. Hyperpigmentation is nothing more than concentrated deposits of melanin, which can collect randomly in one spot (or several spots) on your skin.

Unfortunately, the harmlessness of hyperpigmentation sometimes leads individuals who have the condition to ignore dark spots on their skin. If these spots are just concentrations of melanin, you really don’t have to pay much attention to them. However, one symptom of melanoma—the most severe and dangerous type of skin cancer—is brown or black spots or moles on the skin. Without careful attention to detail or medical consultation, it’s easy to mistake melanoma for simply hyperpigmentation (and vice versa).

The Differences Between Hyperpigmentation and Melanoma

Fortunately, there are subtle differences in moles or spots caused by hyperpigmentation and moles or spots. These differences fall into five different categories, which are easy to remember because they bear the initials of ABCDE. In assessing moles or dark spots, these initials refer to asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and elevation. Read on to discover more about the signs in each of these categories that can indicate melanoma rather than hyperpigmentation.

  • Asymmetry: Generally, hyperpigmentation patches (be they freckles, moles, or simple dark spots on your skin) are symmetrical in shape and size. A noticeably asymmetrical dark spot on your skin is worth consulting a doctor about, as it may be a sign of cancer.
  • Border: In addition to symmetry, dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation will have smooth edges that are easy to distinguish. Spots or moles with more jagged or irregular borders are more likely to be cancerous.
  • Color: In hyperpigmentation, melanin deposits can range from light to dark brown. Spots or moles that are black or rusty red in color appear more commonly in melanoma patients. With that said, melanoma spots can also be a more regular brown hue, so use color as a supplement to other identifying factors, instead of using it as your sole decider.
  • Diameter: Moles or dark spots with large diameters—or with diameters that seem to be expanding—are cause for alarm. Most dermatologists say that any skin spots bigger in diameter than a pencil eraser are worth having checked out by a medical professional.
  • Elevation: When it comes to assessing whether moles or spots are hyperpigmentation or melanoma, flatter is better. While some harmless moles are slightly raised, extremely elevated moles are often a sign of a more dangerous skin condition.

All of these factors can help you to determine, on your own, whether the dark spots on your skin are more likely to be the result of hyperpigmentation or melanoma. If you have a mole that is small, with a smooth border, symmetrical, flat, and light brown, chances are pretty good that you don’t have any reason for concern. When in doubt, though, consult your physician. It is invariably better to be safe than sorry when it comes to possible signs of skin cancer.

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How to Avoid Scars from Pimples

How to Avoid Scars from Pimples

Excess oil beneath the skin signals a variety of problems, with the most frustrating of these being pimples. These tiny pustules appear on the face and body, housing bacteria, dead cells, and sebum secretions. They cause surface inflammation, irritation, and even scars.

According to the Acne Resource Center Online, 25% of individuals suffering from pimples will have some form of scarring – whether atrophic, hypertrophic, or hyper-pigmented. To combat this statistic we suggest examining both the causes of scars and the available treatments.

The Causes of Pimple Scarring

Acne is far more than a series of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It’s also a medical disorder, triggering several effects beneath the skin. These effects – which include cyst production, nodular inflammation, and blood vessel penetration – directly impact surface and interior tissue, damaging them both.

With this damage comes a sudden production of collagen, with the body trying to repair itself. These repairs, however, often fail:

Too Much Collagen: the body produces an excess amount of collagen and causes tissue build-up. Scars then form, with raised appearances and reddened edges.

Too Little Collagen: the body produces too little collagen and the skin begins to sink, pitting the tissue and causing scars.

Read More: Acne Scars

How to Avoid Pimple Scarring

Pimple scarring is unfortunate. It’s also often avoidable. Those wishing to reduce their chances of atrophic or hypertrophic effects should:

Treat Acne Immediately

Utilize OTC or prescription treatments as soon as acne appears. This will interrupt the damage cycle and maintain tissue health.

Avoid Picking at the Skin

Popping a pimple may seem wise. Too often, however, does this cause further complications, releasing bacteria back into the skin (which often creates more acne) and triggering collagen production. Don’t do it.

Follow Hygiene Regimens

Daily, gentle scrubbing of the skin often proves essential in avoiding scars. Remove excess oil, dead cells, bacterial pus, and other free radicals to maintain appropriate moisture and elasticity levels. Tissue remains balanced and less likely to require collagen.

Study Genetics

Multiple factors shape the body’s healing process. None are more important, however, than genetics. Pimples are prevalent in some families, with members prone to breakouts and scarring alike. See how often these issues have occurred in the past to better prepare for their developments in the future.

Utilize these suggestions to reduce acne and avoid scarring.

Read More: Get Rid of Acne Scars

Consult With a Dermatologist

Acne is a disease. Seeking help from a dermatologist, therefore, is highly recommended for those who suffer from frequent breakouts. These specialists deliver key information about prescription options and OTC cleansers. They also prove helpful for patients wishing to improve the appearance of existing pimple scars, offering access to dermabrasions, tissue injections, and more.

Read More: Dermatologists

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5 Ways to Get Rid of Acne Scars

5 Ways to Get Rid of Acne Scars

Scars used to be untreatable. Skin, once damaged, could not return to its former texture, and redness was permanent. This has been a source of lingering discomfort for many faced with acne in their teens and the remaining acne scars throughout adulthood, making it a problem that never really goes away.

However, times have changed, and individuals now have a seemingly endless array acne scar solutions – but which solutions actually work? Five in particular have been proven to provide superior results.

Topical Scar Cream

Topical creams combine natural ingredients (such as Vitamin C or Aloe) with fortified synthetics (such as silicone) to heal, protect, and restore skin. They infuse the body with much-needed hydration and soothe irritation through their antibacterial properties. They provide non-invasive results and can be obtained without prescriptions.

Read More: Topical Scar Lotion

Facial Scar Revision

Facial scar revision redefines the appearance of scars, combining topical treatments – which expedite the healing process and improve pigmentation – with surgery. The procedure, known also as layered closure, involves cutting out the old scar and reclosing it, repositioning  the edges of the scar so it heals better. This is a medical procedure and must be conducted by a certified plastic surgeon.

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is a process that involves the removal of scarred skin. It utilizes a series of sharp-edged brushes, rotating them quickly across tissue to “sand away” uneven areas and promote more even texture as the skin heas. This bolsters the body’s ability to heal (as exposing unaffected dermal layers restores balance to collagen production) and helps to improve the appearance of scars. Dermabrasion is a medical procedure but does not require a plastic surgeon. Many dermatologists also perform it.

Read More: Dermabrasion

Micro-Needling

Micro-needling is aptly named. It utilizes countless tiny needles, pricking the skin again and again in a series of controlled bursts. These bursts are intended to stimulate the healing process (as the body will respond to the minor injuries, producing collagen to fill in the minuscule holes). This reduces the appearance of scars by improving facial contours and enhancing the skin’s elasticity. Micro-needling is typically performed by a dermatologist.

Chemical Peel

Chemical peels deliver a low concentration of acid to the skin. They’re typically composed of glycol or TCA (trichloroacetic acid), and they’re used to (gently) remove affected dermal layers. The peels are spread across scars and penetrate the ridges, revealing the softer tissue beneath. These treatments can be done at home, but due to potential risks with improper acidic balances, it is strongly recommended that individuals visit their dermatologists for treatment instead.

Read More: Chemical Peel

Treatment Successes – Patience Required

All scars are different, and will therefore respond differently to treatments. The healing process is determined by a variety of factors, including genetics, collagen production, metabolism, nutrition, stress levels, and age, and it’s impossible to accurately calculate the amount of time needed to experience results from creams, peels, and other solutions. Some individuals may see instant improvements. Others may instead have to try multiple avenues before seeing real results.

When attempting new treatments, it’s important to be patient and allow the body to heal at its own pace. Don’t give up, and don’t try to rush the effects.

Are you curious about the scar solutions mentioned here? Contact us today! We’ll be happy to provide you with more information. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog as well for instant inbox updates!

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