By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
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 Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
September 14, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Acne  

Is it time to turn to our dermatologist for acne treatment?

Acne is one of the many reasons people turn to our Staten Island, Linden, and Point Pleasant Beach, NY, dermatologist Dr. Patricia McCormack. If you’ve struggled to get acne under control, you may not have the right tools. That’s where we come in.

What Causes Acne?

There are several reasons why acne forms. Excess oil production, clogged hair follicles, bacteria and hormonal fluctuations can all result in breakouts. While acne can appear anywhere, it most commonly occurs on the face, chest, shoulders and back.

When Should I See a Dermatologist?

Sometimes teens and adults dealing with minor acne may see the results they want with simple over-the-counter acne products; however, if you aren’t seeing a reduction in the severity or the frequency of your acne symptoms with at-home care, then it’s time to turn to us. We will often need to prescribe stronger topical or oral medication to clear up more persistent acne.

Is There a Fast Way To Get Rid of Acne?

Unfortunately, there is no overnight miracle cream or remedy that will eliminate acne right away. Most treatments take weeks before you will see results; however, one of the fastest methods for treating acne is to visit our dermatologist, who can inject the pimple with a cortisone injection. This injection will reduce inflammation and eliminate the pimple within 48 hours.

How Will My Dermatologist Treat My Acne?

This will depend on the cause of your acne symptoms. For example, some women often deal with breakouts around their menstrual cycle. If your acne is hormonal, we may recommend oral contraceptives to help clear up skin. Other acne treatment options include,

  • Retinoids
  • Products containing higher concentrations of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
  • Isotretinoin (for more severe and persistent cystic acne)
  • Antibiotics
  • Extraction

How Are Acne Scars Treated?

Laser therapy is the most effective way to smooth away superficial acne scars. Different laser treatments can remove the outermost layers of the skin and stimulate collagen production, reducing the appearance of scars while also improving the skin’s overall tone and texture. Chemical peels and dermal fillers may also be used to treat acne scars.

If you’re struggling to get your acne under control, this is where it’s time to turn to our Staten Island, Linden, and Point Pleasant Beach, NY, dermatologist Dr. McCormack and her team. To schedule a consultation, call (718) 698-1616, (908) 925-8877 or (732) 295-1331.

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
September 13, 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 Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
September 12, 2022
Category: Skin Treatments
Tags: Mohs Surgery  

Mohs surgery is a gold standard treatment for skin cancer. It boasts a very high rate of success for the most common types of skin cancer and low recurrence rates. Dr. Patricia McCormack offers Mohs surgery in Staten Island, Linden, and Point Pleasant Beach, NY. Learn more about this state-of-the-art treatment for skin cancer.

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery (aka Mohs micrographic surgery) is named after the doctor who invented this technique in the 1930s, Frederick Mohs.

Mohs surgery is a skin cancer treatment that involves removing small layers of skin one at a time. Visible cancer on the top layer of skin is removed, and then microscopically examined by your surgeon to determine if there are any 'roots' of the tumor in underlying layers of skin that are not visible. If this is the case, the process repeats and another layer of skin is removed and examined. The process of removing layers of skin is repeated until no more cancer is detectable.

Why should I choose Mohs surgery?

There are many benefits to choosing Mohs surgery in Staten Island, NY, such as:

  • Highest cure rate: Mohs surgery has a cure rate of up to 99%, the highest of any skin cancer surgery. This has been shown in studies comparing Mohs surgery to other forms of skin cancer treatment, which generally only have 90-95% rates of success.
  • Low recurrence rate: This is a precise technique that ensures the elimination of the tumor, and there is generally a lower chance of recurrence than in other forms of skin cancer treatment.
  • Preservation of surrounding skin and tissue: A great thing about this type of surgery is that the surrounding skin and tissue will suffer very little to no damage. Because of the precision of the technique, very small amounts of skin are removed at a time, minimizing scarring.
  • Performed under local anesthesia: The patient is not put to sleep under general anesthesia. It is done on an outpatient basis and you go home the same day.
  • Speedy recovery: Healing from Mohs takes less time than many other skin cancer treatments as a result of the minimal skin that is removed and as much healthy tissue as possible is preserved.
  • Time effective: The average time this procedure takes is around 4 hours. It may take longer, so your best bet is to clear your calendar the entire day in preparation for this surgery. 

Contact us

Schedule a consultation with Dr. McCormack to discuss Mohs surgery in Staten Island, NY. We have three convenient locations for you to choose from. You can reach us at our Staten Island office at (718) 698-1616, our Linden location at (908) 925-8877, or our Point Pleasant Beach office at (732) 295-1331.

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
September 01, 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.

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