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Posts for category: Dermatology

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
August 15, 2019
Category: Dermatology

Sun DamageToo much exposure to sunlight can be harmful to your skin. Dangerous ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays damage skin, which leads to premature wrinkles, skin cancer and other skin problems. People with excessive exposure to UV radiation are at greater risk for skin cancer than those who take careful precautions to protect their skin from the sun.

Sun Exposure Linked to Cancer

Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. To limit your exposure to UV rays, follow these easy steps.

  • Avoid the mid-day sun, as the sun's rays are most intense during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that clouds do not block UV rays.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps which emit UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear hats and protective clothing when possible to minimize your body's exposure to the sun.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to your exposed skin. Re-apply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and area around your eyes.

Risks Factors

Everyone's skin can be affected by UV rays. People with fair skin run a higher risk of sunburns. Aside from skin tone, factors that may increase your risk for sun damage and skin cancer include:

  • Previously treated for cancer
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Several moles
  • Freckles
  • Typically burn before tanning
  • Blond, red or light brown hair

If you detect unusual moles, spots or changes in your skin, or if your skin easily bleeds, make an appointment with our practice. Changes in your skin may be a sign of skin cancer. With early detection from your dermatologist, skin cancers have a high cure rate and response to treatment. Additionally, if you want to reduce signs of aged skin, seek the advice of your dermatologist for a variety of skin-rejuvenating treatment options.

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
July 29, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Fillers   Dermal Fillers  

Are Fillers Right for You?

Thinking about fillers? Dermal filler injections can give you a more youthful look for a fraction of what a facelift costs. Dermal fillers are soft tissue fillers injected into the skin to improve your facial appearance or reverse the signs of aging. Dermatologists offer a variety of dermal fillers to meet their patients' individual needs. Here are several signs that dermal fillers are right for you.

1. You want to erase facial wrinkles.

As people age, fine lines, folds, and wrinkles start to appear. The hyaluronic acid and collagen in the skin diminishes, causing the skin to lose volume and structure. Dermal filler injections eliminate wrinkles by adding plumpness to the skin and replacing the collagen lost due to skin damage or aging. The treatment will fill fine lines and wrinkles in less than 30 minutes with results that can last up to 18 months.

2. You want to smooth away laugh lines.

Don't be afraid to laugh! Nasolabial folds, also known as laugh lines, are nothing to laugh about. These creases and lines run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth, and are the result of the loss of facial volume as we age. Dermal filler injections smooth laugh lines by filling in deep creases. For laugh lines, you should opt for hyaluronic acid fillers, like Juvéderm, Sculptra, Restylane, or Juvéderm Voluma.

3. You want to enhance your cheeks.

Wrinkles and fine lines aren't the only signs of aging. Over time, your skin may start to sag and your cheeks may flatten. This happens because volume is lost in the cheeks. Using dermal fillers, your doctor can improve the appearance of your cheeks without surgery. Injectable treatments add volume to correct age-related volume loss in the cheeks and help create a youthful appearance.

4. You want to get rid of acne scars.

While acne scars may fade over time, they often don't go away completely without treatment. Injectable treatment fades acne scars by adding volume to them. Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, and Belotero are the injectables for treating acne scars. They are able to reduce the appearance of certain types of scars and improve the texture of your skin.

5. You want to make your lips look bigger.

Some patients have thin lips and want to make them bigger. Other patients have noticed their lips thinning over time. Your dermatologist can use dermal fillers to increase volume in your lips. Juvederm can improve the appearance of your lips by adding volume, structure, and shape. The effects typically last up to one year. After that, more injections will be required to maintain your new look.

Say goodbye to those signs of aging. Search for a qualified dermatologist in your area right now and schedule an appointment for a dermal filler treatment. Dermal filler treatment is the secret to looking younger! With dermal filler treatments, you will look as incredible as you feel!

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
July 12, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Poison Ivy  

Have you heard of Toxicodendron radicans? No? Well, you have likely heard of their colloquial name—poison ivy. Sporting leaves filled with Urushiol, an oily resin that can cause a painful rash when in contact with human skin, poison ivy can cause a number of painfully uncomfortable symptoms. 

Read on to learn the symptoms of poison ivy exposure, how to treat its symptoms, and whether those symptoms warrant a trip to your local dermatologist.

Rash Symptoms

Poison ivy rashes often show up right after exposure to the plant leaves, although they do sometimes spring up a couple days afterward, as well. Symptoms of the rash include:

  • Red streaks and patches on the skin
  • The emergence of hives, blisters, and red bumps
  • General swelling
  • Acute itching

Treatment Options

Once you have discovered the rash, there are some initial steps that you can take to relieve your symptoms. These include:

  • Immediately run cool water over your skin at the first sight of rash
  • Use over-the-counter cortisone and calamine creams to relieve itching
  • Take an oral antihistamine (e.g. Benadry) to reduce itching and inflammation

After 1 to 3 weeks, the rash should dissipate on its own, without the requirement for medical care. However, there are some scenarios in which you should seek out the attention of your local dermatologist. For instance, call a doctor if you experience:

  • Pus emitting from the rash
  • A general spreading of the rash
  • A failure of the rash to clear up after a couple weeks

In other scenarios, emergency care may prove necessary. Call 911 if you experience:

  • Trouble breathing or a swelling of the throat
  • Extreme swelling, especially around the eyes
  • A spreading of the rash to the mouth, eyes, or genitals

Concerned? Give Call Your Local Dermatologist

Are you experiencing overly distressing symptoms of poison ivy exposure or a rash that just won’t go away? If so, contact your dermatologist and find relief. 

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
June 27, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Warts  

Warts are small, harmless growths that develop on the skin. You may notice only one or they may grow in clusters. While they are usually painless, sometimes they can develop in places like the soles of the feet (known as plantar warts), which can be uncomfortable. Common warts often appear on the hands and arms while flat warts develop on the face and forehead. Plantar warts are typically found on the soles of the feet. Apart from developing these skin-colored growths, there usually aren’t any other symptoms associated with this condition.

What causes warts?

Warts are caused by an infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 strains of HPV that can develop in different areas of the body, from the mouth and skin to the genital region. The type of HPV that causes warts on the hands, feet, or rest of the body isn’t the same type that causes genital warts.

How do I treat warts?

Warts usually go away on their own once the body fights the infection; however, it can take months to years for the wart to go away. Therefore, if you feel embarrassed by the wart or if the wart is in an awkward or uncomfortable place then you may choose to visit a dermatologist to have it removed. If you are a healthy individual you may also consider trying an over-the-counter wart removal option before turning to a dermatologist.

You should see a dermatologist if:

  • Warts are spreading or getting worse
  • Warts aren’t responding to at-home treatment
  • Warts are developing on your face or genitals
  • Warts are painful, bleeding, or itching
  • You have a weakened immune system
  • You have diabetes

When you visit your dermatologist, they will first need to make sure that the growth is a wart. Depending on the type and location of the warts, your skin doctor will talk to you about your treatment options. Common ways to treat warts include,

Salicylic Acid

This topical treatment is often used on warts of the hands, feet or knees, and you will need to apply the topical treatment daily for several weeks. After the solution is applied you will also use a pumice stone to file away the dead outer layer of skin from the wart. The acid treatment will continue to kill the wart layer by layer until it’s completely gone.

Freezing the Wart

This is another common method for removing a wart. Liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the wart to freeze it. This is also referred to as cryotherapy. More than one liquid nitrogen treatment session may be needed in order to completely remove the wart.

Other options for removing a wart include burning, cutting or removing the wart with a laser, and these treatment options are often used on warts that don’t respond to the other treatments above. If you are dealing with warts and want to turn to a dermatologist to have it removed, then call to make your next appointment.

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
June 25, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Mohs Surgery  

When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is essential. After all, the quicker the condition is discovered, the higher that the chances of recovery become. Once discovered, our dermatologist, Dr. Patricia C. McCormack, can start treatment at one of her offices in Point Pleasant Beach, Linden, NJ, or Staten Island, NY—one of the most common and effective being Mohs Surgery. Used to treat some basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, Mohs Surgery can end up removing the cancer before it has a chance to cause bodily harm. Read on to learn more.

More about Mohs Surgery

Mohs Micrographic Surgery treats non-melanoma skin cancer. It is a precise, microscopically-controlled outpatient surgery that removes cancerous tissue using microscopic examination.

During treatment at one of our offices in Point Pleasant Beach, Linden, or Staten Island, Dr. McCormack traces the edges of the cancer and completely removes tumors by mapping the cancerous roots using a microscope. After mapping the cancerous roots, Dr. McCormack excising them layer-by-layer, leading to a complete cancer removal

Following the procedure, patients can go home and/or resume their regular daily activities. However, there are other advantages to Mohs Surgery than just going home immediately afterward—the procedure also has a high cure rate (about 99% in many cases) and spares damage to normal tissue.

What are some other preventative measures?

While Mohs Surgery does boast a high cure rate, it's still incredibly important to take some preventative measures to protect yourself from developing sun cancer in the first place. Some of these lifestyle habits include:

  • Seeking Shade: Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Accordingly, to avoid too much sun exposure, try wearing a hat and seeking shade if you do decide to go out during those hours.
  • Protecting Your Skin: Wear a long‐sleeved shirt, pants, a wide‐brimmed hat, and sunglasses. Also, make sure you use one ounce of sunscreen, SPF of at least 30.
  • Boosting Your Vitamin D: Eat a healthy diet that includes foods naturally rich in vitamin D, or take vitamin D supplements instead of over-exposing yourself to the sun.
  • Regularly Visting Your Doctor: If you notice any growth, mole, sore, or skin discoloration that suddenly appears, visit one of our offices in nPoint Pleasant Beach, Linden, NJ, or Staten Island, NY.

Concerned about your skin? Give us a call

If you are interested in learning more about Mohs Surgery, contact one of our offices today to schedule an appointment with Dr. McCormack.

  • Point Pleasant Beach: (732) 295-1331
  • Linden: (908) 925-8877
  • Staten Island: (718) 698-1616