My Blog

Posts for category: Skin Care

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
July 02, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer   Tanning  

tanning

During the much longed-for summer months, people work on their tans. While enjoying a richer skin tone now, tanners take huge risks for premature aging and skin cancer. 

Sun and artificial tanning

It's what we use to get those tans. But, did you know that when you tan, you actually burn the top layer (epidermis) of your skin and damage your DNA, too?

According to Live Science, DNA damage mutates normal skin cells into cancer cells. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the most common kinds of skin cancer. Malignant melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer as it easily metastasizes to major body organs. About one-third of melanoma cases in the US kill their sufferers annually, says The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Unfortunately, artificial tanning is just as dangerous as sitting in the sun. Intermittent sun exposure or occasional tanning in the sun or tanning beds are harmful, too. Damage to the skin is cumulative, and both kinds of ultraviolet radiation (there are UV-A and UV-B rays) breakdown your skin's DNA over time. Further, UV-B harms your skin's natural elasticity normally provided by a protein called collagen.

Don't tan: protect

To protect your skin, avoid sunburns, intentional tanning and excessive day to day sun exposure with these strategies from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD):

  1. Cover up any exposed skin (face, arms, legs, ears) with a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeves and other sun-protective clothing.
  2. Use sunscreen lotion--SPF 30 or higher--on all exposed skin, and re-apply every two hours or whenever you sweat it off or swim.
  3. Stay indoors or in the shade from 10 am to 2 pm.

Also, all adults, particularly those 40 or older, should see a dermatologist for an annual skin exam. Do a careful self-exam once a month at home, looking for changes in the color, size, and shape of existing spots or moles. Report changes to your skin doctor as well as any sore which does not heal in a week or so.

It's your skin

Don't sacrifice its health for a little fashionable color. Tanning really is bad for you. Find healthy ways to enjoy the summer months and that wonderful sun. Your skin and your overall health will be better for your efforts.

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
June 10, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Care Products  
Skin Care ProductsIn a world where appearance is important, everyone wants flawless skin. This is much easier said than done. For people who struggle with dry skin or acne, talking to a dermatologist is a great first step. They can help you find products that work the best for you. Here are their professional tips and tricks on what to look for when buying skin care products.
 
Understanding Your Skin Type
If you want to buy yourself the best products you’ll need to first understand the ins and outs of your skin. Identifying your skin type is the top priority, according to Dermatology experts. People with sensitive or acne-prone skin need different products than someone with oily skin. Otherwise, you increase your chances of triggering a breakout or irritating your skin. 
 
Best Products for Oily Skin
Double-check that the labels on your skincare products contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), hyaluronic acid, or benzoyl peroxide. 
 
AHA products shrink enlarged pores, along with smoothing out wrinkles and lines. Just make sure you wear sunscreen when applying this product. You’ll want to start by only using this product every other day at a concentration of 10-15%.
 
Hyaluronic acid goes hand-in-hand with vitamin C in skin care products. Products containing these substances hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. It supplies moisture in the areas of the face that need it. For people with oily skin, these products restore firmness and wrinkles in damaged areas. 
 
Best Products for Dry Skin
Dry skin is sensitive, requiring specific products to avoid a bad reaction. Dermatologists recommend skincare tools that contain lactic acid or shea butter. Lactic acid is a kind of AHA, meaning it moisturizes your skin while it exfoliates. Moisturizing is incredibly important for dry skin. Products with lactic acid restore your skin while giving it a healthy and plump look.
 
Best Products for Sensitive Skin
Aloe vera is your best friend when you have sensitive skin. Moisturizing with products containing it provides hydration without irritation. This is because the vitamins and nutrients nourish the skin. It's an essential part of sensitive skin care. 
 
Reading the Product Label
Don’t be fooled by products that claim to be natural or organic. Certain natural substances and ingredients can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to essential oils. Instead, memorize the ingredients you know work for your skin type. This includes the materials listed above, like AHA, lactic acid, aloe vera, shea butter, etc. Look at the primary ingredients listed on the skincare product’s label. The top five items listed make up the majority of the product. You’ll want to make sure your material is there, otherwise, you should consider a different product. 
By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
May 13, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Facial Treatments  

FacialsGetting a facial can certainly feel like a luxurious, relaxing, and pampering experience but did you know that a facial could also provide your skin with some amazing health benefits? Not only does turning to a dermatologist ensure that you get quality and comprehensive care to treat everything from sun damage to acne, but also a dermatologist has the knowledge, skills, and tools to be able to provide customized facials that can target and treat common skin problems.

A facial offers the skin a variety of benefits including:

  • Deep cleaning
  • Extractions
  • Exfoliation
  • Hydration and moisturizing

A facial can also be tailored to your skin type and the concerns or dermatological issues you are worried about. A facial can be used to treat:

  • Redness and uneven skin tone
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Dry, dull and flaky skin
  • Acne-prone skin
  • Rosacea
  • Eczema
  • Sun damage
  • Enlarged pores

One facial won’t be able to address all skin issues you may have, but our dermatological team can work with you to create a customized facial and treatment plan that will be able to treat any and all problems you’re concerned about.

The products that we use during your facial will also depend on the results you’re hoping to achieve. For example, certain enzyme peels and products with glycolic acid can help to remove dead skin cells to produce fresh, radiant skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you have questions about the different products we use and their ingredients, or if you have any allergies, it’s important to discuss this first with your skin doctor.

Getting regular facials can be a great way to keep skin looking and feeling its best, and it should be a normal part of most people’s skincare routines. Along with keeping skin clean and hydrated, facials can also target problem areas when they arise. Have questions about facials? Ask your dermatologist today.

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
May 11, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Acne  

For many individuals who suffer from acne, their hormones have gone into overdrive, resulting in the overproduction of sebum. Sebum is normally important for lubricating the skin and hair, however, overproduction of the chemical can result in acne.

If you’re looking to control your acne, you can come in for a consultation or set a teledermatology appointment with your dermatologist, Dr. Patricia McCormack, of Staten Island, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, and Linden, NJ. Meanwhile, here are acne basics you should keep in mind to help keep acne at bay.

The Acne Myth

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one of the greatest myths about acne is that you should just let it run its course normally. Unfortunately, this is not the best advice to take for most people. Why? First off, some untreated acne will leave permanent dark spots and scars on your skin even after it clears. Likewise, treatments are readily available, so it would be a waste not to seek one out. Further, acne treatments shorten the cycle and minimize future eruptions and effective treatment will boost your self-confidence.

How to Manage Your Acne

Here are some practical tips that you can follow:

  • Clean Your Face: Yes, even if you don’t have acne. Washing your face no more than twice a day removes dead skin cells, impurities, and excess oil from the surface. Use warm water and mild facial cleanser, but avoid using coarse-textured cloth or sponge. Rinse well and pat dry using a clean towel.
  • Use Moisturizer: This helps balance out the drying effect produced by many acne products. Use a moisturizer specific to your skin.
  • Spare the Makeup: This is especially true during breakouts. Skip using blush, foundation, or powder. If you need to wear makeup, make sure that you have oil-free ones that don’t have dyes, fragrances, or chemicals that could exacerbate your active acne.
  • Choose Your Hair Products Wisely: As much as possible, keep away from those that contain oil, gels, fragrances, or oils. These can block the pores of your skin and cause irritation if your hair gets on your face. Opt for a gentle shampoo with conditioner and keep your long hair away from your face.
  • Hands Off: People touch their faces an average of 19 times every hour. This is an easy way to get bacteria on your face as well as irritate your inflamed face. Tinkering with your acne can likewise cause scarring and infection.
  • Opt for Skin-Friendly Foods: Avoid junk food and greasy foods that could aggravate your acne. Foods with processed sugar and dairy products may likewise act as triggers in certain people. Stick to vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruits.

See Your Dermatologist

You should make an appointment with your dermatologist in Staten Island, Point Pleasant Beach, or Linden when:

  • Your acne is uncontrollable.
  • Over-the-counter medication doesn’t work for you.
  • You want your acne problem to clear up faster.
  • You have concerns about scarring.
  • You want the best treatment for your acne condition.

Need Advice on Managing Your Acne? We Can Help

Arrange a visit or schedule a teledermatology/telemedicine appointment with our dermatologist, Dr. Patricia McCormack. You can reach our Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, office at (732) 295-1331, Linden, NJ, office at (908) 925-8877, or Staten Island, NY, office at (718) 698-1616.

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
April 27, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Skin Cancer PreventionWith the warmer months just around the corner you may be getting ready to plan some fun in the sun. The summertime always finds children spending hours outside playing, as well as beach-filled family vacations, backyard barbeques, and more days just spent soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.

While it can certainly be great for our emotional and mental well-being to go outside, it’s also important that we are protecting our skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. These are some habits to follow all year long to protect against skin cancer,

Wear Sunscreen Daily

Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. So it’s important that you generously apply sunscreen to the body and face about 30 minutes before going outside.

Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Everyone should use sunscreen, even infants. Just one sunburn during your lifetime can greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so always remember to lather up!

Reapply Sunscreen Often

If you are planning to be outdoors for a few hours you’ll want to bring your sunscreen with you. After all, one application won’t be enough to protect you all day long. A good rule of the thumb to follow is, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Of course, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen even sooner if you’ve just spent time swimming or if you’ve been sweating a lot (e.g. running a race or playing outdoor sports).

Seek Shade During the Day

While feeling the warm rays of the sun on your shoulders can certainly feel nice, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful and most dangerous during the hours of 10am-4pm. If you plan to be outdoors during these times it’s best to seek shady spots. This means enjoying lunch outside while under a wide awning or sitting on the beach under an umbrella. Even these simple measures can reduce your risk for skin cancer.

See a Dermatologist

Regardless of whether you are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or you don’t have any risk factors, it’s important that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. This physical examination will allow our skin doctor to be able to examine every growth and mole from head to toe to look for any early signs of cancer. These screenings can help us catch skin cancer early on when it’s treatable.

Noticing changes in one of your moles? Need to schedule your next annual skin cancer screening? If so, a dermatologist will be able to provide you with the proper care you need to prevent, diagnose and treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.