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Posts for category: Skin Conditions

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 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.

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
July 07, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Dr. Patricia McCormack can help manage your skin cancer in Staten Island, Linden, and Point Pleasant Beach, NY, and fight to keep you protected. If you fear that you have this condition or need to know more about how it develops, it is important to read the frequently asked questions below to learn more about how you are affected.

What Causes This Cancer?

Cancer of the skin occurs because of mutations of skin cells that spread rapidly and become cancerous tumors. These mutations may begin on your moles and occur because of UV ray exposure or other types of radiation problems. Other types of cancer may develop due to genetic predisposition. It is important to talk with your doctor if you notice any symptoms of this common disease.

Which Symptoms Should I Watch For?

You may have skin cancer if your moles change shape or color, become larger, or even move. It may also be cancer if it continues to spread across your skin and is painful to touch. Working with a cancer specialist can help you figure out what type is affecting you and get the treatment method you need.

How Many Cancer Types Are There?

Cancer on the skin includes basal cell carcinoma caused by sun exposure, which is the most common type in the nation. Squamous cell carcinoma develops later in life and occurs after lifelong sun exposure, such as in people with outdoor jobs. Melanoma occurs because of various mutations in the skin and is likely the most dangerous because it spreads very quickly.

Can This Cancer Get Treated?

This cancer can be treated using various options. For example, the affected skin may be removed, and the surrounding area treated to prevent regrowth. Other treatment methods include electrodesiccation, micrographic surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. After treatment, try to stay out of the sun or wear sunscreen when you can to prevent a relapse.

Will This Cancer Return?

Like any cancer, it is possible that skin tumors may return. Avoiding the sun, as we mentioned, is a great way to keep yourself safe. If you have a genetic predisposition toward cancer or a family history of skin diseases, make sure you visit your doctor regularly to get checked for this condition.

Take Care of Your Skin

If you have any more questions about this cancer and need help getting a diagnosis or treatment, call Dr. McCormack today to learn more. She can help you manage your skin cancer in Staten Island, NY, and teach you more about this problem. Call our Staten Island office at (718) 698-1616, our Linden office at (908) 925-8877, or our Point Pleasant Beach location at (732) 295-1331 to get started.

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
June 23, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Psoriasis  

Learn more about psoriasis, its warning signs and how to treat it.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that can impact a person’s appearance, health and quality of life. You should turn to a dermatologist if you suspect that you might be dealing with psoriasis. While there is no cure for this disease, there are ways for a dermatologist to help you better manage your symptoms and provide you with relief.

What is psoriasis?

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, more than 7.5 million adults in the US are living with psoriasis. This immune disorder causes widespread inflammation, particularly of the skin, which results in the development of raised, scaly red plaques on the skin. These plaques may also sting or burn and typically appear on the knees, elbows and scalp.

In some cases, some people with psoriasis may also develop joint stiffness, swelling and pain. This condition is known as psoriatic arthritis, and it’s essential that you turn to a doctor right away if you notice symptoms of arthritis and psoriasis.

What can cause psoriasis to flare up?

Psoriasis comes and goes, so it’s essential to recognize what triggers your flare-ups to avoid them as much as possible. Common triggers include,

  • Stress
  • Other infections, including skin infections
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Sunburn
  • Injuries to the skin such as a bug bite
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Steroid use
  • Certain drugs, such as high blood pressure medication
  • Smoking or being around smoke

When should I see a dermatologist?

If you notice red, cracked or dry patches of skin on your body, it’s a good idea to have your dermatologist look to determine whether or not you could have psoriasis. Suppose you have already been diagnosed with psoriasis. You may wish to turn to a dermatologist regularly if your current treatment plan isn’t working or noticing new or worsening flare-ups.

How is psoriasis treated?

The fast turnover of skin cells leads to the formation of these plaques. To prevent this rapid turnover, there are a variety of lifestyle, topical treatments and therapies that a dermatologist can provide you. Common treatment options for psoriasis include,

  • Topical steroids
  • Retinoids
  • Salicylic acid
  • Phototherapy
  • Biologics (for severe and treatment-resistant forms of psoriasis)

Suppose you live with psoriasis or think you might be dealing with psoriasis. In that case, it’s important that you turn to a dermatologist who can provide you with a proper diagnosis and customized treatment plan.

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
May 09, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Rash  

Wondering when a rash is a cause for concern?

We’re all going to deal with a rash at some point, and while the good news is that many of them can be treated from the comfort of your own home, sometimes you will need to turn to a dermatologist for medication. Here are the causes of a rash,

Fungal Infection

One of the most common fungal infections that result in a rash is ringworm. Fungal infections can also affect the nails and hair. Yeast infections caused by the candida fungus can also result in rashes of the mouth, groin, or vagina. Less common fungal infections may result in those with compromised immune systems (e.g., patients who have HIV).

Minor fungal infections may be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal creams or ointments. A dermatologist should treat more severe or persistent fungal infections.

Viral Infection

The most common virus to produce a rash is the herpes simplex virus, both type 1 and type 2. Type 1 usually causes cold sores of the lips and nose, while type 2 leads to sores on the genitals. Those with an HSV flare-up may develop a tender rash on the palms. Chickenpox and shingles (caused by the herpes zoster virus) also result in itching, burning, and painful rashes.

Epstein-Barr virus, best known as mononucleosis or “mono,” can also lead to a mild rash that appears within a few days of being infected. If you develop a rash, a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and a fever, you should see a doctor.

Bacterial Infection

Staphylococcus (e.g., folliculitis; cellulitis; impetigo) and streptococcus (e.g., strep throat; scarlet fever) are two common bacterial infections that lead to a rash. Sometimes Lyme disease is characterized by a bull’s eye-like rash surrounding the tick bite.

Parasitic Infections

Parasites that cause a rash include lice and scabies, which can be passed from person to person. Lice most commonly affect the scalp, while scabies can cause an itchy, pimple-like rash that usually appears on the armpits, wrists, elbows, beltline, and buttocks.

Other Causes

Noninfectious rashes are also caused by drugs, eczema (e.g., atopic dermatitis), allergic dermatitis, autoimmune disorders (e.g., lupus), and food allergies.

It isn’t easy to tell what’s causing your rash, but if you are dealing with new, worsening, or severe symptoms or the rash is spreading, it’s always good to turn to your dermatologist for treatment.