My Blog

Posts for: June, 2019

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

By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
June 14, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Vitiligo  

Find out how this pigmented skin condition is treated.

Are you or someone you love dealing with vitiligo? The Mayo Clinic reports that there are more than 200,000 new cases of vitiligo each year in the US alone. Vitiligo is a chronic disease where the melanin, which gives your skin its pigment, either dies or the body stops producing it. As a result, there are white patches of skin all over the body. So, you may be wondering how this condition occurs or how you can treat it. This is when it’s important to turn to your dermatologist.

What causes vitiligo?

Unfortunately, researchers still do not know why some people develop vitiligo. It may be the result of an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks the melanocytes in the skin. Some researchers also believe that something as simple as a sunburn or even emotional stress could cause vitiligo; however, the cause is still unknown.

Who is at risk for developing vitiligo?

Even though this condition can appear at any time in a person’s life it more commonly occurs in your 20's. It affects both men and women of all races; however, vitiligo is more noticeable in those with darker skin. Those with autoimmune disorders are often more likely to develop vitiligo than those who do not have an autoimmune disorder. Genetics may also play a role; however, parents with vitiligo won’t necessarily pass this condition onto their child.

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

Vitiligo is characterized by large white patches of skin, which may appear anywhere on the body. These patches most commonly appear on the face, hands, feet, arms, and other sun-exposed areas. Sometimes the white patches will spread over time. How quickly the patches spread will vary from person to person; however, sometimes the patches won’t spread at all.

How is vitiligo treated?

It’s important to turn to a dermatologist that you trust if you think you or a family member is dealing with vitiligo. During your consultation, your doctor will examine your skin to determine how widespread and numerous the patches are so that we have a better idea what type of treatment will be the most effective.

We will also go through your medical history and ask you questions about your condition. Treatment for vitiligo, like most skin disorders, will not work overnight. In fact, there is often a trial-and-error period to try and find the best treatment option.

The most common types of vitiligo treatment include medication, light therapies, and surgery, all of which are designed to restore pigmentation back into the skin.

Prescribed medications may be applied topically or taken orally. Certain UVA/UVB light therapy treatments may also improve your condition. Skin grafting surgery may be recommended, in which your dermatologist will remove skin from another area of the body and apply it over the patches to hide them and even out skin tone.

Your dermatologist can also recommend a full-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin when going outside, as well as any counseling and support you may need. If you or someone you love is looking for vitiligo treatment, contact your dermatologist today.