Blog
By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
December 17, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Lichen Planus  
Lichen PlanusLichen planus is an autoimmune disorder that attacks both the skin and mucous membranes inside the mouth. This chronic condition causes flat, itchy reddish-purple bumps to develop on the skin (mostly the wrists, ankles, and forearm) and white, painful sores to develop within the mouth and sometimes the genitals. This condition cannot be spread from person to person and mild itching and other symptoms are often managed through simple home care; however, if you are dealing with severe symptoms it’s important to see a dermatologist as soon as possible.

What causes lichen planus?

Lichen planus is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. In fact, it typically appears when the immune system starts attacking the skin or mucous membrane. Certain things can trigger it including:
  • Certain OTC pain medications (e.g. ibuprofen)
  • Medications used for arthritis, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Viral infections
  • Certain allergens
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Certain chemicals or metals
Those with autoimmune disorders may also be more likely to develop lichen planus. The good news though is that this condition is not dangerous.

Should I see a dermatologist?

If you have developed a purple rash or bumps that resemble lichen planus it’s worth it to pay a visit to your dermatologist to find out what’s going on, especially if you notice any unusual bumps on the genitals.

To determine that you do have lichen planus, we will need to biopsy some skin cells to diagnose lichen planus and to also determine whether it’s being caused by an underlying infection or an allergen. From there, further testing may be needed.

How is lichen planus treated?

So, you found out from your dermatologist that you have lichen planus. Now what? In some cases, this condition may just go away on its own; however, it’s important to recognize that there is no cure for lichen planus but there are ways to help alleviate certain symptoms such as burning or pain. Common treatment options that your dermatologist can recommend or prescribe include,
  • Antihistamines: To help with itching
  • Corticosteroid creams: To reduce inflammation and redness
  • Oral or injectable steroids: This treatment is more effective for persistent, recurring, or more severe bumps
  • Photochemotherapy: Light therapy can be effective for treating oral lichen planus
Dealing with dark itchy bumps that have you wondering whether you could be dealing with lichen planus or another skin disorder? If so, a dermatologist will easily be able to diagnose your skin condition, usually through a simple physical exam. If you are experiencing symptoms of lichen planus, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist today.
By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
December 07, 2020
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Impetigo  
What Is ImpetigoFind out more about this common childhood bacterial skin infection and how to treat it.

Most people don’t know what impetigo is. Maybe you haven’t even heard of it. This contagious bacterial skin infection is most often seen in babies and children; however, adults can catch this infection, too. Dermatologists often see a rise in impetigo cases during the summer. How does impetigo even happen in the first place?

Well, our skin is home to millions of bacteria. Most of them are actually good bacteria that help you stay healthy; however, bad bacteria can develop on the skin too. If these bad bacteria can get into a wound or opening in the skin, this can cause impetigo.

What are the symptoms?

Impetigo causes red bumps mostly on the arms, legs, and face. These bumps will eventually turn into blisters that will crust over. The skin under and around the blisters may look raw. At first, you may only notice one or two spots; however, the condition will continue to spread. Bumps may itch or also be tender.

Who is at risk for impetigo?

As we said, we often see this condition in children and infants; however, certain factors can also put adults at risk. You may be more at risk for impetigo if you have been diagnosed with,
  • Scabies
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Liver conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Eczema or dermatitis
What should I expect when I come into the office?

Since many skin conditions cause painful blisters to form it’s important to see a dermatologist right away for a proper diagnosis. When you come into the office, our skin doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history to help rule out what conditions it could be. A physical examination performed by a qualified dermatologist is often all that’s needed to make a diagnosis; however, we may collect fluid from the blister to look for the presence of bacteria.

How do you treat impetigo?

It’s important to see a doctor for treatment because impetigo will require antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the blisters, your dermatologist may simply prescribe an antibiotic cream, while those with more widely affected areas or more severe symptoms may require oral antibiotics. Once you start taking the medication you should recover within a week.

If you or your little one is dealing with symptoms of impetigo you must see a dermatology professional right away for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
November 17, 2020
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Eczema  
Understanding and Treating EczemaIf you notice recurring bouts of red, scaly, itchy patches of skin then you could be dealing with eczema. Eczema refers to a variety of skin conditions that cause plaques that can sometimes ooze, crust over, and lead to infection. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with eczema, you must seek professional dermatology care from qualified skin-care professionals.

What triggers eczema?

It’s important to figure out what triggers your eczema so you can make lifestyle changes to avoid exposure. Common eczema triggers include:
  • Cold or hot weather
  • Dry skin
  • Stress
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Fragrances and detergents
  • Dust mites, pollen, and mold
  • Exercise
By being aware of your triggers you can reduce eczema flare-ups without always having to rely on medication. In the beginning, you may want to keep track of your symptoms to discuss with your dermatologist.

How can I manage my eczema symptoms?

While there is no cure for eczema, a dermatologist can help you get your symptoms under control. First and foremost, you mustn't scratch your skin, as scratching will only make the itching more intense. Scratching your skin can also lead to more serious problems including infections.

It’s also important to establish a proper skin-care regimen with your dermatologist to determine which products are not only safe to use but also can ease eczema symptoms. It’s best to choose mild products that do not contain fragrances or chemicals and to keep skin moisturized, as dry skin can lead to flare-ups.

Of course, your dermatologist can also provide you with prescription topical creams and medications to help control your symptoms. Sometimes laser therapy can also help if you are dealing with severe eczema symptoms that don’t seem to respond to traditional medications and lifestyle changes.

Whether you are experiencing symptoms of eczema or you’ve already been diagnosed with eczema, you must have a skin-care professional that can help you get your eczema under control with proper dermatology treatments and remedies.
By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
November 02, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Shingles  
Treating ShinglesAs kids, we dealt with that notoriously itchy rash caused by chickenpox. Unfortunately, as we get older, the same virus that caused our childhood chickenpox can also cause shingles. If you’ve had chickenpox in the past, then that same virus is lying dormant within the body. This means that at some point during your lifetime, the virus does have the ability to reactivate, causing a painful, blistering rash on the stomach and sides. This is known as shingles.

Think You Have Shingles?

If you notice a blister-like rash developing on one side of the body it’s possible that you could have shingles. If you suspect that you have shingles, you must see a doctor.

Those over the age of 60 years old as well as those with chronic conditions such as diabetes are more at risk for complications related to shingles, so you must seek immediate dermatology care from a qualified doctor. A dermatologist can also rule out other possible conditions or infections.

Treating Shingles

For the antiviral medication to be most effective, you must see a doctor right away if you think you have shingles. The most common types of antiviral medications used to treat shingles include acyclovir and valacyclovir. These antivirals can speed up the healing process and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
There are also simple home remedies that you can use to ease discomfort associated with the rash. Some of these remedies include:
  • Applying cold compresses to the rash
  • Soaking in a cool oatmeal bath
  • Wearing light, loose-fitted clothing that won’t rub against the rash
  • Applying calamine lotion to reduce itching
  • Managing stress effectively and finding ways to help you relax
  • Eating healthy, balanced meals
  • Getting good quality sleep every night
Preventing Shingles

The good news is that there is a shingles vaccine that can protect you against this infection. If you are over the age of 50, you could benefit from the shingles vaccine so ask your doctor. The vaccine can protect you from shingle for up to five years.

If you are worried that you might have shingles, or if you’re interested in finding out whether or not you should get the shingles vaccine, a qualified dermatologist will be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with the custom dermatology treatment you need to ease your symptoms. 
By Dr. Patricia McCormack, M.D., F.A.A.D.
October 26, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Procedure
Tags: Laser Surgery  

You wish to improve your fine lines, remove signs of aging and address an acne scar or two. What cosmetic procedure can do all that? In Staten Island, NY, Dr. Patricia McCormack performs easy, quick and comfortable laser surgeries that improve skin appearance, color and texture.

Laser surgery and dermatology

Over the past decades, dermatologists have integrated small, handheld lasers into their medical and aesthetic practices, reports the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. At Dr. Patricia McCormack's office in Staten Island, NY, patients enjoy the many benefits and versatility of these sutureless, comfortable and quick treatments. There's little to no downtime afterward, too.

Dr. McCormack employs the PicoSure laser and other laser tools for a variety of aesthetic skin treatments, including:

  • Acne pitting and other kinds of scars
  • Tattoo removal
  • Fine lines and wrinkles on the face
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Birthmark removal
  • Spider vein removal
  • Dark spot brightening
  • Toenail fungus treatment
  • Stretch marks from pregnancy and weight loss

Your laser procedure

Dr. McCormack will evaluate your areas of concern personally. She will recommend the number of laser treatments you need for optimal results and maintenance of your skin goals.

Most patients refrain from sun exposure for up to four weeks before their treatments. The day of your surgery, your skin will receive a special cleansing and numbing cream.

The procedure itself lasts 30 minutes or more depending on your needs and the areas requiring treatment. Repeat procedures occur at intervals determined by Dr. McCormack.

As you relax in the treatment chair, you will feel a sensation of warmth. Also, some people report a mild snapping feeling as the doctor delivers short bursts of focused light to your skin surface.

Afterward, you can leave the office to rest at home. Most people go back to work the next day.

You may feel some tenderness, and your skin may look a bit puffy and red for a day or two. Some procedures require limited bandaging. Best of all, you'll see a noticeable improvement in skin color and texture and excellent clearance of tattoo ink, small blood vessels or whatever your particular skin defects were.

Find out more

In Staten Island, NY, patients of all ages enjoy the many benefits of medical and aesthetic dermatology with Dr. Patricia McCormack. Her laser surgery treatments produce excellent outcomes. Learn more by contacting one of our three locations. In Staten Island, phone (718) 698-1616. In Linden, call (908) 925-8877, or for the Point Pleasant Beach office, phone (732) 295-1331.





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