My Blog

By Dr. Joy McElroy MD FAAD
April 13, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Child Skin Care  

Chicken PoxLike adults, kids can be affected by many different skin conditions. Often appearing as an unusual rash or growth on the skin, these conditions are rarely serious and actually very common during childhood as kids are constantly exposed to a variety of illnesses.

By learning how to recognize common skin conditions, parents can help identify the cause of their child’s skin irritation and then determine the best course of action. This may include a visit to the child’s pediatrician or dermatologist, who can then prescribe the appropriate treatments.

Common childhood rashes include:

Ringworm

Ringworm is a skin infection that appears as a ring-shaped lesion. The fungus that causes ringworm is highly contagious and is commonly passed by direct contact. Household pets can also carry the fungus and pass it to the child. Ringworm is very preventable and in the majority of cases very easy to treat. 

Chicken Pox

Chicken pox appears as a red, itchy, blister-like rash that can affect all areas of the body. The highly contagious illness is very common in kids—especially those under the age of 12—and is often accompanied by flu-like symptoms and a fever. In many cases the rash goes away without treatment. Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The AAP recommends a first dose of the chickenpox vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age for all healthy young children who have never had the disease. A second dose is recommended at 4-6 years of age.

Eczema

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, refers to a number of different skin conditions in which the skin is red and irritated. Eczema can either be a short-lived temporary reaction to something in the child's environment, or it can be a chronic condition lasting for years. Most children diagnosed with eczema have a family history of the condition or other allergies. The majority of babies who have it will outgrow it. While there are many treatments available for managing eczema, there currently is not a cure.

Roseola

Roseola is one of the most common causes of rash and fever in infants and young children. The viral illness begins with a sudden, high fever that lasts for several days with no other symptoms. Once the fever breaks—usually abruptly—the infant develops a distinctive rash, which often appears and spreads as red spots and bumps. In most cases roseola does not require professional treatment, but high fevers should always be monitored closely.

When to Visit Your Dermatologist

Whenever your child’s rash lasts for several weeks, becomes worse or does not respond to home treatment, contact your pediatrician or a trained dermatologist. Dermatologists are experts in treating all childhood skin conditions from infancy through the adolescent years. After evaluating a child's skin and determining the cause, your dermatologist will provide both education and an appropriate treatment plan for your child's skin condition.

By Dr. Joy McElroy MD FAAD
March 27, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Wrinkles   Fillers  

Dermal FillersAs you age, your skin loses collagen—a protein that helps make up the lower layer of the skin.   As a result, the skin loses its firmness, appearing less plump and becoming more prone to wrinkles.

The good news is that there are many cosmetic procedures available today that can be performed by your dermatologist to minimize fine lines and signs of aging. One popular treatment involves injecting cosmetic fillers into the face. Also known as dermal fillers, this type of cosmetic treatment helps to restore volume to the face by physically filling wrinkles and depressions in the skin.

The Procedure

By injecting small amounts of filler substances, such as Restylane® or Juvederm® into affected areas of the skin, crows feet, smile lines, and wrinkles disappear to produce a smoother more youthful appearance.  The procedure typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform, and the results of the treatment can last several months depending on the filler used and the area treated.

The benefits of dermal fillers are visible immediately after your procedure, and most treatments require very little to almost no recovery time.  

Seek an Experienced Dermatologist

Injectable fillers are a popular choice for someone looking to restore their youthful appearance without undergoing surgery or extensive anti-aging treatments.

If you’re considering dermal fillers—or any type of wrinkle treatment—it is important that you choose an experienced dermatologist to perform the procedure.  Not all fillers are created equal, so consult with your dermatologist to discuss the different types of fillers available and which areas of your skin would benefit the most. 

By Dr. Joy McElroy MD FAAD
March 12, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Protection   Sun Damage  

Youthful GlowSun damage, also known as photo aging, refers to how repeated sun exposure over time alters the appearance and feel of the skin. Too much time spent in the sun can lead to fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, uneven skin tone and even cancer, making you appear older than you really are.

Like the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And the good news is that by protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays now, you can actually put a halt to additional skin damage and even start to reverse the damage you’ve already accumulated.

  1. Be Sun Smart
    It may seem like a no-brainer, but the first step to reversing sun damage is to get out of the sun. Limit your amount of exposure to the sun—especially during peak hours—and always apply sunscreen. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, and cover up with a wide-brimmed hat.
     
  2. Hydrate
    Too much sun exposure can dry out your skin. Apply a high-quality moisturizer daily to replenish dry skin and stimulate the production of collagen, a protein that gives skin its smooth texture and appearance.
     
  3. Exfoliate
    While showering, exfoliate your skin to remove the dead skin cells from the top layer of your face and body. This will help to improve skin tone and minimize fine lines.
     
  4. Healthy Diet
    Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet high in vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidants help repair damaged skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fade skin discoloration.
     
  5. Consult Your Dermatologist
    Depending on the extent and type of sun damage, you may want to talk to a trained dermatologist for treatment options. Visiting a dermatologist is not only important to look for precancerous cells, but a professional can also make recommendations for treatment to reduce the appearance of sun damaged skin.

    Cosmetic treatments, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser therapy and fillers are just a few procedures that can reduce visible signs of sun damage and restore the youthful appearance of your skin.

    The sun can do a number on your skin, leaving it depleted, dull and damaged. Don’t expect immediate results, but regular care, prevention and treatment will lead to the reversal of sun damage and improve your skin complexion for the better over time.

Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It covers and protects your internal organs, muscles and bones from outside invaders, and it helps Skin Healthmaintain and regulate body temperature and water balance. It’s also a window to your overall health, and when something is awry with your body, it often shows up in the form of a skin condition. That’s why it’s important to give it extra care and attention every day. While many skin problems can be safely treated from the comfort of your home, others require care from a specialist, otherwise known as a dermatologist.

What do Dermatologists Do?

A dermatologist is a trained medical doctor who specializes in the health of your skin, hair, and nails.  These doctors can treat a wide range of skin problems and conditions, including acne, eczema, scarring, moles, warts, psoriasis and skin cancer.

Some dermatologists specialize in cosmetic dermatology, a branch of dermatology that deals with correcting and improving skin flaws, such as sun damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, sagging skin and scarring.  Cosmetic dermatologists work with patients to improve their skin’s appearance, restoring it to a natural, more youthful state by utilizing a variety of cosmetic procedures, such as fillers, wrinkle relaxers, laser treatments and facial peels.

When to See a Dermatologist

Whenever you have a question or concern regarding the health of your skin, nails or hair, it’s important to schedule a visit to your dermatologist.  Unusual symptoms, such as a strange bump, excessive hair growth or hair loss, or brittle nails are all good reasons to pay your dermatologist a visit.

In addition, if you have risk factors that increase your likelihood for developing skin cancer, then visiting a dermatologist regularly for checkups is the key to early detection and treatment. Melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer, but if caught early enough it is nearly always curable.

Other people choose to visit a dermatologist for cosmetic reasons, such as unwanted spider veins, fine lines or sunspots.  A trained cosmetic dermatologist will work with you to create a customized skin care regimen based on your individual needs and goals for treatment.

Whether you’re worried about an abnormal mole, waging a war against breakouts or looking to erase fine lines, it may be time to visit your dermatologist. By partnering with a dermatologist, you can help keep your skin healthy for a lifetime. The specialists can also help educate you about your skin type and teach you how to best implement a daily skin care routine for optimal skin health. 

By Dr. Joy McElroy MD FAAD
February 16, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Care Tips  

Skin TagsWe all desire to maintain and restore our youthful appearance. But with hundreds of anti-aging products on the market that promise to make you look younger, finding the right one for your skin can be overwhelming and confusing.  

Rather than buying product after product in an attempt to achieve a more youthful glow, it’s best to find an experienced dermatologist who can assess your skin type and problems, and then make recommendations for the best course of treatment.

There are many professional, cosmetic treatments available to help you minimize signs of aging and renew your young, healthy skin. Talk to your dermatologist about:

  • Botox
    Botox involves a series of injections which work to relax the muscles that cause facial expressions. It’s a quick procedure that is commonly used to treat frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles.
  • Microdermabrasion
    This non-surgical procedure involves removing the top layer of skin to reveal a fresh, healthy skin underneath.  Microdermabrasion offers many age-defying benefits, including softening fine lines and minimizing scars and shallow wrinkles.
  • Chemical Peel
    Chemical peel treatment involves applying chemicals to the skin to gently exfoliate skin on the face and encourage new skin cells to replace the old, dead ones. Skin peels can take years off of aging skin, and may be a good treatment option for people with sun damage, fine lines or discoloration of the skin.

Not all skin problems require professional treatment. There are other practical ways that you can keep skin looking fresh and healthy every day.

  • Protect your skin from the sun
    Applying sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is one of the single most important things you can do to prevent brown spots, fine lines and sagging skin caused by repeated sun exposure.  
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
    Regular consumption of fruits, vegetables, water and other foods high in antioxidants and omega-3s can keep your skin from aging.
  • Moisturize
    Lock in moisture and keep skin hydrated by applying lotions or creams daily. Keep skin moist to give the skin a radiant, smooth look.
  • Avoid smoking
    Smoking cannot only lead to cancer and other diseases, but it can also damage your skin. Common side effects of smoking include skin discoloration and fine lines.

You can’t turn back the hands of time, but you can prevent and even reverse some of the visible signs of aging by practicing smart basic skin care and consulting your dermatologist for professional treatment.





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