My Blog
By Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology
July 16, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Acne   Acne Treatment  

Acne is one of the most common and yet one of the most challenging skin problems people face. We know how frustrating it can be to try one over-the-counter acne product after another, thinking you are giving your skin everything it needs to combat acne and then suddenly the acne returns. What’s going on? If you find yourself struggling to find the perfect formula and treatment options for getting clearer skin a dermatologist will be able to help.

From children to teens to adults, anyone can develop acne. Of course, when we think about acne we do often think about those adolescent years; however, dermatologists also see a lot of adults that are still dealing with different forms of acne. When you come in for a skincare consultation a skin doctor will perform a thorough physical exam. From there we may ask you a series of questions regarding your skin care regime, lifestyle and habits, as this will provide some insight into what could be triggering your acne symptoms.

After your consultation is complete we will create a customized treatment plan that will cater to addressing the source of your acne symptoms; fortunately, today there are so many different treatment options out there. A dermatologist will most often recommend different strategies for handling your acne. These options may include,

Treatments that you place directly on your skin

Many of your acne treatments can be applied right on your skin to reduce both acne-causing bacteria and oil. Popular topical acne medications often contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or retinoids. Your dermatologist will determine the topical treatment that will work best for your skin.

Treatment that is systemic and works throughout the body

Sometimes it’s necessary to systemically treat acne, particularly if it’s causing serious redness or swelling. By taking pills such as antibiotics, birth control pills or isotretinoin (the best course of action for severe acne), we can reduce both of these symptoms while also preventing acne breakouts.

Different dermatological treatments that can reduce or even get rid of acne

There are also some in-office treatment options available from your skin doctor that can help eliminate acne-causing bacteria and even get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. These common procedures include:

  • Laser or light therapy
  • Chemical peels
  • Extractions
  • Dermabrasion (to reduce the appearance of superficial acne scars)

Know that you aren’t alone when it comes to treating acne and a dermatologist can help you get your skin clearer. It’s important to be patient when it comes to acne treatment, as it can take several weeks to see results. Talk to a dermatologist today about how they can help you.

By Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology
June 28, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Cold sores  

Cold Sores can appear on the outside of the lipWhat are cold sores and what can you do to relieve your symptoms?

Most people who have had cold sores often know when they are about to appear. The tingling and burning sensation around the mouth is often the first indicator that a cold sore is imminent. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of Americans have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV­1), which causes cold sores. If you have cold sores then you are probably wondering more about this condition, how to treat it and what it means for your health.

What are the symptoms of cold sores?

Symptoms often stick around for about two to three weeks. Besides experiencing oral sores around the mouth, people may also experience flu­like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and fatigue. These oral sores will often appear as tiny blisters that break open and scab over.

When should I see a doctor about cold sores?

While cold sores often don’t warrant a trip to the dermatologist, there are certain times when it might be advisable. These sores can be painful, so if you find it difficult to eat or talk then you will want to talk to your doctor about the best ways to alleviate the pain to make eating easier. The last thing you want to deal with is dehydration on top of an outbreak.

If these oral sores look different from other cold sore outbreaks, then it’s also worth seeing your dermatologist to receive a proper diagnosis. Those with weakened immune systems due to chronic illness or chemotherapy should also see their dermatologist to prevent further complications.

What treatments are available for cold sores?

While many cold sores will go away without the need for treatment, if you are experiencing pain we may prescribe a topical anesthetic to reduce your discomfort. There are also over­the-counter treatments that speed up healing and reduce pain. However, for those with severe infections your dermatologist may also prescribe an oral antiviral medication.

Those with weak immune systems and those who become dehydrated as a result of cold sores may need to go to the hospital to prevent further problems and to receive oral antivirals.

While you cannot cure the virus that causes cold sores, there are certainly ways to reduce your symptoms. Talk to your dermatologist to find out more!

By Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology
June 19, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Rash  

Rashes will happen to most people at some point during their lifetime, whether it’s from coming in contact with poison ivy while on a camping trip or from an allergic reaction to a skincare product. While most rashes aren’t anything to worry about, we know that the other symptoms that accompany them—redness, itching and burning—can be annoying. Find out the most common causes for rashes and when your rash requires an evaluation from a dermatologist.

What causes a rash?

There are a variety of reasons rashes develop. Your rash could be caused by:

  • Eczema
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Hives
  • Certain medications
  • Heat rash
  • Viral infections
  • Asthma or allergies
  • Bug bite
  • Poison ivy, oak and sumac

When do you seek medical attention?

Most rashes will go away on their own and won’t require medical attention; however, while all rashes might look the same it’s also important to be able to recognize when a rash is serious enough that it needs to be evaluated by a skin doctor. Since there are so many different things that can cause a rash it’s important to have a proper diagnosis so you know exactly how to treat it.

You should have a rash checked out if:

  • It’s all over your body
  • It’s accompanied by a fever
  • It’s painful
  • It’s showing signs of an infection (oozing; warm to the touch; swelling)
  • It’s blistering
  • It appears suddenly and continues to spread quickly

How do you treat a rash?

The treatment plan your dermatologist creates for you will really depend on the cause of your rash. Sometimes over-the-counter creams such as hydrocortisone or calamine lotion can help manage itching and other symptoms until the rash goes away. Oatmeal baths can also be soothing for rashes caused by poison ivy or poison oak. While the rash heals, avoid using any products on your skin that contain fragrances or harsh chemicals. Try not to cover the rash, as it needs to be able to breathe.

If you do have to come in for an evaluation, we will provide you with the proper medication or treatment necessary to get rid of the root cause of the rash. It’s important that you follow the treatment as prescribed in order to effectively get rid of the rash.

By Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology
June 05, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Skin Cancer DetectionIf you had skin cancer, would you know it? While you may not recognize that a spot, bump, or mole is cancerous, you would notice a skin lesion starting to change. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that skin malignancies are the easiest to detect simply because you can see them. At Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology in Atlanta, GA and serving Sandy Springs, GA, your dermatologist, Dr. Jay Levin, is an expert in spotting, diagnosing, and treating this frequently-occurring condition. Read here about the common signs of skin cancer so you know when to seek treatment.

What is skin cancer?

It's a highly treatable malignancy affecting a full 20 percent of Americans, says The Skin Cancer Foundation. Key to cure is early detection, and your dermatologist in Sandy Springs and Atlanta encourages monthly self-exams for skin cancer. Combined with yearly in-office check-ups beginning at age 40, self-exams catch cancers in their simplest and easiest to treat stages.

Broadly speaking, there are three kinds of skin cancer:

  1. Basal cell carcinoma, the most frequent kind, involving the deepest part of the epidermis (upper skin layer)
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma, affecting the upper parts of the epidermis
  3. Malignant melanoma, the most aggressive and deadly type (it quickly metastasizes)

While skin cancer appears most anywhere on the body, the most prone areas are the ones exposed to the sun--including the face, lips, arms, back, and upper chest. While the chances of developing skin cancer increase with age, people of all ages and walks of life may develop it.

Common signs of skin cancer

Changes in existing spots, freckles, or moles are definitely red flags. Dr. Levin of Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology tells his patients to know the ABCDEs of skin cancer (particularly melanoma) so that if they see a change, they can get it checked right away.

Here are the ABCDEs:

A stands for asymmetry. A mole should be the same size top to bottom and left to right. If you drew an imaginary line down the middle of your mole, the halves should look about the same. If not, call your skin doctor right away.

stands for border. The border of a mole or other skin spot should remain smooth, not notched or bumpy.

means color. Brown is a typical mole color. However, malignant melanoma exhibits a variety of colors--brown, red, black, blue--throughout.

is diameter. No mole should be larger than about six millimeters, or the size of a pencil eraser.

means evolving. If your mole or spot changes in size, shape, texture, or sensation (it starts itching or bleeding), these may be signs of cancer.

Learn all you can

Dr. Levin has been named a "Top Doc" by Atlanta Magazine. Why? Well, Dr. Levin and his team dedicate themselves to supporting your healthiest possible skin. If you'd like to learn about skin cancer, its signs and more, contact Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology in Atlanta, GA and serving Sandy Springs, GA, for a consultation: (404) 252-4110.

By Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology
June 04, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Birthmarks   Skin Blemishes  

Port wine stains are just one type of birthmarksLearn some fun facts about these common skin blemishes.

Birthmarks are extremely common, appearing on about 80 percent of babies at birth. Even if you don’t have a birthmark, chances are good that you know someone who does. However, how much do you actually know about these dermatological markings? There are a lot of facts and folklore surrounding birthmarks and why they appear. Find out how much you really know!

Your Birthmark Is Not Caused By Your Mother!

There are many folk tales surrounding the expectant mother’s influence on whether or not her child has a birthmark. Some cultures believe that a birthmark is associated with the mother’s unfulfilled want or need, while others believe that certain foods that the mother eats or activities that she participates in can cause birthmarks to appear on her newborn. However, many doctors believe that birthmarks actually form before the child is even born.

Does a Birthmark Tell You Who You’ll Be?

Are you always looking for the next amazing adventure? Do people revel over all your successes? If so, some people might believe your birthmark has something to do with it. A birthmark on the back is believed to signify that the child is open­minded, while a birthmark on the right foot means you are born to be a traveler. While there is certainly no scientific evidence to prove any of this, it’s a fun superstition nonetheless.

All lore aside, many birthmarks are benign; however, it is best to see your dermatologist to have it evaluated and to make sure it isn’t malignant. There are several different kinds of birthmarks:

  • Congenital melanocytic nevus: This more rare birthmark can be found anywhere on the body and is usually light brown or sometimes black, depending on the person’s skin color.
  • Mongolian spots: A bluish­gray marking that may look similar to a bruise.
  • Port wine stain: A purple or red blemish that often appears on the face.
  • Telangiectatic nevus: Sometimes referred to as a “stork bite” or “angel kiss”, these slightly red patches are often found on the face or back of the neck.
  • Hemangiomas: A raised, red mark sometimes referred to as a “strawberry mark”
  • Café au lait spots: This birthmark is characterized by circular, light brown spots
  • Silvermark: A silver or white streak in the hair.

If you are unhappy with or embarrassed by your birthmark then you may also want to talk to your dermatologist about having it removed. Both surgery and laser treatments may be options for having your skin blemish removed.





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