My Blog
By Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology
December 14, 2018
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Hives  

Hive outbreaks can be very itchyDiscover more about this common skin condition, and what you can do to treat your itchy symptoms.

What are hives? What are the symptoms of hives?

Also referred to as urticaria, hives are characterized by an outbreak of red bumps that suddenly show up on skin. Hives can appear anywhere on the body and often cause itching, burning and stinging. Some hives may be small, while others might form alongside  other bumps to create larger swellings.

What causes hives?

The most common causes of hives are foods, medications, and infections. Hives can also be triggered by insect bites. Foods that often bring about hives include dairy, fish, nuts and eggs. Medications such as aspirin and other over­the­counter anti­inflammatories like ibuprofen have also been known to cause hives.

There is another form of hives known as physical urticaria, which is triggered by and external physical factor such as cold, pressure, heat, exercise or sweating. This variety of hives usually appears within an hour after contact with one of these elements.

Are hives dangerous?

The majority of hives outbreaks are not dangerous ­ however, if you also experience dizziness, problems breathing, swelling of the face or tightness in your chest, then you should call for emergency assistance immediately! These can be signs of a life­threatening allergic reaction.

How are hives treated?

If you know what might be triggering your outbreaks, the best thing you can do is remove the trigger right away and avoid it as much as possible. Some people are able to take over­the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl to help relieve the itching. However, those with chronic hives may need to take a stronger antihistamine in combination with corticosteroids.

If you experience a severe outbreak, an epinephrine injection will need to be administered right away. Again, seek medical attention immediately!

To help relieve symptoms until the hives go away, you can also apply cold compresses to the areas to help ease any burning or itching. Also keep your bedroom and living space cool and opt for roomier clothing that won’t rub against the infected areas and exacerbate itching.

How long do hives last?

Some cases of hives clear up in only a few hours, while some can last for a full day before starting to fade.

If you are dealing with a nasty bout of hives that over­the­counter remedies don’t seem to fix, then it might be time to talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options. Call our office to schedule an appointment right away!

By Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology
December 03, 2018
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Lupus   Sun Sensitivity  

Lupus can affect the skinFind out what this autoimmune disorder means for your skin health.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million Americans and five million people globally have some form of lupus. While lupus can affect both men and women, about 90 percent of those with diagnosed lupus are women between the ages of 15 to 44. Even though this chronic autoimmune disease affects millions, significantly less than half of people are actually somewhat familiar with the disease. 

So, what exactly is lupus, how can you contract this disorder and what treatment options are available?

About Lupus

Our immune system is meant to attack foreign agents in our body to fight diseases and other infections. However, if you have been diagnosed with lupus then your immune system actually responds by attacking the healthy cells within your body. This ultimately causes damage to certain organs in the body like your heart, skin and brain.

There are different types of lupus; however, the most common form is systemic lupus erythematosis. Discoid lupus is known for causing a persistent skin rash, subacute cutaneous lupus causes skin sores when exposed to the sun, drug­induced lupus is the result of a certain medication and neonatal lupus affects infants.

Know that you aren’t alone when it comes to handling your lupus symptoms. While symptoms can be severe and affect your daily life talk to your dermatologist about the best ways to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Lupus Risk Factors

While anyone can develop lupus, women are more likely to develop this condition. Also, African American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian women are at an increased risk over Caucasian women. While the cause is unknown, some research has found that perhaps genes play an influential role in the development of lupus; however, there are several factors that could be at play.

Lupus Symptoms

Those with lupus may experience some or all of these symptoms:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Skin rashes, most commonly found on the face
  • Fever
  • Chest pain when breathing deeply
  • Loss of hair
  • Pale fingers and toes
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Mouth sores
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Leg or eye swelling
  • Swollen glands

These symptoms may not be present all the time. Those with lupus have flare­ups in which the symptoms will appear for a little while and then go away. Also new symptoms may also arise at any time.

Lupus Treatments

If you’ve been diagnosed with lupus then you will most likely need to see several specialists regarding your condition. If you are dealing with skin sores and rashes, then you will want to talk to your dermatologist about the best treatment plan for you. About 40 to 70 percent of those with lupus experience symptoms when exposed to sunlight.

When you come in our office for treatment our goal is to find certain medications that can reduce pain, swelling and redness and prevent further flare­ups. Furthermore, we will recommend a sunscreen and other lifestyle changes that can help to protect your skin from damaging sun exposure.

By Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology
November 14, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Warts  

Treatment of wartsFind out the most effective ways to remove a wart.

The common wart is a small tumor caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can occur anywhere on the body. They may come and go over the years. The HPV infection can produce everything from the common, noncancerous wart, to cancerous warts of the mouth or genitals.

Since a virus causes warts, these benign growths are also contagious. Sharing towels and clothing, or even just coming in contact with their wart can cause the virus to spread. The good news is that most warts often go away on their own without treatment; however, it can often take months or even years for them to go away. If the wart is unsightly or in an uncomfortable spot then you may want to have it removed. Here are some of the top ways to effectively remove a wart yourself.

Salicylic Acid Treatment

Salicylic acid treatment can come in several forms including pads or gels. They can be used to get rid of a variety of different kinds of warts from the small ones to the large, lumpier ones. Salicylic acid works by breaking down the protein that makes up the layers of the wart.

At ­Home Freezing

While your dermatologist is able to remove warts with liquid nitrogen, if you’re looking to remove the wart yourself, then you can also opt for aerosol wart removals that can be sprayed on the wart to freeze it. While the over­the­counter products are nearly as effective as the freezing methods your dermatologist can use, many patients still find at­home freezing to be just as effective.

If none of these at­home treatments remove your wart, then it’s time to talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options. Keep in mind that even the most effective wart treatment can’t guarantee that the wart won’t grow back. This is because most of the treatments available only get rid of the wart but not the actual virus.

If you’re dealing with a painful or unsightly wart but over­the­counter treatments aren’t working, then it’s time to call our dermatology office today.

By Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology
November 01, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Facial Scars   Treatments  

Facial Scars can have reduced visibilityFind out how your dermatologist can improve the appearance of your facial scars.

From traumatic injuries to acne, there are a variety of reasons why you may be dealing with facial scars; however, it doesn’t mean you have to live with them for the rest of your life. Your dermatologist offers up a range of cosmetic treatment options that can improve the appearance of your skin and reduce the look of your scars. If you’re ready to get newer, healthier­looking skin, find out more about what treatments could help you.

Dermabrasion: This cosmetic procedure uses a handheld device to remove the outermost layer of the skin. By abrading this top layer, we are able to remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of healthy new skin. Dermabrasion is used to effectively reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, enlarged pores and acne scars. However, this treatment is not effective against deep­set scars.

Laser Resurfacing: By using a high­powered laser, we can remove damaged skin and surface scars, helping to minimize the appearance of unsightly dermatological problems like lines, wrinkles, age spots, pigmented areas and scars caused by acne, injury or surgery.

Chemical peels: This treatment requires your dermatologist to apply a strong chemical solution over your skin to remove the top, damaged layer of skin and exfoliate the healthier, smoother-looking layer of new skin that is revealed. Chemical peels are another great way to dramatically reduce wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and acne scars.

If you are dealing with superficial scars that are close to the surface of the skin, you will benefit greatly from this cosmetic procedure; however, those with deeper scars will not experience a significant improvement.

Injections: Your dermatologist is happy to offer both collagen and cortisone injections to help shrink and reduce the appearance of scars. By increasing the collagen in your face, we can give your skin more fullness to smooth out visible scars.

If you are interested in any of these dermatological treatments talk to your dermatologist today. Don’t let facial scarring affect your self­esteem. Make the choice to improve your skin and your confidence!

By Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology
October 16, 2018
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Melanoma  

Malignant melanoma. The words cause tremendous anxiety because of this skin cancer's devastating reputation. At Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology in Sandy Springs, GA, Dr. Jay Levin educates his patients on the dangers of melanoma, its diagnosis and treatment and how patients can watch for those all-important early symptoms.

What is malignant melanoma?

According to the American Cancer Society, malignant melanoma is the least common but most sinister and stealthy skin cancer. Unlike basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, melanoma starts in the epidermis but often spreads like a brush fire to surrounding skin, lymph nodes and internal organs such as the brain and liver.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology says melanoma is diagnosed in more than 91,000 Americans annually, and if caught at its earliest stages, it is very treatable and survivable. However, early detection and prompt treatment of melanoma in Sandy Springs, GA, is absolutely key.

What you can do about melanoma?

Be on the look out for this and other kinds of skin cancers with monthly skin self-examinations which you can do at home. Also, see your Sandy Springs, GA, dermatologist for a full body examination yearly if you're over 40.

Signs to watch for and treatment

Any spot, freckle, skin bump or mole which changes, bleeds, hurts or constantly itches could be skin cancer. So, if you develop these symptoms, don't wait. Call Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology right away for a consultation with Dr. Levin.

Also, you can evaluate moles on your skin using the ABCDE method as follows:

  • A = asymmetry. Moles should not change in size and shape. If you were to draw a line bisecting the mole, each half should remain the same. If either, or both, side change, see your dermatologist.
  • B = border. Moles should have smooth margins, not notched, irregular or scalloped.
  • C = color. The color of a mole should be the same throughout and stay consistent over time.
  • D = diameter. Six millimeters is the maximum size for a benign mole.
  • E = evolving. Benign moles do not change. Melanoma does.

While treatment of melanoma in Sandy Springs, GA, depends on cancer staging according to lab work, X-rays, magnetic resonant imaging

or CT scans, your dermatologist urges his patients to be vigilant, note skin changes, and call Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology with any questions or concerns which arise. Also, melanoma requires lifetime follow-up so you stay healthy and cancer-free.

Find out more

Forewarned is forearmed in the battle against skin cancer. For more information or to arrange a routine examination, contact the office team at Peachtree Dunwoody Dermatology. Call (404) 252-4110.





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