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Posts for: June, 2018

By Access Dermatology
June 20, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Chemical Peels  

If you feel as though your complexion has become dull or damaged, you may have considered a dermatological procedure to help give youchemical peels back your glow. However, you may find that there are many options available and feel as though making a decision on which treatment is best for you is a difficult task. A chemical peel may help you improve the appearance of your facial skin to look and feel great. Find out more about chemical peels with Dr. Mary Katherine Mather at Access Dermatology in Harrisonburg, VA.

What is a chemical peel? 
Your skin is made up of many layers, with new skin cells making up the bottom layers and older cells making up the top layers. As the skin cells die, the build-up, causing skin issues. A chemical peel uses an acid solution placed on the skin to remove the damaged outer layers. Results of a chemical peel include smoothed wrinkles and fine lines, a more even pigmentation across the facial skin, and helps improve the appearance of blemishes and redness. Chemical peel procedures take about 30 minutes and require several days to a week for the skin to return to normal.

Types of Chemical Peels Available at Access Dermatology 
Access Dermatology offers light and medium chemical peels depending on your skin’s level of damage and your preferences for results. A light chemical peel treats dry skin, uneven pigmentation, or blemishes caused by acne while a medium chemical peel penetrates the skin further to treat issues like hyperpigmentation, scarring, and wrinkles or fine lines. A consultation with your dermatologist can help you determine which strength of chemical peel is right for you and your skin.

Chemical Peels in Harrisonburg, VA
Before your chemical peel, your dermatologist will thoroughly clean and cleanse the facial skin and, in some cases, apply a numbing solution to help with any discomfort you may experience during your procedure. With the skin clean, your doctor applies the acid solution to the skin where it will sit on the skin for a short amount of time. Your doctor then rinses the solution from the skin and applies an additional layer of ointment to help cool and soothe the irritated skin. Follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions carefully and take any medications as prescribed.

For more information on chemical peels, please contact Dr. Mather at Access Dermatology in Harrisonburg, VA. Call (540) 434-1756 for the Harrisonburg office or (540) 569-2942 for the Fisherville office to schedule your appointment for a chemical peel today!

By Access 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 Access 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.