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By Applegarth Dermatology PC
November 17, 2020
Category: Skin Condition
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 Applegarth Dermatology PC
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 Applegarth Dermatology PC
October 21, 2020
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common malignancy among American adults? The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) cites statistics to prove it. At Applegarth Dermatology in Valparaiso, IN, Dr. William Applegarth and his team educate patients on the dangers of skin cancer and what makes you prone to this diagnosis.

Skin cancer and you

Skin cancer--me? That's not possible. Many people in Valparaiso and around the country think that, and so, they take little interest in possible risk factors. But, frankly, ignorance puts you at greatest risk for this potentially deadly problem. Just a little education on skin cancer causes could prevent the diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma, the most common type, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma, the most deadly and insidious variety.

Risk factors

There are many risk factors that set the stage for skin cancer. The biggest is excessive UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds. UV rays actually change the DNA in your skin cells, reports the AAD. Also, the more sunburns you get or the more repeat, the intense exposure over time contribute to skin cancer.

Other risk factors include:

  • Age (over 40)
  • Gender (men more than women)
  • Light skin and eye color
  • Exposure to industrial chemicals such as tar and coal
  • Personal or family history of skin cancer
  • Exposure to the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, in the genital or anal area (says the Cancer Treatment Centers of America)

Preventing skin cancer

1. Avoid tanning--either in natural sunlight or with tanning beds.

2. Use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen. Re-apply every two hours or whenever you sweat or wash it off.

3. Stay indoors, cover up with long, loose clothing or seek shade during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.

4. Stop all tobacco usage, particularly cigarettes.

5. Do an at-home skin exam monthly, and see your dermatologist yearly. Check your moles for changes such as an increase in size and number, notched borders, mottled color, itching, oozing or bleeding.

Take care of your skin

Know your risks and do something about them. At Applegarth Dermatology in Valparaiso, IN, your dermatologist, Dr. Wiliam Applegarth and his professional team will help you with careful exams and treatments (as needed) and educate you on your particular risk factors. Come see us at one of our two convenient locations. For Valparaiso, IN, phone (219) 548-0360, and in La Porte, IN call (219) 362-0161.

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
October 09, 2020
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Poison Ivy   rash   Sumac   Oak   Itchy Skin  
ItchingSome many conditions and problems could lead to itchy skin; however, if you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, sumac, or oak you must be able to recognize the symptoms. It’s possible that you came into contact with poison ivy or any of these plants while on your typical walk or you may not even realize that the plants are hanging in your garden. If you do come into contact with poison ivy, sumac and oak here are what you should know.

You’re Allergic to the Oil from these Plants

Poison ivy secretes an oil known as urushiol. When a person comes in contact with the oils from these plants this causes an allergic reaction. You may notice a rash that forms in a straight line (as if you brushed against a poison ivy leaf). If you suspect that you’ve come into contact with poison ivy, sumac, or oak, it’s important to wash your clothes immediately and to take a shower to prevent the oils from spreading further.

You Can Usually Treat It Yourself

While the rash can be unpleasant, symptoms should go away within 2-3 weeks. Since the rash can be quite itchy and uncomfortable, here are some ways to ease your symptoms:
  • Take cool, oatmeal baths to alleviate inflammation and itching
  • Apply calamine lotions to the skin to temporarily alleviate itching
  • Steroid creams (aka: cortisone cream) may also alleviate redness and inflammation
  • Apply cold compresses to the area when symptoms flare-up
  • Whatever you do, do not scratch your rash (this can lead to an infection)
Severe Symptoms Warrant a Doctor’s Visit

Some people have severe allergic reactions when they come into contact with poison ivy, sumac, or oak. You must call your dermatologist as soon as possible if:
  • Pus develops on the rash
  • You also have a fever over 100 F
  • You experience severe itching
  • The rash keeps spreading
  • You aren’t sure whether the rash is caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac
  • The rash spreads to the mouth or the eyes
  • Symptoms don’t improve within a week
From poison ivy rashes to psoriasis, a dermatologist can treat a wide range of skin conditions and provide you with the treatment you need. If you have concerns about symptoms you are experiencing, call your dermatologist right away.
By Applegarth Dermatology PC
September 24, 2020
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Scalp Psoriasis  
Scalp PsoriasisDealing with an itchy, flaky scalp? It could be dandruff or it could be a sign that you’re dealing with a common condition known as scalp psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis isn’t just the result of a dry scalp, it’s an autoimmune disorder. Of course, it’s important to be able to pinpoint the warning signs of scalp psoriasis so that you can turn to a qualified dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment.


Is it scalp psoriasis?

Symptoms of scalp psoriasis can range from mild to severe. Mild cases may only cause small patches of flaky skin, while those with more severe symptoms may experience a burning and intensely itchy scalp. If you pull back your hair you may notice scaly patches of skin and/or red bumps. It’s important not to scratch your scalp, as scratching could lead to infection and temporary hair loss.

Since scalp psoriasis shares symptoms with other conditions such as ringworm or dermatitis, you must see a dermatologist to find out what’s causing your scaly, itchy, and dry scalp.
 

How is scalp psoriasis treated?

While there is no cure for scalp psoriasis, a dermatologist can provide you with medications, as well as recommend certain over-the-counter products that can reduce itchy, dryness, and flaking. Shampoos or topical treatments containing coal tar or salicylic acid may help clear up symptoms.

Since psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder, an oral medication that acts on the body as a whole may offer the most effective relief. Oral medications that act on the immune system (e.g. biologics) may be recommended in more severe cases or in cases where scalp psoriasis isn’t responding to topical treatment options.

Your dermatologist may also recommend light therapy, natural remedies (e.g. tea tree oil; aloe vera), and supplements, as well as other alternative treatment options to help alleviate your symptoms.

If you are dealing with a scaly, itchy, and inflamed scalp it could be scalp psoriasis. Schedule an evaluation with a skincare professional today to learn more.




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