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Posts for category: Dermatology

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
April 09, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: rash  

Is it time to seek medical attention regarding your rash?

No, not all rashes are the same. This symptom can appear for many reasons and can take many forms, from small itchy welts to widespread blisters. While some rashes may respond to home remedies and cortisone cream it’s also important to know what’s causing your rash and when you should turn to our Valparaiso and LaPorte, IN, dermatologist Dr. William Applegarth.

What Causes Rashes

In order to properly treat a rash it’s typically necessary to understand the root cause. Treating the underlying cause itself can eliminate the rash. Common causes of rashes include,

  • Chickenpox
  • Shingles
  • Poison ivy or poison oak
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Hives
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Ringworm
  • Diaper rash
  • Scabies

In short, rashes may be the result of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. They can also be caused by certain reactions to medications or allergies. Most rashes will go away on their own; however, there are simple measures you can take at home to ease symptoms.

If the rash is itchy you may choose to apply cold compresses to the area and use an over-the-counter cortisone cream, which can alleviate the itch. Oatmeal baths can also provide natural relief. If your rash is due to allergies (hives) taking an antihistamine can also help.

Know When to See a Doctor

Most rashes aren’t anything to worry about; however, sometimes a rash could be a warning sign of a more serious condition. In this case, it’s imperative that you visit our dermatologist here at his Valparaiso, IN, office as soon as possible. These symptoms include,

  • A widespread rash that affects most of the body (signs of a serious allergic reaction)
  • A fever accompanied by your rash (could be a sign of infection)
  • A rash that appears suddenly and spreads quickly
  • A rash that contains painful blisters, particularly around the face or genitals
  • A painful rash
  • An infected rash, which is often characterized by yellow, oozing fluid, crusting, redness and pain

Our dermatologist, Dr. Applegarth, has been providing comprehensive skin care to patients living in and around Valparaiso and La Porte, IN, since 1998. If you are dealing with a severe, painful and worrisome rash, know that the team at Applegarth Dermatology can help. Call (219) 548-0360 for our Valparaiso office, or (219) 362-0161 for our La Porte location.

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
March 30, 2020
Category: Dermatology

Tired of having to pluck, wax, and shave every few days? Dealing with thick, dark and unsightly hair in visible areas such as the chin or shoulders? If so, a dermatologist can provide you with a more effective solution for getting rid of unwanted body hair faster and easier. The answer lies in laser hair removal.

Plucking and waxing can be painful and shaving can leave you with ingrown hairs and irritation. None of these methods are fun. Plus, you have to keep doing it every few days or every week if you want smooth skin. Why go through the hassle when a dermatologist can help you get rid of hair without ever having to lift a finger?

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments. This procedure makes it easy to get smoother skin without having to deal with tweezing, shaving, or waxing. This non-invasive laser treatment can treat just about any part of the body; however, it’s most often used to treat the,

  • Chest
  • Upper lip and chin
  • Back
  • Bikini line
  • Underarm
  • Legs
  • Shoulder

Thanks to advanced laser technology, our dermatologist can provide patients with a safe, effective, and comfortable laser treatment to help them target and remove unwanted hair for the long term. Most laser systems offer a built-in cooling system to make treatment as comfortable as possible. Depending on the size of the treatment area, laser hair removal can take as little as 10 minutes for regions such as the upper lip or chin and as long as one hour (for a full back).

Since hair grows in cycles, you will need to get several laser hair removal sessions to ensure that our dermatologist removes as much of the hair as possible. The average person will get anywhere from 4-6 sessions. During laser hair removal, the handheld device will be directed over the skin to target and heat up the hair follicles to destroy them, preventing them from growing back. While laser hair removal will not permanently get rid of the hair, it will help the hair grow back fewer, finer, and lighter so they are far less visible.

If you think laser hair removal could help you feel more confident in your appearance, then your cosmetic dermatologist can give you the smoother results you want before summer hits.

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
February 25, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Tattoos   Tattoo Removal  

Tattoo removal has become one of aesthetic and medical dermatology's most sought-after services. Read on to learn about how this treatment works.

The procedure

Dermatologists mostly use Q-switched, or quality-switched, laser instruments for tattoo removal. Short, focused bursts of light break up the tattoo pigment that lies embedded in skin. With repeated treatments, the pigment particles eventually clear the body, and the tattoo lightens or fades away completely. Your skin doctor will tailor your treatments to your skin and to your tattoo.

Skin doctors find that older tattoos composed of darker hues such as brown or green respond best to laser removal. Colors such as red or yellow are more easily retained and may not fade completely.

These treatments are best performed by a board-certified dermatologist who will examine your skin and your tattoo, review your medical history, and give you the safest and most effective treatment options available.

The American Society for Aesthetic Surgery reports that skin doctors performed more than 45,000 tattoo removal procedures in 2013, and those numbers continue to rise. In just a few treatments, many patients experience complete erasure of their body artwork.

After your tattoo removal

As you may have some blistering, bleeding, and swelling after your laser removal procedure, you must treat your skin gently afterward. Keep the area clean and dry to avoid infection.

Additional aftercare involves:

  • Avoiding sun exposure
  • Keeping the treated skin covered
  • Wearing loose clothing over the tattoo site
  • Applying antibiotic ointment or cream as directed

If you want a tattoo removed...

See your board-certified dermatologist for a personalized consultation. They have the credentials, skill, and tools to do the job safely and effectively. Call your skin doctor today to find out more about removing tattoos.

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
February 19, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Acne  

There's no such thing as being too old for acne. Pimples don't just affect teenagers but can continue to be an issue in your 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. No matter what your age, your Valparaiso and LaPorte, IN, dermatologist, Dr. William Applegarth of Applegarth Dermatology, can help you improve your complexion with acne treatment.

Topical medications offer a simple solution to control your acne

The acne products on the shelves in Valparaiso and LaPorte area stores can be helpful if you have mild acne but might not be quite as effective for stubborn or severe acne. Your dermatologist may recommend prescription topical medications like tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene instead. Applying the medications to your skin nightly, or as often as your skin doctor recommends, increases skin cell turnover, unclogs pores and prevents new pore blockages that can cause acne lesions.

Antibiotics and oral medications provide extra acne-fighting power

If topical medication alone doesn't control your acne, your doctor may suggest adding antibiotics to your treatment regimen. Topical antibiotics are applied directly to your skin and work by reducing redness and killing p. acnes bacteria. If your acne is particularly stubborn, your skin doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic for a few months.

Isotretinoin, another oral medication, may be an option if you have severe or cystic acne that hasn't responded to other treatments.

Blue light treatments, chemical peels and microdermabrasion may be the perfect options for you

Improving your complexion may be as simple as exposing your skin to blue light during treatments in your dermatologist's office. The treatment kills bacteria and decreases inflammation that causes redness.

Removing the top layers of skin offers an innovative way to clear acne lesions. A day or two after a chemical peel solution is applied, revealing smoother, acne-free skin. Microdermabrasion treatment uses a handheld device to gently remove the outer layers of the skin that contain acne lesions. Both treatments can also remove shallow acne scars.

Are you struggling to find an effective acne treatment? If you live in the Valparaiso or LaPorte, IN, areas, Dr. William Applegarth can help you enjoy clearer skin and fewer flareups. Contact the dermatologist at Applegarth Dermatology in Valparaiso at (219) 548-0360, or call the LaPorte office at (219) 362-0161 to schedule an appointment.

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
February 10, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Acne   Acne Treatment  

Anyone who has ever walked through the skincare aisle of their local drugstore knows that there are tons of acne-fighting products on the market. So, which one is right for you? Should you opt for an acne cleanser or spot treatment, or both? Choosing the right acne treatment can be challenging, to say the least.

While acne is a common problem among teenagers, many people don’t just leave acne behind the minute they toss out those graduation caps. In fact, many adults well into their 20s, 30s and beyond still deal with regular acne outbreaks. So, how do you properly treat acne? There is no singular way to treat acne and the best treatment option for you and your skin will depend on the cause. While you might not know what’s to blame for your acne symptoms a dermatologist certainly can help.

Treating Acne on Your Own

If you are dealing with mild to moderate acne, look for products that contain these powerful acne-fighting ingredients:

  • Salicylic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Glycolic acid
  • Sulfur
  • Retinol

How a Dermatologist Treats Acne

If you’ve tried over-the-counter acne products for more than 12 weeks and aren’t seeing results, or if you are experiencing severe, deep or cystic acne then it’s time to turn to a skin care professional for help. The first thing your dermatologist will do is determine the cause of your acne. From there, one or more of these treatments may be recommended:

Prescription topical medications: Certain topical medications act as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, which reduces redness and inflammation associated with acne while also removing acne-causing bacteria from the surface of the skin.

A simple extraction: You should never pick at your acne or try to pop a pimple on your own, as you could end up causes further irritation or scarring; however, a dermatologist knows the safest and most effective techniques for extracting blackheads and whiteheads safely.

Birth control pills: For women who notice breakouts that correspond to their menstrual cycle, certain birth control pills may be able to reduce the amount of androgen hormones, which in turn can reduce breakouts. Talk to your dermatologist about the birth control pills that are FDA approved to treat acne.

Isotretinoin: This is an extremely intense oral retinoid that is used for treating severe, cystic acne that isn’t responsive to other treatment options. Isotretinoin is better known as Accutane, and this treatment can take up to nine months to see full results. Some patients will require multiple courses of treatment. Due to the nature of this strong medication, there are some possible side effects. It is important to discuss these side effects with your dermatologist before beginning Isotretinoin.

If you are having trouble getting your acne under control it’s important that you have a dermatologist that you can turn to for customized care. Take control of your acne once and for all.