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Posts for: March, 2021

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
March 30, 2021
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Chickenpox  

Dr. William Applegarth of Applegarth Dermatology is here to help you if you're suffering from chickenpox in La Porte, and Valparaiso, IN.

Do you have Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is most common in children but it can also happen to adults. If you never had the disease as a child and aren't vaccinated you can contract chickenpox as an adult. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and is highly contagious. It can spread through skin contact or through the air by an infected person's coughing and sneezing.

The typical symptom of chickenpox is red spots and blisters all over the body. This includes the extremities and inside the mouth. Other symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Feeling ill and irritable
  • Loss of appetite

Symptoms typically last 4 to 7 days. If you are having these symptoms make an appointment to see us in our La Porte, or Valparaiso, IN, offices.

Treating Chickenpox

If you have chickenpox you should always call your doctor for advice, especially if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system. Applegarth Dermatology can advise the best action for you to take. Some things you can do at home to relieve the symptoms of chickenpox include:

  • Not scratching. It's important not to scratch the wounds because it slows healing and increases the risk of infection
  • Taking a bath with added baking soda and oatmeal can help soothe the skin
  • Over-the-counter creams and antihistamines can treat the rash and itchiness
  • There are some antiviral medications prescribed by your doctor for chickenpox

It will take time and extra rest to fully recover from the virus, but Dr. Applegarth of Applegarth Dermatology can help treat the symptoms of chickenpox. Contact us for an appointment in La Porte, IN, at (219) 362-0161 and in Valparaiso, IN, at (219) 548-0360.

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
March 22, 2021
Category: Skin Condition
Tags: Skin Tag  
Skin TagIf you’ve ever noticed a little piece of dangling skin on your body, then you’ve most likely found a skin tag. While these little growths are completely benign, they can develop in places where clothes can rub against them and cause discomfort. Skin tags are most often found in and around the armpits, eyelids, groin, and neck. If you find that your skin tag is in an awkward or uncomfortable place, a dermatologist can easily remove it.

Treating Skin Tags Yourself

Chances are good that you’ve already googled “skin tags” and found a variety of home remedies and ways to remove the skin tag yourself. While some methods are safe and even effective at removing skin tags, it’s incredibly important that you consult your dermatologist first before trying any of these at-home treatments.

Not all skin tags should be treated with home remedies. Any large skin tags, are bleeding or painful, or are located in sensitive areas such as the genitals or the eyes should be treated by a dermatologist who will make sure to provide a safe, effective removal treatment.

Turning to a Dermatologist

There are several ways in which a dermatologist can remove skin tags. Some of these methods include,
  • Cryotherapy: Just like with warts, a dermatologist will freeze off the tag with liquid nitrogen (it usually only takes 1-2 treatments to remove the tag)
  • Cauterization: Burning off the skin tag can also effectively remove the benign growth after a couple of treatment sessions
  • Ligation: Tying a thread around the tag will cut off blood flow and make the growth eventually fall off
  • Excision: Your dermatologist may simply cut off the skin tag
If the skin tag isn’t large, uncomfortable, or in an awkward location then there is no reason to remove it; however, we understand that this may be purely for cosmetic reasons. In which case, your dermatologist is happy to remove the skin tag (but your health insurance is unlikely to cover the procedure).

If you want to have a skin tag removed, or if you aren’t sure whether a skin growth could be a tag, you must see your dermatologist first before you start trying any home remedies or treatments. It’s also important that everyone get an annual skin cancer screening with their dermatologist to check for suspicious or potentially cancerous growths.

By Applegarth Dermatology PC
March 05, 2021
Category: Skin Treatments
Tags: Warts  

WartsWarts are the result of a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV), and they can easily be spread from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact or by sharing items such as towels or clothes with the infected individual. While warts of the hands may be unsightly or embarrassing, it’s important to note that these growths are benign and harmless. Here’s what you should know about treating warts, including how a dermatologist will treat this common skin problem.

How do I know that it’s a wart?

If you’ve never had a wart before then you may not know what this little growth is at first. Warts are raised, skin-colored bumps that may be rough to the touch and grainy in appearance. If you look closely at the bump you may notice little black dots. These are small blood vessels. Since warts can be confused for cysts and other lesions, it may be a good idea to see a dermatologist first before you begin treatment.

How are warts treated?

Some people simply wait until their body fights the infection and the wart eventually goes away, but this can take months or even years. People who are dealing with warts in more sensitive and visible places such as their hands are more likely to want to get rid of the wart a lot sooner. Many healthy individuals turn to over-the-counter remedies first. There are salicylic acid solutions that you can apply directly to the wart and will need to continue to reapply regularly. This solution will shed layers of the wart until gone.

While no study tests the effectiveness of duct tape for removing warts, it not an unsafe practice or option (and if it works for you, great!). If you’ve given it a valiant effort to treat the wart on your own but it just doesn’t seem to respond to over-the-counter treatment options, or it returns, then it’s time to see your dermatologist. A dermatologist offers a variety of ways to remove a wart, including,

  • Cryotherapy: Freezing the wart off is a common method for removing warts
  • Cantharidin: A chemical is applied to the wart, which causes it to blister and fall off
  • Surgical excision: If the bumps do not respond to other treatment options or are in hard-to-treat areas, this may be the ideal method for removal

We understand that warts can develop in rather awkward and sometimes uncomfortable places like the hands. If this happens to you and you don’t want to wait until your body clears the infection to get rid of your wart, then a dermatologist can provide you with the treatment you need to remove the wart more quickly.