When your child breaks out all over in a blistery, itchy red rash, there’s a good chance it’s the chicken pox. Chicken pox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, and although it’s typically a childhood disease, people who have not contracted it as a child can suffer from it in adulthood as well.
Chicken pox is highly contagious and can spread from person to person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person's coughing or sneezing.
Symptoms of Chicken pox
Itchy red spots or blisters all over the body are telltale signs of chicken pox. It may also be accompanied by a headache, sore throat and fever. Symptoms are generally mild among children, but can cause serious complications in infants, adults and people with weakened immune systems.
The most common symptoms of chicken pox include:
- Itchy rash all over the body, including the face, on the arms and legs and inside the mouth
- Fatigue and irritability
- Feeling of general illness
- Reduced appetite
The symptoms of chicken pox may resemble other skin problems or medical conditions, so it is always important to consult your child's physician or dermatologist for proper diagnosis. If the chicken pox rash seems generalized or severe, or if the child has a high grade fever or is experiencing a headache or nausea, seek medical care right away.
The incubation period (from exposure to first appearance of symptoms) is 14 to 16 days. When the blisters crust over, they are no longer contagious and the child can return to normal activity.
Relief for Chicken Pox
It is important not to scratch the blisters as it can slow down the healing process and result in scarring. Scratching may also increase the risk of a bacterial infection. To help relieve the itching, soak in a cool or lukewarm oatmeal bath. A physician may recommend anti-itch ointments or medications, such as over-the-counter antihistamines, to control this troublesome itch.
Although about four million children get chicken pox each year, it may be preventable via a vaccine. Usually one episode of chicken pox in childhood provides lifelong immunity to the virus.
Fortunately, chicken pox is more of a nuisance than a concern. With time and extra rest, the rash will pass and the child will be good as new! Contact your dermatologist whenever you have questions or concerns about chicken pox.
Many people suffer from acne problems, wrinkles, age spots or skin discoloration. After countless tries at topical creams and other treatment methods, reducing the visual signs of fine lines and other imperfections may seem impossible.
Thanks to new advancements in dermatology, both men and women can now enjoy flawless skin. Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a new, non-laser cosmetic treatment that offers a non-invasive solution to rejuvenated skin. IPL is a proven effective procedure for correct and improving nearly all skin types. It is particularly effective for treating:
- Sun damage
- Age spots
- Broken capillaries
- Irregular pigmentation
- Fine lines
How IPL Works
Unlike a laser which emits one specific wavelength of light, IPL delivers a broad spectrum of light onto the skin’s surface to correct a wider area of damaged skin cells with each pulse. IPL treatments are typically conducted as a series of treatments at intervals, and the skin begins to take on a more youthful and clear appearance with each session. How many treatments are required to achieve the desired results will vary for each patient’s initial level of skin damage.
Benefits of IPL
If you’ve been looking for a non-invasive, fast-acting solution for rejuvenating your skin’s imperfections, consider the benefits of Intense pulsed light therapy. IPL procedures are proven safe and effective, do not require any anesthetic and in many cases offer near-instant results. IPL offers the ability to customize the treatment to your specific skin problems. It also offers the ability to treat larger areas of skin simultaneously.
Due to the sophistication of the technology, the duration of each treatment session is typically less than 30 minutes. The process is ideal for patients with active lifestyles because the procedure requires no downtime, minimal pain and has a low risk of side effects. This treatment can be used safely virtually anywhere on the body.
To learn more about intense pulsed light therapy, visit your dermatologist. Following a thorough skin assessment, your dermatologist can recommend the best course of treatment to bring you rejuvenated and more youthful skin.
The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can result in skin damage from freckles and cosmetic blemishes to more serious conditions like cancer. Sun damage doesn’t happen overnight, and the long-term effects of repeated sun exposure may not appear for years. It’s a gradual process brought on by repeated exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, which can have serious consequences later in life. But it's never too late to start protecting your skin from sun damage!
Signs of Sun Damaged Skin
Tans or sunburns are two visible signs of sun damage. A tan reveals that your skin has attempted to protect itself from sun damage by producing melanin, the brown pigment that colors the outer layer of skin. And sunburns indicate damaged skin cell DNA, which increases your risk for skin cancer.
The following signs indicate sun-damaged skin.
- Change in Texture - Skin may become dull and leathery as it is repeatedly exposed to the sun.
- Age Spots - As sun exposure increases so does the body’s production of melanin, which leads to the gradual appearance of blotches in skin tone and brown, black or gray spots on the face, chest, shoulders and hands.
- Wrinkles - As the sun depletes collagen and elastin, the substances that keep skin firm and flexible, skin sags and wrinkles appear which make you look older.
- Red or Inflamed Skin - Symptoms of sunburn such as heat, pain, redness or blisters indicate damage to the epidermis.
The best way to maintain a youthful appearance and avoid skin cancer is to make sun protection a part of daily life. Take extra precautions when outdoors. Always apply sunscreen and wear protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses. Limit the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight and seek shade when possible. Tanning beds are just as harmful for your skin and should also be avoided.
When to Visit Your Dermatologist
Sun damage should not be overlooked. It may be time to visit your dermatologist about potential sun damage if you:
- Experience a severe sunburn with blistering or other serious side effects, or if you have a history of sunburns
- Notice changes to existing skin growths or develop new or irregular shaped moles or spots, as these could be indications that you have skin cancer
- Have sun spots on your skin, especially if they appear suddenly or are dark in color
- Have a family history of skin cancer
At a minimum, you should visit a dermatologist once a year to have your body inspected for moles or growths. A dermatologist will not only look for signs of cancer, but can also offer cosmetic treatments to reduce the visible signs of sun damage, such as wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.
Abnormal, unpredictable and excessive sweating, referred to as hyperhidrosis, is a serious and difficult medical condition for millions of people worldwide. Hyperhidrosis occurs when the body’s sweat glands are overactive, which causes overabundant sweat production that is not warranted by physical activity or an emotional response to stress. This condition is often characterized by unexplainable sweaty palms, embarrassing sweat rings and dripping foreheads.
While there is no known cause of hyperhidrosis, it may occur in people who have abnormally large sweat glands or who are genetically predisposed to hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating may also signal more serious medical conditions such as thyroid problems, low blood sugar and other health problems. That’s why it is important to visit your physician or dermatologist when you suspect you have an abnormal sweating problem.
In many cases hyperhidrosis goes undiagnosed, misdiagnosed and untreated due to lack of awareness about the condition and the treatment options available. As physicians become more knowledgeable about the condition, more effective treatments are emerging—and working!
Prescription Strength Deodorants
- When over-the-counter deodorants are not effective in managing your sweating, then you may need a stronger antiperspirant. A dermatologist may prescribe a deodorant that contains ingredients that block sweat ducts temporarily to reduce excess moisture.
- Your regular physician or dermatologist may prescribe medications to prevent the stimulation of sweat glands.
- Botox, a popular cosmetic procedure known for treating wrinkles, may also be used to safely control hyperhidrosis. Botox helps control excess sweating by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands.
Although non-life threatening, hyperhidrosis can be embarrassing, impacting your daily life both socially and professionally. But it is also treatable. Understand your treatment options, and visit your dermatologist to learn more about managing your hyperhidrosis.
Human skin is a remarkable organ, but one we often take for granted. It does more than hold us together and look presentable. It’s a complex system that protects our internal structures from outside damage. The skin is made up of three main layers: the epidermis (outer layer), the dermis (the middle layer) and the subcutaneous layer (the inner layer). Components of the skin include hair and nails.
The skin is more interesting than you think. Here are just a few fascinating facts:
Skin is Your Body’s Largest Organ
The skin is the largest organ in the body, weighing 12-16% of a person’s total body weight. The average adult is covered with approximately 20 square feet of skin weighing about 6 to 9 pounds.
Skin Protects Your Body
The skin acts as a barrier between us and our environment, insulating and protecting the organs, muscles and bones from external threats - everything from dust and dirt to bacteria and viruses.
Skin Regulates Body Temperature
The skin releases as much as three gallons of sweat a day in hot weather. Your skin helps control body temperature by distributing heat through the skin and by preventing dehydration.
The skin is a sensory organ, and has receptors for detecting hot and cold, touch, pressure and pain.
Other unique facts about the skin include:
- The skin is composed of approximately 300 million skin cells.
- Every half square inch of the human skin has approximately 100 sweat glands, 10 hairs, 15 sebaceous glands, and 3.2 feet of tiny blood vessels.
- A large percentage of the dust in your home is actually dead skin.
- Your skin sheds a layer of dead skin cells every day and is constantly renewing itself.
- Goose bumps are actually small pimples that help retain a layer of warm air over our body.
- Human skin is the thinnest on the eyelid.
Human skin varies in type, color and texture for every person, but everyone’s skin serves the same primary purpose - to protect our insides! Your skin is very important, which means you should take care of it by protecting if from the sun, moisturizing it regularly, and practicing good daily skin care. Whenever you detect an unusual skin spot or suspect a problem with your skin, contact your dermatologist for an evaluation.
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