What is Chloracne And Should You See A Dermatologist? | Fort Worth, TX

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Attributing acne to oily foods or inadequate hygiene has, thankfully, become very rare. People now understand that acne has many causes and consult dermatologists for assistance. Seeking medical help is much safer and more effective than diet fads or fancy cleansers.

Chloracne is a medical disorder caused by exposure to halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons, which are chemicals containing benzene rings and halogen atoms. TCDD, or dioxin, is one of the most common halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons. Chloracne is a rare type of acne not often seen in Fort Worth, TX, but exposure to causative chemicals is possible.

Although chloracne isn’t common anywhere in the United States, halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons are present in many types of chemical preparations. Health and safety regulations and laws protecting the environment minimize exposure to harmful chemicals, but these precautions aren’t foolproof. Chloracne does occur in the United States.

Causes of Chloracne

Most cases of chloracne occur after occupational exposure to halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons, such as machine oils containing dioxin. Accidental environmental exposure is possible too. Direct skin exposure is the most common cause of chloracne, although some cases result from chemical inhalation.

Halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons are found in a variety of chemical preparations including:

  • Fungicides
  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Wood preservatives
  • Lubricating and industrial oils

Chloracne is associated with TCDD, or dioxin, found in a very potent herbicide commonly known as Agent Orange. Agent Orange was used during the Vietnam war, but it was also used as an herbicide before the dangers of toxicity were fully understood. Residents of Fort Worth, TX, aren’t in danger of current exposure to Agent Orange, but some veterans and people that lived in other parts of the world were exposed earlier in their lives.

Mild exposure usually results in short-term chloracne, but more severe or extended exposure can cause recurrent skin lesions and scars. Consult your dermatologist if you suspect previous exposure to dioxin may be related to a current skin condition. Even if dioxin is not the cause, your doctor can help you find a solution to skin care issues.

Symptoms of Chloracne and Dioxin Intoxication

Hamartomas

The exact scientific term for chloracne is Metabolising Acquired Dioxin Induced Skin Hamartomas, or MADISH. Hamartomas are localized benign tumors related to genetic changes. Dermatologists identify many hamartomas through imaging studies and other diagnostic tests performed for other reasons.

Most hamartomas grow slowly and remain localized. Hamartomas are usually not dangerous, but they can become malignant in some cases and the causative underlying condition may cause other health problems.

Skin Lesions

Chloracne resembles other types of acne, but there are several differences. Open and closed comedones, commonly known as whiteheads and blackheads, are the most recognizable features. Nodules and cysts form across the cheeks, behind the ears, under the armpits, and in the groin area. The arms and legs are affected in severe cases.

Skin lesions can easily be mistaken for more common types of acne, but skin feels at least slightly oily in most acne cases. Dioxin toxicity changes gene expression of sebaceous glands. Skin may feel very oily during the early stages of chloracne, but oil production declines as the disorder progresses. Oil glands may actually shrink.

Other skin changes caused by chloracne include excessive sweating on palms of the hands and soles of the feet, blisters on exposed skin, and increased skin pigmentation and hair growth. Consult your local dermatologist if you notice increased or unusual acne lesions or other skin changes.

Systemic Symptoms

Dioxin poisoning begins with systemic symptoms. Gastrointestinal illness, such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea, is an early sign of exposure. Of course, gastrointestinal symptoms are very common and not likely to be associated with dioxin poisoning without good reason.

Progressive symptoms of dioxin toxicity include, pancreatitis, liver dysfunction, and fatigue or sleep disturbances. Neuropathy and encephalopathy result in depression and poor concentration. Exposure to halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons also increases risk of developing type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidaemia, or high levels of fats in the bloodstream. Other long-term health risks include greater incidence of cardiovascular disease, endometriosis, low sperm count, and certain types of cancer.

Skin changes occur as systemic symptoms begin to fade. Some researchers believe skin changes occur as the toxic chemicals are flushed out of other organ systems and into sebaceous glands.

Diagnosis

Dermatologists and other physicians diagnose chloracne through patient history and clinical experience. Blood tests to measure levels of halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons aren’t reliable. Chemicals are redistributed throughout and the body and metabolized after exposure. Most people don’t associate symptoms of chloracne with chemical exposure in time to rely on blood tests. Sometimes people don’t even realize they’ve been exposed to such chemicals.

The diagnosis is mostly on the grounds of history and expert clinical opinion. A dermatologist may perform a biopsy of affected skin areas. Possible indicators of chloracne include reduced sebaceous gland density and presence of skin hamartomas. An immunohistochemical test, such as CYP1A1, helps doctors identify gene regulation changes in sebaceous glands.

Treatment

After identifying chloracne, the source of contamination must be identified as well. Symptomatic treatment begins after the source is removed. A dermatologist may excise or cauterize large comedones and cysts. Antibiotics treat or prevent secondary infections.

It is very important to consult a dermatologist for suspected cases of chloracne because the disorder isn’t predictable. All symptoms may disappear within a year or two, but some cases of chloracne are resistant to treatment. Follow up is essential. Aromatic hydrocarbons may be carcinogenic. Research is ongoing and carcinogenic effects haven’t been verified or dismissed, so long-term monitoring is the safest course of action.

The knowledgeable and emphatic professionals at Compassion Dermatology will gladly help you with any skin care needs. Call 817-380-5911 at the first sign of any concerning changes in your skin. You can also set up an appointment with a dermatologist for a wellness check.

 


Questions For Your Dermatologist About Icon Treatments | Keller, TX

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The Icon aesthetic system is a multi-purpose platform with seven hand pieces, each designed to tackle a particular skincare issue. From hair removal to wrinkle reduction and skin resurfacing through state-of-the-art cooling and fractional laser use, the Icon can take care of nearly every skincare issue you raise with your dermatologist.

What can Icon treatments be used for?

The Icon Aesthetic System from Palomar offers fast, significant results for a wide variety of skincare treatments. Some of the more popular treatment services your dermatologist in Keller, TX, can provide you with include:

  • Pigment clearance
  • Wrinkle reduction
  • Hair reduction
  • Stretch mark reduction
  • Acne scar reduction
  • Leg vein clearance
  • Skin resurfacing

The Icon system has various hand attachments that can be used, depending on the resurfacing treatment required. In particular, the Icon 2940 is designed to effectively reduce wrinkles, age spots, brown spots, caused by either natural aging or excess sun exposure.

Is an Icon treatment classed as a surgical procedure?

No, Icon treatments provided by your dermatologist are not classed as surgical treatments.

What is the average recovery time?

Since the Icon system utilizes a fractional laser, the recovery process is much less intensive. Fractional lasers focus the intense heat energy in specifically targeted areas, avoiding the healthy surrounding tissue, which means the healing process is much quicker than with other treatments—the average recovery time is between 10-14 days.

Is there anything I should avoid before undertaking an Icon treatment?

Before undergoing an Icon treatment at your local dermatologist office, we may ask you to prepare in the following ways during the lead-up to to your appointment:

  • Avoid excess sun exposure
  • Avoid using tanning products
  • Decrease your alcohol intake
  • Discontinue the use of harsh skin care products
  • Avoid drinking or eating for 6 hours before your treatment

Of particular importance is the discontinuance of chemical skincare peels, aggressive scrubs, and other harsh skincare routines, though topical moisturizers and other products such as sunscreen may still be used. Sunscreen is vital if you’re unable to decrease sun exposure before your treatment occurs.

What if I’m using a prescription topical acne treatment? Can I still have Icon skin treatments done by my dermatologist?

Before proceeding with any skincare treatment, you should make your dermatologist aware of any topical treatments you’re using on the areas you wish your Icon treatment to target if they aren’t already aware of them. Your skin should be assessed before the booking occurs, as a medical professional will need to determine the appropriate wait time.

We prefer to treat healthy, non-irritated skin. If you’re using anything that causes your skin to be dry, flaky, or irritated, then a waiting period of 1-2 weeks after discontinuing use of the product that has affected your skin may be recommended. It does not mean that you won’t qualify for treatment.

I’m taking antibiotics. Can I still get Icon laser treatments?

If you’re taking antibiotics, your dermatologist may wish to perform test spots before treatment to determine your sensitivity to the lasers used. If the test spot results are satisfactory, you can proceed with your laser treatment of choice.

What can I expect to happen during treatment?

On the day of your treatment, before the laser process begins, your dermatologist will examine, cleanse, and prepare your skin. Local anesthetic or numbing cream may be applied as necessary before the laser targets the chosen area. The laser can target areas of irregular pigmentation, uneven skin texture, wrinkles, fine lines, and other imperfections.

As the procedure goes on, your dermatologist will closely monitor the effect on your skin and make sure the session is both effective and as comfortable as possible for you. Once the skin treatment has finished, soothing ointment or serum should be applied to help ease initial discomfort.

How many sessions will I need to book?

As little as one session can provide the results that you need. If more treatment sessions are desired, your doctor will advise on when it’s possible to schedule another skin treatment session. It often depends on how long it takes your skin to recover and your skin’s characteristics.

What can I expect to happen after treatment?

Immediately after treatment, you’ll notice some discomfort. Your skin will feel raw and swollen. The good news is you can safely ease the pain with over-the-counter medications and cold compresses.

Approximately 1-2 weeks after your Icon treatment session, your skin will be healing. You may see scabbing and crusting as the new skin forms. Scabbing is nothing to worry about, and you can often return to work at the end of the first week after treatment. You may find it beneficial to take antibiotics and antiviral medications, which can be prescribed. Keep taking these medications until the course is complete for the best chance at healing. During the first few weeks, try to avoid excess sun exposure.

Beyond the first few weeks, you’ll notice your new skin will remain pink. The pinkness can remain for several months. Wrinkles and other signs of aging will eventually reappear as your new skin ages.

Why choose an Icon laser treatment?

One of the unique features of an Icon laser treatment is that the device has a melanin reader. This state-of-the-art technology is the industry’s only melanin reading device which measures your skin’s melanin index during every treatment. The index helps to determine the ideal settings for your laser treatment so that the laser is safely calibrated to provide the best results possible.

Why choose Compassion Dermatology?

Our skilled skincare team remains actively informed on the latest dermatology research and innovations that will help you to maintain the best skin appearance possible. We trust the results of the Icon Aesthetic System and believe that you should too. In addition to our knowledge and skill, you’ll receive the utmost compassion and care at our Southlake facility that also serves Keller, TX, residents. Request an appointment with us, and we’ll be happy to discuss any concerns or requirements you may have regarding our advanced Icon laser treatments.


Caring For Your Lips: Dermatologist Tips | Southlake, TX

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There’s a lot of discussion about the skin on your face and the extensive areas covering your body. But what about the thin layers across the lips? The skin that covers your lips is sensitive, essential, and comes in contact with everything from other people, food, drinks, cosmetics, and the weather. It’s critical to provide the same level of care for your lips as you do for the rest of your body. If you have questions about caring for them or have a problem, such as cracking, itching, bleeding, or otherwise painful lips, you need to see a dermatologist in Southlake, TX.

Healthy Lips

Keeping every inch of your skin healthy is essential, including your lips. As mentioned, the skin here is much thinner than it is on the rest of your body, making it easier to damage. Cracked and peeling lips are painful, distracting, and unpleasant to look at and kiss. Additionally, it can make eating and drinking some things impossible. Healthy lips should be soft, pink, and plump.

If you’re concerned about cracking, painful lips, or need help caring for them, a dermatologist can help you find the right treatment and start with a care routine that can prevent problems from reoccurring.

Exfoliating Your Lips

Yes, you need to exfoliate your lips, too. The exfoliation process you complete once or twice weekly to remove dirt, debris, and dead cells from your body that can clog the pores also applies to your lips. Wait! Don’t start using your facial products on your lips. They’re much more sensitive, and even a gentle cream for your face can damage the skin on your lips.

In addition, what ends up on your lips will go into your mouth. Most brands don’t design these lotions and facial scrubs to use on the lips. Instead, carefully wipe away makeup, dirt, food particles, and dead cells with a clean, damp washcloth. You can also use a toothbrush that you only use on your lips. By using a small, circular motion, you can also increase circulation, improving their look and feel. If you over-exfoliate or develop problems, contact your dermatologist for immediate care.

Keeping Your Lips Moist

Your skin needs moisture to stay soft, crack-free, and overall, looking healthy. Like you apply moisturizer to your face, hands, and the rest of your body, your face needs the same care. But one way that won’t work is licking your lips. In fact, the first thing you’ll hear from your dermatologist when you contact them about dry, cracked, and painful lips is to stop licking them. Saliva isn’t a moisturizer and will cause them to dry faster. When you lick your lips, you’re coating them in enzymes that are too harsh for the soft and sensitive skin.

Apply Vitamin E Topically

You can boost your lip’s health factor by applying vitamin E. Rather than taking a pill, buy gel-filled capsules that you can open with a pin. Rub the oil directly onto your lips for the best results. Vitamin E boosts circulation and might help generate new skin cells to help keep the pink glow, soft feel, and plump look of healthy lips.

Don’t Skip The Sunscreen

Your lips are like all your skin—They can burn. You can purchase lip balms that offer excellent protection from the sun and seal in the moisture that keeps them pink and plump. Apply it several times a day throughout the year. The sun’s rays can still reach you through clouds and windows, no matter how cold the temperature is outside. Look for products that have an SPF of 15 or more for the most amount of protection. For more information about sunscreens that protect your face and lips without drying them out, speak with your Southlake dermatologist.

Use A Primer

Are you using a primer on your face and lips before applying your makeup in the morning? If not, you should be. A primer adds an extra layer of protection between your lips and the chemicals in the lipstick that can dry out and irritate your skin. Overall, by limiting their exposure to toxins, your lips and skin will feel and appear healthier. For more help with makeup products and skincare, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist in Southlake, TX.

Use Lipsticks With Natural Ingredients

Dermatologists get it. You can’t live with lathering on a layer of paint on your lips daily. By choosing lipsticks that have natural ingredients, you’ll reduce the irritants and have healthier and happier lips. If you use lip gloss often, also replace your standard brand with one that uses all-natural components. Common ingredients include shea butter, vitamin E, beeswax, and rosemary extract. These also have antioxidant properties that nourish your lips.

Wash Off Lipstick Before Bed

You should take your makeup off every night before you go to bed. It’s possible that you thought your lipstick was already gone after eating and drinking if you didn’t reapply throughout the day. However, there’s most likely still residue left behind. Quality lipsticks have much more staying power than in the past. Additionally, if you’re using a primer to put a moisture barrier between the skin and product, you must fully remove it. For more information, your dermatologist can often recommend a wash that’s safe for your face and lips, so you need not purchase multiple products.

To keep your skin healthy from lips to toes, don’t skip your annual dermatology exam. If you have problems with cracked, painful lips, or need help to maintain moisture levels, schedule an appointments with your dermatologist At Compassion Dermatology. They can help you find products that are safe and help keep your lips pink, soft, and perky.


Itchy Skin? Your Dermatology Experts Can Help You | Alliance Keller Area

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Itchy skin is a common problem that happens to everyone. The uncomfortable sensation to scratch, also known as pruritus, can distract you from everything until you give into it. When you do, the relief is often short-lived and leads to other problems, such as pain, broken skin that’s unsightly, and possibly infection. A dermatology office in the Alliance Keller area can determine the cause of your itchy skin and develop a treatment plan to stop the itching and help you get clear skin back.

Insect Bites

In the summer, the most common cause of itchy skin involves unpleasant interactions with nature involving bugs. Most of the time, you won’t even know you’ve encountered an insect until you notice the sensation to scratch. The urge can start almost immediately. Bites from mosquitos are typical, and these go away on their own quickly. You can mitigate the itching with topical hydrocortisone, which is a mild, anti-inflammatory that’s available over-the-counter. The cream can reduce swelling and itchy quickly. Other at-home remedies include dabbing with rubbing alcohol and applying a cold compress.

It might sound counteractive, but a dermatology expert would tell you to try not to scratch the bite. Outside of possibly developing an infection, you may experience a secondary reaction to the bite. A mild reaction to the insect sting can include,

  • Pain
  • Physical rash (raised skin, pimple-like spots)
  • Mild to moderate swelling in the bite’s area
  • The section around the bite is warmer than the rest of your skin
  • Excessive itching

Severe reactions are serious. Experiencing trouble breathing, a rapid pulse, swelling of the face, throat, or tongue requires immediate medical attention.

In addition to an allergic reaction, if the itching doesn’t stop or you see pus oozing from the bite, an infection might be present. Contact a dermatology office for the next available appointment if either of these situations occurs. To reduce future outbreaks, use insect repellant in the evening or when completing activities in the woods.

Reactions to Plant Life

Irritation doesn’t always come from insects in nature. Instead, you can experience itching as a reaction to touching plants in the woods or even everyday items in your garden. While you automatically think about poison ivy and oak, there are more common plants that can also leave you itching uncontrollably from a quick touch. Some of the most typical include,

  • Carrots
  • Dill
  • Bleeding heart flowers
  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • Bishop’s weed
  • Dried baby’s breath
  • English Ivy
  • Hops
  • Hyacinth
  • Tulips

Also known as contact dermatitis, these reactions can also happen because of soaps, cosmetics, certain metals, and fragrances. Along with itching, other signs of contact include a visible red rash, swelling, bumps, tenderness, and dry, cracked, and scaly skin.

You can prevent future reactions in most situations. For example, when you go out to work in your garden, dress appropriately. Although it might be hot and you don’t want to cover up, you can skip exposure by wearing gloves, long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes.

If you think you’re experiencing symptoms from contact dermatitis and traditional home treatments aren’t working, or you develop a secondary infection, it’s time to contact a dermatology office in the Alliance Keller area. The dermatologist may help you narrow down the cause of the itching to stop it and assist you with avoiding future contact and outbreaks.

Dry Skin

It may not be as glamorous as a bug bite, but dry skin is itchy and can be unsightly, leading to embarrassment in public when exposed. Many situations can cause dry skin and a dermatology professional can help you figure that out. Many people experience it during the winter months from dry heat that reduces the moisture in your skin. It needs hydration to maintain a smooth texture and elasticity to prevent wrinkles, sagging, flaking, and keep it looking great. Other situations that can cause dry skin include aging, medications, excess water exposure, soaps, and even pregnancy.

Most of these are easy to correct without medical intervention. As you age, your body losses oil glands, requiring you to moisturize more to maintain adequate hydration levels. Additionally, long-term exposure to sunlight reduces moisture, and older adults are more likely to take medications that can dry out the skin, leading to itching. You can control these factors by applying moisturizers more often, reducing excess water and UV light exposure, and choosing soaps and beauty products that don’t cause dry skin.

If these everyday solutions don’t help, schedule the next available appointment at your dermatology office in the area. A dermatologist can determine if there’s an underlying condition causing the dryness. They can also prescribe topical applications to better seal in moisturizer and anti-itch creams to provide much-needed relief. Patients that develop a secondary reaction or infection from itching may need additional care, including antibiotics. To prevent dry skin, apply moisturizer daily.

Swimmer’s Itch

Have you recently spent time in fresh or saltwater, such as the ocean or a lake? Your itchy skin may be a direct reaction to marine life exposure. Although you may not want to think about it, the refreshing water you took a swim in is also home to animals and parasites that live just below the surface. These can cause itching by burrowing into your skin or getting trapped between your skin and swimsuit in the water.

Most of the time, swimmer’s itch will clear on its own in a few days to a week with home care. Outbreaks that continue to happen after swimming in the same spot indicate a problem with the water. To prevent itching from parasites in the water, rinse with fresh water after you get out and change out of your swimsuit immediately after swimming. If you experience intense itches, red blotches, or welts that won’t go away with standard treatment, contact your dermatology office in the area.

Itchy skin can ruin your day. Don’t just lather on topical anti-itch creams or pop antihistamines to stop the itching. Get to the root of the problem with a dermatology expert that can examine your skin, diagnose the condition, and determine the best course of action to treat it. For the next available appointment, contact Compassion Dermatology in the area at 817-380-5911 today.