Consult A Dermatologist Before Trying Natural Remedies | Fort Worth, TX

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Preference for natural and organic products is an ongoing trend in Fort Worth, TX, and across the country. The ill-defined terms natural and organic are often used interchangeably. Certified organic products in the United States must meet stringent requirements, but general discussions of organic beauty treatments usually have nothing to do with legal definitions.

A belief that natural treatments and products are always better can have negative consequences. Consulting a dermatologist for skin care advice is safer and more effective than random information from questionable online sources. Trending natural beauty recommendations can be slightly effective, completely ineffective, or actively harmful to your skin and overall health.

Lemon and Lime Juice

Another common natural beauty trend is squirting lemon or lime juice on skin blemishes, such as acnes scars or areas of hyperpigmentation. Acidic fruit juices have some exfoliating properties, but they can’t lighten dark spots or remove scar tissue. Lemon or lime juice burns when it is placed on open areas, such as small cuts or inflamed acne.

Highly concentrated acidic preparations can cause second-degree burns on delicate skin. Substances called psoralens in lemons and limes can trigger a phototoxic reaction upon exposure to UV light. This means you could end up with a phytophotodermatitis rash resulting in large, painful blisters that can take more than a month to heal. Consult a dermatologist immediately if you’re experiencing a rash or any other symptoms after exposure to sunlight.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has even become part of the natural beauty trend. This spice is most notably associated with the ‘cinna-mask,’ along with claims that it purifies skin. Unfortunately, this particular trend can have painful results. Cinnamon is an irritating substance almost guaranteed to cause a slight burning sensation and mild redness.

Reactions can go beyond mild irritation into actual burns, which easily turn into facial scarring. Some spices, including cinnamon, have antimicrobial properties, but spices used in wound healing are carefully handled and prepared. Dried cinnamon and cinnamon oils are too harsh to use undiluted, and many people can develop an allergy to cinnamon. Even people that have eaten cinnamon safely all their lives can experience hypersensitivity to a spice directly applied to skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar Cure-All

Apple cider vinegar is recommended for everything from housecleaning to managing medical conditions in the world of natural remedies. Proponents of apple cider vinegar in skin care claim that it heals acne, relieves blemishes and scars, cures warts, and makes moles disappear.

Vinegar is acidic and quite caustic if it isn’t diluted. Long-term use on skin can lead to inflammation and burns. Never apply vinegar to wounds. Its corrosive properties will cause pain and damage tissue in the wound bed. The most serious concern is letting illnesses or disorders go untreated due to belief in vinegar’s greatly exaggerated curative properties.

You should always see a dermatologist if you’re concerned about a mole. A biopsy may be necessary for suspicious moles, and dermatologists in Fort Worth, TX, offer plenty of options to remove moles and treat warts.

Oil and Alcohol

Suggestions for natural moisturizers making the rounds include olive oil, coconut oil, and even mayonnaise. These substances probably won’t cause any harm, unless someone has an allergy, but slathering thick, fatty oils on your face can clog pores and lead to acne. Make an appointment with your local dermatologist to ask about helpful, safe products.

On the other hand, alcohol wipes and even rubbing alcohol have been suggested for oily skin. Applying alcohol to your face is just a bad idea the entire way around. It certainly will cause dry skin, but this is not a good outcome. Alcohol is too harsh and strips skin of protective fatty acids and protein. Destruction of beneficial lipids and proteins leaves skin in a fragile, weakened state that is prone to inflammation and infection.

Beneficial Natural Substances

Of course, many natural substances do have beneficial properties. Common natural ingredients found in skin care products include aloe vera, argan and avocado oil, chamomile, rose hip oil, green tea, and shea butter. The way these substances are prepared, handled, and used plays a large role in their effectiveness. Everyone’s skin is different.

Sometimes visible, obvious skin issues, such as acne, dryness, inflammation, or dark spots, have an underlying cause. Treating symptoms without addressing their cause is not effective in the long run. Consult your dermatologist to discuss skin health concerns. If you want to use natural remedies alone instead of prepared products, ask your dermatologist how to do so safely.

Consult Compassion Dermatology to keep your skin healthy and smooth. An experienced, professional dermatologist can help you find appropriate products and develop healthy skin care routines so your skin glows.


What Is The Role Of Dermatology In The Pandemic? | Alliance Keller Area

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COVID-19 has dominated news cycles and headlines in the area and across the United States since it was first identified. The sheer volume of media output concerning COVID is astounding. Even with all this information, the field of dermatology barely gets a nod. This relative lack of information can be misleading. Dermatology has an important role in managing the pandemic.

Dermatology Symptoms of COVID-19

A COVID-induced rash usually occurs at the same time as other symptoms, but it has been reported as the first symptom in a minority of cases. The most commonly reported skin condition is a rash resembling measles. Most cases are associated with moderate COVID infections.

A symptom known as “COVID toes” is characterized by itchy red or purple bumps on toes, fingers, or heels. This symptom is associated with mild viral infections and seems to develop after the affected skin was exposed to cold surfaces or air.

A net-like rash called retiform purpura is the most severe COVID-related symptom. The rash may not look serious, but its appearance is the result of blood clots in small vessels beneath the skin. Reported cases of retiform purpura have only been observed in people that were already hospitalized with severe illness. You will want to contact a dermatology expert.

Secondary Relationships Between COVID and Dermatology

Hand hygiene awareness has reached new heights since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The CDC recommends frequent hand washing to slow transmission of the virus. Health care workers and other ‘front-line’ and essential employees with a variety of job functions are very focused on strict hand washing procedures. This is necessary to slow or prevent COVID infections, but constant hand washing, sometimes with harsh products, can alter or damage skin integrity.

Dermatitis and the Skin Barrier

Healthy skin is a barrier between the body and harmful substances and pathogens in the environment. The stratum corneum, a layer of keratin and lipids, is the major component of a healthy skin barrier.

The American Contact Dermatitis Society predicts an increasing number of irritant contact and allergic contact hand dermatitis cases related to hand hygiene. Effects of frequent hand washing are an indirect, but very important, link between dermatology and the COVID pandemic. Symptoms of both types of contact dermatitis include

  • red rash
  • mild to severe itching
  • dry, cracked or flaky skin
  • swelling
  • burning
  • blisters
  • lichenification (thickening skin with leathery texture and appearance)
  • fluid-filled bumps
  • tenderness and soreness when moving hands or fingers

Hand Hygiene Products

Various types of hand hygiene products include liquid or bar soaps, antiseptic hand washes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and synthetic detergents. There are hundreds upon hundreds of hand hygiene products available in the Alliance Keller area, and some products may affect skin negatively.

Soap

The term ‘soap’ is frequently used to describe any cleanser, but true soap is made of lye and fats. Soap has pH levels of 9 to 10.6. It removes dirt, breaks down grease, and deactivates viruses by destroying lipid membranes. Washing hands with soap and warm water has an added benefit of physically removing dirt particles and pathogens from the skin’s surface. Unfortunately, soap also disrupts protective lipids in our skin.

Synthetic Detergent

Synthetic detergents are a mixture of petrolatum derivatives and chemical surfactants. They have a pH between 5.5 to 7, which is similar to pH levels of healthy skin. Chemical surfactants function like soap and deactivate viruses by disrupting lipid membranes. Not all viruses have lipid membranes, but COVID does. Synthetic detergents, like soap, deplete skin’s beneficial lipids.

Antiseptic Hand Wash

Antiseptic hand washes are synthetic detergents or soaps with additional antimicrobial ingredients. Antimicrobials damage viral membranes, which deactivates viruses. Bleach, alcohol, and povidone iodine are effective against bacteria and viruses.

Disinfectant Wipes

Disinfectant wipes usually contain alcohol or other antimicrobial ingredients. Pay close attention to labels when purchasing wipes. Hand wipes and baby wipes are designed for use on skin, while disinfectant wipes are formulated to disinfect surfaces.

Harsh chemicals in disinfectant wipes aren’t safe for skin and may cause severe irritation. Alcohols dissolve lipids, and several types of antimicrobial ingredients can denature proteins, so these wipes present a combined threat to protective components of our skin.

Treat and Prevent Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis develops when skin experiences sensitization to an allergen. Initial exposure to the allergen may not trigger a reaction, but repeated exposure results in inflammation and other dermatitis symptoms. People can develop allergies to many components of hand hygiene products, such as preservatives, surfactants, and antimicrobial substances. Other additives, including perfumes, moisturizing agents, and dyes, are also potential allergens. A dermatology expert can help you.

Many products contain multiple ingredients, so it can be difficult to pinpoint the allergen. People experiencing dermatitis may switch products, but the alternative product might contain the same allergen. Visit your local dermatology clinic to identify the causative substance so you can avoid products with that ingredient in the future.

It isn’t uncommon to develop sensitization to more than one component in hygiene formulations, which can make it difficult to find acceptable products. Your dermatologist can help you find appropriate cleaners and sanitizers.

Irritant contact dermatitis, ICD, isn’t an allergic reaction. Our skin possesses an ‘acid mantle’ to act as a buffer against harsh substances that disrupt protective lipids and proteins. ICD occurs when protective elements in our skin deteriorate. Examples of potentially harmful substances and conditions include alkaline soaps or detergents, hot water, extremely cold water, constant glove use, low humidity, and friction.

Moisturizers can prevent and treat contact dermatitis to some extent. General categories of moisturizers include ointments, lotions, creams, and gels. Many hand hygiene products contain moisturizing ingredients, such as beeswax, petrolatum, glycerin, or emollients. Emollients are fats and oils to replenish lipids in skin. Some moisturizing products contain protein rejuvenators, such as keratin and collagen, to replenish protein as well.

Make an appointment at Compassion Dermatology in the Alliance Keller area if you’re experiencing symptoms of dermatitis. Caring and knowledgeable professionals can help you figure out the underlying cause and develop an effective treatment and prevention plan.


Should I See A Dermatologist For Poison Ivy? | Southlake, TX

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We’ve all heard of poison ivy. Many people have an allergic reaction, also known as contact dermatitis, after contact with poison ivy plants. Poison sumac and poison oak cause the same reaction. The resin of all three plants contains an oily substance called urushiol, which is responsible for allergic reactions. Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are the most common cause of allergic reactions in the United States. The American Academy of Dermatology states that up to 50 million urushiol-induced allergic reactions occur every year.

Most dermatologists are very familiar with urushiol reactions because the causative plants grow all over the country, including Southlake, TX. Poison oak is more common than poison ivy in the western and southern parts of the country, but this is a relative comparison. There is no shortage of poison ivy in Texas. The roots, stems, and leaves of these plants contain resin, commonly known as sap, which means contact with any part can trigger a reaction. Sap is colorless or pale yellow with an oily, and very sticky, consistency.

Exposure and Allergic Reaction

Urushiol is present on the surface of intact plants, but much more of the oil is released when plants are crushed or damaged. Damaged plants may have black spots because urushiol turns black after exposure to air. Never burn poison ivy, poison oak, or sumac. Airborne urushiol particles from burning plants create an inhalation risk. A potentially life-threatening allergic reaction can occur in the trachea or lungs.

An allergic reaction to urushiol doesn’t usually result in rash immediately. Reactions generally occur within 12-21 days after the first exposure, but the rash appears only 12-72 hours after repeated exposures. This type of allergy is described as delayed-type hypersensitivity.

Allergic reactions vary between individuals, depending on sensitivity and strength of immune responses. Approximately 15% to 30% of people are not allergic to urushiol, so they don’t develop a rash or any other symptoms after exposure. On the other hand, approximately 25% of the population can experience a severe allergic reaction.

Common signs and symptoms of a reaction to urushiol include:

  • Intense itching
  • rash
  • red, swollen lines on the skin with streaks or patches
  • blisters
  • hives
  • small, fluid-filled red bumps
  • swelling

No one can ‘catch’ a rash or any other symptoms of an allergic reaction from another person. It may seem like the rash can spread to other parts of the body, but this is a misleading impression. Urushiol may penetrate thick or calloused skin at a slower rate, so a rash develops a little later. Talk to your dermatologist if new rashes appear and you aren’t sure of the source.

The most likely cause of new rashes on different parts of the body is fresh contact with urushiol oil that is still present somewhere. The sticky oil is easily transferred from one surface to another. Plant resin sticks to skin, clothing, tools, and even animal fur. Urushiol is an impressive, if extremely irritating, substance. It can stay active for over a year.

Prevention

There is no cure for a rash caused by poison ivy. Prevention is the best treatment. Anyone that spends a lot of time outdoors in Southlake, TX, should learn to identify potentially toxic plants. ‘Outdoors’ doesn’t just refer to camping or hiking. Poison ivy and poison oak can grow in an average backyard. Poison sumac could grow in a person’s yard, but trees are more noticeable than plants that blend into undergrowth or bushes. All three plants produce resin all year round, whether leaves are present or not.

Sometimes a rash can be prevented after contact with poison ivy. Remove oils from your skin immediately after contact with the plant. Ordinary soap is fine for washing exposed skin, but be careful with bar soaps.

Rinse your skin with lukewarm water before using a soap bar so the oil won’t stick to the bar and spread to other parts of your body. Use caution with wash cloths, sponges and loofahs that may pick up oil from your skin. Wash these items thoroughly or dispose of them immediately after bathing to make sure the oil won’t spread.

Alcohol wipes work when you don’t have immediate access to a shower or soap and water. Wash all exposed areas three times to make sure the sticky resin is gone. Even a tiny amount of urushiol may trigger a reaction.

Dermatologists recommend washing clothes, shoes and anything else you were wearing or carrying after contact with poison ivy. The same advice applies to poison oak or poison sumac. Regular laundry detergent removes urushiol from most clothing, but it isn’t effective for suede or leather. Bleach deactivates the oil on clothing and most surfaces.

Treatment Options

Most cases of poison ivy reactions don’t require a visit to a dermatologist. Leave blisters intact to heal on their own, even if they begin oozing or form a crust. Breaking blisters creates a very inviting entry point for bacteria that cause infection.

Unmedicated hand lotion, ice, and cold water aren’t effective against an allergic rash, but cooling the rash and surrounding skin might reduce inflammation and swelling. Most reactions heal within 10 to 14 days.

You can always visit a dermatologist for help. Burning and itching aren’t pleasant, and a dermatologist can help you manage symptoms. Dermatologists may recommend over-the-counter creams and baking soda or oatmeal baths. Other options include oral medications to counteract severe itching and steroid creams or injections to relieving itching, swelling, and inflammation.

Severe allergic reactions or an accompanying fever above 100 degrees F do require medical help. Always consult a dermatologist if bumps or blisters contain white, yellow or thick fluid that indicate infection. Untreated infected rashes can leave scars and may cause a systemic infection.

Contact Compassion Dermatology if you have a urushiol-induced rash. Sometimes we can brush up against a toxic plant or encounter sticky resin without realizing it. A dermatologist can help if you aren’t sure what caused a rash.


5 Dermatologist Tips To Follow When Dealing With Acne | Keller, TX

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Acne is perhaps one of the most common skin conditions in America, affecting at least 50 million people every year. Knowing how to treat and deal with your skin may not necessarily be easy. There are different types of ingredients that you should look for and different types of tips that you should follow.

We’ll look at 5 of the most common tips recommended by dermatologists below. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to flawless, beautiful skin.

#1. Allow Any Acne Treatment 4 Weeks to Work

First and foremost, make sure that you give your acne treatment enough time to work. Most dermatologists recommend giving the treatment at least four weeks to work before calling it quits are switching to a new routine. Your skin needs enough time to get used to the new ingredients that are within the treatment. If you switch from one treatment to another too quickly or use too many products at a time, you could potentially irritate your skin, causing your acne to worsen.

After about four weeks, you should start to see some improvements. If you think that the treatment is not working quickly enough for you, don’t worry at all. This is merely the start. The full effects of the acne treatment will usually kick in right after according to most professionals.

#2. Be Gentle with Your Skin

Many people with acne feel tempted to scrub at their skin. They may wash their skin way too aggressively. When dealing with acne, the key is to be as gentle as possible. On the same note, avoid over exfoliating your skin. Make sure that you choose exfoliating products that aren’t too aggressive, as aggressive exfoliating products can irritate the skin and cause it to become inflamed.

In fact, exfoliating a pimple can cause healthy skin cells to be removed. It can also increase the risk of scarring! At which point, you’ll have a different type of skin problem on your hand that might require a lot more treatment to fix.

If you’re not sure which type of exfoliating products to use, speak to a dermatologist for a recommendation. A dermatologist in Keller, TX can also recommend different types of products to try. Sometimes, it’s good to pair your skin care with your cleansing products. Your dermatologist can also take a look at the ingredients list to make sure that there aren’t any ingredients that might be too aggressive for your skin type.

#3. Avoid Touching Your Face

One of the most common tips that dermatologists give is to avoid touching your skin when you have acne. Your spans contain a lot of oils and dirt. If they aren’t clean, they can bring a lot of oils and dirt to your skin, which can cause further skin problems. It could also cause your acne problems to worsen significantly.

You also want to avoid squeezing out your pimples. When you try to squeeze your pimples, the dirt and oil on your fingers can cause the acne to spread. It can also cause further infections. Popping pimples can lead to scarring as well, and you definitely want to avoid that as the scars usually are much longer-lasting than the pimples themselves.

If you must touch your face, make sure that you wash your hands with warm water and soap first. Make sure that there aren’t any oils or dirt on your fingers.

#4. Take Time to Relax and Get More Sleep

Insufficient sleep can have a huge effect on your overall well-being. In particular, insufficient sleep can wreak havoc on your skin. The same can be said for stress. Stress can be equally as problematic for your skin as insufficient sleep.

Another common tip for most dermatologists is to get enough sleep and to reduce the amount of stress that you have in your life. This could be anything from taking on less work, getting a massage, practicing meditation, mindfulness and yoga and trying out art therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It really depends on what works for you. If you’re not sure what works for you, play around and try different things.

Try to go to sleep at the same time every night. Turn off the screens at least an hour before you go to bed and even drink some chamomile tea to relax. Your goal is to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If you’re able to reduce your stress levels and get more sleep, you might see an incredible change in your skin’s overall condition.

#5. Clean Your Hats and Headbands

A common culprit of forehead acne is dirty hats and headbands. If your wardrobe consists of many hats and headbands, you’re going to want to take a look at how clean they are. If you are someone who wears hats and headbands for hours and hours in your day, you may be trapping sweat, dirt and oils onto your forehead. These contaminants can clog your pores and cause you to get acne.

If you are experiencing a lot of forehead acne, consider taking off your hats and headbands more regularly. Give your skin a break and a chance to breathe. Also, make sure that you wash these accessories regularly with either dish soap, hand soap or a laundry machine.

Speak with a Dermatologist to Get a Personalized Skincare Routine

If you’re having any problems with your skin, one of the first things that you should do is to make an appointment with a dermatologist in Keller, TX. A professional can access your skin type to determine the underlying causes behind your problems. They can help you find a solution that works for you.

If you’re interested in seeing a professional, consider giving Compassion Dermatology a call at 817-380-5911. We offer a wide range of services, from complete skin evaluations to medical and surgical procedures. We can help you deal with all types of skin problems.