Dermatologist and the Connection Between Dermatology and Autoimmune Illness | Southlake, TX

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Dermatologists are not always the first medical professionals that come to mind when we think of autoimmune diseases. Perhaps that line of thinking should be altered. They have a very important role in diagnosing autoimmune illnesses, and they’re often the first medical professionals to notice potential warning signs.

What Are Autoimmune Illnesses?

Many autoimmune illnesses affect the skin, and the skin is frequently the first organ to show symptoms. Approximately 5% of the population is affected by an autoimmune illness. These illnesses are more common in women, and people with a family history are at higher risk of developing an autoimmune illness themselves.

Diseases are characterized as ‘autoimmune’ when they are caused by the immune responses that should protect our bodies from illness and heal injuries. These immune responses overreact and target healthy skin, connective tissues, and organs.

Autoimmune Skin Disorders

Dermatologists in Southlake, TX, and the rest of the nation, are often the first doctors to identify and manage individual cases of autoimmune skin disorders including, dermatitis herpetiformis, pemphigoid, pemphigus, and vasculitis.

Autoimmune diseases affecting connective tissue include lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, and scleroderma. Symptoms present in different ways for each person. Common symptoms include rashes, sensitivity to sunlight, sores around the mouth, hair loss, and changes in the nails.

Sometimes people with these illnesses only develop symptoms affecting the skin, while others have symptoms affecting internal organs as well. Skin changes almost always occur first.

Dermatologists perform comprehensive skin examinations to find early signs and symptoms of autoimmune connective tissue diseases. Laboratory tests and skin biopsies help confirm diagnosis and find signs of problems with internal organs.

Rheumatoid diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also affect connective tissue. A common blood test detects an autoantibody called the rheumatoid factor. This test is very important because a tentative correlation exists between levels of the rheumatoid factor in blood and severity of the condition. A positive test provides a warning of potential systemic involvement or complications.

Autoimmune Blistering Diseases

Autoimmune blistering skin diseases occur when the immune system attacks proteins in the skin that hold layers of skin together. Painful blisters form on the skin and mucous membranes when those proteins are damaged or depleted. A dermatologist can usually differentiate between blisters caused by burns or injuries and blisters signifying autoimmune disease in a relatively short time.

Autoimmune blisters occur over larger areas of the body and heal much more slowly than blisters resulting from burns and injuries. Both types may cause scarring, but scarring is more extensive with autoimmune blisters.

Autoimmune blistering diseases occur in men and women equally and usually appear after age 50, although they can occur in people of all ages.

Autoimmune blistering skin diseases include pemphigus, pemphigoid, IgA-mediated bullous dermatoses, and epidermolysis bullosa acquista. These diseases often present with very similar symptoms, but there are some differences a dermatologist recognizes.

Symptoms occur on different areas of the body and manifest in different ways according to each disorder. Pemphigus causes erosion and sores in the mouth, throat, nose, eyes, scalp, or genitals. Pemphigoid is an umbrella term for several disorders that cause fluid-filled blisters, erosions, and sores on the skin and mucous membranes.

IgA-mediated bullous dermatoses also includes a group of disorders that causes blisters on the skin and mucous membranes. Epidermolysis bullosa acquista causes blisters too, but skin also becomes noticeably more fragile and loses elasticity.

Other symptoms of these illnesses include mouth pain, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, bleeding in the digestive tract, and problems with vision. Treatment is a combination of corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory medications, and immuno-suppressing drugs.

Dermatologists diagnose blistering autoimmune diseases with a complete evaluation. It begins with a physical exam, review of personal and family medical history, and a discussion of symptoms.

Several diagnostic tests are used to support, confirm, or dismiss a diagnosis. Blood draws generally check for disease- specific autoantibodies. In the case of blistering diseases, the tests look for immune proteins in the skin or proteins that attack the skin.

A dermatologist performs a skin biopsy by removing a small sample of affected skin and examining it under a microscope. Direct immunofluorescence is performed on a small sample of unaffected healthy skin to identify a person’s normal immune proteins. Determining the healthy state of a person’s skin helps understand disease progression.

Treatment

Medical teams treating autoimmune illnesses often include a dermatologist, several doctors in other fields, and physical or occupational therapists. A team of professionals in different fields is valuable because these illnesses can cause symptoms affecting many different parts of the body.

Medications are used to manage symptoms and treat the underlying causes. Doctors monitor symptoms, medication side effects, and systemic manifestations to determine the most effective combination of medication and interventions.

It is important to note that most autoimmune disorders are chronic conditions. Remission can last anywhere from days to years, but autoimmune disorders can not actually be cured through medical science yet.

Topical ointments, creams, and lotions are common treatments. Some dermatologists recommend light therapy to relieve rashes and itching. Laser treatment is a fairly new procedure. They uses a highly-targeted medical laser to address affected areas on the skin.

Vitamins are a staple of treatment regimes because they help the body fight the underlying autoimmune condition. Extreme cases of scleroderma may be treated with surgical amputation or transplants.

The causes of autoimmune blistering diseases are not well understood and usually have a genetic component, but certain factors can cause outbreaks and worsen symptoms. Common triggers include specific foods, medications for high blood pressure or diabetes, antibiotics, and exposure to ultraviolet light.

The field of dermatology is much, much more than cosmetic procedures. It is a vital component of the complex health care infrastructure that helps us live healthy, happy lives. Make sure to schedule an appointment with Compassion Dermatology in Southlake, TX, even if you feel fine. Early diagnosis is beneficial and contributes to positive treatment outcomes for any autoimmune disorder, and most medical conditions in general.


What Is Acne and How To Treat It? Dermatology Answers | Alliance Keller Area

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Acne is one of those things you may have been dealing with since your youth and may or may not have gone away. Maybe you need some dermatology help with it or just want to know more about acne so you’ll be more educated to help yourself in the future. Acne isn’t something that should be considered a youth only problem or a face only problem. It can cause bigger issues for those who suffer from it.

What Causes Acne?

Acne can be caused by a variety of issues, and based on that can be difficult to pinpoint. The American Academy of Dermatology states that it is actually the most common skin condition Americans face but it is not considered life threatening. Acne forms when your pores are blocked by oils, bacteria, dirt, or dead skin. It’s not something that happens necessarily because the person affected by it isn’t clean, but clogged pores are the basis of the issue.

What Are the Symptoms of Acne?

The most obvious one is a series of pimples or zits on a section of skin. It’s important to remember that acne is considered to be the series or repetitive instance in the same locations on a person’s body. Acne can also sometimes be painful, especially when it’s severe as the pores and nerve endings near them swell closer together. Acne is not considered life-threatening but it can affect mental health. After it clears up there is a chance of scarring that will require excess treatment.

What Types of Pimples Contribute to Acne?

Most dermatology experts will explain to you the difference between these but you may only know acne as blackheads and whiteheads. They are both the same type of pimple called comedones. The color is based on whether they are exposed to oxygen on the surface of your skin. If they are black then they are open at the surface, if they are white they are closed at the surface. Another type of skin lesions associated with acne include pustules, which are small and red filled with pus. More still are papules which are small, raised, red bumps that can include infecting the deeper hair follicles as well as pores. Nodules are solid lumps that are generally associated with pain. Finally cysts are large lumps containing pus and are generally painful.

Where Does Acne Form?

While a general answer to this can be “anywhere on the body” the most common locations are where more active hair follicles and oil glands are. These areas of the body can include your forehead, face, chest, shoulders, and upper back. These regions are the most susceptible to acne because there are higher concentrations of oil glands than the rest of the body. While these may not be the only places acne can appear your dermatology expert can guide you in the right direction to ensure it does not spread or is not able to spread to other parts of your body.

Who Can Officially Diagnose Acne?

Generally a dermatology expert can give you an official diagnosis and treatment plan. Consult with your doctor in the Alliance Keller area and see if going to a dermatologist is the best course of action for you.

What Treatments May Be Recommended?

First off your dermatology experts may give you specific steps of self care as a first step. This is the easiest way to see if it is a light issue or if more may need to be done. From that they may go over other options in their arsenal like medication. Some common medication compounds include benzoyl peroxide which dries out pores and is an anti-bacterial, sulfur compounds which can help dry the surface of the skin, resorcinol which is used to remove dead skin cells, and salicylic acid which help keep pores clean.

These compounds can be found in many varieties of treatments. Your dermatology expert may recommend different ones based on their usage and your severity. For example oral and topical antibiotics to reduce inflammation are sometimes used in short term trials. You don’t want to be on antibiotics for too long however as you may have a decreased ability to fight infections later on. Topical creams are some of the most common ways that are used to treat acne and may require a prescription from your dermatologist. These generally work for a mass amount of cases and are where most treatments end.

For special cases other medications or treatments may be selected. If you’re a female with acne based on hormonal imbalances you may be given a hormone regulator to decrease skin oil production or be put on birth control to regulate the hormones. More extreme treatments for every person with acne may include photodynamic therapy that uses lasers to reduce bacteria and oil. Chemical peels can also be used, these are generally applied by your dermatologist and remove the top layers of your skin to clear up dead skin cells. Another process is dermabrasion which is a fast spinning, rotating brush used to remove layers of your skin.

What Does Finishing Treatment Look Like?

Most people see success when following a skin clearing plan as prescribed by their dermatologist. It may be done in as little as six weeks. If the problems you have persist or come back after they are cleared you may be prescribed a different regiment or offered an at-home kit that will keep you normal. If your acne was severe enough your dermatologist may present you with options that will help reduce the visibility of acne scarring and make sure your skin pigmentation does not vary because of it.

These items can all be discussed with your dermatology experts at Compassion Dermatology in Southlake, TX. They cover the Alliance Keller area and will answer your questions about your specific dermatologic needs. Visit them at Compassion Dermatology to learn more and get in contact with their Dr. Holly DeBuys, and her staff.


The Best Dermatology Procedures From Your Local Dermatologist | Keller, TX

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If you have ever wondered what a dermatologist can do for you we are here to answer that today. There are many options available to you and it can depend on the area and the dermatologist. Thankfully the Compassion Dermatology Center helps those in Keller, TX with that. These options are more than just getting a face mask or buying a cream from the counter. Seeing a quality dermatologist means you will get many options to fit your needs and budget.

Starting with the basics everyone should get an evaluation. These evaluations are generally literally from head to toe and look over things like moles, changes in skin pigment, talk about aesthetic issues you may have with questions about, and even check your hair and nails. Remember that you won’t know for sure what they can help with until you complete your evaluation.

The basic care for cosmetic services is generally what dermatologists are known for by the public. These items are your creams, serums, masks, or other topical products that you can use yourself or have applied on site. Some other options available include things like targeted botox injections or minor outpatient surgery. This may include blu light treatment to help kill acne bacteria. That procedure is a gradual one that takes about fifteen minutes at a time for a set of appointments to help clear your skin.

If you’re visiting your dermatologist for a known medical issue with your skin surgical procedures should be provided by the facility. They can help with identified cancerous and precancerous skin problems, melanoma, jaundice, or moles that have turned dysplastic, meaning there is abnormal growth. Your doctor should have consulted with your dermatologist about what they believe needs to be done and they can work together to get a correct plan for you.

Other procedures done at the office of your dermatologist may include things like microneedling with a look at skin rejuvenation. This process is used to treat the signs of aging and improve your skin appearance. This essentially triggers what they call “micro injuries” that stimulate your body’s injury response leading to new growth of skin in those areas. This procedure is a good step if you are unsure about outright botox or cosmetic surgery as this can look more natural with less medication or side effects. This isn’t to say those items are out of the question but this less intensive step may do enough so you don’t have to take that next step.

Another microneedle procedure they may use is an injection of platelet rich plasma, or PRP. Taking the next step here can accelerate the natural injury response mentioned previously with the addition of plasma from your own body. To get the platelet rich plasma they generally will take a blood sample and run it through a centrifuge to remove the red blood cells. This separation leaves you with the PRP that will be put back into your micro injections. Using platelet rich plasma is a more safe option compared to plastic surgery or outside drugs because it’s your own blood being reworked. If you don’t want to go straight to botox this is a great stepping stone to see how effective your body’s natural systems are still working for you.

Another use of PRP is for hair loss. Most people who start going bald or notice thinning hair may not think that their dermatologist can take care of their problem. By injecting the scalp with those platelet rich plasmas your hair follicles get a jump start and have been shown to improve hair health. While this is a relatively new procedure for the industry it shows a lot of promise and going forward could be one of the go to hair loss treatments in the medical world. Why would you pay for implants if you could just use your own hair.

A program that your dermatologist can use to help remove fat in your abdomen is something called SculpSure. What it does is use laser treatment on the sides of your abdomen to help remove fat in your stomach area permanently. This is actually a procedure that has been cleared by the FDA and is non-invasive. It takes less than half an hour to complete a SculpSure procedure and the results can last a lifetime. Check with your doctor and see who provides this service.

Another procedure that is a very effective option at improving your skin health is something called a HydraFacial. The HydraFacial MD® Treatment can work on many common problems that may be affecting you including your skin texture including oily skin. It can also work on correcting hyper pigmentation issues to give yourself a more even skin tone. It is also able to assist in correcting issues with the signs of aging including improving the firmness and elasticity of your skin. This procedure is a process that focuses on cosmetic issues but also has actual medical uses.

A skin cooling process called Icon is something that can fix many aesthetic issues you and your doctor may have discussed and works with the melanin in your skin. Using the Skintel® Melanin Reader it targets a small section of your skin near where the treatment is going to be applied and gives the data to your doctor to input so the Icon system can do it’s work. When those results come back the cooling system of the Icon Aesthetic System can treat issues such as acne scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, blood vessel visibility, surgery scars, and actually be used to permanently reduce unwanted hair on your body.

Getting a dermatologist in Keller, TX shouldn’t be hard. Thankfully the friendly staff at Compassion Dermatology are here for you. Located in nearby Southlake Doctor DeBuys and her staff do their best to keep you comfortable and on task to ensure your plan best fits you. Visit them at Compassion Dermatology to see what they offer and what is available.


Are You Living with an Undiagnosed Skin Condition? | Insight from Your Trusted Fort Worth, TX Dermatologist

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Millions of Americans experience symptoms of a skin disease every year, from acne to hair loss to skin cancer. The most prevalent of these issues affect up to 80 million people annually, yet only about a third of skin conditions are evaluated by a licensed dermatologist. The remaining percentage could be putting their skin and overall health at risk if they don’t seek proper diagnosis and treatment.

Your skin is an organ, and your body’s first line of defense against infection and disease. When its well-being is impaired, your immune system is likewise compromised. A dermatologist can help you identify benign and malignant skin disorders, as well as external manifestations of internal disease. Don’t neglect that itchy patch on your eyelid or ignore the prickly heat sensation in your hands. You could be suffering from one of the most common skin disorders without even realizing it.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is one of the most frequently experienced skin issues in the United States, especially in urban areas like Fort Worth, TX. More commonly known as a severe form of eczema, AD causes dry and scaly skin, severe itching, rashes or cracks on the face and behind the ears, and red or grayish-brown patches of skin on the arms, legs, torso or neck. Excessive scratching causes blisters to weep, and the skin becomes thick and leathery over time. Other forms of eczema might resemble AD. Visiting a licensed dermatologist can eliminate guesswork with a proper diagnosis.

Symptoms of AD can manifest at any time, but will most likely develop in infancy as red patches of skin on the face and scalp. Your chances of developing AD are even higher if at least one of your parents suffers from eczema, asthma or hay fever. Since there is no cure for this chronic disease, proper skin care and regular check-ups are essential to preventing discomfort and possible infection.

Acne

The most prevalent skin condition in the U.S. is not exclusive to any age group or skin type. Typically associated with puberty and early adulthood, acne can develop in children as young as nine, and well into your 30s and 40s. Estimates suggest that 80 percent of all Americans experience acne. Visiting a doctor early on is your first step toward healthy and great-looking skin. Home remedies and over-the-counter solutions may temporarily correct your complexion, but persistent acne begins inside the body.

Hormones, genetics, prescription medications and even stress can cause unsightly breakouts on your face, chest, upper back or shoulders. A primary care physician can prescribe antibiotics or medicated lotions, but there are no guarantees that your acne will not worsen. A dermatologist will evaluate the severity of your condition and propose specialized therapies right away. They can also determine if an underlying disease is to blame for sudden onsets of severe acne in adults.

Hair Loss

Genetics is the number one culprit in pattern baldness for 80 million American men and women. While this hereditary condition is not preventable, there are surgical techniques and treatments available at your local Fort Worth, TXdermatologist to slow the process and camouflage its effects. There could be other underlying reasons for your unexplained hair loss, however, such as hormonal changes, medications and excessive stress.

A dermatologist will hone in on the cause of your hair loss by reviewing your medical history, conducting a physical examination and possibly taking a scalp biopsy or blood sample. Potential disorders of the hair shaft could also become apparent during a light microscopy session. If a condition like alopecia areata is to blame, your dermatologist can recommend a variety of specialized treatments.

Psoriasis

Characterized by red patches of skin covered in dry, silvery scales, psoriasis affects more than seven million Americans. The skin becomes sore and itches, often cracking and bleeding during severe flare-ups. Your family doctor can diagnose and prescribe medication for psoriasis, but they may not have access to the same alternative treatments that a dermatologist provides. Procedures like phototherapy are painless with minor adverse effects, and biologics are at the forefront of contemporary psoriasis treatment.

Other types of psoriasis affect the body differently, making a diagnosis even more necessary. Psoriatic arthritis occurs when swollen and painful joints accompany the inflamed, scaly skin. In some cases, aching joints are the first or only indication of the disorder. Nail psoriasis causes abnormal growth in the fingernails and toenails, from discoloration to pitting, and even separation from the nail bed. Pustular psoriasis affects the hands and feet. In addition to pus-filled blisters, flare-ups can cause fever, chills and diarrhea. You may not be aware that psoriasis is to blame for your symptoms, but a dermatologist can tell you for sure.

Skin Cancer 

Skin cancer treatments are the most commonly administered dermatologic procedures. Cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells and usually occurs on areas of the body exposed to sun, although it can develop in areas not exposed to UV rays. Early detection is the key to beating this disease, so schedule a consultation if you spot any red flags.

The most common forms of skin cancer manifest themselves as raised lesions or nodules, which range from waxy to scaly or crusty in texture. A bump may be firm and red, flesh-colored, or flat and brown with uneven borders that change shape. If a lesion bleeds, itches, burns, or changes in appearance in any way, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with your local Fort Worth, TX, dermatologist.

Not all skin conditions are created equally, nor are the numerous products and remedies available on the market. Skin care brands will try to sell you their idea of healthy and beautiful skin, but in the end, you have the responsibility to choose what’s best for you. The team at Compassion Dermatology in Fort Worth, TX, is committed to enhancing your health along with your beauty and providing a comfortable healing experience.


How Compassion Dermatology Can Change Your Life | Alliance Keller Area

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Have you ever stopped to think about how one action can significantly impact your life for the better? If you’ve been experiencing embarrassment and shame concerning the condition of your skin, it’s time to do something about it. With the help of Compassion Dermatology, you can start to develop healthier habits concerning the treatment of your face and body.

As part of your self-care routine, you should locate a dermatologist practice in the Alliance Keller area to visit regularly. That way, your skin is as healthy as the rest of your body. Finding a professional who can address your concerns thoroughly is ideal because it allows you to heal faster.

Below, you’ll find many reasons to see a dermatologist. Each is compelling enough to get you to set up an appointment today. If you needed an extra push to visit a skin doctor, know that many people feel as apprehensive as you do when they first visit a professional. Once you get past your first appointment, however, you’ll realize that you should have visited a dermatology office sooner.

Change Your Life by Seeing a Dermatologist Regularly

A dermatologist can be a great help when you’re experiencing a skin condition that you have yet to diagnose. If you’ve been to your primary care physician in the Alliance Keller area and they recommended you to see a specialist that deals with dermatology, it’s because the skin doctor possesses greater knowledge about the body’s biggest organ than they do.

Here are some of the ways that Compassion Dermatology can change your life:

  • By properly diagnosing the skin condition that you’re experiencing. Knowing what your issue is helps you come up with a course of action that best addresses your needs. Rather than spend time looking up your symptoms online, you’re able to have a dermatologist diagnose your condition properly after doing a thorough exam and running tests. There will be no more guessing involved. Instead, you’ll know what to tell other people about your skin when they ask. You’ll be able to take a more proactive approach to caring for yourself when you know what to call the skin problem that you’ve been experiencing.
  • By offering treatment options that meet your unique needs. Once you receive a diagnosis for your skin condition, it’s time to come up with ways to treat it. In some cases, there are many options to choose from. Selecting the one that is the easiest for you to implement is ideal. It accounts for your unique needs. That way, you see the most satisfying results from the dermatology treatment that you sought. Since everyone’s skin and lifestyle differ, having a unique plan for treating yours is imperative.
  • By giving you greater self-confidence with your clearer skin. Feeling good about yourself is imperative. When your skin looks and feels great, you will, too. Your self-confidence soars when you have a chance to heal. The dermatology clinic that you go to knows that a result of a treatment is an increase in happiness with one’s self. If you’ve been hiding away because of a skin condition, don’t worry. You’ll likely feel much better about how you look once you’ve seen a Compassion Dermatology professional.
  • By ruling out skin diseases through testing. A skin condition can indicate a far bigger problem. The dermatologist that you work with will rule out diseases of the skin through tests. They will make sure that the moles that you have on your body aren’t cancerous. The professional takes the time to see if there are other tests you need to rule out skin diseases that could potentially harm your health. Dermatology services are a real asset because of the valuable insight they provide to you when battling skin issues.

There are many benefits to visiting a dermatologist in the Alliance Keller area regularly. Not only will it help you start taking action in treating your skin better, but it also enables you to eliminate some of the habits that contribute to your skin condition. You’ll feel a boost in self-confidence because you’ll look and feel the way that you always hoped you would, free from blemishes and painful irritation.

Having a professional that you can trust with your skin is ideal. It’s something that many people don’t think of doing until they’re in absolute need of a dermatologist’s assistance. By going to Compassion Dermatology regularly, you can avoid many of the severe skin conditions that people develop due to allergies, environmental factors, diet, and the medications they take.

Developing the Right Skincare Routine to Meet Your Needs

A regular skincare routine can help you take better care of your skin regularly. It can minimize the appearance of acne and blemishes by clearing them up. Drinking lots of water is essential, too, as it flushes out impurities naturally. Speaking to a professional about developing a routine is very important.

When you come to your appointments, you’ll have the opportunity to do so. You’ll be able to speak to the dermatologist about the different ways to integrate healthier habits into your routine. You’ll begin to see the benefits of doing so with each follow-up appointment you make with the clinic. Clearer, healthier skin awaits you at a clinic full of caring, compassionate professionals that want you to thrive.

Set Up an Appointment with Compassion Dermatology Today

A professional in the Alliance Keller area addresses your skin concerns. They get to the root of the problem so they can offer the best solutions available to meet your needs. When you visit Compassion Dermatology, you gain access to the best dermatologists in the area. You’ll be able to heal the skin condition that you’re experiencing in record time with their help.

Contact us today to experience greater relief from your issue. The number to reach us at is 817-380-5911. Set up an appointment so we can see your skin in person and come up with the best treatment option for you. You shouldn’t hurt or hide your body because of a rash or mole.


8 Skincare Dos and Don’ts | Insight from Your Trusted Fort Worth, TX Dermatologist

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The path to clear, smooth, healthy glowing skin begins and ends with following a few, simple dos and don’ts. For the best skin results, follow these steps from your Fort Worth, TXdermatologist.

Do Remove Makeup Daily

Yes—It’s been a long day, and the last thing on your mind is cleaning your face. However, the worst thing you can do to your skin is sleep with a thick layer of concealer, foundation, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush, lip liner, and lipstick still coating your face.

Your makeup picks up contaminants, such as the dirt and oil that your face encounters throughout your day. As these build up, they clog your skin’s pores, leading to acne outbreaks and blackheads. If removing your makeup nightly and still developing acne, contact your dermatologist for an exam.

Do Exfoliate Regularly 

Removing makeup and washing daily isn’t enough to keep your skin’s pores from clogging up with oil and dead skin cells. Weekly or twice-weekly physical or chemical exfoliation gives your face an extra cleansing and helps reduce acne and blackheads. It also improves your skin’s softness and glows. If you have sensitive skin or find it red and puffy following twice-weekly exfoliating, consider only doing it once per week and for further concerns, contact your Fort Worth, TXdermatologist.

Do Wash Twice Daily 

Get up in the morning and lightly wash away any oil or dirt accumulating from the night before. There’s no need to scrub or irritate your skin, use warm water and a cleanser, especially if you exfoliated the night before. At night, use a makeup remover and cream cleanser to clean away your long day, unclog pores, and prevent blackhead and acne outbreaks. Your dermatologist may be able to recommend the right face and body wash for your skin type.

Do Wear Sunscreen 

The sun is one of the biggest influences on our skin. While the warmth can feel great on the surface, too much can damage it and lead to greater consequences from exposure—skin cancer. The ultraviolet rays can penetrate cloud cover and even car, home, and office building windows. To prevent sun damage, always wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and reapply it every two to four hours when your outside.

Additionally, consider wearing a hat to protect your scalp from sunburns. For concerns about sun exposure and burns, including suspected sun allergies, contact your Fort Worth, TXdermatologist, and schedule the next available exam.

Don’t Skip the Moisturizers 

After a long day in the sun, exfoliating, or removing makeup at the end of the day, massage your face and body with a thick, creamy moisturizer to rehydrate your skin. Exposure to daily elements, certain activities such as swimming, and aging zap the moisture skin. A quality moisturizer, especially one with anti-aging and wrinkle care components, can help rejuvenate it. If you have questions or concerns about dry, red, and itchy skin, call your dermatology specialist today to arrange an appointment.

Don’t Pick or Pop Zits

Yes, Dr. Pimple Popper does this for a living. However, only a dermatologist has the training and knowledge to pop zits without leading to an even worse outbreak or causing scarring. Popping pimples will leave a scab and if you keep picking at that scab, it will leave behind scars. Additionally, if you do this with papules or pustules without whiteheads, it can make the skin in the area swell, turn red, and even hurt. You can also develop severe skin conditions, such as acne cysts.

If you’re lucky enough to avoid more serious skin lesions, popping zits can cause the area of your skin to have a darker pigment, requiring additional treatment or makeup to cover different skin tones. Instead, use over-the-counter acne treatments, including products that spot treat pimples. For problems with scarring or if you think you’ve developed acne cysts, contact your dermatology specialist for an immediate appointment.

Don’t Forget to Wash Your Pillowcases 

You may not think about it, but changing your sheets and pillowcases are essential to keep your skin clean, clear, and acne-free. For the best results, change the pillow covering every three to four days. Any leftover dirt and oil still on your face when you go to bed ends up on your pillowcase. For people with acne-prone skin, consider changing it daily.

The material and the detergent you use to wash it also count. Look for cotton pillowcases instead of synthetic materials because it’s more breathable and better for reducing acne outbreaks. If you have sensitive skin, stick to fragrance-free laundry detergent and line-dry them to avoid irritating your face. You can get more help with skin sensitivity issues from your local, dermatologist.

Don’t Skip Yearly Dermatology Exams

Your annual doctor’s reviews should extend to your dermatologist as well as your primary care provider. At the appointment, they will examine your skin from the scalp to the tips of your fingers and toes, looking for unusual spots and changes in moles and other places on your body. In addition to the head-to-toe review, they may use a dermatoscope to get a closer examination of moles and other areas of your skin.

Patients with a history of cancer or a family history of melanoma might undergo more extensive screenings of the lymphatic regions. Although some checks may seem intrusive, it’s important to understand that skin cancer can develop in areas not exposed to the sun regularly, such as the soles of the feet and in inside regions of the arms and legs.

Use these steps daily to reduce acne breakouts, dry, painful skin, and keep it soft and glowing. If you have further concerns about your skincare routine or new acne or skin conditions that form or won’t go away, contact Compassion Dermatology, your Fort Worth, TX dermatologist, for the next available appointment.


Choosing the Right Dermatologist for You | Keller, TX

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Exposure to sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer. This is relatively common knowledge, but skin is exposed to sunlight almost every day. People often forget sunscreen, and the sunny climate in Keller, TX encourages outdoor activities.

Small growths on the skin are a common occurrence, but they should not be ignored. Consult a dermatologist to make sure growths are not cancerous. Dermatologists may recommend removal of benign growths to prevent skin cancer in the future.

Blue Light Therapy

Photodynamic, or blue-light, therapy is a medical treatment involving a photosensitizing molecule activated by light exposure. Dermatologists use blue light therapy regularly, and it is also used in oncology, cosmetic surgery, oral medicine, and ophthalmology.

Dermatologists in Keller, TXuse photodynamic therapy, PDT, to remove actinic keratosis and other superficial skin lesions. The procedure reduces the risk of developing skin cancer in the future. PDT is not appropriate for people with light-sensitive medical conditions.

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis, or solar keratosis, are small, scaly bumps on the skin. Lesions occur on skin that is frequently exposed to sunlight, such as the face, ears, head, forearms, lips, and hands. The bumps range can be as
small as a pinhead or grow to one inch across. Dermatologists remove these lesions because approximately 10% of precancerous keratosis become a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

People that spend a lot of time outdoors have a higher risk of developing actinic keratosis. Certain physical characteristics are associated with increased risk, including fair skin, red or blond hair, and gray, blue, or green eyes. People with dark complexions are also susceptible, especially if they spend time outside without appropriate sunscreen or protective clothing.

Levulan and BLU-U

Levulan Kerastick is a type of topical solution used with a BLU-U Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Illuminator to perform photodynamic therapy. BLU-U does not emit UVA or UVB light. It works best for thin to moderately thick actinic kerosesis on the face and scalp.

The chemical solution applied to skin contains aminolevulinic acid. Photodynamic therapy, PDT, works because aminolevulinic acid reacts to the wavelength of blue light. Actinic keratosis weakens skin at lesion sites.

The weakened skin absorbs the chemical solution. Blue light hits aminolevulinic acid in the skin, and the reaction creates oxygen radicals that destroy cancerous or precancerous cells in the treated area.

PDT Procedure

Tell dermatologists in Keller, TX if you are taking any oral medications or medication applied to the scalp before treatment begins. Wash the treatment area and gently pat dry. Do not apply lotions or moisturizer before the procedure.

Dermatologists apply a light-sensitizing chemical solution to skin in the target area. The length of time between solution application and blue light exposure is called the incubation period. Patients sit in a darkened room during the incubation period, which is approximately an hour for most procedures. Treated skin is exposed to blue light for approximately 17 minutes.

Some people feel a prickling or burning sensation during treatment, but this usually fades within a minute after light exposure ends. Only 3% of people in PDT treatment studies chose to discontinue treatment due to discomfort.
Solar keratosis usually heal within a week after treatment.

Side Effects and Aftercare

Many people experience sensitivity to sunlight for a short time after skin is exposed to blue light. Bring a hat, umbrella, or other protective clothing or
accessories to the appointment to avoid sun exposure on the way home.

Shield skin from sunlight or limit time outside to avoid exposure to bright lights for 24 to 48 hours. Sunscreen may not be sufficient to protect skin from photosensitivity to visible light during this time.

Do not expose the treated lesions to sunlight or any bright lights for at least 40 hours after the chemical solution was applied. This includes household lights at close range. Sensitivity to light is only temporary and depends on the length of treatment. PDT does not cause permanent or ongoing light sensitivity.

The most common side effects of PDT include skin discoloration, crusts or scaling over the destroyed lesions, and a slight itching, stinging, or burning sensation. Redness, swelling, and scaling may occur in the treated area immediately after treatment. These side effects usually subside within a few days and resolve completely within 4 weeks.

Liquid Nitrogen and Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery is a traditional treatment that was first used over 100 years ago. Dermatologists use liquid nitrogen for cryosurgery to remove skin lesions such as precancerous growths, cancer, skin cancer, dysplastic moles, warts, and some skin cancers such as melanoma. Liquid nitrogen may be used to remove actinic keratosis as well.

Procedure and Side Effects

Cryosurgery works best on skin without thick hair cover. Liquid nitrogen is applied with a cotton-tipped dipstick or with spraying equipment. Both methods are fairly simple and effective for benign, premalignant, and malignant lesions.

Spray methods include timed spot freeze technique, the paintbrush method, and rotary or spiral patterns. Possible side effects, including bleeding, blister formation, headache, hair loss, or loss of skin pigmentation. These effects are usually very mild.

Cryosurgery vs PDT

Dermatologists perform cryosurgery and PDT as outpatient procedures without using injectable anesthesia. Cryosurgery has a very low risk of infection. Risk of infection is so low it is not listed as a possible side effect of PDT.

PDT only involves two steps and the procedure is completed within 24 hours. Patients experience very little downtime. There are no prescriptions to fill, and no need to remember a daily medication. Cryosurgery is often completed in 15 to 25 minutes. PDT requires more of a time investment, but it is still less than a day.

Blue light therapy is very flexible. People choose to have only a few lesions treated or treat several areas at once. The size of the treatment area is the most significant difference between cryosurgery and PDT.

Cryosurgery only treats a very small area with each application. It is usually targeted at only one growth at a time. PDT can be used over large areas. The dermatologists and professional staff at Compassion Dermatology in Keller, TX advise clients and help them choose the most appropriate procedure.


Laser-based Cosmetic Procedures | Insight from Your Trusted Southlake, TX Dermatology Specialist

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People often seek dermatology services for skin conditions or other health problems. Skin health is definitely important, but dermatology offers cosmetic services as well. Cosmetic procedures can provide a confidence boost and a lot of excitement.

Two laser-based cosmetic services available in Southlake, TX, include ICON and SculpSure. SculpSure is a noninvasive laser-based procedure for targeting and reducing fat. Icon Aesthetic System is a laser-based suite of noninvasive cosmetic treatments for skin.

Icon Aesthetic System

The Icon Aesthetic System includes many devices in a single machine. Lasers with different wavelengths target blood, water, and melanin. Icon is used for a variety of procedures in dermatology such as scar treatment, facial blood vessel and pigment clearance, leg vein clearance, skin resurfacing, permanent hair removal, and wrinkle or stretch mark reduction.

Skintel Reader and IPL

The Skintel reader in Icon systems is the only FDA-approved melanin reader used in dermatology. It guides treatment by determining skin’s melanin content. Intense Pulse Light, or IPL, is a component of Icon systems used for photorejuvenation therapy.

Photorejuvenation stimulates collagen production to reduce brown spots, redness, and broken blood vessels. It can be used on the neck, arms, chest, hands, and face. Increased collagen also tightens skin, shrinks pores, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

Most clients have five treatments with 3 to 4 weeks between sessions. Laser and IPL treatment sessions last approximately 20 minutes. No anesthetic is required.

Side Effects

Freckles and brown spots have a darker appearance for a short time after each IPL treatment. Side effects are mild and include skin discoloration, swelling, redness, and bruising. Blisters and scars occur in rare cases. Clients can reduce risk of side effects by avoiding sun exposure for 3 to 5 days before and after each treatment session.

SculpSure

SculpSure was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, in 2017 as noninvasive lipolysis. Lipolysis means “the breakdown of fats and other lipids by hydrolysis.” SculpSure body contouring in dermatology removes pockets of fat that can be difficult to lose through diet and exercise alone.

Invasive procedures such as liposuction and excision surgery, or ‘tummy tucks,’ used to be the only fat reduction procedures available in Southlake, TX. These surgical procedures pose a risk of complications such as blood clots, infection, or adverse reactions to anesthesia.

Noninvasive fat reduction options were limited to topical treatments until the mid-2000s. The results of topical treatments are not comparable to surgical procedures. SculpSure utilizes lasers to melt subcutaneous fat while leaving the skin intact. It is only the second noninvasive fat reduction procedure available in dermatology.

The most popular SculpSure contouring sites in dermatology are the stomach, love handles, inner or outer thighs, back, and the submental area. The submental area is underneath the chin and more commonly known as ‘double chin.’

What to Expect from the Procedure

Clients have a consultation with medical staff to discuss overall goals and determine treatment areas before the first SculpSure treatment session. Bring a list of current medications to the first appointment and tell the doctor about any medical conditions.

Some dermatologists advise clients to avoid blood thinners for a few days before the procedure, but this is different for everyone. SculpSure is not approved for use during pregnancy.

Clients rest in a comfortable, reclined position during treatment at a dermatology clinic. Medical staff mark the targeted treatment areas and apply a SculpSure device. The device is a hands-free heat laser belt containing four applicators.

Each applicator produces a 1060-nanometer diode laser that reaches temperatures between 107.6 and 116.6°F. The lasers heats up fat cells beneath the skin without harming other tissues. Heat is distributed in a feathering pattern so results appear natural.

The SculpSure device alternates heat and cooling effects to avoid burns and enhance comfort. Each treatment session lasts approximately 25 minutes. Clients can have up to four areas treated at once. Some people feel minor pinching or tingling during the procedure. No anesthesia is necessary, and SculpSure is an outpatient procedure at dermatology clinics.

The process triggered by the SculpSure laser is called apoptosis. Heat kills and shrinks fat cells by disrupting the cellular structure. The lymphatic system removes dead cells from the treated areas. Destroyed fat cells should be entirely gone within 12 weeks of the procedure. Repeated treatments to the same area can be done 6 to 12 weeks after the first treatment.

Side Effects and Aftercare

The most common side effects of SculpSure are soreness and stiffness or bruises over treated areas. Numbness or skin sensitivity may occur for a few days after the procedure. There is no recommended down time so clients can resume their normal daily activities immediately.

Many dermatologists recommend 5-minute massages of the treated areas twice a day for 3 weeks after the procedure. Massage encourages lymphatic drainage and reduces soreness and swelling.

Avoid exposure to direct sunlight during the week before the procedure and one week afterwards. Use sunscreen with high SPF during outdoor activities.

SculpSure is classified as a permanent treatment. Eliminated fat cells do not regenerate. Most people notice fat reduction within six weeks and full results are visible 12 weeks after treatment. Cynosure, the company that produced SculpSure, states that one treatment session causes a 24% reduction of fat in treated areas.

Maintaining Results of Cosmetic Procedures

SulptSure produces great results, but it is not a miracle cure. It does not destroy every fat cell in treated areas. The remaining fat cells increase in size when people gain weight after the procedure. Nutritious food, exercise, and a balanced lifestyle are necessary to maintain a healthy weight.

Protect skin from sun exposure and use high-quality skin care products to maintain results of Icon Aesthetic treatment. The helpful medical professionals at Compassion Dermatology in Southlake, TX, can recommend the best products for healthy skin.


Sunscreen Myths | Insight from Your Southlake, TX Dermatologist

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Over 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year in the U.S. One of the best protection against skin cancer is by covering up in the sun and regularly applying sunscreen. Unfortunately, there are dozens of sunscreens to choose from and everyone has a different idea about what’s good for your skin. Skip looking for answers in magazines and contact your dermatologist.

You Don’t Need Sunscreen on Cloudy Days

False. Whether the sun is visible or hiding behind clouds, the ultraviolet A and B rays (UVA and UVB) still penetrate the clouds and your skin. Yes, the clouds reduce some, but only about 25% and if you go outside without protection, 75% is still infiltrating your skin. The best answer, according to Southlake, TX, dermatologists is to never skip or skimp on the sunscreen when heading outside.

Additionally, make sure to add protective clothing, including sunglasses to protect your eyes and a hat to protect your scalp. Sun can penetrate your skin, which is why you’ve probably felt a little sore after a day in the sun without that hat. If you’re concerned about sun damage to your scalp, make an appointment with your local dermatologist.

Having a Tan Protects Your Skin Enough

False again. In fact, this one is scary because that tan is your body’s response to UVA and UVB exposure. The sun has already damaged your skin and by heading outside again without sunscreen, it’s going to increase the damage and your risk of developing skin cancer. Additionally, some people believe that heading to a tanning booth for a baseline tan can add another layer of protection. Instead of helping your skin, taking these steps can cause additional harm. If you have questions about tanning booths and their safety, speak with a dermatologist about the damage these devices can do to your skin.

Naturally Dark Skin Protects Your Skin from the Sun

The pigment of your skin doesn’t protect you from cancer. Whether you have a light or dark complexion, the only way to prevent skin damage and cancer is to cover it up, both with a quality sunscreen and with clothing.

You Don’t Need to Put Sunscreen Everywhere 

Many people believe that you can’t get skin cancer in areas that aren’t exposed to the sun. However, this is another false statement. If you notice an area of your body with an unusual rash, even if it’s somewhere you’d never think about spreading a layer of sunscreen, such as your armpits or the soles of your feet, contact your Southlake, TXdermatologist for the next available appointment. The most successful path to stopping cancer is a prompt diagnosis and beginning treatment as soon as possible.

Swimming or Water Protects You from the Sun

Actually, the opposite is true. UVB rays penetrate water, which means even if you’re up to your neck in a pool, lake, or the ocean, you’re still being exposed. Plus, water reflects sunlight, increasing your exposure to UV rays. Always apply sunscreen before and after getting out of the water, even if the brand is water-resistant. For questions about water-resistant sunscreens and how effective they are, speak with your Southlake, TXdermatologist.

You Can’t Tan with Sunscreen

Even if you apply sunscreen regularly throughout the day, the sun will still penetrate your skin and leave a tan. But, consider applying a fake, spray tan instead. It looks great, isn’t painful, is safe, and best of all, a spray tan won’t increase your chances of skin cancer (as long as you continue to wear a sunscreen with a high SPF.)

If you’re concerned about the safety of spray tanning products, make an appointment to speak with a Southlake, TXdermatologist. He or she can recommend products that are safe and help you find the right sunscreen and other skincare products to protect and care for your skin. For the best results, look for a sunscreen that includes all of these ingredients for full-spectrum protection.

All Sunscreens Are the Same

Just like the prices vary, the ingredients, effectiveness, and safety of the products are different. Always check the active ingredients before purchasing or applying sunscreen. For example, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and ecamsule filter out UVA and UVB rays while avobenzone blocks the sun. Additionally, these come in different SPFs, varying from 15 to over 50. For best results, always use the highest SPF.

You Don’t Need to Reapply Sunscreen

This is a big mistake people make that causes sunburns and can lead to skin cancer. Always reapply sunscreen every two to four hours and more often if you’re in the water or competing in sports or other activities that increase sweat and reduce the effectiveness of the sunscreen. No matter how high the SPF is, there are no sunscreens that last all day long. Also, always check the expiration date on your products. If it’s past the date, toss it and buy a new bottle. For questions about the safety of sun care and sunscreens, contact your dermatologist for a consultation.

If You Always Wear Sunscreen, You’ll Never Get Skin Cancer

Covering up and wearing sunscreen is the best way to prevent skin cancer. However, nothing is 100% full proof. However, you can reduce the chances of developing skin cancer by wearing sunglasses, loose protective clothing, and hats when you’re in the sun and staying out of the sun during peak hours. If you can avoid outdoor activities, even on cloudy days between 10 am and 1 pm, it’s possible to reduce exposure and your risk of skin cancer.

However, you also need to consider other factors, such as family history. If you are concerned about your chances of developing skin cancer, it’s important to speak to your primary care doctor and keep regular checkups with your dermatologist.

The best place to get help with sunscreen facts is at Compassion Dermatology, your Southlake, TX dermatologist. If you have any questions or concerns about skin care, schedule an appointment today.


Common Skin Problems Your Dermatologist Can Help | Keller, TX

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Healthy skin is not just a matter of personal appearance. The skin is a very important part of the immune system. It is the barrier protecting the rest of the body from pathogens, allergens, and pollution in the environment. Skincare routines need to remove dirt, toxins, sweat, oil, and everything else that accumulates on skin throughout the day in Southlake, TX.

The tricky part is removing all of the substances that build up on skin without harming delicate cells or disturbing the skin’s natural pH balance. An appointment with a dermatologist is a great way to establish a healthy skin care routine and identify any potential problems.

Unhealthy Skin Care Habits

Many factors affect skin health and increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Skin ages prematurely as the effects of poor skincare build up over time. Going to bed without removing cosmetics is a common habit that damages skin.

Cosmetics clog pores and irritate skin when they remain on the face for hours overnight. They also trap dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants against the skin. Mascara and other eye makeup can scratch the eyes during sleep and create a breeding ground for bacteria that cause eye infections. Remove makeup with a gentle cleanser before bed, even if a shower or bath is out of the question until morning.

Hot showers and baths irritate skin and exacerbate any existing skin conditions. The hot water removes natural oils that protect skin and keep it hydrated. Red skin is a clear indication that water is too hot. Skin develops red coloration in hot water because epidermal cells are damaged and inflamed.

Keep showers short, and make sure the water temperature is warm and comfortable instead of hot. Apply a high quality moisturizer immediately after bathing to lock moisture into skin cells. A knowledgeable dermatologist can recommend appropriate cleansers and moisturizers to help damaged skin cells heal and prevent damage in the future.

Each skin type requires different care. People with oily skin often believe that scrubbing their faces with strong soaps is beneficial. They are actually making the problem worse. Friction from scrubbing damages skin and lets irritants from the soap into exposed areas. Irritation triggers even more oil production because the skin is trying to protect itself.

Never scrub skin forcefully with a washcloth, loofah, or other bathing accessories. Use an oil-free cleanser with warm water and rub a soft cloth gently in circular motions. Excessive oil production could be a response to an underlying problem. Consult a dermatologist if skin seems to produce more oil than usual over an extended period.

People with dry skin in Southlake, TX, often experience flaking, irritation, and dull or discolored areas on the face. Heavy cleansers and moisturizers are not always effective remedies. The first step in relieving dry skin is keeping the body hydrated. Dry skin may be a sign of consistent dehydration or a nutritional deficiency. A dermatologist helps clients identify causes of dry skin and their corresponding solutions.

Sun Exposure

Exposure to sunlight poses a significant threat to overall health. The sun’s ultraviolet rays damage skin cells and increase the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. Melanin in the epidermis, or the skin’s outer layer, provides protection from UV radiation, but this protection can be overwhelmed with consistent exposure. A sun burn occurs when UV radiation damages or kills skin cells.

Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside in Southlake, TX. Visit a dermatologist for a skin evaluation on a regular basis to detect early warning signs of possible cancer or damage to the skin in general. Medical professionals can recommend appropriate sunscreen.

Consult a Dermatologist for Acne

Acne is one of the most commonly reported skin care problems. Most acne outbreaks occur on the face, back, and shoulders, although they can appear anywhere on the body. Some myths concerning the causes of acne still persist. Common myths claim that chocolate, greasy food, or sugary snacks cause acne. Refusing to eat certain foods will not have any effect on acne. A dermatologist can explain the real causes of acne and help client’s separate myths from facts.

There are several causes of acne. Sebaceous glands produce a slightly oily substance called sebum that protects skin cells and retains moisture. Acne, including ‘whiteheads’ and ‘blackheads,’ occurs when blocked pores in the skin accumulate sebum, dead skin cells, and contaminants from the air and environment.

Sweat and dirt can clog pores after outdoor activities during warm days in Southlake, TX. Blocked hair follicles can also fill up with hair, oil, and dirt. Sometimes blocked follicles lead to ingrown hair. Infection occurs when bacteria enter blocked pores and hair follicles.

Cystic acne is a painful condition characterized by swelling and inflammation. Sometimes individual blemishes in cystic acne outbreaks are called ‘blind pimples’ because the sore, infected ‘pimple’ seems to be under the skin. “Popping” cystic acne blemishes is rarely beneficial.

Cystic acne is almost always caused by a bacterial infection. The infection can spread deep into the dermis, or the layers of skin underneath epidermal cells. Successfully ‘popping’ a blemish releases infectious fluid and spreads the bacteria to new areas.

Squeezing or poking cystic acne can also damages tissues and generate scar tissue because significant force is necessary to expel fluid from deep layers of the dermis. A needle or other sharp object damages tissue and creates a wound in the epidermis that lets more bacteria reach the infected area.

Mild cleansers are best during an active acne breakout. Use caution with over-the-counter acne relief products. Many of these products contain harsh chemicals or exfoliators that damage sensitive skin. Consult a dermatologist for help with cystic acne and any type of acne that occurs repeatedly.

An appointment with Compassion Dermatology in the Southlake, TX area, when acne breakouts first appear can save clients a great deal of time and aggravation. Many people with acne notice improvement within days of receiving appropriate medications from a dermatologist.