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During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, you may consider putting off the call to your dermatologist. However, the coronavirus is temporary, some skin conditions and health concerns can have long-term effects and need attention quickly. Compassion Dermatology understands your concerns and is working hard to make sure surfaces are sanitized and all staff are following strict safety protocols to prevent the spread of the viruses. While you can most likely skip non-essential appointments for micro-needling (although it’s perfectly safe to see medical professionals for these procedures), please, don’t pass on your annual skin evaluation, rashes, moles, and other potentially serious conditions.
ANNUAL DERMATOLOGY APPOINTMENTS ARE ESSENTIAL
Even if you do everything right and check every area of your body daily, which is really hard to do, you can miss something. One condition your dermatologist screens for is precancerous skin lesions, such as actinic keratosis, actinic cheilitis, cutaneous horns, and changes in existing moles. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the U.S. and it strikes an estimated one in five Americans throughout their lifetime.
A slightly larger mole, a new bump on the back of your shoulder next to the slightly fading tattoo you got so long ago that you forget about sometimes, or even a little discoloration on the top of your foot can be a sign of skin cancer. Although it develops in areas exposed to the sun the most, the reality is that skin cancer can start anywhere on the body. While it’s easy to see what’s going on with your face, neck, arms, legs, and feet, other spots aren’t as easy to check by yourself. Additionally, it’s best to only have a licensed dermatologist examine your skin. The key to successful cancer treatment is early diagnosis and treatment.
SEVERE ACNE BREAKOUTS AND PAINFUL PIMPLES
Yes—your zit problem is also your dermatologists and they don’t want you to wait in misery, hide after lockdown ends, or experiment with your own treatments. At our office in Southland, TX, our medical staff understands the frustration and discomfort associated with acne and are available to find the right treatment that offers fast results so you won’t have to hide behind a mask if it’s no longer necessary. Depending on the severity, there are several treatments available that vary from over-the-counter products to prescription medications to slow the spread of acne, stop outbreaks completely, and prevent them from developing. You can also ask your Southland, TX, dermatologist about different therapies available, such as chemical peels and laser treatment.
If you’re experiencing a cystic pimple, which is a golf-ball-size bump under the skin, that’s red and painful. These can form when your skin’s pores are blocked with dirt, debris, oil, and dead skin cells. The practitioner will often prescribe medication that will clear the area over several weeks. However, they can perform an in-office procedure to drain large cysts and reduce inflammation quickly. Additionally, they can administer a steroid injection to further reduce swelling and prevent scarring. To prevent cystic zits, wash your face daily and exfoliate two to three times weekly.
POISON IVY NEEDS MEDICAL ATTENTION
It itches, it won’t compliment any outfit in your wardrobe, and it’ can be embarrassing. No one wants poison ivy, but it happens and sometimes you need more than calamine lotion and an antihistamine for it to clear up. The most common symptoms of poison ivy include an intense itch, a red, streaky rash, swelling, and painful blisters. Some patients can experience hives, which could mean an allergic reaction. If you have trouble breathing, seek immediate medical attention. A dermatologist in Southlake, TX, can help with prescription itch creams that are stronger than what’s available over the counter. If a secondary infection develops from excessive itching and scratching, they can also prescribe antibiotics to help it clear up faster.
YOU HAVE MASK RASH
Yes, that’s a thing. You don’t have to look far to see pictures of health care workers with skin issues from N-95 masks. Medical professionals and other essential employees are these much longer than they’re intended for, and while these are protecting the people around you, the skin irritation and moisture are a recipe for painful rashes and other types of lesions. While there are neat workarounds that some quick thinkers have developed, such as headbands with buttons to stop masks from rubbing on ears, they don’t prevent all areas where the edges are digging into workers’ delicate skin on their faces and necks.
A quick appointment with a dermatologist in Southlake, TX, can help clear up the rash and prevent future outbreaks. For example, always wash your face thoroughly after removing the mask and use an unscented moisturizer (scented items may be more irritating) at night and throughout the day as a barrier. Creams with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide are essential for treating skin dryness and irritation. Consider using a skin barrier where the edges of the mask touch, even something as simple as petroleum jelly can reduce a rash from occurring. Another danger of leaving these unchecked is you could develop an infection that may need antibiotics. The best way to reduce the chances of developing COVID-19 is to reduce other infections and maintain a healthy immune system function.
In addition to in-person appointments, some concerns may be addressed with tele-visits from the comfort of your own home. However, most conditions require our dermatologist to see you in person for a full evaluation. This office requires all staff and visitors to wear facial coverings for your protection. For more information on our safety procedures and how Compassion Dermatology can help you contact us today, at 817-893-2670 or send us an email.