My Blog
By Judith Silverstein, MD
June 20, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Warts  

WartsWarts are benign skin growths that develop as a result of the human papilloma virus (HPV), which gets into cuts or openings within the skin. As the body fights the infection the wart will eventually go away—the only problem is that it can often take a year or more for the wart to go away by itself. So, if you want to get rid of your wart faster than that, then you’ll want to visit one of our offices in Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, or Cumming, GA, for treatment!

When should I see a doctor about my warts?
While some people choose to just wait until the wart goes away or use over-the-counter wart removal treatments, there are instances in which you may want to turn one of our offices in Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, or Cumming, GA, instead. It’s time to see a dermatologist if,

  • There are multiple warts or your body continues to produce warts
  • You are dealing with larger warts or warts that continue to grow
  • Over-the-counter medicines aren’t working
  • A wart becomes painful or bleeds
  • You have diabetes and you develop spreading warts
  • You have warts on your face or genitals
  • You aren’t sure that the growth is a wart

If you’ve never had a wart before, then you may not even know what the growth is when you first see it. Moreover, small warts may be painless and go unnoticed so you may just end up ignoring it. However, if your warts grow and are bothering you, affecting your appearance, or causing pain, then it’s time to come into our office.

How will a dermatologist treat my warts?
There are several methods for treating warts and the best method will depend on the location, size, and the number of warts. Common types of wart removal treatments include,

  • Cryosurgery: This involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen. This is an ideal option for those dealing with small, isolated cases. This is usually the most common wart removal treatment option but may take multiple treatments.
  • Electrosurgery and curettage: This process involves burning and scraping off the wart.
  • Surgical shaving: This simply means that your dermatologist will cut off the wart.

If warts are more challenging to treat then we may also recommend laser therapy, topical medicines, direct injection of medicine into the wart, or immunotherapy.

Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Diseases has offices in Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, and Cumming, GA, to serve you better. If you want to find out the best way to treat your warts, then call one of our offices today for a consultation.

By Judith Silverstein, MD
June 13, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Vitiligo  

Find out how this pigmented skin condition is treated.

Are you or someone you love dealing with vitiligo? The Mayo Clinic reports that there are more than 200,000 new cases of vitiligo each year in the US alone. Vitiligo is a chronic disease where the melanin, which gives your skin its pigment, either dies or the body stops producing it. As a result, there are white patches of skin all over the body. So, you may be wondering how this condition occurs or how you can treat it. This is when it’s important to turn to your dermatologist.

What causes vitiligo?

Unfortunately, researchers still do not know why some people develop vitiligo. It may be the result of an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks the melanocytes in the skin. Some researchers also believe that something as simple as a sunburn or even emotional stress could cause vitiligo; however, the cause is still unknown.

Who is at risk for developing vitiligo?

Even though this condition can appear at any time in a person’s life it more commonly occurs in your 20's. It affects both men and women of all races; however, vitiligo is more noticeable in those with darker skin. Those with autoimmune disorders are often more likely to develop vitiligo than those who do not have an autoimmune disorder. Genetics may also play a role; however, parents with vitiligo won’t necessarily pass this condition onto their child.

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

Vitiligo is characterized by large white patches of skin, which may appear anywhere on the body. These patches most commonly appear on the face, hands, feet, arms, and other sun-exposed areas. Sometimes the white patches will spread over time. How quickly the patches spread will vary from person to person; however, sometimes the patches won’t spread at all.

How is vitiligo treated?

It’s important to turn to a dermatologist that you trust if you think you or a family member is dealing with vitiligo. During your consultation, your doctor will examine your skin to determine how widespread and numerous the patches are so that we have a better idea what type of treatment will be the most effective.

We will also go through your medical history and ask you questions about your condition. Treatment for vitiligo, like most skin disorders, will not work overnight. In fact, there is often a trial-and-error period to try and find the best treatment option.

The most common types of vitiligo treatment include medication, light therapies, and surgery, all of which are designed to restore pigmentation back into the skin.

Prescribed medications may be applied topically or taken orally. Certain UVA/UVB light therapy treatments may also improve your condition. Skin grafting surgery may be recommended, in which your dermatologist will remove skin from another area of the body and apply it over the patches to hide them and even out skin tone.

Your dermatologist can also recommend a full-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin when going outside, as well as any counseling and support you may need. If you or someone you love is looking for vitiligo treatment, contact your dermatologist today.

By Judith Silverstein, MD
May 31, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Shingles  

The effects of chickenpox may last beyond your childhood infection. Shingles, a widespread, itchy, painful rash, can break out at any time in adulthood because the causative agent, the Varicella Zoster virus, lies dormant within the body for life. Your dermatologist can help you control the awful pain and dangerous complications of shingles. He or she also has suggestions on avoiding an outbreak of this common and contagious skin disease.

What does shingles look like? A shingles rash is a reddened, itchy, oozing skin rash composed of raised blisters. Typically, it is widespread on the face near the eye, on the torso (front wrapping around to the back), or on the neck. People experience exceptional pain for at least two to six weeks, and due to damaged nerve endings, some individuals have unresolved pain for years.

What are the potential complications? Just like its childhood counterpart, shingles is contagious. So, people exposed to your shingle rash may develop chickenpox if they have never been sick with it previously.

Plus, shingles may lead to serious vision or hearing problems, fever, balance issues, and light sensitivity. People with a weakened immune system are potential shingles sufferers, and unfortunately, perfectly healthy people who have a shingles flare-up can then become immunosuppressed. In short, shingles is nothing to joke about.

How is it treated? Mild cases respond to cool baths, skin calming lotions, topical steroids and over the counter pain relievers. More severe flare-ups may require narcotic pain relievers, anti-convulsants, steroidal injections and numbing medications applied directly to the skin. Medications such as Acyclovir and Valacyclovir help dampen the spread of the virus.

Can you prevent an outbreak of shingles? Your dermatologist or primary care physician may provide you with a shingles vaccine to greatly reduce your chances of having shingles. The American Academy of Dermatology says that Zostavoax is for patients over 60, and the Shingrix vaccine may be administered beginning at age 50.

Find out more

Your dermatologist is an excellent resource for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of simple to complex skin conditions and diseases. If you are starting a shingle outbreak or desire to prevent one, call your skin doctor for a consultation. He or she will inform you on the best ways to stay as healthy as possible.

By ATLANTA CENTER FOR DERMATOLOGY
May 21, 2019
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer  

If you are dealing with skin cancer find out the different skin cancer treatment options in Sandy Springs, Cancer-CellGA.
Finding out that you have skin cancer can be rather shocking. We know that you will have a lot of questions along the way. The most important thing is that our Sandy Springs, GA, dermatologists provide you with the most immediate and effective treatment. The type of treatment or treatments you receive will depend on several factors including:

  • The type of skin cancer
  • The stage of the cancer
  • The location, size and depth of the tumor
  • Your age and your overall health

During your consultation, our skin doctors will go through your medical history and based on the factors above will discuss which treatments are right for you. Here are some of the most common types of skin cancer treatments,

Mohs Surgery 
This is a treatment option for removing basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas,  and some early melanomas. The goal is to remove thin layers of the tumor until there are no more cancer cells. This is a conservative method that preserves as much healthy tissue as possible, making it an ideal option for treating cancer in more delicate areas such as the face, feet, genitals, ears and scalp. Mohs is also a good option for aggressive and fast-growing skin cancers.

Excisional Surgery
This simple surgery can be used on most types of skin cancers including squamous cells carcinomas, melanomas and basal cell carcinomas. A doctor will use a scalpel to remove the tumor and then stitch up and bandage the area after the tumor is removed.

Electrosurgery 
Also referred to as curettage and electrodesiccation, this procedure is often used to remove small squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas. The lesion is scrapped and then burned with a special needle to kill any remaining cancer cells and to stop the bleeding.

Radiation therapy
For cancerous tumors that are hard to treat with surgery, radiation therapy may be the best option. Radiation therapy uses x-ray technology to destroy the tumor and can also be used in more aggressive cases of squamous cell carcinomas.

Chemotherapy 
During chemo, medication is administered directly into the vein or taken orally to reach cancer cells that have spread throughout the body. When it comes to skin cancer, chemotherapy is usually topical and used to treat all forms of skin cancer.

Do you want a second opinion? Dealing with a suspicious growth that you need checked out? Whatever the case might be, our dermatological team here at Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Diseases in Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta and Cumming, GA, can help or answer any questions about skin cancer treatments.

By ATLANTA CENTER FOR DERMATOLOGY
May 17, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Rosacea  

Does your face sometimes appear extremely red and flushing? While a slight blush is certainly nice, if the blush is severe or widespread you may be dealing a common condition known as rosacea. People with rosacea often liken their redness to looking like they are sunburned even though they are not, and the redness often appears across the nose and cheeks but can spread to the forehead, as well.

Along with redness those with rosacea may also experience:

  • Sensitivity
  • Stinging or burning
  • Hard bumps that look similar to acne
  • Visible blood vessels
  • Thicker skin (in more advanced cases)

Rosacea is more common in women than men, as well as those over 30 years old. Rosacea is characterized by flare-ups of redness that may go away and then come back when in contact with certain triggers. Common rosacea triggers include:

  • Sunlight
  • Heat or cold
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Caffeine
  • Certain skincare products
  • Wind
  • Certain medications
  • Exercise

It’s important to note when you experience triggers to figure out what might be causing your flare-ups so you can avoid them whenever possible.

Treating Rosacea

There are no over-the-counter medications designed to treat rosacea, so the only way to get the proper treatment you need to get your symptoms under control is to see a dermatologist. There are certain prescription medications that may be prescribed to lessen your symptoms. These medications include:

  • Certain drugs and topical medications that reduce redness
  • Oral antibiotics (to kill the bacteria responsible for inflammation)
  • Isotretinoin (for severe and unresponsive rosacea cases)

In some cases, your skin doctor may also recommend laser therapy to reduce redness and the appearance of blood vessels. Common laser therapies for rosacea include dermabrasion and intense pulsed light therapy.

Along with medication and laser therapy it’s important to be gentle with your skin and to always wear sunscreen before going outside. Choose a sunscreen that offers full-spectrum protection and has an SPF of at least 30. Even on cloudy or windy days you should apply sunscreen. Also be aware of certain products and makeup that could also be causing flare-ups. There is also makeup on the market that can conceal redness.

If you think that your redness may be the result of rosacea isn’t it time you got answers? Schedule a consultation with our trusted dermatologist today.





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