Posts for tag: Skin

By Z Dermatology
October 08, 2018
Category: Beauty
Tags: Skin  

Photo Credits: Rocketclips, Inc./ Shutterstock | Image Used for Illustrative Purpose Only

We’ve all heard the phrase “age is just a number,” but when it comes to suffering from skin issues, the expression couldn’t be truer. From baby diaper rash, to hormonal teenage acne, to possibly cancerous adult moles, battling some sort of skin condition is expected, no matter how many candles you’re blowing out that year.

With age comes new types of skin conditions, and some of these unfamiliar spots can look weird, or even unsightly. We’ve asked Houston, TX board-certified dermatologist Suneel Chilukuri, MD, to give us the down low on three common age spots, how to spot them, and how they can be removed.

1. Skin tags

Acrochordons, or “skin tags,” are overgrowths of skin that are most frequently found in areas of friction, “like the neck, underarms, waistline, and groin,” says Dr. Chilukuri. “Typically flesh-colored, soft, and painless, skin tags can grow between 1 to 2 millimeters in size.” Unfortunately, there is no known cause for these small growths, but Dr. Chilukuri believes there is a hereditary pre-disposition to developing skin tags.

Skin tags are harmless, but there are a couple of options when it comes to removing them. The first option involves liquid nitrogen, where the skin tags are frozen off.The second option includes electrodessication, which uses electrical currents to target each skin tag causing them to burn off. “The last option is to have a dermatologist physically cut off the skin tags with sterile scissors” says Dr. Chilukuri. He warns against cutting them off on your own, as the area may bleed and become infected.

2. Seborrheic keratoses

Seborrheic keratoses (or SKs, as the docs call them), are one of the most common noncancerous skin growths in older adults. “SKs look like waxy or wart-like growths and are tan, brown, or black in color,” says Dr. Chilukuri. They can be flat or raised, and are usually found on the face, neck, chest, and back.“Just like skin tags, there is a hereditary pre-disposition to developing SKs, and most people will see these growths starting in their early 40s (and potentially developing more as they age),” he explains.

“Similar to skin tags, SKs can be treated using liquid nitrogen, electrodessication, shave removal or lasers. An in-office treatment, called ESKATA® (hydrogen peroxide) topical solution, 40% (w/w), removes raised SKs. After a dermatologist makes the diagnosis of a raised SK on the face or neck, ESKATA can be applied to the raised growth, where a patient may feel a tingling sensation or itching during the application,” explains Dr. Chilukuri. “The lesion resolves over time after one or two treatments. ESKATA is safe for all skin types and skin tones.”

3. Cherry angiomas

Also known as senile angiomas or Campbell de Morgan spots, cherry angiomas are red “moles” that appear on the skin in many people starting in their 30s. Cherry angiomas can range from 1 to 8 millimeters in size and can develop on any part of the body. “No one really knows the exact cause of angiomas, but it’s believed that there is a hereditary pre-disposition to developing these little red spots,” says Dr. Chilukuri.

Dr. Chilukuri explains that 75% of people over the age of 75 have at least one cherry angioma “somewhere on their body.” Similar to skin tags and seborrheic keratoses, cherry angiomas can also be removed using electrodessication, shaving, or pulse dye laser, where a concentrated beam of light targets blood vessels in the skin.

While these three age spots are harmless, Dr. Chilukuri strongly encourages to always get any spots of concern checked out by a board-certified dermatologist. “Unfortunately, there are many self-proclaimed “skin care experts” that are not properly qualified to make these diagnoses,” says Dr. Chilukuri. “As a result, my colleagues and I have seen patients come in with lesions they were told are ‘SKs,’ but they’re actually melanomas, ‘skin tags’ which end up being basal cell carcinomas, and ‘cherry angiomas’ that are actually amelanotic melanomas.”

By Z Dermatology
October 01, 2018
Category: Beauty
Tags: Skin  

Photo Credits: Getty Images


Going under the knife in the name of youth requires time, money and potentially some pain. But a facelift isn’t the only option when it comes to shaving five (or even ten) years off an aging appearance. The last decade has brought major advances in topical lotions and potions for younger looking skin. But with so many choices out there, it's hard to figure out which treatment is most appropriate. To narrow down the options, we asked Charleston, SC dermatologist Todd Schlesinger, MD, for his advice on what to look for when you’re on the hunt for the fountain of youth. 


1.  Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid (or HA) is a sugar-based molecule that’s a basic component of the skin. When you add more HA to your skin, “it serves to hydrate the skin because it draws water to itself,” says Dr. Schlesinger. After applying HA to your face, you’ll see “skin that appears more plump, radiant and smooth,” he explains. HA is most effective in hydrating the skin, but “certain forms of it have also been shown to alter the inflammatory pathways within the skin, increasing certain wound-healing activities while not affecting those pathways that might lead to harm,” he says.


HA is available in various forms such as gels, creams and lotions, where these cosmeceuticals serve to hydrate the skin while improving the texture and tone of the skin, too. “Aging skin is, by nature, drier skin because of the loss of the skin’s ability to retain moisture,” says Dr. Schlesinger. When your skin is hydrated, "it is better able to recover and respond to other agents designed to improve its function and appearance," he says.

There typically aren’t any side effects when using HA. “Depending on the vehicle (or base) that the product comes in, there could be a reaction to an ingredient now and then, but since HAs are a natural component of the skin, true allergic reactions would be rare,” explains Dr. Schlesinger. “Most reactions to skin care products can be classified as allergic or irritant, and these are more often related to preservatives, fragrances or antioxidants, rather than HAs,” he says.


When it comes to aging skin, sometimes a loss of elasticity, a drier dermis, and more fine lines and wrinkles aren’t the only obstacles your face may face. There are many types of spots that may appear as you hit your 30s and beyond, where a topical treatment may assist in fading, or destroying, the unsightly spot. One of these types of lesions, called a raised seborrheic keratosis (or SK), can now be treated topically, thanks to a FDA-approved topical solution called ESKATA® (hydrogen peroxide) topical solution, 40% (w/w).


ESKATA is a topical treatment for raised SKs, which can appear as “stuck-on brown or tan lesions that may show up on the face or neck,” says Dr. Schlesinger. This treatment “is a concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution that is supplied in a unique applicator designed to soak raised SKs thoroughly with solution,” he explains. “The hydrogen peroxide forms bubbles within and around the lesions, which essentially dissolves them,” he says.


“The most common adverse reactions in the studies leading to its approval were redness, stinging, swelling, scaling, crusting and itching. When applied, ESKATA can cause the treated SK to turn white temporarily” says Dr. Schlesinger. 


3.  Retinol

A tried-and-true anti-ager, retinol “is a form of vitamin A and is essential for the correct functioning of the top layer of skin cells,” says Dr. Schlesinger. Retinol improves smoothness, texture, and evens coloration of the skin, “and its related compounds are quite effective at reversing the sign and symptoms associated with aged or sun-damaged skin,” he says.


You can find the vitamin A-derived ingredient in “prescriptions (like Retin-A), office-dispense skincare products, or over-the-counter regimens,” he says. Some of the most common side effects of using a retinol are irritation, dryness, stinging, redness, burning and itching, but “retinol, and its closely related cousin, retinaldehyde, are considered the less irritating versions of vitamin A compounds used on the skin,” says Dr. Schlesinger.


While Dr. Schlesinger sings his praises for each of these anti-aging ingredients and topicals, he always stresses the importance of sunscreen in preventing signs of aging on all his clients. “Sunscreen is vital in protecting the skin from the known harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation,” he says.