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    How to Protect Your Skin from the Elements of Winter

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Cold winter temperatures and low humidity levels can be hard on your face, hands, and feet. A few simple skin care steps will protect your skin from the harsh elements this winter. If you are experiencing extreme dryness, itching, or irritation, contact your dermatologist to schedule an evaluation.

    Wear Sunscreen

    Although the long, sunny days of summer are now past, the sun’s rays can still damage your skin during the winter. Even on cloudy days, solar UV rays can cause discoloration and signs of aging. Continue to wear sunscreen every day during the winter, even if you will only be spending a short time outdoors. If you plan to stay outside for an extended period of time, reapply sunscreen regularly to maintain continual protection.

    Increase Indoor Humidity

    During the winter, the air is often naturally dry. Home heating systems also reduce the ambient humidity in the air. Dry air can cause inflammation, redness, itching, flaking, cracking, and irritation of the skin. Changes in the weather and humidity may also trigger flare-ups of eczema and psoriasis. Place humidifiers throughout your home to improve ambient moisture levels and keep your skin healthier during the winter.

    Change Moisturizers

    Many people switch to a lighter moisturizer during the summer. Once the temperature begins to drop, make the switch back to a heavier, more concentrated skincare product to protect your skin during the winter. You should also moisturize more often in the winter than in the summer, as your skin is more likely to dry out. If you experience very dry skin after bathing, consider applying moisturizer both before and after a bath or shower to help skin retain more moisture.

    Altman Dermatology wants to help you maintain healthy, youthful skin all winter long. Contact us by calling (847) 305-1189 to schedule an appointment or ask about our November Special on select skincare products. We invite you to visit our website for more tips on maintaining healthy skin in every season.

    What Is the Importance of Exfoliation?

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Exfoliation is the removal of the uppermost layer of skin cells, which are often dead or damaged. Removing these cells promotes healthier skin and improves the absorption of many skincare products. Altman Dermatology offers a variety of cosmetic treatments, including microdermabrasion and chemical peels, to remove damaged skin and reveal a fresher, younger-looking face.                              

    Why Should I Exfoliate?

    Your body naturally sheds dead or damaged skin cells so younger, healthier skin can rise to the surface. However, this cycle slows as you age. Exfoliation aids this natural process to improve the look and feel of your skin. Removing the outer layer of skin cells also allows many skincare products and medications to more easily penetrate into the skin, improving their efficacy. Exfoliation can also improve conditions such as acne and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

    When Should I Exfoliate?

    You can exfoliate at home using a washcloth, facial sponge, skincare brush, or exfoliating wash or glycolic pad. Avoid home exfoliation every day, as it can irritate your skin. If you have sensitive skin, you may prefer to exfoliate once a week; those with acne-prone skin may benefit from exfoliating every other day. Talk to your dermatologist if you aren’t sure how often you should exfoliate your skin.

    What Professional Exfoliating Options Are Available?

    Your dermatologist can offer exfoliating treatments that are much more effective than home care options. Chemical peels contain a concentration of acids that remove dead cells and promote healthy skin regeneration. Microdermabrasion uses a stream of small particles to exfoliate the skin. Both of these options range from mild treatments to improve the clarity of your skin to more intensive exfoliation that addresses scarring, skin discoloration, and signs of aging.  

    If you would like more information about your skin care options, call Altman Dermatology at (847) 305-1189. We offer chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatment, and more to help you maintain youthful, healthy skin. Click through our website to learn more about our Arlington Heights dermatology practice.

    What Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

    Last updated 5 months ago

    There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. In each case, it is essential to see your dermatologist as soon as you notice any symptoms, as early treatment is associated with better outcomes. When it comes to squamous cell carcinoma, early treatment makes the condition unlikely to spread.

    Squamous cell carcinoma is a tumor that sits on the outer layer of the skin. Although it can strike anyone, it is most common in middle-aged and elderly people with fair complexions. Most people who get squamous cell carcinoma have spent a significant amount of time in the sun. Squamous cell carcinomas usually appear as non-healing ulcers or small, red, flaky patches of skin called actinic keratosis (AKs). In many cases, Moh’s surgery is performed to excise squamous cell carcinomas.

    Report any changes in your skin to your Altman Dermatology doctor right away so we can help you determine the next steps to take. To schedule a consultation at our dermatology practice, call (847) 305-1189.

    Skin Rashes: Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

    Last updated 6 months ago

    If you love the great outdoors, you likely know that certain plants don’t love your skin back. Poison ivy, oak, and sumac are three different plants that all cause similar skin reactions. In many people, the symptoms will clear up on their own, but in some cases, it is necessary to seek care from your dermatologist. Here is what you need to know about these poisonous plants.

    What Makes These Plants Trigger Skin Reactions?

    Poison ivy, oak, and sumac all contain an oil called urushiol. It is found in all parts of the plant, from the leaves and berries to the stems and root. Touching any part of the plant will transfer urushiol to your skin, which may set off an allergic reaction. In the case of a fire, particles of these plants may be flying around in the air. If you inhale them, you could experience an allergic reaction. If your pets have brushed up against any of these plants, you may expose your skin to urushiol after petting them.

    What Are the Symptoms of a Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac Reaction?

    Exposure to these plants often causes a rash. The rash is usually red and extremely itchy. You may also experience hives and have small, fluid-filled blisters that seep. The rash can appear up to 15 days after exposure to the plant. The rash is not contagious. In some cases, it may seem that your rash is spreading. However, it is more likely that you have just touched something that still has urushiol on it or that your rash is still developing from the initial exposure.

    When Should I See My Dermatologist?

    The severity of your symptoms will depend on how much urushiol you came into contact with and how sensitive you are to it. You should call your dermatologist if you experience swelling in your face, mouth, neck, eyelids, or genitals. You should also contact your dermatologist if you have large, oozing blisters.

    If you have questions about this or any skin condition, call Altman Dermatology. Our experts are here to help you with your acne, rosacea, and much more. Call (847) 305-1189 to find out more or to schedule a consultation.

    Rosacea: Skincare Dos and Don'ts

    Last updated 6 months ago

    There is no cure for rosacea, but you can control the severity of your symptoms. By identifying your specific triggers, you can keep your redness to a minimum.

    Watch this video to learn some dos and don’ts to keep in mind if you have rosacea. Keep a journal of your foods and drinks, as well as your flare-ups, to see if a pattern emerges. Many people find that hot drinks, caffeine, and spicy foods trigger rosacea symptoms. Be sure to wear sunscreen every time you go outside and try to keep your skin care regimen simple.

    Make an appointment with a dermatologist at Altman Dermatology to get more advice on caring for your rosacea. We offer treatment for a range of dermatological conditions as well as cosmetic procedures. Learn more by calling (847) 305-1189.

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