Discover more about this common skin condition, and what you can do to treat your itchy symptoms.
What are hives? What are the symptoms of hives?
Also referred to as urticaria, hives are characterized by an outbreak of red bumps that suddenly show up on skin. Hives can appear anywhere on the body and often cause itching, burning and stinging. Some hives may be small, while others might form alongside other bumps to create larger swellings.
What causes hives?
The most common causes of hives are foods, medications, and infections. Hives can also be triggered by insect bites. Foods that often bring about hives include dairy, fish, nuts and eggs. Medications such as aspirin and other overthecounter antiinflammatories like ibuprofen have also been known to cause hives.
There is another form of hives known as physical urticaria, which is triggered by and external physical factor such as cold, pressure, heat, exercise or sweating. This variety of hives usually appears within an hour after contact with one of these elements.
Are hives dangerous?
The majority of hives outbreaks are not dangerous however, if you also experience dizziness, problems breathing, swelling of the face or tightness in your chest, then you should call for emergency assistance immediately! These can be signs of a lifethreatening allergic reaction.
How are hives treated?
If you know what might be triggering your outbreaks, the best thing you can do is remove the trigger right away and avoid it as much as possible. Some people are able to take overthe-counter antihistamines like Benadryl to help relieve the itching. However, those with chronic hives may need to take a stronger antihistamine in combination with corticosteroids.
If you experience a severe outbreak, an epinephrine injection will need to be administered right away. Again, seek medical attention immediately!
To help relieve symptoms until the hives go away, you can also apply cold compresses to the areas to help ease any burning or itching. Also keep your bedroom and living space cool and opt for roomier clothing that won’t rub against the infected areas and exacerbate itching.
How long do hives last?
Some cases of hives clear up in only a few hours, while some can last for a full day before starting to fade.
If you are dealing with a nasty bout of hives that overthecounter remedies don’t seem to fix, then it might be time to talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options. Call our office to schedule an appointment right away!
What are your chances of developing the most common cancer in the United States? One in five American adults will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives, says the American Academy of Dermatology. That's why routine skin examinations with Dr. Sanjiva Goyal at Coastal Dermatology & MedSpa in Jacksonville , FL, are so vital. Count on his technical skill and compassionate manner to help you avoid this potentially deadly cancer.
Kinds of skin cancer
The most common kinds are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma which grow in the epidermis, or top layer of the skin. These cancers are readily detected and treated; plus, they do not spread quickly or affect major organs. A third cancer, however--malignant melanoma--is deadly and insidious, spreading to all major organs if not detected in its earliest stages.
Causes of skin cancer in Jacksonville
The Skin Cancer Foundation says that UV light from the sun or artificial tanning is the real culprit. Increasing age, gender (more men than women experience skin cancer), light skin tone and multiple sunburns early in life increase the chances of a skin cancer diagnosis.
Unfortunately, lack of education about skin cancer risks is risky, too. Many people do not understand the importance of applying protective sun screen products, wearing long sleeve and sun glasses on hot days or staying in the shade during peak daylight hours of 10 am to 2 pm. In other words, not knowing how to protect yourself increase your chances of developing skin malignancies.
Symptoms of skin cancer
Basically, changes in skin texture and color may indicate cancer. Also, if an existing spot or mole begins itching or bleeding, you should see Dr. Goyal right away for a skin examination. The Prevent Cancer Foundation advises the ABCDEs of mole examination to alert you to possible skin cancer risk. If you have moles, look at these characteristics:
A Moles are asymmetrical. In other words, if you were to draw a line down the middle of a mole, each side should be equal in size if the lesion is benign.
B Notched, uneven borders may indicate cancer.
C Moles are usually brown or tan. Multi-colored moles may be melanoma.
D Moles may be malignant if larger than 6 millimeters in diameter.
E Moles should not change in shape and size. Evolution may mean cancer.
Most skin cancers may be surgically excised. MOHS surgery removes a lesion layer by layer, sparing more healthy tissue. Freezing or desiccation with electric current may be options as well as radiation or chemotherapy. Dr. Goyal is a board-certified dermatologist with the expertise and experience to plan your successful treatment.
Be on guard
What you don't know about your skin may hurt you. Look for signs of cancer by examining your skin at home every month. Also, see Dr. Goyal annually if you are over 40 for a complete dermatology check-up. Coastal Dermatology & MedSpa has two locations. For Jacksonville, phone (904) 727-9123. In Ponte Vedra Beach, call (904) 567-1050.
Find out what this autoimmune disorder means for your skin health.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million Americans and five million people globally have some form of lupus. While lupus can affect both men and women, about 90 percent of those with diagnosed lupus are women between the ages of 15 to 44. Even though this chronic autoimmune disease affects millions, significantly less than half of people are actually somewhat familiar with the disease.
So, what exactly is lupus, how can you contract this disorder and what treatment options are available?
Our immune system is meant to attack foreign agents in our body to fight diseases and other infections. However, if you have been diagnosed with lupus then your immune system actually responds by attacking the healthy cells within your body. This ultimately causes damage to certain organs in the body like your heart, skin and brain.
There are different types of lupus; however, the most common form is systemic lupus erythematosis. Discoid lupus is known for causing a persistent skin rash, subacute cutaneous lupus causes skin sores when exposed to the sun, druginduced lupus is the result of a certain medication and neonatal lupus affects infants.
Know that you aren’t alone when it comes to handling your lupus symptoms. While symptoms can be severe and affect your daily life talk to your dermatologist about the best ways to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Lupus Risk Factors
While anyone can develop lupus, women are more likely to develop this condition. Also, African American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian women are at an increased risk over Caucasian women. While the cause is unknown, some research has found that perhaps genes play an influential role in the development of lupus; however, there are several factors that could be at play.
Those with lupus may experience some or all of these symptoms:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Joint pain and swelling
- Skin rashes, most commonly found on the face
- Chest pain when breathing deeply
- Loss of hair
- Pale fingers and toes
- Sun sensitivity
- Mouth sores
- Extreme fatigue
- Leg or eye swelling
- Swollen glands
These symptoms may not be present all the time. Those with lupus have flareups in which the symptoms will appear for a little while and then go away. Also new symptoms may also arise at any time.
If you’ve been diagnosed with lupus then you will most likely need to see several specialists regarding your condition. If you are dealing with skin sores and rashes, then you will want to talk to your dermatologist about the best treatment plan for you. About 40 to 70 percent of those with lupus experience symptoms when exposed to sunlight.
When you come in our office for treatment our goal is to find certain medications that can reduce pain, swelling and redness and prevent further flareups. Furthermore, we will recommend a sunscreen and other lifestyle changes that can help to protect your skin from damaging sun exposure.
Find out the most effective ways to remove a wart.
The common wart is a small tumor caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can occur anywhere on the body. They may come and go over the years. The HPV infection can produce everything from the common, noncancerous wart, to cancerous warts of the mouth or genitals.
Since a virus causes warts, these benign growths are also contagious. Sharing towels and clothing, or even just coming in contact with their wart can cause the virus to spread. The good news is that most warts often go away on their own without treatment; however, it can often take months or even years for them to go away. If the wart is unsightly or in an uncomfortable spot then you may want to have it removed. Here are some of the top ways to effectively remove a wart yourself.
Salicylic Acid Treatment
Salicylic acid treatment can come in several forms including pads or gels. They can be used to get rid of a variety of different kinds of warts from the small ones to the large, lumpier ones. Salicylic acid works by breaking down the protein that makes up the layers of the wart.
At Home Freezing
While your dermatologist is able to remove warts with liquid nitrogen, if you’re looking to remove the wart yourself, then you can also opt for aerosol wart removals that can be sprayed on the wart to freeze it. While the overthecounter products are nearly as effective as the freezing methods your dermatologist can use, many patients still find athome freezing to be just as effective.
If none of these athome treatments remove your wart, then it’s time to talk to your dermatologist about other treatment options. Keep in mind that even the most effective wart treatment can’t guarantee that the wart won’t grow back. This is because most of the treatments available only get rid of the wart but not the actual virus.
If you’re dealing with a painful or unsightly wart but overthecounter treatments aren’t working, then it’s time to call our dermatology office today.
Skin cancer affects millions of Americans each year. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control say that about 4.3 million new cases of basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, are diagnosed each year. Luckily, skin cancer is treatable and even preventable with the right steps. Find out more about skin cancer and what to look for in your skin with Dr. Sanjiva Goyal at Coastal Dermatology and MedSpa with locations in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer
The main aspect of preventing skin cancer is preventing the sun’s harmful UV rays from coming into contact with your skin. To start, always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF on visible areas of skin. Wear tightly-woven clothing to help prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating the cloth to reach your skin. Try to stay out of the sun during peak hours when it is strongest, usually around noon when the sun is highest in the sky.
Spotting Skin Cancer Early with the ABCDE's
The ABCDE's can help you spot questionable moles early and seek early treatment. They include:
- Asymmetry: Moles should be symmetrical in shape. If you have a mole which is larger on one side than the other, you should have it checked by your dermatologist.
- Border: A mole’s border should be smooth and round or oval in shape.
- Color: The color of a mole can vary from light pink to dark brown. However, moles which have more than one color within their border may be cancerous.
- Diameter: Dermatologists usually consider a mole under about six millimeters in diameter normal. However, if you have a mole bigger than about the size of a pencil eraser, you should have it checked.
- Evolution: Normal moles may change a bit over time, but usually stay about the same. A questionable mole may change or grow rapidly or appear out of nowhere.
Use these tips to ensure that you spot skin cancer early. For more information on spotting or treating skin cancer, please contact your dermatologist, Dr. Sanjiva Goyal at Coastal Dermatology and MedSpa with locations in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Call (904) 727-9123 to schedule your appointment in Jacksonville or (904) 567-1050 to schedule your appointment in Ponte Vedra Beach today!
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