Health

Discover The Benefits Of Dermatologist Acne Treatments

Tips for Choosing the Best Dermatologist

Dermatologists are specially qualified to treat people of all ages for conditions related to your skin, hair, and nails. There’s no denying that finding the right dermatologist for your needs requires time and effort

Referrals, Reviews, & Satisfaction Surveys

Take time to get referrals from family, friends, or your primary care doctor. Ask them about their experience, the facility, and how pleased they were with results. Reading reviews can provide insight into how a dermatologist interacts with patients during the consultation phase, as well as before, during, and after the procedure. Satisfaction surveys can reveal former patients’ views on scheduling, wait times, and friendliness of the staff.

Board Certification

Board certification tells you whether a dermatologist has the specific required training and skills for their medical specialty.  It can also be used to see if the physician has a history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. This information can be found on most state websites. Dr. Amy Witt is a board-certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology with no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions

Experience & Specialization

Experience with your particular procedure or condition can contribute to better outcomes. Dermatologists can complete additional education and training for specialization. This is extremely valuable when it comes to treating certain conditions.

Research Facility Quality

Considering the facility where your procedure will take place is important for your dermatologic care if you need skin surgery. Patients at top-rated facilities may have fewer complications and better outcomes. At Derrow Dermatology, your procedure is done in our clean, state-of-the-art office.

 

American Academy of Dermatology

Don’t prescribe oral antifungal therapy for suspected nail fungus without confirmation of fungal infection.

Approximately half of nails with suspected fungus do not have a fungal infection. As other nail conditions, such as nail dystrophies, may look similar in appearance, it is important to ensure accurate diagnosis of nail disease before beginning treatment. By confirming a fungal infection, patients are not inappropriately at risk for the side effects of antifungal therapy, and nail disease is correctly treated.

Don’t perform sentinel lymph node biopsy or other diagnostic tests for the evaluation of early, thin melanoma because they do not improve survival.

Patients with early, thin melanoma, such as melanoma in situ, T1a melanoma or T1b melanoma ≤ 0.5mm, have a very low risk of the cancer spreading to the lymph nodes or other parts in the body. Further, patients with early, thin melanoma have a 97 percent five-year survival rate which also indicates a low risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body. As such, the performance of sentinel lymph node biopsy is unnecessary.

Don’t treat uncomplicated, nonmelanoma skin cancer less than 1 centimeter in size on the trunk and extremities with Mohs micrographic surgery.

In healthy individuals, the use of Mohs micrographic surgery for low-risk small (< 1cm), superficial or non-aggressive (based on appearance under a microscope) squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas is inappropriate for skin cancers on the trunk and extremities. In these areas of the body, the clinical benefits of this specialized surgical procedure do not exceed the potential risks. It is important to note that Mohs micrographic surgery may be considered for skin cancers appearing on the hands, feet, ankles, shins, nipples or genitals, as they have been shown to have a higher risk for recurrence or require additional surgical considerations

Don’t use oral antibiotics for treatment of atopic dermatitis unless there is clinical evidence of infection.

The presence of high numbers of the Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) bacteria on the skin of children and adults with atopic dermatitis (AD) is quite common. While it is widely believed that Staph bacteria may play a role in causing skin inflammation, the routine use of oral antibiotic therapy to decrease the amount of bacteria on the skin has not been definitively shown to reduce the signs, symptoms (e.g., redness, itch) or severity of atopic dermatitis. In addition, if oral antibiotics are used when there is not an infection, it may lead to the development of antibiotic resistance. The use of oral antibiotics also can cause side effects, including hypersensitivity reactions (exaggerated immune responses, such as allergic reactions). Although it can be difficult to determine the presence of a skin infection in atopic dermatitis patients, oral antibiotics should only be used to treat patients with evidence of bacterial infection in conjunction with other standard and appropriate treatments for atopic dermatitis

Don’t routinely use topical antibiotics on a surgical wound.

Any possible reduction in the rate of infection from the use of topical antibiotics on clean surgical wounds compared to the use of non-antibiotic ointment or no ointment is quite small. Risk reduction may be overshadowed by the risks of wound irritation or contact dermatitis. When topical antibiotics are used in this setting, there is a significant risk of developing contact dermatitis, a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore or inflamed after direct contact with a substance, along with the potential for developing antibiotic resistance. Only wounds that show symptoms of infection should receive appropriate antibiotic treatment.

 

A melanoma survivor’s tips for finding a dermatologist

As a melanoma survivor, I know how important it is to find the right dermatologist. After all, I’ve spent my fair share of time doing just that. My husband is in the Army, and we move often. Each time, I have to find a new dermatologist. It is one of the most stressful parts of moving around for me. It takes a while to build mutual trust

Are they listening to me?

Like really listening. I spotted the abnormal mole that led to my original melanoma diagnosis. It was just a gut feeling. No, I’m not a doctor, but I do know my body and expect my dermatologist to at least listen and acknowledge my questions and concerns. In the same breath, however, I need my dermatologist to hear me when I say I’m anxious. I would have them remove all of my skin if that were a possibility! So, I also need my dermatologist to rein me in and help me determine what really needs to be examined or removed

Are they using their eyes and hands to examine my skin?

This was a tip I learned from my oncologist at MD Anderson. Good dermatologists cover every inch of your skin with not only their eyes, but with their hands as well. Skin cancers can present as tiny flesh colored bumps under the skin that can only be discovered by touch.

Look for a dermatologist focused on skin cancer or melanoma.

It probably goes without saying that I look for a dermatologist with a skin cancer specialty or extensive experience with melanoma, not a cosmetic dermatologist.

What is the dermatologist’s style as a physician?

Is the dermatologist conservative when it comes to taking off abnormal moles? Aggressive? Is he or she going to take everything off, or just wait and see? Personally, I like a healthy balance of the two styles. It just depends on what’s best for you and where you’re at in your skin cancer journey.

 

How to Know When You Need a Dermatologist

For a variety of reasons, many people seek professional help as a last resort to their problems. As a general rule, treating budding health conditions early leads to a quicker recovery and better overall health. This concept might be a bit better-accepted when it comes to your primary care provider and your dentist, but what about your dermatologist? The following examines the reasons why you should consider seeing a dermatologist, along with some tips on choosing the right care provider for your needs.

When should I see a dermatologist?

If you only recently began developing a mild case of adult acne, you should first try making some changes to your everyday routine. Refer to our publications on some of the top causes of acne and secrets for preventing acne to get a better idea of how you can change your lifestyle to foster clearer, healthier skin.

If your acne persists, or even gets worse, see a dermatologist immediately, rather than panicking and overloading your skin with different products and treatments. Keep in mind that wait times are often greater for specialist care providers like dermatologists.

How do I choose the right dermatologist?

This first thing you’ll want to do is review your health insurance plan and determine which dermatologists are covered under your plan. There are a number of rating sites online, such as Zocdoc and Healthgrades, that feature ratings, reviews, and other helpful information about the specialists you’re considering. You can also do some preliminary research on the official website of each practitioner.

 

When to Have Cosmetic Dermatology and How to Choose a Provider

If one needs a cosmetic dermatologist, it is not always easy to know if that is where one should go, or if the visit should be to another type of medical provider. The short list of issues that can be treated by an expert in cosmetic dermatology would number in the thousands. In fact, a dermatologist is able to “diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different conditions in patients of all ages, from birth to old age. These include, amongst many others, acne, eczema, skin cancer and psoriasis.” They also address issues with the nails and hair.

And a cosmetic dermatologist is also trained in the use of esthetic treatments, which means they can address everything from scars and age spots to lines, wrinkles and more. They can remove a mole, help with pigmentation, and other issues.

Yet, they are also going to be able to understand such complex matters as the structure of the face, and its layers of fat, bone, muscle and skin. They will be able to look at one’s skin and its condition and know how all of the underlying tissue is causing any problems or concerns. They will then know how to use any number of fillers, treatments, and other remedies to improve the appearance, as well as the overall health, of the skin.

Use the Internet– The Internet offers a vast amount of information andit is incredibly helpful when seeking a medical expert, including a provider of cosmetic dermatology. First and foremost, a basic search can reveal all of the local options. Take the time to click around and read the biographies of the various practitioners. One wants to see that a cosmetic dermatologist truly specializes in that field. Skip the general practitioner or other specialist offering skin treatments in addition to their actual area of specialization. Look at reviews and feedback and narrow it down only to those who really focus on cosmetic dermatology.

Look for diversity– The world of cosmetic dermatology is full of solutions and treatments, and they change all of the time. While a person definitely wants to see things like Botox on a doctor’s list of available treatments, it’s also important to see that they are getting themselves trained in the latest innovations, too. Look to see what sort of fillers and injectables they make available. Are they skilled with desirable treatments like CoolSculpting and Ultherapy (these are non-invasive devices that are used for body sculpting, including the chin and neck areas)? One wants to see that the dermatologist is taking steps to remain up to date and well versed in the latest technologies.

Innovations In Pain Management

The specialty of chronic pain management

What does a pain management specialist do?

A pain management specialist is a physician with special training in evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all different types of pain. Pain is actually a wide spectrum of disorders including acute pain, chronic pain and cancer pain and sometimes a combination of these. Pain can also arise for many different reasons such as surgery, injury, nerve damage, and metabolic problems such as diabetes. Occasionally, pain can even be the problem all by itself, without any obvious cause at all.

What should I look for in a pain management specialist?

The most important consideration in looking for a pain management specialist is to find someone who has the training and experience to help you with your particular pain problem and with whom you feel a comfortable rapport. Since many types of chronic pain may require a complex treatment plan as well as specialized interventional techniques, pain specialists today must have more training than in the past, and you should learn about how your pain physician was trained and whether he or she has board certification in pain management.

How can I be referred to a pain management specialist?

The best way to be referred to a pain management specialist is through your primary care physician. Most pain physicians work closely with their patients’ primary care physicians to insure good communication, which in turn helps provide the optimum treatment for their patients. Patients are also often referred by specialists who deal with different types of pain problems. Back surgeons, neurologists, cancer doctors, as well as other specialists usually work regularly with a pain physician and can refer you to one.

What should I expect during my first visit to a pain management specialist?

On your first visit to a pain management specialist, he or she will get to know you and begin to evaluate your particular pain problem. This will usually involve a detailed history, a physical exam and review of tests that you have had performed. The questions you are asked and the physical examination will focus on your particular problem, but your pain physician will want to know about past and current medical history as well.

Often you will be given a questionnaire before your first visit that will ask detailed questions about your pain problem, and you will probably be asked to bring any imaging studies (such as X-rays, computed tomography [CAT] scans, or magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] scans) or other tests that have already been done. You should know before your first visit whether or not a procedure is anticipated. If so, you may need a driver to take you home

 

Tips for Finding a High Quality Pain Management Team

Understanding interdisciplinary pain management

This consists of a team of doctors or health care providers that work with the individual suffering from pain. They use various strategies, interventions, and measurements for self-management which is designed to provide a complete program including communication, assessment, education, treatment, and a follow-up.

Team members vary depending on the program; however, the primary goal is the same which is to assist you in living your life to the fullest. The patient is the top most priority so without the patient’s willingness to participate in the program; there will be nothing in the program that would help him or her to get better. So, the way to success is to be active in the said program

Interdisciplinary pain program

Numerous facilities and practices are available at pain clinics. Here, they do address the particular problems causing pain; however, a complete package is not offered that is required for a person to make progress

The program should provide the patient with the much needed psychological, emotional, and physical components. Therefore, the first step for anyone considering this program is to have a meeting with the team to see whether he or she is comfortable with them or not.

Being uncomfortable with the team would only act as a hindrance to the patient’s progress. The following things should also be remembered when you search for pain programs

 

Pain Clinics – What Are They & What Do They Do?

These are some of the questions we get asked at American RSDHope regarding Pain Clinics. So many patients have no idea what a Pain Clinic is because until they developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome they never had any need to go to one. This will give you some ideas of what a Pain Clinic is

Typically, a pain clinic is a location where doctors offer solutions to intractable pain. Conditions that generally respond well to pain clinic services are arthritis, back pain, and cancer. In addition, migraine headaches, shingles pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome pain frequently respond favorably to pain clinic treatments. Many primary care doctors refer their patients to pain clinics when they have exhausted other methods of pain relief

Generally, pain management that is offered at a pain clinic include a combination of therapies. These treatments include medications, physical therapy, and nerve blocks. In addition, massage therapy is often an effective treatment for pain relief, swelling and stress. Not only does the pain clinic treat acute pain, it also performs diagnostic services to determine where the pain is originating

A pain clinic is a health care facility that focuses on the diagnosis and management of chronic pain. Some specialize in specific diagnoses or in pain related to a specific region of the body. Also called pain management clinics, pain clinics often use a multidisciplinary approach to help people take an active role in managing their pain and regaining control of their life. These programs are focused on the total person, not just the pain.

Although pain clinics differ in their focus and offerings, most involve a team of health care providers that can help you with a variety of strategies to manage your pain. These health care providers are likely to include doctors of different specialties as well as non-physician providers specializing in the diagnosis and management of chronic pain. These providers may include psychologists, physical therapists, and complementary and alternative therapists such as acupuncturists or massage therapists. Together, they will put together a pain management plan for you

 

Know Your Pain Treatment Options

Whether your pain is from arthritis, cancer treatments, fibromyalgia, or an old injury, you need to find a way to get your pain under control. What’s the best approach to do that?

The first step in pain management is scheduling an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your pain and learn which pain management approach is often the most effective for it. There are many different pain management options available: You can find the right treatment combination to get the relief you need.

Why Do People Experience Pain Differently?

Pain is real and it’s physical — there’s no mistaking that. But pain is measured and specific to one person based on that person’s perception of the pain, and that’s why everyone’s pain is different.

Pain Management: Treating Mind and Body

Scheman stresses the importance of approaching pain both physically and emotionally and addressing “people as entire human beings.” So while chronic pain medication can be effective and important for pain management for many people, it isn’t the only tool available when it comes to pain treatment, and it shouldn’t be the only tool that’s used.

Medications. “There are a lot of medications that are prescribed for pain,” says Scheman, although she notes that opioids (narcotics) and benzodiazepines may not be the best options. Those treatments “have their own problems, and there are no good studies on using opioids for long periods of time for the treatment of chronic pain.”

 

How To Find Pain Management Doctors Near You

How To Find Pain Management Doctors Near You

Finding pain management doctors near you can be an exhausting task. From recommendations from friends to reviews online, there are so many options for finding one. But, once you’ve found a few you like, how can you narrow down the results to find the one that best suits you? More important, how can you find a doctor that can help you relieve your chronic pain? (And, as we’ll discuss later, how can you make sure you’re the best advocate for your pain as well?)

Talk to your insurance

Your insurance company may have different requirements for finding a doctor in your network. They may require a recommendation from your primary care doctor. Or, they could have a list of out of network and in network providers where you can start your search. Starting here — on the phone with an insurance consultant — is often your best bet for reducing a headache at the end of your search

Ask your primary care doctor

Your primary care doctor likely already knows some of the symptoms and problems you’re experiencing. Talk to them to get more information about what could be causing your pain. If they think it’s appropriate, ask them to recommend pain management doctors you could try in your area. They can also steer you towards great pain management doctors or pain management clinics they’ve worked with in the past

Talk to friends and family

Another important step may be talking to friends and family. Personal opinions are invaluable when finding the best pain management doctors near you. While online reviews or insurance company recommendations may be skewed, your friends or family have your best interests at heart. They can also be more telling when it comes to things like office environment and service, the pain management clinic cleanliness, and how quickly appointments can be scheduled.

Be the CEO of your health

Pain management can feel like a full-time job. Tracking medicines and doctors’ appointments, researching new therapies to replace those that aren’t working, and all the other tasks associated with having a chronic medical condition can easily consume most of your time.

Tips To Control Pain Management

Pain without medicines???

Introduction to pain management

Pain management can be simple or complex, depending on the cause of the pain. An example of pain that is typically less complex would be nerve root irritation from a herniated disc with pain radiating down the leg. This condition can often be alleviated with an epidural steroid injection and physical therapy. Sometimes, however, the pain does not go away. This can require a wide variety of skills and techniques to treat the pain. These skills and techniques include:Interventional procedures

  • Medication management
  • Physical therapy or chiropractic therapy
  • Psychological counseling and support
  • Acupuncture and other alternative therapies; and
  • Referral to other medical specialists

All of these skills and services are necessary because pain can involve many aspects of a person’s daily life.

 

Managing pain without medicines

Many non-medicine treatments are available to help you manage your pain. A combination of treatments and therapies is often more effective than just one.

Some non-medicine options include:

  • heat or cold – use ice packs immediately after an injury to reduce swelling. Heat packs are better for relieving chronic muscle or joint injuries
  • physical therapies – such as walking, stretching, strengthening or aerobic exercises may help reduce pain, keep you mobile and improve your mood. You may need to increase your exercise very slowly to avoid over-doing it
  • massage – this is better suited to soft tissue injuries and should be avoided if the pain is in the joints. There is some evidence that suggests massage may help manage pain, but it is not recommended as a long-term therapy
  • relaxation and stress management techniques – including meditation and yoga
  • cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) – this form of therapy can help you learn to change how you think and, in turn, how you feel and behave about pain. This is a valuable strategy for learning to self-manage chronic pain
  • acupuncture – a component of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the skin. It aims to restore balance within the body and encourage it to heal by releasing natural pain-relieving compounds (endorphins). Some people find that acupuncture reduces the severity of their pain and enables them to maintain function. Scientific evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in managing pain is inconclusive
  • transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy – minute electrical currents pass through the skin via electrodes, prompting a pain-relieving response from the body. There is not enough published evidence to support the use of TENS for the treatment of some chronic pain conditions. However, some people with chronic pain that are unresponsive to other treatments may experience a benefit.

Your doctor or other healthcare professional can guide you through the best treatments for you.

 

Over-the-Counter Treatments for Nerve Pain

  • Topical painkillers. Many over-the-counter creams and ointments are sold to relieve nerve pain. They include ingredients that work as a local anesthetic, numbing the pain in the area where you apply them. Some contain capsaicin, a painkiller derived from chili peppers. Others use different natural ingredients, like botanical oils. One advantage of topical treatments is that you can apply them precisely where you need relief.
  • Painkilling medicines. Some people with neuropathic pain turn to familiar over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. While these drugs might help with mild or occasional pain, they’re often not strong enough for serious nerve pain. There’s also a risk that someone with chronic pain might begin to rely on these medicines too much. So, always make sure to follow the directions on the bottle. Most painkillers should never be taken for more than 10 days. If you are still in pain and want to take them for longer than that, you need to talk with your doctor — it may be a sign that you need a different treatment.
  • Supplements and vitamins. In some cases, nerve pain can be worsened — or even caused — by a deficiency of vitamin B12. If your doctor decides you need it, he or she might recommend injections of vitamin B12 or supplements.

Other supplements are sometimes used as treatments for nerve pain. There’s some preliminary evidence that a few of them — like acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, and gamma linolenic acid — might help with nerve pain caused by diabetes. However, the evidence isn’t clear; more research needs to be done. Always check with a doctor before you start taking a supplement regularly.

 

 

10 Ways to Manage Pain without Opioids

The over-prescription of opioid painkillers such as Hydrocodone and OxyContin is one of the main causes of the current addiction epidemic in this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 50 percent of all opioid-related overdose deaths in the US involve a prescription painkiller and almost two million people in this country abuse or are dependent on prescription opioids.

Unfortunately, people have legitimate pain issues that can lead to a substance use disorder. As many as 25 percent of people who receive prescription painkillers in a physician’s office or hospital are struggling with addiction. The CDC has recently released guidelines aimed at reducing the misuse of opioid pain medications. Here are ten ways that various experts recommend managing pain without the use of opioids.

  1. Biofeedback. Biofeedback is a treatment or exercise that allows a patient to learn to consciously control his or her heart rate and response to stimuli on a screen. It is useful for pain management because it can teach patients to bring their own pain levels under control.
  2. Chiropractic Care. Chiropractic care is now an accepted form of treatment for chronic low back pain, neck pain, and headaches. A chiropractor manipulates the spine to help the body function properly and may also order physical therapy and massage treatment.
  3. Eastern Medicine. Also referred to as Chinese medicine, this is a term that encompasses both herbal treatments as well as acupressure and acupuncture. Acupuncture, in particular, has been used for the relief of pain in the shoulder, low back, neck, and knees.
  4. Hypnosis. When patients undergo hypnosis, they receive suggestions that help them respond differently to sensations and feelings in their body. A patient can learn to use relaxation and other techniques to reduce anxiety, which can also result in lower levels of pain.
  5. Cold and Heat. Cold and heat are accepted as effective therapies against chronic pain in various parts of the body. Cold helps reduce inflammation and heat can alleviate spasms in muscles.
  6. Meditation. One method of reducing pain is incorporating various relaxation exercises into everyday life. This includes learning to breathe to lower blood pressure and practicing meditation techniques. Meditation can help reduce the “fight-or-flight” response to pain, and there are even smartphone apps that act as simple guides.
  7. Massage. Massage therapy is another effective way to provide relief from chronic pain. Most massage therapists will provide massage to the affected area as well as the whole body with the goal to relieve muscle pain as well as improve circulation.
  8. Medication. Just because you are avoiding opioid painkillers, that does not mean that you cannot take any medications for chronic pain. Among the medicines that the CDC recommends for pain relief are:
  • Analgesics such as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen
  • Antidepressants
  • Topical agents
  1. TENS. A Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) produces electrical stimulation in the affected area, which has been shown to reduce pain related to musculoskeletal conditions.
  2. Yoga and Tai Chi. Exercise can be an excellent way to build up the muscles around damaged tissue and vertebrae. Among the best forms of exercise are those that use slow and smooth movements such as yoga and Tai Chi. These are both guided programs that also focus on breathing and relaxation techniques.

 

4 Ways To Manage Chronic Pain Without Medication

Four ways to manage chronic pain before taking pain medication include:

  1. Regular exercise: Exercise may be the last thing on your mind when you’re in pain. But gentle activity can actually help you recover. Exercise in the form of walking, biking or swimming loosens stiff muscles and improves blood flow, both of which speed your body’s natural healing process.
  2. Integrative medicine techniques: These techniques – which include yoga, tai chi and acupuncture – tap into the mind-body connection. “There is growing evidence that shows that the connection between the mind and body is greater than previously appreciated,” Zador says. Integrative techniques combine the power of breath, movement and mindfulness (the practice of being present in the moment) to relieve pain by calming unhealthy activity in the mind.
  3. Stress management: There is a strong connection in the brain between stress and pain. Finding healthy ways to cope with the pressures of everyday life can help you gain peace of mind and control of your symptoms.
  4. Physical therapy: Stretching and strengthening muscles with the help of a physical therapist not only relieves pain, but can prevent it from coming back. Physical therapy can also improve overall muscle functioning, which reduces strain and risk of injury in the long run.

There are a variety of benefits to overcoming chronic pain without medication. For starters, many people enjoy not having to remember to take pills several times a day. Other benefits include avoiding unpleasant side effects that may come with the medication, such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Hormone imbalances that can lead to problems like weight gain
  • Increased risk of organ damage, including kidney problems

The treatment options that are best for you depend on several factors, including the type of pain you are experiencing and what caused it. In some cases, especially when non-medication treatments aren’t successful, medication is the best option. But it’s often possible to get relief without medication and avoid unpleasant side effects.

“When medications are appropriate, we consider each patient’s lifestyle, overall health and personal preferences toward medication and pain procedures. This combination of factors helps us prescribe the treatments that are likely to help patients achieve long-term relief while avoiding side effects,” Zador says.

If chronic pain has become part of your daily life, learn more about the pain treatments available by talking with a provider specializing in pain management.