While most people are aware of the potentially life-threatening health consequences of cigarette smoking, including lung cancer and emphysema, many people do not recognize the negative impact that smoking can have on the health and appearance of their skin.
Smoking causes biomechanical changes in our bodies that can speed up the normal aging process of the skin, contributing to deep wrinkles and fine lines that make us look older. The more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more wrinkled, leathery skin you will develop.
Why does smoking cause wrinkles?
Smoking accelerates skin aging in a number of ways.
- Nicotine in cigarettes deprive skin cells of oxygen and constricts the blood vessels that feed nutrients to the skin cells.
- Smoking damages collagen and elastin, the fibers that give skin its strength and elasticity. As fibrous substances are destroyed, skin begins to sag and droop.
- Smoking reduces the body’s store of vitamin A and vitamin C, which provide skin protection.
- Continual pursing of the mouth when inhaling or squinting of the eyes to avoid smoke can cause deep wrinkling around the eyes and mouth.
- Continual exposure to cigarette heat and smoke can make skin appear sallow and yellowish in color.
- As collagen is destroyed, other parts of the body such as the inner arms and neck may appear saggy and wrinkled with time.
There’s Help—Quit Now
Skin damage caused by smoking won’t be completely reversible. But the signs of smoking can be dramatically diminished and even avoided the sooner you stop smoking. Even those who have smoked for several years show noticeably less wrinkling and improved skin tone when they quit smoking.
If you are ready to stop smoking or have recently quit, but the visible signs of aging smoking left behind bother you, talk to your dermatologist. There are many different cosmetic treatments available that can reduce fine lines caused by smoking. Laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and some topical treatments can restore skin, giving it a rejuvenated and smoother appearance. We will examine your skin, discuss your goals for treatment and recommend suitable options.
The longer you smoke, the greater chance you have of developing irreversible wrinkles. By stopping your smoking habit now combined with an improved diet and a great anti-aging skin care regimen, it is possible to regain your youthful skin.
New Location Update
The office will be closed beginning at noon on April 11th and opening in our new location at 9:00 am on April 16th. During the move, we will be able to respond to emergency calls only. Please note the address of the building has changed since our last post. The new address is:
131 W. Sunset Rd, Ste 101
San Antonio TX 78209
We look forward to seeing you there!
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, almost everyone has at least a few moles—sometimes up to 40 or more. Millions of Americans have lived with moles for many years without an issue. But some patients may need to have them removed for health reasons. Find out when you should have a mole checked out by a dermatologist at Alamo Heights Dermatology in San Antonio, TX.
What Moles Look Like
Moles, also called nevi, are often dark brown, black, or deep red in color, depending on the complexion of the person. They are more visible and more common in people with lighter skin. They are small, raised bumps that often appear on the face, neck, and limbs of the body. Some people develop them in childhood while other people see them appear as adults. If you don't check your skin every day, you may not even notice that you have them.
When You Should Have a Mole Looked At
Whenever a mole that has looked the same for years suddenly starts to change, that is something to be concerned about. Adults who find brand new moles should keep an eye on them. See your San Antonio dermatologist for a skin exam in these cases:
- The mole changes in color, size, border, symmetry, or texture.
- The mole is starting to itch, bleed, or emit other fluids.
- There has been a previous case of skin cancer or a cancerous mole.
- You are in an at-risk group (very high number of moles, pale skin, and/or family history).
Having a Mole Treated
If your dermatologist determines that a mole is abnormal, a biopsy will be done to evaluate the cells further. Mole removal, also called excision, can be done in the office when an issue is caught early, which is why dermatologists strongly encourage regular skin exams (both at home and at the doctor's office) for at-risk patients.
Have Your Moles Examined Soon
If you have a lot of moles or have experienced mole problems in the past, it's a good idea to schedule regular skin checkups with a dermatologist. An urgent appointment should be scheduled if you notice any concerning changes to a mole. Contact Dr. Rebecca Kelso or Dr. Emily Fridlington at Alamo Heights Dermatology in San Antonio, TX by calling 210-255-8447 today.
When your child breaks out all over in a blistery, itchy red rash, there’s a good chance it’s the chicken pox. Chicken pox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, and although it’s typically a childhood disease, people who have not contracted it as a child can suffer from it in adulthood as well.
Chicken pox is highly contagious and can spread from person to person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person's coughing or sneezing.
Symptoms of Chicken pox
Itchy red spots or blisters all over the body are telltale signs of chicken pox. It may also be accompanied by a headache, sore throat and fever. Symptoms are generally mild among children, but can cause serious complications in infants, adults and people with weakened immune systems.
The most common symptoms of chicken pox include:
- Itchy rash all over the body, including the face, on the arms and legs and inside the mouth
- Fatigue and irritability
- Feeling of general illness
- Reduced appetite
The symptoms of chicken pox may resemble other skin problems or medical conditions, so it is always important to consult your child's physician or dermatologist for proper diagnosis. If the chicken pox rash seems generalized or severe, or if the child has a high grade fever or is experiencing a headache or nausea, seek medical care right away.
The incubation period (from exposure to first appearance of symptoms) is 14 to 16 days. When the blisters crust over, they are no longer contagious and the child can return to normal activity.
Relief for Chicken Pox
It is important not to scratch the blisters as it can slow down the healing process and result in scarring. Scratching may also increase the risk of a bacterial infection. To help relieve the itching, soak in a cool or lukewarm oatmeal bath. A physician may recommend anti-itch ointments or medications, such as over-the-counter antihistamines, to control this troublesome itch.
Although about four million children get chicken pox each year, it may be preventable via a vaccine. Usually one episode of chicken pox in childhood provides lifelong immunity to the virus.
Fortunately, chicken pox is more of a nuisance than a concern. With time and extra rest, the rash will pass and the child will be good as new! Contact your dermatologist whenever you have questions or concerns about chicken pox.
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