Learn some fun facts about these common skin blemishes.
Birthmarks are extremely common, appearing on about 80 percent of babies at birth. Even if you don’t have a birthmark, chances are good that you know someone who does. However, how much do you actually know about these dermatological markings? There are a lot of facts and folklore surrounding birthmarks and why they appear. Find out how much you really know!
Your Birthmark Is Not Caused By Your Mother!
There are many folk tales surrounding the expectant mother’s influence on whether or not her child has a birthmark. Some cultures believe that a birthmark is associated with the mother’s unfulfilled want or need, while others believe that certain foods that the mother eats or activities that she participates in can cause birthmarks to appear on her newborn. However, many doctors believe that birthmarks actually form before the child is even born.
Does a Birthmark Tell You Who You’ll Be?
Are you always looking for the next amazing adventure? Do people revel over all your successes? If so, some people might believe your birthmark has something to do with it. A birthmark on the back is believed to signify that the child is openminded, while a birthmark on the right foot means you are born to be a traveler. While there is certainly no scientific evidence to prove any of this, it’s a fun superstition nonetheless.
All lore aside, many birthmarks are benign; however, it is best to see your dermatologist to have it evaluated and to make sure it isn’t malignant. There are several different kinds of birthmarks:
- Congenital melanocytic nevus: This more rare birthmark can be found anywhere on the body and is usually light brown or sometimes black, depending on the person’s skin color.
- Mongolian spots: A bluishgray marking that may look similar to a bruise.
- Port wine stain: A purple or red blemish that often appears on the face.
- Telangiectatic nevus: Sometimes referred to as a “stork bite” or “angel kiss”, these slightly red patches are often found on the face or back of the neck.
- Hemangiomas: A raised, red mark sometimes referred to as a “strawberry mark”
- Café au lait spots: This birthmark is characterized by circular, light brown spots
- Silvermark: A silver or white streak in the hair.
If you are unhappy with or embarrassed by your birthmark then you may also want to talk to your dermatologist about having it removed. Both surgery and laser treatments may be options for having your skin blemish removed.
Don’t let unwanted hair make you embarrassed. Find out how laser treatment can help.
Spring is upon us and pretty soon we are going to be basking in those gloriously warm summer days. Of course, if you find yourself a little embarrassed to sport those shorts or a bathing suit because of unwanted hair, turn to our San Antonio, TX, dermatologists Dr. Rebecca Kelso and Dr. Emily Fridlington for a simple laser procedure that could just give you the smooth skin you want this summer.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal provides our patients here in San Antonio, TX, with a fast, effective and non-invasive way to remove dark, thick and unwanted hair. When the laser is directed over the skin, it safely penetrates through the skin to heat up the hair follicles. The laser’s heat will ultimately destroy the hair follicle to prevent hair from growing back.
How will the procedure work?
The length of your treatment will depend on what area or areas you wish to treat. Laser hair removal is great for everything from unwanted facial hair to armpit hair, back and chest hair and even your delicate bikini line.
In fact, this laser treatment can be used virtually anywhere on the body. The procedure can last anywhere from a couple of minutes (upper lip) to an hour (full back), depending on the size of the area we are treating.
How many sessions will I need?
How many hair removal sessions you undergo will depend on several factors including the thickness of your hair and the area (or areas) we are treating. Certain regions like the lip or chin may only require a single session while the back, chest, legs or other more extensive areas of the body may require up to five sessions or more.
Is laser hair removal right for me?
If you have thick, dark unwanted hair then you could be the perfect candidate for laser hair removal. Before coming in for an evaluation it is important to recognize that there is a difference between this treatment option and electrolysis. Laser hair removal is not permanent, meaning that it will greatly reduce the amount of hair that grows back but it won’t be able to completely remove all hair.
While electrolysis can provide permanent results, the process takes significantly longer since it treats each hair follicle separately. If you are looking for an easy, simple approach to getting smoother skin, laser hair removal may be the best option for you.
Alamo Heights Dermatology in San Antonio, TX, boasts comprehensive, quality dermatological care. No matter whether you want to find out if laser hair removal is right for you or you want to chat about the other services we offer, don’t hesitate to call our office today.
Even if you are someone who lathers on the SPF regularly, chances are good that if you’ve spent any time in the sun during your lifetime that you have some sun damage. Everything from dark spots to freckles can form as a result of exposure to the sun. Of course, if you find those dark spots becoming more visible or more widespread then you may want to consider how a dermatologist can help refresh your appear and hide those signs of sun damage.
If you are noticing more and more dark spots then it’s a good idea to seek a skincare professional who can determine the cause of these spots. There are many reasons discolorations occur and it’s important that we are able to detect early signs of skin cancer and melanoma before we decide the best course of action.
Once your dermatologist has performed a thorough screening and has determined that the dark spots aren’t cancerous, then it’s time to get down to business discussing what cosmetic option or options will work best for diminishing those dark spots, whether you are looking for at-home solutions or in-office treatments.
The number one treatment for getting rid of discolorations and dark spots is laser therapy. There are a variety of lasers available that can provide you with the results you want depending on your specific needs, goals, and skin problems. One of the most common lasers used to treat dark spots is the intense pulsed light (IPL). The goal of IPL is to reduce and even eliminate uneven pigmentation to provide a more even appearance. Another benefit to IPL is that is can also brighten the skin.
There are different wavelengths that are able to penetrate through different layers of the skin. Depending on the severity of your dark spots, your dermatologist will determine the wavelength that will provide you with the best results. As the laser is directed over the skin it will heat up and destroy the darker pigmentations of the skin. While it’s common for most people to treat their face, you can get IPL treatment just about anywhere, from your face and neck to your chest and legs.
Laser treatment can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to complete and can be performed without the need for anesthesia. The process is non-invasive and also boasts no downtime. Even though you may notice some redness afterwards, you can go right back to your daily routine. You’ll start to notice the dark spots flaking and going away over the course of a couple of weeks. You will most likely require a couple of sessions in order to get the optimal results.
Don’t let sun damage ruin the appearance of your skin. Turn to a dermatologist who can help meet your needs and provide you with the proper treatment option to give you the fantastic results you want. Laser treatment can be an amazing way to restore and revive sun-damaged skin.
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.
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