Monday, June 30, 2014

Beware of Bedbug Bites

We continue to hear news about those creepy little bedbugs popping up in mattresses, particularly in hotels. With summer underway, travel season is in full swing and many of our clients have been asking how they can protect their families from the itchy bites caused by bedbugs.

Bedbugs can live behind walls and wallpaper, in the seams of upholstered furniture, behind electrical outlets, under wall-to-wall carpeting and inside bed frames and mattresses. Contrary to popular belief, there is no association between bedbugs and dirt. They simply feed on blood from animals and humans and like to live nearby their food source. That is why infestations are commonly found in areas with high rates of turnover – like apartment buildings and hotels. Getting a bedbug infestation can be as easy as one jumping into a suitcase and traveling back home with you.

Bedbug bites are characterized by itchy, red welts that typically appear in clusters, with each cluster containing three to five bites in a zigzag pattern, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Here are some tips for treating bedbug bites:
  • Clean the bites. Wash the affected area with warm soap and water.
  • Treat the itch to prevent scratching. Scratching can cause the skin to become infected. Apply a corticosteroid cream to the bites to minimize itching.
  • Seek treatment. According to the AAD, you should see a dermatologist for treatment if you have several bedbug clusters, blisters, infected skin (where bites feel tender or ooze pus), or if you form an allergic skin reaction resulting in red, swollen skin or hives.

Treatment may require an injection of an antihistamine, corticosteroid or epinephrine for a severe allergic reaction. An antibiotic or over-the-counter antiseptic medication may be necessary to treat any infections. For itchiness, an antihistamine pill or liquid medicine might also be prescribed. It is important to visit a dermatologist during these circumstances to determine what treatment is right for you. Consult a pest-control company to find out how to get rid of bedbug infestations.

If you think you might have bedbug bites, follow these tips and call Greenville Dermatology today at 864-282-5872 to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tips for Skin Care on a Budget

You don’t need to use the most expensive products to have fresh, youthful skin. You can keep your skin healthy without breaking the bank by keeping these helpful skin care tips in mind.

1.     Cleanse Regularly
Don’t let a 12-hour period go by without using some sort of cleansing treatment or product on your skin. Stick to gentle, non-abrasive cleansers that do not contain alcohol. Cleansing regularly will help keep your pores from clogging, resulting in pimples and blemishes.

2.     Use Sunscreen Every Day
Sunscreen doesn’t just help protect your skin during the hotter months. Applying sunscreen to your skin every day will help protect your skin from sun damage year-round. Apply sunscreen every day to prevent wrinkles and age spots from developing.

3.     Compare Ingredients in Products
Just because a product is more expensive does not necessarily mean it is more effective. Next time you’re shopping for skin care products compare the ingredients listed on the back. Oftentimes you can receive the same benefits from a different product for a lot less money. Focus on the active rather than added fragrances, which can actually irritate skin.

4.     Use Petroleum Jelly
This wonder product can help your skin in a variety of ways. Petroleum jelly is great for moisturizing your skin and lips, preventing chafing, protecting minor scrapes and bumps, and can even be used as diaper ointment. Plus, it is inexpensive and available in bulk.

5.     Consider Dual-Function Products
Not only will this help your wallet, but it will help you save storage space, too. Look for products like moisturizers or lip balms that contain sunscreen for extra protection. Dual-function products are great if you’re always on-the-go and don’t have a lot of time to get ready in the mornings.

In addition to paying attention to these helpful tips, it is important to schedule a skin consultation before you begin using new products. By talking with an expert, you’ll discover what types of skin care products and regime will yield the best results for your skin. To schedule a consultation with one of Greenville Dermatology’s skin care experts, call (864) 282-5872 today. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tanning Beds Cause Same Damage as Sun

This summer everyone is looking to achieve that ‘healthy sun kissed glow.’ Unfortunately, that glow is nothing more than the beginning of sun damage. In fact, tans and sunburn have the same harmful effect on your skin.

Both sunburns and tans cause DNA damage to your skin, which increases your risk of developing melanoma. To make matters worse, a lot of people are increasing their exposure to damaging UV radiation and their risk for developing melanoma by turning to tanning beds.

Tanning beds often exceed “safe” UV limits, despite the claims of salons. The risk has become so great that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an order to reclassify sunlamps and ultraviolet lamp products used for indoor tanning from low-risk to moderate-risk devices. This reclassification brings stricter regulations to help protect consumers and public health.

The order also includes a strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18. Teens are at a special risk because their bodies are still developing – as their bodies change their cells are more prone to the damage of UV radiation. This puts them at a greater risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

While these stricter regulations are a step in the right direction, we still have a long way to go when it comes to protecting our skin from UV radiation. If you are trying to achieve that ‘summer glow,’ look to alternative options like spray tans or tanning lotions. These low-risk options help add color to your skin without causing the damage that a tan from UV rays would.

To browse Greenville Dermatology’s line of sun-safe products, stop by our retail store. Or to schedule your annual skin screening, call 864-282-5872 today. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Stem Cells Help Repair Damaged Skin

According to a recent study, we all hold the secret to healthier, younger-looking skin – in our stem cells.

The International Stem Cell Corporation, a leader in stem cell research, discovered how to use non-embryotic stem cells to help develop therapies and cures for regenerative diseases such as blindness, diabetes, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease. During their research, they also discovered how stem cells can help rejuvenate skin cells.

Stem cells, which are highly potent cells, have a unique ability to notice and replace damaged or diseased tissues throughout the body. When damage occurs, they “wake up” and go straight into action, helping to regenerate the cells that were lost or harmed. For our skin, that means stem cells may help to repair sun damage and slow the process of natural aging.  

Scientists were able to stimulate the skin’s own ability to repair itself by extracting non-embryonic human stem cells and adding them to topical creams. According to an independent clinical study, 93 percent of the individuals who used this treatment experienced improvement in skin hydration, 73 percent experienced firmer, tighter skin and 63 percent experienced improved skin tone and brightness. 

While this type of treatment is still in the experimental stages, stem cell skin care is proving to be a very promising solution to damaged and aged skin.

To browse our current line of anti-aging creams and skin care products, visit our Greenville Dermatology retail store today. To make an appointment with one of our skin care specialists, call (864) 242-5872. 

Monday, June 2, 2014 Article: Six Facts That Would Surprise You About Melanoma

The following is a preview of an article Dr. Miller wrote for Click here to read the full article.

1.     Melanoma Can Occur On Areas That Never See The Sun
Surprisingly, melanoma can occur on any skin surface, including those that have never been exposed to the sun. In fact melanoma can occur on areas inside the body such as the retina of the eye, and the lining of the spinal cord.

2.     Sun Exposure Is Not The Only Risk Factor For Melanoma
Getting blistering sunburn increases your risk for melanoma. However, some estimates say that having a first degree family member such as your father, mother, sister or brother who has been diagnosed with melanoma, can increase your risk by 60 times more than someone who does not have that family history.

3.     Melanoma Is Not Always Dark In Color
While the majority of melanomas are dark or black in color and irregular in shape, they can be red, pink, purple and skin colored among other colors. For this reason, any new growth on the body should be examined by a dermatologist and biopsied, if necessary, to determine if it is cancerous.

4.     Melanoma Affects All Races
While Caucasians are 20 times more likely to develop melanoma than dark-skinned people, dark-skinned people can and do get melanoma. About one in 50 Caucasians will get melanoma, while about one in 1000 dark-skinned people will get melanoma.

5.     Melanoma Is The Most Commonly Diagnosed Cancer For Young Adults
Melanoma is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for people aged 25-29 years and is the second most common cancer in young adults aged 15-29 years old. Therefore, annual skin screening by a dermatologist should begin early in life, particularly for people with a family history of melanoma and a history of sunburn.

6.     The Incidence Of Melanoma Is Increasing Faster In Females Aged 15 to 29.
Melanoma is being diagnosed more frequently in females aged 15 to 29 than it is in males of the same age group. This is postulated to be due to high-risk tanning behaviors. Just one session in a tanning bed increases the risk for melanoma by 20% and each additional exposure to a tanning bed increases that risk by 2%. Studies show that people who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk of melanoma by 75%. For this reason, many states have imposed a ban on tanning bed use by minors under the age of 18 years old.

It is extremely important to schedule regular skin screenings in addition to taking preventive measures to protect your skin. To schedule your skin screening with Greenville Dermatology, call (864) 242-5872 today.