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E is for Eczema

Eczema Treatment Bend, OROK, so that doesn’t make sense — eczema has an X sound to start it — but no matter how you spell or say it, eczema is annoying. If it makes you any more comfortable, you’re in good company; over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema. But the itching, scaly skin doesn’t have to be a way of life. Dr. Carter can treat your eczema.

What is eczema?

Eczema is known by atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema for doctor types. If you’ve heard of the common term, eczema, it could be from a dandruff shampoo commercial or something like that. It’s a chronic condition characterized by red, itchy, dry skin that is due to inflammation.

It’s common for babies and young children, showing up on the face. In most children, eczema is a passing condition.

In adults, eczema has much in common with allergies, although the exact triggers of eczema are still somewhat of a mystery. Eczema can develop anywhere on the body but is common on the shins, behind the knees, and on the arms.

No matter what the actual cause, the body reaction that causes eczema is due to abnormal function of the immune system. Also, activities that can cause the skin to be more sensitive, dry, or irritated, and or any defects in the skin barrier can lead to an outbreak of eczema.

What are the symptoms?

Eczema shows itself as patches of chronically dry, itchy, thick skin that appear on the hands, neck, face, and leg area. The skin may appear red or brownish-grey. The affected areas may have small bumps that leak fluid when scratched. The irritation and itching are usually worse at night.

How we treat eczema

Mild cases of eczema (people don’t even realize they have it sometimes) can often be managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory creams. But when those don’t work, or when your rashes become crusty or develop blisters, then it’s time to see Dr. Carter.

These are the array of prescription medications and other treatments she may use to get a handle on your eczema:

  • Hydrocortisone
  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Ultraviolet light therapy
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Prescription-strength moisturizers

You don’t need to live with the itchiness and embarrassment of eczema. See us at Deschutes. Call 541-330-0900 to make an appointment.

Posted in Eczema | August 30, 2017

Leave the Double Chin to Jobba the Hut

Kybella Treatment Bend, ORJust about all of us have some degree of a double chin after we hit out 45th birthday or thereabouts. It’s a combination of our skin and tissue becoming looser and the development of fat cells.

But you don’t have to feel like you look like Jobba the Hut. You can stop in and see Dr. Carter and have her treat your double chin with Kybella. Before you know it, you’ll have a profile that looks more like yours at 25 rather than 45 or 50.

What is Kybella?

Kybella is the only FDA-approved injectable treatment to improve the appearance of double chins by destroying the fat cells helping your skin to sag. Clinically, a double chin is called submental fullness (a much more pleasant term!). Studies have shown that over two-thirds of people are bothered by their double chins. And those people say their sagging chins bug them just as much as wrinkles and other signs of aging.

How does Kybella work its magic?

Kybella’s secret is quite simple. It is made, basically, of deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid occurs naturally in the human body. Its job is to help with the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. The key is that deoxycholic acid doesn’t know the difference between dietary fat (the ingested kind) and the fat living a comfortable life under your chin. To it, fat is fat and must be destroyed.

So, when Dr. Carter injects Kybella into various locations under your chin, the deoxycholic acid finds the fat and destroys it. The fat is then broken down and flushed from the body through the lymphatic system. In addition to getting rid of the fat, Kybella also destroys the fat storage ability in the area. So, not only is the fat gone but so is the body’s capacity to store fat in the future.

How long do results last?

We said destroy, and we mean it. Kybella doesn’t need ongoing future sessions — the fat is gone permanently. You decide on the number of injection sessions you want to get to your goals, and once you’re there, you’re done. Obviously, your chin muscles and tissue will continue to slacken somewhat with age, but the fat that has been most of the problem is gone for good.

How many sessions will I need?

The FDA has set the maximum number of treatment sessions at six, but how many you decide to have is up to you. Some people find they like their new profile at just two to four sessions. How many you end up having is up to you.

Interested in getting rid of your chinny chin? Call Dr. Carter at 541-330-0900 and let’s talk about Kybella.

Posted in Kybella | August 15, 2017

Building Your Eyebrows

Microblading Bend, Oregon Microblading may sound like the latest craze for zipping down the streets of Bend, raising the eyebrows of bystanders. Actually, microblading is only about those eyebrows — it is a form of semi-permanent make-up designed to give the patient fuller, more defined eyebrows.

What is microblading?

Microblading is a form of tattoo artistry where the pigment is implanted into the skin using a manual, handheld tool instead of a machine. This is how it varies from the more familiar tattooing methods. In microblading our medical aesthetician, Tara McKenna, creates delicate, individual strokes that are virtually indistinguishable from actual hairs. They accurately mimic your eyebrow hair, but fill out thin or sparsely populated areas. Tara uses a technique that creates a very natural, pleasing look. It presents a stark contrast to traditional “permanent” make-up, which can look grey and artificial.

Who would be right for microblading?

Every woman knows the bother that is applying makeup to fill out our eyebrows. Microblading replaces that need for makeup, giving you perfect brows every day without any work on your part. Also, if your hair density has diminished with age, illness, over-plucking, or simple genetics, microblading can be a great option. Finally, if your vision has diminished, or if the steadiness of your hands can be a problem, microblading can replace the difficulty of applying makeup.

Is microblading painful?

We apply topical anesthetic prior to your microblading procedure. Most patients feel this is more than adequate and that the procedure is virtually painless.

What will I look like after my appointment?

When you leave after your microblading appointment, the pigment on your eyebrows will appear very dark and the lines very sharp. Don’t worry — this is simply because the pigment is still sitting on top of your skin and has not fully settled into the epidermis. The color will soften gradually. Your true final color will show itself in three to four weeks. At that point, a touch-up and/or color correction can be made, if necessary.

What do I have to do to maintain my eyebrows?

Microblading is semi-permanent, meaning periodic touch-ups are necessary for maintenance. The timing varies from person to person, but a touch-up usually is needed after one to two years.

Interested in permanently perfect eyebrows? Call Deschutes at 541-330-0900 and ask about microblading.

Posted in Microblading | July 30, 2017

Show Unwanted Hair the Door…Permanently

Laser Hair Removal Bend, ORUnwanted hair is like that chickweed in your perennial beds. No matter what you do, it just keeps coming back. You shave, pluck, wax, and use napalm-like creams to remove the stuff but then two or three weeks later there it is again.

Instead of this unending hair warfare, Dr. Carter has a better idea — putting our lasers to work ridding your body of its unwanted hair for good.

Join the crowd

In case you wonder if other people are having their unwanted hair zapped by lasers consider this: year in and year out, laser hair removal is the most popular cosmetic treatment performed in the United States. That’s because it works very well and it’s easy. Laser hair removal is great on the underarms, face, bikini line, legs, back, and other areas of the body.

How it gets rid of the hair

It may seem scary to have a laser directed at your skin. If you’ve been binging on James Bond movies, it could make you think of that scene in Goldfinger, where our beloved spy is about to be sliced in two with a laser. But, in reality, laser hair removal is safe and pretty simple.

It all comes down to the hair follicle. For permanent hair removal, the hair follicle’s bulb, bulge, and papilla must be destroyed. The vehicle is laser energy. The melanin in hair is the target for the laser energy; different wavelengths are used for different hair colors. For this reason, laser hair removal isn’t as effective on light blond or gray hair.

The laser energy travels down the hair into the follicle, and the heat then damages the follicle so it can no longer produce hair. Sometimes, if the follicle isn’t fully disabled, hair growth function can return in a few months or more.

Timing is important

You may wonder why, if you can ski the entire volcanic cone at Mt. Bachelor, how come hair isn’t always permanently sent to the graveyard. The problem is timing. Only actively growing hair responds well to laser treatments because the hair has the most melanin in that phase. But in addition to the anagen (active growth) phase, there is telogen (no growth), and cathagen (hair ejection) phases. The hundreds of thousands of hairs on your body are in different phases at different times. Plus, different areas of the body have more hairs in anagen phases than others, because hair growth is more important in those areas.

Trust Deschutes expertise

Laser hair removal requires expertise in wavelength selection, fluency, pulse duration, and cooling to effectively remove unwanted hair with the most comfort for you. At Deschutes, we know skin and how to keep you comfortable with all of our procedures. Hair removal is no different!

If you’re ready to ditch the razors and the nasty depilatory creams, you’re ready for laser hair removal at Deschutes. Call us at 541-330-0900 to make an appointment.

Posted in Laser Hair Removal | July 15, 2017

We Love You, Warts and All

Wart Removal Bend, ORMost people have some warts, usually when in their teens or as young adults. And none of them came from picking up a toad.

OK. So that’s out of the way.

Warts are caused by a virus, more specifically the human papillomavirus (HPV). While warts gave this virus its name (warts are clinically called papillomas), warts are the least of your worries when it comes to HPV. HPV is a group of more than 150 related viruses. Some cause warts, but others cause various cancers such as cervical, mouth, and others.

Why do people get warts?

When a person is infected with the HPV, usually through an area of broken skin, the virus causes the top layer of the skin to grow rapidly. The excessive cell growth creates the wart.

Warts can grow anywhere on the human body. Different types of warts grow in different places. Usually, they go away on their own within a few months or a couple of years. Sometimes, when the wart starts spreading or becomes painful, that’s the time to see Dr. Carter at Deschutes.

What are the different types of warts?

  • Common warts are dome-shaped, rough, and grayish-brown in color. They usually grow on the hands and arms.
  • Plantar warts are thick hard patches of skin that grow on the soles of the feet. When they get big enough, they need to be removed as they feel as if the person has a pebble in his or her shoe when walking.
  • Flat warts are small with flat tops. They are pink, brown, or yellow in color. They grow on the face, arms, and legs.
  • Filiform warts are skin-toned and appear to have threadlike growth sticking out of them. They grow around the mouth, nose, or the beard.
  • Periungular warts look like rough bumps with uneven borders and surfaces. They grow under the toenails and fingernails.

How do warts spread?

Kissing toads do not spread or create a wart, so princesses are safe. That is, unless they borrow a towel from a prince with a wart, or if they touch a wart on said Prince. After contact with the virus, it may take months before a wart sprouts.

When to beat up on a wart

Most warts can simply be ignored, kind of like your neighbor’s yapping miniature poodle. But if they become painful or start making baby warts, or if you don’t like the look of a wart, Dr. Carter can give them the business. She can use cryotherapy, electrosurgery, curettage, an injection, or even lasers to remove your warts. Usually, antibiotics need to be involved to keep the wart from returning; remember it is a virus that is responsible.

Have a wart you want Dr. Carter to make sleep with the fishes? Call her at 541-330-0900 and let’s take a look at it.

Posted in Warts | June 30, 2017

Keep the Shingles on Your Roof, Not Your Skin

Medical Dermatology Bend ORMany people know next to nothing about shingles beyond the type that cover your roof. But if you had chicken pox when you were a kid, you need to be aware of this viral infection that leads to a painful rash. At Deschutes, we offer shingles vaccinations and treatment.

What are shingles?

If you’re over 50, odds are you probably had chicken pox when you were a kid. There was no vaccine at the time, and it was very contagious. If you had chicken pox, you could develop shingles. The virus behind chicken pox, the varicella-zoster virus, is the culprit behind shingles. The virus resides in nerve tissue near the person’s brain and spinal cord but is dormant after the chicken pox outbreak. Then, particularly after the age of 50, it can rear its ugly head as shingles. Shingles will show itself as a painful rash on the skin, usually as a single strip of rash on the face or the body.

What are the symptoms of shingles?

The extreme pain that can be a part of shingles isn’t initially present. First, the person may begin to get headaches and become somewhat sensitive to light. Flu-like symptoms, without fever, come next.

You’ll wish you had those symptoms when the next phase comes on. The next stage will result in shooting or burning pain on one side of the body or face. This pain is also usually accompanied by itching and tingling sensations. The pain varies from person to person, but it can become severe. After two weeks, rashes may appear on the face or body. It most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of the torso. These rashes will usually heal in two to four weeks, but the pain can linger for weeks, months, even a couple of years.

Stress, illness, and certain medications that compromise the immune system can trigger a shingles outbreak. Once a person has a shingles outbreak, it usually won’t happen again.

How we treat shingles

At Deschutes, Dr. Carter treats shingles in a variety of ways. The best option, for those over 50, is to have the shingles vaccine. This vaccine lowers your chances of getting shingles and usually prevents chronic pain from developing after your other symptoms have subsided.

Once the virus has blossomed into full-blown shingles, Dr. Carter uses antiviral medicines and pain relievers to alleviate the pain. She’ll usually prescribe antiviral medication as soon as a person experiences early symptoms and before rashes develop. Topical creams will be used to decrease skin inflammation.

If you have any of the symptoms of shingles, and you had chicken pox as a child, don’t hesitate to call us at Deschutes, 541-330-0900.

Posted in Skin Conditions | June 15, 2017

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