What Is the Best Psoriasis Treatment for Me?

What Is the Best Psoriasis Treatment for Me?

The honest answer to that question is that it varies on the severity of your condition. That being said, there is a myriad of relief options available that we will go over here. In order to find the best psoriasis treatment specific to your condition, you will need to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist.

In the meantime, you can learn about your psoriasis.

The first step to begin to ease the problem is understanding what psoriasis is. Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by scaly skin cell build-up that is often itchy, uncomfortable, and painful. While it isn’t completely understood, psoriasis is believed to be caused by an overactive immune system. What dermatologists do know is that psoriasis speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. This build-up causes an accumulation of cells that results in red, scaly patches. This condition is chronic, and flare-ups usually coincide with stressful situations or during habits like smoking or drinking alcohol.

Symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Patchy, itchy skin
  • Silvery, scaly skin
  • Burning
  • Soreness
  • Stiff or swollen joints

Different types each call for a different psoriasis treatment.

Types include:

  • Plaque psoriasis
  • Nail psoriasis
  • Guttate psoriasis
  • Inverse psoriasis
  • Pustular psoriasis
  • Erythromdermic psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis

Finding the right psoriasis treatment will be individual for each person suffering from the condition, but treatments according to the Mayo Clinic include:

Topical treatments:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Vitamin D analogues
  • Anthralin
  • Topical retinoids
  • Calcineurin inhibitors
  • Salicylic acid
  • Coal tar
  • Moisturizers

Light therapy:

  • Sunlight
  • UVB phototherapy
  • Narrow band UVB phototherapy
  • Goeckerman therapy
  • Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA)
  • Excimer laser

Injected/Oral medications:

  • Retinoids
  • Methotrexate
  • Cyclosporine
  • Biologics (drugs that affect the immune system)
  • Thioguanine or hydroxyurea

Deschutes Dermatology | Psoriasis Treatment

The best and most effective way to find the psoriasis treatment right for you is to meet with a dermatologist. Dr. Carter at Deschutes Dermatology is well versed with the different options for psoriasis treatment. She has seen all types and can help you choose the right medication or procedure for your specific condition. Schedule a consultation today to get started in finding a reprieve to psoriasis.

Now’s the Time for Laser Hair Removal

Now’s the Time for Laser Hair Removal

Summer has faded and with it goes bathing suits, shorts, and sandals. Instead of mourning the warmer weather, you can look forward to cozy sweaters, winter activities, and laser hair removal. Oh, you hadn’t thought of that last part? It’s true; winter is the best time to receive laser hair removal treatments since you’ll have less exposure to the sun.

Wondering how laser hair removal works? You’ve come to the right place.

Laser hair removal involves a highly-concentrated laser light source that’s beamed into the hair follicles. The pigment in the follicles absorbs the light, which ultimately destroys the hair. The darker the hair pigment, the more significant the hair loss, which is why fall and winter months are the best times for the procedure.

Lasers provide precision and efficiency for hair removal. A single pulse can target many dark, coarse hairs at once, all within a fraction of a second. Advancements in laser technology make this procedure very safe. Modern lasers also don’t damage surrounding skin. It is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the U.S.

The most common areas that can benefit from laser hair removal include the legs, underarms, bikini line, upper lip or face, small of the back, and more. Smaller areas like the upper lip only take a few minutes, while larger areas like the legs can take up to an hour. Depending on the client’s hair pigmentation, permanent hair loss can be achieved in less than ten sessions.

To prepare for the session, refrain from waxing and plucking the treatment area to preserve the hairs’ roots. Avoid laying in the sun or visit a tanning booth as UV light will alter your hair follicle’s pigmentation. During the session, the technologist will use the laser equipment, which is adjusted according to your hair’s pigmentation and your skin color, to pulse the light source onto the treatment area. You will wear appropriate eye protection. Many patients describe the process as a rubber band being snapped on the skin. If your skin is sensitive after the procedure, you may be given ice packs or sent home with anti-inflammatory lotion. Your appointments will be six weeks apart but come next spring, you’ll have smooth legs and won’t even have to shave!

Deschutes Dermatology | Laser Hair Removal

Even though laser hair removal is a common treatment, it is still a medical procedure and must be performed by a certified doctor or technician. Here at Deschutes Dermatology, our trained staff is experienced with performing laser hair removal.

Schedule a consultation to find out how many sessions you need to achieve the desired effect. Now’s the best time for laser hair removal!

What Are Lipomas?

What Are Lipomas?

Lipomas (benign fatty growths) Removal Bend, ORWant to know a tumor that you shouldn’t be scared of? Try the underappreciated lipoma. Lipomas are the most common tumor to form beneath your skin. About 1 out of every 1,000 people develops lipomas.

They’re not usually anything more than a soft rubbery bulge on your skin. While lipomas are harmless, occasionally it’s best to remove them.

What is a lipoma?

A lipoma is a collection of fat cells growing in the soft tissue of your body, under the skin but over the muscle. Lipomas don’t develop into cancer because they consist only of fat and sometimes connective tissue.

No one is sure why lipomas develop. They often appear after an injury, and middle-aged people tend to get them more. There also seems to be a genetic factor, as they tend to run in families.

What do they look like?

Lipomas usually appear as small, soft lumps. They’re usually less than 2 inches wide. When pressed on, a lipoma may feel doughy, and they will move easily with finger pressure. They don’t normally hurt, but can if they grow next to nerves or if blood vessels run through them.

Why would I need to remove a lipoma?

Most lipomas are harmless and can be left to their lumpy existence. But if the lipoma becomes tender or painful, acquires infections, becomes inflamed repeatedly, interferes with your movements, becomes enlarged, or has a foul-smelling discharge then you should have Dr. Carter remove it.

How are lipomas removed?

Dr. Carter will usually surgically remove your lipoma. In most cases, this can be done as an outpatient procedure with local anesthetic simply injected around the lipoma. Dr. Carter will then make an incision, remove the fat cells and any connective tissue, and close the incision with a few stitches.

If surgery isn’t an option, steroid injections can shrink the growth, but usually won’t eliminate it.

The lipoma can be aspirated with a needle and a large syringe. This method doesn’t leave a scar but isn’t as effective for larger lipomas.

Do you have a lipoma that you would like have removed? Call Dr. Carter at 541-330-0900 to make your appointment.

Sculptra Is Long Lasting

Sculptra Is Long Lasting

Dermal Fillers Bend, ORSome people think that if they never went outside that they wouldn’t age. Not so. Not only would you miss out on all the beauty around us here in Bend, but you’d still age. It’s called intrinsic aging, and it involves the yearly decrease of your body’s collagen production. By the time you’re 50, your body produces one third less of this structural skin support protein than when you were 20. Elastin, which keeps the skin supple and elastic, has a similar drop.

That’s why you’re wrinkling, and your skin is sagging. Sun damage and other environmental issues/choices play a role, too, but intrinsic aging is the real culprit.

To fight back against this loss of collagen and elastin, Dr. Carter offers Sculptra, a long-lasting injectable that stimulates the body to produce new collagen to counteract some of the effects of intrinsic aging.

Sculptra is different filler

Most dermal fillers get their name because they “fill” in wrinkles; they push them up. These fillers are injected beneath the wrinkle and push up the skin. Their results are immediate.

Sculptra addresses wrinkles in a different fashion. You’ll see improvement after your injections, as you would with other fillers, but your real improvement will come over time. This is because Sculptra is made from poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which works in the dermis layer of the skin to replace lost collagen. Sculptra is known as a bio-activator or “volumizer.” Because it slowly rebuilds collagen, Sculptra gives you subtle results that continue to improve over time. This makes for a natural-looking appearance that gradually improves your skin. It’s not the instant change that you see with other fillers. With Sculptra, your results will come gradually, so no one notices a sudden change. We recommend three injection sessions over a few months for the best results. These results can then last for over two years!

How does Sculptra work?

Sculptra is injected differently. Other fillers are injected at a relatively shallow level, just below the wrinkle that needs to be filled. Dr. Carter injects Sculptra more deeply, into the deep dermal layer of the skin. In the deep dermis, microparticles of PLLA work to rebuild lost collagen and provide structural skin support. As the PLLA is absorbed, a collagen framework is created. This reinforced collagen structure provides a foundation that gradually restores the look of fullness to shallow to deep wrinkles and folds.

Where does Sculptra work best?

Sculptra is effective for:

  • The lines framing your mouth (marionette lines)
  • Hollow areas of the temples, cheeks, chin, and under the eyes
  • Deep folds between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds), also called smile lines
  • Chin wrinkles

Interested in the long-term effects of Sculptra? Call us at Deschutes, 541-330-0900, to make an appointment.

Botox has some Other Interesting Applications

Botox has some Other Interesting Applications

Botox® Bend, ORSince you may be considering coming to see the team at Deschutes for a Botox session before your holiday party, it may interest you to know some other uses for this world-famous brand.

This all-star of the aesthetic world was first approved for the treatment of wrinkles in 2002, but it was used for the treatment of other medical conditions decades before that. Here are some additional facts about Botox:

The origins or Botox

Clostridium botulinum is the organism from which Botox is derived. It can be found in its inactive form all through the natural environment, including in cultivated soil and forest soil, and in the sediment of lakes, streams, coastal and untreated waters.

Medicinal uses

Botox has been used medicinally for decades. It all started after WW2. Scientists found that the botulinum toxin type A, when injected in very small amounts, could make muscles temporarily stop contracting it was tried in various capacities. It is now used for the following therapeutic applications:

  • Blepharospasm (involuntary eyelid spasms)
  • Idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia (severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms)
  • Chronic migraine headaches
  • Severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Post-stroke upper limb spasticity
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Overactive bladder
  • Hemifacial spasm

 

It is also used “off-label” for:

 

  • Achalasia (esophageal problems creating difficulty swallowing)
  • Sialorrhea (hypersalivation)
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Hepatopancreatic dysfunction
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Oromandibular dystonia (forceful contraction of the jaw, face, and tongue)
  • Laryngeal dystonia (forceful contraction of the vocal cords)

More about Botox

More than six million Botox treatments are given each year, far and away the most of any cosmetic procedure of any type.

Although Botox is by far the most popular brand, the botulinum toxin is also sold commercially under these other brand names: Vistabel, Dysport, Bocouture, Xeomin, and Myobloc.

Are you interested in saying goodbye to your crow’s feet or the 11s between your eyebrows? Botox is your ticket. Call us at Deschutes, 541-330-0900, to make your appointment.

It Pays to Get Alphabetical with Skin Cancer

It Pays to Get Alphabetical with Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Bend ORAround here, we’re all out and about year-round. But coming off of the long sunny days of summer, now is a good time to take stock of your skin. At our altitude of 3,623 feet in Bend, we get more than our fair share of ultraviolet rays.

When it comes to knowing about skin cancer and what to look for, it pays to get downright alphabetical, specifically A, B, C, D, and E. Those five letters are an easy way to remember five steps in identifying growths that could be skin cancer.

We all live in sunny Central Oregon for the gorgeous sunny climate, and most of us have at least some knowledge about our skin and sun damage. Gone are the days of slathering baby oil all over our bodies and lying in the sun for hours on end. Gone are the days of the Coppertone little girl and her famous tan line.

Still, the key to beating skin cancer is to keep ever vigilant, to catch it early. Toward that end, Dr. Carter wants her patients to be knowledgeable about the warning signs, so here is some additional information on skin cancer.

Who gets skin cancer?

If you’re one of the people who always seem to need to have lesions frozen or small skin cancers excised, you probably know, and hate, people who never seem to get a thing. Odds are their skin is darker. So, why don’t they have sun issues like you? It all comes down to melanin. Melanin is the pigment in the skin that helps protect it from the sun. Melanin is what is responsible for turning the skin a darker tone (tanning) after receiving sun exposure. This is a protection mechanism.

People with fair skin have less melanin so they are less protected. The ultraviolet rays from the sun can alter the genetic material in skin cells, causing them to mutate into cancerous cells. It is estimated that 40 to 50% of people with fair skin (who live to be at least 65 years of age) will develop at least one skin cancer in their lives.

Different cancers

Squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas are more common than melanoma and they come from different types of sun exposure. Squamous and basal cell carcinomas are the result of the amount of overall sun exposure. Fair-skinned people who spend a lot of time outdoors will likely develop one of these two skin cancers. Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, isn’t thought to come from prolonged sun exposure, but from the intensity. It is believed that melanoma is triggered by the scorching sunburns where the person’s skin blisters and peels afterwards. Research has shown that just one blistering sunburn during childhood doubles a person’s risk for developing melanoma later in life. If you’re over 50, odds are you’ve had countless types of those sunburns because sunscreens were in their infancy when you were a kid.

Know your ABCDEs

These five letters can come in handy when looking for skin cancers on your skin.

  • Asymmetry— If one half of the mole doesn’t match the other half, that’s a concern. Normal moles are symmetrical.
  • Border— If the border or edges of your mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular, that is a reason to call Dr. Carter. Melanoma lesions often have irregular borders.
  • Color— Normal moles are a single shade throughout. If your mole has changed color or if it has different shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red, then it should be checked.
  • Diameter— If a mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil it needs to be checked.
  • Evolving— If a mole evolves by shrinking, growing larger, changing color, itching or bleeding, or other changes it should be checked. Melanoma lesions often grow in size or gain height rapidly.

In a sunny place like Bend, we all need to be aware of the signs of skin cancer. If you’ve been minding your ABCDEs and something has caught your eye, call Dr. Carter and let’s take a look, 541-330-0900.