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210-08 Northern Blvd Ste 2
Bayside, NY 11361
(718) 224-8200

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150 Broadhollow Road Ste 100
Melville, NY 11747
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My Blog

Posts for category: Skin Care

Are you diligent about moisturizing your face? And what about your hands?  As the colder weather approaches we often think more about moisturizer to combat dry skin from the cold and the dry heat in our homes.  And while this is truly something that should be done all year round, this is a good time to get into the habit of including moisturizing in your daily routine.

Here are 6 reasons why you should moisturize your skin:

  1. Moisturizers can prevent and treat dry skin.  They hold water in the top layer of your skin and can act as a barrier to protect sensitive skin and improve skin tone and texture.
  2. Moisturize your face each morning with a product containing sunscreen – this is a good opportunity to as the saying goes, kill two birds with one stone.  Keep your skin protected from the sun and the elements at the same time.
  3. As we age, the oil producing glands in our skin are less active. Use a moisturizer on your face to combat this fact. 
  4. While dry skin may not lead to more wrinkles, it can make them more visible. Moisturizing your face will keep your skin looking its best.
  5. Dry legs and arms can be itchy, prevent the itch by moisturizing after your bath or shower. If itching persists, see your dermatologist to make sure there is not a more serious issue.
  6. Your hands are exposed to many irritants, germs and bacteria.  Washing your hands is important to prevent spreading these germs and getting sick. But this may dry your hands.  Also if your hands get too dry your skin may crack or bleed. This can lead to a greater opportunity for bacteria to cause a problem. That is why it is important to moisturize each time you wash your hands. 

There are some skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis that can be mistaken as dry skin. If you are not sure whether your dry skin is a sign of something bigger, contact us and we will set an appointment for you.

September 30, 2016
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Acne  

We all remember or teenage years, filled with hormones, awkwardness and yes, acne.  And maybe you now face acne with your own teenagers or grandchildren.  Perhaps as an adult you are experiencing acne as well.  Does it mean your skin is too oily?  Are you eating too much chocolate? Are you under too much stress? Why is this happening? And what should we be doing about it?

It is probably no surprise that acne is the most frequent skin condition in the US. Every year, about 80% of adolescents have some form of acne and about 5% of adults experience acne.  Acne pops up as pimples appearing on the face. It can also show up on your back and chest.

There are 3 different types of “pimples” or acne:

  1. Comedones: whiteheads and blackhead that result from dead skin cells and oil clogging the pores. These do not cause scarring but are the precursor lesion that leads to other forms of acne.
  2. Inflammatory acne: Red Pustules or pimples which result from inflammation and infection within clogged pores or follicles. These can lead to sometime lead to scarring.
  3. Cystic and Nodular acne: the more sever deep pimples, bumps, and nodules forming below the skin. These are much more likely to scar and may require more aggressive medications.

What Causes Acne?

Very simply, acne forms when normal oils that are under the skin and dead skin cells get clogged in hair follicles/pores.  (Click here for a more complex explanation.) So what is the difference between a whitehead and a blackhead? If the pore is not completely closed then you get a blackhead. If it is fully blocked, then you have a whitehead.  If either a whitehead or blackhead becomes inflamed, then that can lead to a red pustule or pimple.  It is very important to avoid the temptation to “pop that zit.” If you pick or scratch at that spot, it can make it more inflamed and infected and can lead to long-term scarring.

Like so many things in our lives, genetics is a big factor when it comes to acne too. So do hormones which coincide with times in our lives like puberty and pregnancy and can cause activity in the oil glands which contribute to acne.   The connections between diet and acne are not yet completely understood; according to the Mayo Clinic, some foods including dairy and high carb foods may also increase breakouts. Also, individual people have individual people have individual sensitivities, so it’s important to pay attention to things in your own diet that might coincide with increases in acne. Stress and lack of sleep can also aggravate acne if you already have it.

And while having a dirty face does not cause acne, it is important to gently clean your skin. Cleaning your skin gently is a good part of any good skin care routine to slough off that top layer of dead skin cells, oils and anything you have added to your skin like moisturizers, sunscreens or make-up.  Scrubbing or using something too harsh can irritate and inflame acne so be gentle.  (For more on skin care click here.)

How Do You Treat Acne?

While whiteheads and blackheads seem to pop up overnight, treating acne is a relatively slow process; there is no overnight remedy; it’s a chronic problem so we treat it chronically. Here are some of the treatments we use at Fryer Dermatology to help control acne and decrease the risks of scarring:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide -- Used in mild cases of acne, benzoyl peroxide reduces the blockages in the hair follicles.
  • Oral and Topical Antibiotics -- Used to treat any infection in the pores.
  • Hormonal Treatments -- This can be used for adult women with hormonally induced acne.
  • Topical Retinoids -- Creams derived from Vitamin including tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene. These help unplug the blocked-up material in whiteheads/blackheads and they have become a mainstay in the treatment of acne.
  • Extraction -- Removal of whiteheads and blackheads using a small metal instrument that is centered on the whitehead or blackhead and pushed down, extruding the blocked pore. This is not something you should do on your own!
  • Intralesional Injections -- injections of very diluted cortisone into cysts and nodules make them resolve faster and reduce the risk of scarring
  • Isotretinoin --  for the most severe acne, a drug that will be curative in most cases of nodular acne but which should only be used under the supervision of a board-certified dermatologist
  • Isolaz Laser --  an intense pulse light-based laser which helps treat and control moderate acne

Acne is such a common problem and there are ways to control it.  Of course there are hundreds of over the counter products that promise to get rid of pimples.  Just be careful that you are not being too harsh on your skin.  And remember, resist the temptation to pop that zit!

If you are concerned about your acne, contact us to make an appointment.  Let us help you to make your skin looks it’s best.

For students, teachers, and people with kids, September is the start of a new year.  And for many of us, we look at it as a time to get started on new projects and get caught up from the summer.  So it makes sense that September is also a time that many people think about what health screenings they need to schedule. And while it can be done any time of the year, it is a great time to schedule your Skin Cancer Screening.

While some people think of going to the dermatologist as something to do for a specific problem like a rash, acne, or to get some Botox, a routine skin cancer screening can be a lifesaving event. A skin cancer screening is non-invasive – that is the dermatologist will visually inspect all of your skin to look for areas of concern. If a problem is identified, your dermatologist may suggest a biopsy to provide a definitive answer of the issue.

WHY? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 1 in 5 people will develop some type of skin cancer in their life time. Once your dermatologist has the results of the biopsy, they can recommend proper treatment to cure the problem. The most serious skin cancer is Melanoma, but if it is identified before it spreads, it has a very high cure rate. In addition, there are a lot of things that we identify that, while not cancerous at present, have a significant chance of becoming so. Removal of these pre-cancers is one of the dermatologist’s most important functions. Early detection is always key!

So WHO should be screened and how often? Certainly anyone with fair skin who burns easily. But also anyone with risk factors such as multiple sunburns, living at the beach, or prior use of tanning beds should be screened annually.  In addition, anyone with a family history of skin cancer, especially melanoma, should have an annual exam.  Special cases like any one who is immunosuppressed, has a history of other cancers, or has Parkinson’s disease should also be screened.  But really anyone who is concerned with health maintenance should consider an annual screening.  Those who have had skin cancer already are typically seen twice or even three times per year.

Convinced of the importance?  So now WHAT?  Contact your dermatologist to make an appointment.  At Fryer Dermatology, we have day and evening hours in both our offices and weekend hours in Bayside to accommodate your schedule.  But remember like at any other specialist office, it may take a few weeks to find a time that works for you.  While the exam itself may only take about 10 – 15 minutes, you also need to account for time to check in, get undressed, get dressed and check out. So make the appointment at a time when you won’t feel rushed. 

WHERE? Each room in our office, as in most others, is private. You will get undressed and put on one of those highly flattering medical exam gowns, but rest assured we will do everything we can to make you feel comfortable and respect your privacy. When we do the exam, a Medical Assistant will be in the room with us to document what we see and hand things to the doctor as needed.  We may want to look at a spot more closely and may use some magnification for a better view.  If we find a spot of concern, we may want to take a sample to send to a specialized dermatological pathologist. Once we have those results we can tell you what treatment, if any, is needed. 

Remember that emergencies do happen so if your doctor is running late, please be patient as we try to balance staying on time with not making you or any other patient feel rushed. And while we will try to answer any dermatological questions in that visit, we may need to ask that you schedule an additional appointment if you want to discuss certain conditions or treatments in greater depth.  Things like in depth discussions about acne or cosmetic dermatology options may need an additional appointment.

So… WHO? You!
WHAT? Your non-invasive skin cancer screening.
WHEN? Every year starting NOW!
WHY? Because an annual screening gives you and us the best chance of catching a skin issue before it becomes dangerous. 

And as always, don’t forget to wear your sun screen!

Want to schedule today? Call us or click here to request an appointment.

Labor day weekend -the unofficial end of summer. Gone are the lazy days by the pool or on the beach; kids return to school, and for many it seems like back to “normal” life.  So if you are not sitting out in shorts or a bathing suit all day, you don’t need to apply sunscreen, right? WRONG!! For both adults and children the use of sunscreen should not stop as summer ends.

So since you are not in the sun all day, you don’t need to worry, right? WRONG! Depending on the UV index, it can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to get a sunburn. That is not very long. Walking the dog, sitting at a ball game, walking around the city, kids on the playground or at soccer practice - all of these activities include sun exposure that fits into that 10 to 45 minute time frame.  And watch out for those cloudy days because 80% of the sun’s rays pass through clouds! Some surfaces like blacktop or (forgive us for mentioning it) snow reflect the sun rays and this increases your exposure too.

When your skin “tans” we think we look healthy but really it is a sign of damage to your skin. The darkening of your skin is its response to the harmful rays of the sun. When there is more than your skin can absorb, you end up with sunburn. Wearing sunscreen is an easy way to protect you from this damage which we know can cause both skin cancer as well as an increase in wrinkles and other signs of aging skin.

What does sunscreen do? Sunscreens absorb ultraviolet light so that it doesn't reach the skin. Look for sunscreens with the active ingredients, benzophenones, cinnamates or salicylates. If your skin is sensitive, consider a sunblock. Sunblocks literally block the UV rays instead of absorbing them. Key active ingredients are titanium oxide and zinc oxide.

What is SPF? Sunscreens are given a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number that indicates how long a person can remain in the sun without burning. There is no such thing as "all-day protection" or "waterproof" sunscreen. No matter what the SPF number, sunscreens need to be re-applied every 2 to 3 hours.

Here are some basic tips about sun protection:

  1. Look for sunscreens that use the term "broad spectrum" because they protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
  2. Choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF rating of 30.
  3. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you head out into the sun to give it time to seep into the skin.
  4. Apply sunscreens liberally and cover the skin completely. Use at least one ounce to cover the entire body.
  5. Use a lip balm with SPF 15 or greater to protect the lips from sun damage.
  6. Re-apply sunscreen immediately after going into water or sweating.
  7. Re-apply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours.
  8. Use sunscreen every day regardless of the weather.
  9. Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from UV rays.
  10. Wear wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing to limit skin exposure to the sun.
  11. Stay in the shade whenever possible.

Of course you cannot live your life indoors, and you don’t have to.  Take precautions for yourself and your family to protect your skin all year long by using sunscreen and following the tips we outlined.  Enjoy the beautiful days of all the seasons. Protect your skin and be safe at the same time. And don’t forget to see your dermatologist once a year for a skin cancer screening.  Call us today or click here to schedule an appointment online.

August 26, 2016
Category: Skin Care
Tags: skin care  

Why is taking care of your skin so important? Why was the skin care product industry estimated at $129.21 Billion in 2015 (Grand View Research) with expectations to surpass $200 Billion in the next few years? The reason is that our skin is incredibly important from both a beauty and health perspective.  Everyone sees your skin – on your face, hands, arms, (and for some more.)  We all want to look our best so we want our skin to look great.  Not only that, but our skin protects our entire body.  Our skin accounts for about 18% of our body weight.  It protects our organs, keeps in moisture, keeps out infections, and helps regulate body temperature.

So how do we keep our skin healthy and looking great?  What is the best thing we can do? Stay out of the sun.  While skin ages regardless of what we do, overexposure to the sun causes skin damage leading to wrinkles, age spots and potentially dangerous skin conditions like cancer. We get older, our skin gets dryer and thinner, we get “laugh lines” and gravity takes its toll.

OK, let’s be realistic, we are not going to live our lives indoors, we each need a skin care routine that works for us.  Everyone’s skin care needs are different so we may need to use different products but the basics of how we take care of our skin are the same. 

12 tips for a skin care routine to keep your skin healthy and looking great:

  1. Wash your face using a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water twice a day – nothing too harsh, and no HOT water.
  2. Pat skin dry; don't rub it dry.
  3. Exfoliate twice a week to remove dead cells.
  4. Apply a moisturizer to skin immediately after a shower or bath.
  5. Wear sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 every day.
  6. Do you wear makeup? Wash it off before you go to bed.
  7. NO tanning beds.
  8. Eat a healthy diet and drink lots of water.
  9. Get an adequate amount of sleep every day.
  10. NO smoking.
  11. Avoid stress where possible.
  12. Look at your skin, be aware of changes to your skin, and if you see a change make an appointment to see a dermatologist.

 By taking care of your skin today, you will help yourself look better and be healthier as you age. Don’t wait until you start to see signs of aging or notice a problem. Dermatologists are the skin experts and what you may think is a problem may be nothing; on the other hand a spot you may not even notice could be of concern.  So see a dermatologist at least once each year for a skin cancer screening.

Questions? Have a problem? Need a skin cancer screening? Want to learn about ways to enhance appearance? Call us today!