Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The truth about Warts

Regardless of what the fairy tales may say, you can't get warts from toads.
Nope, no-way, impossible.

But you could get warts from your neighbor, the door handle at the store or the bench at the gym. That's because warts are caused by a virus.  And this virus is everywhere.  It is spread from person to person.  Maybe shaking hands or maybe touching something that has the virus on it spreads the virus around.

Whether you get warts or not depends a lot on how well your immune system is able to attack the virus.  Strong immune systems are able to attack and kill the virus.  Most adults have that type of immunity, children not so much.  That is why warts usually are more of a problem for younger people than adults.

There is not a treatment to kill the wart virus.  The best we can do is blister it off or encourage the natural immune system to attack the virus.  The infamous "Old wives tales" recommend anything and everything that "works" to rid the person of the unsightly warts.  Duct tape, vinegar, onion peel, or remove the "seeds" are just a few.   There are also many over-the-counter remedies.  The medical profession freeze, chemically treat or cut out warts.  Sometimes these funny or medical treatments work.  Sometimes not.

From a medical perspective, freezing warts is the preferred method because it reduces the chance for a scar to develop.  But we also use a chemical (extracted from beetles!) that causes the skin to blister or there may be a combination of cutting down and freezing or chemical treatment for really healthy warts.  If your immune response is great, one treatment could do the trick.  It may take a couple of tries.

In the end, it all depends on the size, location and depth of the wart and how the immune system responds to the treatment.   Our providers do their best to provide the right conditions for your body to fight back.  But these treatments can get expensive (especially if your insurance applies them toward your deductible), and you could spend a lot of money and still have warts.  Especially after three or four attempts.  It really stinks.  We wish there was a better way.  We just keep trying and hopefully something will trigger the immune response we need to kill the virus.

So go ahead and go catch toads with your children and grandchildren.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Chemical peels just sound scary part 2

This post will cover the benefits of beta-hydroxy acids (BHA).  Visit our "Chemical Peels just sound scary Part 1" to learn about the benefits of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA).

Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHA)
Beta Hydroxy acids are part of the family of aromatic acids.  That means that this acid is foreign to the body and has an immediate effect on the skin. 

The most common BHA is salicylic acid.  This acid is highly keratolytic, which means that it will dissolve or break down the outer stratum corneum, the top layer of skin that is constantly regenerating.  It can only go one layer at a time, so repeated applications are necessary to achieve the maximum results. 

Flaking of the skin is often associated after the use of some salicylic acid applications.  The acid has broken the bond of the outer most parts of the stratum corneum and the dead skin cells are falling away.  This acid works particularly well for individuals who suffer from acne.  As the stratum corneum sloughs off dead skin cells, these cells get stuck in hair follicles and plug the opening.  Bacteria begin to grow in the follicle and causes inflammation in the surrounding tissue.  Salicylic acid helps to clear off the dead skin cells before they can get stuck. 

Salicylic acid is also soluble by lipids, the natural fats on the skin.  This is especially helpful for the individual with acne, who tends to have more oil production.  Salicylic acid will help dissolve and remove excess oils from pores and off of the surface of the skin. 

How you can use Salicylic Acid to benefit your skin
Professional application of salicylic acid will speed up the natural process of skin regeneration by removing the outer layers of dead cells.  We recommend an in office chemical exfoliation with our Esthetician.  Our Sal-Ex 20% peel will do the trick! 

Continue the exfoliation at home with quality skin care product from Dermalogica and Glymed.  Dermalogica offers several items with salicylic acid:  Clearing Skin Wash, Daily Microfoliant, and Superfoliant.  Glymed offers Skin Astringent #5 and #10, and Sal-Ex Exfoliating Cleanser.

All services and products are available in our office.