dermatologist in latex gloves holding dermatoscope while examining attractive patient with skin disease, checking for skin cancer.

May Is Skin Cancer Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. While we all shelter-in-place and practice social distancing to win the war against Covid-19, skin cancer isn’t on lock-down. In fact, we estimate that some 2.5 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer will be diagnosed and treated between July and December of 2020.

Skin cancer doesn’t wait. And, now that May and Skin Cancer Awareness Month is here, it’s the perfect time to get re-educated on the dangers of skin cancer, how to prevent damage to your skin from the sun, and what sunscreen is best for you. The experts at Avail Dermatology are diving in to discuss those vital topics, on top of why you need to continue seeing your dermatologists even during the pandemic.

Why You Should Still Go to the Dermatologist, Even During Covid-19

If you are postponing your appointment for your annual skin exam, it’s more important than ever to perform an at-home skin exam.

Signs of potential skin cancer include:

  • A spot that is different from others.
  • Spots with irregular shapes.
  • Spots that have changed over time.
  • Raised lesions or lesions with raised edges.
  • Spots that itch or bleed.

If you’ve lucky enough to have a friend or family member willing and able to help, have them check every inch of your body, from top of head to bottom of feet.

If you’re alone too shy or to ask another, stand in front of a mirror and examine the front and back of your body. Then look at both sides of your body with your arms raised. Don’t forget to examine hidden areas like between your toes and the bottoms of your feet. Then take a hand mirror and check your scalp and back of your neck.

If you see one or more signs of skin cancer, make a note for yourself as a reminder of where you think you may have a problem. Then call to schedule an appointment. Early detection and treatment are important, even during these challenging times.

How to Avoid the Damaging Effects of Exposure to the Sun

As the weather gets nicer, practicing social distancing to win the war against Covid-19 becomes a bit more challenging. To escape the boredom of shelter-in-place, many of us are heading outdoors for longer walks, bike rides, and even just sitting outside in the fresh air. With outdoor activity comes an increase in our exposure to the sun.  Most of those cases are the result of repeated exposure to the sun, and so it’s important to practice sun-safety every time we venture outdoors.

Here are four things you can do to avoid the damaging effects of exposure to the sun:

  1. Find ways to avoid direct exposure to sunlight. The center for disease control reports that as little as 15 minutes of exposure to the sun’s UV rays can damage your skin. When you spend time outdoors, seeking out the shade is a good start.
  2. Even when in the shade, you will be exposed to some of the sun’s UV rays, so it’s important to cover up. Long sleeves and long pants obviously provide more protection than shorts and tank tops, and darker colored clothing may offer greater protection than lighter colors. Not all clothing is created equal, and if you’re looking for better protection from the sun, seek out clothing that is certified to protect against UV radiation. Two often neglected areas are the head and feet.  Remember to wear a hat and something to cover your feet!
  3. If you’re going to be outdoors for any length of time, make sure to apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Few people realize that sunscreen has an expiration date, so make sure to check for that. Also, application of sunscreen only lasts about two hours, so set a timer on your smart watch or phone to remind you to reapply that sunscreen every couple of hours. 
  4. While we’re focused on skin protection during Skin Cancer Prevention Month, let’s also remember that sunlight can cause significant damage to your eyes. Make sure to wear sunglasses with UV protection.

Tips for Finding a Good Sunscreen

Now is the perfect time to check the sunscreen on your shelf to make sure you’re properly prepared. Go gather your sunscreen products now and then run them through this simple checklist of things to look for.

What to look for in sunscreen

  • Sunscreen does not last forever. In fact, it typically has a limited shelf life of just 2 to 3 years. Check the packaging for an expiration date and if your sunscreen has expired or will expire shortly get rid of it and replace it as soon as you can.
  • The sun produces two types of rays that can cause skin cancer, UVA and UVB. You’ll want a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB. Sunscreen that blocks both types of rays will typically be labeled “broad spectrum”. Look for the words “broad spectrum” or “effective against UVA and UVB” on the label. If you don’t see these words on your current supply of sunscreen you may want to replace it.
  • Not all sunscreen protects equally, and there’s typically a rating factor right on the packaging. Look for the letters SPF, which is shorthand for “Sun Protection Factor”. After the letters there will be a number. The higher the number the greater the protection from UVB. The rating factor is based on the protection offered by the sunscreen relative to unprotected skin. An SPF of 15, for example, allows the skin to be exposed to 15 times more UVB than unprotected skin before burning, while an SPF of 50 allows for 50 times more exposure before burning. If your current supply of sunscreen has an SPF of less than 15 replace it immediately and, going forward, consider using sunscreen with an SPF as high as 50. While sunscreen with an SPF of higher than 50 is available, the additional protection is relatively minor relative to the increased cost. 
  • Unfortunately, there is no universal rating for UVA protection, but several competing standards are emerging. It’s worth noting that sunscreen labeled “Broad Spectrum” offers protection from UVA, the question is simply how much? The label “broad spectrum” indicates UVA protection of at least at 1/3 the level of the SPF number on the packaging. Other indications of protection from UVA include (a) the letters UVA within a circle (look for sunscreen with a rating of 10 or higher), (b) a P rating (look for a P of +++ or ++++), and (c) a Boots Star Rating (look for four or five stars).

Before we get off the subject of sunscreen, it’s important to note that how you apply the sunscreen and how often you apply it makes a difference. The ratings described above are based on tests, and in those tests the amount of sunscreen used in determining the SPF ratings mattered. When applying sunscreen, use enough to coat your skin well and remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours while out in the sun.

Despite best efforts to remain safe, many will face a non-melanoma skin cancer challenge at some point in their lives. If you do receive a skin cancer diagnosis, it’s important to know your options. 

The good news is that surgery is no longer the only effective treatment option for non-melanoma skin cancer. For many patients facing a skin cancer challenge, Image-Guided Superficial Radiotherapy (IG-SRT) may be an option. IG-SRT is a painless procedure and avoids the issues and side effects associated with surgery. You can learn more about the benefits of IG-SRT at https://www.gentlecure.com/.

Have anymore questions about skin cancer or Skin Cancer Awareness Month during the COVID-19 pandemic? The experts at Avail Dermatology are here to help! Click here to schedule an appointment with us or give us a call at 770.251.5111.

Patient speaking with a doctor on their laptop, doing a telemedicine visit.

Dermatology Telemedicine 101: How Avail Dermatology Is Helping Patients During The Coronavirus Pandemic

We at Avail Dermatology understand that this is a complex, uncertain time for our patients and community members. That’s why we’re committed to providing dermatology care in a manner that is safe, effective, and comforting for our patients. One of the primary methods for accomplishing this is through telemedicine, also known as “online healthcare.” This process allows us to continue communicating with and supporting our patients, while also implementing safety best practices that protect everyone, including our staff.

Curious about how these telemedicine visits work? Keep reading to learn more.

How Do Telemedicine Visits Work?

Telemedicine uses a high-quality video conferencing system designed specifically for dermatology care. It is secure and compliant with the Federal privacy guidelines (“HIPAA”) to protect your personal health information. This system allows our dermatology providers to speak with you and see your skin in real-time. It uses your personal cell phone (with a high-resolution camera—almost all phones have these now), or a laptop or PC equipped with a webcam and microphone.

Both new and existing patients can call 770-251-5111 to schedule a telemedicine appointment. Our practice uses a program called Pocket Patient; a free, secure, dynamic, and universally accessible digital health platform. Once the appointment has been scheduled, patients can expect the following process to occur:

Telemedicine Infographic for Avail.

Once your connection is established, you will be able to see your provider and ask questions. The provider will converse with you and may ask you to use your camera to “zoom in” on the areas that are a concern. After evaluation, the provider will make an assessment, discuss the diagnosis with you, and can prescribe medications for you if appropriate.

What Can We Treat Through Telemedicine?

While dermatology is an extremely hands-on medical practice, there still are many ailments we can treat through telemedicine. Such examples include:

  • Rashes and skin breakouts. Both new and existing rashes need to be rechecked. These would include:
    • Acne, rosacea and other breakouts
    • Psoriasis
    • Eczema
    • Allergic skin rashes including Poison Ivy
    • Other itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions including “athlete’s foot,” “jock itch,” “heat rashes,” etc.
  • Individual skin lesions.
    • While telemedicine is not suited for “full-body” and “upper-body” scans or mole checks as it is too difficult to “see” the entire body using a phone camera—it can be a useful way to evaluate one or a few worrisome skin lesions. In many cases, a diagnosis can be made, or at the least, a determination of whether the lesion is worrisome enough to require an immediate office visit, or if it can be delayed until the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.

The Benefits of Telemedicine

Right now, telemedicine is essential in the fight to lessen the spread of coronavirus. However, we understand that other healthcare needs don’t stop just because we’re sheltering-in-place. That’s where telemedicine comes in.

By lessening the amount of in-person contact that would take place in our offices, while also still providing access to dermatology experts, we’re able to significantly rescue the likelihood that COVID-19 is spread

Aside from preventing the spread of coronavirus, telemedicine is also fantastic for:

  • Giving those who have decreased mobility an opportunity to speak with a physician.
  • Supporting people who have extreme anxiety or other mental health issues by eliminating the stress of going to a physical office.
  • Reducing the amount of time, money, and other resources necessary to visit the doctor, opening up the experience to others who previously couldn’t afford it.
  • Working with those who have more strict schedules and aren’t able to take off time to visit the doctor.

Some Avail Dermatology Office Are Still Open

All this being said, there are certain services and treatments that must be done in person. We are committed to still seeing these patients in-person when necessary. Both our Newnan and Peachtree City officers are still open for these needs. Currently, our Carrollton office is only taking telemedicine appointments.

Conditions that will likely require an in-person visit include: skin growths that are painful, bleeding, draining, or that have suddenly and rapidly enlarged or changed in appearance

If you do need to make an in-person visit to either of our open offices, please be sure to reference our blog outlining recommended precautions you should take.

The experts at Avail Dermatology are here to assist you through these troubling times. If you have any further questions or want to speak to our staff, click here to reach out or give us a call at 770-929-9033

COVID-19 Precautions: What You Need to Know Before Visiting Avail Dermatology

COVID-19 Precautions: What You Need to Know Before Visiting Avail Dermatology

Dear Patients of Avail Dermatology:

The physicians at Avail Dermatology are continuously monitoring the latest guidelines on management of the COVID-19 outbreak via the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the World Health Organization (WHO). As these recommendations are updated, we will modify our procedures as needed to minimize the risks of spreading infection. Avail Dermatology will continue to operate normal business hours unless otherwise notified.

At this time, we would like to inform you of our latest policy:

  • We ask all patients and their families and other close contacts, who have a fever, cough, symptoms of a respiratory infection, or have been exposed to a person with coronavirus, the flu or any other communicable disease to reschedule their appointments or surgeries. At this time we are waiving cancellation fees.
  • If you are at all concerned you may have a serious infectious disease, please seek care at your primary care physician’s office or local hospital’s emergency department.
  • If you have traveled recently to any country known to be experiencing a high rate of COVID infection including Russia, Brazil, India, and Iran, please reschedule your appointment of surgery. View updated list of countries that are considered at risk.
  • Upon arrival, you will be screened for fever. If your temperature is over 100°F, your appointment will be rescheduled.
  • Based on the latest CDC guidance, we require that patients wear a mask throughout their visit to our facility. This is for the protection of our employees and the other patients around you. We request that you bring your own mask or face covering. Those who arrive without one will be provided with one upon arrival.
  • In order to maintain social distancing in our office, if you arrive more than 15 minutes early, you may be asked to wait in your car. We will text you when it is time for you to enter the office.
  • We ask that you come alone for your appointment, to minimize crowding in our facility. The only exception would be for those patients who require assistance to be seen, or for minor children in the care of the patient. All other guests will be asked to remain outside the building or in their car.

Please remember that the best way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases is cleanliness and hand washing. The CDC has guidelines on personal practices to reduce infection risk.

There is still quite a bit of influenza activity in the US which is still more likely to cause serious illness than the coronavirus. If you have not yet received a flu shot, it is not too late and is still being recommended by the CDC.

We are taking extra precautions and have added additional hand sanitizers throughout the practice. We sanitize our workstations and counters continuously throughout the day and will continue to do so.

We will continue to monitor this situation and post new information to our website and communicate via email if urgent. Thank you.

– The providers and staff of Avail Dermatology 

Important Message for Our Psoriasis Biologic Patients

Important Message for Our Psoriasis Biologic Patients

The recent coronavirus outbreak has led to many questions about what patients should do if they are on biologic or oral medications to treat their psoriasis. Unfortunately, there are no official recommendations from groups like the American Academy of Dermatology: if those are forthcoming, we will alert you immediately.

In the meantime, these are our current recommendations. They are certainly subject to changes as we get more information about the outbreak:

  1. On Otezla, Dupixent, or IL-17 or IL-23 inhibitors (Stelara, Tremfiya, Ilumya, Cosentyx, Taltz, Siliq, Skyrizi) can continue their treatment IF they are symptom-free and have not had any contact with potential coronavirus-infected people, and have not traveled to a Level 1, 2, or 3 country.
  2. Patients on TNF inhibitors (Enbrel, Humira, Cimzia) who have other risk factors for coronavirus (age > 50, people who have serious chronic medical conditions like Heart disease, Diabetes, or Lung disease should discuss with their provider whether they should stop treatment, or switch to a different class of medication.
  3. Patients on TNF inhibitors (Enbrel, Humira, Cimzia) WITHOUT any known risk factors for coronavirus, including older age, other medical conditions, contact with potentially infected people, travel to high-risk areas may still want to consider switching to alternate medications, or holding doses of medication. In some cases, it may be possible to continue their treatment under close observation.

ALL patients should practice all of the CDC-recommended strategies to minimize risk of coronavirus infection.

Emergency Preparedness: Coronavirus

Emergency Preparedness: Coronavirus

At Avail Dermatology, we are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak via the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus and protocols around it are changing quickly, and we are working to mitigate any impact on our providers, staff and patients.

According to the CDC, this virus is very limited (104 known cases on March 3, 2020) in the United States, and the immediate health risk from coronavirus remains low. However, as global cases rise and the virus continues to spread in more and more countries, the risk for a pandemic is elevated and more likely to occur.

We ask all patients and their guests who have a fever, symptoms of a respiratory infection, or have been exposed to a person with a coronavirus, the flu or any other communicable disease to reschedule their appointments or surgeries. We will be posting signs in our offices, asking screening questions, and following CDC and Georgia DPH protocol for screening and management of patients. If you are at all concerned you may have a serious infectious disease, your best course of action is to seek care at your primary care physician’s office or local hospital’s emergency department.

Please remember that the best way to prevent the spread of communicable disease is cleanliness and hand washing. There is still quite a bit of influenza activity in the US which is still more likely to cause serious illness than the coronavirus. If you have not yet received a flu shot, it is not too late and is still being recommended by the CDC.

Again, this is an evolving and fluid situation. We will continue to monitor and report any new information as it becomes available, if needed.  Please check our website as we plan on posting any new information as soon as possible. We are, as always, focused and dedicated to keeping our patients and staff healthy.

What is Keratosis Pilaris?

What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris, also known as KP, is an extremely common skin condition that affects almost three million people worldwide. Despite its commonality, not much is known about this chronic, long-term skin condition, and many people who have it may not even realize that their skin is abnormal.

To learn more about keratosis pilaris from the experts at Avail Dermatology, keep reading below.

What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis is a common skin condition that causes the skin in certain areas to have a bumpy appearance, often described as “chicken skin.” By far, the most common location is on the upper outer arms, but less commonly, it can affect the outer thighs, and lateral cheeks on the face. These bumps are caused by an build-up of keratin, , which is the protein that is forms the outer layer of the skin. In KP, the keratin builds up into tiny “mounds” around individual hair follicles. .It is an extremely common condition, particularly in children and adolescents, with some estimates as high as 50% to 80% of adolescents showing some degree of KP. It often worsens in winter when the skin is dry, particularly in patients who also have eczema, a common finding.

Generally, KP improves with age and is less common in adults, though still not rare. Generally, KP does not cause symptoms, although in rare cases it can lead to skin irritation and peeling.

KP appears to be a genetic disorder, and many patients have a family history of KP. There are some studies suggesting that abnormal genes that control the production and function of keratin may be responsible for the condition.

How is Keratosis Pilaris Treated?

Just as it is not truly known what causes KP, there is also no known cure. The good news is that, most often, keratosis pilaris disappears with age and will go away on its own.

However, there are several ways to help manage your symptoms if they are a burden to you. Follow these steps to do just that:

  • Keep your body moisturized. This remains the hallmark of therapy for KP. Moisturizing reduces the appearance of the bumps and prevents peeling and scaling. Some moisturizers may be more effective for KP. These include alpha hydroxy acid moisturizers, which contain ingredients like lactic or glycolic acid. By accelerating exfoliation, they may reduce the bumpy texture of the skin.
  • Start new daily habits. Along with moisturizers, try out warm water instead of hot water for your bath, and add moisture to your home with a humidifier.
  • Work with your doctor. More resistant or bothersome cases of KP may need additional treatment. Work with your trusted dermatologist to help formalize a plan that will be best for you and your skin. Your physician will be able to recommend the best products and help you to avoid practices that may not lessen your keratosis pilaris.

If you would like assistance with managing your keratosis pilaris, then reach out to the trusted dermatology experts at Avail Dermatology. We’ll be happy to formulate a management plan that is just right for you and your skin.

Give us a call at 770-251-5111 or click here to schedule an appointment.

Older woman wondering how your skin changes as you age.

How Your Skin Changes as You Age

Everyone grows older. It’s a natural part of life, not something to fear. Advancing age brings learning, opportunities, and the freedom to explore the richness of life that is not always possible when you are young.

What a lot of people don’t enjoy about aging is that skin starts to look and feel different than it used to. Lines develop on your face, and spots grow on your arms. Many patients notice sagging and lack of fullness.

If you’re looking in the mirror and not happy with how your skin is aging, know that you’re not alone. It happens to everyone, and, as discouraging as it can be, there’s a reason behind it all. Learn how your skin changes as you age below!

  • Tan to brown lesions, such as so-called “liver spots” and “age spots,” may begin to appear throughout your body. Most of them should be benign.
  • Puckering and wrinkles around the mouth may become more noticeable as you experience bone loss around the jaw and midface.
  • The top layer of skin (epidermis) and the second layer (dermis) may grow thin, causing your skin to appear more transparent, showing underlying blood vessels.
  • In the dermis, stretchy fibers called elastin are diminished. This causes your skin to feel slack and lack tightness.
  • Hyaluronic acid—a water-loving substance in the dermis—is lost. This is another cause of thin and fragile skin.
  • Blood vessel walls lack support, and bruises form easily, even after minor trauma.
  • Your cheeks, temples, chin, nose, and eye areas will lose subcutaneous fat, contributing to looser skin and sunken areas.
  • Your skin may develop dryness. This will make it rough and prone to itching.
  • Nasal cartilage may be altered, causing the tip of your nose to drop.

While some visible signs of aging are inherited from our parents (and grandparents) and beyond our control, there are many things that can be done to look and feel your best. Sun protection, consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise, adequate sleep, and smoking cessation are foundational.  A tailored skin-care regimen is also vital.

If you’d like to learn more about how your skin changes as you age and develop a personalized approach for aging gracefully, click here to schedule an appointment with the dermatologist experts at Avail Dermatology or give us a call at 770.251.5111.

Asian woman pointing out spots that appear on your skin that aren't moles.

Spots that Appear on Your Skin that Aren’t Moles

You are probably very familiar with moles. They are one of the most frequently discussed dermatology lesions, and for good reason, since they are so commonplace. But what about all the other spots and bumps that may appear on your skin?

It is important to stay informed on what could be forming on your skin, so you can know what is normal and what to watch closely. We’re breaking down the most common spots that appear on your skin that aren’t moles. Keep reading to find out what those are!

Freckles

Freckles are tan- or brown-colored spots that are located on sun-exposed skin.  They may grow darker during the summer but lighten up during the winter. They are totally harmless, but—for those who have a lot—it may signal an increased risk for skin cancer. Keep track of the freckles you have.  If you notice any changes in size, shape, or color, seek out a dermatologist.

Skin Tags

Extremely common, skin tags are soft bumps of skin that grow in skin folds of the neck, underarms, eyelids, groin, and breasts. They are usually the same color as your skin tone.  Friction and rubbing seem to be a risk factor.  Occasionally, skin tags can be a marker for a condition such as diabetes.  Usually they are asymptomatic but occasionally they may become irritated by clothing or jewelry.  Since they are benign, no treatment is necessary, and removal is not typically covered by medical insurance.

Sun Spots / Age Spots / Liver Spots

These common names are imprecise but usually refer to flat spots that are light tan to medium-dark brown located on the face, forearms, back of the hands, and upper trunk. They are brought on by sun exposure over your lifetime. Though they aren’t usually dangerous, their appearance may cause you to seek treatment. There are a variety of cosmetic treatment options, ranging from lightening creams to chemical peels to lasers. The best way to have them evaluated and learn more is by seeing a dermatologist.

White Spots

These small, smooth, white spots on your skin are technically called idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis (IGH) and develop most commonly on the forearms and shins. About 80% of patients over age 70 have them, including patients of all skin tones.  IGH is not a dangerous condition.  Interestingly, the exact cause is unknown but is thought to be related to sun damage.

Cherry Angiomas

Do you have a red spot on your skin — something that looks like it might be a red mole? That is probably a cherry angioma, and it’s a small collection of blood vessels near the surface of the skin. They can be raised or flat, appear anywhere on the body, and are usually smaller than a pencil eraser. The good news is that these are harmless and don’t require any form of treatment. For patients that seek removal, this is not typically covered by health insurance.

Seborrheic Keratoses

Although the name may not sound familiar, seborrheic keratoses are probably one of the most common lesions to prompt a visit to the dermatologist. These are brown to dark brown growths that may sometimes resemble melanoma.  Their surfaces may be smooth or rough and wart-like, often with a somewhat greasy texture.  They are found all over the body and often occur in multiples on the back. Some people liken them to barnacles. Occasionally, they may cause itching and bleeding, but the good news is that they can easily be removed.

From freckles to seborrheic keratoses, we’ve covered the most common spots that appear on your skin that aren’t moles. If you find that you are experiencing any of the above dermatology issues, the experts at Avail Dermatology are happy to help. Click here to schedule an appointment with us or give us a call at 770.251.5111.

Couple working on their skin care routine together.

Why Should You Have a Skincare Routine?

With so much to do in a day, it’s hard to make time for your skin with a daily skincare routine. After a hard day of work, sometimes all you want to do is climb into bed without thinking about washing your face or moisturizing your skin.

But there are several benefits of sticking to a daily skincare routine, no matter how tired you are. To help convince you, here are the benefits of having a skincare routine.

Improves the Health of Your Skin and Help Prevent Issues

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It does important things like protect us from extreme weather, infections, and toxic substances. The least we can do is help keep it healthy and refreshed.

Just like any other part of your body, if you take care of your skin it will be healthier. Washing it daily gets rid of the germs, dead skin, and other things that lay on your skin’s surface throughout your day. If you go to sleep without washing it, you are inviting those things to wreak havoc on your skin, making it more oily, acne prone, and susceptible to skin diseases.

Slows Down Aging

While those in their 20s and early 30s may not have to worry yet about the signs of aging, having a daily skincare regimen at a young age helps to slow down the effects of aging. This is because, as we grow older, our skin begins to lose its strength and elasticity. When we clean, exfoliate, moisturize, and use sunscreen on a regular basis, we give our skin some of its strength and elasticity back in the process.

While it’s impossible to beat off the signs of aging away forever, if the idea of wrinkles in your 30s scare you, then it’s time to set up your daily skincare routine.

Boosts Confidence

When we properly take care of our skin, we are also helping to beat away our biggest insecurities, like dark circles underneath our eyes or dark spots on your skin. Plus, after washing your face and putting on your moisturizer with sunscreen, your skin feels so much better than if you didn’t do a thing to it before walking out the door. The feeling of soft, happy skin is a great confidence boost as you head out for the day, versus going into the world with an unwashed face and all your insecurities front and center.

Self-Care Can be Fun

If you’ve had an extra-long or stressful day, it’s always a good idea to indulge in some self care. Using a special face mask or taking the time to try out new skin products can not only help to reduce your stress levels but it can also have lots of extra added benefits to your skin. Doing those special things regularly for your skin will only continue to reap in the benefits both for your stress and your skin.

If you have any more questions about the benefits of skincare and what you should be doing to make your skin feel amazing, then click here to schedule an appointment with the dermatology experts at Avail Dermatology.

Asian woman covering acne scars and acne with powder foundation

Tips for Handling Acne Scars

Having acne at any stage of your life can be extremely annoying. But what’s even more frustrating is when that acne leaves behind acne scars. Scarring occurs when breakouts affect the skin deeply enough to damage the tissue below. The scars look like divets, or holes, in your skin and can be just as annoying to treat as acne is.

If you’re battling acne scars, keep reading below to learn more about the best tactics for treatment.

Three Main Types of Acne Scars

Atrophic or Depressed Acne Scars

This is the most common type of acne scar. They occur when not enough collagen was formed when the acne wound was healing.

There are three types of atrophic acne scars. Boxcars are wide, u-shared scars that can be shallow or deep. Ice pick scars are narrow, v-shaped scars that usually go deep into the skin. And, finally, rolling scars are wide, deep acne scars.

Hypertrophic or Raised Scars

These are most commonly found on the chest and the back. These happen after too much collagen is created during healing, giving the acne scars a raised appearance.

Dark Spots

Dark spots are discoloration spots on the skin left behind after acne has disappeared. These are pretty common across all skin types and can be caused by other things. They can be purple, red, or brown. Usually, these fade over time and with the help of treatments.

Best Treatment Options:

There’s a lot of options to explore for treatments. Here are the most common types:

  • Soft Tissue Fillers: Given by dermatologist, these fillers inject collagen or fat directly under the skin to fill out the scars. While the results are positive, they are temporary and require multiple treatments to keep them invisible.
  • Lasers: This type of treatment is very common and also given by professionals. Certain lasers or other light sources treatment are able to treat the scars and reduce their appearance.
  • Chemical Peels: Many medical spas and dermatology offices offer medical peels, sometimes even scrubs, that can reduce the appearance.
  • Botox: Botox relax the areas of skin where acne scars are, thus improving the appearance of the divets and scars.
  • Needling and Rolling: Another common procedure at many dermatology offices, needling or rolling uses a device that has small needles on a rolling bar. While this may sound painful, it’s extremely safe and your skin will be numbed before the procedure begins so the pain will be minimal.
  • Home remedies: There are lots of home remedies that countless people have used to help reduce the appearance. Masks made out of aloe vera, coconut oil, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar have been proven to have positive effects on only superficial acne scars. Do some research and try out your favorite options to see if it helps to reduce the appearance.

The best way to handle acne scars is to speak to your trusted dermatology professional. The experts at Avail Dermatology are here to help. Click here to schedule an appointment with any of our expert team.