African American female using chapstick on her lips to prevent chapped lips.

Lips Constantly Chapped? Here’s How to Help!

Chapped lips are a common winter annoyance. Exposure to cold temperature and intense winds is a recipe for your skin drying out, especially your most sensitive areas like your lips. Dry lips can be irritating and even painful. Avail Dermatology’s experts explain our top tips for dealing with constantly chapped lips.

Use The Right Lip Balm

While this tip may seem like a no-brainer, there’s a certain way to use lip balm that is more helpful than just reaching for it when you need it the most. Plan to apply it right when you wake up, apply every two hours throughout the day, and finally right before you go to bed.

Also, make sure the lip balm you use is actually helpful. Avoid lip products containing the following ingredients: camphor, menthol, eucalyptus, fragrance, and flavoring. These can burn, sting, and further irritate the lips.

Look for ingredients such as petrolatum, petroleum jelly, shea butter, mineral oil, hemp seed oil, ceramides, and dimethicone. Ensure it also has SPF 30, especially if you go outside, to protect your lips from the sun.

Avoid Excessive Picking, Licking, and Touching Your Lips

If your lips are dry already, picking at the dead skin and irritating them further can worsen your condition. Try your best to avoid touching and picking at your lips. Also, do not lick your lips. While you may think you’re adding extra moisture, saliva exaporates quickly and can leave your lips even more starved for moisture.

Drink Water

When your body is dehydrated, your lips are more prone to dryness so be sure to drink plenty of water.

Improve Your Home Environment

If you spend most of your time indoors, it’s a good idea to work on the air quality in your house. Use a humidifier to add extra moisture to your environment.

When To See Your Dermatology Provider

If your dry lips do not improve with these helpful tips, it may be time to see a professional.  Chapped, dry lips that do not heal can be a sign of a skin infection, an allergic reaction, or even a precancerous condition.


Would you like to speak to one of our professionals about how to help with your chapped lips? Call 770-251-5111, email [email protected], or click here to schedule an appointment!

 

Rash on a female's face vs her face covered with makeup.

Rashes on Your Skin? Cosmetics and Skincare Products May Be to Blame

The sudden appearance of a rash on your skin may be unsettling, but most rashes have a simple explanation and straightforward cure. Chances are you’re experiencing a common yet frustrating skin issue called contact dermatitis, and it could be a result of the products you’re using.

What Is Contact Dermatitis?

Characterized by a red, itchy rash, contact dermatitis can be the skin’s response to either irritants or allergens. Irritant contact dermatitis is caused by damage to the skin. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by an allergic reaction to a triggering substance or allergen.

Many cosmetic and skin care products can cause such reactions. These include makeup, fragrances, soaps, and moisturizers. Oftentimes, the rash develops within minutes or hours of exposure to the aggravating substance.

In addition to a red, itchy rash, you may also experience:

  • Dry or scaly skin
  • Blisters and bumps
  • Swelling
  • Burning

What Causes Rashes in Skincare Products?

There are hundreds of potential irritants in skincare products.

Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type of rash caused by products, accounting for 80% of all contact dermatitis cases. In this case, the rash is simply a response to the skin’s protective layer being damaged by an irritant.

Irritants can include:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Bleach and other hair dyes
  • Antiperspirants
  • Retinol and acids in wrinkle creams

In the case of allergic contact dermatitis, the immune system reacts to the allergen by releasing T cells in an attempt to neutralize the foreign invader. This overreaction of the immune system causes a rash. While you may never have been allergic to a skincare ingredient before, it’s possible to develop an allergy at any age.

According to the FDA, common allergens in cosmetic products are divided into five categories:

  • Preservatives
  • Natural rubber (often listed as latex on labels)
  • Fragrances
  • Dyes and color additives
  • Metals, such as aluminum compounds and cobalt, which are often found in antiperspirants

Beyond these common allergens, many people also experience allergies to salicylic acids used to treat acne, topical retinoids to address wrinkles and fine lines, emollients such as lanolin and cocoa butter, and sulfates in soaps and shampoos.

Another increasingly common cause of allergic contact dermatitis are essential oils such as tea tree oil, lavendar, peppermint oil, and ylang-ylang oil.

How to Clear Up a Skin Rash Caused by Products

If you suspect a product is causing skin irritation, the first step is to stop using it immediately. Once you’re able to avoid the irritant or allergen, your rash should clear up within several weeks. Meanwhile, you can find relief from itching and irritation with cool, wet washcloths and anti-itch creams.

Of course, if you find that your rash is worsening instead of clearing up, you’ll want to visit a dermatologist to see if you may need medication. You should also schedule an appointment if the rash is affecting your face, is severe or widespread, or is irritating you to the point where you’re losing sleep or unable to complete daily activities.

Fever, oozing blisters, difficulty breathing, or inflammation in the airways are all signs of potential infection or severe allergic reaction. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.


Whether you have a rash that isn’t clearing up or want to explore skin care products that won’t cause irritation, turn to Avail Dermatology for help. Schedule an appointment with us online, call (770) 251-5111 or email [email protected].

Cherry angioma

What Are Cherry Angiomas? 

If you’ve ever spotted a small, red spot on your skin that hasn’t gone away over time, then you might have discovered a cherry angioma! Also called red moles, senile angiomas, and Campbell de Morgan spots, these common skin growths are a collection of small blood vessels that appear as raised, red to purple bumps anywhere on the body.

Cherry angiomas are considered harmless, so treatment is mainly a cosmetic concern.

Rarely, however, a skin cancer can be mistaken for a cherry angioma. If you notice a sudden increase in the number of red spots or if a pre-existing red spot changes in size, shape, color, or symptom (i.e., bleeding), you should be evaluated at a dermatology clinic.

What Causes Cherry Angiomas?

The reason cherry angiomas develop isn’t known. Age, however, seems to be a major factor, as they’re much more common the older you are. Many specialists believe they may be connected to chemical exposure, genetics, and pregnancy.

How Do You Treat Cherry Angiomas?

Luckily, these won’t need to be treated and there’s no harm in leaving them on your skin, unless you’d like them removed for personal preferences or if they start to change in appearance. If that’s the case, here are your options:

  • Cryosurgery, which is focused destruction by freezing with liquid nitrogen
  • Electrocauterization, which is focused destruction with a low-level electric current
  • Laser destruction
  • Shave removal

Do you have any further questions about cherry angiomas? Or would you like to speak to one of our professionals about a potential one on your skin? Get in contact with us by calling 770-251-5111 or scheduling an appointment!

Lady washing her face in the sink, smiling.

Why You Should Wash Your Face Every Day

If you’re having a bad day or just feel too tired, it can be tempting to skip washing your face. Especially with these times of self-quarantining and social distancing, our skin hygiene routines may be suffering. But we’re here to remind you that you should keep up good habits for the sake of your skin.

Want to know why you should wash your face every day? Here are all the vital benefits of cleaning your skin daily!

Daily Brightens Skin

The most obvious reason to wash your face is to remove environmental dust, excess oils, and sweat which may build up on your face throughout the day and night. Letting the bacteria, dead skin cells, pollutants, and “dirt and grime” sit on your skin may reduce your natural glow.

Allows Other Products to Work

“Dirt and grime” on an unwashed face may also form a barrier against your other face products.  Applying anti-aging serums, antioxidants, or moisturizers will be useless if there is not a clean surface to absorb them.

Gives Your Skin Much-Needed Water

Your skin needs to be hydrated to help keep it feeling soft and looking young. The best way to provide your face the water it needs is to gently cleanse it and promptly moisturize it to “lock-in” the hydration.

Opens Your Pores

The skin on our face needs our help to protect itself. The glands and follicles on our skin produce oil that forms a protective barrier from harmful pollutants outside. Not washing your face allows those glands and follicles to become blocked, meaning that they can’t produce that necessary oil.

When that happens, a range of negative consequences occur.  Your complexion may be overly oily or dry and irritated.  It may be prone to wrinkles or acne breakouts.

Ultimately, washing your face every day is a refreshing and healthy habit with numerous benefits!

Do you have any further questions about why you should wash your face every day? Reach out to us by calling 770-251-5111 or scheduling an appointment!

 

Young Black man smelling his wet armpit, close up, empty space, wondering if he has hyperhidrosis.

What is Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is the name given to excessive and uncontrollable sweating and an estimated 1-3% percent of Americans currently overproduce sweat.  The onset is most often during childhood or adolescence.

Hyperhidrosis can occur under your arms (axillary hyperhidrosis) or on the palms of your hand and soles of your feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis). While some people perspire additionally due to tense emotions and additional stress, those with it sweat constantly.

The main symptom of this condition is excessive sweating. But what causes this condition and how can you treat it? Our experts are here to explain!

What Causes Hyperhidrosis?

Most of the time, this condition is neurological, meaning it stems from an issue with the nervous system and can be inherited. Sometimes there are problems with the endocrine system (chemical messenger system in your body) and even certain diseases can trigger hyperhidrosis.

How Do You Treat It?

Fortunately, there are a number of common treatment options:

  • Topical antiperspirants: either over the counter or prescription if those fail to control the issue.
  • Iontophoresis: a device that uses a gentle electrical current to pass ionized tap water through the skin.
  • Botox injections
  • MiraDry, a procedure that utilizes microwave energy to destroy sweat glands.
  • Lasers
  • Surgery: less often utilized

Interested in learning more?  Click here to schedule an appointment with us today or click here to learn more about our telemedicine efforts!

Asian woman worry about acne occur on her face after wearing mask for long time during covid-19 pandemic, wondering how to help decrease mask acne.

Help Decrease Mask Acne With These Tips

Masks play a vital role in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Masks can also be hard on your skin, causing problems that range from acne and peeling skin to rashes and itchiness. This can be annoying and uncomfortable, especially for people who are required to wear masks for extended periods of time.

We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you fight back! Keep reading below to learn how to help decrease mask acne.

Apply Moisturizer

Keeping your skin nice and hydrated will produce a barrier between your face and your mask, preventing friction. Applying a moisturizer before you put on your mask will do the trick! Applying a moisturizer to damp skin will help the absorption of your moisturizer.  Look for moisturizers that best suit your skin type.  Look for moisturizers that contain the following ingredients: ceramides, hyaluronic acid and dimethicone.

Avoid Makeup

Wearing makeup underneath your mask can lead to issues with clogged pores. To prevent this problem, don’t wear makeup in the areas your mask covers. No one can see your skin under there anyway! If makeup is necessary, use only products labeled “non-comedogenic” or “won’t clog pores.”

Wash Your Face

Wearing a mask traps dirt and oil “in a moist/humid environment” exacerbating acne and skin irritation. Proper skin care including washing with a gentle cleanser can help decrease the negative effects of mask-wearing. It is recommended to wash your face twice a day.  Look for cleansers that are nonabrasive and do not contain alcohol. Use warm water and avoid scrubbing, using your hands is enough.

Wash Your Mask

If your mask is washable, make sure it stays clean! Not only does this ensure you remain protected from the virus but it also keeps your skin from building up even more dirt and oil.

Use Less of Certain Skincare Products

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some skincare products that you’ve used in the past may irritate your skin. Temporarily decreasing their use may be a good idea if you are having troubles with your skin. These products may include: leave on acne treatments (ex: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide), retinol creams, and aftershave or perfumed lotions.

Struggling to find time to make it into the office but have more questions about how to help decrease mask acne? Click here to learn more about our telemedicine efforts!

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:

  • Avail Dermatology strongly encourages patients and staff to get COVID vaccination as soon as possible. However, since much of the population remains unvaccinated at this time, our COVID office protocols remain in place.
  • 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.
  • TEMPERATURES: Upon arrival, you will be screened for fever. If your temperature is over 100ºF, your appointment will be rescheduled.
  • MASKS: Based on the latest CDC guidance, even if you are fully vaccinated, we ask that you wear a mask throughout the visit, at least until it is determined if vaccinated individuals can still transmit COVID infection. 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. Please do not wear a mask with valves or vents. Per the CDC, masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole and do not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others.
  • VISITORS/FAMILY MEMBERS: 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.
  • EARLY 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.
  • FACILITY CLEANING: 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.

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.

Remember too that we are entering flu season and we strongly recommend that all patients get a flu vaccination by the end of October to protect themselves and their families.

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 

White cosmetic bottles, eucalyptus flowers, towels, soap on green background. Top view, flat lay. Natural organic beauty product concept. Spa, skin care, body treatment, highlighting the history of skincare.

History of Skincare Products

When people think of medical advancements, they don’t often think of skincare. But just as the practice of medicine has evolved and improved over the years, so has the process of caring for the body’s largest organ — the skin. Learn more about the history of skincare below!

The Evolution of Skincare

Keep reading to journey through the various phases of beliefs, ingredients, and practices that impacted the way people cared for their skin.

  • The earliest evidence of skincare and makeup comes from Ancient Egypt. Preserving youth was a strong theme within their culture, not too dissimilar from modern times. However, they used ingredients like castor, sesame, and moringa oils. They also used olive oil and clay mixtures to cleanse their skin, milk masks to moisturize, and dead sea salts to exfoliate. Additionally, the makeup they created had two purposes: to help decorate their skin and also to protect them from the harsh elements of the sun and desert.
  • Like the Ancient Egyptians, the Ancient Greeks relied on totally natural ingredients to create the elements of their skincare. Their regiment included lots of fresh berries, milk, olive oils, and yogurt to create items like perfumes, eye shadows, cleanses, and even hair dyes.
  • The 1700s globally saw skincare as an art form. Many people believed makeup was most beautiful when it was painted and layered on. Heavier makeup conveyed social and economic status. Popular skincare treatments during this time were saunas, sweat cleansings, and milk baths.
  • During the 1800s, skincare was a privilege. It was seen as vital for those in higher classes to participate in, but it wasn’t necessary for those who were just trying their best to survive. For a majority of this century, skincare products were hard to obtain and expensive. Using products to lighten the skin was also popular. To do this, many people used items like harsh cleaners, oatmeal, lemon juice, and egg yolks.
  • Fortunately for everyone, the 1900s and current times is when skincare really exploded. This century saw the birth of countless businesses for makeup and skincare products. For example, sunscreen wasn’t created until 1944. This also means that beauty products stopped being a privilege and became readily available for all types of people, no matter their economic status. Additionally, we’ve learned that using harsh chemicals to change our tone isn’t healthy while darker skin tones became more widely celebrated. Now, we focus on using natural ingredients like the civilizations before us. We also protect ourselves and our skin by using items like sunscreen and vitamins.

Avail Dermatology is here for any of your skincare needs. If you have any further questions about the history of skincare or want to speak to our staff, click here to reach out or give us a call at 770-929-9033. Click here to learn more about our telemedicine efforts!

 

 

Sensitive Skin, Food allergy symptoms, Irritation. Doctor dermatolog and patient, wondering how to tell if you're allergic to skincare products.

How to Tell You’re Allergic to Skincare Products

At the end of a long, stressful day, taking a hot shower and indulging in your skincare routine can be the best way to unwind and pamper yourself. But what if instead of feeling comforted and clean, your skin starts to break out and/or become itchy? Unfortunately, this usually means your skin is having an allergic reaction to a product you just used.

Our experts are explaining how to tell you’re allergic to skincare products below!

Reactions to Look Out For

Here are some of the most common ways your skin might negatively react to ingredients in your skincare products:

  • Red, itchy, and irritated skin, otherwise known as dermatitis.
  • Red pimples.
  • Flaky skin.
  • Sensitivity on the skin.

The important detail to remember is that an allergic reaction caused by skincare products will stay only on your skin. If you start to have other symptoms, like a runny nose or feeling queasy, another issue may be to blame.

What Causes This Reaction?

To figure out why your skin might be having a negative reaction, you have to consider common skincare ingredients. Unfortunately, this can be tricky, because there are thousands of different types of ingredients used across skincare products. For example, maybe you’re allergic to the preservatives or chemical components of certain fragrances in your face wash. Or perhaps the base ingredient in that anti-aging serum doesn’t sit well with your skin.

So, if you wake up with a skin reaction, the best way to determine the cause is to retrace your skincare steps and specifically examine the ingredients in those products.

What to Do if You Think You’re Allergic

If you suspect you’re having an allergic reaction to skincare products, stop using any of the products that could possibly have caused the reaction. Next, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as possible. If you’re able, it’s also helpful to record the times your symptoms appeared and which products you’ve been using. If you can bring them to your appointment, even better.

Bringing this information to your dermatologist will help them narrow down what could be happening. That way, the two of you can figure out which products are best to avoid and which products you can use instead.

Avail Dermatology is here for any of your skincare needs. If you have any further questions about the history of skincare or want to speak to our staff, click here to reach out or give us a call at 770-929-9033. Click here to learn more about our telemedicine efforts!

Eco friendly skincare. Natural cosmetics and organic herbs and flowers on pink background, top view, flat lay. Bio research and healthy lifestyle concept, highlighting Are “Organic” Skincare Products Really Better?

Are “Organic” Skincare Products Really Better?

When it comes to skincare, it’s important to know what’s exactly in the products you apply to your face. When you find a product labeled with the word “organic,”, you might be tempted to assume it’s higher quality. However, while this might sometimes be true, it’s definitely not always the case.

The experts at Avail Dermatology are answering the question are “organic” skincare products really better? 

What Does the Word Organic Mean? 

By definition, when a skincare product uses the word organic, it’s referring to how their ingredients were farmed.  The USDA will give a skincare product an official “organic” seal if the food based ingredients like honey or berries do not contain any synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. 

However, the rules for what percentage of those ingredients are actually organic differ from country to country. You can learn more about America’s definition of organic cosmetics here

What Does This Mean for Skincare Products? 

Organic skincare products use ingredients that do not require certain chemicals while certain ingredients are being grown. However, it doesn’t mean that the product is perfect. Organic products can still contain problematic ingredients or plants that can cause a reaction on your skin, just as those products without a USDA “organic” seal.

Organic also may not mean better for the environment. Some organic products still use growing methods that can be detrimental to the planet.  

Ultimately, it’s vital to look beyond labels like organic and thoroughly research what skincare products work best for you. By understanding how ingredients within these products might affect your skin, you’ll be more informed to purchase something that’s just right for you.  

Avail Dermatology is here for any of your skincare needs. If you have any further questions about how organic skincare products truly differ or want to speak to our staff, click here to reach out or give us a call at 770-929-9033. Click here to learn more about our telemedicine efforts