Why You Should See a Dermatologist

Dermatologists are physicians who can help you keep your skin healthy. When you have a trusted dermatologist by your side during your healthcare journey, you’ll have the confidence to know you can face any skincare issues that might come up. But, you can only do that if you visit with your dermatologist at least once a year.

Keep reading below to see why you should include a visit to a dermatologist as part of your yearly health care routine.

Discussion of Skin Care

Everyone’s skin is different, and our skin changes over time.  A dermatologist can evaluate your skin type and condition and help you develop a personalized skin care routine to keep your skin healthy.

Evaluation of Skin Lesions

We all have various lesions on our skin.  Dermatologists have broad knowledge of the common and uncommon spots and bumps that are found on the skin.  During a visit with a dermatologist you will learn more about which ones are normal and which ones might need to be monitored or removed.

Slow Down Aging

Although aging is inevitable, there are many things that can accelerate or slow down the process.  A dermatologist can help you develop a plan to slow and, to some degree, reverse the changes in appearance of aging skin.  Your daily skin care routine can greatly impact how quickly or slowly your skin develops discoloration, wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Skin Inflammation

There are many reasons our skin can become inflamed.  This is often signaled by pinkness, itching and/or flaking of the skin.  Dermatologists are experts in these issues and can educate you and prescribe treatments to return your skin to its normal state.  There are numerous topical and systemic (pills or injections) that treat various inflammatory skin conditions, and there are new treatments continuously in development.  Visiting a dermatologist about your skin issues can make a big difference in how comfortable you are in your skin.

Dermatologists provide these services and more.  They play an important role in educating patients on skin care, evaluating skin lesions, treating skin issues and providing routine skin examinations. Because of this, at least annual visits to a dermatologist is a valuable part of a health maintenance plan.  If you haven’t already, we encourage you to schedule your next appointment with one of our providers at Avail Dermatology or with another trusted dermatologist in the Atlanta area.


Are Pore Strips Helpful or Harmful?

People often try various ways to get rid of blackheads, with one of the most common being pore strips. Pore strips are a regular staple in many women and men’s facial skin care routine.

How Do Pore Strips Work?

Pore strips contain a variety of ingredients, all of which are mixed with water to create a glue-like adhesive. As the pore strip hardens on your face, it attaches to your top layer of skin and peels it off when you remove the strip. Yes, pore strips remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells lingering on the top layer of skin, temporarily improving the appearance of pores. What they don’t do is provide any permanent change in pore size or appearance.

According to Brian Zelickson, MD, a dermatologist and director of Zel Skin Clinic, “Pore strips work by removing the superficial portion of the blackhead.” He also goes on to reveal pore strips rarely keep blackheads from recurring.

Can Pore Strips Cause Damage?

Pore strips are unlikely to cause any real damage. However, they may cause redness and skin irritation, especially for those with skin disorders like rosacea or psoriasis, or for patients using prescription acne medications. Craig Kraffert, a dermatologist and the founder of Amarte Skincare, says those with sensitive skin should avoid using pore strips.

What Are the Alternatives to Pore Strips?

Skin care products that clarify and exfoliate the skin can be a great alternative to pore strips. If you’re looking for long-term blackhead removal, try using a product that has salicylic acid or glycolic acid. These ingredients promote skin turnover and unclog pores. There are also several prescription and non-prescription retinoid medications that work by increasing cell turnover and preventing formation of new blackheads.

It’s your skin. Make sure you’re being smart about your facial skin care routine.

Follow these tips for healthier and happier skin and schedule an appointment with Avail Dermatology today to learn more about how to keep your skin happy.

Practical Resolutions You Should Make For Healthier Skin

Your lifestyle choices can have negative effects on your skin. At the heart of proper skin care is knowing how to protect it with the right products. A skin care routine doesn’t have to be full of difficult, time-consuming tasks. While maintaining healthy skin does require effort, incorporating simple, daily habits in your skincare routine can get you on the path to looking and feeling better. Here’s a look at a few practical steps that can delay natural aging and ward off various skin care problems.  

Handle With Care

Regardless of skin type, you should never scrub your skin or choose products that contain harsh ingredients. Make it a habit to wash your face each morning and before going to bed each night with a mild cleanser that will remove dirt, makeup and bacteria. Use gentle circular motions with just your fingertips using lukewarm water.


Any skin care regimen should include a moisturizer regardless of your skin type. Even if you feel your skin is oily or sensitive, you still need to hydrate your skin regularly. This is especially true as we age as the skin’s ability to hold moisture decreases. For those with dry skin, look for rich moisturizer, and if you are prone to acne, consider an oil-free, lightweight moisturizer. In addition to moisturizing, drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated and glowing.

SPF Always

Don’t leave home without sun protectionthis rule applies to all 365 days in the year. Much of the premature-aging process can be attributed to sun exposure. A lot of people make the mistake of using SPF only on vacation or around the pool. Choose a facial moisturizer with SPF for daily activities. Use a more dedicated sunscreen and remember to reapply frequently when you know that you’ll be outside for a prolonged period of time.

Healthy Choices

Your overall health is affected by what you eat on a daily basis. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins provides nutrients that your skin needs to stay glowing and healthy. Skip the cigarettes, as smoking can contribute to premature aging and wrinkles. Clearer skin is often the product of a happy body, so choose face-friendly foods and follow the above recommended steps for healthy radiant skin.

Follow these tips for healthier and happier skin and schedule an appointment with Avail Dermatology today to learn more about how to keep your skin happy.

How Skin Health Impacts Hair Loss

The body is a complex machine, and just like any other machine that you work with regularly, one small change can have a huge impact on a number of other functions.  Your skin health can have a major impact on the health of the rest of your body, including potentially causing hair loss.

The Connection between Skin and Hair
It isn’t too hard to understand how an issue with your skin could lead to hair loss.  Hair grows through hair follicles, which are micro-cavities in the skin that are filled with oil and natural bacteria that help hair to grow. These follicles, however, can become infected, inflamed, or even inactive as a result of the skin health surrounding the follicle.

There are many issues that can develop with the skin that can lead to hair loss. These include:

  • Excessive dryness and flaking
  • Extreme sunburn
  • Rash/inflammation (psoriasis, eczema, skin allergies)
  • Infection (bacterial, fungal/ringworm)

Skin health is far from the only factor that can lead to hair loss.  Other issues such as improper hair care, thyroid disease, low iron levels, autoimmune disease, medications, stress, extreme diets, and even pregnancy can cause hair loss.  If you have started losing hair, consulting with your dermatologist is an important first step. With the correct diagnosis, many forms of hair loss can be helped.

Taking better care of your skin can help you in preventing or even reversing hair loss.  Treatment may involve a few simple self-care steps, such as improving your cleansing and moisturizing routine to prevent build-up.  Other treatments are more involved and may include prescription shampoos, cortisones, and antibiotics. For more information on how your skin health could be impacting your hair loss, or overall health, contact Avail Dermatology today.

See a Dermatologist in the New Year

Making a strong New Year’s resolution is something of a tradition—keeping that resolution past the second week of January, however, may be a bit of a feat. This year, make yourself a resolution that you can easily keep, and that will benefit you all year round. Call a dermatologist and finally take care of those issues you’ve been concerned about for far too long.

New Year, Clear Skin

The trouble with most resolutions is that they are far too ambitious. Losing weight is a great goal for many people, but the massive amount of lifestyle changes necessary to completely turn your health around aren’t something that you can tackle in the course of one night. Similarly, making the choice to quit smoking or to stop biting your nails or to finally address some other sort of behavioral habit that you would like to change takes time to implement in your life. It’s not that these goals are impossible to make and keep, but they are certainly difficult.

Here’s the thing: making a goal of seeing a dermatologist takes one simple phone call. Make the call, schedule an appointment, and then take it from there. The earlier in the year you make the call, the more likely you are to make this goal a reality.

Seeing a dermatologist can help you in a variety of ways. Here are three simple reasons to make the call:

  1. Overcome acne at any age. Whether you are in the midst of adolescent hormonal changes or you are an adult who can’t figure out why acne is still a problem, a dermatologist can help you address the issue with comprehensive and personalized treatment plans that can provide you with clearer skin long into the future.
  2. Spots and bumps aren’t always harmless. Almost every is susceptible to a variety of skin growths like moles, tags, and warts, which may be entirely benign. But there are other times in which that bump or spot may be a potentially dangerous skin condition. A dermatologist can give you a proper diagnosis and treat you if necessary.
  3. Feel more comfortable in your skin. People who see a dermatologist about skin issues have more peace of mind, and ultimately can feel a lot more comfortable in their own skin. Treatments from a dermatologist can help you to better deal with uncomfortable itching and rashes, aging skin, painful blemishes, and so much more.

Better skin is a promise that you can make to yourself for the New Year. Call Avail Dermatology today to schedule an appointment and make a resolution that you know you can keep this year.

Skincare Tips for Men

Taking care of your body means taking care of your skin.  Women have known this for a long time and now men are beginning to realize how important skin care is to the overall health of the body.  Men and women may share the basic needs for skincare such as sun screens, moisturizers, and use of anti-aging products, but men are starting to understand that they have specific needs, different from women, that require a tailored approach.

Here are 5 simple tips that every man should know when it comes to taking care of your skin.

  1. Post-shaving treatments. Shaving can be hard on the skin and many men with more sensitive skin develop problems such as skin irritation, redness or painful ingrown hairs.  In some cases, simple over the counter post-shaving lotions are helpful, but if that is not solving the problem, your dermatologist can offer a variety of prescription and non-prescription treatments to make shaving pleasant again.
  2. Invest in your razors. Always use good razors and replace them often.  Your skin will feel and look better when it is less irritated.
  3.  Wear sunscreen every day.  Sunscreen not only protects the skin from excessive sun exposure, it can act as a daily moisturizer and when used on a regular basis can keep the skin from getting dry and irritated which can make shaving an uncomfortable experience.  Your dermatologist can help you decide what type of sunscreen would work best for your skin as well as your lifestyle.
  4. Adopt a daily cleansing routine. A gentle cleanser, used on a regular basis, can do wonders for the skin.  It can remove oils and impurities that make the skin look and feel dull and lifeless.  Contact your dermatologist to review which cleansers would work best for your specific skin type.
  5. Moisturize regularly. Just like cleansing, moisturizing should become a part of your daily routine.  Skin that lacks moisture can look and feel old and weathered and this can be both uncomfortable as well as unattractive.  Your dermatologist can help you decide what type of moisturizer would work best for your specific skin care needs.

It’s time that men discover the benefits of routine skin care.  Taking care of the body means taking care of the whole body – skin included.  So take care of business and schedule an appointment with Avail Dermatology today to learn more about how to keep your skin looking young and attractive.

When to Seek Treatment for Dry Skin

Dry skin is very common during the winter months.  The main cause is low humidity. Water automatically moves from high concentration to low.  In the winter months, water is moving out of our skin into the environment thus making the skin drier.  The lower the humidity, the dryer the skin can get.

In the winter we also sweat less and as a result tend to require less hydration so fluid consumption is lower and this along with the low humidity can compound the problem

of dry skin.

The Winter Blues: Dry Skin

When the skin is dry it will itch, flake, crack and sometimes even fissure.  If the cold weather and low humidity are short-lived, a change in weather may be all that is needed to get the skin back to normal.  Another suggestion is to use a cream or ointment as a moisturizer instead of a lotion. However, if nothing you have tried is working you may need professional assistance from your local dermatology practice.  Avail Dermatology is always ready to assist you.

Here’s how to know if your dry skin will require the support of your dermatologist:

  • Over-the counter treatments with creams and ointments is not working. When you make changes to your skincare routine and your skin doesn’t respond within seven to ten days,  it may be a sign that your skin requires stronger support. A dermatologist can provide you with prescription level creams and ointments that may be more effective.
  • You have deep and painful cracks in your skin from the dryness. When dry skin becomes severe and cracks develop, it can be painful and can even become infected. This may require treatment from a dermatologist.
  • The dry skin is a lot worse than it usually is. Many people who experience dry skin in the winter experience it every year and have a good idea what to do to combat the dryness. If you experience skin symptoms that are completely different from what you normally  experience it is a good idea to consult with your dermatologist before attempting to treat the issue yourself as you may be experiencing something more serious than dry skin.

Don’t spend the next six months waiting for the weather to warm up and the humidity to increase so your skin can get re-hydrated. Contact Avail Dermatology today to start feeling relief now.

Adult Acne

The teenage years are plighted with those difficulties we so largely associate with the process of coming of age—including acne. But for most teens the trouble comes to an end after just a few years, and the light of adulthood is constantly at the end of the tunnel of zit-cream and blemished cheeks. As an adult with acne, there is no clear end in sight, and the realization that acne may be something you are going to have to deal with indefinitely can be extremely frustrating.

Adult acne could develop as a result of a variety of reasons, including everything from hormone fluctuations to stress. Just as during your teenage years, taking good care of your skin can go a long way in reducing and preventing outbreaks. However, when you are in the midst of balancing a busy work schedule with a chaotic household, going through those extra steps isn’t exactly easy.

The first step to treating adult acne is finding out what is causing the blemishes to develop in the first place. Here are some of the most common causes:

  1. Hormone changes. Many women begin to experience acne when they are pregnant, or soon after childbirth. During pregnancy, medication options are limited, but you can still talk to your dermatologist about treatment options.
  2. Stress. This was a cause of trouble during adolescence and it is still a problem in adulthood. One of the issues that typically cause blemishes to develop as a result of stress is lack of sleep and self-care. Going a night without a cleansing shower, skipping a full night’s rest to get some work done, or even just the experience of stress itself can all lead to major breakouts.
  3. Product irritation. Another common cause of breakouts in adults is exposure to harmful skin products, including make-up. A great way to tell if this may be the cause of your problem is to consider when the acne began, and if there is any correlation with its appearance and your use of a certain product.

As a teenager acne may have been the norm, but as an adult the problem is optional. There are treatment options that can tackle just about any acne situation. Contact your skin specialist at Avail Dermatology for more information and make an appointment today.

How Weather Impacts your Skin

Changing your clothes to accommodate for changes in the weather is the norm, but how often do you think about the changes you need to make to your skincare routine? As the weather drops you may grab a scarf or put on a jacket, but do you also add an extra layer of moisturizer? There are a lot of skin issues that actually stem from the climate, and being aware of how to deal with those climate issues can have a huge impact on your overall skin health.

The Cold

When its cold out, your skin is going to become dry. The cold weather dries out the pores, causing your skin to become easily irritated and requiring you to use additional moisturizer to keep it feeling healthy. The dryness is actually why the cold weather causes your skin to become cracked, leading to uncomfortable itching and skin that is tough to the touch.

Simply vamping up your moisturizing routine come winter isn’t the smartest thing to do, however. Too much oil in the moisturizer may lead to acne or similar blemishes, just as using a perfumed moisturizer could lead to irritation. Talk to your dermatologist about the best moisturizing practices for your skin’s health.

The Hot

Just as your skin is likely to dry out in the cold weather, increased heat can cause its own issues. The heat isn’t likely to dry out your skin—unless, that is, excessive exposure to the sun has caused you to develop a sunburn. Increased heat often is accompanied by increased humidity, which can leave your skin oily and your pores clogged.

Using a cleanser during the warmer months of the year to clear all of that sweat and dirt build-up from your pores is the best way to prevent issues like breakouts as a result of the weather. And if you do find yourself faced with a sunburn, then make sure to up the moisturizing so that you can help your skin’s health bounce back from being dried out from the UV rays.

Even as the weather changes, there are some routines that ought to stay consistent to help your skin stay healthy. Talk to your dermatologist about developing a skincare routine that makes sense for your skin.

Whatever the season, putting your skin’s health first can help you stay comfortable and looking great all year round. Before you make any changes to your skincare routine, talk to your skin care specialist at Avail Dermatology. Contact Avail Dermatology today and schedule an appointment with us.

Face Washing Mistakes

Face Washing Mistakes

Keeping your face clean is part of your daily hygiene needs and should be part of a regular ritual that you engage in every morning and evening. However, as simple of a task as it may seem, you may be surprised by how many people make basic mistakes with their skincare routine—and how these seemingly small mistakes may actually have a huge impact on your skin’s health and daily appearance.

Here is a rundown of the top 4 most common face washing mistakes, and how you can make sure not to commit them:

  1. You aren’t using the right cleanser. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all facial cleanser. Choosing the right type of cleanser for your skin will help provide the right type of support for your facial needs. The wrong cleanser can cause your skin to become too dry, too oily, or even inflamed. If your cleanser isn’t working that well, or if you are experiencing any degree of irritation, then it is time for a new cleanser. Irritated skin is red, tight, dry, and prone to little pinpoint bumps. As a rule, true soaps like Irish Spring and Ivory are too harsh for use on the face.
  2. You aren’t applying the cleanser correctly. There are plenty of tasks in your daily routine that you want to rush through, but taking care of your skin cannot be one of them. You are taught from a young age to take your time brushing your teeth—well taking care of your face needs to have the same approach. When you apply cleanser, make sure to massage your facial skin in small circles, using only your fingers—you should not scrub with harsh materials—then rinsing with handfuls of luke-warm water. Then, be careful to pat dry with a soft towel. Ideally, no wiping, and no rough towels. Treat your face gently to prevent inflammation!
  3. You aren’t cleansing morning and night. Washing your face before bed is good practice, especially if you wear makeup! However, this isn’t the only time your face needs attention. You should be cleansing every morning, as well. Starting your day with a quality cleanse can give your skin the boost it needs. Finally, a quick splash with lukewarm water after football practice or a volleyball game can help rinse away sweat and oils before they have a chance to clog pores.
  4. You aren’t removing your makeup completely. Most makeup products are designed to withstand a little bit of water exposure, which is great for days that leave you in tears, but not so great for when you are trying to quickly wash your face. Remember that you can’t just splash the makeup away. You need to gently wipe it away with the appropriate and necessary cleanser.

You only have one face, so take care of it the best that you can! Take your time to wash thoroughly every morning and evening for the best facial results. If you need a bit of help getting this process worked out, contact us to consult with a dermatologist.