Posts tagged #DermArts
Dermatology Arts' Dr. Casey Carlos, MD, PhD named Seattle Met Magazine 2019 Top Doctor

Congratulations to Dermatology Arts’ very own Dr. Casey Carlos for being voted “TOP DOCTOR” for the 2019 Seattle Met Magazine! Medical professionals in the Seattle metropolitan area nominated other medical professions in various specialties to be considered for the honor. Among dermatologists, Dr. Carlos was among the top vote recipients of the King, Snohomish, Kitsap, and Pierce Counties.

In 2018, Seattle Met asked Washington State licensed health care providers “If you or a loved one needed care, whom would you choose?” Responses considered years of experience, patient satisfaction, and more. The 14th annual list for 2019 asked similar questions and was recently published on seattlemet.com

Dr. Carlos went to medical school at the University of Pittsburgh, where she also received her PhD. After her training, she went on to be Chief Resident at the University of Pennsylvania, then residency program co-director at the University of California San Diego. Our team at Dermatology Arts was proud to welcome her in 2016, and now, we are even more proud to have her here as Top Doctor.

Psoriasis v. Eczema: ENDGAME

Recently, “Rashes & Skin Allergy Testing,” was posted and it reviewed what eczema looks like and how allergy patch testing can be helpful. What many may not know is how psoriasis and eczema are related, yet, are significantly different. Come to Dermatology Arts in Bellevue for help understanding if you have one of these conditions.

Both psoriasis and eczema are red, itchy rashes that can appear as scales or plaques, be improved by topical steroids, and worsen with cold weather. But, what sets the two apart is very clear. Psoriasis, while red and itchy, has distinct borders and the skin is often raised. Eczema rashes have ill-defined borders, making it difficult to know when it starts and stops.

Common places for psoriasis to appear include the elbows, knees, and belly button. It can even cause symptoms affecting the fingernails. Psoriasis rashes result from an autoimmune disorder where an excess of skin builds up and doesn’t shed. Typical treatments can include topical steroids, but in more severe cases systemic medicines may be needed. Psoriasis is also associated with several other conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Among those who have psoriasis, 5% can also experience psoriatic arthritis.  

Eczema, on the other hand, can improve with topical steroids and or several lifestyle changes like taking warm showers, avoiding harsh soaps, etc. Although eczema may show up in the same places as psoriasis, there is less skin buildup and inflammation. The underlying cause is also very  different. Triggers such as environment, bacteria, allergens, and genetics all play a role in severity, onset, and symptom improvement. Related diagnoses include allergies, keratosis pilaris, and asthma.

Neither psoriasis or eczema have a cure, but Dermatology Arts offers many treatment options that can control symptoms and prevent frequent flare ups. It can be difficult to tell the difference between psoriasis and eczema, but with a trained eye and many years of experience dermatologists can successfully diagnose and treat appropriately.

Do the least you can do.

This past Sunday morning, perhaps as a small Father’s Day gift, my wife, Aditi, shared the Graduate English address by Lucila Takjerad at Harvard Commencement 2019. It had been forwarded to her from a lifelong friend in India. Before she showed me the video, Aditi narrated the story you are about to hear. With each advancing detail, Aditi’s eyes swelled with emotion; clearly Lucila’s words had resonated with Aditi.

As I subsequently watched the video, I understood that my wife and I live our lives moment by moment and action by action working to make small differences in the lives of the people around us. As a physician, I’m often humbled by the messages given to me by patients who seek my care. While I state that physicians are in the small group of people who regularly receive blessings from others, my patients—our patients—regularly touch our lives in many small ways which enrich our lives. Over the last few months, countless long time patients and many new ones have given us strength, endurance, and support. We “try harder” because of them.

Please take a few minutes to hear for yourselves the difference that small things can make in the lives of others.

Do You Use Protection?

Did you know UV exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer? The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends taking many precautions when going out in the sun. It’s important to minimize sun exposure and maximize protection. Enjoy a play on words in this video by the AAD

Summary:

  • Seek shade during times of peak sun rays

  • Wear protective clothing like hats and sunglasses. Pro-tip from Dermatology Arts: Use SPF shirts and shorts for water activities (for example. rash guards / swim shirts have a UPF / SPF equivalent)

  • Apply minimum SPF 30, broad spectrum, and water resistant sunscreen

  • Reapply sunscreen every hour on the hour when outside

Get your moles checked!

May is filled with holidays, new spring weather, and more! What many may not know is May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Melanoma is a more serious skin cancer than non-melanoma skin cancers squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. It can spread through your body, affect how long you live, and appear on parts of the body that have little sun exposure.

Those with a personal or family history of melanoma know it is important to get their skin checked regularly. Even first degree relatives since developing melanoma has a genetic component. Full body skin checks at Dermatology Arts can help evaluate spots you can’t see (on your back or between your toes), catch early signs of skin cancers, and even prevent melanoma from spreading to other parts of the body.

Knowing if a spot is concerning can be tricky. Many people have lots of moles, and it can be difficult to determine if any of them are changing. Having someone at home check hard to see places monthly can be helpful. See our post here for a few quick facts about Melanoma and enjoy a short video about checking loved ones’ spots!

Aging-related skin changes

Getting older is no one’s favorite subject. With a little help from this blog post, skin related changes can be a little less daunting.

Sun exposure is one of the leading causes of aging skin. Invisible sun rays damage the skin’s composition resulting in thinner skin, wrinkles, and age spots. Although genetics play a large role, there are still many affordable ways to keep the skin healthier and look younger.

Radiation from the sun causes abnormalities in the skin which can result in skin cancers. When your skin becomes tan or burns from the sun’s UV rays, subtle changes occur which can later cause the skin cancers basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. While the short term change may be a beautiful skin tone, medical treatment and or surgery may be necessary in the long run.

Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen protection from the sun’s harmful effects prevents damage to skin cells and the sunscreen also acts as a moisturizer prolonging a youthful glow. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing SPF 30 on the face, ears, neck, hands, and anywhere else that may be exposed to daily sun. Walking from building to building, through the car window (typically the side windows are not UV protected), and scattered rays on a cloudy day all contribute to aging skin.

Dark spots and wrinkles can also come from sun damage. While these are less harmful than skin cancers, their presence can be unsightly. Modern medicine and a good skin routine can lessen the appearance of aging skin. Moisturizing every day evens out the texture and skin tone, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and prevents dry and cracked skin. Products which contain retinoids also help renew the skin by promoting collagen production, and we can prescribe retinoids much stronger or more effective than ones available over the counter. For darker spots, other medications and treatments such as bleaching creams and cryotherapy lighten the darkened skin to improve symptoms.

Knowing how to care for the skin and when you need to see a physician can be difficult. Be on the lookout for more posts like this to learn a little more about dermatological care.

Rashes & Skin Allergy Testing

If you have ever experienced a red, itchy, or dry patch on your skin, you may have had eczema or another form of dermatitis. Dermatitis is a wide-range term for “inflammation of the skin.” Whereas some disorders that fall in this category can be readily diagnosed and treated, others are more complex and require additional tests.

Eczema is a type of rash that falls under the dermatitis category, and is often interchangeable with the diagnosis “atopic dermatitis.” Symptoms of eczema can be correlated with other medical conditions to form the “atopic triad” including eczema, asthma, and allergies. However, if a rash is unresponsive to initial treatments for eczema, allergy patch testing may be considered to determine if symptoms are linked to a specific chemical or personal care product.

At Bellevue’s Dermatology Arts, we create personal regimens to effectively treat most medical skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis. Our office’s allergy patch testing services are lead by Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner Liz Schuringa, ARNP. Please click dermatologyarts.com/appointments or call (425) 753-2918 to schedule an appointment.

New publication by Dr. Casey Carlos, MD, PhD regarding Herpes-associated condition

Our very own Dr. Casey Carlos, MD, PhD has recently been published in the peer reviewed medical journal JAMA Dermatology (published by the American Medical Association).

Most of us have heard of herpes simplex virus (HSV) the cause of the common cold sore. However, not many know it can be associated with erythema multiforme (EM). Although herpes virus infection is common, many physicians and patients may not be aware of this rare dermatologic complication. As Dr. Carlos explains in this article, a thorough examination is vital for any diagnosis in order to to accurately diagnose and treat patients with herpes-associated erythema multiforme (HAEM).

Dr. Carlos’ extensive research background and many years of dermatology training have contributed to her excellent patient care through her ability to pinpoint diagnoses and create detailed and personalized treatment regimens. We are delighted by her contributions not only to her patients at the practice, but also to the advancement of medical understanding.