Archive for the ‘Patient Information’ Category
Has your psoriasis been acting up recently? Does it seem to like the winter more than you do? Don’t panic; that’s normal. Psoriasis is often worse in the winter when the air is dry and when there is less sunlight. Both warm, humid air and sunlight will improve psoriasis. (Go take a vacation in Miami. Doctor’s orders!)
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder characterized by red skin lesions often covered by a thick silvery scale. Living with psoriasis can be difficult and uncomfortable. The severity of the disease varies from person to person. Fortunately, there are effective treatments that are covered by most insurance plans.
If your psoriasis is well-controlled, there are many at-home remedies that you can try to help alleviate the associated itch and redness. Applying a daily dose of moisturizer to your skin can be helpful in preventing outbreaks of psoriasis. Moisturizers will prevent skin from drying out, itching and reddening, as well as aid damaged skin to heal more quickly. Coal tar and glycolic acid are other over-the-counter remedies that you can try. These work by slowing the growth of skin cells, and they reduce scaling and inflammation. If those don’t work, come see us, and we can prescribe topical steroids and/or topical vitamin D.
For more severe cases, various biologics are available. Enbrel, Humira, and Stelara are injectables that have been available for some time. Otezla is a new FDA approved systemic biologic that is now available and is taken orally.
For localized hard-to-treat areas such as the scalp, elbows, hands, knees, and feet, our office offers FDA-approved excimer laser treatments that deliver ultraviolet light B (UV-B ) to the localized affected skin. This helps control mild to moderate psoriasis without harming the surrounding healthy skin. Patients typically undergo 2-3 treatments per week. Noticeable improvement may be seen in as few as 8-10 treatments depending on the severity of the affected skin.
It seems like the mosquito’s were hungry this year… at least whenever I was outside. So I started doing some research about how to prevent mosquito bites, and reduce the number of insects in the yard. If you have tried to research this yourself, you will find lots of discussion related to bats and bat houses. Some research has suggested that bats have a voracious appetite for these pesky bugs. As it turns out, I am not sure that this is the case. Though there were some studies that documented a bat could eat an extraordinary number of mosquitos in one evening – these tests were performed in artificial conditions where the bat had no other insects to choose from. In nature mosquitos make up only a small portion of the insects a bat eats.
So does that leave us with bug spray alone? We do encourage appropriate use of bug spray – but sometimes it is not practical or desirable.
What is more intriguing is the idea that mosquitos are unable to fly in strong wind. They also hone in to us with their keen sense of smell. To take advantage of both of these facts, try setting up an oscillating fan near your grill the next time you are cooking up a barbecue in the yard. My guess is that you will greatly reduce your risk of getting a bite (at least from a mosquito) if you are in range of the fan. Any CO2 you exhale or other bodily odors that cause mosquitos to salivate will be blown far away. Even if they try to make the approach they will unlikely be able to navigate the breeze. Perhaps that is one of the reasons so many porches in the south come equipped with outdoor ceiling fans. Let us know if this simple trick works for you.
There are many treatments available for patients with psoriasis. One option that we offer our patients with psoriasis affecting a significant portion of their skin is phototherapy.
What Is Phototherapy?
Present in natural sunlight, UVB light is an effective treatment for psoriasis. The UV energy penetrates the skin and helps the psoriasis to clear.
In our Plainview office, we offer narrow band ultraviolet light treatments. Narrow band phototherapy releases a smaller range of ultraviolet light to the skin. This treatment may be safer, help to clear psoriasis faster and produces longer remissions than broad-band UVB. It also may be effective with fewer treatments per week than broad-band UVB.
Hats are one of the best ways to protect your face from ultraviolet radiation. They are reliable, cost effective and fun to wear! Sometimes a good hat is hard to find – so we wanted to make it easy. No excuses! We have several styles and colors to choose from. Available in Baby, Child, Youth, and Adult sizes.
We look forward to supporting the Senator Charles Fuschillo, Jr and the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign (CCMAC) by volunteering to help in their free skin cancer screening. No appointments are required. The screening will take place from noon to 3:30pm on July 21 at Tanner Park. If you would like more information, please call (516) 882-0630.
Memorial Day weekend has arrived, and many of you will be venturing to the beach. You already know to bring the basics – hat, umbrella, sunscreen, sun protective clothing, a sun protective shelter, and to try to avoid the peak ours of UV radiation intensity (10am-4pm). But did you remember to bring the Baby Powder Baby Powders). Why you ask?
There is nothing more frustrating than the difficulty in getting sand off your skin when you are ready to go home. It can both make a mess, and cause friction and blisters on the skin. One of the best ways to remove it is to use a nice baby powder after drying off. Once you give it a try – you will never want to go to the beach again without it. I guarantee it!
Have a great summer – and remember to be sun smart!
Mohs surgery is done in our office using a local anesthetic. During Mohs surgery, a thin layer of tissue is removed and examined for cancer. Dr. Jeffrey Ellis repeats the process as many times as necessary until the cancer cells are gone.
Multiple lesions can be done in one surgical session. Reconstruction (if needed) is routinely performed the same day, usually by Dr. Jeffrey Ellis or Dr. Rachel Ellis who specializes in Oculoplastic and Facial Reconstruciton. When necessary reconstruction can also be coordinated with the help of other surgical specialists.
Now that spring is near, it is a great time to go out and clean up the yard. Spring and Fall are also the most common times we see lots of patients suffering with poison ivy. If you are going to work in an area with suspected poison ivy, there are some simple steps you can take to avoid the rash.
- BEFORE going to the area with suspected poison ivy, apply a product called Ivy Block. This product is very effective at neutralizing the chemical that is responsible for poison ivy/oak.
- Be sure to keep all exposed areas covered. Tuck pants into socks. Wear gloves. Etc. After returning, be sure to change all clothing, and wash skin well with soap and water.
- If you do get poison ivy, please call us right away. Many times we can abort a severe attack if treated promptly. We will always do our very best to see you as soon as possible.
Here are some myths that you may find useful about poison ivy.
We are proud to announce that Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School has joined our Skin Cancer Awareness Honor Roll. Jennifer Gewant, Community Service Representative for the Student’s Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) club, has started raising awareness about skin cancer prevention and money for skin cancer research. She is helping to distribute our ‘Sun Smart Skin Safe’ bracelets, and will also be writing an article discussing sun safety for her school paper. Bracelets are being sold for $3 each, or 4 for $10. 100% of the money raised will be donated to the Melanoma Research Foundation. Below is some literature that Jennifer is distributing to her classmates to help give them the knowledge to make smart decisions about sun safety.