The Truth Behind Your Bumps- Keratosis Pilaris

Over the cold winter did you notice bumps on your skin? Perhaps on the back of your thighs or arms? Most of us chalk this up to dry, irritated skin, but what happens when the weather warms and the bumps don’t go away?
You could have a case of Keratosis Pilaris. Keratosis Pilaris, also known as ‘Chicken Skin’, is a common skin condition in which a protein in the skin called keratin forms hard plugs within hair follicles.  The excess keratin, which is cream colored, surrounds and entraps the hair follicles in the pore ultimately causing bumps. The appearance of Keratosis Pilaris differs from case to case varying from almost clear hard bumps to red and inflamed bumps. However, as frustrating as they can be, these bumps cause no irritation or itching and are equivalent to the size of a grain of sand. This condition is most common in children and usually goes away on its own by the age of 30, but all races, sexes and ages can be affected.
The appearance or feel of these bumps may worsen in drier months when humidity is low, resulting in the association to dry skin. Also allergies, extreme temperatures and hormones can result in more noticeable symptoms. Luckily there is no medical danger associated with Keratosis Pilaris, but there is no specific treatment either.
While there may not be any harm associated with Keratosis Pilaris, we understand they can be unsightly and down right annoying. Many patients have had great success with the GermainRX Smooth Regimen containing Body Wash, Clearing Spray and Body Lotion. This trio of Glycolic body products was created to effectively treat unwanted bumps and improve general skin texture. The specially formulated clearing spray accelerates the removal of dead skin cells that can interfere with the proper disposal of oil from the skin- an important aid in treating Keratosis Pilaris. Eliminating dairy & gluten as well as limiting sun exposure can also help with outbreaks.
For more severe cases, including those on the face, we suggest visiting a skin care specialist for a treatment right for you.

Schedule Your Next Appointment with Holly Carter, PA

Trying to grab a last minute appointment? Think about seeing our amazing PA Holly Carter. Holly has been working with Dr. Germain in all aspects of Dermatology since 2005, and currently sees her own clinic. She is available to see patients Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30am-4:00pm, including lunch hours. 

In reverence of Melanoma Awareness Month, Holly advises,
“Sun safety is extremely important particularly living in a coastal area where it is warm almost year around.  The sun not only causes skin cancers but causes us to age faster.  It is important to remember to protect yourself every day, and not just when going to the beach or pool.  I tell my patients to get in the habit of putting an SPF 30 or higher on in the mornings before leaving the house.”

Call to schedule an appointment with Holly Carter, PA today: 843-881-4440
*Learn more about Holly via her Feature in the Post and Courier

Prevention & Early Detection Can Save Lives

May marks the month of Melanoma Awareness. Unfortunately, even with an extreme effort to increase prevention, Skin Cancer has still continued to rise over the past 30 years. Currently it is reported that one in five Americans will develop Skin Cancer over their lifetime- by 2015 that rate goes up to one in 50 Americans! Frightening!
Cancer of the skin is by far the most common of all cancers. While Melanoma accounts for less than 2% of skin cancer cases it causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths. The American Academy of Dermatology has estimated that there will be about 139,870 new cases of melanoma in 2014.
While it does seem people are taking more serious steps towards sun safety (better sunscreens on the market, more fashionable hats for the beach, regulations on tanning beds, etc) the numbers continue to rise. This is largely in part due to the lack of early detection. We cannot stress enough how important an annual skin check with a dermatologist or medical professional is.It can save your life. 
Rates among younger women are rising due to a youth spent basking on the beaches, or worse, in a tanning bed and not having their skin checked consistently. Even if still set on enduring harmful UV rays having suspicious spots seen and removed early can make all the difference. If at age 17 you have an undetected melanoma but you didn’t start seeing a professional until your mid 20’s that cancer has had 5-8 years to spread and infect your lymph nodes or worse. 
What looks normal could be Suspicious to a professional.
The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes, or other organs, is 98%; however, the five-year survival rates for regional (lymph nodes) and distant (other organs/lymph nodes) stage melanomas are 62% and 15%, respectively.
Rates are also rising among elderly men. Most of these patients have spent years in the sun through work, military service or hobbies such as golfing or fishing. 20 years ago it was not encouraged as strongly as today to see a dermatologist routinely, nor was the testing as accurate and simple- therefore resulting in elderly men seeking dermatological care much later in life. 
Visit Dr. Germain for your Check-Up
No matter your age, race or lifestyle PLEASE perform skin self exams and consult a professional at least once a year for a skin check.  
Be smart with your skin! 
Visit our 2013 Awareness blog for more ways to be sun safe!

Thunder Thighs Be Gone!

You heard right! CoolSculpting is no longer just for your mid-section! You can now utilize this revolutionary fat freezing technology to literally freeze fat cells on your inner thighs, outer thighs and buttocks areas. 
Learn all the details at our May 20th CoolSculpting Night, the fun will start at 6pm. The night will entail a presentation by Dr. Germain, a live demonstration, food & drinks.
Seats are Limited so call now for reservations- 843-881-4440
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