We all have questions we’d love to have answers to but are too embarrassed to ask. As doctors and physician assistants, we’re able to answer your questions objectively and professionally. Chances are that we’ve heard it all many times before. Still, we know it makes many patients uncomfortable, so we’re here to provide answers to some common but embarrassing skin care questions.
All warts are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (or HPV). HPV is generally spread by skin to skin contact but the virus can survive briefly on inanimate surfaces. Warts on the hands, feet, and other areas typically occur when HPV gets into the skin through a cut or injury. Genital warts are typically sexually-transmitted. There are over 100 different strains of HPV. Each strain prefers certain types of skin (e.g. hands/feet, genital/mucosal, normal skin, etc.). Genital warts and common warts are caused by different strains of HPV. The HPV vaccine protects against the strains most likely to cause cervical cancer but doesn’t protect against all genital wart strains much less common wart strains. At Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, we have effective treatment options for all types of warts.
Some of my toenails are thick, brittle, and yellowing – what is this?
There are multiple conditions that can cause these symptoms in your toenails, but the most common is a nail fungus. You could contract the fungus from simply walking barefoot in the wrong place (like a warm, damp communal shower). The topical nail fungus medications you see in the drug store aren’t very effective, but at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta (DAA), we use advanced laser technology called LunulaLaser® to treat nail fungus. This is a great option for those who want effective results without the need for oral medications and the side effects that come with them.
I sweat too much for comfort, even when I’m not warm. Is there anything I can do?
You might have a condition called hyperhidrosis, which simply means that your sweat glands produce more sweat than necessary. By the time they ask us, many of our patients have already tried dozens of antiperspirants without getting the results they want. At Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, we offer many therapies for hyperhidrosis. In addition to topical and oral medicines, we offer injectable treatment with Botox®. In the same way that Botox® relaxes muscles to prevent wrinkles, it prevents the sweat glands from responding to nerves as well. Botox® is commonly used to treat the underarms, hands, and feet. Botox® can stop sweating in these locations for up to 6 months before requiring retreatment. For a more long-term solution of the underarms, we offer miraDry® sweat reduction. This noninvasive procedure uses controlled, safe electromagnetic energy to deactivate the sweat glands in your underarms. Though some patients need a second treatment, the results are typically life-long.
I’m embarrassed about my skin tags. Why do I have them, and how can I get rid of them?
Skin tags are incredibly common, and they’re nothing to be concerned or embarrassed about. They’re caused when skin rubs against skin, which is why they tend to appear in high-friction areas. Skin tag removal is a quick and simple procedure we can perform in our office.
As a woman, I’m alarmed to see that I’m losing my hair! What can I do about it?
Hair loss is often thought of as a problem men have, but it actually happens to more women than most people realize. While women don’t tend to have the baldness that men do, thinning hair is a common issue. At Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, we have a dedicated specialty center for this purpose – The Griffin Center for Women’s Hair Loss. Because women’s hair loss has a variety of causes, we focus on getting to the root of the problem and treating it primarily with nonsurgical treatments like natural growth factors, red light therapy, and more.
Medical questions tend to make patients embarrassed or uncomfortable, but our providers at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta strive to make every patient feel comfortable. Everyone has concerns about the way their body functions, so we’re happy to answer any questions you have about your skin, hair, and nails. If you have more specific questions or if you would like to find out how we can address your specific issues, schedule a dermatology appointment. Or, for more skin care tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.