By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
October 24, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Eczema  

Let’s dispel the myths, raise awareness and eradicate the stigma surrounding eczema. 

Did you know that October is National Eczema Awareness Month? Therefore, it’s the perfect time for the dermatological team of Dr. Jeffrey eczemaBerti and Dr. Toula Berti at Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery in South Barrington, and Willowbrook, Illinois, to shed light on eczema, a common skin disorder that affects approximately 31.6 million Americans.

What is eczema?

Eczema is an autoimmune disorder that produces patches of red, scaly and itchy skin that may come and go. Eczema flare-ups can make people feel self-conscious or avoid social engagements. This problem alone is one of the main reasons people seek care from our skin doctors. It is important to know that eczema is not contagious.

What are the symptoms? 

Symptoms can vary in intensity and appearance from person to person. You could have eczema if you are dealing patches of skin that are,

  • Dry
  • Red and inflamed
  • Very itchy
  • Rough and scaly
  • Crusty or weeping

The skin around these patches may also be red and swollen. Some people experience all of these symptoms while others may experience only one or two. Flare-ups can happen regularly or maybe you’ve only had one flare-up to date; however, the only way to tell whether you actually have eczema is to see your dermatologist.

What can trigger a flare-up? 

There are many things that can trigger an eczema flare-up including,

  • Stress
  • Allergies (e.g. pollen; dust mites; dander)
  • Irritants (e.g. soaps; detergents)
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Hot, humid weather

Is eczema curable? 

There is currently no cure for eczema; however, your dermatologist can help you control your symptoms through lifestyle changes and medication.

How is eczema treated? 

The goal of treatment is to reduce both the frequency and severity of a patient’s eczema symptoms. This can be done through simple lifestyle modifications and home care, as well as medication. Home care includes,

  • Using a humidifier in cold, dry weather
  • Using fragrance-free, gentle soaps and detergents
  • Using lukewarm water instead of hot water for bathing
  • Moisturizing with a cream skin every day
  • Avoiding triggers, such as inflammatory foods
  • Wearing light, soft fabrics
  • Not scratching patches of skin

Medications used to treat eczema include,

  • Topical medications, including steroids and more advanced newer non-steroid topicals
  • Antibiotics (when eczema and a bacterial skin infection coincide)
  • Now biologic treatment exists, Dupixent

Phototherapy, a treatment that briefly exposes the skin to UVA or UVB light, may also be effective for treating moderate eczema.

Whether you are experiencing symptoms of eczema or you’re looking for a dermatologist in South Barrington, and Willowbrook, Illinois, that can help you get your flare-ups under control, call Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery today. Call (630) 321-0303 for Willowbrook and (847) 304-0303 for South Barrington.

Facial Rejuvenation In South Barrington & Willowbrook, IL

Many people would say that the quality they want most in their skin is softness, but have you ever considered how tough your skin is? Just think about it—what other part of your body is exposed to the sun, weather, and bacteria as often and in such great quantities as much as your skin is? Even if you may not realize it, your skin takes a beating almost every day. It is important to take good care of your skin, as it is usually the first line of defense from the elements that can cause greater harm to your body.

Your skin has always taken care of you. What are you doing to take care of it?

What Causes Skin Irregularities?

Obviously, skin type varies from person to person. Your genetics, age, health, and lifestyle all factor into the composition and complexion of your skin. Freckles, for example, are one type of irregularity that occurs in the pigment of the skin. Acne and wrinkles are also common skin conditions that affect the overall appearance of the face as well as the rest of body. As people age, their skin often loses its tautness and its tone or color may start to dull. Luckily, these conditions are all very treatable with skin rejuvenation therapies.

Skin rejuvenation comes in many forms and can correct or mask even the most troublesome of skin irregularities, including scars. Many people with vascular conditions have also had success in fading the visibility of their blood vessels through their skin with skin rejuvenation techniques.

What is Skin Or Facial Rejuvenation?

Also known as “resurfacing,” skin rejuvenation therapies often include laser, light, or mechanical treatment methods to help bring life back to the skin. Laser treatment has been used effectively to correct pigmentation disorders and cover scars.

The success behind laser skin resurfacing is all thanks to the powerful light beam we use. By sending short pulses of light over the skin, we can remove the outermost layers of the skin that tend to contain the most damage. Removing dead layers of skin and heating up the new layers underneath can help to stimulate the production of collagen, which can boost skin’s elasticity and tone while also improving these common skin conditions:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Sun damage
  • Liver spots
  • Superficial scars
  • A dull complexion
  • Warts
  • Birthmarks
  • Enlarged pores

For more information about facial rejuvenation call the dermatologists of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery in South Barrington and Willowbrook, IL today at (847) 304-0303!

By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
September 05, 2019
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Psoriasis  

Find out how to get your psoriasis symptoms under control.

Here at Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery in South Barrington and Willowbrook, Illinois, our dermatologists Dr. Jeffrey Berti and Dr. psoriasisToula Berti want you to be able to make informed decisions about your health so you feel proactive and in better control of your psoriasis.

About Psoriasis
It’s important to understand this condition before you understand how to treat it. This is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin, causing raised, scaly red patches to develop on the body. This condition is not contagious. If you think that you may have psoriasis, then a complete evaluation with probable biopsy of a skin lesion to confirm the diagnosis would be a beneficial first step towards achieving clear skin.

There are different types of psoriasis and some people with this disease also develop psoriatic arthritis, which can cause severe pain and damage to joints that can affect mobility. It’s important to see your South Barrington and Willowbrook skin doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of psoriasis.

Managing Your Psoriasis
Here’s what you can do to help manage your condition:

  • Take care of your skin and prevent injuries such as burns and cuts
  • Pay attention to your joints and how they feel. See our dermatologists if you experience stiff or sore joints, particularly upon waking
  • Do not scratch itchy plaques, as this will only make flare-ups worse
  • Figure out your triggers (e.g. stress; alcohol; cold weather) and avoid them
  • Initiate an anti-inflammatory diet, such as the paleo diet
  • Follow any medication and treatment plan prescribed by your doctor

Our dermatologists will create a customized treatment plan based on the symptoms you are having, as well as the type and severity of your condition. Common treatment options for psoriasis include:

Topical medications: Various topical steroids are used frequently for mild psoriasis, usually these are prescription strength. There are also other topical medication formulations that help prevent psoriasis from flaring. Your doctor will best help you decide which medicine would work best for you.

Biologic therapy: For moderate to severe psoriasis, there have been advancements in treatment, including 11 biologic medications to help control psoriasis. These medications target a specific part of your immune system. The drugs block certain cells or proteins that play a role in psoriasis. They keep them from going into overdrive. While that helps with inflammation and other issues, it also lowers your body’s defenses. These specific medications may also treat psoriatic arthritis or protect the joints of someone with psoriasis. 

Light therapy (or phototherapy): Some exposure to light (UVA and/or UVB) can be beneficial for plaques. Of course, you don’t want to spend too much time in the sun, as this can cause sunburns. Light therapy may be a great treatment option for children with psoriasis as well as those dealing with symptoms that appear in certain areas such as the scalp, groin or knees.

Here at Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery in South Barrington and Willowbrook, Illinois, we want our patients to be able to treat any skin problem that comes their way. If you or a loved one is dealing with psoriasis and hasn’t found the right treatment plan to provide relief, then call our office today. Call (630) 321-0303 for the Willowbrook office and (847) 304-0303 for our South Barrington location.

By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
June 21, 2019
Category: Skin Care

Simple tips from Dr. Toula Berti for how to build your best skin-care routine…..

Cleansing

What most people do: Rinse their face in the morning with water (occasionally use a facial specific cleanser) in the shower and use a healthy skinwipe in the evening that is used to remove make up and dirt.  Some then rinse that off their face.

What Dr. Berti says:  Remove eye make-up if wearing with a simple eye make up remover, such as Neutrogena oil-free eye make up remover; then, use a non-comedogenic gentle facial cleanser. Apply with clean hands and possibly use a clean washcloth to help remove excess make-up.  “Remember it’s not just makeup that’s going to build up on your skin, it’s also the products you’ve used during the day, pollutants, and debris that build up during the course of the day,” she says. The use of expensive cleansers is unnecessary, it is simply a process remove the oils, dirt, makeup and products from your skin.  The key in choosing the right cleanser for you is asking the question, “does it irritate your skin?” Dr. Berti loves Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser, “there are no parabens and it is non irritating for even the most sensitive of skin types and it lathers, unlike the other gentle cleansers out there that feel like cleaning with a lotion.  If you have acne prone skin, you would not want to apply a heavy oil based product.  On that note, if you are using anti-acne products, you may not want to use a product that is too drying with salicylic acid, or rough scrub base, unless this is prescribed for your specific type of acne treatment. If you have really dry skin, you may want to use a cleanser with a moisturizing component.  And in general, one should avoid the use of facial cleansing brushes. Realizing these are popular and that some people may have spent some serious money for them makes reading this not so popular, but when I ask patients “how do you clean the brushes after using them?”  The subsequent look from them speaks volumes.  In my opinion they are similar to using the same washcloth over and over again with no actual washing of the cloth in between use.

Exfoliating

What most people do: Exfoliating is one thing most people turn to when they think their skin looks dull or their pores are clogged.

What Dr. Berti says: Exfoliating is important to start in your mid-20s because cell turnover starts to slow down around 25. This can make the skin look dull and scars can take longer to fade. Depending on how dry or oily your skin is, you only need to exfoliate once a week to once a month, depending if you are using a prescription strength retinoid (vitamin A derivative) that provides a natural exfoliation.  Since most retinoids are a prescription strength vitamin A derivative, it is best to discuss with a doctor which one would be best for your skin.  There are also over the counter strength Retinols that are significantly reduced strength vitamin A derivatives available, which may be a good starting point for some people. Discussing the difference and choosing what is best for your individual skin type is usually best.  Choosing an at home exfoliating product can be overwhelming as there are so many products out there.  Clinique has a nice line of exfoliating scrubs specific for our body or face that compliment most skin care regimes nicely.  Though Dr. Berti adds, do not over exfoliate as our skin gets angry with over aggressive treatment and typically ends up looking overly ruddy and irritated, which is exactly the opposite of what is desired.  Having in office microdermabrasions, some combined with glycolic acids once a month are a wonderful way to keep our skin looking and feeling its best as well.  

Moisturizing

What most people do: Many people in all age groups admit to using moisturizers, even those under 10 years old and even those with oily skin.  Most like to relieve any dryness or tightness they feel after washing their face and many believe it will prevent wrinkles, acne, sundamage and blotchy skin. Many like to mix up the consistency of moisturizers from morning to evenings. At night, many older adults prefer to use a rich hydrating cream to give skin the extra moisture it needs after being out all day and use a lighter one in the morning to provide some hydration.

What Dr. Berti says: The marketing for skin moisturizers has been phenomenal.  It is amazing to hear that so people are using one every day and that many of them may not need one or as heavy of one.  It is true that our skin’s ability to hold onto moisture decreases as we get older, however, most younger people especially those with acne prone skin produce enough of their own natural oils that additional oils or moisturizers are simply not needed, or at the very least sparingly.  Dr. Berti states, “It all really depends on your skin type. If you are acne prone an oil-free lightweight moisturizer is generally the way to go, but if you have mature dry skin perhaps a richer moisturizer is necessary.” Dr. Berti adds, “ask yourself does my moisturizer irritate my skin, does it break me out, if not then it probably is helping to keep your skin happy.”

Eye creams

What most people do: Eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate eye area, so some people like to use them in place of moisturizer on that part of their face.  Many people request creams that would take the place of botox or that would reduce puffiness or darkness under the eyes.  Subsequently, many people over spend looking for the miracle under eye cream that will help all of the above and become frustrated when they do not help.

What Dr. Berti says:  Many eye creams exist with various claims, though there are some that are good with realistic expectations, there are many more with unrealistic claims and high price tags.  First, there is no cream that can replace what botox can provide, significant decrease in crows feet lines around our eyes.  Dr. Berti thinks Lumiere and Micro-Eyes from Neocutis are the best eye creams on the market today.  She adds, “there is scientific data proving that this line of products increase collagen thus making our skin look more youthful as well as caffeine making our puffy under eye look tighter.”  Serums with vitamin C are also helpful as they assist in making collagen and also provide an elegant moisturizing effect to the delicate area surrounding our eyes, she adds, “La Roche Vitamin C cream is the best product on the market.”

Sun Protection

What most people do: In the mornings, they use a moisturizer with SPF because it means “I’ll never forget my sunscreen protection or my moisturizer.” And they feel that they don’t have to use two separate products in the morning (unless at the beach and need to add something more heavy duty).

What Dr. Berti says: “For day-to-day use, if all you’re doing is going to the office and grabbing lunch, then you can use a moisturizer that contains SPF,” says Berti. “If you’re going to be outdoors for a prolonged period of time, like the beach, biking, or hiking, then you really need a more dedicated sunscreen.” Dr. Berti recommends the La Rocher-Posay line of sunscreens as they are light weight, non-comedogenic and provide excellent coverage. She also promotes the Vanicream line, especially for those with sensitive skin or those who prefer water resistant coverage. She says to make sure to apply all your treatments down to your neck, ears, and décolletage (places that are often forgotten and are prone to sunburn).

Mineral sunscreens—physical blockers with ingredients like zinc and titanium dioxide—should be applied at the end of your regimen, says Dr. Berti. (Derms often recommend mineral sunscreens for sensitive skin types.) Chemical sunscreens work by being absorbed into the skin, so “if you have a very thick moisturizer, and then apply a chemical sunscreen, it won't absorb as well as when you apply it to clean skin,” says Berti. In these cases, you’ll want to put your sunscreen on after cleansing and serum (if you’re using one) but before your moisturizer.

The lesson to be learned

There’s nothing wrong with getting a head start. No matter your age it’s about building good habits now that will last for the rest of your lifetime.  Cleanse your skin daily with a mild cleanser, protect your skin, keep it covered during peak sun hours or use a good sunscreen and moisturize as needed.  For more information about maintaining healthy skin or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Berti of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery in Willowbrook or South Barrington. Call (630) 321-0303 for Willowbrook and (847) 304-0303 for South Barrington. What we eat is important too, next time more comments on that topic.

Always remember Healthy skin is Beautiful.

By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
February 14, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Eczema  

Spring is just around the corner! If you’re like most people, you’re looking forward to wearing less and exposing your skin in the warmereczema weather. But if you suffer from eczema this may seem like a far-off achievement. An eczema flare-up can cause dry, rough patches of skin that can be difficult to clear up let alone cover up. However, knowledge is power! The first step towards treating eczema is understanding how lifestyle choices can impact this skin disorder and what changes and treatments can help give the best possible improvement.
 
At Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery in South Barrington, and Willowbrook, Illinois, we know that eczema can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing. Not only can eczema affect your mood, but may also affect your social life or work as well. Trust your skin to Dr. Jeffrey Berti and Dr. Toula Berti who are committed to providing you with the latest information and cutting-edge treatments proven to help reduce the uncomfortable and unsightly effects of eczema.
 
What is Eczema?
While the exact causes of most cases of eczema are unknown, many researchers believe that there is a genetic autoimmune component and that external triggers worsen the symptoms. Not only will triggers exacerbate this skin condition, but they will also cause some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Rashes
  • Dryness
  • Flakiness
  • Bumps
  • Fissures or cracking skin
  • Peeling
  • Redness

To keep these symptoms under control, it’s essential to stay healthy and understand your body’s eczema triggers and to try to keep them to a minimum. Unfortunately, eczema triggers can vary from person to person, so understanding what exactly causes your flare-ups will help you to avoid them.

Common triggers are included below.
 
Dryness
Dry skin can become scaly, rough or tight, which often leads to a flare-up of eczema. Maintaining a daily skincare regimen with moisturizing creams or soaps for sensitive skin will help protect the skin. Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery also offers an array of sensitive skin, fragrance and paraben free cleansers and lotions.
 
Irritants
While irritant is a broad category, it includes everyday products or substances that can cause the skin to burn or itch and become red and dry. Irritants can vary greatly from cleaning products to cigarette smoking, both of which can cause eczema symptoms to worsen.

Some of the most common irritants include:

  • Soaps and household cleansers
  • Fragrances
  • Cigarettes
  • Certain Fabrics

 Lifestyle changes, wearing natural fabrics and working with mild household chemicals will help to lower our patient’s risk of an eczema flare.
 
Diet
Many people with eczema also have food allergies. Some of the common food allergies associated with eczema may include eggs, dairy, soy, nuts, shellfish or gluten.  Since eczema is an inflammatory skin condition, maintaining a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, like blueberries or cherries, as well as avoiding potential allergens will help patients circumvent a worsening of symptoms. Following an anti-inflammatory diet also includes minimizing processed foods, as well as decreasing the sugar and salt intake.
 
While there isn’t a cure for eczema, patients can be empowered with lifestyle choices and access to the most effective treatments, including topical medication, steroids, antibiotics as well as a new FDA-approved biologic medicine, Dupixent. Working with the doctors at Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, will help keep your skin clear and provide you with peace of mind. Learn more about potential itchy skin triggers and make an appointment today.
 
Contact Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery in Willowbrook or South Barrington. Call (630) 321-0303 for Willowbrook and (847) 304-0303 for South Barrington.





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