Posts for category: Skin Care

By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
January 21, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Eczema   dry hands  

Finding relief for dry skin is important, because when untreated, it may result in the skin on your hands becoming dry and scaly, and may dry handsdevelop deep and painful cracks that bleed. If you are dealing with these symptoms you may have more than dry skin. Hand eczema could be the culprit.

Hand eczema can cause the following:

  • Dry, chapped skin (often the first sign)
  • Patches of red (or dark brown) irritated skin
  • Scaly and inflamed skin that may itch
  • Burning sensation
  • Itchy blisters
  • Deep, painful cracks
  • Bleeding or weeping skin
  • Crusts, pus, and pain

Because it often looks like dry skin, hand eczema can easily be mistaken for dry skin. Unlike dry skin, you need more than a good moisturizer to get rid of hand eczema.

Relief requires finding the cause
Effective treatment begins with finding the cause. Anything that irritates your skin can cause hand eczema. Even something as harmless as water can irritate your skin if you often have wet hands. Many people who frequently have wet hands throughout the day, such as nurses, hair stylists, and plumbers get hand eczema.

Working with chemicals like solvents, detergents, or cement also increases the risk. Hand eczema is common among construction workers and machinists.

Hand eczema can also be caused by an allergic reaction. Some health care workers get hand eczema from wearing latex gloves.

You also have a higher risk of developing hand eczema if you had atopic dermatitis (often called eczema) as a child.
Because so many things can cause hand eczema, finding the cause can be tricky. Until you find the cause and avoid it, hand eczema can worsen. That’s why it can help to see a dermatologist. The doctors Berti at Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery in South Barrington, and Willowbrook, Illinois have the expertise needed to track down the cause and treat the issue.

If you have extremely dry, painful hands and using moisturizer throughout the day fails to bring relief, you may have hand eczema. Without treatment and preventive measures, hand eczema tends to worsen. Please contact Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery. Call (630) 321-0303 for Willowbrook and (847) 304-0303 for South Barrington.

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…..


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.


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.  


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
September 27, 2017
Category: Skin Care

Having spider or varicose veins can affect more than your appearance. These veins can cause serious discomfort. Some varicose veins leg veinsput you at risk for a complication like a blood clot or open sores on your legs.

Minimally invasive treatment can get rid of or fade leg veins. Treatment from our South Barrington and Willowbrook, IL, dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Berti can also diminish symptoms like pain and fatigue and prevent complications.

Why we get visible leg veins

Varicose and spider veins are damaged veins. We develop them when tiny, one-way valves inside the veins weaken. In healthy veins, these valves push blood in one direction — back to our heart. When these valves weaken, some blood flows backward and accumulates in the vein. Extra blood in the vein puts pressure on the walls of the vein.

With continual pressure, the vein walls weaken and bulge. In time, we see a varicose or spider vein.

Some people have a higher risk of developing these veins. If blood relatives have them, you have a higher risk. Many people get them because they sit or stand for long periods most days of the week. These veins also become more common with age and during pregnancy.

Spider veins can also be caused by sunlight, hormonal changes, or an injury.

How dermatologists treat leg veins

Treatment options range from self-care to minor surgery. Dr. Jeffrey Berti may use one or more of these treatments:

Self-care: Your dermatologist can give you tips to improve your circulation.

These tips include:

  • Exercise
  • Elevate your legs
  • Sit for long periods? Get up and walk around every 30 minutes
  • Stand for long periods? Take a break every 30 minutes
  • Avoid soaking in hot baths for long periods of time

Self-care tips can help prevent new varicose and spider veins but cannot get rid of existing ones.

Sclerotherapy: This is the most common treatment for leg veins. Over the years, dermatologists have improved sclerotherapy to make it safer and give patients better results. Today, dermatologists use it to treat spider and small varicose veins.

If you have sclerotherapy, this is what happens during treatment:

  • Your dermatologist injects an FDA approved non-toxic substance into the spider or varicose vein, which irritates the wall of the vein. Different areas of the vein are injected.
  • After the injections, your dermatologist may massage the area.
  • A compression stocking is then placed on each leg.
  • To help prevent possible side effects, you will need to take daily walks and wear the compression stockings as directed. Most patients wear the compression stockings for 1-2 weeks.
  • You can return to work and most activities that day.

Sclerotherapy causes the walls of the vein to stick together, so the blood cannot flow through it anymore. This improves circulation in the treated leg and reduces swelling.

Spider veins usually disappear in 3 to 6 weeks. Varicose veins take 3 to 4 months.

To get the best results, you may need 2 or 3 treatments. Our dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Berti can perform these treatments during an office visit. No anesthesia is needed and there is minimal down-time. Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery offers two convenient locations in Willowbrook, IL, and South Barrington, IL. Call (630) 321-0303 today or visit their website

By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
August 17, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer   skin exams  

Find out why regular skin exams are necessary for everyone

Skin cancer is the most common cancer. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.  In fact, each year there skin examsare more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. While some people may be more prone to skin cancer, it can happen to anyone. Perhaps you were someone who loved basking in the sun as a teenager and had some sunburns, or you have a significant family history of skin cancer. 

Even if you were someone who tried to stay in the shade and only spent a limited amount of time in the sun during your lifetime, you may develop skin cancer. No matter what the case might be, your skin deserves the very best in care. This means turning to our South Barrington and Willowbrook, IL, dermatologists Dr. Jeffrey Berti and Dr. Toula Romas Berti for skin cancer screenings.

How often should I perform self-exams on myself?
It’s a good idea to give your skin a thorough examination once a month. If there are any changes, you will be aware of them right away so you can visit one of our South Barrington or Willowbrook, IL, skin doctors for a proper screening and evaluation.  When examining your skin make sure to remove all articles of clothing. Examine all areas of your body, including very discreet areas such as between toes, the scalp or even under your fingernails. Skin cancer can happen anywhere.

How often should I come in for a skin cancer screening?
Most skin cancers can be treated and cured if caught early; however, if allowed to progress, skin cancer can result in disfigurement and even death. Having a skin cancer screening is as easy as coming into the office. All adults should come in at least once a year for a routine screening. Of course, if you have any skin cancer risk factors, then you may want to talk to us about whether or not you could benefit from more regular screenings.

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?
If you have any new moles or growths, it’s always a good idea to be safe and schedule an exam with us. You should also visit us if you notice changes in your moles. Signs of skin cancer include moles that may bleed, itch, or have become painful and have changed color, multiple colors or have an asymmetrical border.

If you are concerned about any new changes on your skin or new growths then call Dr. Jeffrey Berti or Dr. Toula Berti at Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery (630) 321-0303 today or visit their website We offer two convenient locations in Willowbrook, IL, and South Barrington, IL, to provide you and your family with the best professional skin care.