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When Rosemarie Noto’s daughter, Jacquelyn, was young, she suffered from a mild case of itchy skin on her arms. “I took her to the dermatologist and he diagnosed her with eczema,” she says.
Right now, more than 35 million Americans suffer from this chronic condition, which according to the National Eczema Foundation comes from a Greek word that means to effervesce or bubble or boil over.
“Eczema is the common term, but the disease is called atopic dermatitis,” says Hendrik Uyttendaele, M.D. Ph.D. Dr. Uyttendaele is a board-certified dermatologist and the owner of Hudson Dermatology, P.C. “It’s an inflammation of the skin and there could be many reasons it’s irritated. Atopic dermatitis typically starts when a person is an infant or a young child and they tend to deal with it until puberty when skin changes and becomes oilier.”
There’s been quite a bit of medical-media buzz about a possible link between three or more weekly servings of fast food and allergic asthma, eczema and rhinitis in children.
Dr. Vincent S. Beltrani of Hudson Dermatology, with offices in Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, is not impressed.
“People want simple answers,” says Beltrani, one of only a handful of physicians worldwide to hold dual board certifications in both dermatology and allergy/immunology. “But we’ve been studying these diseases for 100 years.”
And there are no simple answers, he says.
As beaches and swimming pools open across the country, tanning devotees as well as casual sunshine enthusiasts can get their fix for free, almost anywhere. Of course, there’s a bright side to sun exposure: It’s linked with improved mood, better sleep, and the vitamin D production that’s essential to good health.
Yet reaping these benefits in excess can have dire consequences. Ultraviolet rays from sunlight carry the carcinogenic effects responsible for the most common form cancer in America today. Skin cancer, affecting some two million people a year, accounts for nearly half of all diagnosed cancers. Most episodes involve the less deadly basal or squamous cell carcinomas, yet melanoma — the most vicious form of skin cancer in the pack — plagued about 75,000 Americans in 2011.
The numbers are rising while the age of patients is dropping. “Typically, I had seen people in their 50s, 60s, and older with skin cancer, but that has shifted,” says Dr. Hendrik Uyttendaele (pronounced “Yoo-ten-dale”) of Hudson Dermatology, with offices in Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, and Kingston. “Now it starts earlier. Seeing people in their 40s with skin cancer is becoming routine, and it’s creeping into the 30s and 20s. I saw a 24-year-old who thought she had a zit on her upper lip, but no, it was skin cancer. She was going to get married and had to postpone the wedding to get surgery.” These days, Uyttendaele tells his immortal-feeling younger patients, “This can happen to people in your age group.”
November is National Healthy Skin Month. While slathering on sunscreen and diligently exfoliating and moisturizing are important parts of a skin care regimen, so is your diet.
Since your skin is the largest organ of your body, it’s important to take care of it. If you have skin problems, it may indicate poor internal health. While it may sound like a cliché, you really are what you eat, inside and out.
Many experts say enjoying a “colorful diet ”can help you look your best.
“They say your plate should look like a rainbow, ”said Roufia Payman, the director of nutrition at Northern Dutchess Hospital. “Stay away from refined sugar and focus on eating clean every day - no fried food, no fast food or processed food.”
Dr. Hendrik Uyttendaele, a dermatologist and owner of Hudson Dermatology in Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, agrees.
“Lots of fats and lots of sugar are not good for your body and your skin, ”he said, noting that too much sugar causes too much glucose and higher oxidative stress, which leads to premature aging.
With the cold weather quickly approaching, it’s time to start prepping your skin for the season. Winter can be particularly punishing to your delicate outer layer, drying it and sometimes even leading to more troublesome conditions. The following expert tips will help you keep your skin looking summer fresh even when you’re shivering while shoveling snow.
There is no way to be certain if the game he loves was the cause of his skin cancer five years ago. But Kevin Dollard of Hopewell Junction takes no chances just the same.
“Every round before I go out,” the avid golfer said, “I coat myself with sunblock. Just to be safe, I put it on my entire face, ears, neck, arms — anything that is going to be exposed to the sun.”
There are more than 1 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed yearly in the United States and most are sun related, according to the American Cancer Society. The face, ears, neck, lips and back of the hands are common areas to develop non-melanoma skin cancer.
Back in 2005, Dollard — also an avid runner who has won many age-group awards in Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club races — was diagnosed with skin cancer in two places. The worst of it could be found on the left side of his face, where he underwent “Mohs surgery” to remove the cancerous skin.
Local expert Dr. Vincent Beltrani Sr. gives us the lowdown on how to manage seasonal allergy symptoms.
Are seasonal allergies getting you down?
Springtime certainly takes its toll on allergy sufferers — the sneezing, the runny noses, and the itchy, watery eyes that result from seasonal pollen exposure are symptoms of this all-too-common ailment. The Hudson Valley is a particularly nasty place for people with allergies; the area’s natural landscapes and abundant greenery produce pollen counts so high that some opt to vacation during this time rather than brave the entire season.
Right now, we are experiencing an overlap of two seasonal allergy seasons — trees (which release pollen from mid-April until May) and grass (which starts mid-May and ends in the beginning of July). Because of this, many allergy sufferers are experiencing worse symptoms than they were a couple of weeks ago.
Dr. Vincent Beltrani Sr., of Hudson Dermatology, has been practicing dermatology and immunology medicine for over 55 years and says that the cycle has remained identical every year since he graduated from medical school.
“People think that local pollen counts are getting higher, but it’s only because people are more aware of their existence now,” believes Dr. Beltrani. “Springtime seasonal allergies in this area are always the same – between April 1-15th and July 1st. And that’s when I see a lot of new patients.”
N E W E D I T I O N
2004 British Medical Association Book Competition Award Winner! Goodheart's Photoguide of Common Skin Disorders, Second Edition, received FIRST Prize in the Dermatology category of the British Medical Association Book Competition.
This easy-to-use reference helps practitioners quickly diagnose common skin disorders and determine appropriate treatment options. More than 500 full-color images speed diagnosis by showing the reader distinguishing characteristics of each disorder, as well as providing clear comparisons between similar looking conditions. Features of the text include formulary tables of leading topical agents and preparations by brand name, as well as patient handouts in English and Spanish. Basic dermatologic procedures are presented in a simple, easy-to-understand format, making this guide an invaluable reference for office surgery.
The second edition features new, larger photos, more patient handouts, and new material on hirsutism, apocrine and endocrine disorders, post-adolescent (adult onset) acne, treatment modalities for acne, pitted keratolysis, miscellaneous nail disorders, and diseases affected by pregnancy. Also included is an expanded basic procedures section with new and more detailed procedures and more illustrations and photos of necessary equipment.
Acne is the most common skin disease in the United States, affecting more than 60 million adults and teenagers each year. Acne For Dummies addresses the causes of acne, and, most importantly, what can safely be done to cover it up, treat it, and minimize scarring.
The book covers everything from daily skin care, over-the-counter acne preparations, and when to see a dermatologist to the hazards and benefits of prescription acne medications and the range of dermatological procedures available to erase aftereffects. Also covered are specific issues common to acne as seen in various ethnic groups and other skin problems, such as rosacea, a condition that people often mistake for acne.
Many women do not have to wait years to discover untoward consequences of the recent cosmetic rage (for nails). They are experiencing allergic reactions to the chemicals in nail products, separation of the nails from their fleshy beds and a variety of other problems.
Other women are discovering a different set of nail problems involving both fingers and toes, an eventual result of wearing ill-fitting shoes, improper nail hygiene, chronic disease or simply decades of wear and tear and the inevitable changes that accompany aging....
In the September issue of Women's Health in Primary Care, two New York dermatologists, Dr. Herbert P. Goodheart of Mount Sinai Hospital and Dr. Hendrik Uyttendaele of Columbia University Medical Center, reviewed the various procedures involved in current nail cosmetic practices and their sometime hazards.
Rosacea is often mistaken for acne vulgaris, that teenage scourge. But rosacea not only has closed bumps but it should not be treated with benzoyl peroxide, a common ingredient in acne remedies.
"In most cases, using acne treatments for rosacea is not going to help, and in fact, can do a lot of damage," said Dr. Herbert Goodheart, a dermatologist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and author of "Acne for Dummies," which urges readers with facial redness not to panic.
"I think that the 14 million number of rosacea sufferers is overblown," Dr. Goodheart said. "It's a condition that is often misdiagnosed and overdiagnosed. Sometimes a rosy cheek is just a rosy cheek."
A few years ago, when pimples began dotting her cheeks, Carol Petrovitz, 48, didn't panic. She assumed it was acne and procrastinated rather than slathering on a gel. Her mother finally persuaded her to see a dermatologist. After Dr. Goodheart determined that Ms. Petrovitz had rosacea, she said she felt relieved. "My mother was convinced it was something much worse," she said.
And soon the situation was under control. "I took antibiotics for about a month, and still use my cream, but I have no bumps or any real redness on my face anymore," she said. "Except for when it's warm out, that's my only trigger."
See the full article.
In a report in the journal Women's Health in Primary Care titled 'Is It Rosacea, or Just Rosy Cheeks?' Dr. Herbert P. Goodheart, a dermatologist in private practice in New York, suggests that rosacea may be overdiagnosed, possibly resulting in unnecessary or inappropriate treatment.
See the full article.
Eczema is on the rise, but contrary to myth it is not usually caused by allergies to specific substances. New treatments known as topical immunomodulators are "the most exciting thing in dermatology in decades," says Dr. Herbert P. Goodheart.
See the full article.
Perhaps fear has also played a part in turning people away from surgery and toward less invasive procedures. When The First Wives Club author Olivia Goldsmith died after a routine chin tuck in 2004, surgery aficionados took note. Now plastic surgeons are warning patients of another danger: a rash of unqualified doctors (and non-M.D. aestheticians) performing these minimally invasive procedures.
Dermatologist Hendrik Uyttendaele of Hudson Dermatology in Dutchess County has heard of psychiatrists injecting Botox on the side and beauty salon technicians performing facial procedures in shopping malls. "People think it's a one-two-three thing, but it's not. You need a good understanding of facial anatomy," he says. "You have to be able to deal with complications. You don't want to inject something into an artery."
It can become the battle royale of the summer — getting your teenagers to protect their skin from the sun's harmful rays. A recent survey by the American Academy of Dermatology found that teenage boys are least likely to use sunscreen and teenage girls are most likely to frequent tanning salons. Both habits put those groups at risk of developing skin cancer when they are older, according to the American Cancer Society....
Dr. Herbert Goodheart, who has a dermatology practice in Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, said he sees many cases of skin cancer, considering the sun is only strong in this region three months of the year.
"There's no such thing as a healthy tan; tan is an indication the skin is harmed," Goodheart said.
But, he said, not everyone is a high risk. Darker-skinned people have high levels of melanin, which naturally protects them from the sun's harmful rays.
"The degree of concern has to do with their complexion and also their family history," Goodheart said. "Not everybody in the world should be panicking about the sun."