Thrive Family Dermatology
American Board of Dermatology Certified Skin Doctor located in Allen, TX
Saturdays Available By Appointment!
Dermatology and Cosmetic Services
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Acne and Rosacea
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans each year. It is characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Severe acne can lead to permanent scarring. Acne usually begins in puberty and affects many adolescents and young adults, but it can occur at any stage of life. Many people with acne report feeling self-conscious in social situations. If left untreated, acne can play a role in depression and anxiety.
Rosacea is a common skin condition that typically affects adults with fair complexions, though it can be seen in all ages and in any skin color. Rosacea appears on the face as red, dry, sensitive skin. The condition may sometimes flare-up as acne-like breakouts and flushing (areas of increased redness). Rosacea treatments are similar to those for acne. In addition, it is important to address possible rosacea triggers like sun exposure or diet.
Fortunately, there are many treatments for acne and rosacea. Dr. Vawter maximizes treatment effectiveness by working with each patient to design a customized plan. High quality medical care requires more than just choosing a medication. The dermatologist and patient should discuss outbreak triggers, assess the patient’s personal treatment preferences, and take the patient’s day-to-day routine into account. It’s important for patients to fully understand each treatment option and how to best implement it.
Treatments for acne and rosacea include:
- Topical antibiotics, retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur preparations, anti-inflammatory agents
- Oral antibiotics
- Isotretinoin (best known by the brand name, Accutane)
- Comedone extractions
- Light chemical peels
Every person’s unique skin type will respond a little differently to treatment. Follow-up appointments are recommended to monitor treatment success and make any necessary adjustments to achieve the best possible results.
Skin Cancer Screening
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Risk factors for skin cancer include sun exposure, tanning bed use, sunburns, fair complexions, skin types that burn easily, a high number of moles, a family history of cancer, and use of immune-suppressing medications.
Fortunately, all forms of skin cancer are highly treatable when detected early. Regular skin examinations are the best way to detect skin cancers at the most treatable, early stage. These exams are quick, painless, and can save your life.
Skin cancer can appear anywhere on your body, even in places that are not typically exposed to the sun. It’s a good idea to examine yourself once a month. You should aim to check your entire body — including your scalp, the spaces between your toes, and the bottoms of your feet. A mirror or another person can be helpful in examining hard-to-see areas like your scalp and back. You should note any spots that are new, changing, non-healing, or look different from your other spots. If you find any areas of concern, write down details about the spot, such as how long it has been there and how it has changed, so that you can discuss these details with your doctor.
When you come to Thrive Family Dermatology for a skin cancer screening, Dr. Vawter will perform a thorough, systematic check of your skin. She will look specifically for basal cell cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and any other skin-related cancers or suspicious skin growths. While most patients choose the recommended full-body examination, you may opt for a partial examination according to your comfort level. If you prefer, a family member or friend can stay in the exam room to observe how to check areas that are hard for you to see at home.
At the screening, Dr. Vawter will answer your questions, discuss the exam results, and present your options for next steps. In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary to arrive at a definitive diagnosis. For people without a history of skin cancer, Dr. Vawter recommends an annual full-skin examination at our clinic to supplement your monthly self-exams at home. Patients with a history of skin cancer or significant risk factors should be examined by Dr. Vawter on a more regular basis.
Skin conditions can change. Some spots may need immediate attention, while others should be closely monitored. A skin cancer screening allows the doctor to take detailed notes on your spots so we can track any concerning changes over time. You should promptly return to the doctor if a spot begins to look different, changes in size, or fails to heal.
Skin cancer treatments may include prescription creams, electrodesiccation and curettage, or surgical removal. After treatment, it is important for you to monitor the site for any future problems and keep up with routine screening checks. In addition, you should practice good skin cancer prevention measures such as limiting sun exposure and using sunscreen daily.
Rashes can be red or flesh-toned, raised or flat, rough or smooth, even or irregular, or look like welts (hives) or blisters. Some types of rashes come and go, while others worsen if left untreated. Rashes have many causes, such as: irritation, allergy, reactions to medications, infections, or chronic skin conditions like psoriasis or atopic dermatitis.
Because rashes have such a wide variety of symptoms and causes, the best first step is an evaluation from a board-certified dermatologist, like Dr. Vawter. Doctors who are certified by the American Board of Dermatology received years of specialized skin disease training after medical school in order to treat complex conditions like rashes. If you have already tried to treat the rash in the past, remember to tell your doctor what treatments made the rash better or worse. This will help the doctor target treatments that are most effective for your specific rash.
Although most rashes are not life-threatening, some rashes can signal a serious illness. Features of a more urgent rash may include: sudden onset, rapid spread, a large affected area, blistering, pain, red streaks, crusting, or discolored fluid. Severe rashes may be accompanied by fever or other symptoms such as weakness, lightheadedness, headache, body aches, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. If you experience these symptoms, you should seek immediate attention in an emergency room to stabilize your condition until you can be seen by a dermatologist to further evaluate your diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care.
Depending on the underlying cause, treatments for rashes may include:
- Topical antibiotics or antifungals
- Topical corticosteroids
- Topical calcineurin inhibitors, other non-steroidals
- Oral antihistamines
- Short-term oral corticosteroids
- A detailed history and specialized testing (biopsy, blood tests, allergy tests) to identify and eliminate the cause
It is important to keep follow-up appointments so that Dr. Vawter can track how your rash responds to treatment and make adjustments to get the best possible results.
The skin is well-designed to protect us from microbes, but some viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites can cause infections like ringworm, warts, molluscum, herpes, and impetigo. You should seek early treatment for skin infections because they can be spread to other people and other parts of your own body. In some cases, these infections can lead to serious complications, such as the rapid spread of herpes virus or bacterial cellulitis. During your visit to Thrive, Dr. Vawter will discuss the best treatment for your condition and may identify risk factors contributing to your condition. This knowledge will empower you in preventing future infections.
Some common skin infections and their treatments include:
- Warts- liquid nitrogen (freezing), cantharidin, over-the-counter and prescription topicals, immunotherapy
- Molluscum contagiosum- Cantharidin, curettage or surgical removal
- Impetigo- topical or oral antibiotics
- Fungal infections of the skin (ringworm), hair or nails – topical or oral antifungals
- Cold sores (herpes) – topical or oral antivirals
It is important to keep follow-up visits so that Dr. Vawter can track how your infection responds to treatment and make adjustments to get the best possible results.
Hair & Nail Conditions
Changes in nail appearance can be caused by fungal and bacterial infections, or by some of the same conditions that affect the skin. These changes can also point to underlying health problems. For example, nails can be affected by psoriasis or liver problems. For these reasons, any unusual nail changes should be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist.
Hair loss is a common condition that affects both men and women. Thinning hair can be caused by: common conditions such as androgenetic alopecia, emotional or physical stressors, or underlying systemic diseases (like anemia or thyroid disease). Significant hair loss can also result from inflammation or infections. Under the hair, the scalp can become scaly, red, or itchy.
Treatments for nail changes, hair loss, or scalp conditions depend on the cause of the problem.
Dr. Vawter will evaluate your medical history and conduct a thorough examination of your hair and nails. She will help you better understand your condition and discuss treatment options that are targeted to your unique needs.
Some hair and nail conditions and their treatments include:
- Alopecia areata- topical or injected corticosteroids, immunotherapy
- Androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern hair thinning)- topical minoxidil, oral finasteride
- Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff)- medicated shampoos, topical steroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors
- Telogen effluvium (excessive hair shedding)- this is often a temporary condition which improves on its own over time
- Nail fungus- topical or oral antifungals
Hair and nails are sometimes slow to respond to treatment. It may take time before you can see visible improvement. It is important to keep follow-up appointments with Dr. Vawter so she can adjust your treatment to get the best possible results.
Skin Color (Pigmentation) Changes
Problems with skin color changes are common. They can be caused by things like sun exposure, inflammation, yeast overgrowth, hormonal changes, or autoimmune conditions. Some color change conditions include lentigos, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, tinea versicolor, melasma, and vitiligo. In some cases, discoloration may be a sign of a more serious condition like skin cancer.
Treatments target the underlying cause of the color change. During your Thrive appointment, Dr. Vawter, a board-certified dermatologist, will review your medical history and conduct a physical exam to determine the cause of your skin color change. Dr. Vawter will discuss your treatment options and partner with you to choose the treatment that is most effective for your specific condition.
Treatments for skin discoloration may include:
- Daily sunscreen and other sun protective measures
- Topical lightening creams
- Topical steroids or calcineurin inhibitors
- Topical anti-yeast agents
- Chemical peels
It is important to keep follow-up appointments with Dr. Vawter so she can monitor and adjust your treatment to get the best possible results.
Botox™ & Superficial Chemical Peels
Botox™ treatments soften wrinkle lines on the forehead or around the eyes that appear during facial expressions. Treatments relax the facial muscles near injection sites, producing a more rested appearance. Botox™ is a purified protein that the US Food and Drug Administration has proven to be safe. Results are typically noticeable within 1 or 2 weeks after treatment. These benefits usually last 3 to 4 months before a refresher treatment is necessary.
Botox™ treatment begins with a facial cleansing. After Dr. Vawter administers the Botox™, you will be asked to repeatedly contract the target muscles over the next hour. You should remain upright and avoid any pressure on the face for several hours after treatment.
Chemical peels are another cosmetic treatment offered at Thrive. Peels can help even-out skin tone and texture. They are effective treatments for skin discoloration, sun spots, dryness, fine wrinkles, and blocked pores. Peels can also improve acne. Depending on your goals, chemical peels can be done as a one-time treatment before a special occasion, or repeated monthly to maximize their antiaging and acne-controlling effects.
When you arrive at Thrive for a chemical peel, you will first remove all cosmetics and lotions. Dr. Vawter then cleanses your face and applies the rejuvenating chemical over the desired areas. Following treatment, you rinse your skin and apply a moisturizer before leaving the clinic. The treated areas may become pink or dry for several days as damaged skin is replaced by new, healthy cells. It is important to protect skin from the sun after a chemical peel.
If you are considering Botox™ treatments or chemical peels, you can consult with Dr. Vawter about your areas of concern to see if these procedures will help you achieve the desired results.
Three percent of Americans have psoriasis. It usually appears between the ages of 15 to 30, but can begin at any age. Psoriasis is caused by the rapid build-up of surface skin cells that look like scales and red patches. These areas can be itchy and painful. There are several types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic. Psoriasis can affect any part of the body, but commonly appears on the scalp, elbows, and knees.
Skin changes that resemble psoriasis should be evaluated by a medical doctor who is also a board-certified dermatologist. There are many treatment options to control psoriasis. An effective and easy to use regimen will take your medical history, personal preferences, and lifestyle into account.
Psoriasis treatments may include:
- topical or injected corticosteroids
- topical Vitamin D analogues
- topical keratolytics such as urea (scale lifters)
- topical calcineurin inhibitors
- topical retinoids
- oral medications
- biologics (injectable medications)
Dr. Vawter can formulate and optimize your initial treatment approach, assess your response to treatments, and follow the changes in your condition over time. With ongoing care, you can find a treatment which gives you long-lasting psoriasis control.
Almost everyone has at least one mole on their skin. Moles are a collection of cells called melanocytes. While some moles are present at birth, most arise gradually over many years. The number of moles on a person is determined by a mixture of genetic factors and their history of sun exposure.
Moles vary a great deal in their color, texture, shape, and size. While most moles are harmless, they carry a small risk of changing into a skin cancer. You should make an appointment with Dr. Vawter, a board-certified dermatologist, if you have moles that follow any of the suspicious ABCDE’s:
- Asymmetry (one half of the mole does not look like the other half)
- Border (the mole edges look irregular or scalloped)
- Color (a mole has more than two shades of tan, brown, gray, black, white, red, blue)
- Diameter (a mole is larger than 6 millimeters)
- Evolving (a mole changes its appearance over time or looks different from your other moles)
There are many other types of spots on the skin which can be mistaken for the common mole. These include sun-induced spots such as lentigos, common growths such as seborrheic keratoses or skin tags, and collections of blood vessels called angiomas. If you have a lot of spots on your skin, Dr. Vawter can help you learn more about your spots and develop a proper monitoring plan.
Dermatitis is a general term for skin inflammation. It can appear as redness, flaking, rough texture, bumpiness, itching, or stinging. There are many types of dermatitis, such as:
- atopic dermatitis (often referred to as ‘eczema’)
- seborrheic dermatitis (commonly known as dandruff)
- contact dermatitis (a rash from things that touch and irritate the skin)
- nummular dermatitis (round patches commonly on the legs)
- dyshidrotic dermatitis (a type of hand dermatitis)
In rare cases, skin changes that look like dermatitis may actually be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. For this reason, persistent or recurring rashes should be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist.
Treatments for dermatitis can include:
- customized skin care regimens of specific over-the-counter cleansers and moisturizers
- topical corticosteroids
- topical calcineurin inhibitors
- oral antihistamines
- oral corticosteroids or other systemic medications to control the immune response
- treatment of associated infections with antibiotics, antivirals, or antifungals
Dr. Vawter will evaluate your dermatitis, explain your condition, and work with you to formulate an effective treatment plan that is customized to your needs and preferences. During follow-up appointments, Dr. Vawter can monitor progress and adjust your treatment to get the best possible results.
Although we cannot list all of the dermatologic conditions we are able to treat, here are some of the more common conditions:
Actinic keratosis, sun damage, age spots
Alopecia areata (or other forms of hair loss)
Cancers of the skin (melanoma, basal cell, squamous cell)
Connective tissue diseases
Contact dermatitis (allergy)
Infections of the skin (including abscesses, cellulitis, molluscum, ringworm, shingles, warts)
Lupus of the skin
Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff)
Tinea infections (ringworm)
788 South Watters Road, Suite 120, Allen, TX 75013