• Types of Skin Infections

    The purpose of skin is to protect against infection, but sometimes the skin itself becomes infected. Learn about the four different categories of skin infections so you can seek proper treatment.

Types of Skin Infections

  • Bacterial skin infections occur when bacteria enter the body through a cut or scratch. If you have a break in your skin, clean and disinfect it promptly to lower the risk of infection. Some common types of bacterial infections include folliculitis, impetigo, and cellulitis.
  • Fungal skin infections are caused by fungi, making them most likely to develop in damp areas of the body, such as the feet, armpits, groin, or under the breasts. Many fungal infections are mild and not contagious, and most are non-life-threatening. Examples include tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), yeast infection, nail fungus, and ringworm.
  • Viral skin infections are caused by viruses and can range from mild to severe. They are less common than bacterial or fungal infections. Effective treatment may require intervention from a dermatologist. Examples of viral skin infections include cold sores, warts, Molluscum contagiosum, and shingles (caused by the same virus as chickenpox).

Symptoms of Skin Infections

The precise symptoms depend on the infection you have. Still, some of the most common symptoms shared among many types of skin infections include:

  • Rash or redness of the skin
  • Bumps or lesions
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Tenderness

See a dermatologist if you exhibit signs of a severe infection, including:

  • Pus-filled blisters
  • Sloughing or breakdown of the skin
  • Discolored, painful skin (these are signs of necrosis, or death of infected skin and tissue)

Diagnosing Skin Infections

Doctors can often identify and diagnose common skin infections on sight. Your doctor may also ask questions about how and when your infection developed. In some cases, a biopsy may be required, which is when a small sample of infected tissue is removed and examined to aid in the diagnostic process.

Skin Infection Treatments

The proper therapy depends on the type and severity of the infection. Many infections clear up on their own without treatment. Try at-home care first, and if your rash doesn’t improve, speak with a dermatologist.

We recommend the following:

  • Apply topical antibiotics to bacterial infections.
  • Apply topical antiviral medication to viral infections.
  • Use over-the-counter antifungal sprays and creams on fungal infections.
  • Apply a cold compress to soothe irritated skin.
  • Take oral antihistamines to reduce itching.
  • Ask your doctor for specific tips based on your situation.

If you’re struggling with a bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic skin infection, call 801-682-4715 to schedule an appointment with our Salt Lake City dermatologist today. We’ll provide the most effective treatment possible for your particular condition.

  • 6 Facts About Skin Cancer

    Spring is here! You may be excited for more sunshine and warmer temperatures, but this time of year is when skin damage becomes more prevalent. Learn six facts about skin cancer, and then take the necessary steps to protect yourself from excessive sun exposure.

  • More than 3.5 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year.

    Risk factors for getting skin cancer include:

    • Blonde or red hair, freckles, and fair skin that burns easily
    • A history of excessive sun exposure (your skin never forgets sun damage)
    • Tanning bed use
    • 50 or more moles (atypical or large moles are especially likely to develop melanoma)
    • A suppressed immune system caused by disease or medical treatment
    • A personal or family history of skin cancer

    Skin cancer can affect anyone.

    While certain people are more at risk for skin cancer than others, anyone can suffer from excessive sun exposure. In fact, people of color are more likely to receive a late diagnosis because they don’t know they’re susceptible to skin cancer until it’s too late. Dark-skinned people are more prone to skin cancer in unlikely areas, such as the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, groin, inside the mouth, and under the fingernails.

    Excessive sun exposure is the number one cause of skin cancer.

    A whopping 90 percent of skin cancer cases are attributed to UV light exposure from the sun and tanning beds. High exposure during childhood increases the risk. In fact, a single blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence nearly doubles a person’s chance of developing melanoma.

    Indoor tanning is dangerous.

    The artificial UV light that darkens your skin in a tanning bed is no safer than UV light from the sun. Researchers estimate that indoor tanning is responsible for around 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the US each year. Due to widespread tanning among young females, the most susceptible demographic are women under age 45.

    Sunscreen and sun-smart habits can prevent skin cancer.

    UV light is the biggest risk factor for skin cancer, and it’s also the most preventable! Follow these top sun protection tips:

    • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen labeled 30 SPF or higher. Reapply every one to two hours, especially while swimming or sweating profusely.
    • Wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt, and long pants when outside for long periods.
    • Minimize your sun exposure from 10 am to 4 pm when UV rays are at their strongest.
    • Seek shade when outside between 10 am and 4 pm.
    • Skip the tanning salon.

    Skin cancer is curable.

    Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are all highly curable—if they’re detected early. Perform a monthly self-exam and visit the dermatologist any time you notice a suspicious mole.

    If it’s been more than a year since your last skin cancer screening, call Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology at 801-682-4715 to schedule an appointment with our Salt Lake City dermatologist.

  • Top 5 Myths about sensitive skin

    If you have sensitive skin, you probably struggle to keep it clear and healthy. You may be frustrated by products that say they’re for sensitive skin but still irritate yours, and you may be worried that you’ll have sensitive skin forever, no matter what you do. We’d like to help you sort it all out, by busting some common myths about sensitive skin.

    • Myth 1: Sensitive skin is all the same. The word sensitive means different things to different people. If your skin is sensitive, you might be prone to redness, inflammation, peeling, or itching. Certain ingredients and formulas might make your skin sting or burn, or your skin might break out when you switch beauty products. Sensitive skin is reactive instead of adaptive: it reacts to its environment. The key to caring for it is to find products that clean and nourish your skin without irritating it.
    • Myth 2: It’s unusual to have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is very common, and because it’s so prevalent, much research has been conducted to discover how best to care for it. While only 11 percent of skincare products are designed for sensitive skin, you will be able to find some that work for you if you shop around.
    • Myth 3: Sensitive skin will always be sensitive. Many factors come into play with sensitive skin, and stress may be the biggest. The stress hormone, Cortisol, weakens the immune system and damages the skin barrier, so when you’re stressed, your skin feels more sensitive. Because more than 70 percent of women report moderate to high stress, it’s important to find products specially formulated to improve the health of stressed skin.
    • Myth 4: If you’ve got sensitive skin, you should only wash it with water. While you should avoid using harsh cleansers on your face, especially those with dyes or Sodium Laureth Sulfate, water won’t get your skin clean or help strengthen a compromised skin barrier. To choose a cleanser good for your sensitive skin, look for one the “dermatologist proven” label.
    • Myth 5: People with sensitive skin can’t wear makeup. Makeup isn’t really the problem; layering makeup over inflamed skin is the issue. When your skincare routine nourishes and soothes your sensitive skin, you’ll have a clean slate for applying makeup. Just make sure you remove your makeup each night, taking care not to leave behind residue that can irritate your skin.

    At Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology, we provide superior, professional skincare in a manner that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate. With more than 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a wide range of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and licensed cosmetic service providers, along with our friendly staff, are here to provide you the care you need in a comfortable and professional atmosphere. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us through our website or call (801) 682-4715 today.

  • The Best Dermatologist Recommended Skin-Care Tips

    When it comes to skincare tips, there are few sources as reliable as dermatologists. If you want to know how to control breakouts, reduce the signs of aging, or get rid of dark spots, a dermatologist can provide valuable advice. Don’t have a dermatologist? We’ve got you covered, with these helpful tips  

    • Use sunscreen every day. Use it everywheredon’t neglect your ears, hairline, neck, hands, and chest. Using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day will help keep your skin looking younger, longer, and if you’re experiencing dryness, tight skin, or redness, it may be time to switch to a higher SPF.  
    • Masks are a great solution for many different problems. If the hormonal shifts of your period have your skin in an uproar, use a mask to balance it quickly. Clay masks reduce oil, and gels calm redness. If your skin needs hydration, a sheet mask over your moisturizer for 10 minutes each night will make it fresh and dewy.   
    • What you do at night can improve your daytime skin. A good bedtime routine can head off morning dryness, and sleeping with an extra pillow under your head can help prevent puffy eyes upon waking. 
    • Strategically attack acne. Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria and is a great solution for allover breakouts. If blackheads are your issue, salicylic acid is the way to go. If you’re breaking out along your hairline, hair products may be the culprit. A foaming face wash can gently but effectively cut through oil they leave behind.  
    • Make sure you’re using products the right way, for maximum effectiveness. Apply moisturizer before your skin is completely dry to keep your skin hydrated, and if you’re layering skincare products, wait two to three minutes between each one to keep from diluting them. Don’t shy away from using different products on different areas of your face if you’re dealing with diverse issues. Wash your face thoroughly: while cleansing cloths are convenient, they’re not sufficient if you live in a polluted area. 
    • Use different tactics to fight dark spots and lines. Brighteners like vitamin C are a great first line of defense, and weekly chemical peels or glycolic acid can improve the look of your skin and encourage the growth of healthy bacteria. Omega 3 supplements can improve your skin’s hydration, and glycolic acid peel pads are an easy way to treat lines and dark spots. Applying antioxidants during the day and topical retinoids at night also works well for dark spots.  

    If you’re looking for a competent dermatologist, look no further than Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology. With over 30 years of experience in Salt Lake City, our practice can handle both medical and cosmetic problems with skill and discretion. Our friendly staff will help you feel at ease, and our board-certified dermatologists will assist you in getting effective treatment. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 801-682-4715 or contact us through our website.  

  • The 10 Best Foods for Healthy Skin

    If you have a nutritional imbalance, your skin is often the first area to show signs of damage. As a result, what you eat has a significant impact on the health and appearance of your skin. Here are the best foods to include in your diet if you’re looking to promote healthy skin. 

    1. Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical for keeping your skin thick, supple, and moist. Omega-3s also reduce inflammation that can cause skin redness and acne. 
    1. Avocados: The healthy fats found in avocados help make your skin flexible and springy, thus reducing the onset of wrinkles. Avocados are even thought to contain compounds that help protect your skin from sun damage. 
    1. Nuts and seeds: In general, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of nutrients that benefit your skin. Walnuts, in particular, are a good source of omega-3s. They also contain a small amount of vitamin E, as do sunflower seeds, an important antioxidant for the skin. 
    1. Sweet potatoes: Orange vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and carrots, are high in beta-carotene, a carotenoid that protects your skin when exposed to the sun. This may help prevent sunburn, along with the dryness, cell death, and wrinkles that come with it. 
    1. Bell peppers: Again, beta-carotene is what gives red and yellow peppers their signature color. Bell peppers also contain vitamin C, a compound your body needs to create collagen, which helps prevent wrinkles. 
    1. Broccoli: This vegetable is packed with several vitamins and minerals for healthy skin, including vitamins A and C and lutein, which protects your skin from oxidative damage. Most importantly, broccoli contains sulforaphane, an antimicrobial compound with cancer-fighting qualities that may help prevent skin cancer. 
    1. Tomatoes: Another excellent source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lutein, tomatoes also contain lycopene, another carotenoid that protects the skin from sun damage. 
    1. Soy products: Soy is famous for its isoflavone content, a plant compound that can either mimic or block estrogen in the body. In postmenopausal women, eating soy every day may reduce skin dryness and improve elasticity. 
    1. Dark chocolate: If you need an excuse to eat chocolate, choose a dark variety that contains at least 70% cocoa. This delivers a high amount of antioxidants that protect the skin while keeping the added sugar to a minimum. 
    1. Green tea: As with other foods high in antioxidants, green tea protects your skin from sun damage. It also contains catechins, compounds that improve the health of your skin by reducing redness and roughness while increasing hydration and elasticity. 

    In addition to eating a healthy diet, accessing the skin care products and dermatological services at Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology can help you maintain healthy skin. We remove unwanted molesprovide care for conditions like eczema, and diagnose and treat skin cancer. To schedule a consultation at our Salt Lake City office, please call 801-682-4715 today. 

  • Exploring How Anxiety Can Affect Your Skin

    The health of your skin is not just dependent on how you care for it from the outside. Your skin health starts from the inside. Your diet and lifestyle can have a significant impact on your skin, as can your mental health. Anxiety is a condition that often causes symptoms that can affect your skin. Here is what you need to know about the ways that anxiety can cause skin issues and what you can do with the help of a dermatologist to ease the symptoms.  

    Psoriasis  

    People with psoriasis usually experience flare-ups and remissions of their symptomsIn studies of patients with psoriasis, stress is often reported as a trigger for symptoms. In fact, some people have their first outbreak of psoriasis symptoms during a period of extreme anxiety. There is no cure for psoriasis, but it can be managed. In addition to topical medications, biologics, and light therapies, dermatologists often recommend finding ways to reduce stress levels to keep flare-ups in check. 

    Alopecia 

    Alopecia, or hair loss, frequently occurs in response to anxiety. Researchers have discovered that many people who experience alopecia have an onset of symptoms about six months after an anxiety-provoking period in their lives. If you have anxiety-related alopecia, your dermatologist may recommend that you give your body time to recover from anxiety and allow your hair to grow back naturally. In other instances, he or she may suggest topical medications that can help with regrowth.  

    Acne 

    One of the things that happen in your body when you are experiencing anxiety is that hormones are released to help you deal with the stressful conditions. One of the hormones that is released increases the activity of your sebaceous glands, which produce oils. This excessive amount of oil can cause clog pores, leading to acne breakouts.  

    Don’t let stress-related skin conditions impact you. If the signs of anxiety are showing up on your skin, let Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology help. Make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist in Salt Lake City by calling (801) 266-8841. 

  • Skin Viral Infections: Get the Facts

    Skin infections can be caused by bacteria, fungi, or virusesViral skin infections are rarer than bacterial or fungal injections, but they can be serious, and treatment by a dermatologist is usually necessary to control the symptoms and ensure you heal properly. Could you be experiencing a viral skin infection?  

    Cold Sores 

    One of the most common viral skin infections that dermatologists encounter is the herpes simplex I virus that causes cold sores. If you have been exposed to this virus, it will live in your body for life. Most of the time, it will not cause any symptoms, but when your immune system is weakened by another illness or stress, it can flare up and cause cold sores to form. Your dermatologist can offer treatments to control these breakouts when they occur, but it is best to contract him or her within 24 to 48 hours of the sores appearing for the best results.  

    Molluscum Contagiosum 

    This viral infection causes raised bumps on the skin that are often described as looking like pearls. They are usually painless, but they can be itchy and easily agitated. When an outbreak occurs, it usually lasts for about six to nine months, but sometimes, it can take a few years to clear up completely. Most cases occur in children and people with weakened immune systems.  

    Shingles 

    Chickenpox is a viral infection, and shingles—or herpes zoster—occurs when that virus is reactivated. With shingles, the skin develops painful blisters that are usually filled with pus. Shingles usually occur in people over the age of 50, but it can occur in younger patients occasionally. There is no cure for shingles, but your dermatologist can provide treatments to help control the symptoms.  

    Skin infections require fast treatment, so make an appointment with a dermatologist in Salt Lake City at Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology. If you need more information or want to schedule a consultation for a skin rash, dial (801) 266-8841. 

  • Diagnosing Skin Breakouts

    Acne isn’t the only thing that can cause skin breakouts. There are several other things that cause inflammation, rashes, sores, and other lesions on your skin that often require treatment to prevent them from becoming worse. If you are having a skin breakout, see your dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.  

    Bacteria causes most skin breakouts. Folliculitis occurs when bacteria enter hair follicles and cause an infection that leads to red, pimple-like bumps. Cellulitis is a painful infection caused by bacteria that causes red, warm bumps and lesions that often appear on the legs. Boils are red and hard to the touch and are caused by a deep bacterial infection, while impetigo is a bacterial infection that causes pus-filled sores. Impetigo often occurs in children.  

    If you’re having a breakout or other skin issue in Salt Lake City, visit a dermatologist at Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology to get the treatment you need. Dial (801) 266-8841 to make an appointment.  

     

  • FAQs About Folliculitis

    Folliculitis is an inflammatory condition of the skin. Since folliculitis looks much like pimples, it’s difficult for a patient to self-diagnose. If you think you might have a skin condition, it’s best to visit an experienced dermatologist. He or she can confirm the diagnosis and prescribe the medications to treat folliculitis. 

    What causes folliculitis? 

    Most often, folliculitis is caused by a skin infection of staph bacteria. Fungi and viruses can also cause it. The infection causes the hair follicles to become inflamed. It’s also possible for the infection to spread. Certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing folliculitis. These include: 

    • Having a medical condition that negatively affects the immune system 
    • Having dermatitis or acne 
    • Wearing tight clothing or items that trap heat and sweat 
    • Soaking in a poorly maintained hot tub 
    • Having curly hair and shaving 

    What does folliculitis look like? 

    There are different types of folliculitis, but it’s generally described as looking like a cluster of small, red bumps or pimples. If the infection spreads beyond the hair follicle, folliculitis can cause pus-filled blisters to form. These may break open develop a crust. Folliculitis can also be itchy, causing tender, painful skin. 

    How can my dermatologist treat folliculitis? 

    This depends on how severe your condition is. For mild cases of dermatitis, patients can get good results with antibiotic creams, lotions, or gels that are applied directly to the skin. If your infection recurs or is more severe, your dermatologist may prescribe an oral antibiotic—but only if the infection is caused by bacteria. If the skin condition is caused by a fungal infection, an antifungal cream or shampoo, or antifungal medications can treat it. In some cases, folliculitis resists even oral medications. Your dermatologist may recommend that you consider having laser hair removal to destroy the hair follicles and manage the condition. 

    Folliculitis is one of the many skin issues we treat here at Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology. Call us at (801) 266-8841, and one of our board-certified dermatologists in Salt Lake City can give you an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. While you’re here, be sure to check out our approved skin care products! 

  • Understanding How Pregnancy Affects the Skin

    Pregnancy is an event that brings on major changes throughout the body, including with the skin. While you may have heard of the “pregnancy glow,” that is not the only change that pregnancy may cause to your skin. Here is a look at how your skin may change throughout your pregnancy. 

    Mask of Pregnancy 

    The mask of pregnancy won’t do you any good on Halloween—this condition is also called melasma and results in dark spots that appear on the face. The areas of dark pigmentation may be splotchy and affect about half of all pregnant women. 

    Stretch Marks 

    As your abdomen expands to hold your growing baby, your skin will stretch out to accommodate this change. Stretch marks may form as a result, appearing as pink, red, or white streaks on the skin. Since the breasts also grow rapidly during pregnancy, they may be affected by stretch marks as well. 

    Acne 

    One of the common causes behind acne is hormonal changes, which can cause an increase in your skin’s oil production. As your hormonal levels fluctuate during pregnancy, you may notice that your skin breaks out as a result. If you already experience acne, it may become worse during pregnancy. 

    Spider and Varicose Veins 

    During pregnancy, there will be more blood in your body than usual, since some of your blood flow will be going to your growing baby. This can put excess pressure on the valves in your veins that keep blood flowing in the right direction. If the blood flows backward through a valve, it can pool and cause the vein to expand, resulting in a spider vein or varicose vein. 

    Darkening of the Skin 

    It is common for skin pigment to darken due to the hormonal fluctuations that occur during pregnancy. This may be especially noticeable on areas of the skin that already have darker pigment, such as moles and freckles. 

    If you are concerned about spider veins, stretch marks, acne, or other common skin changes that occur during pregnancy, Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is ready to help. Our team of skin care specialists can diagnose and treat a wide range of skin conditions. To schedule an appointment at our dermatology office in Salt Lake City, call (801) 266-8841 today.