My Blog
By Michelle Welch M.D.
January 13, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Hyperhidrosis   Sweating  

Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, can be an annoying, embarrassing condition to deal with. Perspiring is normal, but hyperhidrosis is characterized by excessive sweating when your body doesn’t need to be cooled down.

One of the most common ways to tell whether you have hyperhidrosis is if one or two areas of your body are very sweaty, but the rest of your body is dry. Some common areas to experience hyperhidrosisinclude your head, feet, palms of your hands, and your underarms.

If you are experiencing excessive sweating, there are ways to minimize the impact. Consider trying these easy remedies:

  • Changing to antiperspirant, not deodorant
  • Using armpit shields to help absorb perspiration
  • Wearing loose clothing made of natural fibers like cotton
  • Changing your socks at least twice during the day
  • Wearing black and white clothing to reduce signs of sweating
  • Limiting or avoiding alcohol and spicy foods because they can worsen sweating

For moderate to severe cases of hyperhidrosis that aren’t managed well with conservative home therapies, it’s best to visit your dermatologist. There are several effective treatments for excessive sweating your dermatologist may recommend, including:

  • Prescription antiperspirant products containing aluminum chloride
  • Iontophoresis, which uses a weak electrical current to block the sweat glands from producing sweat; treatments are completely pain-free and take 20 to 30 minutes per treatment. 2 to 4 treatments per week are recommended with maintenance treatments every 1 to 4 weeks.
  • Botox injections, which help to reduce sweating; injections of botox are given into areas affected. Botox typically requires 15 to 20 injections and takes 30 to 45 minutes. The effects of injections can last for a few months and Botox treatment can be repeated if necessary.

Excessive sweating can disrupt your life, hampering your self-confidence. You can get relief from excessive sweating from your dermatologist. To find out more about treatment for excessive sweating, and other medical and cosmetic skincare treatments, talk with your dermatologist today!

By Michelle Welch M.D.
December 23, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Laser Hair Removal  

If you’re sick and tired of having to shave all the time and waxing regularly is becoming an expense you don't want to deal with, you definitely have easier options at your disposal. Here at the Georgetown, SC, office of your dermatologist Dr. Michelle Welch-Smith, we can help you decide whether laser hair removal will help fit your needs!

What happens during laser hair removal?

Before treatment, the skin will be thoroughly cleansed. Depending on the area that’s being treated and your skin’s sensitivity, a numbing ointment may be applied to the area, as well. From there, goggles will be placed over your eyes and our Georgetown, SC, cosmetic dermatologist will direct the laser over the skin. You may feel a warming, prickling sensation like a rubber band being snapped against the skin.

The length of the treatment will depend on the size of the treatment area. Areas of the face only take a couple of minutes while the back or legs can take up to one hour. Furthermore, there is absolutely no downtime associated with this treatment so you can go right back to your routine!

What areas can be treated with laser hair removal?

Laser treatment is safe and effective for just about every part of the body, from the underarms and facial area to the bikini line and legs. If you have unwanted hair somewhere chances are good we can remove it with laser treatment.

How many treatments will I need?

Since hair grows in cycles, one treatment isn’t usually enough to get the desired results. On average, a person will need between 2-6 laser treatments spaced a couple of weeks apart. Factors such as the area being treated and the color of your hair and skin will also affect your results.

Interested? Give us a call

If you are dealing with unwanted hair and want to learn more about laser hair removal, then call Winyah Bay Dermatology in Georgetown, SC, at (843) 790-8769.

By Michelle Welch M.D.
December 12, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Eczema  

Do you have itchy, scaly rashes? If so, you could have eczema, a common skin condition that could be effectively treated by your dermatologist. Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis, and it can be caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to harsh chemicals. Dry skin can also affect your skin’s ability to form a barrier to allergens, which can lead to eczema. Another common cause of eczema is genetics. If someone in your family suffers from eczema, it increases your chances of developing eczema as well. Immune system problems can also cause eczema.

Both adults and children can develop eczema, however, children are most often affected, especially before they reach the age of five. Eczema develops into a chronic skin condition, with intermittent flare-ups. These flare-ups can often be accompanied by hay fever or asthma.

There are many common signs and symptoms of eczema, including:

  • Reddish-brown patches on your feet, hands, ankles, knees, chest, elbows, face, and scalp
  • Chronic, severe itching which often worsens at night
  • Inflamed, raw, red, sensitive, and swollen skin
  • Dry, cracked, scaly skin patches on various areas of your body
  • Bumps appearing on your skin which drain fluid and crust over later

For mild cases of eczema, there are a few simple home remedies you can try, including:

  • Taking over-the-counter antihistamine medications
  • Smoothing calamine or other anti-itch lotion over your skin
  • Applying moisturizer when you take a shower
  • Applying cool, wet dressings and bandages to affected areas
  • Taking a warm baking soda or oatmeal bath
  • Placing a humidifier in your home to moisten dry air
  • Wearing breathable, cool, cotton clothing

For moderate to severe cases of eczema, you should visit your dermatologist. There are several effective professional treatments your dermatologist may recommend, such as:

  • Prescription-strength oral and topical medications to stop itching
  • Antibiotic medications to eliminate any underlying infection
  • Oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain
  • Corticosteroid dressings to reduce inflammation
  • Natural light or ultraviolet therapy to reduce or eliminate skin patches

You don’t have to suffer with eczema when relief is just a phone call away. Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of eczema by calling your dermatologist today!

By Michelle Welch M.D.
December 09, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Vitiligo  

Vitiligo is a skin condition that affects more than 200,000 men and women in the United States each year, with half of those affected noticing symptoms before age 20. Although the exact cause of vitiligo is unknown, it is thought to be an auto-immune condition. In fact, it often occurs in combination with other auto-immune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, the condition is directly linked to hereditary causes in about one-third of cases.

When you have vitiligo, you will have patches of white skin, caused by loss of melanocytes, the skin cells responsible for skin color. It can start on the feet, hands, or face, and become progressive over other areas of the body. The condition can cause problems with your skin, eyes, inner ear, hairs, and mucous membranes, causing white blotches in these areas.

Vitiligo cannot be cured, however, your dermatologist can help treat its symptoms and minimize its impact on your life. Treatment for this condition generally aims to restore normal skin color by repigmenting the skin. New melanocytes may be transferred from other areas of the body, including the base of hair follicles, or the edge of the affected area. Repigmentation is a gradual process that can take months to years.

Other treatments for vitiligo include prescription steroid creams or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams, These creams are applied twice each day and begin to show results in three-to-six months.

Lasers are also an effective treatment to promote repigmentation of the skin. The Excimer laser is a common tool that uses ultraviolet B light. A series of laser sessions is required with touch-up maintenance sessions later on.

Vitiligo can also be treated with some cosmetics to create a more uniform skin color and hide white patches. Sunless tanning products can also help darken the white patches, creating a more harmonious skin color. For extensive areas of pigmentation loss, depigmentation therapy might be recommended to bleach out all pigmented skin, producing an even skin tone.

If you have been struggling with vitiligo, call your dermatologist today to learn about your treatment options!

By Michelle Welch M.D.
November 20, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Botox  

We all would like to find that magical solution that would keep us looking young forever. Of course, while we certainly haven’t found the Fountain of Youth just yet, advancements in cosmetic dermatology are coming impressively close. If you are looking for a fast, simple, and non-invasive way to smooth away facial lines and wrinkles, talk with our dermatologist about whether Botox could give you the results you want.

What is Botox?

Botox is a purified, medical-grade neurotoxin that is injected directly into muscle groups of the face. When Botox is injected into the muscles, it reduces the brain-sent signals that cause the muscles to contract. As a result, this cosmetic treatment prevents muscle contractions, thus temporarily reducing the appearance of dynamic lines and wrinkles.

Botox can be used to smooth away wrinkles between the brows, on the foreheads, around the eyes (crow’s feet), and the mouth (“laugh lines”). In fact, any lines or wrinkles that are accentuated when you frown or smile can often be treated with Botox.

What is it like to get Botox treatment?

Botox is non-invasive and doesn’t require surgery or other aggressive techniques. It only takes our skin doctor a couple of minutes to administer Botox, and these thin needles are well-tolerated by our patients.

Additionally, there is absolutely no downtime associated with receiving Botox, allowing many patients to come in for treatment and return right back to work and their daily routine immediately after. It only takes about 10 minutes to administer Botox and side effects are minimal.

What kind of results should I expect with Botox?

You won’t see results immediately, as it will take the body time to respond to treatment. Most people will see results within 3-4 days and results can last anywhere from 4-6 months. If you’re happy with your results and wish they would last longer, then you can talk with your cosmetic dermatologist about how often you should come in for maintenance treatments.

Whether you have questions about receiving Botox treatment or if you want to find out if you are the ideal candidate for treatment, don’t hesitate to call your dermatologist’s office today to schedule a consultation.





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