Clark 732.574.1399 | Kearny 201.998.4699 | Teaneck 201.837.3939 | Jersey City 201.792.4500 | West New York 201.861.4226 | Staten Island 718.448.4488

Five Top Triggers of a Herpes Outbreak

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If you’re among the 80 percent of Americas who have the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1), you know that an outbreak can be painful and embarrassing. Also known as a fever blister, the tell-tale mark of an HSV1 outbreak is a blister or cluster of blisters around the mouth. They can break open and ooze, forming painful sores and unsightly scabs. To help keep outbreaks at a minimum, New Jersey-based Metropolitan Dermatology recommends avoiding these common triggers:

  1. Stress: High levels or extended periods of stress are by far the top cause of HSV1 outbreaks. Stress prompts changes in the body’s internal chemistry, kicking up production of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisone. This can do a real number on your immune system. Get plenty of exercise and sleep and make time for relaxing activities like yoga, walks in the park or outings with friends.
  2. Fever: When you have a fever, your body is under a higher level of physical stress. This, plus changes in the core body temperature, can trigger an outbreak – Thus the term “fever blister.”
  3. Unhealthy diet: Another knock to your immune system is a diet that’s lacking in essential nutrients. Make sure you eat a healthy diet that’s high in fiber, low in sugar and includes each of the basic food groups. If needed, take a high-quality multi-vitamin supplement.
  4. Environmental toxins: Another reason for making sure your body gets all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs is to fend off negative effects of toxic chemicals that enter our bodies via food, water and air daily. An accumulation of these chemicals in the fatty tissues can compromise your immune system. Your body will respond by detoxifying itself and if it doesn’t have the nutrients it needs, it can prompt an outbreak.
  5. Sun exposure: A study by the National Institutes of Health revealed that exposure to the sun’s UV rays can activate HSV1, but experts still are unsure how or why. Wear a high SPF moisturizer every day.

The bad news is that there is no cure for herpes. The good news is that symptoms are easily managed with medication, warm compresses and a healthy lifestyle. If you’re experiencing symptoms of herpes, visit your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location in Clark, Kearny, Teaneck or Staten Island.

Travel Tips for Healthy, Lovely Legs

Woman sitting in airport

As the fall travel season ramps up, you’ll want to take steps to protect yourself from a common, but often overlooked risk. Blood clots, also known as Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT, are a top health risk for those traveling long distances. Whether driving, flying or taking the train, sitting still for extended periods of time is a primary cause of blood clots and a major contributor to varicose veins.

Blood clots are of particular concern. They form when your blood doesn’t flow properly or pools back into your blood vessels. If part of a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, it can cause a pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal blockage. Less serious but certainly unsightly are varicose veins, also caused by restricted blood flow.

To protect yourself from either condition while in the air, on the road or barreling down the tracks, Metropolitan Dermatology offers these tips:

  • Wear comfortable, flat shoes and loose clothing that won’t restrict blood flow.
  • Consider wearing compression stockings to help prevent swelling and keep your blood flowing upward toward your heart.
  • Maximize legroom by limiting carry-ons and checking or storing luggage.
  • Take any opportunity to stand up, stretch and walk or do a few quick exercises.
  • Drink plenty of water and resist the temptation to order those on-board cocktails.

If you see signs of spider or varicose veins forming in your legs, schedule a consultation at your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location in Clark (732-574-1399), Kearny (201-997-8008), Teaneck (201-837-3939) or Staten Island (718-448-4488).

Eight Great Tips to Avoid Psoriasis Flareups

Woman drinking wine

Anyone with psoriasis knows that a flareup can be miserable. This chronic disease of the immune system comes with a host of symptoms that can range from mild itching to painful soreness to severe manifestations like fingernails that become separated from the nail bed.

The bad news is that psoriasis can’t be cured. The good news? You can effectively manage your psoriasis with regular visits to a skincare specialist and development of a few healthy habits. Metropolitan Dermatology offers these eight great tips to help you avoid psoriasis flareups.

  1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: But know that not all moisturizers are created equal. Those with thicker, creamier formulas work best for controlling psoriasis because they’re better at trapping moisture beneath the skin.
  2. Be easy on our skin, scalp and nails: Don’t give into to the temptation to pick at patches or scales. Avoid cuts to the skin or cuticles when trimming your fingernails and pamper your skin and scalp regularly with soothing solutions. Protect yourself from insect bites and avoid acupuncture and tattoos.
  3. Avoid cold, dry weather: Frigid temperatures and dry conditions can make psoriasis worse. Stay inside where it’s warm and balmy.
  4. Humidify: Speaking of balmy interiors, use a humidifier to help keep your skin moist during the driest of weather conditions.
  5. Mind your medications: Certain medications like those used to treat heart conditions and psychiatric disorders can prompt flareups. Always let your prescribing doctor know about your psoriasis and ask about ingredients in over-the-counter medications.
  6. Be sun smart: Sunburn not only triggers psoriasis flareups, but also can cause skin cancer. Limit your time in the sun and wear a high-SPF sunscreen every time you venture outside.
  7. Manage stress: Take a bit of “me time” each day and relax with yoga, meditation, a good book and plenty of rest.
  8. Go easy on the cocktails: Alcohol can sap your skin’s moisture, so limit your intake and drink plenty of water each day to help keep your skin hydrated.

For expert treatment of your psoriasis symptoms, visit your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location in Clark, Kearny, Teaneck or Staten Island.

Top Causes of Too Much Hair

Beautiful dark-haired woman

A gorgeous head of hair has been called a woman’s crowning glory. But when it comes to facial hair, it’s a whole different story. In normal cases, women have only fine hair (sometimes referred to as “peach fuzz”) above the lips and on the chin, chest, abdomen and back. But when that hair turns dark, coarse and, dare we say, “man-like” you may be experiencing a condition called hirsutism.

Common causes of hirsutism may include:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: A common condition caused by an imbalance of sex hormones. Other symptoms include irregular periods, obesity, infertility and ovarian cysts.
  • Cushing’s syndrome: This can happen when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol, often caused by the adrenal glands producing too much cortisol or by taking medications such as prednisone over a long period of time.
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: It’s an inherited condition marked by overworking adrenal glands pumping out an abnormal amount of steroid hormones, including cortisol and androgen.
  • Hyperthecosis: A condition that involves the ovaries producing too much male hormone.
  • Certain medications: If you’re taking testosterone, danazol, anabolic steroids, glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, minoxidil or phenytoin, this may be to blame.
  • Tumors: In rare conditions, an androgen-secreting tumor in the ovaries or adrenal glands can cause hirsutism.
  • Medications: Some medications can cause hirsutism. One such drug is danazol, which is used to treat women with endometriosis.
  • Genetics: Unfortunately, it’s sometimes simply a family thing. Women of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and South Asian ancestry are at particular risk for inherited hirsutism.

If you have excessive or unwanted hair, Metropolitan Dermatology can help. We offer expert laser hair removal services to help clear away and minimize regrowth of hair on the face, arms, legs and torso. Call to schedule a consultation at any of our four area locations – Clark (732-574-1399), Kearny (201-997-8008), Teaneck (201-837-3939) or Staten Island (718-448-4488).

Got Acne? Five Ways You’re Making it Worse

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Some 95 percent of Americans experience acne at some point in their lives, both during the teenage years and into adulthood. Unfortunately, the DIY acne treatment route that many take can actually make the condition worse.

Here are five ways you may be making your acne worse:

  1. Scrubbing: Your facial skin is delicate. While a gentle scrub can help keep it beautifully polished, overdoing it can do some serious damage – especially if you’re experiencing an acne breakout. Scrubbing your skin can aggravate the skin and prompt additional breakouts.
  2. Excessive product: Along the same lines, using too much of any topical product – even a great one – an cause excessive dryness, redness, irritation and peeling.
  3. Popping: It seems it never fails – the day you’ve got a date, a job interview or a photo shoot, your complexion gets an unsightly surprise. While you may be tempted to nip it in the bud with a pick or a squeeze, know that pimple popping ultimately worsens the issue. It pushes infectious material deeper into the skin and the tiny opening that results invites more bactieria into affected areas. Plus, you risk permanent scarring.
  4. Skipping moisturizer: Those who regularly deal with acne often make the mistake of skipping moisturizer, believeing that it will interfere with acne treatment or make their skin oily. But moisture and oil are different things and serve different fuctions. Slacking on moisture can dry out your skin, prompting it to pump up its oil production, leading to more outbreaks.
  5. Tanning: Whether beneath the genuine sun or in a tanning bed, getting that bronze glow can temporarily camouflage acne breakouts and scars. While that may seem a positive thing, tanning actually also leads to more acne by boosting oil production in the skin. It’s a vicious, unsightly circle.

Your best bet for a clear, healthy complexion is to consult a skincare specialist who can provide a custom treatment just for you. If you live in the New Jersey area, schedule a consultation at Metropolitan Dermatology’s Clark, Keary, Teaneck or Staten Island locations.

Acne Facts & Stats – It’s Not Just a Teen Thing

Beautiful skin

Acne can be embarrassing for anyone and unfortunately, it’s also the most common skin condition in the US by far. It happens when hair follicles plug with oil and dead skin cells and, if gone untreated, can leave skin marked with dark spots and permanent scars.

If you’re experiencing a distressing bout of acne, you’re not alone. Consider these facts and statistics:

  • A full 95 percent of Americans will have acne at some point in their lives, particularly during the teenage years. However…
  • Acne isn’t just a teenage thing. Nearly 50 million Americans, including adults, experience it on any given day. That’s at least triple the number of those who suffer from rosacea (16 million), eczema (8 million) and psoriasis (7.5 million).
  • Both women and men experience acne, but at different times and for different reasons. For teen girls, acne peaks at 14 to 17 years of age, while boys are hardest hit between 16 and 19. During the adult years, 25 percent of men experience acne at some point, compared to half of all women, particularly during pregnancy. Fourteen percent of women are still battling acne into their 40s. Acne in men tends to wrap up earlier, but shaving facial hair can bring on folliculitis, a condition that visually mimics acne.
  • Though 40 percent of acne sufferers do nothing about their conditions, the fact is that acne is treatable and highly manageable.

If you or your teenager are among the tens of millions experiencing acne, call one of Metropolitan Dermatology’s four New Jersey-area locations and schedule a consultation with a skincare specialist about treatment options.

10 Tips for Preventing Nail Fungus

Beautiful fingernails

Beautiful, strong nails are as coveted as the latest high-end fashionable accessory. But their look can be wrecked by a fungal infection. A case of nail fungus happens when a fungus such as yeast begins growing beneath the surface of a fingernail or toenail. While the condition is more frequent among those with nail diseases or immune system deficiencies, they also can strike via something as simple as a minor injury or exposure to fungus lingering in a nail salon, swimming pool or gym.

Signs can include dull, yellow-streaked, thickened and brittle nails, as well as visible material trapped beneath the nailbed. Metropolitan Dermatology offers 10 top ways to prevent nail fungus:

  1. Wash your hands and feet regularly and keep your nails short and dry.
  2. Wear sweat-absorbing socks made of fabrics like wool, nylon and polypropylene.
  3. Choose shoes that reduce humidity. Rock a pair of open-toed pumps or cute sandals
  4. Discard old shoes, as they can harbor fungi. It’s a legitimate health-based reason to go shoe shopping.
  5. Use an antifungal spray or powder on your feet and the insides of your shoes to keep them fungi-free.
  6. Wear rubber gloves when doing dishes, washing your car, cleaning an aquarium or any other activity that involves prolonged exposure to water. Turn the gloves inside out to dry between uses.
  7. Avoid over-trimming or picking at the skin around your nails, as this can give germs access to your skin and nails.
  8. Don’t go barefoot in public places, particularly in wet areas like pools, showers and locker rooms.
  9. Choose a reputable nail salon and make sure that nail techs sterilize manicure and pedicure instruments after every use.
  10. Avoid or limit nail polish and artificial nails, especially if you suspect you have an active case of nail fungus. Attempting to hide unsightly symptoms with a coat of candy apple red, it can trap unwanted moisture and worsen the infection.

If you spot signs of a nail fungus, Metropolitan Dermatology can effectively diagnose and treat it. Visit us online to schedule a consultation at our Clark, Kearny, Teaneck or Staten Island location.

Six Preventable Causes of Premature Aging

Woman sleeping

Facial aging is a top concern among both women and men. But it’s not just the years that add lines and wrinkles and folds to your look. A range of other factors can do damage to your complexion. But there’s good news. Most of these factors are choices we make daily, which means their aging effects are preventable.

Six of the top preventable facial aging factors are:

  1. Sun exposure: Upward of 70 percent of the skin aging process depends on the amount of sunlight our skin is exposed to throughout our life. Solar radiation accelerates destruction of collagen, the connective tissue that helps keep skin taught and smooth.
  2. Smoking: Smoking cigarettes can sap your blood’s levels of vitamin C, which is a key component in the body’s production of collagen fibers.
  3. A poor diet: Adopt a nutritional diet that’s low in sugar and high in protein and antioxidants. Sugar can cause your skin’s connective tissues to lose elasticity, while protein helps to boost production of protein structures such as hyaluronic acid and collagen and elastin fibers. Fruits and vegetables are the top source of antioxidants.
  4. Stress: Prolonged periods of emotional stress can boost your body’s secretion of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These stress hormones accelerate multiple aging processes including connective tissue damage and osteoporotic processes that damage bone density and cause changes in bone structure.
  5. Sleep deprivation: During deep sleep stage, the pituitary gland in your brain secretes growth hormone which aids in the constant renewal of various body and skin tissues.
  6. Alcohol: Having a few too many cocktails can sap the body of hydration, making it much more prone to wrinkling. Alcohol also robs your body of Vitamin A which is essential for cell renewal and turnover.

To help keep your skin looking young and vibrant, adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle and treat yourself to a bit of pampering. Call your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location to schedule a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or IPL Photofacial.

Melanoma Rates Double in the US Over Past 30 Years

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There’s news from the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – and it’s not good for sun lovers and active outdoor enthusiasts. Research shows that the rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have doubled nationwide over the past three decades and likely will continue to climb if Americans fail to adopt safer sun practices.

A recent report shows that more than 90 percent of melanomas are caused by skin cell damage from ultraviolet radiation exposure from the sun and tanning beds. By far the most prevalent form of skin cancer, melanoma claims the lives of some 9,000 Americans each year – a figure that reflects one death every hour. Without increased prevention, medical experts predict melanoma rates will escalate over the next 15 years, with 112,000 new cases projected in 2030.

We here at Metropolitan Dermatology urge you to adopt these sun-safe practices to protect not only your skin but your life:

  1. Minimize your time in the sun, particularly between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  2. Skip the tanning beds. Contrary to popular belief, they’re no safer than natural sun exposure.
  3. Wear a high-SPF, broad-spectrum sun block every time you venture outside.
  4. Cover up with long sleeves and pants and a broad-brimmed hat.
  5. Don sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  6. Seek a shady spot if you’ll be outside for an extended period of time.
  7. Perform a regular skin check, noting any new moles or skin lesions or changes in the color, shape or size of existing marks.
  8. Schedule and keep regular skin cancer screenings at least once a year, more if you spend lot of time outside.

If you suspect you may have melanoma, don’t dare wait. As with any disease, early detection and treatment is critical. Call your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology office in Clark, Kearny or Teaneck, NJ or Staten Island, NY to schedule a consultation.

Varicose Veins by the Numbers

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Varicose veins are unsightly at best and can prove dangerous if gone untreated. But do you know just how prevalent the risk is? Consider these statistics:

  • More than 40 million people in the US suffer from varicose veins.
  • Nearly 50 percent of varicose vein patients have a family history of varicose veins.
  • If both of your parents have varicose veins, your chances of developing the disease are extremely high – close to 90 percent.
  • If you’re a male with one parent affected by varicose veins, you’ve got a 25-percent chance of developing them, too. If you’re a woman with one affected parent, your risk is significantly higher – some 60 percent.
  • The prevalence of varicose veins is greater in women (55 percent) than in men (45 percent).
  • An estimated 41 percent of women over the age of 50 have varicose veins.
  • An estimated 50 percent of the US population over 50 years old has them.
  • Women who are moderately overweight (with a BMI of 25-29.9) have a 50-percent greater risk of developing varicose veins than do women who are not overweight.
  • Women with a BMI greater than 30 are three times as likely to develop varicose veins as those who are not overweight.

If you’re struggling with unsightly, uncomfortable or painful varicose veins, Metropolitan Dermatology can help. We have locations in Clark, Teaneck and Kearny, New Jersey, plus Staten Island, New York. Request your appointment and download patient forms online at metropolitanderm.com.


Cosmetic, Medical & Surgical Dermatology


Metropolitan Dermatology Locations

1075 Central Avenue
Clark, NJ 07066
732-574-1399
Clark NJ location servicing Edison, Westfield, Elizabeth, Linden, Scotch Plains, & Cranford, NJ

757 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
201-837-3939
Teaneck NJ location servicing Hackensack, Fort Lee, Fair Lawn, Englewood, and Bergenfield, NJ.

703 Kearny Ave.
Kearny, NJ 07032
201-998-4699
Kearny NJ location servicing Jersey City, Nutley, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, and Hoboken, NJ. *Formerly 752 Kearny

1324 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10301
718-448-4488
Staten Island NY location servicing all of New York City!

3202 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07306
201-792-4500
Jersey City, NJ location servicing Jersey City and Newark.

114 Lakeview Avenue
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
South Plainfield, NJ location coming in early 2017

449 60th St.
West New York, NJ 07093
201-861-4226
West New York NJ location servicing Union City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Hoboken, & Secaucus NJ