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

Tick Season is Here – Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Lyme Disease

Deer Tick

As spring gives way to summer and the weather heats up, New Jersey residents are enjoying more time in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, the warm season makes way for tick season. That’s troubling for many locals because ticks in the Garden State are second only to mosquitoes in spreading pathogens, agents that cause infection or disease.

Among the most troubling health conditions known to be spread via tick bites is Lyme disease, an inflammatory condition characterized at first by a rash, headache, fever and chills. If left untreated, it can progress into more serious and chronic health issues including arthritis, cardiac problems and neurological disorders. Lyme disease is spread by the deer tick and the western black-legged tick.

To protect yourself and your family from the risk of Lyme disease, Metropolitan Dermatology offers these tips:

  • Avoid commonly tick-infested areas such as tall grass and dense vegetation.
  • Keep your yard’s grass cut and underbrush thinned.
  • Carefully follow directions for using tick-controlling lawn chemicals.
  • Ensure that areas beneath bird feeders are clean to avoid attracting deer and other hungry mammals that may carry ticks.
  • Keep picnic tables, swing sets and other recreation equipment away from woods.
  • When spending time outside, especially in or near wooded areas, wear light-colored clothing to easily spot ticks, and tuck pants into socks to help keep ticks from making their way to your skin.
  • Use insect repellant for both people and pets.
  • After spending an extended period of time outdoors, do a full-body exam to assure that ticks haven’t hitched a ride into your home.

If you or a family member shows signs of a tick bite, get medical treatment quickly. Call Metropolitan Dermatology in Clark at 732-574-1399; Kearny at 201-997-8008; Teaneck at 201-837-3939; or Staten Island at 718-448-4488 to schedule an appointment.

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips

Woman with sunscreen in the shape of a sun on her back.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a national campaign to spread awareness of the dangers of sun exposure – and with good reason. In2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, nearly 65,647 people nationwide were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin. Of them, 9,128 died from the disease, according to statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Essentially, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.

Here in New Jersey alone, melanoma claims the lives of nearly 245 people each year. Melanoma is responsible for a full 75 percent of skin cancer deaths, and the rate of incidence in the Garden State has grown by five percent each year since the early 1990s.

To help protect your skin, Metropolitan Dermatology offers these tips:

  • Resist the temptation for that golden tan: It may look great now, but it assures that you’ll age prematurely. And no – tanning beds are not a safer way to tan. Harvard University research shows that the average tanning bed produces approximately the same amount of UBV light as the sun and upwards of three times the amount of UVA light.
  • Seek shade: Know that the sun’s damaging rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm.
  • Cover up: Long-sleeved shirts and pants or long skirts offer the most protection. But of course, the heat sometimes makes this impractical. So, don a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with that cute sundress or swimsuit.
  • Slather on the sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 for protection from both UVA and UVB radiation. Be sure to apply sunscreens 15 minutes before venturing outside and reapply every two hours or more often if you’re physically active or otherwise prone to perspiring.
  • Use extra caution near water, sand or snow: Know that these surfaces reflect the sun’s rays and can significantly boost your chances of developing a sun burn.
  • Get your daily vitamin D: Adopt a healthy diet and take high-quality vitamin supplements.
  • Get checked: Early detection can dramatically reduce your risk of death from skin cancer, which makes regular skin cancer screenings a must. Most people should get screened at least once a year – more if your job or lifestyle means lots of time outside.

New Jersey’s Metropolitan Dermatology offers thorough skin cancer screenings and treatments, including the highly specialized Mohs micrographic surgery procedures. Schedule your next screening today by contacting us in Clark at 732-574-1399; in Kearny at 201-997-8008; in Teaneck at 201-837-3939 or in Staten Island, NY at 718-448-4488.

Summer is Near – Get Lovely Legs for Swimsuit Season

Beautiful woman's legs on the beach

It’s springtime in New Jersey. Temperatures are beginning to rise and summer will be here before you know it. Make sure your gorgeous gams are ready for days spent poolside or at the shore with laser hair removal by Metropolitan Dermatology. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.

Choose doctor who is board certified in a specialty such as dermatology or cosmetic surgery and has experience with laser hair removal. If a physician’s assistant or licensed nurse will perform the procedure, make sure a doctor supervises and is available on-site throughout the treatment.

Before scheduling your procedure, schedule a consultation with your doctor or aesthetician to go over all pertinent details, including your medical history and all risks, benefits, costs and expectations.

In the six weeks to two months prior to your procedure, stay out of the sun. This helps to reduce the risk of side effects including inadvertent skin lightening. If you have a tan already, wait until it fades before making your appointment. During this time, also avoid plucking, waxing or electrolysis – all of which can disturb the hair follicle and interfere with laser hair removal.

The day before your procedure, shave with a new, clean razor. This will help allow the laser to better target the hair follicles and ensure that there is no lingering bacteria that could cause contact dermatitis (a delayed allergic reaction) after your laser treatment. Also, avoid caffeine for 24 hours to help you feel more relaxed and to minimize pain.

Get your legs bikini- and sundress-ready with a call to Metropolitan Dermatology in Clark at 732-574-1399, in Kearny at 201-997-8008 or in Teaneck at 201-837-3939.

How Stress Affects Your Skin

Regular skincare services like chemical peels can help protect your complexion from the effects of stress.

Regular skincare services like chemical peels can help protect your complexion from the effects of stress.

April is National Stress Awareness Month, a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the health effects of stress and teach successful coping strategies. It’s a great time to learn just how everyday stress can take its toll on your skin, say skincare specialists with New Jersey’s Metropolitan Dermatology.

Stress can be a primary trigger for various skin conditions including psoriasis, rosacea, fever blisters and cold sores in part because it saps your body’s immune system. Plus stress-induced habits can affect your skin’s look and health. For instance, frowning and furrowing your brow can contribute to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. And rubbing, scratching or biting your fingers or lip can cause skin damage and make you all the more susceptible to infections and illnesses. Of utmost concern, studies have shown that chronic stress can increase your risk of developing skin cancer and can cause cancer cells to spread at a faster rate.

To help prevent stress from leaving its mark on your complexion, adopt and maintain a daily skincare regimen using high-quality products, including a high-SPF sunscreen. Get plenty of exercise and adequate rest each day. Learn to prioritize and delegate tasks and be adamant about taking time for yourself regularly.

Also, invest in taking care of your skin beyond your daily routine with customized services like chemical peels or microdermabrasion. And if stress already has marred your look, corrective services like IPL photofacials or Botox injections can help restore a youthful, rejuvenated look. Visit the Metropolitan Dermatology website to schedule a consultation.

Why More Men are Choosing Cosmetic Procedures

Men increasingly are opting for the same cosmetic procedures that women have loved for years.

Men increasingly are opting for the same cosmetic procedures that women have loved for years.

Cosmetic procedures have long been considered a woman’s thing. Not anymore. Today, men increasingly are opting for many of the same aesthetic and youth-preserving procedures that women undergo every day. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, statistics show that men account for eight percent of the non-invasive and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed in 2013.

Here are the top aesthetic procedures that men are choosing more and more frequently:

  1. Botox – 385,358 procedures
  2. Laser hair removal – 190,546 procedures
  3. Microdermabrasion – 178,410 procedures
  4. Dermal fillers – 95,361 procedures
  5. Chemical peel – 94,625 procedures

So what’s pushing this male-centric trend? A top factor is recent economic troubles that have made competition for good jobs tougher. Mature men often feel they’re at a disadvantage when competing for positions and promotions against much younger candidates, particularly as older workers increasingly are delaying retirement. Cosmetic procedures that effectively shave years off a man’s looks their looks can help level the playing field.

Plus, today’s Americans are far more health conscious and physically active than in generations before. Not only are we living longer, but many men and women feel far younger than their actual ages. Cosmetic procedures like those listed above can help close the gap between the age a man is and the age he feels. Finally, changing attitudes have made undergoing cosmetic surgery and aesthetic procedures far more socially acceptable for men today than in the past.

If you’re a guy who wants to look as young and energetic as you feel, contact Metropolitan Dermatology for a consultation. Call the Clark location at 732-574-1399; the Kearny location at 201-997-8008; or the Teaneck location at 201-837-3939.

Six Signs of Sun Damage

Do you know the signs of sun damage to your skin?

Do you know the signs of sun damage to your skin?

Springtime is here and summertime is right around the corner. While you’re no doubt anticipating some fun in the sun as the temperatures rise, know that over-exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays can lead to a myriad of health and beauty issues. Cellular damage, premature wrinkling, age spots and skin cancer all are results of failing to adequately protect your skin.

Unfortunately, many people either are unaware of the signs of sun over-exposure or simply fail to take them as seriously as they should. Do you know the signs of sun damage? New Jersey’s Metropolitan Dermatology offers these tell-tale tips:

  • Sun tan: That gorgeous golden glow actually is the result of injury to the skin’s upper layer that can accelerate aging and increase your risk for developing skin cancer. Don’t be fooled by the popular argument that a mild “base” tan can be healthy or protect your skin from sunburn on your next outing. Truth is, UV damage to your skin can happen in minutes and have a cumulative effect.
  • Sunburn: Sunburns actually are first- or second-degree burns to your skin. First-degree sunburns are characterized by redness of the skin, heat to the touch and mild pain that goes away within a few days. But if you experience a deeper redness and blistered skin, you’ve got a second-degree burn that may require medical treatment.
  • Wrinkles: Over time, the Sun’s UV rays can cause a cumulative breakdown of elastin, the fibers that hold your skin’s layers taught and smooth. As a matter of fact, more than 80 percent of the signs of aging in adult skin is are direct results of suntans or sunburns experienced before age 18.
  • Skin tone changes: Those varied patches of light and dark skin signify changes in the skin’s pigmentation. Persistent redness may be a sign of sun damage to your small blood vessels and, unfortunately, that damage typically is permanent.
  • Freckles: They may be cute and they’re generally harmless, even if they increase in number with continued sun exposure. But if one of them changes in size, shape or color or becomes painful, it may not be a freckle at all. Instead, it could be an early cancer. You’re particularly at risk if that cancer turns out to be melanoma, the leading cause of death from skin disease.
  • Farmer’s lip: That persistent dryness and cracking of the lips calls for much more than a little ChapStick. Known informally as “farmer’s lip,” it’s actually a precancerous condition called actinic cheilitis. Other signs include swelling, loss of the sharp border between the lip and skin, and prominent lip lines.

Protect your skin by minimizing your time in the sun, wearing protective clothing and applying a high-SPF sunscreen every time you venture out into the sunshine. If you already see signs of sun-induced aging in your skin, consider an IPL photofacial or microdermabrasion. And if you any suspicion of cancer, get a melanoma screening immediately. Call New Jersey’s Metropolitan Dermatology in Clark at 732-574-1399; Kearny at 201-997-8008; or Teaneck at 201-837-3939 to schedule a consultation today.

Top Five Allergy Triggers

Peaceful coexistence

Your pets are your family. But they also may be allergy triggers.

Statistics show that one in five Americans will develop an allergy at some point during their lifetimes. And for those whose parents both have allergies, the chance jumps to seven in 10. An allergic reaction essentially is an overreaction of the immune system against an otherwise harmless antigen. Resulting symptoms can run the gamut from mild sneezing to breaking out in hives to potentially fatal anaphylaxis, a severe, whole-body allergic reaction.

Potential allergens are everywhere. But a few of the most common are:

  • Dust Mites: These microscopic bugs actually are relatives of the spider. They burrow into mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets and curtains and feed on pollen, fungi, bacteria and dead skin cells shed by humans and animals daily.
  • Insect bites and stings: Venom left behind by honeybees, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps and fire ants can cause a range of mild to severe allergic reactions including itching, hives, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face, mouth, tongue and throat.
  • Molds: Persistently damp or wet areas like bathrooms, basements that lack adequate ventilation and heating and air conditioning ducts with trapped moisture are breeding grounds for multiple types of mold, all of which can trigger allergies.
  • Pet dander: Your four-legged family members no doubt are an important part of your life. But they also can be tough on your allergies, thanks to pet dander, a protein mix secreted in an animal’s skin and saliva that can provoke allergic reactions.
  • Pollen: Trees, grasses, weeds and flowers of all varieties produce pollen that can trigger seasonal allergies or hay fever, particularly during the coming spring and summer seasons. Most result in irritating, but non-life-threatening reactions like sneezing, runny nose and watery or itchy eyes.

Other common culprits are latex, fragrances and certain foods and medications. You can help keep allergies at bay by keeping your home clean and free of dust, installing a home air filtration system, switching out your air conditioning filters at least one a month and making sure Fluffy and Fido get regular baths or grooming.

If you suspect you’ve developed an allergy, Metropolitan Dermatology can help with testing to determine just what your allergen may be and tailored treatment. Contact us in Clark at 732-574-1399; Kearny at 201-997-8008; or Teaneck at 201-837-3939 to schedule a consultation today.

Beauty is the Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift

Beautiful woman opening Valentine's Day gift

As far back as the Middle Ages, Valentines’ Day was a celebration of courtly love and beauty. Today, it’s no different. So why not celebrate your own beauty with a little pampering from New Jersey’s Metropolitan Dermatology? We’ve got three top choices:

  • Botox: In 2013, Botox was administered some 6.3 million times to patients nationwide – and with good reason. It’s among the most trusted and highly effective options for smoothing wrinkles and plumping skin. In minutes, this purified protein begins to relax overactive facial muscles that result in frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet. You’ll see a smoother, tighter, more youthful look that lasts up to six months.
  • Chemical Peel: Effective on the face, neck, décolleté and hands, chemical peels work by sloughing off the upper layers of skin to reveal newer skin with a softer, smoother and more uniform texture. Your skin is literally polished to a tighter, brighter, move vibrant look.
  • IPL Photofacial: Harnessing the power of light, IPL photofacial treatments use highly-focused beams of broad-spectrum light to zap and remove damaged skin, generating new collagen growth. This collagen boost helps to make the skin look and feel firmer, tighter and more resilient. You’ll enjoy improved skin texture, more even skin tone, minimized pore size and reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Treat yourself this Valentine’s Day. Call to schedule your appointment in Clark (732-574-1399), Kearny (201-997-8008) or Teaneck (201-837-3939).

Is Your Job to Blame for Your Varicose Veins?

Occupations that require long periods of sitting or standing - like cosmetology - can exacerbate vein problems leading to varicose veins.

Occupations that require long periods of sitting or standing – like cosmetology – can exacerbate vein problems leading to varicose veins.

You eat right and exercise before or after work each day. Still, varicose veins have begun to mark your otherwise gorgeous gams. Could your job be to blame? Yes and no, sclerotherapy specialists say.

Multiple studies have shown that people whose jobs require them to sit or stand for long hours are at a significantly higher risk for developing varicose veins and related problems than are those whose jobs call for intervals of walking. Occupations commonly associated with leg vein issues include:

  • Nursing
  • Teaching
  • Factory labor
  • Retail sales
  • Cosmetology

But it’s not the job that’s fully to blame. The truth is that vein valves can begin to fail as early as the teenage years. Weakened or failed valves don’t allow blood to be pumped back up the body toward the heart as normal. Instead, blood pools backward, filling those weakened veins causing them to bulge outward. All that sitting or standing simply exacerbates an existing problem, allowing the damage already caused by valve failure to accelerate and intensify.

If your job keeps you in one place on your feet or in a chair for extended periods of time, be sure to take advantage of breaks by taking brisk walks. When relaxing, sit or lie down with your feet raised above your heart level to take a bit of stress off your veins. Massage your calves and thighs daily and get plenty of cardiovascular exercise. If you smoke, nix the habit now. And adopt a diet that’s rich in vitamins C, E, B6 and B12, copper, fiber and bioflavonoids.

If you’re already seeing signs of spider or varicose veins developing, call your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location in Clark, Kearny or Teaneck and schedule a consultation with a sclerotherapy specialist today.


Cold Weather Brings Cold Sores

Wintry weather can be a top trigger for cold sores.

Wintry weather can be a top trigger for cold sores.

Statistics show that up to 40 percent of Americans have experienced a cold store at some point. As temperatures continue to drop here in New Jersey, the risk rises.

Cold sores essentially are a type of herpes known as the herpes simplex virus-1, or HSV-1. Statistics from the US National Institutes of Health show that HSV-1 infects more than half of the nation’s population by the time they reach their 20s. Mayo Clinic research backs up that figure, estimating that upwards of 90 percent of Americans test positive for the virus, even if they’ve never experienced infection symptoms.

Also called fever blisters, cold sores manifest as fluid-filled lesions that appear on or around the lips. They’re highly contagious and there is no cure for the herpes virus. Once it enters your body, it’s there to stay. However, symptoms like cold sores can be prevented and managed.

Cold sores are most common during the winter months for multiple reasons:

  • Exposure to cold temperatures, as well as the significant temperature shifts experienced when moving in and out of warm buildings, can reactivate the HSV-1 virus and trigger a cold sore.
  • Harsh winds sap the moisture out of your lips, making them more prone to the virus.
  • Staying inside can lead to a drop in Vitamin D levels in the body, weakening its immune system.
  • Illnesses common during the colder months including colds, flus and bacterial infections, as well as the sheer stress of holiday goings on, can make the body more prone to a cold sore outbreak.
  • Inflammation that comes with conditions like chronic arthritis can jumpstart the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can suppress the immune system.
  • Cold weather always corresponds with a boost in tanning salon visits. Those artificial UV rays can irritate tissues around the mouth, making the skin more susceptible to a cold store outbreak.

If you’ve suffered a cold sore once, you run the chance of experiencing another. Keep your lips and facial skin moisturized and learn to better manage your stress. And, if you fee one coming on, head to your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location in Clark, Kearny or Teaneck.

Cosmetic, Medical & Surgical Dermatology

Metropolitan Dermatology Locations

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

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

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

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

3202 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Jersey City, NJ location servicing Jersey City and Newark.

114 Lakeview Avenue
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
South Plainfield, NJ location servicing Plainfield and Edison.

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

469 Morris. Ave
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
Elizabeth, NJ location servicing Elizabeth, Linden, Roselle Park and Hillside.