Gluten + Skin Conditions

gluten skin conditionsIf you’ve turned on the TV or browsed the internet for tips on healthy eating in the last 10 years, you’ve likely been exposed to a catalog of gluten-free trends on the market. The gluten-free diet, as expected, restricts intake of the protein gluten which is found in wheat, oats, barley and other grains.

The diet has gained steam in recent years, partially fueled by growing scientific research into chronic health conditions and partially by a food industry capitalizing on another diet that seems to be ever-increasing in popularity.

The research on health benefits of following a gluten-free diet is mixed. For sufferers of digestive diseases, gluten-intolerances or Celiac disease ( a condition where the immune reaction to gluten leads to inflammation and damage of the small intestine) it is advisable to follow a gluten-free diet. Indeed, for these individuals, this restricted diet leads to improved health issues and a better lifestyle.

However, for people without these conditions, there might not be any noticeable improvement in overall health or lifestyle by choosing to follow a gluten-free diet. (Staudacher, 2015)(Stanley, 2010)

Skin disorders, commonly associated with autoimmune activity, were previously thought to be linked to gluten consumption. Advocates of avoiding gluten have claimed that, oftentimes, a skin reaction like a rash due to allergy is likely to be caused by eating gluten. However, recent research has cast doubts on those claims.

Here is everything you need to know about gluten and skin conditions.

What is Gluten and Why is it Sometimes Harmful?

Gluten is a protein that an estimated 4% of the population have difficulty properly digesting. While Celiac Disease is the most extreme gluten-intolerant disorder, some have moderate intolerances or sensitivities caused by gluten.

Summer Is Long Over, Have You Had Your Skin Checked?

summer is long over have you had you skin checkedSkin diseases can be unsightly. But worse, they can be deadly. For the average person, it can be hard to know if a rash or bump on the skin is simply irritating or needs a professional look. Plus, during the summer months when the skin is more exposed, it is common for new skin conditions to emerge. The fall – when your skin is less exposed – is an ideal time to have your annual dermatology check-up.

Begin With Self Skin Exams

If you have never been to the dermatologist, you may need an initial appointment to discuss what to look for at home. Many dermatologists will educate their patients on how to do self exams. It is very important to know your body and do regular skin checks at home. Most often, problematic conditions are first discovered at home, not in a doctor’s office.

Do you suffer from excessive underarm sweating?

do you suffer from excessive underarm sweatingEveryone sweats from time to time. Sweating is a necessary bodily function. When your body works like it should, your body produces sweat in an effort to maintain your body temperature. However, when your body produces an excessive amount of perspiration for no apparent reason, it’s often embarrassing and uncomfortable. This condition is known as hyperhidrosis.

Excessive Perspiration

Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating on the bottom of the feet, underarms or palms. About 2 to 3 percent of Americans live with this condition. Symptoms under the arms usually start appearing during late adolescence, but for the feet and palms, symptoms may appear prepubescent, as early as 13 years old.

Although hyperhidrosis isn’t life-threatening, it can cause a great deal of emotional turmoil. A person with sweaty palms may dread shaking hands. Excessive underarm sweat can ruin clothes and cause unsightly stains. And sweaty feet can ruin socks and shoes, cause foot odor, be a breeding ground for fungal infections, and limit the types of shoes that can be worn.

Are You Ready For Some Football?!

are you ready for some footballWhat You Need To Consider About Skincare In The Fall

The pools may be closing and the weather may be getting a little cooler, but the sun is still out. It’s time to get out there and root on the Kansas City Chiefs! However, with football season here, so is another venue for sun exposure. Sunlight provides the human body with vitamin D, but overexposure to the sun can cause damage. Here is how you can protect yourself during the big game.

Use Sunscreen

One of the most effective ways to fight against ultraviolet rays is to be proactive about sunscreen application. You want to look for a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30-50. More is better when it comes to SPF. A sunscreen that has an SPF of 50 is able to block approximately 93% of ultraviolet rays. This is an important safeguard against skin cancer, which can result from extended sun exposure. Make sure that you are following the directions on the sunscreen bottle and apply liberally when you know you will be outside for extended periods of time. It is also recommended to reapply a water resistant sunscreen every 90 minutes to ensure adequate protection.

Tired of Your “Age Spots”?

tired of your age spotsSometimes we notice what appears to be moles or freckles on our hands or other areas of our body that are exposed to the sun, such as our shoulders or our face. When spots like this appear, the smart thing to do is make a visit to your dermatologist. Most of the time these spots are nothing to worry about, but it’s always best to get them checked. These spots are infamously called “age spots” or “liver spots”. Solar lentigines or senile lentigo may be callled age spots but they don’t appear exclusively on the elderly. Anybody of any age, as well as race or gender, can get them.

Though age spots most often appear on exposed areas of the skin, the reason they appear is still unknown. When there is an increase in melanin in a specific area they appear. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color.

Signs and Symptoms

Age spots range in color from tan to black and feel the same as the rest of the skin. They are not raised and are painless and harmless. However, not everything that appears to be an age spot is just that. If there is anything abnormal about the spot, you may need a biopsy.

Estrogen Deficient Skin

estrogen deficient skinAs women reach menopause, the estrogen level throughout the body declines naturally. This natural reduction in estrogen leads to estrogen deficient skin, which is the key factor that contributes to aging skin. 

What Is Cutaneous Aging?

Cutaneous aging is a complex biological phenomenon which occurs in all human beings. It is a result of a combination of genetic, environmental, chronological and hormonal factors. While we cannot make changes to our genetics, our age or our previous environmental exposures (at least not yet!), we can make safe and natural adjustments to our hormonal depletion. Estrogen is a steroid hormone which is mainly synthesized in the ovaries of pre-menopausal women. Once you are post-menopausal, estrogen synthesis mainly occurs in peripheral tissues such as adipose tissue (fat cells) and adrenal glands. 

How You Save Money Without Using Insurance

save money without insuranceIt may be hard to believe but the pricing for direct pay is more often than not, less expensive than the same services in network. With the rising costs of specialty copays and deductibles (not including office procedures that often go toward a separate deductible), there can be significant savings. Paying directly for health care results in savings especially when seeking treatment at an office that caters to self-pay patients. When a health care provider creates their own fee schedule in favor of patients paying out-of-pocket, you actually win financially.

Direct Pay Model

Direct pay indicates that the patient will cover the cost of the services rendered at the end of the appointment. It may seem scary to pay the large bill yourself, but by doing so, you usually end up paying less than if you used your insurance. You can cost compare yourself and will find that it’s often less expensive to be seen by an out-of-network provider than an in-network provider.

What is Eczema?

eczemaEczema is not actually a dermatological diagnosis, it’s actually a nonspecific term that refers to a variety of different rashes such as atopic dermatitis, irritant dermatitis and contact dermatitis. Eczema refers to the skin changes seen rather than a specific diagnosis. The changes seen include rough texture, dryness, sometimes dampness due to oozing but almost all forms are itchy. Atopic dermatitis is the diagnosis most commonly referred to eczema and is seen most often in children where it can occur as early as four months old. Atopic dermatitis/childhood eczema is not contagious but is recurrent and chronic. While most children will outgrow this condition by age 5, a significant percentage will persist through childhood and into teenage and adult years. This condition is exacerbated by diet in less than 5% of individuals, with allergy testing not helpful in diagnosis or treatment. While the mainstay for years was to use corticosteroids, recent advances now offer steroid-free options.

What Causes Eczema?

The cause of eczema is still unknown, though some suspect that the cause has both environmental and genetic components. Profuse sweating is not a medical cause but often is related. Those with a skin condition like eczema are also often prone to allergies, especially hay fever and asthma.

What You Need to Know About Dermatologists

best dermatologist for your needsDermatology is a medical and surgical specialty dealing with treating skin, nails and hair and the diseases that come with these part of the body. A dermatologist is a specially trained doctor who examines and treats malignant and benign skin disorders. Dermatologists treat disease as well as cosmetic problems of the skin, scalp, hair, adjacent mucous membranes, and nails. Many are trained in dermatological surgery, are skilled diagnosticians and provide medical care for moles, cancers, melanomas, and other types of tumors. Dermatologists also interpret biopsies, recognize marks of systemic and infectious diseases, and manage contact dermatitis and additional inflammatory disorders.

Kinds of Dermatologists

The field of dermatology is expansive with many subspecialties. There are four main types of dermatology specialists:

  • Dermatopathologists:  Though widely trained in pathology, dermatopathology is a subspecialty of dermatology and pathology that specializes in the study of cutaneous disease.  
  • Cosmetic Dermatologists: Cosmetic dermatology is a subspecialty focusing on aesthetics, correcting such flaws as wrinkles, scars and acne.
  • Pediatric Dermatologists: The majority of pediatric dermatology focuses on dermatitis originating from allergy, hives, warts, birthmarks, acne and other issues specific to children.
  • Immunodermatologists: Immunodermatology focuses on how skin and immunity are related. There are several subspecialties, including photo-immunology, inflammatory diseases such as eczema, autoimmune skin disease and immunology of microbial skin disease such as leprosy.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa

hidradenitis suppurativaWe all go through physical changes throughout our lives. These stages of change sometimes bring skin problems, including blackheads, cysts and pimples. But sometimes what we think is just a few new pimples or bumps can actually indicate a deeper problem. One such condition is hidradenitis suppurativa, also called acne inversa.

What is hidradenitis suppurativa?

Often appearing where your skin touches other skin, such as under your arms or in the groin, hidradenitis suppurativa may present as another dermatological condition at first. After a while, you may notice a pattern of repeated bumps occurring in these areas, areas where acne is rare. Sometimes, the chronic infections of hidradenitis suppurativa on your skin look and feel like painful boils.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is often initially mistaken for the following conditions:

  • Pimples or "butt acne"
  • Deep acne-like recurrent cysts and blackheads
  • Chronic folliculitis or ingrown hairs
  • Recurrent boils
  • Chronic staph infections

If you are experiencing chronic bumps on your skin, it is time to make an appointment with the best dermatologist for your needs. The earlier hidradenitis suppurativa is diagnosed, the simpler the treatment so don’t hesitate to visit your dermatologist today!

Back to School, Avoid Hair Hitchhikers!

Tips on Lice Prevention

avoid hair hitchhikersThe kids have headed back to school after winter break! It is imperative that parents and caregivers continue to be aware and actively check their children for head lice throughout the year. Lice are parasites found on the scalp and present a unique pediatric dermatological problem. In school-aged children, these parasites are easily spread through personal contact or through sharing items of clothing or hats. An infestation will not resolve itself on its own, so it is crucial for parents and caregivers to be aware of what these parasites look like and for children's heads to be checked for these bugs frequently. For children with long hair, an infestation may be avoided by keeping the child's hair tied up, braided or contained in a bun. Lice are highly contagious and easily spread from person to person, which is why it is important to take precautions in order to avoid transferring them.


When a louse, the singular of lice, imbeds itself into a human head, a number of symptoms can present:

  • Frequent itching and scratching
  • Head sores
  • Difficulty sleeping/insomnia
  • Visible eggs, called nits, in hair

These pesky parasites can certainly be uncomfortable. Constant itching and scratching can also lead to unexpected hair loss. Combing these parasites out of the hair can also lead to hair loss, especially when they are difficult to remove.

Adult and Pediatric Dermatology
4601 W. 109th St., Suite 116  •  Overland Park, Kansas 66211  •  913-469-1115