Dermatologist Blog - Stone Oak Dermatology
By Linda Banta, MD
October 03, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Nail Care  

The nails take a lot of abuse. From gardening and dishes to regular wear and tear, harsh chemicals and hard work can really take a toll on the condition of fingernails and toenails. Many nail problems can be avoided with proper care, but others may actually indicate a serious health condition that requires medical attention.  

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nail problems comprise about 10 percent of all skin conditions, affecting a large number of older adults. Brittle nails are common nail problems, typically triggered by age and the environment. Other conditions include ingrown toenails, nail fungus, warts, cysts or psoriasis of the nails. All of these common ailments can be effectively treated with proper diagnosis from a dermatologist.

Mirror on Health

A person’s nails can reveal a lot about their overall health. While most nail problems aren’t severe, many serious health conditions can be detected by changes in the nails, including liver diseases, kidney diseases, heart conditions, lung diseases, diabetes and anemia. That’s why it’s important to visit your dermatologist if you notice any unusual changes in your nails.

Basic Nail Care

It’s easy to neglect your nails, but with basic nail care, you can help keep your fingernails and toenails looking and feeling great. Here’s how:

  • Keep nails clean and dry to prevent bacteria from building up under the nail.

  • Cut fingernails and toenails straight across to prevent ingrown nails and trauma.

  • Avoid tight-fitting footwear.

  • Apply an anti-fungal foot powder daily or when needed.

  • Avoid biting and picking fingernails, as infectious organisms can be transferred between the fingers and mouth.

  • Wear gloves to protect your fingernails when doing yard work or cleaning house to protect the nails from harsh chemicals and trauma.

  • When in doubt about self-treatment for nail problems, visit your dermatologist for proper diagnosis and care.

Always notify a dermatologist of nail irregularities, such as swelling, pain or change in shape or color of the nail. Remember, your nails can tell you a lot about your overall health, and a dermatologist can help determine the appropriate treatment for any of your nail problems.

By Linda Banta, MD
September 16, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Chemical Peels  

Chemical PeelsIf you’re bothered by fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring or an uneven skin tone, or if you are looking for a simple way to rejuvenate your skin, chemical peels may be a good option for you.

A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure performed by your dermatologist. This in-office treatment involves applying an acid solution to remove damaged outer layers of skin, erasing imperfections and improving skin tone and texture. As the old, outer layer of skin is exfoliated and removed, it stimulates the growth of new, healthy skin cells that are smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.

This time-tested, non-invasive procedure is quick—in most cases less than an hour—and yields fast results. It can drastically improve the appearance of skin marked by wrinkles, scars and other signs of aging or sun damage.

Chemical peels can improve the appearance of:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Uneven skin pigmentation
  • Acne scarring
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Age spots
  • Freckling

Chemical peels can be applied to many parts of the body including the face, neck, chest and hands and are available in several different strengths. Our office can help you determine the type of chemical used depending on your skin type and desired results. The best candidate for a chemical peel is a person with fair skin and light hair, although darker skin types can also achieve good results depending on their specific problem and treatment goals.

How many treatments are necessary depends on the severity of skin damage and the patient’s goals. With each treatment, scarring and other imperfections typically diminish more and more.

At your dermatologist's office, we can help you achieve your most radiant, youthful skin. Visit to learn more about cosmetic dermatology and to find out if you are a candidate for chemical peels.

By Linda Banta, MD
September 04, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Wrinkles  

The telltale signs of aging skin—wrinkles, puffy eyes, age spots—may start to appear as we grow older. We can’t fight the aging process, but we can take steps now to help reduce and prevent wrinkles from appearing prematurely.  

Many factors can contribute to the onset of wrinkles, which are frequently produced by years of unprotected sun exposure in combination with each person’s unique genetic predisposition. Wrinkles are a by-product of the aging process. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity, is less capable of retaining moisture and is slower to heal.  All of these contribute to the development of wrinkles and sagging skin.

How Can I Slow the Progression of Wrinkles?

Daily skincare and proper sun protection are important factors in slowing the aging process, diminishing fine lines and minimizing wrinkles.   

  • Take your vitamins.  Many vitamins are good for the skin. Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant found in citrus fruits and dark green leafy vegetables, can help reduce the appearance of sun damage.
  • Apply sunscreen.  Protecting yourself from sun exposure can help prevent the progression of fine lines. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 to protect against harmful UV rays.  
  • Moisturize.  Dry skin causes the skin to look dull and aged. To prevent dry skin, apply moisturizer every day.   
  • Get your beauty sleep.  When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it produces excess cortisol, a hormone that breaks down skin cells. Keep your skin looking and feeling young by getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Tanning beds emit harmful UVA rays and are never 'safe' alternatives to the sun.
  • Take care of your hands. Our hands are often the first part of our body to reveal signs of aging, as they are the most used and exposed parts of the body. Protect the hands by wearing gloves, moisturizing and applying sunscreen.
  • Quit smoking.  Smoking may damage more than your lungs—it causes skin aging and wrinkles around the mouth.

Like it or not, wrinkles are a natural part of aging. Even the most diligent skincare regimen or the most expensive wrinkle cream won’t totally eliminate your fine lines. You can significantly reduce the appearance of your wrinkles, however. Start taking care of your skin now, embrace your age and love the skin you’re in!

By Linda Banta, MD
August 16, 2019
Category: Dermatology

Sun DamageToo much exposure to sunlight can be harmful to your skin. Dangerous ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays damage skin, which leads to premature wrinkles, skin cancer and other skin problems. People with excessive exposure to UV radiation are at greater risk for skin cancer than those who take careful precautions to protect their skin from the sun.

Sun Exposure Linked to Cancer

Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. To limit your exposure to UV rays, follow these easy steps.

  • Avoid the mid-day sun, as the sun's rays are most intense during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that clouds do not block UV rays.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps which emit UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear hats and protective clothing when possible to minimize your body's exposure to the sun.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to your exposed skin. Re-apply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and area around your eyes.

Risks Factors

Everyone's skin can be affected by UV rays. People with fair skin run a higher risk of sunburns. Aside from skin tone, factors that may increase your risk for sun damage and skin cancer include:

  • Previously treated for cancer
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Several moles
  • Freckles
  • Typically burn before tanning
  • Blond, red or light brown hair

If you detect unusual moles, spots or changes in your skin, or if your skin easily bleeds, make an appointment with our practice. Changes in your skin may be a sign of skin cancer. With early detection from your dermatologist, skin cancers have a high cure rate and response to treatment. Additionally, if you want to reduce signs of aged skin, seek the advice of your dermatologist for a variety of skin-rejuvenating treatment options.

By Linda Banta, MD
August 05, 2019
Tags: SculpSure  

Would you like to improve your physique without any downtime? SculpSure, an innovative laser treatment, gets rid of stubborn fat in your weightabdomen, thighs, back, and love handles. Your San Antonio, TX, dermatologist, Dr. Linda Banta, offers SculpSure at Stone Oak Dermatology.

 

The SculpSure method

Excess fat can be a problem, no matter how diligently you exercise and stick to your diet. Despite your weight loss, clothes may not fit as well as you expected, and you may be disappointed in the shape of your body. SculpSure removes fat using laser energy to heat and kill the cells. Once heated, the cells separate from the surrounding tissue and are gradually removed by your body's lymphatic system. Thanks to the laser's pinpoint accuracy, the surrounding tissue and skin aren't damaged during your treatment.

Fat cell removal isn't the only benefit of the treatment. SculpSure also triggers your body to produce collagen and elastin. The substances keep your skin supple and elastic and help firm the treated areas.

 

Does SculpSure offer immediate results?

It takes a little while for your lymphatic system to remove the fat cells. In just six weeks, you'll begin to see some improvement in your physique. The full effects of SculpSure usually appear about three months after your treatment.

 

How long does each treatment take?

Each treatment takes less than 30 minutes. Depending on the amount of fat to be removed, your San Antonio, TX, dermatologist may recommend one to three treatments spaced six weeks apart. Multiple areas can be treated during each visit.

You can go back to work or your usual activities immediately after your treatment. A little soreness or bruising is possible, but these effects won't last long and won't prevent you from doing anything you want.

Improve your shape with non-invasive SculpSure treatments. Call your San Antonio, TX, dermatologist, Dr. Banta, at Stone Oak Dermatology at (210) 494-0504 to schedule an appointment.





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