The Top 10 Skin Conditions Treated with Telemedicine

Save time and enjoy the convenience of dermatology from your home, office, or out of town.

Many common skin conditions can be diagnosed by sight. This makes telemedicine a valuable tool both for patients and the dermatologists who treat them.

A virtual visit is safe and convenient, using modern technology you probably already own – like a smart phone, tablet or a laptop with a web camera. All you need is an Internet connection, which you also already have if you’re reading this. With teledermatology, you speak directly to a dermatologist without the inconvenience of travelling to a medical office. This saves time, too.

A dermatologist can diagnose and recommend a course of treatment for many common skin conditions just by examining the affected area. There’s no need to pull, poke or even touch the skin. A visual inspection is often enough to diagnose common ailments.

Virtual visits to the dermatologist became popular during the pandemic, mainly for safety reasons. But soon patients discovered how convenient telehealth can be. If necessary, your dermatologist may recommend an in-person visit based on any evidence of more serious conditions, but many skin problems are well-suited to treatment via virtual visits.

Here are 10 of the most common skin conditions that can be diagnosed through telemedicine and virtual care:

Physical acne scars are caused by collagen buildup

 

Acne

Pimples and blackheads are obvious even to the untrained eye. Your dermatologist can evaluate the severity in a virtual visit and recommend a treatment plan. This can range from changes in your skin care routine to diet and prescriptions for medications. Your dermatologist will contact the pharmacy you choose for preparation of your acne medicines. You receive acne care from the comfort of your own home.

Applying cold cream to eczema can reduce swelling and itchiness. Call Tennessee Telederm for more help dealing with eczema this winter.

 

Eczema

An itchy rash on the arms and the back of the knees may be eczema, although the rash can appear anywhere. About 10% of the US adult population will develop eczema at some point, reports the American Academy of Dermatology. Your dermatologist can identify eczema through a video visit or from photographs that you take of the affected area and upload to the dermatologist’s website for evaluation. It’s a simple process. After a diagnosis, your dermatologist can prescribe medicated creams to relieve the itching and discuss basic changes to your hygiene routine, including switching to another brand of soap, for example, and avoiding skin contact with detergents and household cleaning products.

 

Hives and Rashes

Hives and Other Rashes
Red welts (hives) and skin rashes are the body’s response to an allergic reaction, typically from food, medication or an irritant in the environment. Your dermatologist during a telemedicine visit can identify hives and rashes from a visual inspection via photographs or video. You’ll often be asked to answer a series of questions about recent contact with any plants, or changes in diet, habits and living conditions. This is designed to pinpoint the cause of the hives or rash. Because hives and skin rashes are notoriously itchy, a telemedicine visit from the comfort of your own home may be ideal for children suffering from these conditions.

 

Shingles

These painful blisters are caused by reactivated chickenpox virus. If you had chickenpox as a child, the residual virus can trigger a shingles outbreak years or even decades later in life. Vaccines against chickenpox can reduce – but not completely eliminate – the risk of developing shingles. The virus causes the skin to blister in long strips, often around the torso.

In the blister stage shingles are extremely contagious, so a telemedicine consultation with your dermatologist is the best plan of action. A visual inspection of the affected area is usually sufficient to identify shingles. Treatment involves antiviral and pain medications.

An outbreak of shingles is a serious skin condition that can be dangerous if it spreads to the face, especially near or around the eyes. Talk to your dermatologist right away if you experience symptoms of shingles.

 

Impetigo

This highly contagious bacterial skin infection mainly affects young children. Either Staphylococcus (staph) or Streptococcus (strep) bacteria is the cause. Impetigo can often be diagnosed and treated with a telemedicine visit from home, which is a great advantage in preventing the spread of the infection to other children. Prescription antibiotics are the common treatment for Impetigo.

Stop hair loss and regrow your hair by seeing a dermatologist in Tennessee.

 

Hair loss

Women and men can be affected by hair loss, for a variety of reasons. Diagnosis can begin with a teledermatology visit. An in-office follow up may be necessary to run a blood test that can rule out a hormonal imbalance as the reason for hair loss. Your dermatologist can use telemedicine to identify more common causes of hair loss, including male pattern baldness and scalp ringworm, which is not a worm at all but a fungal infection that can cause itching and spotty hair loss.

Scalp ringworm is highly contagious, which makes a telemedicine visit even more useful. Treatment involves oral medicines and medicated shampoo to eliminate the fungus. Your dermatologist can issue these prescriptions directly to the pharmacy of your choice, so there’s no need for an office visit.

Psoriasis flare up - itchy skin condition

Psoriasis

This skin disease causes red, itchy scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp. Psoriasis is a common, long-term (chronic) disease with no cure. It tends to go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a while or going into remission, according to The Mayo Clinic. Roughly 7 million U.S. adults live with psoriasis. The condition can be readily managed through telemedicine visits, from the initial diagnosis to follow-up care. Photos or video are often enough to diagnose psoriasis, though in some cases you may need to make an office visit to your dermatologist. Once a treatment plan is in place, including any medications, going forward your condition can be monitored with virtual visits.

 

Rosacea

This skin condition presents as a reddening of the face, sometimes causing the formation of pimples. A video visit with your dermatologist is usually all that’s necessary to make a diagnosis. Symptoms are typically treated with prescription medications, which can be ordered for you. The dermatologist may also send information over the Internet about managing your rosacea

 

Cold Sores

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are a common viral infection. These fluid-filled blisters may be painful to the touch and leave a crusty scab after bursting. Cold sores usually go away after a week or two without leaving a scar. Meanwhile, they are unsightly and uncomfortable. A virtual visit is often enough for your dermatologist to identify cold sores. Treatment involves prescription medications and avoiding close contact with other people, as the viral infection is highly contagious (another good reason for telemedicine – keeping people safe).

The convenience and safety of teledermatology make it an attractive option for diagnosing many common skin conditions. Just as you would during an in-person visit, it’s important to provide complete information and share with your dermatologist any other health conditions you may have, even if they are unrelated to a skin problem.

A mans back with moles to represent getting a skin cancer screening

 

Skin Cancer

Teledermatology was originally conceived as a way to diagnose melanoma among people in rural communities and isolated areas that lack access to a dermatologist. Once people discovered the convenience of telemedicine, especially during a public health crisis, virtual visits for skin care really began to take off. Skin cancer is the most common melanoma in the United States, the CDC reports. Effective treatment begins with early detection.

Your dermatologist can identify suspicious skin lesions during a virtual visit via video or from photos you upload to a secure website. If the condition appears cancerous, a follow-up visit in person will be necessary. Depending on the severity, your dermatologist may remove the lesion with same-day outpatient surgery or perform a biopsy to examine the tissue sample under a microscope for more extensive evaluation. Either way, the process can begin with the ease of a virtual visit.


Choose Tennessee Telederm

Local and expert care, available in the palm of your hand! Tennessee Telederm offers teledermatology visits Monday-Friday to anyone living in Tennessee, from Jackson to Kingsport. You no longer have to call and wait weeks or months for an appointment. We can treat you over telehealth, and if needed, refer you to an in- office provider for further testing. Schedule on our website at tntelederm.com

OTC Skin Care vs Medical Grade Skin Care Products

If you’ve been using Over-the-Counter (OTC) skincare products since for years, you’re certainly not alone. All over the country, millions of Americans continue to invest large sums of money and energy in search of the perfect skincare regimen to fight acne, remove dark spots and scarring, and keep their skin looking younger and healthier.

Throughout this search, it’s likely you’ve accumulated a fair assortment of skincare products—from face lotions and anti-aging serums to eye creams and more – that have overtaken your bathroom! But do any of these skincare products really work? Do they leave your skin healthier? Are you satisfied with your skin’s appearance, or do you find yourself back in line at your local cosmetic store looking for a better alternative?

When the topic of medical-grade skincare products arises, there’s many misconceptions that often prevent men and women from making the switch, including, but not limited to,

  • Medical-grade products are too expensive
  • All medical-grade products require an Rx
  • Only older patients need medical-grade products to improve their complexion

The reality is medical-grade products add more value to your skincare routine and help you spend less time searching for products (that end up not working) and more time treating your underlining skin condition. While many medical-grade products require a prescription, most products are available for sale at your local dermatology clinic. When you schedule a consultation with Tennessee Telederm, you’ll meet with Kristen Stirling, a Dermatology Nurse Practitioner, who will assess your skin concerns, review your goals, and guide you to the best products for your skin type. In addition, medical-grade products are ideal for any age group, and the earlier you start incorporating them into your daily routine, the greater chance you have to prevent early signs of aging and protect your skin against future damage.

To help you decide whether or not to make the switch, here’s a brief comparison on OTC skin care vs. medical grade.

Although you may think your skin is getting all the essential ingredients it needs to maintain (or restore) a healthy, younger looking complexion, the truth is OTC skincare products are highly ineffective when compared to medical-grade skincare products. Why the discrepancy? For one thing, OTC products are required by law to reduce the amount of active ingredients in its formula. When you see product labels that claim to be “clinically proven” or “dermatologist recommended”, this only means the product contains a small portion of active ingredients so that it won’t harm your skin, if not used as directed. And what this alludes to is your skincare products are far too weak to treat your individual skin condition and enhance your skin’s natural beauty.

In contrast, medical-grade skincare products are thoroughly researched, repeatedly tested, provider supervised, and FDA-cleared for patient use. Why? Because they contain a higher level of active ingredients; therefore, they must first undergo a thorough examination to ensure safety and efficacy for your skin. Another great feature of medical-grade products that work in your skin’s favor is they offer a better delivery system to help penetrate the skin, allowing the ingredients to delve deeper and treat the core issue of your skin condition, whereas OTC products can only treat the skin’s surface.

Customizable for Your Unique Skin Type: Every skin type is unique, which means the acne treatment gel or face wash that works for your friend may not be as effective in treating you for the same condition. And depending on your skin’s sensitivity, it may cause unwanted side effects, such as dryness or skin irritation that can damage your skin. With medical-grade skin care, a dermatology specialist will work with you to provide a customized treatment plan to accurately address your individual skin condition, saving you time and money in the long run. In addition, the specialist will work with you to adjust the treatment plan if necessary to ensure you’re receiving the right products or if you decide to change your skincare goals. You benefit by having a licensed professional you can trust working with you and guiding you to the best care for your skin.

You Get What You Pay For: In your quest to find the best skin care regimen, it’s easy to waste a lot of time (not to mention money) on products that don’t help you achieve your skincare goals. Although medical-grade skincare products cost more than the average OTC product, the investment will save you in the end. Think back to our earlier example of a bathroom cabinet filled with various products to treat a variety of skin issues (e.g. crow’s feet, oily skin, acne, etc.). When you add all those products together, it may surprise you of how much you’re already investing in skincare products. Now, imagine having one or more products in your cabinet that actively work to treat your skin and also provide fast results. You may discover that investing a little more money into a quality product now can actually save you money later.

Your Skin Will Thank You: As the body’s largest organ, our skin is exposed to toxins, pollutants, chemicals, and UV rays on a regular basis. So, to give it the best care possible, you need the best skincare products on the market. Think of medical-grade products as a long-term solution for your skin’s health and wellness. Because higher doses of ingredients are working at a much deeper skin layer, you can expect better results in less time, and the longer you use it, the less likely you are to need cosmetic treatments to correct a skin condition as you get older.

Ready to dump the old skincare routine? To learn more about medical-grade skincare products and how they work to treat your individual skin condition, contact Tennessee Telederm at tntelederm.com.

How to Spot a Melanoma Skin Cancer

A mans back with moles to represent getting a skin cancer screening

Many of us have moles or freckles on our bodies that we see every day. In Tennessee it is common to have sun spots as well. Sometimes, we forget about their existence entirely—that is, until we notice a subtle change in their appearance, whether it’s the shape, color, or size. When this happens, it’s essential that you reach out to a skincare specialist to identify whether these differences are a sign of something more serious.

What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a severe form of skin cancer that starts in the skin cells, which are called melanocytes. These specific cells produce melanin, the pigment responsible for our skin’s color. And the longer these cells are exposed to sunlight, the more they produce melanin, giving you a darker complexion.

After a long, hot summer, many Tennesseans may be examining our skin for concerning spots. When your skin receives too much UV light, your body’s melanocytes may start to grow abnormally and become cancerous, which is an early sign of melanoma. Melanoma typically affects the upper body, head, and neck, but it can also develop in the lower legs or other areas of the body.

Is Melanoma the Same as Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Although melanoma and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are types of skin cancer, BCC is much more common. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer in the world. This is the case in Tennessee as well. Basal cell carcinoma typically occurs on parts of the body that are more susceptible to sunlight, such as the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, BCC typically doesn’t spread to other areas of the body but remains in a concentrated area.

Melanoma is a different story, however. If left untreated, melanoma can actually grow deep within the skin cells and spread to other parts of the body, including other internal organs.

FAQs About Melanoma
Because melanoma has the potential to spread to other areas of the body, early detection is essential to your long-term health and wellness. Below are some common questions to help you understand and recognize it symptoms.

What Symptoms Are Associated with Melanoma?
According to the Melanoma Education Foundation, the ABCDEs of Melanoma include:

(A) Asymmetry

(B) Border

(C) Color

(D) Diameter

(E) Elevation

Unlike benign moles, which typically have a symmetrical shape, even bordered, single color, smaller diameter, and consistent size, melanoma has the complete opposite effect. If you notice any changes in a mole or freckle, or if you discover the onset of a new mole changing shape or color, it’s best to contact Tennessee TeleDerm to have it checked by an experienced dermatology specialist.

How Fast Does Melanoma Spread?
Melanoma can happen at any time, with little to no warning (UCSF Health). There are four stages of melanoma, with stage IV being the most severe (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance). Though it’s hard to predict how fast the disease can spread, detecting symptoms in its early stages is the best defense against this type of skin cancer.

How Can I Avoid the Spread of Melanoma?
It’s recommended that you examine your moles and freckles every month to get familiar with their size, color, and shape, so it’s much easier to detect any subtle—or not so subtle—changes. Remember the earlier you can detect melanoma, the less chance it has to spread and become a threat to your health.

In addition to regular self-examination, be sure to reduce your sun exposure, wear plenty of sunscreen, and avoid tanning beds. If you’re going to be outdoors for extended periods of time, remember to cover your head with a hat and try to stay in shaded areas. Sun protection is especially important in Tennessee, where the sun’s rays are strong many months of the year.

Is Melanoma Hereditary?

According to the American Cancer Society, “Around 10% of all people with melanoma have a family history of the disease…The increased risk might be because of a shared family lifestyle of frequent sun exposure, a family tendency to have fair skin, certain gene changes (mutations) that run in a family, or a combination of factors.”

If anyone in your immediate family has already experienced symptoms of melanoma, it’s recommended that you meet with a skincare specialist to check your moles regularly and stay clear of tanning beds. The American Cancer Society also notes that if you are male, you may be at a higher risk of developing the disease, especially if you are over the age of 50, so be aware and get checked!

Is Melanoma Treatable?
Because melanoma is a serious and sometimes life-threatening cancer, it must be treated in its early stages to prevent it from affecting other areas. In fact, once melanoma has spread to other parts of the body beyond the skin, it may be difficult to treat. Therefore, it’s important to contact Tennessee TeleDerm so that an expert in dermatology can check for your skin early signs. At Tennessee Telederm we can perform a biopsy of any suspicious mole or growth to confirm the diagnosis. If it’s determined that you have melanoma, we may recommend excisional surgery to remove the entire growth, along with the surrounding border of normal skin to ensure all affected cells are removed.

Getting Your Skin Checked
Recognizing the early signs of melanoma on your own is important, but it’s also good practice to have a skincare specialist monitor your moles and freckles routinely, as well. It’s recommended that you schedule a full body skin cancer screening annually, or as recommended by your dermatologist. Fall is a great time to have your skin checked!

When it comes to your skin’s health, always play it safe! The next time you notice a suspicious mole, contact Tennessee TeleDerm to have it professionally examined. We’ll walk you through your options and help you find the best medical dermatology treatment to keep your skin healthy, strong, and clear of melanoma.

Treatment for Sun Damage

cream in a tube - G

Now that summer is over, you may have noticed changes in the tone and texture of your skin. Sun spots, wrinkles, melasma, and dry spots are all signs of sun damage.

Signs of sun damage can be treated with skin care products and in-office treatments. Fall and winter are ideal for treating sun damage, especially in Tennessee. Sun exposure should be avoided when treating sun damage.

Prevent sun damage

Repairing sun damage is futile without daily protection from the sun’s damaging rays.
At Tennessee Telederm, we recommend:

  • Application of moisturizer with SPF 30+ every day, regardless of season or weather. Apply to face, neck, & chest.
  • Sunglasses as often as able.
  • Wear a hat when outdoors for extended periods of time.

Morning application of an anti-oxidant serum has also been shown to minimize the effects of free radicals that assault the skin all day long.

In-office treatment

In-office treatments for sun damage are safe, effective, and offer the fastest results. Procedures for sun damage are customized to address the specific signs of sun damage like sun spots or fine lines.

  • Chemical Peels
  • Laser resurfacing

Chemical peels are suitable for all skin tones and most skin types. They range in depth, cost, and downtime so be sure to talk to your dermatology provider. They are easily performed over a lunch hour and are generally well-tolerated.

Laser therapy, like chemical peels, is available for all skin tones and skin types. Significant advancements in laser therapy over the past decade mean laser treatments are more targeted and widely available.

More than one in-office treatment may be recommended for sun damage.

Skin care for sun damage

In addition to in-office treatments, your dermatologist can recommend skin care for sun damage. Certain products can rejuvenate the skin, which may reduce the appearance of wrinkles, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and dryness. Your dermatology provider can tell you which ingredients to look for over the counter or write a prescription.
Some individuals with sun damaged skin will benefit from retinoids. These products speed up cellular turnover, which can reduce the appearance of shallow wrinkles and sun spots. Certain acids, such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), can remove outer skin cells to improve skin texture and even out skin tone. Your dermatologist may also recommend a skin-lightening cream to fade sun spots.

Ingredients used in skin care for sun damage include;

  • Anti-oxidants like Green tea, Vitamin C, and Resveratrol
  • Retinol or Retinoid (Adapalene)
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
  • Hydroquinone

Prescription strength products often combine these ingredients into a single cream.

Remember to always discuss your skin needs with a dermatology provider before starting a skin care regimen. They will tell you which products are safe to use together, as well as which can increase skin sensitivity.


If you’re interested in treatment for sun damage or skin care for sun damage, Tennessee TeleDerm is here to help. Book a convenient telehealth appointment online at tntelederm.com. We treat patients throughout Tennessee, including Nashville, Murfreesboro, Knoxville, and Clarksville.

Summer and Phytophotodermatitis

Phyto-photo what?  Yes, it is a mouthful!  Though this skin condition is not serious, it can put a damper on your summer plans.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Phyto means plant 
  • Photo means light or sun
  • Dermatitis means skin irritation

Why it happens

Certain plants and fruits — especially citrus fruits like limes — contain psoralen, a substance that can make skin more sensitive to the sun. When psoralen on the skin and UV rays combine, a reaction occurs. This reaction leads to a rash.

Foods and plants that can cause a phytophotodermatitis rash include:

  • Citrus fruits, particularly limes and bergamot oranges
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Figs
  • Saint John’s Wort
  • Wild dill
  • Wild parsley
  • Wild parsnips

Lime juice is most frequently the trigger for phytophotodermatitis.  From summer drinks to latin food and marinades, lime juice is a summer staple!  

In Tennessee, phytophotodermatitis is seen in June, July, and August when UV rays are strongest. Summer is also travel season, when people head to tropical locations, which have stronger UV rays.

Who is most affected?

Lighter skin folks are more at risk for phytophotodermatitis, just as they are at higher risk for sunburn.  Prolonged sun exposure and contact with foods containing psoralen, increase the likelihood and severity of a phytophotodermatitis reaction.

What do we most often see in patients?

Patients who spend lots of time outdoors at the beach, lake, or by the barbecue and who enjoyed food and beverages with lime juice.  Chefs, bartenders, and others who work with food have an increased risk of this rash, especially when serving on patios, working at pool bars, etc.

 

Adults can get allergic rashes. Get treatment from the best dermatologist in TN

How to identify it

Phytophotodermatitis presents in a bizarre pattern on the skin.  It may look like smear marks, or a drip pattern down the hand or leg, or some other geometric shape. No two rash patches look the same.

Rash is most common on the hands, wrists, legs, and face. Often the rash is pink in the beginning, like a sunburn, and develops into a brick red color over a few days. Sometimes the rash contains blisters.  

What to do about it

A mild case of phytophotodermatitis may go unnoticed, while other reactions are severe enough that you seek help from a dermatologist. At Tennessee TeleDerm, we treat patients with phytophotodermatitis every summer.  

Here’s what to do if you suspect you have phytophotodermatitis:

  • Use cold, wet compresses when symptoms appear.
  • Keep affected skin out of the sun.
  • Don’t pop any blisters.
  • Keep the skin clean with daily bathing as normal.

Once blisters drain, the affected skin should be gently cleaned and covered with Vaseline and a bandage to prevent bacterial infections. Change dressing daily. Using antibiotic ointment where no infection exists, can delay healing.  

How to prevent it

Preventing phytophotodermatitis is fairly easy.  Washing skin (after cutting limes for example) to remove psoralen containing compounds, is most effective.  When by the pool or at the beach, rinse skin off regularly.  Wipe skin with a wet cloth if cooking or serving outdoors.  

About Tennessee Telederm
If you have a rash and suspect it could be phytophotodermatitis, book an appointment with Tennessee Telederm.  We treat most dermatology conditions including acne, eczema, rosacea, warts, hair loss, and rashes. Whether you live in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Jackson, Clarksville, or Knoxville, we can see you! Save time and gas with a convenient telehealth appointment and get the treatment you need to feel better! 

Updates from the 2022 Innovations in Dermatology Conference

Acne treatment - skincare for guys in Tennessee

The latest research for treatment of acne, eczema, and hair loss. Also, updates in skin care, anti-aging, and nutrition. 

 

At Tennessee TeleDerm, we provide the most up to date treatment plans and skin care regimens from yearly dermatology conferences.

 

Acne and rosacea treatments are always evolving. Current research focus is pH and microbiome diversity.

 

Important: combining SPF, tint, and anti-oxidants is most effective at preventing photo aging.

 

Skin barrier function was highlighted. Barrier function requires a lower pH and healthy microbiome.

 

Make an appointment to discuss your skin conditions like acne, eczema, rosacea, and hair loss.
Need a refresher on skin care regimen and skin care tips? We can help!

Top 8 Reasons to Book a Dermatology Appointment

Barriers to Dermatology Appointments

Dermatology providers treat a wide range of skin hair and nail conditions, quickly and effectively.  But many prospective patients are hesitant to book appointments with a dermatologist.  Why is that?  

First, new patients may wait 2-3 months for an appointment with a dermatology provider.  Unfortunately there is a nationwide shortage of dermatologists. Moreover, most dermatologists practice in large cities, making the shortage even more pronounced to those living outside of a major metropolitan area.   

Secondly, we’ve been marketed to that our skin hair and nail problems can be cured with over the counter creams and lotions. Though some conditions may improve with daily care, most skin diseases need an expert treatment plan and prescription medication.

Lastly, insurance coverage for specialists can be hit-or-miss. Specialists, like dermatologists, may have higher copays or may not be in network with an insurance provider, further limiting access and increasing cost.   

With all of these hurdles, why should a patient book a dermatology appointment?  At Tennessee TeleDerm, we treat patients anywhere in Tennessee as long as they have a mobile device and internet service.  We have openings same week and often same day, because telehealth allows for more flexibility. Finally, we are in network with many commercial payers and Medicare, but we also offer a competitive self pay options.  

Reasons to Book a Dermatology Appointment

Acne (acne vulgaris).  Acne is the most common reason for visit to a dermatology office in the world. Acne causes several types of blemishes on the skin. Blemishes include whiteheads, blackheads, papules and deep cysts or nodules. These blemishes form because of hormone shifts that cause inflammation in the skin. Oil glands in the skin produce too much of a substance called sebum. It clogs pores. Non-pathologic bacteria can also be the cause. Acne is common among teenagers, but you can get it at any age. Acne lesions usually appear on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. Acne isn’t life threatening, but it can be upsetting. Without proper treatment, it can also leave discoloration and permanent scars. Treatment includes prescription creams and gels, oral medications, chemical peels, and laser therapy.

Eczema.  Eczema is the umbrella term for several chronic skin conditions that cause swelling and inflammation of the skin. Skin can look red, swollen, dry, and scaly. Eczema is often distressing because it is very uncomfortable from the itching, stinging, and burning of the skin. The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis.  Atopic dermatitis begins in childhood, causing rashes, itching, trouble sleeping, skin infections, and self esteem problems.  Treatments include topical and systemic medications as well as lifestyle adjustments.

Psoriasis.  Psoriasis stems from a problems with the immune system. The overactive immune system causes inflammation in the skin and sometimes the joints. This causes skin cells to form too quickly. They pile up on the surface of the skin. These patches are called plaques. They can be thick and red and have silvery scales. They can be itchy or painful. They usually appear on the elbows, knees, legs, face and scalp. Sometimes they’re on palms and soles of feet. They can show up on the fingernails, genitals or inside the mouth, but this is less common. Dermatologists can diagnose psoriasis by looking at a skin sample under a microscope. Psoriasis is a chronic condition. Creams can help soothe the skin and help it heal. Treatment also may include oral medication to suppress the overactive immune system.

Hair Loss. Hair loss can occur for a myriad of reasons.  Most people shed about 100 hairs per day.  Aging, genetics, pregnancy, stress, and a variety of health issues can lead to hair loss.  A dermatology provider will assess your hair loss situation and provide a treatment plan that may include oral medications, topical medications or injections.  

Rosacea.  Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that can also affect the eyes. People with rosacea may look flushed. Redness usually appears on the nose, cheeks and chin. It might extend to the ears and chest, too. Sometimes, skin bumps and swelling occur. In severe cases, the skin gets thicker. Women and people with light skin have a higher risk of developing rosacea. Doctors aren’t sure what causes rosacea. It may occur when blood vessels expand too quickly. This could be because of heat, exercise, sunlight, wind, cold, spicy foods, alcohol or stress. These factors also may make symptoms worse. There’s no cure for rosacea. However, medication, laser therapy and lifestyle changes can help control symptoms.

Poison Ivy/ Poison Oak and Rashes.  Rashes come in all shapes and sizes with varying symptoms and causes.  A dermatology professional can assess the cause of the rash, and give specific treatment and guidance. 

Skin infections.  Skin or nail infections are caused by either fungus, viruses, yeast or bacteria. infections left untreated can lead to itchy , inflamed skin like athlete’s foot. Viruses can cause warts and herpes. Bacterial infections of the skin can become deadly if not treated with antibiotics. A dermatologist can diagnose the source of the infection and determine how best to treat it.Nail problems

Signs of aging.  Aging is a normal and predictable process. Yet skin can age prematurely due to excessive sun exposure. Excess sun exposure can lead to texture and pigment changes as well as skin cancers.  Addressing signs of aging improves skin health as much as it improves skin’s appearance.  

Can Tennessee TeleDerm Help?

At Tennessee TeleDerm, we are experts in Dermatology care! From acne to rashes, patients in Tennessee can count on convenient, high quality care when they book with Tennessee TeleDerm. Schedule your telehealth appointment today!

Managing Seasonal Allergies This Spring

Seasonal allergies tennessee telelhealth
Spring is here!  We’ve waited many long months for warmer temps and more hours of daylight. However, you may have noticed an uptick in sneezing, itching, and eye irritation in the past few weeks. March ushers in allergy season in Tennessee, beginning with a steep rise in tree allergens, as well as grass pollen in the weeks ahead. This is also a time of wet weather, which can increase mold growth. Upper respiratory allergies are a common problem for people living in Tennessee. In Tennessee, we experience heavy allergy seasons in both the spring and the fall. From middle Tennessee to Asheville, NC is considered the allergy bowl of the south. March, April, and May are most difficult because of the number of allergens active at the same time; tree pollen, grass pollen, and mold.  Fall can be equally menacing as ragweed fills the air for 6-8 weeks between August and October. Uncontrolled seasonal allergies are not just annoying; they can lead to other health concerns like sinus infections, ear infections, skin infections, asthma flares, and bronchitis.

Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Nasal itching, drainage
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion
  • Sinus Drainage

How Do I Treat My Seasonal Allergies?

People living in Tennessee need to prepare in advance for seasonal allergy season. Most over the counter (OTC) treatments work well when started at the first sign of seasonal allergy symptoms.
  • Begin a daily nasal saline rinse, available over the counter. Daily saline rinsing pulls allergens, particulate, and nasal mucous from the nasal passages. This clears out all of the irritants, thereby reducing inflammation, itching, and drainage. Think of this as a shower for your nose!
  • Try an over the counter nose spray like Flonase, Nasocort, or Rhinocort. These nose sprays contain a safe dose of steroid, which calms inflammation in the nasal passages. These nose sprays are best utilized when allergy symptoms persist despite saline nasal rinsing.
  • Start a daily antihistamine tablet. Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec are antihistamines available OTC and are generally well tolerated. These tablets are most effective within the first 12 hours of use and when taken on a daily basis (vs intermittently).  These are especially useful if seasonal allergies cause your skin to react, too.

What Can I Do at Home to Reduce Allergy Symptoms?

  • Shower daily. Rinsing allergens and particulate from skin and hair will improve all seasonal allergy symptoms including skin itching and rashes.  Gentle cleansers like Dove and Vanicream are especially good for sensitive skin.
  • Avoid skin care products containing dyes and perfumes. The ingredients over dry the skin and then cause irritation in the weakened skin barrier.
  • Avoid skin care products containing plant / nut oils. All-natural is all the rage.  Unfortunately, it is not a good idea to apply skin care products containing plant / tree / fruit / nut oils if you have allergies to those same allergens. For example, mango is a cousin to poison ivy.  Yet, several skin care products contain mango.  We see reactions from products like these on a regular basis. Remember, if you have reactions to airborne allergies, it’s probably not wise to rub those same plant oils on your skin.
  • Keep windows closed, both in cars and in homes. Vacuum regularly to remove allergens that do get into the house.
  • Change your home air filers every 2 months from now through October.
    • Moisturize skin daily with a dye free, fragrance fee cream. Moisturizing cream doesn’t just relieve dry skin.  Creams reinforce the skin barrier, making the skin less penetrable to airborne allergens and contactants. Vanicream and CeraVe cream are easy to find and gentle enough for all skin types.

When to Schedule an Appointment with Tennessee Telederm

With a few lifestyle adjustments and over the counter medications, most people can manage seasonal allergies on their own.  However, these are signs you need to schedule an appointment with Tennessee Telehealth for treatment:
    • No relief after 4 days of over the counter treatment.
    • Worsening of symptoms after 4 days of over the counter treatment.
    • Productive cough, yellow or green nasal mucous.
    • Rebound congestion from use of Afrin (we do not recommend use of Afrin as it can cause numerous side effects).
    • Sinus congestion with pain in the sinus cavities. When you bend over at the waist, do you feel pain in your forehead? Your eyes? Your teeth?  These are symptoms of a sinus infection.
    • Worsening ear pain.
Schedule an appointment and start feeling better soon.

Cold Flu or Allergies? Treatments And How to Tell the Difference

woman sick ith the colld or flu tennessee telelhealth

We have all been there. You don’t feel great, but not terrible, either. You have a runny nose, maybe some congestion, and a bit of a sore throat. You want to treat these symptoms, but how do you know if it is a cold, the flu, or allergies?

Understanding the differences between a cold, the flu, and allergies is key. And there are some significant differences. Know the differences so you don’t take medicine that you do not need or medicine that will be ineffective. 

Cold, flu, and allergies affect your respiratory system, but in different ways and in different areas of the upper and lower respiratory system.

Be sure to check out the symptom checker at the end of this article.  The good news, these symptoms can be handled through Tennessee Telehealth urgent care.

Cold and Flu Viruses

Both colds and flu are caused by viruses. The virus molecule enters the body through the nose or mouth. As the virus multiples, the body recognizes it as a foreign body. Within a couple days of exposure, the body’s immune system response begins. To disable the virus, body temperature may be increased and antibodies are produced. This could mean the patient experiences fever, fatigue, and muscle aches secondary to these immune system activities. Because the virus is circulating inside the body, the symptoms are generally systemic or affect the whole body. 

Generally speaking, flu symptoms are more severe than cold symptoms. Flu more often causes fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. Cold virus can cause these symptoms, but much less frequently and with less severity. Colds can leave us feeling crummy, but often don’t keep us from activities of daily living. Virus symptoms are self-limited and typically resolve in 1-2 weeks. 

Allergies

Allergies are very different from a cold or flu virus. Allergies are airborne particles that are breathed in and irritate the mucosa of the airways. This irritation causes the allergy cells to produce histamine, leading to itching, fluid production, and swelling. Itching and fluid production cause runny nose, inflamed nasal and sinus tissue, cough, postnasal drip, eye irritation, and congestion in the middle ear canal. 

Allergy symptoms last as long as the patient is exposed to the allergen. For example, season allergies, such as pollen seasons in the spring, summer, or fall last about six weeks.

Some allergies can become very serious, especially for patients with asthma. Repeated irritation and inflammation of the lower respiratory system can lead to a process called airway remodeling. This means that the airways are less flexible and adaptable because of the chronic swelling. 

Treatment

Over-the-counter (OTC) treatment for viruses is aimed at alleviating symptoms like fever, headaches, and body aches. Allergy treatment blocks some of the histamine response, which will improve the fluid production and itching associated with allergies.  

Patients should always read labels of OTC meds when treating any medical problem. Be sure there are no interactions with other medications or supplements you may be taking. Also, be sure that you are not accidentally taking too much of any medication. For example, if you have a cold, you may first take ibuprofen capsules for your headache. Then you notice the cold medication you picked up has ibuprofen in it, as well. In this case, taking both medications could be unsafe. 

Why Tennessee Telehealth

When you choose Tennessee Telehealth you can rely on an accurate diagnosis, safe and effective treatment, without long waits or unnecessary expenses, and another great part – you get to be at home or wherever you are most comfortable.

Book online and feel better soon!

Cold, Flu, or Allergies?

Cold flue or allgeries graph tennessee telelhealth