Do You know About Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused by a bite from Ixodes scapularis, a small, black-legged tick also called a deer tick. These ticks live in wooded, grassy areas and can be spread by birds and deer. Ticks attach to skin and feed on blood. They can bite at any time but are most active April to September. They inject bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi into the skin 36 hours after the bite, so removing the tick before then can prevent Lyme disease. It is important to check your skin for ticks if you spend time outdoors. When caught early and treated, Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics and most people recover fully.

If you develop any symptoms within a few weeks after a tick bite, such as a rash, fever or body aches, see your doctor.

LYME-DISEASE

Adult female tick that enlarges at various stages of feeding.

There are 3 stages of Lyme disease:

Stage 1: A quickly expanding bull’s-eye rash can develop at the site of the bite within days to weeks of being bitten. The area may be itchy or painful. 50% of infected people develop flu-like symptoms that may begin before the rash appears.

Bull’s eye rash

Bull’s eye rash.

Stage 2: About 1 to 2 months or longer after the bite, different rashes and symptoms may occur. Without treatment, the bacteria injected by the tick can spread to other areas of your body and can cause small rashes that typically appear on the face and extremities. Red bumps may also develop.

Some people feel ill with systemic symptoms such as fever, transient arthritis, headaches, muscles aches, neck stiffness, numbness or pain, shortness of breath, dizzy spells, and heart problems, such as chest pains or an irregular heartbeat.

If treated with antibiotics at this point, the symptoms tend to clear within three weeks. Without treatment, the symptoms tend to come and go indefinitely, and some people develop stage 3 Lyme disease.

Stage 3: This stage can occur months to years after the bite. Most problems occur in the heart and nervous system, and these can be serious. Symptoms may include problems remembering and concentrating, dementia, nerve pain, heart failure and arthritis.

Areas of the skin can become red and swollen and then begin to harden and shrink, causing deep lines to form. Even with treatment for Lyme disease at this stage, the changes to the skin and symptoms tend to be permanent.

Recommendations to prevent tick bites:

  1. Wear light-coloured clothing so it’s easier to see ticks. Wear closed-toed shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and tuck long pants into your socks.
  2. Walk in the center of trails and try to avoid brushy areas.
  3. Use insect repellent that contains 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing.
  4. Examine your skin after spending time in wooded or grassy areas.
  5. Keep grass mowed short and trim bushes to allow light to enter which deters ticks.
  6. Check your pet’s skin.
  7. If you have new symptoms, call your healthcare provider to find out about follow-up care and possible testing of the tick for the Lyme disease bacteria.

Check your skin often for ticks:

  1. Shower after all outdoor activities are over for the day and run fingers gently over your skin to feel for any ticks.
  2. Visually examine your skin and all joints including behind the knees, between fingers and toes, and on underarms.
  3. Check other areas where ticks are commonly found such as the belly button, neck, hairline, top of the head, and in and behind the ears.
  4. Examine areas of pressure points, including anywhere that clothing presses tightly on the skin.

How to remove a tick:

  1. Use tweezers to remove the tick. Sterilize the tip of the tweezers using rubbing alcohol and grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Avoid twisting, squeezing or crushing the tick, as this can cause its head or mouth to break off and remain in your skin. If this happens, use tweezers to remove the remaining parts. If you cannot remove the rest of the tick, see your doctor.
  3. After removal, wash skin well with soap and water and apply an antiseptic cream.
  4. Dispose of the tick. You can either place it in a sealed bag or container, submerse it in alcohol, or wrap it tightly in tape. You may also want to save it in a sealed jar in case you develop any symptoms after the bite. The tick can then be tested for disease.

At Gidon Aesthetic & MediSpa in Toronto, we encourage you to enjoy the outdoors but be mindful and protect yourself.

Written by Dr. Martie Gidon

Gidon Aesthetics and MediSpa - Center for Laser Skin Resurfacing, Laser Skin Tightening and Cellulite Treatment. Cosmetic Dermatology practice of Dr Martie Gidon in Toronto providing a wide range of laser and light based therapies.

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Sun-Induced Skin Changes

Sun exposure can result in permanent damage to our skin. Wrinkles, blotches, and sunspots often appear after frequent exposure to sunlight. Our team at Gidon Aesthetics & MediSpa provides dermatology in Toronto and can advise patients on treatments that can give them a healthier, clearer, and smoother complexion. The following are some typical signs of sun damage.

Sunburns

Skin becomes red, painful, blistered, and hot to the touch when it’s sunburned. It then peels and is more sensitive to additional sun exposure. Each sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer. You can avoid sunburn by practicing safe sun protection with the use of sunscreen, protective clothing and minimized sun exposure during the peak hours of 10 am to 3 pm.

Freckling, Sunspots and Skin Cancer

Contrary to popular belief, an individual is not born with freckles. They develop after sun exposure and are a sign of damage. Sunspots, also referred to as lentigines, are flat, brown marks on the skin that look like large freckles and appear on areas that are exposed to sunlight. With repeated sun exposure, especially if skin is fair-coloured, rough precancerous spots can develop, as well as skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Sun protection can prevent these changes.

Actinic Cheilitis

Individuals often forget to protect their lips during outdoor activities. This sun damage is called actinic cheilitis and is associated with dryness, flaking, and thinning of the lips. It can lead to lip skin cancer and is accelerated by smoking. Lip balms containing sunscreen and avoidance of smoking are preventative measures.

Spider Veins

Sun exposure can induce the formation of spider veins which are thin, dilated veins that lie just beneath the skin’s surface. They are more likely to develop in fair-skinned individuals and do not clear without IPL or laser treatment.

Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Ultraviolet rays enter the skin and break down collagen and elastin which give skin its structure and support. The resultant thinning of the skin causes fine lines. Add volume loss and aging and wrinkles develop. Early sun protection is the best treatment to prevent lines and wrinkles.

Interested in reducing sun damaged skin and finding out which treatments would be best for you? Receive advice about treatments from Toronto-based Gidon Aesthetics & MediSpa. Call us at 416-483-4541 or fill out a contact form to schedule a consultation.

Sun Protection

Written by Dr. Martie Gidon

Gidon Aesthetics and MediSpa - Center for Laser Skin Resurfacing, Laser Skin Tightening and Cellulite Treatment. Cosmetic Dermatology practice of Dr Martie Gidon in Toronto providing a wide range of laser and light based therapies.

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Did You Know That Neuromodulators Treat More Than Frown Lines?

Neuromodulator injections (botulinum toxin type A) have smoothed away dynamic lines and wrinkles for over thirty years. If an individual starts treatment early enough, neuromodulators can also prevent lines from developing in the first place. Most individuals know that these injections can relax frown lines to give a happier, more rested appearance, but many are not aware of other areas on the face and neck that may benefit from treatment with anti-wrinkle injections from our Toronto-based Gidon Aesthetics & MediSpa practice.

Forehead Lines

Horizontal forehead lines are caused by the movements of the forehead muscle, specifically the frontalis muscle, that enables you to raise your eyebrows. The repetitive surprised expressions eventually cause the creases to appear. A small amount of neuromodulator can soften the lines without causing brow heaviness.

Brow Lift

A small amount of neuromodulator can be injected near the end of the eyebrows for a lifting effect. It can help to open up the appearance of the eyes.

Crow’s Feet

Constant smiling and squinting can lead to etching of fine wrinkles or crow’s feet into the outer corners of the eyes. With everyday activities, the muscles around the eyes are repeatedly being used and the skin starts to crinkle. This common concern is best treated with neuromodulators.

Bunny Lines

Scrunching your nose while squinting, smiling, and sniffing can cause diagonal creases at the sides of the nasal bridge. These bunny lines are not cute and often occur together with frown lines. A small amount of neuromodulator injected on either side of the nose is the most effective way of preventing these wrinkles.

Lipstick Lines

Puckering, whistling, smoking, and drinking with a straw can cause lipstick lines to develop around the mouth. Tiny amounts of neuromodulator can relax the puckering muscle and can give a pleasing lip flip.

Downturned Mouth

Neuromodulators prevent the muscles around the mouth from pulling down the corners and give your face a more positive, happier appearance at rest.

Dimpled Chin

The puckering movement of a strong chin muscle pulls up the overlying skin and causes the formation of dimples. The chin can be injected with neuromodulators to relax and smooth these dimples.

Masseter Muscles

These muscles occur above the angle of the jaw. They contribute to clenching or teeth grinding. They can enlarge and cause an undesired square appearance of the face. Neuromodulators can alleviate the clenching and grinding and can also result in slimming of the face with a more oval appearance.

Neck Bands

Neuromodulators can also be used on the neck to reduce overly prominent bands or cords that pull down the jowls. The result is a tighter, smoother neck.

Ready to get started? For more advice on anti-wrinkle injections, contact our Toronto-based Gidon Aesthetics & MediSpa team. Give us a call at 416-483-4541 or fill out a contact form to request a consultation.

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Sun Protection
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Sun Protection
Written by Dr. Martie Gidon

Gidon Aesthetics and MediSpa - Center for Laser Skin Resurfacing, Laser Skin Tightening and Cellulite Treatment. Cosmetic Dermatology practice of Dr Martie Gidon in Toronto providing a wide range of laser and light based therapies.

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