Sunflower Dermatology strives to deliver cutting edge medical dermatology treatments for skin disease, hair disease and/or nail disease. Whether monitoring numerous moles, or treating psoriasis with our Laser, Sunflower Dermatology is committed to compassionate and complete care for all concerns.

Dr. Matthys, our surgical dermatology specialist in our Riverside, Missouri, office strives to remain ahead of the curve regarding common and rare medical skin, hair and nail disease. We believe that with a dedicated, optimistic staff, and a caring physician, all of these conditions can be improved.

Acne is a disease that affects 60-70% of Americans at some time in their lives. Up to 20% may have severe acne, which can result in permanent physical and mental scarring. Acne is the most common disease in America and is characterized by non-inflammatory; open,or closed comedone (blackhead or whitehead); and inflammatory papules, pustules and nodules.

Acne has multiple causes. The key factor is genetics. If one parent has acne, 1 out of 4 of their children will have acne. If both parents have acne, 3 out of 4 of their children will have acne. Acne is aggravated by excess oil (sebum), the presence of bacteria (Proprionibacterium acnes ), and even hormones.

It is important to treat early and aggressively to prevent scarring, or excessive increase in pigmentation on the affected area. There is no cure for acne.

When you have dry skin you may notice your skin is usually tight and possibly even flakey, and your pores are almost unnoticeable. After you wash your skin, you can even feel that your skin needs moisture almost immediately. Dry skin is usually caused by too little oil production in the lower levels of the skin; and not enough moisture in the upper levels of the skin. Dry skin ages faster than oily skin, so it is important to keep your skins moisture level in tact.

Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by abnormally increased perspiration. It can be generalized, or localized to specific parts of the body. Hands, feet, armpits, and the groin area are among the most active regions of perspiration, due to the relatively high concentration of sweat glands. However, any part of the body may be affected.

The cause of hyperhidrosis is unknown, although it is thought to be caused by overactivity in the sympathetic nervous system. Nervousness or excitement can exacerbate the situation for many sufferers. Other factors can also play a role, including the consumption of certain foods and drinks; nicotine, and caffeine, can also trigger a response.

Hyperpigmentation is caused by sun damage, inflammation, or skin injuries, and is often related to acne. Hyperpigmentation can also be the result of hormones (birth control or pregnancy). This is called melasma, or the mask of pregnancy. People with darker skin types are more prone to hyperpigmentation than those with lighter skin, especially when there is excessive exposure to the sun.

Many forms of hyperpigmentation are caused by an overproduction of melanin. UV light stimulates melanocyte activity, thus contributing to the reason why sun damage is the most common cause of hyperpigmentation in the skin. There are home care options for hyperpigmentation, such as retinol, hydroxy acids, or hydroquinone, which is a bleaching agent for the skin. There are also in-office procedures, including microdermabrasion, chemical peels and Fraxel® laser treatment. Plus, sunscreens are essential to treating any cause of hyperpigmentation.

Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a common hereditary condition that is more common in women than in men. It appears as rough bumps on the skin, most often on the back and outer sides of the upper arms, though lower arms can also be affected, as can thighs, the tops of legs, and/or buttocks. Worldwide, KP affects an estimated 40% of the adult population, and approximately 50%-80% of all adolescents.

Because KP, which is characteried by the appearance of small rough bumps on the skin, resembles goose bumps, many people with keratosis pilaris do not know they have it. KP is also often confused with acne.

Keratosis pilaris occurs when the human body produces excess keratin, a natural protein in the skin. The excess keratin surrounds, and entraps, the hair follicles in the pore, which causes the formation of the small, rough bumps that are seldom sore or itchy. Though people with KP experience this condition year-round, it can worsen during the colder months, when moisture levels in the air are lower. During this time, the condition is apt to look and feel more pronounced in both color and texture.

Sunflower Dermatology offers photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat pre-cancers and certain skin cancers. PDT uses specialized drugs, called photosensitizing agents, and light, to kill precancerous, and cancerous skin cells. This procedure has been used to safely treat cancer for more than 100 years.

Depending on the body part to be treated, the photosensitizing agent (ALA or Levulan) is applied to the skin and left to sit for between 2-4 hours. Because this product is activated by sunlight, the patient is often asked to stay in our Riverside, MO office during this process. Each patient is placed under a blue light for 16 minutes and 40 seconds to commence the treatment. After photodynamic treatment , patients should avoid exposure to sunlight, and apply physical sun protection. Side effects of photodynamic therapy can include pain and swelling at the treatment sites. Advantages include: no long-term side effects; surgery is not required; pre-cancers, and cancers, will be prevented at the site of treatment.

Psoriasis is a noncontagious, chronic, multi-system inflammatory disorder that affects 2-3% of the world population. The most common type of psoriasis is the plaque type, however, many other types have been identified. This condition typically consists of a rash on the scalp, trunk and limbs. These plaques are raised, with silvery-white scales. The causes are related to genetics, and the immune system, although psoriasis is not completely understood.

Psoriasis is associated with heart disease, smoking, alcohol, and depression; and it can significantly influence a persons quality of life. Psoriasis treatment includes topical therapy, oral therapy, injectable therapy, and UV Light.

Rosacea is a common, chronic, disorder characterized by facial flushing, persistent redness, papules, pustules, and telangiectasia. Though women more commonly have the condition, men may have it more seriously. This condition not only affects the face, it can also affect the eyes. W.C. Fields had rosacea, which caused his thickened nose. The cause of rosacea is unknown.

Triggers for the condition include sun exposure, spicy foods, alcohol, hot beverages, stress and heat. Therapy includes topical and oral medicine, plus the regular use of sunscreen to avoid flares.

UV Light Therapy, or Phototherapy, involves exposing skin to ultraviolet light on a regular basis and under medical supervision. Sunflower Dermatology offers advanced UV light therapy treatment using narrow band ultraviolet light (UVB.) This treatment can be individualized to discrete, localized, areas using our laser or, for patients who have widespread involvement, our stand up total body light box. This treatment differs from tanning beds, and natural sunlight, because it uses one specific, and most effective, wavelength to treat psoriasis. In addition, because it uses just this one wavelength, it is a safer alternative to tanning beds, or sunlight, because it has a decreased risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging. Phototherapy is the primary treatment for psoriasis and can be used as an adjunct treatment to topical medication. Setting and frequency of treatment are individualized for each patient.