General Questions

How is my skin affected by sun exposure?

Both UVA and UVB rays are dangerous to the skin and can cause skin cancer, including melanoma. Blistering sunburns in early childhood increase risk, but cumulative exposure is another factor.  Skin cancer is more prevalent in regions with increased sunlight.

 

Should I avoid tanning beds and booths?

Both tanning beds and booths should be avoided. They raise your exposure to UV rays, increasing the risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers.

What is Cryotherapy?

This is treatment of a skin lesion by freezing it with liquid nitrogen. The nitrogen can be applied with a Q-tip or a spray gun. This is used to remove warts, sun keratoses, and some other skin growths. It cannot be used, however, to remove deeper lesions, such as moles and skin cancers

Acne                            Back to Top

What is Acne?
Acne results from the action of hormones and other substances on the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands) and hair follicles. These factors lead to plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly called pimples or zits. Acne lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Although acne is usually not a serious health threat, it can be a source of significant emotional distress. Severe acne can lead to permanent scarring.

What is Acne Vulgaris?
Acne Vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disease.  Although it is commonly accepted to be a disease of adolescence, it can affect people of all ages. Increased incidence is seen in 14-17-year-old females and 16-19-year-old males. It is also more frequent and severe in males. 

What is Accutane?
Accutane is a chemical derivative of vitamin A that was developed as a treatment for severe cases of acne. It has been used for a period of 20 years and has been found to effectively cure acne after a standard 16-20 week course of treatment.

Contact Allergies            Back to Top

What is an “allergen” in relation to dermatology?
As dealt with in dermatology, allergens are chemicals that cause allergic reactions when they make contact with skin.

                           

How are Contact Allergens detected? 
We perform Allergy Patch Testing.  This determines the cause of the allergic rash by placing ointments containing common causes of these rashes on your skin. In about 70% of patients tested, we can find a relevant item that the patient is allergic to. The patient can then avoid the allergen(s).    

Eczema                        Back to Top

What is Eczema?

Eczema, or dermatitis, is a group of non-contagious inflammatory skin conditions which can affect all age groups. The severity of the disease can vary. In mild forms, the skin is dry, hot and itchy. In more severe forms, the skin can become broken, raw and bleeding. With treatment, the inflammation of eczema can be reduced, though the skin will always be sensitive to flare-ups and need extra care.

What is Atopic Dermatitis?
Atopic Dermatitis is the most common of many types of eczema that usually occur in people who have an “atopic tendency,” or a predisposition to develop any or all of three closely linked conditions: atopic dermatitis, asthma and hay fever. It is a chronic disease which leads to intense pruritus, lichenfication and other skin features such as papules and ichthyosis. The condition seems to result from a combination of genetic (hereditary) and environmental factors.

Skin Cancer                  Back to Top

What is a Basal Cell Carcinoma?
A Basal Cell Carcinoma is a type of malignant skin tumor. In most cases, the pearly appearance and rolled borders of the tumor make the clinical diagnosis obvious for the trained physician. It stems from the basal layer of the epidermis, causing local destruction to healthy tissue as it grows. It rarely spreads to neighboring organs and other non-dermal tissues, from which mortality can occur. A Basal Cell Carcinoma can develop on any part on the body surface, but is more frequent on areas exposed to the sun.

What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. However, if it is recognized and treated early, it is nearly 100% curable. If it is not caught early, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of skin cancers, it causes the most deaths.  Everyone is at some risk for melanoma, but increased risk depends on several factors: sun exposure, number of moles on the skin, skin type, and genetics. 

Psoriasis                      Back to Top

What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic, life-long skin disease characterized by white scales, redness, swelling, and itching or pain.
 
What causes Psoriasis? 

The initial cause of psoriasis is still unknown. Rapid skin growth and inflammation combine to cause the skin changes that lead to psoriasis.
 
How common is Psoriasis?
Statistics vary, but current estimates indicate that 2-3 % of the U.S. population, or around 4.5 million adults, have some psoriasis on their skin. Approximately 200,000 people are newly diagnosed with psoriasis each year. The prevalence rate varies among different ethnic groups, showing up most often in people with fair/white skin.
 
What types of Psoriasis are there? 
Psoriasis comes in many forms. Each differs in severity, duration, location, shape, and pattern of the scales.  The most common form, called plaque psoriasis, begins with little red bumps. Gradually, these become larger, and scales form. While the top scales flake off easily and often, scales below the surface stick together.

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