Full-Body Skin Exams
Full-body skin exams are an important tool in screening patients for benign or cancerous lesions that they may not have been able to see or recognize on their own. From head to toe and back to front, we inspect the skin for any suspicious growths. This quick and painless preventive measure is an invaluable tool in the early detection of skin cancer as well as many other dermatological conditions.
Mole Removal / Birthmark Removal
Moles and other birthmarks are benign pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color from tan, brown and black (moles) to red, pink or purple (vascular lesions, such as strawberry hemangiomas or port wine stains). Though most birthmarks are harmless, they may develop into cancer. Moles exhibiting any of the following warning signs should be examined by a professional immediately:
- Larger than six millimeters.
- Itches or bleeds.
- Rapidly changes in color, size or shape.
- Has multiple colors.
- Is located where it can't be easily monitored, such as on the scalp.
Depending on their depth, location and color, as well as the patient's skin type, age and other factors, treatment for benign but unattractive birthmarks may take the form of laser or pulsed light therapy, microdermabrasion or surgical excision.
While our bodies are almost completely covered in tiny, fine hairs, for some people hair may be more noticeable or troublesome. Unwanted hair can be embarrassing for many people, especially women, and can lead to low self-confidence, restricted clothing options or constant shaving or waxing to remove the hair. These problems most often arise in people with light skin and dark hair, although anyone can experience excessive or unwanted hair on the face or body.
There are many treatment options available for effective removal of unwanted hair, depending on the amount and location of the hair, as well as the patient's desired goals. Laser hair removal exposes specific areas of the body to beams of laser light that disable active hair follicles and delay or prevent re-growth. Ideal for patents with dark skin, this procedure effectively removes unwanted facial or body hair after a series of treatment sessions. Most patients experience a complete removal or significant reduction in hair growth after treatment and no longer have to worry about ongoing hair removal treatments.
Warts are skin growths caused by viruses. Different warts respond to different treatments; some go away on their own. Salicylic acid products (in the form of drops, gels, pads and bandages) can help self-treatment of many warts by dissolving the keratin protein that makes up the wart and the dead skin above it. Others can be removed via liquid nitrogen freezing or electrical stimulation. Surgery may be recommended for painful or large warts that do not respond to these treatments.
Sun damage can affect any area of your skin as a result of long-term exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Sun damage most commonly occurs on the face, hands and arms, and may lead to sun spots, age spots, rough skin and wrinkles. Years of sun exposure can also lead to premature aging and skin cancer.
The best treatment against sun damage is preventing it from occurring in the first place. It is important to wear sunscreen lotion on a daily basis and avoid excessive exposure to the sun, especially during mid-day hours when the sun is strongest. Existing sun damage can be treated through skin procedures like BOTOX®, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and intense pulsed light therapy.
Skin cancer refers to the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of skin cells. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Risk factors include pale skin, family history of melanoma, being over 40 years old, and regular sun exposure. Fortunately, skin cancer is almost always curable if detected and treated early.
The most common skin cancers are:
- Basal cell carcinoma - 80-85% of all skin cancers. Basal cell carcinoma affects cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis.
- Squamous cell carcinoma - 10% of all skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma affects cells in the middle layer of the epidermis.
- Melanoma - 5% of all skin cancers. Melanoma is a rare but very dangerous type of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of death from skin disease.
Skin cancers vary in shape, color, size and texture, so any new, changed or otherwise suspicious growths or rashes should be examined immediately by a physician. Early intervention is essential to preventing the cancer from spreading.