Posts for tag: Dermatologist
Remember Your ABCDEs
This easy-to-remember acronym will help you spot those signs of skin cancer whenever you examine moles yourself. This is what it stands for,
- A is for asymmetry: A healthy mole will be perfectly circular and symmetrical. If you find that half of the mole is shaped differently from the other half, this could be a sign of pre-cancerous growth.
- B is for a border: A healthy mole will have a clearly defined border. If the mole has a jagged or an even or poorly defined border, it’s time to visit your dermatologist.
- C is for color: A healthy mole will remain a singular color throughout your life. If the mole changes color or develops multiple colors this could be a sign of skin cancer.
- D is for diameter: A healthy mole is typically smaller than a pencil eraser (under 5mm). Moles over 5mm, or larger than a pencil eraser, may be cause for concern. Large moles warrant seeing a dermatologist.
- E is for evolving: A healthy mole will remain the same over the course of your lifetime. So, if you notice it changing at all then it’s worth having a dermatologist look at it.
Along with remembering your ABCDEs, it’s also a good idea to look for,
- New moles: Just because you develop a new mole doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s cancerous; however, if you start noticing any new moles developing past the age of 20 (particularly on the face, neck, shoulder, or other sun-exposed areas), this warrants an evaluation with a skincare professional.
- Troublesome moles: Do you have a mole that bleeds, itches, crusts over, or is painful or tender? If so, the mole should be checked out.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It covers and protects your internal organs, muscles and bones from outside invaders, and it helps maintain and regulate body temperature and water balance. It’s also a window to your overall health, and when something is awry with your body, it often shows up in the form of a skin condition. That’s why it’s important to give it extra care and attention every day. While many skin problems can be safely treated from the comfort of your home, others require care from a specialist, otherwise known as a dermatologist.
What do Dermatologists Do?
A dermatologist is a trained medical doctor who specializes in the health of your skin, hair, and nails. These doctors can treat a wide range of skin problems and conditions, including acne, eczema, scarring, moles, warts, psoriasis and skin cancer.
Some dermatologists specialize in cosmetic dermatology, a branch of dermatology that deals with correcting and improving skin flaws, such as sun damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, sagging skin and scarring. Cosmetic dermatologists work with patients to improve their skin’s appearance, restoring it to a natural, more youthful state by utilizing a variety of cosmetic procedures, such as fillers, wrinkle relaxers, laser treatments and facial peels.
When to See a Dermatologist
Whenever you have a question or concern regarding the health of your skin, nails or hair, it’s important to schedule a visit to your dermatologist. Unusual symptoms, such as a strange bump, excessive hair growth or hair loss, or brittle nails are all good reasons to pay your dermatologist a visit.
In addition, if you have risk factors that increase your likelihood for developing skin cancer, then visiting a dermatologist regularly for checkups is the key to early detection and treatment. Melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer, but if caught early enough it is nearly always curable.
Other people choose to visit a dermatologist for cosmetic reasons, such as unwanted spider veins, fine lines or sunspots. A trained cosmetic dermatologist will work with you to create a customized skin care regimen based on your individual needs and goals for treatment.
Whether you’re worried about an abnormal mole, waging a war against breakouts or looking to erase fine lines, it may be time to visit your dermatologist. By partnering with a dermatologist, you can help keep your skin healthy for a lifetime. The specialists can also help educate you about your skin type and teach you how to best implement a daily skin care routine for optimal skin health.
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes afflicts more than 25 million children and adults in the United States. Of these, 7 million do not know they have the disease. At some point in their lives, about 1 in 3 people with diabetes will develop skin problems related to the disorder.
Most skin conditions suffered by people with diabetes are due to immune-system deficiencies caused by high blood sugar. These outbreaks can be as harmless as dry skin or a rash, or may result in a serious infection. Diabetics tend to get the following skin conditions more easily:
- Bacterial infections--such as styes, boils and nail infections
- Fungal infections--such as athlete’s foot and ringworm
- Neuropathy--which can lead to foot ulcers, and in severe case, amputation
If not cared for properly, a minor skin condition in a person with diabetes can turn into a serious problem with severe consequences. The good news is that most skin problems can be prevented and treated with proper care and early detection. The role of your dermatologist can be very important in early recognition of skin conditions associated with diabetes.
Tips for controlling your diabetes and improving your skin health:
- Control your blood glucose level. Manage your diabetes by following a proper diet, exercising and checking your blood sugar levels on a regular basis.
- Moisturize. Prevent dry skin by using a lotion after washing.
- Inspect your feet. Feet are especially vulnerable to injuries due to poor circulation and lack of sensation that is associated with diabetes. Make sure your shoes fit properly, never walk barefoot, use extra precaution when cutting toenails and check your feet daily for minor injuries that can often go unnoticed.
- Keep skin clean and dry. Keep your skin clean by washing regularly in warm water and using mild soap. Gently pat your skin dry, paying extra attention to places where water can hide.
- Protect your skin from the sun. Always apply sunscreen to protect your skin from burning and blistering that can lead to serious infections.
- Inspect skin daily. Check daily for any changes in your skin, paying special attention to known problem areas such as the feet. Changes in skin color or temperature, swelling, pain or open sores that are slow to heal may signify a problem. Notify your dermatologist right away if you suspect a problem.
Keeping your diabetes under control is the most important factor in preventing the skin-related complications of diabetes. Follow your health care provider's advice regarding nutrition, exercise and medication. A dermatologist can help diabetic patients identify skin conditions and recommend the best course of prevention and treatment.
Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and we want to make sure you keep it as healthy as possible for the rest of your life. That’s why we’ve started this dermatology blog on our website, to keep you up to date on the latest advances in skin care.
Any abnormality on your skin can be a surprising and even frightening prospect. Feel free to browse our blog for posts on a number of topics to help you decide when it’s time to visit the dermatologist.
Check back regularly for updates! If you’d like to subscribe to our blog, just use the ‘Subscribe to Our RSS Feed’ link at the top of the blog page with your favorite RSS reader. And, as always, feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns.