Posts for category: Dermatology
How your dermatologists in Wellesley Hills, MA, can help give you clear skin
Acne can do damage to your self-esteem and self-confidence, and it can do damage to your skin. Acne can leave scars behind, even after the acne is gone. Your dermatologist can help treat your acne and give you back your clear, beautiful skin. The dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley, Hills, MA, offer a full line of skincare solutions including treatment approaches for acne.
If you have acne, you are not alone. In fact, acne affects more people in this country than any other skin condition, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It’s caused by your pores becoming clogged with excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. When your pores are clogged, they become inflamed, swollen, red, and painful. Acne can take on many forms including blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts which contain pus.
Acne also doesn't discriminate according to age. Both teenagers and adults are affected by acne blemishes and acne scarring. Acne is not only unsightly, but it can affect you emotionally, causing social stigma and other issues. Many people affected by acne initially turn to over-the-counter acne treatments.
Over-the-counter acne treatments containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide may work for mild cases of acne. For moderate to severe acne cases, you need to see a professional, your dermatologist. Some common approaches to acne treatment include:
- Tretinoin, which helps to unplug clogged pores
- Professional strength benzoyl peroxide, which reduces pore blockage
- Oral and topical antibiotic medication to treat an underlying bacterial infection
- Manual extraction of blackheads and whiteheads using an extraction tool
- Treatments for hormone-related acne
If you have acne scarring in addition to acne, your dermatologist can help with that too. Chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and other techniques are very effective ways to diminish acne scars. To find out more about approaches to acne treatment and acne scarring, call the dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley, Hills, MA, at (781) 237-3500 today!
The American Cancer Society reports that skin cancer is the most common type of malignancy. Fortunately, a routine skin exam can catch suspicious spots, bumps and lumps before they advance. At Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates, your four board-certified dermatologists can show you ways to examine your skin at home, and they recommend routine in-office check-ups, too.
When should you receive a skin examination?
Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates recommends annual skin examinations for everyone age 40 and up. The rationale is simple: your dermatologist possesses expertise in exactly what those freckles, spots and bumps on your skin may mean. Also, he or she can biopsy, or analyze, suspicious lesions right away, and as needed, start you on the latest treatments.
Plus, your Wellesley dermatologist advises at-home skin examinations for all adults. These simple, monthly body checks help you to know your skin well and to detect changes quickly so you can report them to your physician.
The American Cancer Society emphasizes the importance of skin examinations. Early detection means early cure, even for the most deadly of skin cancers such as malignant melanoma.
How to perform a skin examination
The best time to perform a skin exam at home is after you shower or whenever you have sufficient time to do a thorough check--front to back, head to toe. Simply stand in front of a full length mirror and note all areas of your skin, focusing on the overall color, texture and appearance of freckles, spots and moles.
Be sure to check hidden areas of your body such as between the toes, bottoms of your feet, scalp, and back. Use a handheld mirror as needed, and enlist the help of a spouse or family member to assess what you cannot see yourself.
Changes in color, shapes, size, and texture are important. A sore which does not heal within a week to 10 days, or begins to bleed, hurt, itch or ooze, must be reported to your dermatologist for further analysis.
When you have a question...
If a spot or bump on your skin concerns you, please contact Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates. Our professional team is highly experienced and credentialed in evaluating and treating all kinds of skin conditions, including skin cancer. Also, they can teach you ways to assess your skin properly and how to keep it at its healthiest.
The office opens at 7 am weekdays for your convenience. Call us today for an appointment in Wellesley, MA. Get that skin examination done! Phone (781) 237-3500.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect adults in the U.S. Luckily, many methods are available for treating skin cancer, especially when the disease is caught early. If you are concerned that you may have the condition, the dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley Hills, MA, are your doctors for the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer!
What are the different types of skin cancer?
There are several kinds of skin cancer. The two most common types among adults in the U.S. are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Both types are highly treatable when caught early. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, but it is also the rarest.
How can skin cancer risk be reduced?
Sun exposure can increase your risk for skin cancer, particularly if you have sustained sunburns. Using sunscreen with a high SPF and limiting your skin’s exposure to the sun can reduce your risk for skin cancer. Another way to reduce skin cancer risk is to avoid using tanning beds.
What are the signs of skin cancer?
The presence of skin cancer often produces changes in the appearance and texture of the skin, especially where moles are present. Such changes in the skin can be detected early by examining your skin regularly and by scheduling annual skin cancer screenings with a dermatologist. Some signs of the possible presence of skin cancer include:
- Changes in the color, size, or shape of moles
- The development of new moles on the skin
- Sudden itching or bleeding of moles
- Speckled brown spots on the skin
- Patches of red or pink scaly lesions on the skin
- Translucent, waxy cone-shaped growths on the skin
- Black or brown streaks under the fingernails or toenails
What treatments are there for skin cancer?
There are several options available at our Wellesley office for treating skin cancer in. Some of these treatments include:
- Surgical excision—Tumor is surgically removed from the skin.
- Radiation therapy—Radiation is used to target and kill cancer skills.
- Cryosurgery—Tumor is frozen off using liquid nitrogen.
- Mohs micrographic surgery—Areas of skin affected by cancer are mapped to minimize the removal of healthy skin.
- Curettage and desiccation—Tumor is scraped out and an electric current is applied to the area to kill off any remaining cancer cells
- Prescription medicated creams—Creams are applied to the skin in order to help stimulate the body’s immune system to target the cancer cells.
Annual skin cancer screenings with a dermatologist can help with the early detection of skin cancer, an action that helps maximize treatment success. For annual screenings, diagnosis, and treatment of skin cancer in Wellesley, MA, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates by calling (781) 237-3500 today!
Skin cancer doesn't always cause dramatic changes. In fact, symptoms can be subtle and easily confused with blemishes or minor skin irritations. The dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Association in Wellesley, MA, offer screenings and other services and treatments that help you protect your skin.
Should I worry about that spot or mole?
It's not unusual to experience an occasional pimple or patch of red or dry skin from time to time. Unfortunately, blemishes that don't go away after a few weeks can be signs of basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer.
Basal cell skin cancer is the most common form of skin cancer in the United States, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Symptoms include rounded, pimple-like bumps; sores that never heal; or brown, black, red, or pink patches of skin.
If you have squamous cell skin cancer, you may also notice red bumps or patches of red, flaky, or crusty skin. Your risk of developing basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer increases due to sun exposure or use of tanning beds. Although neither type of cancer tends to spread, the cancerous cells can invade the deeper layers of the skin if you don't receive prompt diagnosis and treatment.
A change in a mole can be a sign that you have melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer that can spread throughout your body. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using the "ABCDE" method when evaluating moles. Consider these factors when examining your moles:
- Asymmetry: Do both sides look the same? If one side of the mole doesn't mirror the other half, it's a good idea to contact your Wellesley skin doctor.
- Borders: Rough, irregular, or blurred borders also warrant a call to your dermatologist.
- Color: Healthy moles aren't multi-colored and don't change color.
- Diameter: Moles may be more likely to become cancerous if they're bigger than the eraser at the end of a pencil.
- Evolving: Have you noticed a change in the size, color, or shape of your mole? Does it itch, ooze fluid, or bleed?
Are you concerned about a strange spot or a suspicious mole? Call your dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Association in Wellesley, MA, at (781) 237-3500 to schedule an appointment.
Are you wondering whether certain skin changes could be warning you about skin cancer?
Skin cancer can happen to anyone. If you’ve ever had a sunburn at any point in your lifetime (even your childhood) then you are at an increased risk for skin cancer. Furthermore, those with fair skin, light hair and eyes, and people who spend a lot of time outdoors are also more prone to developing skin cancer. Read below to learn what you should look for the next time you perform your own skin exam, and, as always, call our Wellesley Hills, MA, dermatology office if you have any concerns!
Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
There are several different kinds of skin cancer, but most people hear “skin cancer” and think of melanoma, although there are also non-melanoma forms, as well. It’s important that you are looking for both during your self-exams. Here’s what to look for:
Most doctors will tell you to remember your ABCDEs when it comes to detecting melanoma lesions. ABCDE stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolving. A healthy mole will be symmetrical, a single color, have a clearly defined border, and won’t change throughout the years.
It’s time to give us a call if you notice any moles or growths that are,
- Have a poorly defined or ragged border
- Have different colors or shades of color
- Larger than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
- Changing (in color, shape or size)
Furthermore, any sores that do not heal, or that itch, crust over, or bleed should also be checked out by a dermatologist.
Even though it’s important to detect melanoma early, you should still be on the lookout for non-melanoma skin cancer, as well. Common signs include,
- Red, scaly raised patches
- A smooth, shiny lump (often pink, red, or white)
- A growth with visible blood vessels
- Flat white or yellow patches that resemble scars
- A recurring sore
Treating Skin Cancer
How our Wellesley Hills, MA, skin doctor decides to treat your skin cancer will depend on several factors, including the location, type, and severity of your skin cancer, and whether the cancer has spread. There are many different kinds of skin cancer treatment options including,
- Excisional surgery
- Mohs surgery (most commonly used)
- Radiation therapy
- Chemotherapy (sometimes topical)
- Photodynamic therapy
- Immunotherapy (sometimes topical)
- Targeted therapy
Are you living in Wellesley Hills, MA, and noticing a new growth or changes in a mole? If so, then it’s best to play it safe and schedule a skin cancer screening with us. Here at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates, we are dedicated to providing your entire family with the trustworthy skin care they need to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer during their lifetime. Give us a call at (781) 237-3500!