Moles are normally harmless, but in rare cases they can become a dermatological and medical concern. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that over 160,000 Americans are diagnosed with a melanoma each year., and one-third start as existing moles. Find out why you should schedule time for a mole screening at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley Hills, MA.
What Is a Mole?
A skin mole is a small dark red, brown, or black mark on the skin that is often circular in shape, but can also be slightly irregular. Sometimes a mole is raised above skin-level and sometimes it is flush with the rest of the skin. Some people are born with moles while others develop them in childhood or adulthood. Moles can appear anywhere on the body.
A mole screening is simply an appointment with your dermatologist to check out the moles and other marks on your body. These are some of the things your Wellesley Hills, MA dermatologist will be looking for at the screening appointment:
- Changes in the border of the mole (uneven or jagged)
- A mole that is growing in size or is larger than the eraser on a pencil.
- A mole that is changing in color or has multiple shades.
- New moles that suddenly appear on the skin.
- Redness, irritation or bleeding from the mole.
Treatments for Moles
If a mole is benign, your dermatologist will likely recommend that you leave it as it is. Avoid picking at it or trying to remove a mole yourself at home. If you want a mole removed for cosmetic reasons, always go to your dermatologist for the procedure. A mole that is diagnosed with cancerous cells after a biopsy will be removed surgically and treated with radiation therapy if necessary. It's important to have regular mole and skin screenings so that this issue can be caught in the earliest stages.
Play It Safe
If you have concerns that a mole may be changing or causing you discomfort, see a dermatologist at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Association in Wellesley Hills, MA. Call (781) 237-3500 today to schedule an appointment.
Acne frustrates millions of Americans of all ages--teens, in particular, but also, an increasing number of women in their thirties, forties and fifties, says the American Academy of Dermatology. Just what is acne, and what treatment options does your dermatologist at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates offer? Well, there are many, and you can count on Dr. David Aghassi, Dr. Elaine Kaye and Dr. Michael Goldaber to precisely diagnose and treat your acne in Wellesley Hills, MA so that you can experience your best possible skin.
The details on acne
Numerous hair follicles and their associated oil glands cover the surface of our bodies--not just our scalps. When these follicles clog with excess oil (sebum), acne lesions result in the form of:
- Whiteheads and blackheads (comedones)
- Red pustules
Predominant on the face, neck, shoulders and chest, acne is unsightly, sore and when persistent, can lead to anxiety and depression. This additional stress tends to escalate break-outs as does increased levels of testosterone during the teen years and during hormonal fluctuations associated with menstruation.
Treatments for acne
Your dermatologist will examine your skin and talk to you about your symptoms and flare-ups before composing an individualized treatment plan. Your plan may include simple home care, over the counter treatments, prescription medications, in-office treatments or some combination of therapies.
Common acne treatments are:
- Benzoyl peroxide applied topically to clear follicles and pores of oil and dead skin cells
- Oral or topical antibiotics for infected areas
- Vitamin A (Tretinoin)
- Hormone therapy (birth control pills for women)
- Extraction with a small, hand-held instrument (done by your dermatologist in the office)
While acne can be very stubborn, you and your doctor can control it and avoid or minimize scarring. Prevention of symptoms starts at home with:
- Daily cleansing of affected areas and after gym workouts
- Conscientious application of topical medications as directed
- Avoiding touching the lesions as much as possible
- Never squeezing or scrubbing lesions as this causes infection and irritation
What's your skin goal?
The friendly and highly skilled team at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates are very experienced in the control of acne. They'll help you reach your goal. For an appointment, call our office today at (781) 237-3500.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer among adults in the U.S. In fact, approximately one in five adult Americans will develop skin cancer. Taking precautions when in the sun and watching for changes in your skin can help you prevent skin cancer or detect it early if it does develop. Early detection is important for improving your odds of successful treatment. At Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates, Dr. Michael Goldaber, Dr. Elaine Kaye and Dr. David Aghassi are your doctors for treatment of skin cancer in Wellesley Hills, MA.
Types of Skin Cancer
The two most common types of skin cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Both can develop after years of sun exposure and sun-damage. While the least common type of cancer, melanoma is the most lethal and is responsible for more skin cancer related deaths than any other type of skin cancer in the U.S. Melanoma can develop after extensive exposure to ultraviolet rays via tanning in the sun or a tanning bed.
Early detection of any of these types of skin cancer increases the odds of beating the cancer. Regularly checking your skin for changes, such as the development of new moles or changes in the shape or color of existing ones, helps with early detection. If you do notice any changes, be sure to see a dermatologist right away. The dermatologist can perform a biopsy to determine if cancer is present and recommend the appropriate course of treatment if it is.
Skin Cancer Treatments
The treatment methods used will depend on the type of skin cancer you have, as well as whether the cancer is in the early or late stages of development. For treatment of skin cancer in Wellesley Hills the dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates will diagnose the specific type of skin cancer you have and assess your situation. Skin cancer treatment can include any of the following methods:
- Curettage and desiccation, which involves scraping out the tumor and applying an electric current to kill off any lingering cancer cells.
- Surgical excision in which the tumor is surgically removed from the skin.
- Radiation therapy, in which radiation directly at the affected area to kill cancer skills.
- Cryosurgery, in which the tumor is frozen off using liquid nitrogen.
- Mohs micrographic surgery, which involves mapping of the affected skin tissue to minimize removal of healthy skin tissue.
- Prescription medicated creams, which are topically applied to the skin and help stimulate the body’s immune system to target cancer cells.
Early detection of skin cancer gives you the best chance of successfully eliminating the cancer before it spreads and leads to other health problems. There are a variety of treatments for skin cancer in Wellesley Hills, CA. If you notice any unusual changes in your skin, such as new spots or changes in the shape of existing moles, contact Dr. Goldaber, Dr. Kaye or Dr. Aghassi by calling Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates at (781) 237-3500.
Isn’t it about time you scheduled your upcoming skin cancer evaluation with us?
Even if you aren’t noticing any changes in your skin, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still consider the importance of getting a skin cancer screening. Our Wellesley Hills, MA, dermatologists Dr. Michael Goldaber, Dr. Elaine Kaye and Dr. David Aghassi are here to tell you how often you should be coming in for a routine screening and what symptoms warrant an upcoming visit.
First and foremost, are you performing skin screenings once a month on yourself? If you aren’t, you should start immediately. Why? This monthly self-exam can be one of the best ways to detect problems early on when they are often easier to treat. This should be a habit that everyone adopts, whether you have any risk factors or not.
Of course, at least once a year you should visit our Wellesley Hills skin doctors for a full skin cancer screening. We have the specialized training to be able to detect changes or problems with certain growths, moles or freckles. These exams are completely painless and they only take a few minutes to complete. Remember: Coming in to see us for a few minutes once a year could just end up saving your life.
What puts someone at risk for developing skin cancer?
While anyone can develop skin cancer, there are certainly some factors that can predispose someone to develop this form of cancer. Some risk factors include:
- Using tanning beds
- Having fair skin
- Having blue or green eyes
- Having blonde or red hair
- Having a lot of freckles
- Being outdoors for long periods of time
- A family history of skin cancer
- A personal history of skin cancer
- Having experienced sunburns in your childhood
If you are someone who burns easily and doesn’t really tan, then exposing your skin to UVA and UVB rays could be harmful to your skin’s health. Of course everyone, regardless of whether you tan or not, should apply broad-spectrum sunscreen every day that has at least an SPF of 15.
Protect the health of your skin by getting a skin cancer screening in Wellesley Hills, MA. Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates are here to make sure that your skin gets the care it needs to both look and feel its best. Book an appointment with us today.
Find out the best ways to handle a rash.
You just discovered a rash on your body. Now what? Our Wellesley Hills, MA, dermatologists offer up some common causes of rashes, how they are treated and when it’s time to seek medical attention.
What is causing my rash?
This is something that is nearly impossible to determine online no matter how much you try to self-diagnose. While most rashes will go away on their own, it’s important to know what could be causing this skin problem and when medical care is necessary. Common causes of rashes include:
- Dermatitis (allergic or irritant)
- Lichen planus
- Fungal infections (e.g. candida; ringworm)
- Bacterial infections (e.g. strep throat; folliculitis)
- Parasites (e.g. scabies)
- Viral infections (e.g. shingles; Epstein-Barr virus)
- Poison ivy or oak
- Drug allergies
- Insect stings or bites
- Heat rash
- Autoimmune disorders (e.g. lupus)
- Food allergies
When should I call my dermatologist?
Even though rashes can often be managed through easy over-the-counter remedies to help soothe itching or burning associated with your rash, there are still times when you will want to turn to our Wellesley Hills, MA, skin doctor instead of relying on at-home treatments. Call us if you are experiencing these issues:
- A rash that continues to get worse or doesn’t get better after a few days
- A rash that is also accompanied by joint paint, fever, chills, body aches, sore throat or headache
- A rash that continues to spread or takes over a widespread area of the body
- A rash that is painful or contains blisters
- A rash that contains pus
- A rash that appears right after eating or after being bitten or stung by a bug
- A rash that affects your daily activities
- A rash that causes the skin to turn dark
If you are dealing with a worsening or painful rash, it’s always a good idea to turn to our doctors for care as soon as possible. Here at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley Hills, MA, we offer a comprehensive list of skincare services to meet your needs. Whether you need to treat your rash or talk to us about acne treatments, we can help!
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