Posts for category: Dermatology
Mohs surgery, also called Mohs micrographic surgery, is a surgical procedure used for treating skin cancer. During treatment, thin layers of cancer-cell-containing skin are extracted and inspected until only tissues without cancer cells are left.
When is Mohs Surgery Recommended?
Mohs surgery is commonly recommended for treating common types of skin cancers including squamous and basal cell carcinomas, some forms of melanoma, and other more atypical forms of skin cancer. It is, however, particularly effective for skin cancer types that:
• Are aggressive and/or large
• Have indefinable borders or edges
• Are situated in bodily areas where preservation of healthy tissue is paramount, like those around the ears, eyes, mouth, nose, genitals, feet, and hands
• Have an increased risk of recurring or have already recurred following treatment in the past
Mohs Surgery Results and Other Vital Things to Remember
Among the most practical advantages offered by Mohs surgery is that you’ll be able to quickly obtain results. It’s also performed under local anesthesia and is an outpatient procedure. To ensure that the site is healing properly, you simply need to attend follow-up appointments at our Winston Salem, NC office.
It’s also crucial to keep in mind that while Mohs surgery is usually successful, your risk of developing another type of skin cancer or your previous cancer recurring will always be there. Studies have shown that individuals who’ve had skin cancer have a higher risk of developing it again when compared to individuals who haven’t had skin cancer. This is why routine follow-up visits and skin cancer screenings with your dermatologist are vital.
For Any Concerns or Questions About Skin Cancer, Contact Us
Mohs surgery is performed by Jenny Stone, M.D. at our Winston Salem, NC office. Arrange a consultation with her at Westgate Dermatology and Laser Center by calling (336) 768-1280
Tired of having to pluck, wax, and shave every few days? Dealing with thick, dark and unsightly hair in visible areas such as the chin or shoulders? If so, a dermatologist can provide you with a more effective solution for getting rid of unwanted body hair faster and easier. The answer lies in laser hair removal.
Plucking and waxing can be painful and shaving can leave you with ingrown hairs and irritation. None of these methods are fun. Plus, you have to keep doing it every few days or every week if you want smooth skin. Why go through the hassle when a dermatologist can help you get rid of hair without ever having to lift a finger?
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments. This procedure makes it easy to get smoother skin without having to deal with tweezing, shaving, or waxing. This non-invasive laser treatment can treat just about any part of the body; however, it’s most often used to treat the,
- Upper lip and chin
- Bikini line
Thanks to advanced laser technology, our dermatologist can provide patients with a safe, effective, and comfortable laser treatment to help them target and remove unwanted hair for the long term. Most laser systems offer a built-in cooling system to make treatment as comfortable as possible. Depending on the size of the treatment area, laser hair removal can take as little as 10 minutes for regions such as the upper lip or chin and as long as one hour (for a full back).
Since hair grows in cycles, you will need to get several laser hair removal sessions to ensure that our dermatologist removes as much of the hair as possible. The average person will get anywhere from 4-6 sessions. During laser hair removal, the handheld device will be directed over the skin to target and heat up the hair follicles to destroy them, preventing them from growing back. While laser hair removal will not permanently get rid of the hair, it will help the hair grow back fewer, finer, and lighter so they are far less visible.
If you think laser hair removal could help you feel more confident in your appearance, then your cosmetic dermatologist can give you the smoother results you want before summer hits.
Tattoo removal has become one of aesthetic and medical dermatology's most sought-after services. Read on to learn about how this treatment works.
Dermatologists mostly use Q-switched, or quality-switched, laser instruments for tattoo removal. Short, focused bursts of light break up the tattoo pigment that lies embedded in skin. With repeated treatments, the pigment particles eventually clear the body, and the tattoo lightens or fades away completely. Your skin doctor will tailor your treatments to your skin and to your tattoo.
Skin doctors find that older tattoos composed of darker hues such as brown or green respond best to laser removal. Colors such as red or yellow are more easily retained and may not fade completely.
These treatments are best performed by a board-certified dermatologist who will examine your skin and your tattoo, review your medical history, and give you the safest and most effective treatment options available.
The American Society for Aesthetic Surgery reports that skin doctors performed more than 45,000 tattoo removal procedures in 2013, and those numbers continue to rise. In just a few treatments, many patients experience complete erasure of their body artwork.
After your tattoo removal
As you may have some blistering, bleeding, and swelling after your laser removal procedure, you must treat your skin gently afterward. Keep the area clean and dry to avoid infection.
Additional aftercare involves:
- Avoiding sun exposure
- Keeping the treated skin covered
- Wearing loose clothing over the tattoo site
- Applying antibiotic ointment or cream as directed
If you want a tattoo removed...
See your board-certified dermatologist for a personalized consultation. They have the credentials, skill, and tools to do the job safely and effectively. Call your skin doctor today to find out more about removing tattoos.
Anyone who has ever walked through the skincare aisle of their local drugstore knows that there are tons of acne-fighting products on the market. So, which one is right for you? Should you opt for an acne cleanser or spot treatment, or both? Choosing the right acne treatment can be challenging, to say the least.
While acne is a common problem among teenagers, many people don’t just leave acne behind the minute they toss out those graduation caps. In fact, many adults well into their 20s, 30s and beyond still deal with regular acne outbreaks. So, how do you properly treat acne? There is no singular way to treat acne and the best treatment option for you and your skin will depend on the cause. While you might not know what’s to blame for your acne symptoms a dermatologist certainly can help.
Treating Acne on Your Own
If you are dealing with mild to moderate acne, look for products that contain these powerful acne-fighting ingredients:
- Salicylic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Glycolic acid
How a Dermatologist Treats Acne
If you’ve tried over-the-counter acne products for more than 12 weeks and aren’t seeing results, or if you are experiencing severe, deep or cystic acne then it’s time to turn to a skin care professional for help. The first thing your dermatologist will do is determine the cause of your acne. From there, one or more of these treatments may be recommended:
Prescription topical medications: Certain topical medications act as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, which reduces redness and inflammation associated with acne while also removing acne-causing bacteria from the surface of the skin.
A simple extraction: You should never pick at your acne or try to pop a pimple on your own, as you could end up causes further irritation or scarring; however, a dermatologist knows the safest and most effective techniques for extracting blackheads and whiteheads safely.
Birth control pills: For women who notice breakouts that correspond to their menstrual cycle, certain birth control pills may be able to reduce the amount of androgen hormones, which in turn can reduce breakouts. Talk to your dermatologist about the birth control pills that are FDA approved to treat acne.
Isotretinoin: This is an extremely intense oral retinoid that is used for treating severe, cystic acne that isn’t responsive to other treatment options. Isotretinoin is better known as Accutane, and this treatment can take up to nine months to see full results. Some patients will require multiple courses of treatment. Due to the nature of this strong medication, there are some possible side effects. It is important to discuss these side effects with your dermatologist before beginning Isotretinoin.
If you are having trouble getting your acne under control it’s important that you have a dermatologist that you can turn to for customized care. Take control of your acne once and for all.
Do you have a mole? Chances are good that you have few of them, actually. The average person has around 30-40 moles, and while moles are usually nothing to worry about it is important to be able to spot any changes that could be warning signs of skin cancer. That’s why you should perform self-exams every month to check the state of your moles. Just because they could be harmless doesn’t mean you should ignore them.
A mole that develops after the age of 30, a mole that bleeds or a changing mole could be a sign of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. This is why it’s important to check your moles regularly. When found early, melanoma is highly treatable. When it comes to pinpointing melanoma your dermatologist may teach you about the ABCDE's of skin cancer:
Asymmetry: If you were to draw a line down the middle of a mole both sides would be completely symmetrical; however, an asymmetrical mole could be a sign of melanoma.
Border: Melanoma is more likely to produce growths that have jagged or poorly defined edges.
Color: Healthy moles are usually a single color, while melanoma will often contain different colors or dark spots.
Diameter: Most healthy moles are smaller than a pencil eraser. If you notice that one or more moles are getting bigger you should speak to your dermatologist.
Evolution: Moles stay relatively the same over time; therefore, if you notice any changes to the size, color, shape, or texture then it’s time to consult with a skincare professional.
Of course, melanoma isn’t the only type of skin cancer to be on the lookout for. The two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancers include basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinomas often present as waxy-looking pale bumps on the skin, often on the head or neck, while squamous cells feel like firm nodules that may be smooth at first but become scaly.
Even if you aren’t noticing changes in your moles it’s still a good idea to schedule a skin cancer screening with your dermatologist once a year. Those at an increased risk for skin cancer may want to discuss coming in more often for exams. This exam is non invasive and could just save your life. If you’ve never had a skin cancer screening before it’s high time that you scheduled one.