A common condition that encompasses blocked pores (blackheads & whiteheads), pustules, and/or nodules occurring on the face and/or chest. Acne can vary in severity and can respond to over-the-counter treatments, but often requires the need for prescription acne medications. Acne is not life threatening but may result in scarring. It is important to treat acne early to prevent scarring of the skin. Topical and/or oral medication can be used to improve acne.
Eczema represents inflammation of the skin that can be related to irritants, allergic reactions to substances, or has an unknown source. Most often, the cause of eczema is unknown. Eczema tends to be worse in the winter. The use of a daily moisturizer on the skin is of great importance. Topical anti-inflammatory medications can help control eczema. Sometimes, stronger treatments such as phototherapy, pills, or injections may be needed.
Rosacea is often characterized by redness of the face and can sometimes include broken red blood vessels known as telangiectasias. Acne-like lesions or nodules may also occur in association with the redness. Patients often complain of certain "triggers" such as sun, stress, spicy foods, caffeine, or alcoholic beverages, among others. Avoidance of relevant triggers is recommended. There are topical and oral medications that can improve rosacea. Light-based treatment, such as the the Vbeam Perfecta® laser or Broad Band Light (BBL), may also be helpful, particularly for the redness and telangiectasias.
One of the most common skin conditions, psoriasis is an inflammatory condition of the skin that affects over 2% of the US population. Psoriasis is characterized by pink, scaly areas of skin (often on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but can occur on other parts of the body as well). Occasionally, patients will complain of itchiness associated with their psoriasis. The condition varies in severity, with milder forms responding well to topical medications and more severe forms requiring phototherapy, oral or injectable medications.
Phototherapy, or light therapy, is a treatment that involves the use of artificial ultraviolet (UV) light to control certain types of inflammation of the skin.
A full body skin exam is performed to screen for skin cancer. Typically, the doctor looks for any unusual lesions on the skin, such as skin cancer or atypical moles. If a suspicious lesion is detected on examination, a biopsy (skin sample) may be taken for microscopic evaluation.
The most common forms of skin cancer include Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma. Melanoma is the most concerning due to its ability to spread from the skin to other parts of the body quickly. Early detection of a melanoma is critical. Inform your doctor if you notice any moles that are changing in size, symmetry, shape, or color. Also inform your doctor of any spots that bleed easily, fail to heal, or are persistently scaly. A full-body skin exam can be done to look for suspicious lesions.
Mohs micrographic surgery is a method for removal of skin cancer with the preservation of as much surrounding normal tissue as is possible. This type of surgery is very useful for large tumors, tumors with indistinct borders, tumors near vital structures or with high cosmetic concern, and tumors in which other forms of therapy have failed. Mohs surgery requires specific fellowship training following dermatology residency. Dr. Marisa Braun provides Mohs surgery services at our office every other week.