Posts for: January, 2022
How your dermatologists in Honolulu, HI, can help if you have skin cancer
Do you take a good look at your skin on a regular basis? Most people don’t but doing a self-check of your skin is a great way to prevent skin cancer. A quick check of your moles can do a lot to identify suspicious areas early. Your dermatologist can help.
The dermatologists at Dawson Dermatology offer a wide range of cosmetic and medical dermatology services, including diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. They have two convenient office locations in Honolulu, HI, to help you. Talk to Drs. Erin Fuller, Kevin Dawson, Douglas Chun, and Sarah Grekin today.
When you check your skin, you should look out for these signs and symptoms of skin cancer:
- Moles that have poorly defined, ragged borders
- Moles with an asymmetrical shape
- Moles with a diameter of 6 millimeters or greater
- Moles that have grown back after the previous removal
- Moles that ooze or bleed
- Itchy, scaly patches of skin
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms while doing a self-check of your skin, make an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as you can. Don’t delay, because early diagnosis and early treatment of skin cancer are critical to a good outcome.
In addition to doing regular self-checks of your skin, there are some other important steps to follow to prevent skin cancer. Remember to:
- Avoid using tanning booths
- Use an SPF of at least 15 every day
- Use an SPF of at least 30 if you spend a lot of time outside
- Avoid being in direct sunlight between 10 AM to 4 PM, because UV rays are the most damaging at these times
- Wear protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses
A skin cancer diagnosis can be scary, but there are several effective treatments for skin cancer, including:
Cryosurgery; the lesion is frozen using liquid nitrogen
Curettage and desiccation; the lesion is scraped and electric current is applied, which kills cancerous cells
Surgical excision; the lesion is completely cut out
Mohs micrographic surgery; the lesion is removed in layers and each layer is examined under a microscope
Radiation therapy; radiation is used to kill cancerous cells
Chemotherapy; used in combination with surgery and radiation to treat malignant melanoma
Your dermatologist can help if you have skin cancer, but you must take action. To learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of skin cancer, talk with the experts. Call Drs. Erin Fuller, Kevin Dawson, Douglas Chun, and Sarah Grekin at Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu, HI, at (808) 599-3780. Call today!
How is vitiligo treated?
There is currently no cure for vitiligo but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to target and add pigment back into these depigmented patches of skin. Some of these treatment options include:
UVB Light Therapy
This is one of the oldest and most commonly used treatment options for vitiligo, which exposes areas of the body to light therapy multiple times a week. This narrow-band light therapy works by triggering the production of melanocytes, a skin cell responsible for producing pigmentation in the skin.
Various topical creams can repigment the skin. Your dermatologist will look at the size and location of your vitiligo patches to determine the best topical medications for the job. Common topical medications include corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, calcipotriene, and depigmentation medications.
Steroids are topical anti-inflammatories that can slow vitiligo and allow the body to produce more melanocytes. It can take up to a month to start seeing results. When steroids aren’t the ideal option, which is particularly common if a patient has patches of vitiligo in more sensitive areas such as the genitals or lips, your dermatologist may recommend calcineurin inhibitors.
If the majority of your body contains vitiligo patches, the best option may be to lighten the rest of your skin to reduce the appearance of these depigmented patches. This can be done with a topical depigmentation medication or light therapy. Medications are often recommended in conjunction with light therapy, but if light therapy isn’t being used then your dermatologist may recommend two or more medications to be used at the same time.
You don’t have to deal with vitiligo alone. A dermatologist can be the best medical specialist for helping you treat and manage your vitiligo symptoms. To learn more or to schedule an evaluation, call your dermatologist today.
A simple, painless skin cancer screening could just save your life.
Anyone who lives in Honolulu will tell you how much they love the warm, sunny weather. It really is glorious to get to enjoy a day surfing the waves or simply lying on the beach; however, those years spent in the sun could increase your risk for skin cancer, so it’s important that you are protecting your skin, too. One way to do that is by turning to our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists Dr. Erin Fuller, Kevin Dawson, Douglas Chun, and Sarah Grekin for routine skin cancer screenings.
How often should I get a skin cancer screening?
It’s important that everyone sees our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists at least once a year for a comprehensive skin check. These exams can help our team spot cancer early when it’s easily treatable. Those at high risk for skin cancer may want to talk to us about how often they should come in for screenings, as they may want to come in more than once a year.
What are the risk factors for skin cancer?
It’s important to recognize your risk for developing skin cancer over your lifetime. Risk factors for skin cancer include,
- History of severe sunburn
- History of using tanning beds
- Not using sunscreen
- Family history of skin cancer
- Fair skin and hair
- Extended periods spent out in the sun (e.g. gardening; construction worker)
- Being immunocompromised
What are the warning signs of skin cancer?
It’s important that along with visiting our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists for annual or biannual screenings that you also are examining your skin regularly. What should you be looking for when you perform self-skin cancer screenings? Look at all moles from head to toe. Check for asymmetry, irregular border, changes in color (or multiple colors), changes in size, or moles that look different in any way. Moles that itch, bleed, or are red should also be examined by our team.
Is it time you turned to our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists for a skin check? If it’s been more than a year since your last one, or you’ve never had one before, it’s time to call Dawson Dermatology at (808) 599-3780 to schedule yours. Schedule an appointment with Drs: Erin Fuller, Kevin Dawson, Douglas Chun, and Sarah Grekin today.