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Posts for: March, 2022

By Dawson Dermatology
March 28, 2022
Category: Skin Treatments
Tags: Birthmarks  
Treating Your BirthmarksDo you have a birthmark? Chances are pretty good you do. After all, most people do. Birthmarks come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, and can develop anywhere on the body. While these markings typically aren’t anything to worry about, you may wish to see a dermatologist about your birthmark if it negatively impacts your appearance or begins to change appearance.

Most Birthmarks are Harmless

As we mentioned before, most birthmarks won’t cause you any harm or affect the health of your skin. Of course, some birthmarks could potentially cause complications and should be monitored by a dermatologist. For example, a strawberry mark can sometimes evolve into an open wound and become infected. If you’ve been told that your birthmark is a melanocytic nevus, then this is something that should be monitored regularly to make sure that it doesn’t develop into cancer later in life.

Treating a Birthmark

If you are feeling a bit self-conscious about your birthmark you’ll be happy to hear that many of them will fade over time. Of course, you may want to talk with your dermatologist about birthmark removal options if the birthmark you have could potentially cause some health risks for you or if your birthmark embarrasses you.

It’s always a good idea to talk to a dermatologist who can assess whether the benefits of having your birthmark removed outweigh the cons. For example, birthmarks that could potentially affect vision or hearing should be removed. Some removal methods include:
  • Corticosteroids: injections or oral steroids can stop the birthmark from growing and can shrink it
  • Interferon alfa-12: this can also shrink the birthmark (particularly if corticosteroids do not work effectively)
  • Laser therapy: can be used on certain birthmarks like port wine stains
Surgery may be necessary only if these other treatment options haven’t provided the proper results or if the birthmark is causing other health issues. The type of treatment you need will depend on your health, the type and location of your birthmark, and whether it’s causing any complications.

Whether you want to find out if you should have a birthmark removed or you just want to schedule a skin cancer screening, a dermatologist can help you make important decisions regarding treatment options and your skin health.

By Dawson Dermatology
March 10, 2022
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Spider Veins  
Spider VeinsMost of us, at some point during our lifetime, will develop spider veins—those tiny, purple, web-like veins caused by twisted blood vessels. While they aren’t serious they can be uncomfortable and unsightly. If you’ve been wondering about ways to get rid of spider veins, a dermatologist is going to be the ideal medical specialist to turn to, to discuss treatment options.

What are spider veins?

These small raised, swollen, and twisted blood vessels are often red, purple, or blue and are easily seen through the skin. Spider veins most commonly appear on the legs and face.

Are there any symptoms of spider veins?

Both spider and varicose veins often don’t produce any symptoms; however, some people may experience swelling, aching, burning, tingling, or cramping of the legs.

What causes spider veins?

There are a variety of reasons why spider veins may develop including,
  • Obesity
  • Heredity
  • Jobs that require standing for long periods (e.g. nursing)
  • Birth control pills
  • Medical history of blood clots
  • Pregnancy
Are there risk factors for developing spider veins?

Besides the causes above, age and gender also play a role. More women than men develop spider veins. The likelihood of developing spider veins as you age also increases. It’s believed that anywhere from 30 percent to 60 percent of adults have spider veins.

What can I do to treat spider veins?

There are many different ways in which a dermatologist can treat spider veins including,
  • Recommending support stockings: They can reduce any pain or discomfort associated with spider veins
  • Altering your lifestyle: this includes losing weight if necessary, taking care of your skin, and increasing physical activity (which can sometimes help spider veins)
  • Sclerotherapy: a common procedure used to remove unsightly spider veins. By injecting saline solution into the vein, the vein will disappear over the next couple of weeks
There are other solutions out there as well including surgery, intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment, radiofrequency occlusion, and endovenous laser treatment. We would be happy to sit down and talk with you about which treatment would work best for your needs.

Dealing with spider veins? Want to get spider vein-free legs that you can wait to show off? If so, it’s the perfect time to turn to your dermatologist to discuss ways of getting rid of your spider veins.

Facial ScarringDo you have scarring on your face? Does it make you feel self-conscious? Are you looking for ways to reduce the appearance of these scars? Whether your scars are due to bad acne during your teen years, surgery, or an accident, a dermatologist can provide you with a wide range of options to smooth away superficial scars of the face.

Here are some of the top ways a dermatologist may treat facial scarring:

Dermal Fillers

Sometimes, simply injecting collagen or other substances into indented areas of the skin can help to plump up the scar so that it’s more level with the rest of your face. While it won’t make the scar go away it can make it more noticeable. Since results from injectables are temporary, you’ll need to talk with your dermatologist about how often you should come in for treatment.

Chemical Peels

During a chemical peel, your dermatologist will apply a chemical to the surface of the skin to remove the outermost and often most damaged layer. This can target and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and even scarring. Since chemical peels can be tailored to you and your needs, it may even be a good option for someone who is dealing with deeper scarring.

Dermabrasion

This is another option for those dealing with deeper facial scarring. Like chemical peels, dermabrasion also removes the outermost layer of skin with a special device or brush. This system is so powerful it may even get rid of superficial scars while also reducing the appearance of more severe scars.

Laser Resurfacing

This option has become a popular way to treat a wide range of skin imperfections including facial scarring because it can often provide similar results to dermabrasion but with more advanced and precise technology. However, this option may not be ideal for individuals with darker skin or those who are prone to keloid scars.

If you are interested in treatment options that could lessen the appearance of your scars, a dermatologist is the best specialist to speak to about your options. Call your dermatologist today to learn more.

By Dawson Dermatology
March 10, 2022
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Mole   Irregular Mole  
Irregular MoleEducating the public on skin cancer is incredibly important. After all, you’re the one that looks at your skin every day, so you should know how to spot early warning signs of skin cancer. While there are certain risk factors that can increase your risk for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, it’s important for everyone to visit a dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. In the meantime, here’s what to look out for.

What is an irregular or atypical mole?

Medically referred to as dysplastic nevi, these irregular moles are benign but having them could put you at an increased risk for developing melanoma over your lifetime. These moles can develop anywhere on the body but are most often found on sun-exposed areas of the skin. Since these moles vary greatly in appearance it’s important to monitor your moles regularly so you can recognize when unusual changes are occurring and call your dermatologist.

What does an irregular mole look like?

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) offers a simple ABCDE guideline to follow to be able to spot unusual or suspicious changes in a mole. Here’s what the ABCDEs stand for:

Asymmetry: when the halves of the moles don’t match each other in shape or appearance this could be a sign of a cancerous mole
Border: a jagged, irregular, or scalloped border can be a sign of melanoma
Color: if a mole has multiple colors or changes color this is also a warning sign not to ignore
Diameter: melanoma is often larger than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser), even though they can be smaller
Evolving: healthy moles stay relatively the same over the years so if your mole bleeds, crusts over, itches, or changes appearance you should schedule an appointment with your dermatologist

When should I see a dermatologist?

If you have any concerns about a mole don’t hesitate to call your dermatologist to have it checked out. The sooner melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers are detected and removed the better. Of course, everyone can benefit from visiting a dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. You should also be performing self-exams once a month to keep track of your moles.

If you have an irregular mole or a mole that’s changing in appearance, it’s best to play it safe and schedule an evaluation with a dermatologist who can examine the mole to make sure it hasn’t turned cancerous.



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