Treatment of Skin Cancer
Why Preventing Skin Cancer Matters Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with more than two million people being diagnosed each year. While most cases of skin cancer can be successfully treated if found early, the large and growing number of people getting the disease makes skin cancer a serious concern.
Medical costs alone to treat skin cancer are estimated at almost $2 billion annually. Here are some other facts you might not now about skin cancer:
- More people were diagnosed with skin cancer in 2009 than with breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined.
- About 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.
- One American dies of melanoma almost every hour.
- Melanoma is one of the few cancers that continue to have an increasing number of cases each year.
- Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults (15-29 years old).
- For people born in 2005, 1 in 52 will be diagnosed with melanoma— nearly 30 times higher than for people born in 1930.
What is skin cancer?
- There are 2 main types of skin cancers: keratinocyte cancers (basal and squamous cell skin cancers) and melanomas.
- Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are the most common cancers of the skin. They develop from cells called keratinocytes, the most common cells in the skin.
- Melanomas are cancers that develop from melanocytes, the cells that make the brown pigment that gives skin its color. Melanocytes can also form benign (non-cancerous) growths called moles.
- There are several other types of skin cancers as well, but these are much less common.
- It is important for doctors to tell these types of skin cancer apart, because they are treated differently. It is also important for you to know what melanomas and basal and squamous cell skin cancers look like. That way, you can find them at the earliest possible stage, when they are cured most easily.
Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. More than 2 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States. That's more than cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterus, ovaries, and pancreas combined. The number of skin cancer cases has been going up over the past few decades. The good news is that you can do a lot to protect yourself and your family from skin cancer, or to catch it early enough so that it can be treated effectively. Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Much of this exposure comes from the sun, but some may come from man-made sources, such as indoor tanning lamps. Finding possible skin cancers doesn't require any x-rays or blood tests -- just your eyes and a mirror. If skin cancer does develop, finding it early is the best way to ensure it can be treated effectively
What if I find something suspicious? It's important to know the difference between a harmless mole and a spot that might be a melanoma. A normal mole is most often an evenly colored brown, tan, or black spot on the skin. It can be either flat or raised. It can be round or oval. Moles are usually less than ¼ inch across, or about the width of a pencil eraser. Moles can be present at birth or they can appear later. Several moles can appear at the same time. Once a mole has developed, it will usually stay the same size, shape, and color for many years. Moles may fade away in older people. Most people have moles, and almost all moles are harmless. But it is important to recognize changes in a mole -- such as its size, shape, or color -- that suggest a melanoma may be developing. Be sure to show your doctor any area that concerns you. A qualified doctor should be able to identify any suspicious areas you may have. If your doctor suspects you might have skin cancer, he or she will use one or more of the following methods to find out.
Treatment of Skin CancerServices & Treatments
What are laser treatments? Treating the skin with a machine that delivers a powerful burst energy that eliminates the older, damaged skin that's on the outermost surface of our skin. The result reveals the newer skin underneath which is smoother and tighter. Why are laser treatments better than other kinds of treatments for skin damage or the effects of aging? Laser treatments are unique and desirable for a number of interesting reasons. The procedure is bloodless, that is, all the work is done on the surface above where the blood flows. Laser treatments are extremely precise in controlling how deep the resurfacing goes. The depth of the laser energy burst amount to about half of the thickness of a human hair. Laser resurfacing can be used instead of or along with other kinds of skin damage treatments. The risks of scarring and pigmentation change is reduced. What problems is it used for? Laser treatments are used primarily on the face for problems such as acne scars, crow's feet, fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead, upper lip, and cheeks. It can also be used to tighten and smooth the eyelids. Where are the treatments done? Most treatments are done in the office. Extensive treatments may require an outpatient center. How many do you need to have? In most cases, one treatment is sufficient. Your doctor will be able to tell you more about your skin and treatment needed after examination. How long does it take to recover? And what is recovery like? Recovery takes one to two weeks. Your skin may become pink and you may experience some swelling. The doctor may give you dressings or ointments to use that will help the healing process. After healing you may still experience some pink tones in your skin that can be easily covered with make-up. This normally fades within a few weeks or months. Does it hurt? Following using a local anesthetic there should be no discomfort during the treatments. After the treatments there will be minimal discomfort. For extensive resurfacing, general anesthesia or I.V. sedation may be recommended. How long does it last? This varies from patient to patient. Your doctor will be able to tell you more after examining your skin. You will also be given a maintenance plan to enhance the length of the effects.
Laser TreatmentsServices & Treatments
Treatment of Diseases of the Skin
Skin is the largest organ of your body? It is, in terms of both weight, between 6 and 9 pounds, and surface area, about 2 square yards. Your skin separates the inside of your body from the outside world. It protects you from bacteria and viruses that can cause infections helps you sense the outside world, such as whether it is hot or cold, wet or dry regulates your body temperature conditions that irritate, clog or inflame your skin can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, burning and itching. Allergies, irritants, your genetic makeup and certain diseases and immune system problems can cause dermatitis, hives and other skin conditions. Many skin problems, such as acne, also affect your appearance.
Treatment of Diseases of the SkinServices & Treatments
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Preventative MonitoringServices & Treatments
Botox® is a medication used to reduce or eliminate the appearance of deep wrinkles in various places on the face, particularly around the eyes. At Associated Dermatology, you can benefit from the ten years of experience that Dr. Behlmer has doing Botox® treatments. Dr. Behlmer has experience treating person with Botox® for hyperhidrosis (excess sweating) and for blepharospasm which is an uncontrolled twitching of the eyelids. Dr. Behlmer will discuss this treatment with you more fully including side effects and other important information you should know before undergoing treatment. Botox® is a trademark owned by Allergen, Inc. Visit their web site for more information, BotoxCosmetic.com
Botox® InjectionsServices & Treatments
Microdermabrasion is one of the more recent skin-care techniques to have crossed over from Hollywood to the mainstream. It's being advanced as an "instant facelift" - an effective alternative to costlier and more invasive procedures like plastic surgery, chemical peels and Botox injections. Recently, more and more men are trying it, instead of pursuing cosmetic surgery. So what exactly is microdermabrasion, what does it promise and what effect does it actually have on your face?
Microdermabrasion is a general term for the application of tiny rough grains to buff away the surface layer of skin. Many different products and treatments use this method, including medical procedures, salon treatments and creams and scrubs that you apply yourself at home. It's usually done to the face, chest, neck, arms or hands.
MicrodermabrasionServices & Treatments
Enhancing your appearance with skin rejuvenation and resurfacing: If you want to improve the appearance of your skin, skin rejuvenation or resurfacing may be right for you. Skin rejuvenation can be achieved in a number of ways, ranging from laser, light and other energy-based treatments to chemical peels and other non-ablative methods. The result is a smoother, clearer and more youthful appearance to your skin.
What can skin rejuvenation treat?:Skin rejuvenation is a treatment to resurface your skin, or to improve the texture, clarity and overall appearance of your skin. Conditions that can be treated include:
- Static wrinkles: These wrinkles are visible at all times and do not change in appearance with facial movements.
- Dynamic wrinkles: These are expression lines that may appear as folds when the skin is not moving, and deepen with facial movements or expressions.
- Pigmentation: Freckles, sun spots, melasma, or other darkened patches of skin result mainly from sun exposure.
- Scars: As the result of acne or injury to the skin, scars may be rolling (a wavy appearance to the skin), pitted, discolored, or have raised borders.
- Vascular conditions: Blood vessels visible on the surface of the skin, vascular lesions that appear as tiny blood filled blisters or even a constant flush of facial redness.
- Loss of skin tone: Weakening of the supportive skin structure (collagen and elastin fibers) that results in a loss of skin firmness, or the development of cellulite.
Is it right for me? While not as involved as surgical cosmetic procedures, skin rejuvenation is a medical procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. Skin rejuvenation is an option for you if:
- You are physically healthy
- You don’t smoke
- You have a positive outlook and specific, but realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance.
Facial RejuvinationServices & Treatments
Laser Hair Removal
What patients should know
- These procedures may be offered in informal settings such as shopping malls, spas and walk-in clinics, but it's important for patients to choose an experienced health care provider. Treatments should be performed by or under the direct supervision of a dermatologist or other physician who has appropriate training and expertise.
- In general, three or more treatments are required to achieve permanent hair growth reduction.
- Darker hair responds best to laser hair removal.
- Lighter-colored hair is least responsive, but topical medications can be used in an effort to increase effectiveness.
- Patients seeking laser hair removal are advised to avoid tanning or sunless tanners and to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen for up to six weeks prior to treatment.
- The most common side effects include discomfort, swelling, and redness that last one to three days.
- Other possible side effects include blistering, herpes simplex outbreaks, bacterial infections and temporary skin lightening or darkening (especially in patients with skin of color or those with tans).
- The percentage of hairs removed per session varies by location on the body, with thinner-skinned areas (e.g., armpits and bikini area) generally responding better than thick-skinned areas (e.g., back and chin).
- About 10 percent to 25 percent reduction in hair growth can be expected with each treatment.
- Treatments are repeated every four to eight weeks.
- The hair that regrows following treatment tends to be lighter and finer in texture.
- Patients are instructed to avoid sun exposure and to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher following the procedure.
Laser Hair RemovalServices & Treatments
Reduction or Elimination of Wrinkles
Chemical peels, laser, dermabrasion, and skin care are all guided by the same principles. But to understand them, you first must know a little something about your skin. Your skin is made up of damaged superficial cells and healthier deep cells. Every day, your old superficial cells die, shed, and are replaced by younger cells. When you are born, the process of shedding a new skin cell takes about 30 days. By the time you are 60, the process takes about 60 days. Thus, as you get older, your complexion becomes dull and lifeless because the cells on your skin’s surface are, in fact, older. Each treatment mentioned above causes uniform destruction and shedding of your old damaged superficial skin cells. This allows healthier deep cells to surface while they are still young and fresh. Each of these treatments organizes and expedites the process of skin turnover and helps you reclaim the skin of your youth. As a result, you will see improvement in some or all of the following skin problems: large pore size, loss of skin vitality, roughness, discoloration, fine wrinkles, acne scars, dynamic wrinkles, and loss of skin tone. (Fillers and Botox are guided by other principles). Despite their similarities, each treatment works slightly differently and therefore yields a different degree of improvement. No one treatment solves all problems. In general, deeper treatments yield greater improvement but impose longer recovery. To optimize their results, many people employ two treatment options that complement one another, such as laser resurfacing and Botox injections.
Reduction or Elimination of WrinklesServices & Treatments
Treatment of Leg Veins (varicose)
Causes of Varicose Veins and Spider VeinsA number of factors predispose a person to varicose veins and spider veins. These include:
- Occupations that involve a lot of standing, such as nurses, hair stylists, teachers, and factory workers.
- Hormonal influences during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause.
- The use of birth control pills.
- Postmenopausal hormonal replacement.
- A history of blood clots.
- Conditions that cause increased pressure in the abdomen including tumors, constipation, and externally worn garments like girdles.
Other Risk Factors for Varicose Veins and Spider VeinsVaricose veins and spider veins develop more often in women than in men. They increase in frequency with age. An estimated 30% to 60% of adults have varicose veins or spider veins.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins and Spider VeinsMany patients with varicose veins complain of pain, described as an aching or cramping in the legs. Other common symptoms include tiredness, restlessness, burning, throbbing, tingling, or heaviness in the legs. Pain caused by varicose veins is usually relieved by elevating the legs or by wearing support hose. In women, symptoms may be worse during certain parts of the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy. Patients also may develop swelling, ulcers (large sores), and an increase in the pigmentation or darkening of the color of their skin, especially in the ankle region. Occasionally, varicose veins can form a painful blood clot with inflammation of the vein called thrombophlebitis.
Treatment of Leg Veins (varicose)Services & Treatments
Vascular and Laser Treatment of Face and Legs
What is laser vascular therapy? Laser vascular therapy is the process of delivering pulses of light energy to unwanted superficial vascular structures through the skin such as:
- Leg Veins: spider veins and varicose veins except those that are knotty in appearance
- Telangiectasias: small red facial veins • V enous Lakes: V enous malformation that appears as blue/black soft bump, commonly seen on lower lip or fold of the ear
- Hemangiomas: blood blisters
- Port-Wine Stain: vascular birthmark consisting of superficial and deep dilated capillaries in the skin which produce a reddish to purplish discoloration of the skin