Although moles are usually harmless, in some cases they can become cancerous, causing melanoma. For this reason, it is important to regularly examine your skin for any moles that change in size, color, shape, sensation or that bleed. Suspicious or abnormal moles or lesions should always be examined by your dermatologist.
What to Look For
Remember the ABCDE's of melanoma when examining your moles. If your mole fits any of these criteria, you should visit your dermatologist as soon as possible.
- Asymmetry. One half of the mole does not match the other half.
- Border. The border or edges of the mole are poorly defined or irregular.
- Color. The color of the mole is not the same throughout or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white or red.
- Diameter. The diameter of a mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
- Evolution. The mole is changing in size, shape or color.
Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, including the scalp, between the fingers and toes, on the soles of the feet and even under the nails. The best way to detect skin cancer in its earliest, most curable stage is by checking your skin regularly and visiting our office for a full-body skin cancer screening. Use this guide to perform a self-exam.
- Use a mirror to examine your entire body, starting at your head and working your way to the toes. Also be sure to check difficult to see areas, including between your fingers and toes, the groin, the soles of your feet and the backs of your knees.
- Pay special attention to the areas exposed to the most sun.
- Don't forget to check your scalp and neck for moles. Use a handheld mirror or ask a family member to help you.
- Develop a mental note or keep a record of all the moles on your body and what they look like. If they do change in any way (color, shape, size, border, etc.), or if any new moles look suspicious, visit your dermatologist right away.
Skin cancer has a high cure rate if detected and treated early. The most common warning sign is a visible change on the skin, a new growth, or a change in an existing mole. Depending on the size and location of the mole, dermatologists may use different methods of mole removal. A body check performed by a dermatologist can help determine whether the moles appearing on the body are pre-cancerous or harmless.
Eczema, also called “dermatitis,” refers to several different rash-like conditions where the skin is inflamed, red and irritated. The most severe and long-lasting type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. During a flare-up, the skin becomes extremely red, itchy and scaly. This skin condition can be widespread, or confined to only a few areas on the body.
Eczema is not contagious, although if you have a family history of eczema, your risk for the disease increases. Generally, atopic dermatitis affects infants or young children and may last until the child reaches adulthood.
The appearance and symptoms for atopic dermatitis will vary for each case. Intense itching is the most common sign of eczema, which can lead to severe discomfort and even loss of sleep. Other common symptoms of eczema include:
- Dry, red and extremely itchy patches of skin
- Cracked, inflamed and scaly skin
- Small bumps or blisters that ooze and weep
- In infants, the rash generally appears on the cheeks and around the mouth
Eczema outbreaks are caused by an overreaction of your skin’s immune system to environmental and emotional triggers, such as temperature, chemicals, dust, mold or stress. While there is currently no cure, eczema sufferers can practice self-care at home to help reduce flare-ups. Lifestyle adjustments are the best line of defense in controlling all types of eczema. Goals of treatment include reducing inflammation, decreasing risk of infection and alleviating the itch. To minimize symptoms and outbreaks:
- Moisturize every day to prevent dryness and cracking.
- Limit contact with irritants, such as soaps, clothing, jewelry, foods and detergents.
- Avoid sudden changes in temperatures as overheating and sweating are common triggers of flare-ups.
- Reduce stress and anxiety.
- Minimize exposure to mold, pollens and animal dander.
- Opt for cotton, loose-fitting clothes and avoid wool and other rough materials.
Treatment for eczema begins with a proper diagnosis from your dermatologist. If you are diagnosed with eczema, your dermatologist can explain your type of eczema and can work with you to tailor a treatment plan that meets your individual needs to effectively manage the symptoms.
Are you ready to discover what Botox treatment could do for your appearance?
While you might love to laugh and smile, you certainly don’t need the wrinkles to prove it. While lines and wrinkles can be endearing to some, for most it’s an unwanted sign of aging. But not everyone wants surgeries, or time-consuming cosmetic treatments to get results. This is why our Indianapolis, IN, dermatologist Dr. Sonya Campbell Johnson recommend getting Botox.
What is Botox?
Botox is approved to treat everything from minor to severe dynamic wrinkles of the face. Dynamic wrinkles are ones that appear when you make facial expressions like smiling or squinting. That’s what makes Botox such a great option for crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles, and wrinkles around the nose, brows and mouth. Small injections are administered into certain muscles of the face to relax them and to stop them from contracting. By doing so, this reduces the appearance of these lines and wrinkles.
What are the advantages of getting Botox?
Botox is a great option for someone looking to refresh their appearance without making major, lifelong changes. Our Indianapolis cosmetic dermatologist understands that undergoing cosmetic procedures can be stressful, especially if you don’t really know the results you’ll get. That’s what makes Botox a great option. The results are natural and only temporary.
So, if you aren’t satisfied with how Botox changes your appearance the results will go away after about 4 months. And for those who just can’t get enough of their beautiful results, they can talk to us about how often they should come in for maintenance treatments.
These needles are so thin that most people only notice a small pinch when the needles are placed into the muscles. And if you are more on the squeamish side, then we can also apply a numbing gel over the area beforehand. Once your treatment is complete (it often only takes about 10 minutes) there is absolutely no recovery time. You can head right back to your daily routine.
Botox is an amazing way to give your appearance the little refresher it needs without the fake, altered appearance. Dermatology Associates in Indianapolis, IN, is dedicated to giving you a natural look through cosmetic dermatology. Call us today at 317-257-1484 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if Botox is right for you.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Fortunately, it rarely develops without warning, and the number of fatalities caused by melanoma could be greatly reduced if people were aware of the early signs and took time to examine their skin. With early diagnosis and treatment, your chance of recovery from melanoma is very good.
What Causes Melanoma?
The main cause of melanoma is too much skin exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays from the sun and tanning booths can damage skin cells, causing the cells to grow abnormally. The best way to prevent melanoma is to reduce the amount of time you spend in the sun, wearing hats and protective clothing when possible and generously applying sunscreen.
Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body, including the soles of your feet or your fingernails. In women, melanoma is most often seen on the lower legs, and in men, it most commonly forms on the upper back.
Anyone can get melanoma, but people with the following traits are at a higher risk:
- Fair skin
- Excessive sun exposure during childhood
- Family history of melanoma
- More than 50 moles on the skin
- Several freckles
- Sun-sensitive skin that rarely tans or burns easily
Melanoma can appear suddenly as a new mole, or it can grow slowly, near or in an existing mole. The most common early signs of melanoma are:
- An open sore that repeatedly heals and re-opens
- A mole or growth that takes on an uneven shape, grows larger or changes in color or texture
- An existing mole that continues to bleed, itch, hurt, scab or fade
Because melanoma can spread quickly to other parts of the body, it is important to find melanoma as early as possible. The best way to detect changes in your moles and skin markings is by doing self-examinations regularly. If you find suspicious moles, have them checked by your dermatologist.
Visiting your dermatologist for a routine exam is also important. During this skin cancer "screening," your dermatologist will discuss your medical history and inspect your skin from head to toe, recording the location, size and color of any moles. Melanoma may be the most serious form of skin cancer, but it is also very curable when detected early.
Find out more about the different dermatological procedures that could rejuvenate your skin.
While we are all wishing that someone would just find that Fountain of Youth already, we know that this isn’t the most practical wish. Fortunately, there are more practical wishes like finding the right cosmetic treatment to improve the health and appearance of your skin. You may feel as if that ship has sailed but it hasn’t. Our Tipton, Batesville and Indianapolis, IN, dermatologist, Dr. Sonya Campbell Johnson, offers an amazing variety of cosmetic options to erase years off your skin.
Botox: This purified neurotoxin can be safely used in small amounts to temporarily paralyze certain muscles in the face to smooth out wrinkles and lines caused by facial expressions. Those with crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles and laugh lines will respond best to Botox. Through a series of thin needles our Tipton, Batesville and Indianapolis skin doctor can easily reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles for up to six months.
Dermal fillers: Dermal fillers are a great way to restore volume back into aging, sagging skin. As we age we lose elasticity in our skin but our dermal fillers can temporarily restore fullness. With this treatment, we can erase wrinkles, reduce the appearance of scars, enhance shallow areas of the skin and plump up thinning lips.
Sclerotherapy: Varicose veins can cause unsightly cosmetic issues. Fortunately, this simple medical treatment can eliminate both varicose and spider veins. Injecting a solution into the veins can cause the veins to collapse, which the body will reabsorb. The procedure only takes about 15 to 30 minutes to complete and the number of injections you receive will depend on the location and size of the veins.
Photorejuvenation: During this minimally invasive cosmetic treatment, lasers are used to reduce the appearance of certain skin conditions like wrinkles, age spots and uneven skin tone and texture. By causing microtears to the skin we stimulate the body’s natural healing response so that new healthy skin cells are formed.
Do you want to look years younger? Ready to improve your skin during the New Year? Then get a new you when you turn to Dermatology Associates in Tipton, Batesville and Indianapolis, IN, today.
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