Full body skin cancer screening
The screening begins with a history of your time spent in the sun. The actual physical screening process begins with an examination of the head and then progresses through the entire body. The patient is gowned during the process. Your Dermatology Associates provider will explain what type of abnormalities the examination process is designed to find. Your provider will also explain what the patient should look for during subsequent self-exams. From age 50 on, a skin cancer screening is recommended every year.
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne commonly occurs on the face, neck, shoulders, chest, and back. Depending on the severity, it can cause scarring of the skin and emotional distress. Effective treatments are available. The earlier treatment is started the lower the risk of lasting physical and emotional damage.
Rosacea is a widespread but poorly understood skin disorder that affects more than 16 million Americans. There is no cure for Rosacea, but it can be controlled. Symptoms may include facial redness, pimples and cysts, skin thickening and eye irritation. Individuals with fair skin or who blush easily are believed to be at most risk. Medical therapy can control and limit the progression of Rosacea.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that features red thickened skin with rough silvery white scales. Psoriasis is not contagious. It usually begins between the ages of 20 to 30 and 50 to 60. Skin irritation commonly occurs on the scalp, elbows, and knees; however any site may be affected. The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms and clear the skin. A variety of therapies, including the latest biologic medicines, are available for treatment.
Dermatitis is an itchy inflammation of the skin. It is not contagious or dangerous, but it can be uncomfortable. There are many types of dermatitis including: allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis (which causes dandruff). Dermatitis may be a chronic condition, and symptoms may come and go. Signs and symptoms include:
Allergic contact dermatitis
- Itching, pain, stinging, or burning
- Blisters, thick or scaly skin, sores from scratching
is caused by allergic reactions (for example, to poison oak or ivy, or soaps, or detergents).
may be caused by oily skin or hair, or brought on by stress.
often develops in childhood and affects the flexural areas in front of the elbows and behind the knees.
Treatment varies depending on the severity of the dermatitis you have. Applying wet, cool compresses may help relieve itching. Taking a cool bath with colloidal oatmeal added to the water may also help. Drug therapies include:
- Topical steroid creams
- Systemic steroids
- Medicated shampoos
- Antihistamines to relieve itching associated with eczema.
- Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs), such as pimecrolimus (Elidel) and tacrolimus (Protopic). These drugs help suppress an overactive immune system.
- Antibiotics to treat skin infections.
Healthy skin provides a barrier between the outside environment and the inside of your body; a rash upsets that balance. Rashes are often caused by contact with an allergen or a substance that irritates the skin. Poisonous plants like poison ivy, oak or sumac, soaps, detergents, shampoos, perfumes, cosmetics or lotions can cause rashes. Viral infections, fungal infections, yeast infections, bacterial infections, and sexually transmitted diseases can cause rashes. Rashes may also be caused by a more serious internal disease. If a rash persists, it's time to see your Dermatology Associates physician.
Moles, or nevi, are growths on the skin that develop when pigment cells (melanocytes) grow in clusters. Most adults have between 10 and 40 common moles. A common mole is usually smaller than about 5 millimeters (about 1/4 inch, the width of a pencil eraser). It is round or oval, has a smooth surface with a distinct edge, and is uniform in color. Although common moles are not cancerous, people who have more than 50 common moles have an increased chance of developing melanoma. You should see your Dermatology Associates physician if you notice any of the following changes in a common mole:
- The color changes
- The mole gets unevenly smaller or bigger
- The mole changes in shape, texture or height
- The skin on the surface becomes dry or scaly
- The mole becomes hard or feels lumpy
- It starts to itch
- It bleeds or oozes
If you notice a new mole or a change in an existing mole, you should tell your Dermatology Associates physician. Melanoma can also develop from moles. That's why regular skin cancer screenings by a Dermatology Associates physician are so important.
Warts are small growths on the skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can be disfiguring and embarrassing. Sometimes they itch or hurt (particularly on the feet). All warts can spread from one part of your body to another. They may also spread from one person to another. The typical wart is a raised or oval growth with a rough surface. The different types of warts include:
- Common warts - usually appear on the hands
- Flat warts - generally found on the face and forehead
- Genital warts - usually found on the genitals
- Plantar warts - found on the soles of the feet
- Subungual and periungual warts - appear under and around the fingernails or toenails
You should not attempt to remove a wart since this may lead to cosmetic disfigurement or spread. Warts should be treated by your Dermatology Associates physician. Your Dermatology Associates physician has a wide variety of treatments for warts that will be explained at your visit.
Allergy skin tests are tests used to find out which substances may be causing a person to have an allergic reaction. Common methods of allergy skin testing include:
The skin prick test:
- Tests for immediate hypersensitivity to environmental and food allergies
- Small amounts of substances that may be causing your symptoms are placed on the skin, most often on the forearm, upper arm, or back.
- The skin is then pricked so the allergen goes under the skin's surface.
- The health care provider closely watches the skin for swelling and redness or other signs of a reaction. Results are usually seen within 20-25 minutes.
Patch testing is a method to diagnose the cause of skin rashes that may occur if a person is allergic to commonly found chemicals which the skin routinely comes in contact with.
- Tests for delayed-type hypersensitivity
- Possible allergens are taped to the skin for 48 hours.
- The health care provider will look at the area in 72 - 96 hours.
Allergy tests are done to determine if substances are causing an allergic reaction. A negative test result means there were no skin changes in response to the allergen. This negative reaction most often means that you are not allergic to the substance. Rarely, a person may have a negative allergy test and still be allergic to the substance. A positive result means you reacted to a substance. Often, a positive result means the symptoms you are having are due to exposure to that substance. In general, a stronger response means you are more sensitive to the substance. People can have a positive response to a substance with allergy skin testing, but not have any problem with that substance in everyday life. Skin tests are usually accurate. Your health care provider will consider your symptoms and the results of your skin test to suggest lifestyle changes that you can make to avoid substances that may be causing your symptoms.
Molluscum is a common skin disease that is caused by a virus. It is most frequently seen in children but may also affect adults. It spreads easily from person to person. You may also get molluscum by sharing towels and clothing. Most of the time, the only sign of molluscum is a pink or flesh colored bump on the skin. These bumps can appear anywhere. Scratching can spread the virus from one part of the body to another. Most people get about 10 - 20 bumps. Your Dermatology Associates physician can usually diagnose molluscum by looking at your skin. There are many treatment options.
Fungal infections of the skin are very common and caused by organisms that invade the outer layer of the skin, nails and hair. Common fungal infections include athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm.
, also called tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the foot. It causes peeling, redness, itching, burning, and sometimes blisters and sores. It's a very common infection. The fungus grows best in warm, moist, environments such as shoes, socks, locker rooms, swimming pools and showers. It's more common in the summer and in warm, humid climates like South Florida.
, also called tinea cruris, is a common skin infection that can affect the genitals, inner thighs and buttocks. The fungus thrives in warm, moist areas of the body and infections occur more frequently in the summer or in warm, wet climates.
Jock itch appears as a red, itchy rash that is often ring-shaped. Jock itch is only mildly contagious. The condition can be spread from person to person through direct contact or indirectly from objects carrying the fungus.
Symptoms and signs of jock itch include:
- Itching, chafing, or burning
- A circular, red, raised rash with elevated edges
- Redness, flaking, peeling, or cracking skin
In most cases, jock itch can be diagnosed based on the appearance and location of the rash. If you are not certain that the condition is jock itch, see your Dermatology Associates physician.
, also called tinea corporis, is not a worm, but a fungal infection of the skin. It can appear anywhere on the body and it looks like a circular, red plaque. "Tinea" means wormlike and refers to the outer raised border of the plaque; it is often accompanied by scaly skin. Ringworm can be unsightly, but it is usually not a serious condition. Ringworm can spread by direct contact with infected people, animals, or soil. Heat and humidity may help to spread the infection. There may be more than one patch of ringworm on the skin, and patches or red rings of rash may overlap. It is possible to have ringworm without having the characteristic circular rash.
Hair loss (alopecia) can affect just your scalp or your entire body. It can be the result of heredity, certain medications or an underlying medical condition. Anyone — men, women and children — can experience hair loss. Baldness typically refers to excessive hair loss from your scalp. Some people prefer to let their baldness run its course untreated and unhidden. Others may cover it up with hairstyles, makeup, hats or scarves. And still others choose one of the medications or surgical procedures that are available to treat hair loss. Some types of hair loss are temporary, while others are permanent. Before pursuing any treatment option, talk with your Dermatology Associates physician about the cause of and best possible treatments for your particular type of hair loss.
Signs of hair loss may include:
- Gradual thinning on top of the head
- Circular or patchy bald spots
- Sudden shedding of hair
- Full body hair loss
See your Dermatology Associates physician if you notice sudden or patchy hair loss or more than usual hair loss when combing or washing your hair. Sudden hair loss can signal an underlying medical condition and may require medical treatment. Most people normally shed 50 to 100 hairs a day. Also, as people age, hair tends to gradually thin.
The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called androgenic alopecia. In genetically susceptible men or women, certain sex hormones trigger a particular pattern of permanent hair loss. This type of hair thinning can begin as early as puberty. Hormonal changes and imbalances can also cause temporary hair loss. This could be due to pregnancy, childbirth, discontinuation of birth control pills or the onset of menopause. A variety of medical conditions can also cause hair loss.
Nail problems make up about 10 percent of all dermatological conditions.
Nails often reflect our general state of health. Changes in the nail, such as discoloration or thickening, can signal health problems including liver and kidney disease, heart and lung conditions, anemia and diabetes.
Signs and symptoms that could signal nail problems include changes in color, shape, and/or thickness, swelling of the skin around the nails, bleeding or discharge, and pain.
Nail problems usually increase throughout life and affect a high number of senior citizens. Fungal infections cause about half of all nail disorders. They are more common in toenails because the toes often are confined to a warm, moist, weight-bearing environment.
Although rare, melanomas can grow under the nail. These melanomas may be mistaken for an injury. You should consult a dermatologist if a dark-colored streak appears within the nail plate, if the nail discoloration does not gradually improve, or if the size of the streak increases over time. Other common nail problems include:
- White spots that appear after an injury to the nail
- Vertical lines and horizontal lines that may be due to certain diseases or drugs
- Bacterial infections, most often due to injury, poor skin hygiene, nail biting, finger sucking, or frequent exposure to water.
- Ingrown toenails, which are caused by improper nail trimming, poor stance, digestive problems, or tight shoes.
Nail problems are more common if you have diabetes or poor circulation. At the first sign of a problem, see a Dermatology Associates physician.
Venereal disease or sexually transmitted diseases
(STDs) are infections that you can get through sexual contact. The causes of STDs are bacteria, viruses or parasites. There are many types of STDs including:
Most STDs affect both men and women, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women. If a pregnant woman has an STD, it can cause serious health problems for the baby.
STDs may affect the genital region, however they may also affect the mouth, throat, anus, and buttock region. If you have symptoms or signs in these areas, please visit a Dermatology Associates physician.