Posts for category: Dermatology
Moles are a common type of skin blemish which are caused when a certain type of skin cell clumps together. These skin cells are called melanocytes, and they produce melanin, the naturally occurring substance that is responsible for the color of your skin.
Most moles are harmless, but there are abnormal changes that can happen to moles. These abnormal moles could be an early sign of skin cancer and should be checked out by your dermatologist. The dermatologists at North County Dermatology Center in Encinitas, California Dr. David Thomas, Dr. Margaret Hobson Dupree, or Dr. William Burrows offer a full range of skincare services, including examining your moles.
You should do regular self-checks of your moles and look for any abnormalities. Abnormal moles often show these characteristics:
- A diameter greater than 6 millimeters
- Irregular, poorly-defined borders
- An asymmetrical shape
- A change in color, size, height, or shape
You should visit your dermatologist if you notice any of the signs listed above. There are also some symptoms you may experience that should be checked out. See your dermatologist right away if you have a mole that is:
- Causing pain
- Burning or itching
- Bleeding or oozing
- Growing back after previous removal
If you have an abnormal mole, your doctor may suggest having all or a portion of it removed for biopsy. During a biopsy, layers of tissue are examined to look for abnormal cellular-level changes which could signal precancer or cancer. There are several different ways your doctor can remove an abnormal mole, including:
Shaving the mole; the area is numbed and then small areas are shaved away underneath and around the mole. Shaving is great for small moles and doesn’t require suturing.
Excising the mole; after the area has been numbed, the mole is removed with a punching instrument. Excision is used for larger moles and requires a small amount of suturing.
Checking your moles is an important way to diagnose early skin cancer. Early diagnosis leads to early treatment and a better outcome for you. To find out more about moles and other skincare topics, call the dermatologists at North County Dermatology Center in Encinitas, California today!
Mohs micrographic surgery, an innovative surgical technique used to treat skin cancer, produces less scarring and helps your dermatologist ensure that no cancerous cells are left behind. Encinitas, CA, dermatologists Dr. David Thomas, Dr. Margaret Dupree, and Dr. William Burrows offer Mohs surgery at North County Dermatology Center.
How is Mohs micrographic surgery performed?
In the past, dermatologists needed to remove a large margin of healthy skin in an attempt to clear all of the cancerous cells. The technique often caused significant scarring that was quite noticeable.
Moh's micrographic surgery not only reduces scarring but also helps your Encinitas dermatologist ensure that he or she has removed all of the skin cancer. Your doctor begins the procedure by removing a single layer of the skin, then examining it under a microscope. If he or she sees cancerous cells, another layer will be removed and examined under the microscope. The process continues until there are no longer any signs of skin cancer. Removing the skin layer by layer minimizes the amount of scarring and also improves the cure rate for skin cancers.
Your skin will be numbed with a local anesthetic before the surgery begins to ensure that you feel no pain during the procedure. Small surgical sites usually don't require stitches, although you may need a few sutures if the site was large. Skin grafts may also be needed to improve the appearance of large sites.
Is Mohs surgery right for me?
Mohs surgery is frequently used to treat skin cancer of the hands, feet, head, face, neck, or genitals. It's most often recommended for squamous and basal cell skin cancers, although it can also be used to treat melanoma in some cases.
What can I expect during the recovery period?
Pain is minimal after Mohs surgery and can usually be controlled by taking over-the-counter pain medications. You may notice swelling, redness or itching following surgery. Your doctor may ask you to avoid showering or bathing for 24 hours after the procedure, as it's important to keep the wound dry. He or she will provide instructions that will help you care for your wound and minimize scarring.
Mohs micrographic surgery is an effective alternative to traditional skin cancer surgery. If you're concerned about a suspicious spot or a change in a mole, call Encinitas, CA, dermatologists Drs. David Thomas, Margaret Hobson Dupree, and William Burrows of North County Dermatology Center at (760) 230-2805 to schedule an appointment.
Discover the best solution for getting rid of your wart.
While warts aren’t a cause for concern, we know that sometimes they can be a bit unsightly or grow in a spot that makes it rather uncomfortable or annoying. If this is the case, you may be wondering the best approach for getting rid of it. Our Encinitas, CA, dermatologists - Dr. David Thomas, Dr. Margaret Dupree, and Dr. William Burrows - have the answers you’ve been looking for regarding warts.
As you may be able to see from your local drugstore, there are quite a few over-the-counter wart removal products. You may find medicated patches, freezing products and salicylic acid solutions to help freeze or peel away the wart. Make sure to follow the directions completely. Those with diabetes or nerve damage may want to forgo these over-the-counter products, as they could irritate the skin and make the issue worse, and instead schedule an immediate appointment with a dermatologist to have the wart safely removed.
So, when should you visit a dermatologist about a wart? First and foremost, it’s important that you know that the growth is actually a wart and not something else. By coming in for a consultation we will be able to tell you definitively if you are dealing with a wart. If you’ve never had a wart before it can be difficult to figure out on your own and you’ll need a professional to diagnose it so that you know the best treatment options.
If the wart is in an awful spot, such as under your feet (plantar warts) or on your eyelid, chances are good that you want to get rid of this growth as soon as possible. We completely understand. Plus, since it’s in such as delicate area you may not want to try to treat the issue on your own. This is when you should come in for professional and safe wart removal treatment.
Here are some of the most common treatment options for removing a wart:
- Liquid nitrogen (Cryotherapy)
- Acid peel
- Surgical removal
- Laser therapy
Are you ready to turn to our Encinitas, CA, dermatology team to handle your wart problem? If so, we are happy to help. Turn to the skin care specialists here at North County Dermatology Center.
What your dermatologists in Encinitas want you to know
If you’ve had a skin infection, you know how difficult it was to get rid of. Skin infections like chicken pox, shingles and ringworm are best treated by your dermatologist. Dr. David Thomas and Dr. Margaret Hobson Dupree at North County Dermatology Center in Encinitas, CA want to share their knowledge about a few common skin infections and their treatment.
Chickenpox is most common in children, and can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by a virus and can be spread easily by coughing, sharing food, or by touching the infected area. Chicken pox forms as small red blisters which can itch. It’s important not to scratch or pick at the blisters because they can break open and spread the virus. The blisters should crust over in about 10 days. Soaking in a cool bath can be helpful.
Shingles is caused by a variant of the virus that causes chickenpox. It can form on one side of your body and wrap around from your spine to your chest. It can also appear on your forehead, nose and neck. Shingles is very painful and may itch. The blisters that form will break open and then form a crust as they heal. Shingles can cause systemic symptoms including fever and a headache. If you think you may have shingles, it’s important to visit your dermatologist who can prescribe antiviral and pain medications to reduce and relieve symptoms. There is also a vaccination to prevent shingles.
Ringworm is another common skin infection, occurring most frequently in children. It’s caused by a fungus, so it thrives in moist, warm places on the body including the scalp, groin, and feet. Ringworm appears as ring-shaped, scaly patches on your skin that can blister and eventually ooze liquid. It can be spread by sharing linens, clothing or personal products, or coming into contact with infected animals. Over-the-counter anti-fungal products and antibiotics can be helpful.
These are just a few of the skin infections your dermatologist can treat. For a complete list of skin infections and their treatments, please visit the skin infections page on the North County Dermatology Center website at http://www.northcountyderm.com/library/4251/SkinInfections.html
You don’t have to suffer the uncomfortable, unsightly effects of skin infections when help is just a phone call away. Get some relief by calling Dr. Thomas and Dr. Hobson Dupree at North County Dermatology Center in Encinitas, CA today!
The best way to ensure your skin is the healthiest is to prevent skin damage from occurring at all. Age spots are the result of skin damage from overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. The aging process is unavoidable and as we age, our skin becomes thinner and drier. Wrinkles are caused by repeated movements of facial muscles such as smiling, squinting or frowning, to name a few. Skin treatments from North County Dermatology Center from Dr. David Thomas or Dr. Margaret Hobson Dupree in Encinitas, CA, can help keep your skin looking its best each and every year.
About Anti-Aging Skin Treatments
Photoaging is the premature aging of the skin due to ultraviolet light. This happens when ultraviolet radiation penetrates deep into the skin damaging the fundamental skin portions that lead to fine lines, skin discoloration, deep wrinkles and sagging skin.
A good skin cleaning routine is important to keep the skin looking its best prior to any skin treatments from North County Dermatology Center in Encinitas. Always wash the face with a gentle cleanser at least once daily. Use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily. Conduct a monthly self-exam of the skin to detect any changes that might lead to cancer. Also, see a dermatologist once a year.
Some anti-aging treatments include:
- Botox: This is a substance that is injected directly into the muscles and used to improve the look of crow’s feet, frown lines or wrinkles.
- Chemical Peels: This is used to improve the appearance of the skin. A chemical solution is applied to the skin to exfoliate and eventually peel off leaving smoother and less wrinkled skin.
- Dermabrasion: This exfoliating treatment uses a rotating tool in order to remove the outer layers of the skin, typically on the face. It treats sun damage, acne scars, uneven texture and sun damage.
- Fillers: These products are used to correct moderate or severe folds or wrinkles and can add volume or hydration to areas of the face.
- Laser Resurfacing: This technique reduces blemishes, acne scars or wrinkles by using pulsing beams of light removing the skin layer by layer.
- Retinoids: This helps increase the production of collagen on the skin, leading to new, smoother and younger-looking skin.
To learn more about skin treatments in Encinitas, CA, from Dr. Thomas or Dr. Dupree, call our office today at (760) 230-2805.