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    Medical Procedures

    Mohs Surgery for Skin Cancer • Skin Cancer Exams • Mole Removal • Psoriasis Treatment • Eczema Treatment • Acne Treatment • Melasma Treatment

    Mohs Surgery for Skin Cancer

    Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an advanced surgical procedure for skin cancer. Mohs surgery allows the surgeon to remove the tumor while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact and untouched. With this type of precision, the cure rate is up to 99 percent and yields the highest likelihood for recovery. Mohs surgery can also be successful even if all other treatment options had failed in the past. While more commonly used to treat squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, it can also be used to treat melanoma in certain cases. Surgeons trained to perform Mohs surgery are also dermatologists and pathologists, thus being able to also perform reconstructive surgery to the wound following removal.

    For more information, please visit mohssurgery.org. Click here to review patient education.


    Skin Cancer Exams

    It’s very important to have a skin examination annually, especially if your family has a history of skin cancer. A visual examination of the skin will be conducted, and a dermoscope is used to further examine any moles found on your body. Photographs may be taken for use in future examinations to determine any changes in the size, shape or pigmentation of your moles. If the doctor finds a lesion that may be cancerous during your examination, he/she will conduct a biopsy to determine if it is skin cancer. The lesion will be removed and thoroughly examined through a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

    Visit the Skin Cancer Foundation website for more information.


    Atypical Moles and their Removal

    Moles vary in size, shape and pigmentation. While many are harmless, some can develop into melanoma, a form of skin cancer. People who have a large number of moles tend to have a greater chance of this occurring. Knowing the warning signs of problem moles is the first step to making sure you stay healthy. If you have a mole that has “The Ugly Duckling Sign” (asymmetrical, ragged around the edges and/or larger than six millimeters) you may want to consult your doctor. In addition, if your mole has a red, blue or white hue, it may be a problem mole. If your mole changes in shape, color or size over time, consult your doctor. For suspect moles, your doctor will perform a skin examination and will monitor the mole for any abnormalities. If your mole is found to be cancerous, your doctor will remove it as a safety measure and will suggest regular testing to make sure that the cancer does not recur or spread.


    Psoriasis Treatment

    Psoriasis is a chronic disorder that creates itchy, red marks on the body. These areas form multi-layered “scales” that vary in severity. Basically, the skin is replacing itself at a rate of up to 10 times faster than normal. A minor outbreak results in a few small, random spots that may produce discomfort. A more extreme outbreak can cover the whole body, harming joints and creating arthritic problems in addition to the itching and pain associated with a regular outbreak. In very extreme cases, hospitalization may be necessary. Occurring at any age in both males and females, psoriasis is not contagious, though there does seem to be a hereditary connection. It is not a life-threatening condition, and in most cases, people who have mild symptoms may not even know that they have psoriasis. Cuts, scratches, infections and dry skin seem to cause flare-ups. In addition, lack of sun exposure and certain medications may cause psoriasis to flare up. Commonly affected areas are the elbows, arms, knees and legs. Topical steroids ; oral and systemic medications including the latest class of psoriasis medication: Biologic treatments are available. Based on the severity of your condition, your doctor will consult with you to find the treatment that’s best for you.

    Visit the National Psoriasis Foundation for more information.


    Eczema Treatment

    Eczema is sometimes called atopic dermatitis. It is actually a group of skin conditions that can affect you at any age. There are several types of eczema and each type requires different treatment methods. Eczema can occur because of irritation, allergic reaction or hereditary conditions. The most common variety is atopic eczema, which can be treated with steroids to reduce inflammation and creams to relieve the itchiness and dryness. In some cases, light treatments and dietary changes have been shown to help. While there is no cure for eczema, many people outgrow the condition. In addition, using the proper medications and staying clear of substances that cause eczema to flare up can greatly reduce your discomfort and can lessen the severity of the condition.

    Visit the National Eczema Association for more information.


    Acne Treatment

    Acne is the term used to describe blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, minor lumps or any clogged pores that occur on the face or upper torso. While most major acne problems occur during adolescence, this condition can occur before and after the teenage years. While acne can affect males and females, males tend to have more severe, longer lasting types of the condition and many females will have frequent flare-ups of acne during hormonal shifts (such as their menstrual cycle). In general, minor acne will come and go on its own, recurring more frequently between the ages of adolescence and tapering off in regularity thereafter. More extreme acne can lead to permanent scarring. Many people are concerned with acne prevention. Medications are available to lessen the severity of outbreaks, and your doctor can recommend changes in habit that may reduce outbreaks. If you do have acne, there are ways to prevent acne scarring. Treating acne inflammation at the onset of the condition will help lessen the severity of the injury to your tissue, which will prevent or decrease scarring. If over-the-counter medication is not working for you, your doctor can prescribe stronger, more intensive medication.


    Melasma Treatment

    Melasma is recognized as a skin condition presenting as brown spots or patches on the face of adults. The most common sites on the skin are the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, jawline and upper lip. It also affects both sides of the face. Melasma typically occurs in women, around 90%. Individuals with a darker pigment, mainly, Hispanic, Indian, Asian, Middle East and Northern Africa tend to be more affected by melasma.

    The exact cause of melasma is complex. People with a known family history of melasma are more prone to develop melasma themselves. It is commonly seen in pregnant women, and is called chloasma also known as “mask of pregnancy.” Research shows birth control pills may play a role. Sun exposure and worsen or escalate the condition, even a few minutes a day can cause recurrences.

    Melasma is a chronic condition. The most successful formulation has been a combination of hydroquinone, tretinoin, and moderate potency topical steroid. This has been found to result in improvement or clearance in up to 60–80% of those treated. Year round sun protection and avoidance is required. {Melasma, Dermnet}


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