A board-certified dermatologist in Sterling Heights is a medical doctor who has had special training in the diagnosis and treatment of medical, surgical, and cosmetic conditions of skin, hair, and nails. Many conditions treated by dermatologists do not require surgery. A dermatologist will be able to determine what treatments may be necessary for various conditions.
Grosse Pointe Dermatologists Diagnose and Treat Many Conditions
Seeing a dermatologist regularly, even beginning at a young age, is important for establishing a baseline so that anything unusual can be diagnosed right away. Often, people do not consult a dermatologist until a problem arises. By then, many conditions are more difficult to treat. Regular visits to the dermatologist are important. Generally, annual visits are sufficient, but if a patient has a family history of skin cancer, has had severe sunburns or has used tanning beds, more frequent visits may be advisable.
A dermatologist treats many skin conditions, including acne, age spots, cold sores, blisters, keratoses, rosacea, carbuncles, latex allergies, eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, warts, ringworm, melasma, and impetigo, all of which are benign and treatable with antihistamines, antibiotics, vitamins, steroid injections, medicated ointments, laser therapy, and prescription medications.
Frequent Skin Examinations Are Important
It is important to make an appointment with a dermatologist if someone detects anything unusual. Frequent skin checks are vital. A partner may need to check for anything new or unusual on the back, as moles, for example, may be hard for a person to detect alone. It is necessary to check skin frequently, at least once a month, to see if there are any new moles or other growths, or changes to existing moles, freckles, bumps, or birthmarks. A mirror will help in checking neck, ears, and scalp. While the above conditions are non-cancerous, some of them, especially moles, can develop into cancers. Changes in moles, such as an increase in size, color, or shape, may indicate a problem. That is why it is so important to do frequent self-checks and to see a dermatologist regularly.
Skin Conditions That Are Treatable
Skin conditions are treatable if detected early. Most are benign, but even some of those can become cancerous. Even benign conditions may look unsightly or be painful, so patients will want to have those examined, also. Some of those include moles, age spots, skin allergies and infections, skin tags, hives, spider veins, warts, melasma, or hair loss. Many of these skin conditions are associated with lifestyle, such as sun damage, smoking, alcohol use, diet, and lack of hydration. Aging plays a role as well, sometimes leading to the development of age spots or other changes in skin pigmentation.
Age spots, sometimes called liver spots or sun warts, are pigmented marks on the skin, usually caused by sun exposure or use of tanning beds, especially on the hands, arms, and forehead, but they can also develop on other parts of the body. The best way to prevent age spots is by wearing sunscreen every day that is SPF 30 or higher. Sunscreen is not just for the face; it also needs to be applied to the neck, ears, and scalp, especially if sun-protective headgear is not worn. Often people forget that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two or three hours and after being in water. Wearing sun-protective clothing is another way to prevent age spots. Clothing is now available that has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) similar to the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of sunscreen. A ball cap or a hat that shades the face and neck are also important.
Avoiding tanning beds is a good way to prevent age spots.
How a Sterling Heights Dermatologist Treats Age Spots
Creams that help age spots to fade can be prescribed by the dermatologist. They can be eliminated entirely with other methods. It is important to make an appointment with the dermatologist when age spots first begin to appear as they are easier to remove before they become thicker. Cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen, a cold gas, to “freeze” the spot, forming a blister that eventually dries and falls off, leaving clear skin. Another method is curettage. In this procedure, the doctor numbs the skin and then scrapes the spot off.
Cancerous Skin Growths Treated by Dermatologists in the Detroit Area
Cancerous skin conditions will need treatment right away. People will need to make an appointment with a dermatologist to have any new spots or lesions checked. These cancers can often mimic the appearance of non-cancerous conditions, which is why it is so important to have them checked by a dermatologist. Cancerous skin growths fall into three categories: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and Melanoma. The following behaviors indicate a propensity to develop these skin cancers: sun exposure, frequent sunburns, or use of tanning beds. Those with fair skin, blonde or red hair, or blue eyes, need to be extra-careful about sun or tanning bed exposure.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancerous Conditions by a Detroit Dermatologist
The only way to diagnose whether a growth is cancerous or not is with a skin biopsy using local anesthesia that is then sent to a lab for testing. If the biopsy shows a carcinoma or melanoma, the doctor will determine what procedure should be used to remove the cancer cells, depending on the type, size, and depth of the cancer. These procedures include excision, Mohs surgery, curettage, radiation, or cryosurgery. Anyone can get these skin cancers. If a person notices anything unusual, especially if that person has a family history of skin cancer, whether basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma, that person should make an appointment immediately.
A Dermatologist Can Diagnose and Treat Many Skin Conditions
Seeing a dermatologist regularly or at the earliest sign of an unusual skin condition is the best way to get good treatment. Risk increases with age. Along with a monthly self-check, at least a yearly check-up with a dermatologist is important. Whether cancerous or not, all skin conditions can be treated with early detection.