The best dermatologists know that all adults should have a total-body skin examination every year. The purpose of this is for early detection and treatment of skin cancers, especially melanoma. Early treatment of these cancers can reduce complications and save lives.
Wondering if it is safe to see your dermatologist during a pandemic? These are the steps we have taken at Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands to keep patients, staff, and the community safe.
As we enter the wintertime, on the verge of another bout of winter weather, we would like to focus a bit more on itching of the skin. Itching, after all, is most common in the winter. Itching can be localized to certain areas of the skin, for example in the skin over bug bites. In uncommon cases, it can be widespread, affecting all the skin. The best dermatologists know that the number one cause of widespread itching without a rash is dry skin. In most cases of widespread itching all over due to dryness, you may have little or no rash.
Unwanted hair growth in various areas of the body is a common problem that we see in our clinics at Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands. Unwanted hair growth can run in families. Though women tend to seek care for this problem more frequently, men can be affected by unwanted or excess hair growth as well. In women, some of the most common areas that are problematic are the upper lip and chin, and neck. The chest, especially the area around the nipples, legs, and bikini area are also spots where women often seek to rid themselves of unwanted hair follicles. In contrast, men are most often bothered by unwanted hair growth on the back and ears, as well as excessively thick hair and the eyebrows and region between the eyebrows known as the glabella—causing the problem frequently referred to as the monobrow or unibrow.
To be human is to have anxiety. Some degree of anxiety is generally lurking in the background getting us out of bed in the morning, motivating us to get stuff done every day. But at times, anxiety can grow and essentially take over our lives. When it comes to dermatology problems, hair loss (alopecia) is one of the primary conditions we encounter that is often intertwined with anxiety.
Have you ever had an itchy rash that is so uncomfortable it can disturb your sleep? Is this rash persistent or does it come and go, with repetitive outbreaks? Does your rash last for days, weeks, or months? If your answer is yes to one or more of those questions, there is a decent chance that you have allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis is exceedingly common—virtually every person will have at least one episode of this rash during their lifetime. Some of us are affected more severely than others.
Actinic keratosis is a spot on the top layer of skin that generally develops in adults and is pre-cancerous. Like many changes in the skin that occur over our lives, sunlight exposure causes these spots. Over time, the photons of ultraviolet (UV) light trigger enough damage to the DNA of skin cells that the skin starts to grow more rapidly than they should.
At last, summer is here again, with warmer weather beckoning us to spend more time outdoors. This is especially the case right now with most everyone feeling cooped-up due to the viral pandemic.
We want you to have fun but also practice sun safety —whether you golf, garden, walk, or do any other outdoor activities. Through our work in dermatology, we see numerous hazardous effects of ultraviolet light exposure. The worst immediate effect, of course, is sunburn—see the recent tips we published about this: https://www.midlandsderm.com/extinguishing-your-sunburn/. Many of the long-term effects of UVA and UVB rays include skin cancer and premature aging.