Acne is a disease that affects not only teens but adults as well. It generally appears on the face (nose, cheeks, chin), chest and back. You may call them pimples, zits, blackheads, whiteheads and, in more severe forms, large and sometimes painful cysts. Acne occurs when the pores of the skin become clogged with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. At first, very mild cases can be treated with over-the-counter acne medications containing benzoyl peroxide, but if this does not resolve the problem, you should consider an appointment with the physicians at Associated Dermatologists in West Bloomfield, Commerce or Novi. Multiple medications, both topical and oral, are effective in controlling this condition that if left untreated can result in permanent scarring. In the case of severe, scarring nodular and cystic acne, the medication istotreinoin (better known as Accutane) is a treatment that if often considered.
All rashes are not equal: Atopic Dermatitis, Eczema, Contact Dermatitis, Poison Ivy, Hives, Fungus, Psoriasis--A trained dermatologist will be able to identify what kind of a “rash” you have and how it should be treated. Our physicians can perform biopsies, take cultures or immediately identify a rash by the clinical presentation. If you have a rash that does not clear or is extremely itchy or spreading, you can make an appointment with a physician or physician assistant at any of our three locations to get you on the path to healthy skin.
Warts are a common skin virus that can appear in many areas of the body, but primarily they appear on the hands and feet. Viruses require your body’s immune system to help fight the infection, and often times several treatments are necessary for clearing. Warts can be contagious and therefore spread. If over-the-counter wart treatments are unsuccessful after a few weeks, it is best to seek the expertise of a physician who treats warts with a multitude of treatment options: liquid nitrogen, topical medications, laser and sometimes injections.
The physicians and physician assistants can do a thorough examination of your skin and if necessary biopsy any suspicious growths.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
This is the most common type of skin cancer and can appear on the skin in many shapes and sizes. If you have a lesion that continues to bleed, a “pimple” that won’t resolve, a sore that heals and then returns you should have your Dermatologist evaluate it. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) usually develops in sun exposed areas- such as the nose, scalp neck ears and hands. Bcc rarely spread to other areas of the body but can become larger and affect the surrounding tissue and sometimes into the bone.
Treatment for a non-invasive BCC can be as simple as a procedure in the office with electrodessication and curettage. But a nodular or invasive BCC may require more extensive, yet more definitive treatment such as Mohs surgery. (See the section regarding this procedure)
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer and can appear as a crusted or rough bump that grows and bleeds and like a BCC can appear to be a sore that doesn’t heal. It is also commonly found on the areas of sun exposure: face ears, lips, back of the hands and arms. But in addition, SCC can appear inside the mouth or on the genitals and smoking or chewing tobacco can increase your risk of SCC in the mouth or throat. If left untreated, SCC’s can spread and therefore make future treatment difficult. Mohs surgery is a common treatment for this skin cancer.
This is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It may develop on normal skin or in an existing mole.
The ABCD and E’s of Melanoma
B: Irregular Border
C: Varied Colors or very dark
D: Diameter- greater than an eraser on a pencil (6mm) but can be smaller
E: Evolving- a mole or skin growth that looks different from the rest or is changing in size shape or color.
Make an appointment with a Dermatologist as soon as possible if you notice any of these new or changing lesions.