The skin is the largest organ in the body and it is an extremely important defense against infections and environmental pollutants. At Waccamaw Dermatology, we are committed to providing patients with high-quality care in a pleasant and professional atmosphere. We know that our patients’ skin concerns are unique, and we work with them to find the right treatment for their condition, in addition to making tailored recommendations for keeping the skin healthy.
Acne is caused by a combination of bacteria, hormones, and clogged pores. It can cause scarring in patients, in addition to making them self-conscious about their skin. There are many treatment options available for acne. With proper acne treatment, most patients can achieve clear or nearly clear skin. Treatments must be appropriately tailored to control acne and minimize the risk of side effects for patients.
Eczema is a group of inflamed skin conditions that result in chronic and itchy rashes. Symptoms vary patient to patient, but often include dry, red, itchy areas on the skin that breakout in rashes when scratched. About 15 million people in the United States suffer from some form of eczema, including 10-20 percent of all infants.
Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes redness and swelling on the face and may affect the scalp, neck, ears, chest, back, and/or eyes. Symptoms range from red pimples, lines and visible blood vessels, to dry or burning skin with a tendency to flush easily. Although it can affect anyone, rosacea typically appears in light-skinned, light-haired adults 30-50 years old.
Psoriasis is a group of chronic skin disorders that cause itchy and/or burning, scaling, and crusting of the skin. The most commonly affected areas are the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet, and genitals. Psoriasis can be treated successfully, sometimes for months or years at a time and occasionally even permanently. Treatment depends on the type, severity, and location of Psoriasis; the patient’s age, medical history, and lifestyle.
Asymmetry: One half of the mole should look like the other.
Borders: Normal moles are well-defined and regular. A suspicious mole may have notched or irregular borders.
Colors: The color should be uniform. Abnormal moles have shades of different colors, including tan, black, red, white or blue.
Diameter: Normal moles are usually smaller than the end of a pencil eraser or a standard hole puncher in a piece of notebook paper; roughly 6 mm or 1/4 inch.
Evolving: Be aware of existing moles and how they look over time. A change in size, color or elevation is an indication to have moles checked by a dermatologist.
These cancers originate in the skin and if left untreated, they can invade and destroy the muscle, bone, and other structures. Untreated Malignant Melanoma and Squamous Cell Cancers can metastasis, which is the spread of cancer beyond the site of the original growth or lesion, and it can be fatal. Unlike other forms of cancer in internal body organs, skin cancer can be seen without the aid of equipment. Early intervention is essential to preventing the cancer from spreading. There are many benign skin growths or lesions that resemble skin cancer but are not cancerous when analyzed under a microscope. In many cases, a biopsy is the only way to diagnose a cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, so common, in fact, that one in five people will develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime, no matter their age. Skin cancer is common among young adults and it affects nearly 50 percent of those over 65 years old.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the primary cause of skin cancer. While a small amount of sun exposure is beneficial to health, prolonged and accumulative sun exposure damages the skin. Heredity also plays a significant role in skin cancer risk. Other significant risk factors include having skin that freckles or burns easily, fair hair, blue or green eyes, and exposure to sunburn. In fact, if individuals have had five or more sunburns in their lifetime, their risk of skin cancer doubles.
The prevalence of atypical moles, known as Dysplastic Nevi, can also contribute to skin cancer risk. Whereas normal moles are round or oval in shape with a well-defined edge, atypical moles have a hazy or irregular border, and splotchy coloring. People who have atypical moles are at an increased risk of developing Melanoma and are advised to check their skin regularly.
Skin cancer is easy to cure when it is detected early. Even Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is 99 percent curable if identified in its earliest stages. In addition to checking your own skin regularly, we recommend that our patients undergo an annual full-body examination with one of our dermatologists at Waccamaw Dermatology. Prevention is always better than a cure. Everyday regimens should include sunscreen and sunglasses, and an outdoor wardrobe should always include a hat and sun-protective clothing.