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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Moles and Your Skin

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Moles and Your Skin

Americans put a great deal of emphasis on their personal appearance, and so the idea of moles, depending on where they are, can cause people a great deal of self-consciousness. On top of that, depending on the type of mole, moles can be dangerous. On the other hand, depending on the placement and size of the mole, moles can actually be quite beautiful and add uniqueness and character to our appearance.

What Exactly is a Mole?

A mole is made up of melanocytes, cells responsible for the pigmentation in our skin. Instead of developing apart, as they normally would, they’ve developed together, forming a spot in which the pigmentation is very pronounced. Moles can develop genetically or the can be caused by hormonal changes or sun exposure.

“For the most part, moles are harmless,” says one dermatologist from Pleasanton, “but every once in awhile they can be skin cancer, so having a dermatologist check them is a good idea.”

Types of Moles

A common mole is just that, a typical mole. They generally form in areas that are exposed to the sun and are about 5 to 6 millimeters in diameter. The pigmentation runs evenly throughout them. They rarely turn into skin cancer.

An atypical mole also known as dysplastic nevi are moles that exhibit irregularities. Firstly, the pigmentation throughout the mole is uneven. This generally comes in the form of fuzziness between the border of the mole and the skin. While most dysplastic nevi are benign, they do exhibit many of the same symptoms of precancerous or cancerous moles and should thus be looked at closely and monitored.

Congenital nevi are moles that are present at birth, often called birthmarks. This type of mole can turn into skin cancer later in life and should be monitored.

Acquired moles are those that develop during the course of a person’s life. They are caused by sun exposure and are very often benign. They sometimes lead to skin cancer later in life.

Junctional melanocytic nevi are moles that form between the dermis and epidermis. They usually have a raised appearance, dark pigmentation, and form during childhood and early adulthood.

Intradermal nevi are moles that form underneath the skin. For this reason they have a flesh colored appearance or slightly lighter pigmentation. They’re usually benign.

Compound nevi are moles that form both between the dermis and epidermis, and on the dermis. They’re characterized by being raised in the middle, and flat on the edges. They’re also usually benign.

“By and large the vast majority of moles are only removed for cosmetic reasons,” says one Placerville dermatologist. “But if you’re seeing changes in size and pigmentation, that can be a sign that something is wrong.”

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

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dermatologist placerville

How to Know if Your Mole is Cancerous or Precancerous

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

How to Know if Your Mole is Cancerous or Precancerous

While the vast majority of moles may be harmless, though unsightly, they can sometimes be quite dangerous. There are a number of ways that an individual can track the progression of a mole and figure out whether or not it’s time to schedule a visit to the dermatologist.

“The first thing that people should be aware of,” says one skin doctor from Roseville, “is that moles that change pigmentation or size need to be analyzed by a certified dermatologist. The dermatologist will perform a biopsy in order to determine whether or not the mole shows signs of cancer. It’s very important that we do that because skin cancer responds the best when it’s treated early. The longer the disease is allowed to progress, the more dangerous it becomes.”

#1. How to Track the Progression of a Mole

Modern technology allows us to take pictures easily. The progression of a mole can be tracked by taking daily pictures and then cycling through them. Since the changes might be too subtle to see with the naked eye, it will take some time for the mole to progress before there’s any major apparent changes. This can also be very useful for the doctor if you believe that mole is changing size, shape, or color.

#2. Warning Signs of Cancerous and Precancerous Moles

A mole can be cancerous or precancerous if the following signs are apparent:

     The mole is becoming larger.

     The mole is changing shape. This is especially a problem for asymmetrical moles or moles that have fuzzy edges.

     The mole is becoming darker, or the mole is irregularly shaded.

     The mole is becoming asymmetrical. Common moles tend to be round or oval shaped and thus have bilateral symmetry.

     The mole is itchy, painful, or bleeding.

     The mole appears or feels crusty.

     Inflammation in the mole can be a sign of cancer.

     The mole has three different shades of brown or black.

     The mole becomes more elevated.

“When dealing with moles, skin doctors have a pneumonic called the ABCDE’s of evaluating moles,” says one Roseville dermatologist. “That stands for (A)symmetrical, (B)order, (C)olors, (D)iameter, and (E)nlargement. We’re looking for asymmetrical moles, fuzzy borders, multiple colors, larger than 6 millimeters in diameter, and signs that it’s enlarging. While any one of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean the mole is cancerous, those are the things we want to take a closer look at, because all cancerous moles show these sorts of symptoms. ”

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

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Skin Treatments for Eczema

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Skin Treatments for Eczema

Eczema is a skin disease affecting millions of Americans each year. While the cause of an individual’s eczema may not always be clear, it is generally believed that eczema is an overactive response by the body’s immune system to some irritant on the skin. Eczema sufferers tend to have allergies that run in their family, and eczema is also correlated with asthma. The genetic component can also extend to the structure of the skin itself. It is believed that some skin types have a tendency to release moisture in the skin while trapping bacteria in. There are a number of triggers that can cause flare-ups, including abrasive material on the skin, respiratory infections, stress, pet dander, and other allergens. While there is no cure for eczema, there are several treatments that can reduce symptoms.

#1. Good Skin Care

For mild cases of eczema, the best treatment is simply good skin care. The issue is getting the correct diagnosis. Since eczema generally presents as a rash, and a rash can be a symptom of many conditions, consulting a dermatologist is the best way to get a diagnosis of eczema. From there it will become apparent what will and will not work.

The best way to manage eczema is by establishing a daily skin care routine. The idea is going to be to use a mild soap substitute that does not dry out your skin along with moisturizer creams that prevent the skin from drying out. Since the worst symptoms of eczema involve the dryness of the skin, the trick is to keep it moist. The best time to apply the moisturizer is after you’ve taken a shower or bath. For severe cases of eczema, some people put a small amount of bleach in the water and this helps to kill the bacteria.

#2. Managing Stress

If stress is a major trigger for flare ups, there are a number of things that you can do to help minimize the risk. While everyone deals with stress at one time or another, the trick is managing it. Exercising, relaxing, and meditating are all great ways to manage stress.

#3. Medicines and Treatments

The most commonly prescribed treatments for eczema are hydrocortisone, corticosteroids, and antihistamines. For severe cases, UV light therapy may be indicated. In some cases doctors might prescribe an immunosuppressant.

“Depending on the individual case there’s a number of skin treatments we use to control the symptoms,” says one dermatologist from San Francisco. “We want to use the least aggressive treatment we can try to control the symptoms of eczema since it’s not a life threatening condition. ”

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

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Do Home Remedies Really Work for Acne?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Do Home Remedies Really Work for Acne?

Unsightly pimples and acne are the number one cause of consternation from young adults. But acne is a serious skin condition that can affect adults later in life as well. With at home remedies the tendency is to treat the pimples themselves using various forms of over the counter solutions that can have some benefit, or not. The danger people run when using these methods, is that if they’re not applied properly, they can actually make the situation worse.

“Tea tree is one of those skin treatments for acne that has entered the folk medicine lexicon,” says one Walnut Creek dermatologist, “and while it’s a mixed bag in terms of whether these folk medicine treatments actually work, the real truth is that science and medicine is not heavily invested in doing clinical trials on substances that cost you $4.70 at Walmart. The fact is that a lot of the people who have taken tea tree say it works on pimples and that’s great. For the most part, however, these treatments work on pimples, not necessarily on acne.”

Acne is the name for the condition that causes the pimples to form in the first place. The most common time for people to get acne is in their teens and especially during puberty. This is because during that period the skin secretes more oil than it generally would. When dead skin cells mix with the oil secreted by the skin, this causes the pores to be clogged. Bacteria then settles into the pores causing red raised bumps full of pus. It’s very gross, but it generally passes.

“There’s a number of over the counter skin creams that are available that are known by dermatologists to work effectively,” he continued. “The risk you run with a lot of these home remedies is that they end up drying out the skin, which will make the acne worse, and that seems like something tea tree would probably do. It also seems like tea tree might be effective at killing off some of the bacteria. So it may be mixed bag with that as a remedy.”

“The best way to clear up your skin is to wash your face gently no more than twice a day. The soap will dry out your skin if it’s over applied. You want to find a noncomedogenic moisturizer for the skin. This will keep it moist and healthy. We recommend the over the counter anti-acne medication because we know how it works, and it’s going to have the right medications in the right amounts in there.”

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

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Is CoolSculpting Replacing Liposuction as the Preferred Treatment for Plastic Surgeons?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Is CoolSculpting Replacing Liposuction as the Preferred Treatment for Plastic Surgeons?

For years, liposuction has been the treatment for getting rid of pesky fat that even diligent exercisers couldn’t seem to trim off themselves. With the advent of a newer technology known as CoolSculpting or cryolipolysis, all that appears to have changed.

“CoolSculpting is a non-surgical way to remove fat by freezing and thus killing the cells,” says one dermatologist from San Francisco. “The idea is similar to liposuction, in that it allows a plastic surgeon to go in there and reshape the contours of the body that an individual finds to be unsightly. A patient sits in a chair, basically, and a technician attaches multiple suction cups that freeze the fatty tissue without itself freezing the skin. The technology to do this is quite remarkable, but the procedure itself is relatively new. It was only approved by the FDA in 2010.”

For those wondering about side effects of the procedure, all scientific evidence points to the fact that what few side effects cryolipolysis does have, are transient in nature, and not terribly bad to begin with.

“Most patients experience a bit of discomfort during the procedure, and afterwards there’s some redness, potential bruising, and numbness,” he continued. “There’s no evidence of long term nerve damage or anything like that, and the sensory numbing of the area tends to pass in a month or less.”

Most skin doctors say that there is considerably less danger with the CoolSculpting procedure than there is with liposuction.

“Liposuction is relatively safe procedure as well, but there are certain risks associated with scarring at the incision site,” he said. “Liposuction is a surgical procedure while CoolSculpting is a non-surgical non-invasive procedure. The liposuction procedure has also been associated with nerve damage to the area, permanent color changes to the skin, and an uneven skin surface over the treated area, but that is very rare. Liposuction, when performed properly, is generally a safe procedure and the side effects are no worse than CoolSculpting. The reason why CoolSculpting is so exciting is because it’s new and non-surgical.”

“CoolSculpting can’t really replace liposuction insofar as liposuction is still the preferred treatment for removing large amounts of fat from the body. For individuals that are looking to get rid of a bunch of fat, CoolSculpting isn’t really going to work for them. As the name implies, CoolSculpting is really about melting away a small area of fat in order to achieve a desired shape, and it’s a very effective treatment for that.”

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

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Home Remedies for Moles: A Dermatologist’s Take

Friday, July 28, 2017

Home Remedies for Moles: A Dermatologist’s Take

While the internet is replete with at home remedies for getting rid of skin tags like moles, Dermatologists warn that these methods may merely create some superficial benefits for those that think their mole is unsightly; a certified dermatologist does more than simply remove the mole.

“Performing basic cosmetic excision on a mole is of course something that dermatologists do,” says one dermatologist from Palo Alto, “but before we do that, we need to get a biopsy on the tissue itself to determine if it’s cancerous or not. Skin cancer is not only just the most prevalent form of cancer, but it’s also very treatable when it’s caught early. So if a patient goes about removing the mole using methods they found on the internet, not only are they going to leave some of the tissue behind, but we’re not going to know whether or not it’s benign or cancerous, and that’s a serious problem.”

“The problem isn’t that these methods don’t work cosmetically,” he continued. “The problem is that they don’t work as thoroughly as methods used by trained doctors. Dermatologists use a number of techniques for removing moles that are safe, effective, and thorough.”

Still, there are many folks out there using home remedies they’ve found on the internet, the most popular of which is using Apple Cider Vinegar. Doctors warn that this method is not safe for removing moles.

“Dermatologists absolutely do not use a potent acid to burn a mole off the skin,” he said. “It’s a very dangerous myth that’s been propagated over the internet and has resulted in several unfortunate and unsightly skin conditions that are more unsightly than your typical mole. That includes chemical burns, infections, and hyperpigmentation of the area that was once occupied by the mole. So you run a serious risk of replacing one unsightly blemish with another.”

“When you go to a dermatologist, the doctor will analyze the tissue, ensure that it’s not cancerous, and then come up with the best method for removing the particular mole in a manner that reduces the chance of scarring. Since there are no nerve endings in moles, the best method is generally scalpel sculpting or shaving. It’s a 5 minute procedure that rarely hurts, and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you don’t have skin cancer. While it may cost you a bit more than your typical bottle of apple cider vinegar, it also doesn’t run the risk of chemical burn. But no, dermatologists do not recommend any of these internet remedies for mole removal,” he concluded.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

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What Causes Adult Acne?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What Causes Adult Acne?

It’s a cruel irony that teenagers get acne when they’re going through puberty, when they’re at their most vulnerable and sensitive. Still more ignominious, is those that continue to get acne into their late 20s. While some say that America is a culture that’s obsessed with appearances, there has probably not been any time in the recorded and unrecorded history of human society, where primitive man actually found acne to be a desirable condition to have. But unlike yesteryear, modern medicine can manage the symptoms of acne. So what could be causing your adult acne?

#1. Genetics

Chances are your adult acne is inherited, making this yet another thing that you can blame your parents for. In this case a person who is predisposed to producing more oil than the average person would is also predisposed to acne. It’s fundamentally the same reason why teenagers get acne. Their bodies are producing more oil during puberty than it would otherwise. If this condition continues into adulthood, you end up with adult acne.

#2. Hormones

Any condition that causes changes to your hormones has a tendency to trigger acne. This goes beyond puberty to include menstruation and pregnancy.

#3. Makeup

There are a number of makeups that can cause or aggravate acne as they have a tendency to clog pores in the skin. Finding makeup that is non-comedogenic and using more powders than creams can be one way to reduce the risk.

#4. Stress

While there is no known scientific link between stress and acne, many patients do report that stress actually worsens the condition of their skin and makes them more prone to outbreaks.

#5. Birth Control Pills?

For some women, birth control pills actually help control acne. This is because the hormones in them can block androgen hormones, which is the hormone responsible for putting the oil glands into hyperdrive.

Preventing Acne

For those prone to getting acne, getting rid of it can be a frustrating experience.

“Adult acne has the same basic causes as teen acne,” says one dermatologist from Cameron Park, “but it’s treated differently. Some of the over the counter stuff that’s prescribed for teenagers isn’t going to work at all for adults. But there are a number of treatment options, including birth control for women that will help reduce outbreaks. Of course birth control isn’t going to be an option for all women but there are prescription creams, antibiotics, and some other treatment options that have proven effective. But they’ll require a prescription.”

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

dermatologist Cameron Park

6 Secrets to Happy, Healthy Skin

Monday, July 03, 2017

6 Secrets to Happy, Healthy Skin

Shower With Cool Water

Let’s face it, everyone loves taking a long hot shower at the end of a long day, but what many do not know is that doing this can have an adverse reaction on their skin. Although everyone is different, those who shower in hot water for long amounts of time can end up stripping their skin of important oils and moisture, which can harm it in the long run. To stop this from happening, people should aim to shower with cool water, or at least limit their hot water showers to no more than 10 minutes at a time.

Get a Good Intake of Vitamin C

In all truth, vitamin C is underrated, especially since it has shown signs of helping the body produce collagen. Collagen is necessary for healthy and glowing skin, as it helps it stay wrinkle-free and youthful-looking. There are many fruits that are rich in vitamin C, and so those who are experiencing skin issues can sometimes benefit from boosting their daily intake.

Exfoliate Once or Twice a Week

Exfoliating has become a trend in the past few years, so much so, that people are under the impression that they should be exfoliating every single day. However, doing this can end up causing skin to take on a dry look. While exfoliating is great due to the fact that it removes old skin cells, one should aim to only exfoliate once or twice a week.

Avoid Touching Your Face When Not Necessary

It is no secret that the hands are one of the dirtiest areas of the human body. This is because hands are used to touch everything and can quickly acquire dirt and bacteria. When someone is constantly touching their face, they can be putting themselves at risk of blemishes. In order to keep skin looking and feeling great, people can try to wash their hands more frequently or simply avoid constantly touching their face.

Get the Right Moisturizer

Depending on where a person lives, it can be a good idea to replace their facial moisturizer at the change of every season. However, should a person live in California where there is constant sun, it is important to purchase a moisturizer that both nourishes one’s skin and protects them from the sun’s rays.

Select the Right Types of Makeup

Women who wear makeup and have skin issues can help their case by paying closer attention to the cosmetics they apply to their face. There are some makeup brands that use oil as an ingredient, which can cause skin to have an overabundance of oils. In order to prevent this from occuring, women can try switching to vegan or all-natural cosmetics.

Should a person’s skin not improve after attempting the 6 skin secrets listed above, they could try seeking professional help from a dermatologist in Palo Alto.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

dermatologist palo alto

6 Ways to Protect Your Skin While on Vacation

Sunday, July 02, 2017

6 Ways to Protect Your Skin While on Vacation

Going on vacation is very exciting, especially when visiting a country with a super warm climate. In most cases, people get most excited over how much of a tan they are going to get, without realizing that their first priority should be to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Before going on vacation, it is always a good idea to consult a dermatologist in Cameron Park in order to receive expert advice on how to protect one’s skin. The following are 6 ways to protect your skin while on vacation.

Use Sunscreen — The Proper Way

Sunscreen is a necessity for everyone, which is why many dermatologists tend to repeatedly stress the importance of wearing it every single day. However, when it comes to applying sunscreen, not many people know how to apply it the right way. Truth is, most sunscreens only last for an entirety of 80 minutes and then need to be reapplied. Also, it can take up to 30 minutes for sunscreen to actually start working, which leaves people unprotected from the sun’s rays for hours on end every single day.

Use After Sun Cream

One of the best things a person can do for their skin is invest in an after sun cream. This cream helps hydrate the skin after lengthy sun exposure while helping it get rid of any unwanted free radicals. Using an after sun cream can also help the skin slow down the aging process that intense sun intake can cause.

Avoid too Much Sun Exposure

Depending on a person’s skin tone, spending more than two hours in direct sunlight can cause them to burn severely. In order to prevent this, people should aim to split their tanning time with well deserved shade breaks.

Avoid the Sun During Peak Hours

When someone is determined to get a tan, they are usually going to try and tan during the peak hours of the day, which are from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Doing so, however, can cause damaging UV rays to infiltrate the skin and expedite the aging process.

Keep a Hat and Sunglasses on You at All Times

When vacationing to a warmer-than-usual climate, people can benefit from always bringing a hat and sunglasses along with them. This can help them shelter their faces from the sun during excessively hot days. Facial skin is extremely sensitive, so taking extra means of precaution to avoid burning is always encouraged.

Bring Aloe Vera

Taking in too much sun can cause someone to experience heat stroke or a large and painful sunburn. Once this has happened, there is nothing to do but wait for the burn to diminish. However, applying aloe vera to one’s burns can have a very soothing effect, which is why packing some in one’s suitcase isn’t a bad idea.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

dermatologist Cameron Park

5 Ways Being Pregnant Can Affect Your Skin

Saturday, July 01, 2017

5 Ways Being Pregnant Can Affect Your Skin

Pregnancy Glow

Most people have heard the term “pregnancy glow,” but not everyone understands just what it means. When a woman is with child, her hormones combine, creating oil and an increase of blood in her body. Moreover, extra oxygen is delivered by hormones to nearly every single organ in the human body, thus causing a pregnant woman’s skin to glow vivaciously.

Frequent Breakouts

While the pregnancy glow mentioned above is a good thing, not every single change to a pregnant woman’s skin is going to be positive. As mentioned, being pregnant causes the body to produce more hormones than usual, which causes progesterone to trigger the existence of additional sebum production. This causes skin to be more prone to breakouts; however, there are many creams and serums a pregnant woman can use to combat these breakouts. But before applying a new cosmetic, it is always best for pregnant woman to seek the counsel of their dermatologist in San Francisco.

Dark Patches of Skin

Melasma is a skin condition that commonly occurs on the face. It can be easily spotted by a dermatologist due to its dark patches. In fact, melasma is so common among pregnant women that it is often referred to as the “pregnancy mask.” Pregnant women are more prone to melasma during their third trimester, as this is when the body produces large traces of estrogen, melanocyte, and progesterone, which are the three common factors in skin coloration.

Additional Body Hair

Another way pregnancy can affect one’s skin is by causing it to become hairier than usual. Most women experience a rise in their body hair during pregnancy, and this has everything to do with hormones. Pregnant women commonly report finding extra hair on their face, breasts, underarms, legs, etc. Should the excess hair cause a woman to grow uncomfortable, it is wise for her to contact her dermatologist in San Francisco to ensure that the bleaching products she is thinking of using will not harm her baby. However, most women report shedding this excess hair within half a year of giving birth.

Pregnancy Tumors

Pregnancy tumors are very common in pregnant women and usually present themselves in the shape of a mole. These moles often appear within a woman’s mouth or on her hands. Despite being harmless most of the time, it is always best for pregnant woman to have their pregnancy tumors checked out immediately. Women can also experience the manifestation of skin tags in places where high friction occurs, but these aren’t necessarily dangerous.

For the most part, skin changes during pregnancy are harmless. Regardless, it is always recommended to see a dermatologist in San Francisco should anything abnormal manifest itself.

Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.

dermatologist san francisco



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