Monthly Archives: December 2015

What are Blackheads and Whiteheads and How Do You Treat Them?

Possibly one of the most common skin conditions are blackheads and whiteheads which are also known as comedones. Blackheads and whiteheads are found on the face especially on the nose and chin and may also be on the shoulders, chest and back
area. Blackheads are known as open comedones because they are clogged pores that have a wide opening at the surface of the skin. Blackheads appear blackish in color because the pores are filled with sebum (aka oil) and dead skin cells. Whiteheads on the other hand are known as closed comedones. These are pores that contain the same material but have a smaller opening at the skin’s surface.

Blackheads and whiteheads are very common skin condition and are seen in patients with acne. Those suffering from acne may have only blackheads and whiteheads or they may have other types of pimples known as pustules, papules, cysts or nodules. These other
types of pimples are red and inflamed looking whereas blackheads and whiteheads are not.

Look for a face wash or a face cream at the drugstore that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If this does not help improve your blackheads and whiteheads,
talk to your dermatologist about prescription strength treatments that may help.

What is a Skin Check?

Female dermatologist examining female patient's skin with dermascope, doctor is carefully looking for signs of skin cancer
Female dermatologist examining female patient’s skin with dermascope, doctor is carefully looking for signs of skin cancer

What is a Skin Check?

A skin check is basically what it is! It is checking are as of the skin to diagnose skin conditions and abnormalities. It is also referred to as a mole check, skin screen or skin exam. It is a common service performed by dermatologists to provide key information about their patient’s condition.

A patient will disrobe and the physician will carefully look over all areas of the skin. Along with this examination, a dermatologist asks questions about his client’s medical health. One of the most common uses of a skin check is in diagnosing skin cancer. The dermatologist will check spots, moles and sores for any changes or increase in number and will ask the patient if they have noticed any changes in their skin.

Skin check equipment
In order to have a close-up look of some of the areas of the skin, a dermatologist will use a
dermascope. This is a magnifying glass with a built in LED light that is placed close to the area of the skin that needs to be checked. A dermatologist may also take photographs of the spot or area of the skin to be able to monitor any changes. A biopsy may also be performed to further evaluate a specific lesion. A small sample of the lesion is taken and then examined in a pathology laboratory. The results will return after several days.
Who needs a skin check
Everyone can benefit from having their skin checked for signs of cancer. Those who have had a skin cancer, or have a family history of skin cancer, particularly need to get a skin check. Most insurance companies will cover this type of visit to the dermatologist.

What is a Dermatologist?

What is a Dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a doctor who is trained to treat conditions that affect the skin, nails and hair. He or she is a medical professional that has four years of medical school as well as four years of dermatology residency to learn all he/she can about the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders. Some dermatologists do even further training to specialize in cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology or skin cancer surgery known as Mohs surgery.

A dermatologist treats all times of skin conditions and may also be consulted for the ideal skin care method for all skin types and for people of different ages. Patients seek out a dermatologist for:

  • The diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, moles and tumors of the skin
  • The treatment of eczema, dermatitis and other possible skin inflammatory conditions
  • The diagnosis of infectious diseases of the skin
  • The performance of skin biopsies
  • The surgical treatment of any skin condition
  • The use of the latest technologies, such as lasers, in the treatment of skin, hair and nail conditions.
  • The treatment of cosmetic skin conditions such as skin aging

Your primary care physician may suggest that you see a dermatologist or you may seek one out on your own. When choosing a dermatologist, make certain that he/she is a board certified dermatologist. If you are looking for a dermatologist to perform cosmetic treatments such as Botox or lasers, ask if he/she underwent training for cosmetic dermatology.