By Shady Grove Dermatology
October 29, 2018
Category: Skin Conditions

Learn More About Skin Cancer and Its Early Warning Signs

Skin CancerWhile we know the last thing you want to think about is skin cancer, it is extremely important that you don’t ignore the warning signs. After all, with more than 3 million Americans affected each year, skin cancer is more common than you might realize. Luckily, if skin cancer is caught soon enough, our Rockville, MD, dermatologists can treat the problem before it causes more serious and life-threatening problems. Here’s what you need to know about skin cancer, the warning signs, and your treatment options.

Different Kinds of Skin Cancer

While most people have heard of melanoma, which is the most deadly form of skin cancer, it isn’t the only kind. Skin cancer also includes basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma; both can appear just about anywhere on the body but are most likely to develop on areas of the body that are regularly exposed to the sun.

Basal cell carcinomas usually appear as flesh-colored or waxy bumps and are often found on the neck or face. Squamous cell carcinomas often develop on the ears, face, or hands, and appears as flat, red lesions that may be scaly or crusted over.

Signs of Melanoma

It’s important that you are performing a self-exam on your skin about once a month so that you are able to detect changes as soon as possible. If in doubt, call your Rockville, MD, skin doctor and let us know what symptoms you are noticing. It’s always best to play it safe when it comes to your health. Of course, there are some warning signs to look out for, including:

  • A very large mole or brown lesion (larger than the size of a pencil eraser)
  • A mole that isn’t symmetrical or has a poorly defined border
  • A mole that changes in size, shape or color
  • A mole or dark spot that bleeds

Treating Skin Cancer

In order to create a treatment plan that will be effective, we will need to perform tests to determine the type and severity of your skin cancer. In order to diagnose skin cancer, we will often take a biopsy of the lesion or growth for testing. Skin care treatments include:

  • Excisional Surgery: One of the most common treatment options, excisional surgery is a procedure that cuts away and removes the lesion, extracting some healthy skin along with it. This is an effective measure for removing both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.
  • Mohs Surgery: Another popular way to treat skin cancer, Mohs surgery is performed by removing thin layers of the cancerous growth until the cancer is completely gone. This process takes longer than other methods, however, it is often ideal because it preserves more of the healthy skin around the cancerous growth than traditional surgery.
  • Electrosurgery: This method treats small or superficial cancerous lesions. It involves scraping the growth with a special tool before burning the area to kill remaining cancer cells. This procedure will often need to be repeated several times in order to completely remove the cancer and is not an option for patients who have cancer in difficult-to-treat areas such as the eyelids or lips, or those with more invasive carcinomas.
  • Cryosurgery: If you are dealing with superficial squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), then cryosurgery, the process of freezing the lesion, may be all you need. This procedure can be performed without anesthesia, as there is absolutely no cutting required. Sometimes multiple sessions are required to fully treat the SCCs.

Call Today

If you are noticing any suspicious growths or changes to your skin, it’s important that you have the issue checked out as soon as possible by a skin care professional. Turn to the experts at Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, by calling (240) 246-7417.

By Shady Grove Dermatology
October 22, 2018
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: adult acne   Acne  

Acne is just for teens, right? Wrong! This unsightly, upsetting and stubborn skin condition affects adults, too. If you suffer from the blackheads, whiteheads, papules and pustules common to adult acne, please consult your friends at Shady Grove Dermatology in Adult AcneRockville, MD. The highly-trained team of dermatologists will help you control outbreaks for healthier, clearer skin.

The reasons behind acne

Acne really is more prevalent during the teen years when hormone levels fluctuate and affect the sebaceous, or oil glands, on the face, neck, shoulders, upper chest and back. When these oil glands become plugged, they form comedones--red papules, pustules, blackheads or whiteheads. Blackheads look dark because of the presence of a skin pigment called melanin.

In addition, acne happens to people in their thirties, forties and beyond, also due to hormonal fluctuations associated with pregnancy and menopause. Obviously, then, women are more prone to acne than men; however, stress, and its associated androgens, precipitate acne outbreaks regardless of age and gender. Family history and use of certain hair and skin products factors into acne, too, says the American Academy of Dermatology.

Unfortunately, acne harms self-confidence. So, to avoid its spread, to reduce infection and scarring and to improve self-image, your dermatologist in Rockville advises professional evaluation and treatment of adult acne.

Treating acne

After a visual inspection of your affected areas, your dermatologist will recommend a care plan tailored to your unique needs. Typical interventions include:

  • Gentle, twice-daily facial washing (no vigorous scrubbing) with a recommended acne cleanser
  • Application of medications as directed by your skin doctor (tretinoin, or vitamin A, and benzoyl peroxide are common choices)
  • In-office extraction of cystic acne lesions (no at-home popping as this deepens scars and creates infection)
  • Topical antibiotics to clear the infection
  • Careful selection of hair and skin products (oily pomade typically clogs pores)
  • Routine washing of bedding, hats, and headbands
  • Keeping your hands off your face and other areas prone to outbreaks

Your best skin

You expected clear skin as an adult. You can achieve it with careful control of your acne. For a consultation on your acne and to experience the benefits of a routine skin examination and skin cancer assessment, call Shady Grove Dermatology for an appointment: (240) 246-7417. Our dermatologists are board-certified experts who can help you have your healthiest, most attractive skin.

By Shady Grove Dermatology
August 02, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: moles  

Do you examine your moles regularly? Changes in moles can happen at any time and may be a sign of melanoma, a potentially deadly molescancer. The dermatologists at Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, provide skin cancer exams and offer a range of skin cancer treatment options if a mole does happen to be cancerous.

What should I look for when I conduct a home exam?

Keeping your ABCs in mind will help you ensure that you don't miss any suspicious moles. When you check your moles, consider:

  • Asymmetry: Is the mole perfectly round or is one side a different shape or size?
  • Border: Healthy moles have perfectly smooth borders. If the edge of a mole is scalloped, irregular, or poorly defined, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with your Rockville, MD, skin doctor.
  • Color: Moles that don't have a consistent color or that change color should be examined.
  • Diameter: Large moles, those bigger than a pencil eraser, are also a cause for concern.
  • Evolving: Look for moles that don't quite look the same as usual. Changes in color, shape, or size can occur if you have melanoma.

In addition to these change, a few other signs may indicate a problem with a mole. If your normally smooth mole becomes bumpy or begins to bleed, you may need a biopsy to determine if the mole has become cancerous. Itching or flaking may also be warning signs.

Be sure to examine every inch of your body during your home exam. A hand mirror can be very useful when you need to check moles in out-of-the-way places.

When should I do if I notice any of these changes?

Any change in a mole, even if it seems minor to you, should be reported to your dermatologist. If your doctor thinks that the mole is suspicious, he or she will remove it and send it to a laboratory for a biopsy. Despite the change in appearance, it's very possible that your mole isn't cancerous.

Should the biopsy determine that the mole is cancerous, you'll need surgery to remove all traces of cancer from your skin. Thanks to innovative surgical techniques, like Mohs micrographic surgery, scarring can be minimized in many cases.

See your dermatologist as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your moles. Call the dermatologists at Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, at (301) 840-2266 to schedule an appointment.

By Shady Grove Dermatology
June 05, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: adult acne  

Acne at any age causes emotional upset. Honestly, though, did you expect to have it as an adult? At Shady Grove Dermatology in acneRockville, MD, the doctors and their professional team have the best ways to control troublesome acne so you can feel confident and look your best. Here are some of the things you should know about adult acne.

What is acne?

Acne is an outbreak of red pustules, blackheads, or whiteheads. Some acne is so severe that dermatologists label it cystic acne, and it's the kind which can lead to scarring.

While your skin doctor sees far more adolescents for outbreaks of acne in Rockville, many patients are adults, too. In fact, a full five percent are, says the American Academy of Dermatology, and this skin problem shows up in increasing numbers among women in their mid-years.

Whatever the age, acne blemishes form when sebaceous glands in the skin secrete an oily substance called sebum. Due to various factors, these glands become plugged up and sometimes infected, forming acne lesions. Typically, acne shows up on the face, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, and back. Poor personal hygiene, a fatty diet, and shaving can aggravate the condition, but actual causes are many and often unclear.

Causes of acne

For the adult, some medications, such as steroids, may lead to outbreaks. However, as with the adolescent who struggles with acne, the adult version may be linked to hormones. Pregnancy, menopause, premenstrual syndrome, and birth control pills are contributors. Stress, and its related body chemicals, factors in as well.

What you can do

If you are struggling with adult acne, you can get relief from the discomfort and embarrassment when you come to Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville. Your dermatologist will examine your skin and ask you about your medical history. Treatment takes time and patience, but with persistence, your skin can clear.

Typical treatments plans often include over-the-counter and/or prescription preparations with salicylic acid, retinoids (derived from vitamin A), and benzoyl peroxide. These medications unclog pores and reduce the "oiliness" of the skin. In addition, the doctor may advise in-office extraction of selected lesions, birth control pills to regulate hormones, and antibiotics (creams or oral) to heal the infection.

Day to day, all acne patients should treat their skin gently, avoiding excessive sun exposure and tanning, picking at lesions and scrubbing their faces or other affected areas too vigorously. Warm water and a gentle face soap or acne scrub applied with a soft wash cloth cleanses blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and the surrounding skin.

Have hope

Your skin can improve. If you are suffering with adult acne, please contact Shade Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, for a consultation with one of our caring and expert physicians. Call today at (240) 246-7417.

By Shady Grove Dermatology
April 03, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Rash  

A rash can be uncomfortable, distracting, and even painful, especially if you're unsure of its source or how to treat it. We see a lot of rashvarying rashes at Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, and while most rashes are not serious, there are effective treatments available to help with the itching and dryness that often accompanies them. It is also important to prevent a secondary infection from forming. Below, are a few of the common reasons people develop skin rashes and how they're typically treated.

Allergic rashes

An allergy is the body's immune system overreacting to a stimulant. Often this response manifests as a rash on the skin; certain animals, metals, and chemicals are often the trigger. Your Rockville dermatologist usually suggests avoiding contact with the allergen to keep your skin rash at bay. In the meantime, the itching can be treated with a topical ointment. Oral antihistamines can also help to reduce the discomfort and to control the allergic response; these can be both over-the-counter and prescriptive, depending on your needs.

Bacterial rashes

Staph or strep-class bacteria can cause folliculitis or impetigo, both of which cause sores that can be widespread across the surface of the skin. These types of rashes tend to occur more often in children. Cellulitis is a condition that can occur around a previous wound, such as a surgical site, and causes a red, painful rash that penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.

Other rashes

Psoriasis is a common rash that your Rockville dermatologist treats; it's an itchy and scaly rash that results from an overproduction of skin cells, usually on the scalp, knees, or elbows. It's not curable, but is often treated topically or with steroid injections; the goal is to encourage remission. Parasites, fungus, and viruses may also be characterized by a rash.

If you have an itchy, uncomfortable rash or any other skin-related problem, contact Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD for an appointment today!





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