Should You See a Dermatologist?
Did you know that the skin is an organ? In fact, it is your body’s largest and fastest growing organ! The skin is vital to your overall health. Not only does the skin form a protective barrier from the environment, but it also serves in many other functions such as immune surveillance, temperature regulation, sensation, and even vitamin production.
Maintaining and caring for our skin is important as there are over 3000 medical conditions that can affect the skin, causing rashes, bumps, cysts, and even malignant tumors. Some skin conditions may be minor and resolve quickly without any treatment or with a short course of over-the-counter medication. Yet, others may be persistent, extremely uncomfortable, or especially worrisome due to their severity. At these times, it is important to consult a board certified dermatologist who specializes in the treatment of the skin disorders.
Dermatology at Stormont Vail Health
Our highly skilled, board certified dermatologists are experts in diagnosis and management of disease of the skin, hair and nails. Through a combination of clinical experience, histology testing (biopsy), and medical technology, we develop a comprehensive plan to effectively and safely treat various disorders. This tailored approach to each patient ensures that the best treatment is given.
After treatment, your skin may still need thorough and constant care even though your symptoms have resolved. Our dermatologists will work with your primary care physician to make sure that you have clear instructions to reduce the chance of the condition coming back, or to detect it early. Primary care physicians can also make sure your treatment doesn’t conflict with other medications. The dermatologist will update your primary care physician about the treatments you received here, so your primary care physician can continue to care for you and maintain your overall health.
Conditions We Treat
Skin CancerThere are many types of skin cancers. Most skin cancers are caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and tanning machines. If you are diagnosed with a skin cancer, it might be one of the three main types:
This type of cancer starts in pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. Melanoma can resemble a black or brown mole. It can also appear in different colors, such as pink, white, blue, red and purple. It is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, but it is curable if detected early.
The most common location of melanoma in men is on the trunk at the chest or back. In contrast, the most common site of melanoma in women is on the lower extremities (legs). Of course, melanoma can occur anywhere on the body.
Basal cell carcinoma
This is the most common type of skin cancer. It is strongly linked to ultraviolet light exposure. It is most commonly found on the head and neck areas, but it can occur at various sites across the body. Without treatment, the cancer cells can spread locally causing deformity and scarring. Luckily, this cancer has only rarely been shown to spread elsewhere in the body.
Squamous cell carcinoma
This cancer is the second most common type of skin cancer. It can appear in the form of a scaly red patch, a wart, or a crusty sore on any part of the body. This type of cancer usually develops after ultraviolet exposure over time and intense sunlight exposure during summer months.
This is an umbrella term for a condition where skin becomes dry, red, itchy and inflamed. The cause of eczema is unknown, but genetic and environmental factors can make people more likely to develop it. It is not contagious. Some of the different types of eczema include:
- Atopic dermatitis: dry and scaly patches. Most common in children.
- Contact dermatitis: red, itchy rash caused by touching things that cause a skin reaction.
- Dyshidrotic eczema: small, itchy blisters on the edges of extremities. It is associated with seasonal allergies.
- Nummular eczema: round patches and thin plaques that are itchy.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: red, swollen skin with white or yellow scales on the surface. If an adult gets it, it can last a lifetime and flare up in cold weather or when the person is stressed.
- Stasis dermatitis: a result of poor circulation, most commonly in the legs.
PsoriasisWhen you have psoriasis, you will see raised, itchy, red patches and plaques. It is a chronic condition that stems from an immune system disorder, which tells your skin cells to grow too quickly but not shed the extra cells. The condition is not contagious.
AcneAcne appears in different forms and is more common in teenagers. Severe acne can scar the skin and affect appearance. Types of acnes include:
- Papules: small, red bumps rising from the skin
- Nodules: painful lumps developing below the skin
- Cystic acne: painful cysts formed beneath the skin
WartsWarts are often the result of a virus, and therefore can pass to other parts of your body or to another person by direct skin contact. There are several types of warts:
- Common warts often grow on the injured skin on the back of your hands, fingers, feet and around your nails.
- Plantar warts can usually be found on the soles of your feet, and may feel like you have pebbles in your shoe.
- Flat warts tend to grow in large numbers on the face or legs.
- Filiform warts grow fast and look spiky. They often grow around your mouth, eyes, and nose and can become irritating.
This is an only partial list of conditions our dermatologists treat. If you don’t see your condition listed here, contact us.
Our Treatment & Services
We offer medical and surgical treatments for common skin problems and cancerous conditions.
Our surgical treatments include:
Removal of Precancerous Skin with Liquid Nitrogen
This procedure uses liquid nitrogen to remove precancerous skin. When liquid nitrogen contacts your skin, it will freeze the skin and remove the pre-cancerous cells.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery
This is the most effective skin cancer procedure, with a 98-99% cure rate. The dermatologic surgeon will use a microscope to examine your tissues during the surgery, so they can have an accurate estimation of how far the skin cancer has spread. This allows the surgeon to remove all the cancerous skin cells in layers throughout one surgery. This controlled procedure results in maximum tissue conservation with an extremely high effective cure rate.
Other surgical services include:
- Electrodessication and curettage: the doctor uses electric current and a curette to remove the abnormal cells.
- Excisional biopsy and definitive excisions: the doctor removes the entire abnormal skin and a portion of healthy skin for study.
- Cyst removal: remove the little bumps that are usually painless under your skin.
- Removal of benign irritated lesions with liquid nitrogen: the liquid nitrogen will freeze the skin on contact and a remove the abnormal lesions.
- Wart treatment: we provide surgical and non-surgical treatments for warts.
Meet Our Dermatologists and Providers
Our dermatology team includes providers who are specially trained to treat skin conditions with medication and/or surgery. No matter what age you are, we are dedicated to finding an appropriate treatment plan to keep your skin healthy.