Acne is the term for the blocked pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that can appear typically on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Seventeen million Americans currently have acne, making it the most common skin disease in the country. While it affects mostly teenagers, and almost all teenagers have some form of acne, adults of any age can have it. Acne is not life-threatening, but it can cause physical disfigurement (scarring) and emotional distress.
Treatment for acne varies depending on the type and severity of lesions, as well as the patient's skin type, age and life. Options include:
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- Topical Medications
- Blackhead Extraction
- Chemical Peels
- Photodynamic Therapy
- Skin Care
- Blu-U Light Treatments
- Laser Treatments
Eczema is a group of inflamed skin conditions that result in chronic itchy rashes. About 15 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of eczema, including 10-20 percent of all infants. Symptoms vary from person to person but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin which break out in rashes when scratched.
Objects and conditions that trigger itchy eczema outbreaks may include rough or coarse materials touching the skin, excessive heat or sweating, soaps, detergents, disinfectants, fruit and meat juices, dust mites, animal saliva and danders, upper respiratory infections and stress.
Treatment involves the restriction of scratching, use of moisturizing lotions or creams, cold compresses and nonprescription anti-inflammatory corticosteroid creams and ointments. If this proves insufficient, physicians may prescribe corticosteroid medication and antibiotics to combat infection. For severe cases, drugs such as cyclosporine A may be recommended.
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Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes redness and swelling on the face. The scalp, neck, ears, chest, back and or eyes may also be affected. Symptoms range from red pimples, lines and visible blood vessels to dry or burning skin and a tendency to flush easily. Many people find that the emotional effects of rosacea - such as low self-confidence and avoidance of social situations - are more difficult to handle than the physical ones. Although it can affect anyone, rosacea typically appears in light-skinned, light-haired adults aged 30-50. It is not yet known what causes rosacea and the disease is not curable, although it can be treated with topical and oral medications, laser therapy or laser surgery.
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Psoriasis is a group of chronic skin disorders that cause itching and/or burning, scaling and crusting of the skin. Over seven million men and women in the U.S. of all ages have some form of psoriasis, which may be mild, moderate or severe. The most commonly affected areas are the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet and genitals.
Psoriasis cannot be cured but it 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 life ; and the effect the disease has on the patient's general mental health. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy, photochemotherapy (PUVA), and oral or injectable medication (for severe symptoms).
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Full-Body Skin Exams
Full-body skin exams are an important tool in screening patients for benign or cancerous lesions that they may not have been able to see or recognize on their own. From head to toe and back to front, we inspect the skin for any suspicious growths. This quick and painless preventive measure is an invaluable tool in the early detection of skin cancer as well as many other dermatological conditions.
A thorough full body skin exam should be done yearly, or more often as recommended by Dr. Abell.
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Computerized Mole Mapping
We are now offering computerized mole mapping. This is of benefit to people with a history of atypical moles and a personal or family history of malignant melanoma. Our office uses the FotoFinder System, a sophisticated computerized software program that allows us to capture and produce full body digital photographs. Baseline photographs of people at risk have proven to be of significant benefit and use to access the change in moles and detection of any new moles when seen in follow up visits by your doctor.
You do not need to be an established patient of the office to have this service performed. Many patients are referred by their physicians or are self referred. If you are requesting computerized mole mapping only and do not require evaluation by our dermatology staff please indicate this at the time of scheduling. The photographic session lasts 20 to 30 minutes. At the end of the session you will be provided with a disk containing your photos which you can share with your physician or keep for your own medical records.
At this time computerized mole mapping is considered by insurance carriers to be a non-covered service. This means that the cost of $200.00 will be the patient's responsibility, payable at the time of the service.
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Cryosurgery, also known as cryotherapy, is a minimally invasive treatment that uses freezing cold temperatures to destroy abnormal tissue cells. These cells can include skin tumors, nodules and skin tags.
Dr. Abell applies liquid nitrogen directly on the skin. The diseased cells cannot survive extremely cold conditions and will be destroyed. Cryosurgery has a shorter treatment and recovery time than surgical procedures. Talk to Dr. Abell if you think you may be a good candidate for cryosurgery.
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Skin Cancer Treatment
Skin cancer refers to the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of skin cells. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Risk factors include pale skin, family history of melanoma, being over 40 years old, and regular sun exposure. Fortunately, skin cancer is almost always curable if detected and treated early.
The most common skin cancers are:
- - 80-85% of all skin cancers. Basal cell carcinoma affects cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis.
- - 10% of all skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma affects cells in the middle layer of the epidermis.
- - 5% of all skin cancers. Melanoma is a rare but very dangerous type of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of death from skin disease.
Skin cancers vary in shape, color, size and texture, so any new, changed or otherwise suspicious growths or rashes should be examined immediately by a physician. Early intervention is essential to preventing the cancer from spreading.
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