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The Importance of Checking Your Moles

Mole Check: Home and Professional Assessments

Everyone with moles should conduct regular self-checks at home, ideally on a monthly basis. Integrating mole checks into routines, such as after a shower or bath, helps stay vigilant about any changes.

When to Seek Professional Mole Checks

There are specific reasons to consider professional mole checks:

  • Fair hair, eyes, or pale skin prone to burning
  • Abundance of freckles
  • History of sunbed use
  • Presence of numerous moles (100+)
  • Large moles (more than 6mm in diameter)
  • Personal or family history of melanoma
  • Use of immune-compromising medications

Additionally, if a mole undergoes changes in appearance, such as new marks, discoloration, or altered shape, professional evaluation is recommended. Such changes could indicate malignant melanoma, and early detection is crucial for successful intervention.

Not all moles are visible, especially those on the back. Individuals with numerous moles may have unseen ones, necessitating periodic professional mole screenings.

Signs of Dangerous Moles and Melanoma Check

Adhering to the ABCDE protocol aids in detecting possible melanoma:

  • Asymmetry: Healthy moles should appear symmetrical.
  • Border: Smooth edges are characteristic of healthy moles.
  • Colour: Uniform colour is a positive sign.
  • Diameter: Healthy moles typically have a diameter of 6mm or less.
  • Evolving: Any mole outside these parameters requires professional assessment.

A biopsy, involving the surgical removal of a suspicious mole, allows a Dermatologist to determine its cancerous nature. Early detection enables surgical removal to prevent further spread, often followed by a sentinel node biopsy to check lymph gland involvement.

Regular at-home mole checks are crucial for skin health. Professional assessment is essential for suspicious moles or lesions, ensuring timely intervention.

Acne Treatments

Understanding Acne: Common Skin Condition in the United States

Acne, the most prevalent skin condition in the United States, can develop at any age. The combination of sebum and dead skin can block pores, leading to inflammation, redness, and infection. Whiteheads, pimples, blackheads, nodules, and cysts are common signs of acne.

Effective Treatments for Acne Development

Experienced dermatologists offer effective treatments to control acne, prevent skin damage, and reduce the visibility of scars. Combination treatments are often recommended for optimal results.

First Line of Defense

For most acne patients, over-the-counter treatments are the initial approach. These may include cleansers, towelettes, gels, lotions, sunscreen, and more. If these prove ineffective, prescription medications may be necessary. These medications limit oil production, reduce swelling, and treat infection. Results may take several weeks to months, and the duration varies based on age, gender, and acne severity.

Common Prescription Medications

  • Antibiotics (topical or oral options)
  • Retinoid gels, creams, and lotions
  • Salicylic acid in wash-off or leave-on products
  • Oral contraceptives

Treatment Methods

Therapies, either alone or combined with medication, are also employed:

  • Chemical peels
  • Light therapy
  • Steroid injection
  • Drainage and extraction
  • Microdermabrasion

Acne can be an embarrassing and frustrating condition at any age. Instead of suffering with the condition, get the help you need to eliminate acne as soon as possible.

Eczema: Controlling the Itch

Eczema: Managing Uncomfortable Skin Conditions

Eczema, an itchy rash, can be one of the most annoying and uncomfortable skin conditions, occurring anywhere on the body. It may start as a simple rash but can worsen into a very red and extremely irritated area when scratched.

Types of Eczema

  • Atopic Dermatitis: Occurs in infants and children, persisting into adulthood. Signs include severely itchy, scaly areas on the insides of the elbow, behind the knees, on the face, or anywhere else on the body.
  • Contact Dermatitis: Results from skin exposure to an allergen, whether an allergy-trigger or substances like poison ivy.
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis: Chronic eczema affecting body parts with numerous oil glands, such as the scalp, eyebrows, nose, and chest. The affected areas have a flaky white appearance.
  • Hand Eczema: Red, itchy, dry, flaky, cracking, blistering hands or feet are signs of hand eczema.

General Tips for Managing Symptoms:

  • Avoid long hot showers that remove moisture from the skin.
  • Apply lotion while the skin is still damp after bathing to seal in moisture.
  • Choose breathable, soft clothing and avoid itchy fabrics.
  • Select creams or lotions specifically formulated for eczema symptoms that are gentle and fragrance-free.
  • Popular products for relieving itching and skin irritation contain shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, and hyaluronic acid.
  • Avoid alcohol-based products and fragrances that may trigger eczema flare-ups.

Eczema Treatments:

  • Corticosteroid ointments
  • Antibiotics
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Injectable biologics
  • Therapies like wet dressings or light therapy may also be successful in treating eczema patients.

Seeking professional help from a dermatologist for controlling or eliminating eczema symptoms is a crucial step. Schedule an appointment today.

Alopecia: Hair Loss

Alopecia, the medical term for hair loss, encompasses various conditions, with alopecia areata being one underlying cause. While there is no cure for this condition, hope exists for those affected.

Who is at Risk?

  • Alopecia areata can affect anyone, with a higher risk for individuals with family members having the condition.
  • More prevalent in those with a family history of thyroid disease, lupus, or diabetes.

Causes and Appearance

This autoimmune disease prompts the immune system to attack hair follicles, leading to noticeable hair loss in clumps resembling the size and shape of a quarter. The unpredictable nature of hair regrowth makes each case unique, frustrating patients.

Treatment Options

No cure exists, but physicians can offer livable treatment options. Common treatments include:

  • Corticosteroids: Anti-inflammatory drugs injected into the scalp or affected areas, with oral or topical applications.
  • Rogaine (Minoxidil): A topical medication promoting hair regrowth, typically showing results after twelve weeks of application.
  • Other medications: Some used for psoriasis or topical sensitizers stimulating hair growth.

Living with Alopecia

While no cure is available, treatments and cosmetic techniques can ease the condition. Options include:

  • Wearing head coverings like wigs, hats, or scarves.
  • Using makeup to conceal hair loss, especially in areas like eyebrows.
  • Wearing sunglasses if eyelashes are lost.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet rich in nutrients and vitamins for overall health and potential hair growth.
  • Limiting stress, a potential trigger for accelerated hair loss onset.

If experiencing hair loss, schedule a consultation with our dermatologist to determine if alopecia or another condition is the cause and learn about the available options.

Annual Skin Cancer Checkups

Regular Skin Cancer Checks: A Vital Routine

Similar to routine checkups for general health, teeth, or eyes, regular medical care for your skin is crucial. Skin cancer holds the top spot among cancer types in the United States, emphasizing the need for annual skin cancer checkups.


The objective of a skin cancer check is a comprehensive examination of your entire body, searching for suspicious areas. A physician will closely inspect your body, from head to toe, for changes in your skin’s normal appearance, such as new growths, mole changes, rashes, and more. The three primary types of skin cancer—basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma—have distinct signs and symptoms that a knowledgeable dermatologist can identify and recommend appropriate treatment.


  • Annual skin cancer checks are recommended for everyone.
  • Particular emphasis for those with:
    • Personal history of any skin cancer type
    • Close relatives with a history of skin cancer
    • Skin growths or suspicious areas
    • A large number of moles
    • History of atypical moles
    • History of sunburns or tanning bed use
    • Lifestyle with significant sun exposure
    • Organ transplant recipients


Before the appointment, examine your skin for any concerning areas to discuss with the dermatologist. A typical skin cancer check takes about 20 minutes, with the physician visually examining your skin and possibly using tools like a bright light or dermatoscope for lesion magnification.


If precancerous or cancerous spots are detected, the dermatologist may take photographs for your chart and perform a biopsy. A biopsy involves taking a small tissue sample viewed under a microscope for further analysis. If concerning findings emerge, you’ll be contacted for additional steps; otherwise, you can confidently plan to repeat the process in a year.

Getting Rid of Acne Scars

Acne Scars: Lingering Challenges

Even post-pimple departure, acne scars persist, casting enduring shadows of embarrassment. The damaged skin serves as a lasting testament to acne’s impact. While there’s no universal solution, various approaches may help diminish or eliminate these reminders.

Steroid Injections

  • Injecting steroids into raised scars can be a straightforward choice for eligible cases.
  • Dermal Fillers

  • Collagen, fat, proteins, or acids injected under the skin can reduce scar visibility. Common brands include Juvederm, Restylane, or Bellafill.
  • Immediate effects are temporary, necessitating repeated treatments for sustained effectiveness.
  • Botox

  • Injected Botox relaxes the skin around acne scars, temporarily improving their appearance.
  • Results are short-lived, requiring regular repetition for lasting benefits.
  • Dermabrasion

  • Scraping away the top skin layer using tools like rotating brushes diminishes surface and deep scars.
  • Skilled practitioners minimize potential side effects, such as further scarring or skin color changes.
  • Laser Resurfacing

  • Laser treatment stimulates skin repair by targeting scarred areas with specific energy levels.
  • Multiple sessions yield skin that closely resembles surrounding tissue.
  • Skin Needling

  • Rolling a needle-studded tool over the skin promotes collagen formation, reducing scar appearance.
  • Repeated treatments may be necessary, but the method carries low risks.
  • Chemical Peel

  • Applying a chemical solution removes the top skin layer, encouraging new, healthy cell growth.
  • Mild to medium peels can be repeated, while a single deep peel is recommended for safety.
  • Potential skin color changes necessitate consultation with dermatologists for suitability.
  • Rosacea – Tips and Treatments for Clearer, Calmer Skin

    Rosacea, a persistent skin condition affecting millions globally, manifests as facial redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels, primarily on the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. It can also lead to papules, pustules, and thickened nose skin (rhinophyma). While prevalent in fair-skinned individuals and women over 30, it can impact anyone at any age.

    drName, a dermatologist in Sacramento, provides comprehensive rosacea care. Our team identifies triggers, tailoring treatment plans without promising a cure. Although incurable, symptoms can be managed and flare-ups prevented with the right approach.

    Treatment starts by steering clear of exacerbating factors, such as sun exposure, heat, spicy foods, alcohol, and stress. A gentle skincare routine includes a mild cleanser, fragrance-free moisturizer, and broad-spectrum sunscreen.

    When lifestyle changes and skincare prove insufficient, prescription medications may be required:

    1. Topical antibiotics: Metronidazole, azelaic acid, and ivermectin reduce inflammation and combat skin bacteria.
    2. Topical retinoids: Tretinoin and adapalene improve skin texture and reduce redness by regulating cell turnover.
    3. Oral antibiotics: Tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline, prescribed for severe cases, diminish inflammation and bacteria internally.
    4. Laser therapy: Pulsed dye laser and intense pulsed light therapy targeting visible blood vessels and redness, enhancing skin texture and tone.

    Managing rosacea demands proper care and treatment. Schedule an appointment with drName to regain control over symptoms and prevent the condition from dictating your life.

    Battling Boils

    Boils: Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Treatments

    Boils, or furuncles, are painful and inflamed lumps beneath the skin caused by an infection in a hair follicle or oil gland. They can appear anywhere on the body, commonly found on the face, neck, armpits, buttocks, and thighs. Let’s delve into the causes, symptoms, types, and treatments for boils.

    Causes of Boils

    • Most commonly caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, entering the body through a cut or break in the skin.
    • Other bacteria, such as Streptococcus pyogenes, can also cause boils.
    • Factors increasing risk include poor hygiene, diabetes, weakened immune system, friction from tight clothing or shaving, exposure to harsh chemicals, and certain medications like steroids.

    Symptoms of Boils

    Boils typically start as a red, painful bump, gradually increasing in size. Ranging from a pea to a golf ball, they may be accompanied by fever or a general feeling of illness. As the boil grows, it may develop a white or yellow center (pus) under the skin, with the overlying skin becoming tender and swollen.

    Types of Boils

    • Furuncles: Single boils caused by Staphylococcus aureus.
    • Carbuncles: Clusters of larger boils, often more painful, and likely to cause systemic symptoms.
    • Cystic acne: Deep, painful cysts caused by blocked hair follicles on the face, neck, chest, and back.

    Treatments for Boils

    Most boils heal on their own, but treatments can help alleviate pain and speed up the healing process. These include:

    • Applying warm compresses to the affected area multiple times a day.
    • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
    • Keeping the affected area clean and dry to prevent further infection.
    • Taking antibiotics if the boil is severe or multiple boils are present.
    • In rare cases, drainage by a healthcare professional may be necessary.

    Preventing Boils

    Steps to prevent boils development include:

    • Practice good hygiene, wash hands regularly, and shower after exercise or heavy sweating.
    • Avoid sharing personal items like towels, razors, or clothing.
    • Avoid tight clothing causing friction on the skin.
    • Treat cuts or breaks in the skin promptly with antiseptic to prevent infection.

    Boils can be painful but are usually not a serious concern. Practice good hygiene and preventive steps to maintain healthy, infection-free skin. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.