The skin, which is the body’s largest organ, is a source of concern for millions of Americans. While most of your organs are internal and unable to be seen, it is nearly impossible for skin problems to go unnoticed. Dermatologists specialize in a wide range of issues concerning the skin, regardless of whether the issue is medical or cosmetic.
One of the most prevalent medical problems that dermatologists treat is skin cancer. The three most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. The dermatologist may request a full body skin exam, especially if the patient is susceptible to skin cancer. If an abnormal mole, discoloration, tumor, or other skin irregularity is found, the dermatologist will most likely want to perform a biopsy.
In the case that cancerous cells are present, the dermatologist will provide the skin cancer treatment that he or she deems appropriate. Mohs surgery is a common skin cancer treatment in which the cancerous tissue is removed. Reconstructive surgery can then be performed on the surgical defect. For the majority of skin cancer types, Mohs surgery has very favorable success rates. Another common skin cancer treatment that is less invasive, though generally viewed as less effective, is photodynamic therapy. Dermatologists will also advise patients about preventative measures, such as avoiding direct sunlight and wearing an SPF lotion.
While not as dangerous as skin cancer, skin tags are frequently the reason for a trip to the dermatologist. These are small overgrowths of tissue that hang off the skin. Skin tags are usually genetic, though fast weight gain may also contribute to their formation. While harmless, they may become irritated when rubbed against clothing or jewelry. The dermatologist can remove skin tags by administering a topical anesthetic and cutting it off with scissors or a scalpel. Cryotherapy (freezing) or electrotherapy, in which an electric needle is used to burn the skin tag, may also be used.
Another common skin problem that plagues Americans is acne. While acne is more common among the teen population, adults are also frequent sufferers. Dermatologists recognize that teen acne tends to have different contributing factors than adult acne. Most products on the market target teen acne, and therefore, may not work for adults. A dermatologist may prescribe different skin care products and medications, such as antibiotics and retinoids.
Perhaps the most common cosmetic concern in the United States today is wrinkles. Wrinkle treatments are popular due to the fact that wrinkles occur in nearly all people who are middle-aged and older. Dermatologists will frequently use Botox or a wrinkle laser treatment to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and promote youthful looking skin.
Botox injections last 3-6 months and may be repeated when the effects wear off. Botox is a very popular treatment because there are few reported side effects and no mandatory recovery period following the injections. Wrinkle laser treatments are also popular due to their lasting effect. As with Botox, laser treatments usually do not require a recovery period.
At Academic Dermatology we are a Minneapolis MN dermatologist. Using state of the art technology we offer botox, wrinkle laser, skin cancer treatment and many other treatments. Serving Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota.