Skin Cancer Cure can be done Outpatient with Mohs Surgery

A cancer diagnosis, in any form, can be a scary moment. Fortunately, for many with the most common forms of skin cancer, treatment can often be done outpatient and without significant side effects via Mohs micrographic surgery. The Mohs procedure (named for the doctor who developed the procedure in the 1930s) offers the highest cure rate for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma skin cancers, even if a cancer has come back after previous treatment. In fact, Mohs surgery cures 99 percent of new cancers and 95 percent of recurrent cancers.

Because the roots of a skin cancer may extend beyond the visible portion of the tumor, the roots need to be removed to prevent recurrence.

Mohs Surgery is effective because it removes the diseased area in stages, layer by layer, and the tissue is examined by a Mohs-trained surgeon along the way. This type of treatment helps the physician determine if the tumor is completely removed after the surgery has been performed.

  • The surgeon removes the visible portion of the tumor using careful surgical techniques.
  • The surgeon next removes a deeper layer of skin and divides it into sections. With the help of technicians, the surgeon then color-codes each of these sections with dyes and makes reference marks on the skin to show the source of the sections. A map of the surgical site is then drawn to track exactly where each small portion of tissue originated.
  • In a laboratory, the surgeon uses a microscope to examine the undersurface and edges of each section of tissue in search of evidence of remaining cancer.
  • If the surgeon finds cancer cells under the microscope, he or she marks their location on the “map” and returns to the patient to remove another deeper layer of skin — but only from precisely where the cancer cells originated. This method ensures that the Mohs surgery results in the smallest scar possible.
  • Once the cancer has been removed, the surgeon repairs the wound using reconstructive procedures

Local anesthesia permits faster patient recovery and a lower risk of complications, especially for older patients.

Call Windsor Dermatology today to schedule your consultation.

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5 Ways to Settle your Eczema Flare-Up

If you have been diagnosed with eczema, you’re in good company. Nearly a third of Americans experience the condition at some point in their lives. While there is no cure for eczema, there are a number of things you can do to help calm the itchy, dry and/or scaly patches during a flare-up.

  1. Wear clothing made of cotton and other soft fabrics. They should be loose-fitting to avoid rubbing and scratching the irritated areas.
  2. Apply prescribed creams and/or moisturizers daily. Always apply a moisturizer within three minutes of washing your hands or taking a bath to help lock in the moisture. (By the way, that bath or shower should be in lukewarm water, avoiding hot water whenever possible. Adding baking soda or bathtub-safe oatmeal to the water also helps.)
  3. Use a humidifier. Dry air leads to dry skin. Adding moisture to your home or work areas with a portable humidifier can make a significant difference in treating your eczema and helping prevent flare-ups.
  4. Apply cool, wet compresses. Cover the infected area with bandages to help sooth itching. And covering it with bandages will keep you from scratching.
  5. Talk to a dermatologist. Expert advice based on your specific needs will help you have the right medications and plan of action at hand when flare-ups occur. The team at Windsor Dermatology is ready to help you create a personalized treatment plan. Call today to schedule your consultation.
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Regular Body Checks go a Long Way to Catching Skin Cancer Early

If you or a family member has a history of skin cancer, you are well acquainted with a regular body check done by a professional – a head-to-toe examination in search of suspicious moles or other spots that could indicateother areas of concern. The healthcare provider will examine all areas of your body, including your scalp, face,neck, chest, abdomen, back, buttocks, and extremities. He or she will also check between your fingers andtoes, behind your ears, and possibly inside your lips. This is a painless exam without needles or lab tests. And while it may be a little embarrassing to expose so much of your body, it truly can save your life.

It’s a good idea, though, for everyone to do regular self checks so you can note if anything changes over time.What are you looking for?

  • New spots not seen during your last exam
  • Raised spots, especially if abnormal in color
  • Dry scaly areas
  • Spots that are asymmetrical and with an irregular edge
  • Moles that itch or tingle
  • Moles that weep or bleed

And, if you fall into one of these categories, even without a history of skin cancer, it’s probably best to let a professional take a look.

  • Fair skin or other skin that burns easily
  • Blue or Green eyes
  • Blond or Red hair
  • Many moles

Windsor Dermatology is available for body checks. Call today to schedule your consultation

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10 Ways to Help Prevent Summer Eczema Flare-Ups

Eczema flare ups are common in the summer, often stimulated even more by allergies, heat and general changing of the seasons. But there are many ways to help keep your symptoms at bay and your summer a success.

  1. Stay hydrated – drink lots of water
  2. Keep gels and lotions in the fridge to keep them cool
  3. Use cooling towels to help reduce sweating
  4. Minimize excessive outdoor activities during the hottest, most humid parts of the day to eliminate as much sweating as possible.
  5. Carry a cooler bag with a bottle of cold water and a washcloth to wipe sweat off right away
  6. Wear loose fitting, light clothing. Items made of natural fabric like cotton or linen is best
  7. Swim! The chlorine in the water can help. But rinse off after swimming and moisturize right away
  8. Keep the insides of elbows and backs of knees as dry as possible 
  9. Wear long-sleeved cotton pajamas and run the air conditioning at night
  10. Coconut oil. Soak in a baking soda bath (lukewarm to cool water) and slather on coconut oil afterwards.
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Microneedling – Why a Professional is Better than At-Home Treatment

Though at-home microneedling has been marketed as a safe, easy alternative to using a professional for the procedure, there a number of reasons you really should leave it to the experts.

While both professional microneedling and at-home dermarolling work similarly—creating micro-wounds in the skin’s surface to stimulate collagen and elastin production—at-home devices are simply a needle-studded roller that employs one depth of needles, but professional microneedling uses a hand-held device with mechanically controlled settings that allows the practitioner to reach multiple depths, which typically achieves more optimal results. Going deeper, a professional is able to more aggressively target specific skin concerns including skin laxity, acne scarring, and stretch marks—all which require the use of a deeper needle depth that is not available with at-home dermarollers.

Both at-home and in-office techniques require that you puncture microscopic holes into your skin. Thus, it is important that microneedling be performed in a clean and professional setting. At-home dermarollers are nearly impossible to sterilize completely, which can lead to infection and further scarring. To ensure your treatment is as clean and safe as possible, professionals utilize sterile, single-use tips that are discarded after each use.

Professional microneedling has shown to increase serum absorption by up to 300 percent due to their access to medical-grade skin care products before, during, and after your treatment to maximize your results. 

Want to know more about what microneedling might be able to do for you? Schedule a consultation with the team at Windsor Dermatology. Call us today!

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Juvederm – A Liquid Facelift

When the reflection in the mirror doesn’t feel like a true reflection of your age (or the age you want to see in yourself), a filler like Juvederm can be a suitable substitute for surgery. Think of it as a liquid facelift.

  • What do you think ages our appearance the most? Is it lines and wrinkles? Discoloration? Sagging skin? Truthfully, it is a combination of all of these factors, but there is one major underlying cause that contributes to the sagging, lines, and wrinkles—a loss of fullness. Think of a youthful face, and you’ll most likely picture a face with full, rounded cheeks. That’s because fat plays a large part in filling out the skin and keeps our faces looking smooth and supple.
  • Juvederm is a collection of fillers designed to be used in different areas of the face. Common areas include cheeks, corners of the mouth, and lips. The main ingredient in Juvederm is hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring sugar found in the body that gives the skin moisture, volume, and elasticity. As HA gets depleted with age, skin loses volume and wrinkles are more likely to appear. When injected, HA acts like a sponge to attract water into the skin. As a result, it plumps up the area in which it was injected. One advantage of HA-based fillers over earlier options is that because HA is found naturally in the body there’s no risk of allergic reaction. Though not totally painless, most HA fillers are infused with the anesthetic lidocaine to minimize discomfort during and after treatment.
  • Depending on the material (some are thinner and more “flowy,” others thicker, so they can potentially last longer), the effects of Juvederm can last from 6 to 18 months before the body gradually absorbs the material.
  • Expert advice based on your specific needs will help you have the right experience. The team at Windsor Dermatology is ready to help you create a personalized treatment plan. Call today to schedule your consultation.
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Things to Know Before you Botox

If you are contemplating Botox, here are some things to consider:

  • Botox doesn’t actually erase wrinkles. For most people, Botox is more preventative than restorative. Its active ingredient “freezes” facial muscles to keep you from contracting them in ways that deepen lines and wrinkles. That’s why you’re seeing more people getting Botox starting as early as their 20s, when they will need less product. However, it’s never too late to start because patients who already have lines can use Botox to decrease the movement of new lines while also considering adjunct procedures like peels, fillers, and microneedling to remove the current ones.
  • Don’t expect results right away. Botox results aren’t immediate. In fact, you’ll spend the first three or four days wondering if your doctor even did anything. But, come day five, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t try this sooner. Two weeks post-treatment, you’ll be enjoying the full effect of your injections.
  • Botox is temporary. No matter which neurotoxin you try, the results aren’t immediate and they don’t last forever. Results vary depending on each person, their metabolism, how many units the person received, and other factors. Typically results will remain for three to four months. You may find, too, that different parts of your face respond differently due to varying muscle tone. Be prepared for touch ups, adjustments, and regular maintenance once you start.
  • Schedule your procedure with post-care in mind. For about six hours post treatment, you should not exercise, lie down, or take any blood-thinning medications (such as Ibuprofen.) Because of the liquid nature of the combined formula, there is a theoretical risk that the solution could spread or move from the intended location.

An initial consultation is important.  As with any procedure, finding a provider that makes you feel comfortable and, in this case, matches your aesthetic is of the utmost importance. The team at Windsor Dermatology is ready to help you create a personalized treatment plan. Call today to schedule your consultation

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The Doctor will See You. Online.

Among stay-at-home orders and intensive new procedures for essential visits, seeing your doctor in person is more challenging than ever. But that doesn’t stop your eczema from flaring, your rash from itching or your acne from needing attention. Many skin conditions can now be reviewed without leaving your home via telemedicine.

It’s true. Today’s technology allows the doctor to make house calls again.

A telemedicine consultation is typically conducted via a secure video conference platform where your doctor can see and hear you, just like you would in person. You can show areas of concern, answer your specialist’s questions, and discuss treatment options. Your doctor can remotely submit any needed prescription and email you a plan of action. In most cases, it should be billable to your health care insurance without issue. (Be sure to confirm with your provider before setting your telemedicine appointment.)

Other providers allow a secure portal to submit a list of your symptoms and photos of the affected area through your computer, smartphone, or tablet prior to, or even in place of, an actual visit.

To have a successful virtual visit, there are a few things you will want to prepare in advance.

  • Test your computer, tablet or phone in advance. You need a webcam, microphone and speaker. Give it a try with a friend to make sure your device is working well enough for a quality consultation.
  • Make sure you are in a stable Internet environment — directly connected to the Internet is best. If you are using a tablet or phone, make sure your service is strong, and that you will be staying in one place throughout your appoitment.
  • Get Quiet. Find a place in your home that will have as few distractions as possible and where you are unlikely to get interupted. A focused conversation with a little privacy will allow for the best visit.
  • Have Your Doctor’s Number Handy. Just in case you have a technical issues or other problem come up, you’ll be able to give the practice a call.

Windsor Dermatology is now offering telemedicine. Call today to schedule your consultation.

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Why Biologics might be a good option for your psoriasis

Biologic agents are an important treatment option for people with moderate-to-severe psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, or both. These medications are administered by injection and may be taken at home or in your doctor’s office. For many people, taking a biologic was life changing because it helped control their symptoms when other treatments failed.

If you have moderate to severe psoriasis and your current treatment regimen isn’t working, it’s time to start considering a biologic. Biologics treat psoriasis by reducing inflammation in the skin and elsewhere in the body. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests taking a biologic agent if you have moderate to severe psoriasis that hasn’t improved using more traditional systemic agents or you can’t tolerate those treatments because of side effects.

Biologics work in a more selective way than other psoriasis treatments. They target specific proteins in the immune system that have been proven to be associated with psoriasis. Before taking a biologic, you should talk to your doctor about the risks. There are many different medications that fall under the category of biologics, and it is important to know that no one biologic works for everyone. One biologic could fail to help you, but another could work very well.

Switching psoriasis treatments is a common and accepted practice. Now could be a good time to start thinking about biologic therapy. Of course, the decision to start biologic treatment for psoriasis should be made alongside your dermatologist. Call Windsor Dermatology today to schedule your consultation.

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What is a HydraFacial?

The HydraFacial is quickly becoming the most popular in-office facial treatments. It has become the go-to facial for everyone from Hollywood celebrities to your Facebook friends because it can address the most common skincare concerns like dryness, acne and signs of aging with little to no side effects.

The HydraFacial is a medical-grade resurfacing treatment that clears out your pores and hydrates your skin. The three-step treatment includes cleanse and peel, extract and hydrate, and fuse and protect.

The HydraFacial treatment starts with cleansing by removing the dead skin cells and excess oil from the skin. Next, a mix of salicylic and glycolic acids are applied to the skin to break up any dirt that’s clogging pores. Then, the HydraPeel Tip is used to vacuum out blackheads, dirt, oil, and impurities, while hydrating, plumping, and nourishing serums are simultaneously applied to the skin.

A HyraFacial treatment can improve your skin in a myriad of ways. Its many benefits include a more hydrated, bright, plump, and clear complexion. One of the many reasons why the HydraFacial is so popular is because there are minimal side effects, and essentially no downtime post-treatment.

One of the HydraFacial’s biggest draws is that the treatment is suitable for virtually any age and skin type — save for a few exceptions. So it’s always best to talk to your dermatologist. Call Windsor Dermatology today to schedule your consultation.

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