Moles & Birthmarks
Known as nevi (singular "nevus"), moles and other birthmarks are benign pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color from tan, brown and black (moles) to red, pink or purple (vascular nevi, such as strawberry hemangiomas or port wine stains). Though most birthmarks are harmless, they may develop into cancer. Moles exhibiting any of the following warning signs should be examined by a professional immediately:
- Larger than six millimeters.
- Itches or bleeds.
- Rapidly changes in color, size or shape.
- Has multiple colors.
- Is located where it can't be easily monitored, such as on the scalp.
Depending on their depth, location and color, as well as the patient's skin type, age and other factors, treatment for benign but unattractive birthmarks may take the form of laser or pulsed light therapy, or surgical excision.
Any new or changing mole should be evaluated by your dermatologist immediately. Any moles that appear to be abnormal should be removed and sent to the laboratory for examination by a dermatopathologist. Dr. Cole offers a full skin examination on your first visit and yearly thereafter to check for abnormal moles and skin cancer.
If Dr. Cole determines that a mole is benign (non-cancerous), a mole may be removed for cosmetic reasons. In this case, insurance will not cover the removal of moles which are removed for cosmetic reasons.
The price of mole removal depends on how large the mole is, where the mole is located, and the method used to remove it.
Pigmented skin lesions refer to lesions that are brown, black or blue in colour, or may be confused with brown or black lesions (eg vascular lesions, which sometimes look black with the naked eye but under dermatoscopy appear red, purple or blue).
The colour of pigmented skin lesions is due to:
- Exogenous pigment (eg tattoo)
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, intense pulse light or laser therapy.
» For more information about rosacea, click here
A rash is a noticeable change in the texture or color of your skin. Your skin may become scaly, bumpy, itchy, or otherwise irritated. There are numerous causes for rashes, including:
- certain diseases, such as chickenpox and measles
Diffuse facial redness appears for several reasons: sun damage, rosacea, acne scarring, other types of scars, keratosis pilaris, sensitive skin, and genetics. The redness can be present all the time, or become more noticeable with certain trigger factors such as heat, wind, exercise, or wine consumption. An increased number of very superficial blood vessels, combined with sensitive skin or skin that flushes easily, leads to the increased red appearance of the skin. Chronic active or low grade inflammation in the skin also makes the skin more red and sensitive.
Skin is a seamless organ, like a fine cloth protecting valuable assets. Imagine a piece of silk. Just one small tear can make a big difference in how it looks. And it's the same with skin. Any burn, injury, or other trauma, such as surgery, can cause a scar.
Now a scar isn't bad if it's small or in a location that's easy to conceal. But when it's not, you may wonder if there's a way to treat it, other than hiding it under your clothes, that will make it go away or at least change how it looks.
Short, thin eye lashes
Short and thin eyelashes can occur in any patient. Experts have linked thinning and loss of eyelashes to aging. In addition, many women who would be classified as having “normal” eyelashes would like to have them be longer, thicker and darker.
Laser skin tightening is a minimally invasive, non-surgical process that uses an infrared light source (a laser) to tighten skin by heating the collagen under the skin’s surface, causing the skin to contract (tighten). Facial skin tightening is noticeable immediately after the treatment, and there is no downtime, making this an increasingly popular procedure.
Stretch marks are visible lines on the skin surface, with an off-color hue. Stretch marks are mainly found in the abdominal wall, but can also occur over the thighs, upper arms, buttocks and breasts.
Sometimes stretch marks can cover large areas of the body. While pregnancy is the main cause behind stretch marks, other reasons can be sudden gain or loss in weight, rapid growth, heredity factors,stress and changes in physical conditions.
There are several things to do to improve sun damaged skin:
1. Sunscreen daily
2. Topical retinoid (Retin-A) regularly
3. Topical Vitamin C regularly
4. Topical alphahydroxy acid (glycolic acid) regularly
5. Multivitamin with minerals daily
Additionally, a TCA peel may be beneficial to remove the damaged surface cells.
If very severe, you may need a more active treatment such as Efudex or Aldera.
Your doctor can recommend what you need after a thorough skin evaluation.
Lasers are used in cosmetic procedures for everything from skin resurfacing to teeth whitening to liposuction to vision correction. All lasers are either ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers remove the top layer of your skin, and treatments typically require some recovery time while skin heals. Non-ablative lasers are less invasive, and use heat to stimulate cells to thicken the underlying collagen resulting in improved skin tone and elasticity.
There is good news for those who have an unwanted body design. Newer laser tattoo removal techniques can eliminate your tattoo with minimal side effects. Here's how it works: lasers remove tattoos by breaking up the pigment colors of the tattoo with a high-intensity light beam.
Black tattoo pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths, making it the easiest to treat. Other colors can only be treated by selected lasers based upon the pigment color.
Wrinkles mainly happen on the parts of the body that get the most sun exposure, including the face, neck, the backs of the hands, and the tops of the forearms.
Wrinkles fall into two categories: fine, surface lines and deeper furrows. If your wrinkles bother you, or if you're looking to prevent them in the first place, you have options.
For more information about Skin Treatments or to schedule an appointment, contact our Office.