Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes redness and blemishes on the face. Symptoms range from acne-like lesions and visible blood vessels, to dry or burning skin and a tendency to flush easily. 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 treatment is beneficial in most cases.
Rashes or dermatitis can be from a wide variety of causes. We diagnose and treat all types of skin rashes from seborrhea, psoriasis, allergic reactions, eczema, and atopic dermatitis to name a few. Occasionally a biopsy may be necessary to make the appropriate assessment to ensure proper treatment. Treatment of rashes is usually with topical creams but may require oral medications in some cases.
Moles & Birthmarks
Everyone has moles, some people have only a few and others may have 50 or more. True moles can develop until 45 years of age. Most moles are nothing to be concerned about although some moles have a risk of transforming into melanoma. These atypical moles or dysplastic nevi should be removed to eliminate risk. The suspicious features of dysplastic nevi are the same as for melanoma - the A-B-C-D-E's listed below:
A. "Asymmetry" - One half does not match the other half.
B. "Border Irregularity" - The edges are notched or ragged.
C. "Color" - Multiple shades or uneven color.
D. "Diameter" - Greater than 6mm (pencil eraser size)
E. "Evolving" - Change in size, shape or shade.
Congenital pigmented birthmarks are considered benign but have a small chance to transform into skin cancer and should be considered for removal. Vascular birthmarks such as port wine stains and strawberry hemangiomas are completely benign.
Self-assessment of moles should be performed monthly and a physician exam annually as per the guidelines of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Age Spots and Sun Spots
Past the age of 50, true moles do not develop but other growths start to appear. These "age spots" are hereditary and are called seborrheic keratosis and cherry angiomas. They are not precancerous. Brown freckles from the sun called solar lentigenes can also appear. We kindly refer to all these benign growths as "birthday presents" or "wisdom spots". Unless these growths are irritated or bothersome in some way, they are typically not removed unless suspicious or for cosmetic purposes.
Skin Cancer Screening
It is recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology to have a full body examination yearly by your skin care provider. At Skin Wellness Center we specialize in thorough skin cancer screening and appropriate treatment.