If you thought Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s eight on-site specialty centers were extensive, then you will definitely consider the sixteen different lasers at the Laser Institute of Georgia amazing. We, however, see it as a way to provide Atlantans with the best skin care head to toe. Lasers can treat a variety of skin conditions, and our physicians have over twenty years of experience working with this skin care technology.
If you’re wondering why sixteen lasers are necessary, allow us to explain: just like no two human beings are identical, all lasers are slightly different. Although settings can be adjusted on most lasers, certain lasers treat specific conditions and skin types better. Lasers are attracted to pigment, the darker the pigment, the more effective the laser treatment. Take laser hair removal and laser tattoo removal for an example. We probably wouldn’t have much luck trying to remove hair with a tattoo removal laser (or setting). More
Dermatology Associates of Atlanta addresses some of the most common sun myths for skin cancer awareness month. Do tanning beds cause skin cancer? Does sun exposure get rid of acne? Pick up a copy of Atlanta’s Best Self Magazine to find out!
We all know that the sun’s ultra violet rays can be especially damaging to our skin; causing us to wrinkle prematurely, destroying our skin’s elasticity, and even sometimes leading to the formation of skin cancer. Just as sunburn is visible, physical proof of sun damage, the formation actinic keratosis is tangible proof of sun exposure and often a precursor to basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinomas.
Actinic keratosis, also known as a solar keratosis or sun spot, is a non-threatening, rough (sand paper textured), pinkish spot on the skin. Because the spots are so easily overlooked, they often go undetected for years before progressing to a true cancer which must be completely removed. Actinic keratoses are almost exclusively found on sun exposed skin (especially in fair skin patients with light eyes). Keratoses frequently appear in clusters on the face and forehead. While not all types of keratosis will lead to cancer, it’s vital to seek treatment from a dermatology specialist so he/she can destroy these cells before they are allowed to progress.
Individuals with fair complexions, hair, and eye color should be particularly vigilant about skin cancer screenings and ensure they have at least one annual skin cancer body check. “Fair” patients are those that frequently complain how they tan poorly and burn easily. Most insurance policies now allow a careful yearly exam to not only identify these precancerous growths, but also to find and identify abnormal moles which may be, or become, malignant melanoma.
Avoiding these abnormal growths is fairly simple: regularly shield your skin (i.e.- face, body, and neck) with a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher and avoid extended periods of sun exposure. Remember, avoiding the sun will also help prevent premature aging and wrinkling. If you’re concerned about getting enough sun for healthy vitamin D production, a simple blood test can determine whether a dietary supplement may be needed. The benefits of decreased exposure and enhanced sun protection measures far outweigh those of extended sun exposure.
Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s board certified specialists remind you to protect your skin even throughout the winter months. Reflective agents like ice and snow can magnify the harmful effects of harmful UV rays. To learn more about skin cancer prevention or skin cancer treatments available at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta visit their website or continue to read their blog.
When you hear that someone died suddenly due to skin cancer, the cancer is most likely a melanoma. This malignant killer can be 100% cured if discovered early. Melanoma deaths account for 2-3% of all cancer-related deaths. According to the American Cancer Society, of the 60,000 cases of melanoma diagnosed annually, 8,000- 10,000 cases could prove fatal.
Melanomas usually begin as a dark brown or black mole. Because this cancer is highly treatable if discovered early, any suspicious new spot or a CHANGING mole should be examined immediately. A dermatology specialist is trained and has the experience to diagnose a malignant lesion early enough to obtain a cure in case the diagnosis is melanoma. The rule is to take a simple biopsy if there is any question, your life could be in the balance.
Melanoma is a subject near and dear to Dr. Griffin’s heart: he identified a changing mole on his own shoulder which had no dark color. The mole was biopsied and was positive for melanoma. It was promptly removed with appropriate borders. Luckily it had not spread wide or deep and resulted in a 100% cure rate. Dr. Griffin’s daughter, who was only 20 years old at the time, also had a changing mole removed that proved to be an early stage melanoma. Luckily it was removed early enough to be considered 100% cured. If a family member has had a malignant melanoma, you are more likely to have one also. Examine your own skin as a start: look for changing moles, new growth, pigmented (and unpigmented) areas. See the expert early and demand a biopsy for any suspicious growth. You must take a role in saving your own life.
According to the 1996 study published by Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (Goldstein et al, 1996), patients exhibiting more than 75 moles, a family history of melanoma, as well as recessive genetic traits like fair skin and light eyes are at 3-times a greater risk of developing the cancer than those who don’t. Schedule your annual skin cancer body check today, especially if you fit the criteria mentioned above, with one of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s skin specialists.