As part of our continuing emphasis on providing the most efficient, effective, and convenient treatments for our patients, we now offer Levulan Photodynamic Therapy for non-surgical treatment of Actinic Keratosis, a very common condition that can lead to Squamous Cell Cancer development. We now offer this treatment at both clinic locations!
Colorado Dermatology Institute is the first and only dermatology clinic in the nation to be recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) at the highest level (Level 3) of NCQA Recognition as a Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP) for quality patient-centered dermatologic care.”
Acne is a common condition that can occur to anyone at any age. Here are ten facts about acne that will give you a better understanding of what it is, and what the recommended practices are for dealing with it.
- Everyone can expect to get acne at least once during their teenage years.
Although acne is most common in teenagers, all people have the potential to develop it regardless of race, age or gender. This is because a variety of factors may contribute to the appearance of acne
- Treating acne early helps prevent scaring.
Scaring is a common result of acne when the person mistreats the affected area. Best practices are to avoid picking lesions, and consult a dermatologist.
- Women are more susceptible to acne during pregnancy.
This is due to an increase in hormonal activity. It also means that women are susceptible to it at other times as well, including about one week before their menstrual cycle, and when beginning or stopping the use of birth control pills.
- Washing your face excessively can actually make acne worse.
It is important to wash your face regularly, however, washing it more often does not make acne go away more quickly. In fact, it could lead to irritation, and dryness, which will cause your acne to worsen. Wash your face no more than twice a day, or as directed by a dermatologist for best results.
- Acne is not caused by diet
Although a well-balanced diet is recommended for the health of your skin overall, scientific studies have shown no direct link between diet and acne. These studies include the consumption of such foods as chocolate, pizza, and other foods thought to contribute to acne.
- Cosmetics and skin products can cause acne to get worse
The use of cosmetic products can lead to clog pores, preventing the natural oils that are produced by the skin’s glands from draining, which leads to further skin irritation.
- Getting extra sun doesn’t help your acne
Sun does not improve your acne. Studies have shown that ultraviolet radiation actually worsens your acne.
- It is very important to give acne medication time to work.
Just like any other medicine, acne medication should be used as directed, and for as long as directed. Not using acne medication in this way could result in it failing to work. Even if you do not see results at first, you should continue to use the medicine as directed.
Initially, when Dr. Mohs introduced his procedure it was not as refined as it is today. The initial procedure involved the dermatologist removing a thin layer of affected skin from the affected area, dressing it with a zinc chloride paste to allow it heal for a few days, then asking the patient to come back in a few days, after the skin had time to heal from the surgery, for re-evaluation. At this point the patient would have one more layer of skin removed for analysis, the affected area would be redressed with the zinc chloride paste, and if the test results showed any more cancer cells on the edge of the skin the whole procedure would be repeated. In this way, the process could take days or weeks.
This first model of Mohs surgery was met with scrutiny from the medical community, and dubbed controversial. The reason for this are partly because until that time dermatologists had never performed surgical operations. However, the other problem with it was that the zinc chloride paste used to treat the skin in between surgeries caused a great deal of pain and discomfort among patients.
A couple decades later, in the 1950s, a new variation of Mohs surgery started to become popular: rather than removing a layer of tissue, dressing the area with the zinc chloride paste, then asking the patient to come back for re-examination, the doctor would use local anesthesia on the affected area, then simply remove one thin layer of tissue at a time, examining each layer right away to see if the edges had cancer cells. This process would be repeated until there was no more cancer cells upon examination.
Today, Mohs surgery has the highest cure rate for certain types of skin cancer. It is a procedure that is used on large skin lesions, rapidly growing lesions, and cancer lesions with poorly defined borders. This procedure helps preserve as much healthy skin on the patient as possible. This is especially useful if the cancer is on a sensitive area such as the hands, feet, or face.
Colorado Dermatology Institute is the leading dermatology organization in Colorado Springs. Please contact us to schedule an appointment today.
Colorado is one of the highest-elevation locations in the country, and as such we have less protection from the sun than places closer to sea level. In fact, since we are so much higher up in the atmosphere here in Colorado we generally get about 25% less protection from the sun than people do at sea level.
With this in mind here are some tips to help you avoid the potentially dangerous rays from the sun when you are hiking or doing anything in the sun for a prolonged period of time here in Colorado. Let’s get started.
- Choose sunblock which contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (or both) instead of sunscreen. Sunblock has broad-spectrum protection which means it physically blocks UVB as well as UVA rays, whereas sunscreen uses chemicals to absorb the sun’s rays. These chemicals can cause irritation to people with sensitive skin.
- Also, sunscreen needs to be applied about 20 minutes before going out into the sun. Sunblock, by contrast, physically blocks the sun’s rays with only a couple of active ingredients, and is effective immediately. This is why sunblock is a more effective choice over sunscreen.
- Wear lip balm. Your lips can get sunburned just like your skin can, so apply lip balm. Most lip protection products are effective. Some cosmetic lip products, like lip gloss and some lipsticks, can actually protect your lips from the sun’s rays, but other products, such as shinny lipstick with no color can actually direct the sun’s rays to your lips. Try to avoid those products.
- Remember to bring plenty of water and cover up your skin as much as possible, including with hats and sunglasses, and to take advantage of the shade when you can.
These tips are obviously useful in the summer, however they are perhaps even more useful in the fall because people tend to think that since the temperature is cooler they can simply disregard the potential hazard of the sun’s rays, and that is simply not true, especially at high altitudes.
Something you might not have known is that most ordinary aging effects on the skin is caused by sun exposure, so apply these tips above, and if you suspect that your skin is developing any symptoms caused by overexposure to the sun, feel free to call Colorado Dermatology Institute for an appointment.
Dermasweep: This procedure “sweeps” the dead dry skin off your face, leaving your skin feeling so smooth. Having this procedure every 3-4 months stimulates collagen and adds vitamins deep into the skin’s cells. A really good exfoliating treatment.
IPL: A light that uses heat to get rid of uneven pigment in the skin, can also be used for broken red veins on the face. Most patients need multiple treatments. Leaves skin with a more even tone.
CO2 Deka Dot Laser: “Take years off your face in one hour”. This treatment is for the patient that has had lots of sun damage resulting in pigment, lines and wrinkles, or has scarring from an accident or acne. This procedure also known as skin resurfacing. It takes the top layer of skin off and excites the collagen beneath the skin. The collagen then rebuilds which “plumps up” areas such as lines and wrinkles which fills in the lines and wrinkles making them less visible. By resurfacing the skin, imperfections and scars are lessened. The Deka Dot laser’s advanced technology is more precise than older technologies and significantly reduces discomfort and down time usually associated with previous generation CO2 Lasers.
Retin-A: Helps repair damaged skin tissue, as well as keeps cell turnover working quicker. CDI sells several excellent Retin-A products and our Aesthetician can recommend the one best suited for your skin.
Omega-3: As we age, our cells lose moisture. Omega 3 strengthens cells while keeping them moist.
Vitamin C: A very powerful antioxidant which protects skin from free radical damage and slows down the aging process. CDI sells several excellent Vitamin C products specially formulated for the skin.
Water: Helps to flush out toxins in our bodies, as well as adds moisture to our cells. It is best to drink filtered, non-chlorinated water.
Sun, weather, and lifestyle choices have a dramatic effect on how young or old our skin appears. Colorado’s generally beautiful climate is great to be out in but it does present challenges for our skin. Here are some tips to keep your skin looking youthful.
1. Protect from the damaging effects of the sun. Sun is essential for life but it is very hard on unprotected skin. But if you keep your skin protected while in the sun (even on a cloudy day or while skiing) with a good quality sun screen with at least SPF 30 and which contains Zinc or Titanium Dioxide (or both), you can enjoy the sun and help your skin stay looking younger longer. We sell several varieties of good qualify sunscreens in the clinic.
2. Dryness. Colorado’s dry climate makes for better outdoor living but it isn’t kind to your skin. Keep your skin moisturized with a good quality moisturizer and your skin will be happier. There is no need to buy expensive moisturizers and you should stay away from anything with artificial fragrance. There are several good quality and inexpensive moisturizers on the market. We carry several of them in the clinic and would be happy to discuss which one might be best for your skin type and activities.
3. Lifestyle choices. Smoking, tanning beds, excessive alcohol consumption and recreational drugs are very hard on your skin. If you want to maintain healthy and youthful looking skin, maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep away from tanning beds – they are not only terrible for your skin, they can also promote skin cancer.
What is BOTOX® Cosmetic?
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in people 18 to 65 years of age for a short period of time (temporary).
BOTOX® Cosmetic is administered by a healthcare professional as a simple, nonsurgical treatment that is injected directly into the muscles between the brows. It works by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscles. This reduces muscle activity that causes moderate to severe lines to form between the brows. Individual results may vary.
How does BOTOX® Cosmetic work?
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of the “11s,” the moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines). It works by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscles. This reduces muscle activity that causes moderate to severe lines to form between the brows.
When will I see results from a BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment?
Within days, you may see a marked improvement in the moderate-to-severe frown lines between your brows. Lines continue to improve for up to 30 days, and results can last for up to 4 months. Individual results may vary.
How long does BOTOX® Cosmetic last?
Visible results have been shown to last up to 4 months.1 Your own results may vary – be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about what you can expect and when to schedule your next appointment.
Who should administer BOTOX® Cosmetic?
To make the selection process easier, you may want to consider choosing a physician from the BOTOX® Cosmetic Find a Doctor tool.
Just enter your ZIP code to locate a BOTOX® Cosmetic doctor in your area. Or, to find out if a specific doctor is part of our network, you can type in his or her name.
Is treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic painful?
Discomfort is usually minimal and brief. Prior to injection, your physician may choose to numb the area with a cold pack or anesthetic cream. The entire procedure takes approximately 10 minutes. Most patients are in and out of the physician’s office without downtime following BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment.
Side effects associated with the injection include localized pain, infection, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, swelling, redness, and/or bleeding/bruising.
Will I still be able to make facial expressions?
Although the results are visible, a treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA) will not radically change your facial appearance or make you look as if you’ve “had work done.” The muscle activity that causes frown lines between the brows is temporarily reduced, so you can still frown or look surprised without the wrinkles and creases between your brows.
Of all the cancers that humans can get, skin cancer is the most common, which is why the American Academy of Dermatology recommends an annual full body skin exam to be performed on all adults. This is especially important for patients with a personal history of extensive sun exposure, and those with lighter colored skin. Prevention and early diagnosis are important factors in maintaining overall skin health.
People of all races and colors can get skin cancer. Those with light skin who sunburn easily have a higher risk. Using indoor tanning devices such as tanning beds and sunlamps also increases the risk of developing skin cancer.
Following these 8 steps may help prevent skin cancer:
- Generously apply a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or more to all exposed skin when outdoors.
- Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses where possible.
- Seek shade. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 4pm.
- Protect children from sun exposure by playing in the shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen.
- Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements.
- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling.
- Do a yearly self skin-exam. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, contact a dermatologist.