Full Body Skin Exam
Full Body Skin Exam
Full Body Skin exams are an essential method for detecting benign or cancerous lesions that may otherwise go unnoticed by patients. Even though many areas of the body are protected from the sun by clothing, potentially dangerous lesions such as melanoma skin cancer can arise and be harder to detect in areas such as the scalp, back, legs, and bottoms of the feet. With full body skin exams, we can often find suspicious growths in a timely manner that will allow early treatment. This quick and painless measure is a valuable tool to assist Dr. Lambert in providing the best screening possible for our patients.
Acne is a skin condition that presents as plugged pores, pimples, and even cystic nodules. It typically affects the face, neck, chest, and back of teenagers; however, some patients notice the onset of acne as an adult. Acne can be very frustrating to the patient and have negative effects on a patient’s self-image, especially when scarring occurs. Therefore, the treatment of acne is very important to prevent permanent scarring.
There are many misconceptions about acne. It is not usually caused by foods or having a dirty face. It is important to wear non-comedogenic makeup (won’t clog pores) and wash the face twice daily with a gentle cleanser to remove oily debris. Adult-onset acne may be related to hormonal changes associated with childbirth, menopause, or stopping birth control pills. It is useful to note whether your acne flares around periods.
There are many different treatment options for acne. It is important to remember that what works well for one person’s acne may not work for others. Depending on the severity and extent of skin lesions, Dr. Lambert will provide you with a customized acne treatment plan to fit your personal skin type. Once your skin is clear, it is important to use maintenance treatments to prevent acne from returning. Options for acne treatment include:
Topical creams, gels, or lotions
Acne surgery (blackhead extraction)
Skin care products
Warts are common skin growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It has been estimated that up to 1 in 20 school age children will have warts. Common warts usually affect the hands of children or adults with significant water exposure, which softens the skin and allows penetration of the wart virus. Plantar warts occur on the soles of the feet and may be annoyingly painful with walking. Flat warts tend to be very small and appear in large numbers. They can appear on the face of children, but are also seen on the beard area of men and legs of women due to shaving. Warts are contagious and can be spread from one person to another with skin contact.
In most cases, the natural course of warts is to disappear without treatment over months to years. If warts are troublesome to the patient, painful, or spreading rapidly, the patient should see a Dermatologist. Warts in adults may not go away without proper treatment. Dr. Lambert is very skilled in the most advanced techniques for wart removal. There are several painless options, which are especially important for children.
Cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen)
Topical “peeling” agents
Curettage (scraping out the root)
Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin condition with persistent red patches covered with thick, silvery scale. It typically affects the elbows, knees, trunk, scalp, palms and soles. It can also affect the nails. The cause is not known; however, it tends to run in families and may be due to an overactive immune response. It is not an infection or contagious to other people.
Psoriasis is often triggered or worsened by several factors. These include stress, strep infection, and oral medications. It tends to flare or worsen during the winter due to low humidity, cold air, and lack of sunlight exposure. Some psoriasis patients notice the “Koebner phenomenon,” which refers to the appearance of new skin lesions at sites of skin trauma.
It is estimated that 10-30% of psoriasis patients also develop painful, stiff, or swollen joints called psoriatic arthritis. It can develop at any time, but it appears between the ages of 30 and 50 in most patients. It is important to tell your Dermatologist if you experience these symptoms because early recognition and treatment can prevent progressive joint deformity and disability.
Dr. Lambert can create a treatment plan personalized to specific needs and disease severity. Therapeutic advances are constantly developing and giving new hope to patients who suffer chronically from this disease.
Psoriasis treatments include:
Topical creams and ointments
Light therapy (ultraviolet phototherapy in the form of medical-grade tanning bed treatment)
Biologic therapies (at-home injections)
Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis. It currently affects 10-20% of children and 1-3% of adults in the United States, and the prevalence has more than doubled in the past three decades. The skin of a patient with eczema is sensitive and easily aggravated by environmental allergens and irritants that would not otherwise causes problems in patients without eczema. It is commonly referred to the “itch that rashes” because scratching the itchy skin can lead to redness, scaling, and thickening over time. The sites usually affected include the face of infants or the inner elbows and knees of older children, although any body surface can be affected.
Most patients with atopic dermatitis have symptoms within the first year of life, and almost 90% have symptoms by the age of 5. Eczema can often occur together with hay fever or asthma and is thought to be a familial, chronic disease. It is not contagious to other people.
The cause of eczema is unknown at this time. It is thought that an overactive immune response to normal environmental allergens may be the underlying cause. The natural course of atopic dermatitis is to improve or disappear as the patient ages through childhood. The primary treatment involves prevention, which includes avoiding or minimizing contact with known allergens. If eczema cannot be controlled with over-the-counter moisturizers and avoidance of allergens, it is important to see a Dermatologist to seek definitive diagnosis and treatment. With proper education about the condition and good skin care regimen, patients with eczema can be treated and controlled effectively.
Options for treatment of eczema include:
Moisturizing lotions or creams
Topical steroid creams
Other topical prescriptions
Antibiotics for secondary infections due to scratching
Antihistamines for itching
Light therapy for more severe cases
Roscea (sometimes referred to as “acne rosacea”) is a common, chronic skin condition that affects up to 10 percent of the population. Many patients are unaware that they even have rosacea, and often believe that their symptoms are due to adult acne. Rosacea usually presents on the face as chronic redness or flushing, with or without acne-like lesions such as red or pus-filled bumps. The diagnosis of rosacea is typically made through a simple physical examination of the skin. On occasion, other causes of breakouts on the face (such as lupus or facial eczema) may need to be ruled out by simple lab tests or history.
Although rosacea is a chronic condition which cannot be cured, there are several treatments available to relieve symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Through medical consultation, Dr. Lambert can pinpoint at least some of the triggers to avoid and customize a treatment plan to control breakouts.
Options for rosacea treatment include:
Avoidance measures and trigger identification
Prescription topical creams
Accutane (isotretinoin) for severe, resistant cases
Pediatric Dermatology involves the specialized diagnosis and treatment of the unique skin conditions that affect infants, children and adolescents. Although many skin conditions affect both children and adults, certain conditions are more common in younger patients and require individualized care sensitive to the needs of a growing body. In addition, children are often at higher risk for certain bacterial and fungal infections of the skin, as well as a wide array of congenital conditions. Skin cancer, while far less common in the pediatric population compared to adults, can also present a unique need to screen children at an early age. This can include changing moles and birthmarks. Early examination by Dr. Lambert can promote a lifetime of healthy skin for our pediatric patients.
As our skin ages, it loses fat, elasticity, moisture, and thickness, which leads to the formation of wrinkles. Additionally, years of sun exposure results in cumulative damage to the skin, leading to the development of pre-cancers, skin cancers, brown sun spots, mottled and discolored skin, broken blood vessels, and easy bruising. Certain growths are also more common in the aging population, such as crusty brown spots (seborrheic keratoses) and red spots (cherry angiomas). With proper screening and treatment, most of the conditions affecting our aging population can be effectively managed and alleviated. Dr. Lambert can provide a customized plan to treat the concerns of these patients.
Moles & Birthmarks
Moles & Birthmarks
The medical term for a mole is a nevus. Congenital nevi are moles present at birth and acquired nevi may develop anytime later during life. Any change in the growth pattern, color, surface texture or onset of pain, bleeding, or itching are concerning symptoms. These should prompt a thorough evaluation by a Dermatologist to exclude the diagnosis of melanoma skin cancer.
Only a few babies (approximately 1 in 100) are born with what is known as a congenital nevus. These can vary in size from being less than 1/4 inch to covering large portions on skin. Large nevi can vary greatly in size, shape, color, surface texture, and hairiness. Some are reddish-tan; others are almost black. Most are varying shades of brown. Congenital moles will grow in proportion to body growth when they are benign.
Giant congenital nevi are those that measure 10 cm or more at birth and occur in about one in every 20,000 children. It is recommended that a Dermatologist examine these particular nevi on a yearly basis.
Most moles that are acquired during life are usually less than 1/4 inch in size. Many moles that begin in childhood and early adult life are now thought to be due to sun damage. We often think of a mole as a brown spot, but moles have many other appearances. They can be flat or raised and range in color from a normal skin color to dark brown. The presence of hair in a mole does not make it more dangerous.
Moles may darken under certain circumstances, especially with sun exposure and pregnancy. Moles that appear after age 50 should be examined carefully with suspicion.
Atypical Moles (Dysplastic Nevi)
An estimated 1 in 10 Americans have at least one atypical mole. These moles are often larger than common moles, with irregular and poorly defined borders. Atypical moles also vary in color, ranging from tan to dark brown shades. They may fade into surrounding skin and include a flat portion level with the skin. These are some of the features that one sees when looking at a melanoma. A Dermatologist is an expert skilled at differentiating atypical nevi from melanoma.
How to examine your skin:
It is important to look for the warning signs of melanoma. Use the method of ABCDE’s of melanoma detection for skin exams: Asymmetry, Borders, Color, Diameter, and Evolving (changing). If a mole has any of these signs, a Dermatologist must check it promptly.
A – Asymmetry
One half is unlike the other half.
B – Border
Irregular, scalloped, or poorly circumscribed border.
C – Color
Different in one area compared to another; shades of tan and brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue.
D – Diameter
While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller.
E – Evolution (changing)
If you notice a mole different from others (the “ugly duckling sign”), or new changes such as rapid growth, itching, or bleeding, you should see a Dermatologist immediately.
Sun damage can affect any area of the skin as a result of chronic exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. These areas most commonly involve the face, arms, hands and shoulders, and may result in conditions such as pre-cancers, skin cancer, sun spots (freckles), moles, rough and discolored skin, and wrinkles. Some individuals may notice the formation of actinic keratoses (pre-cancers), which are rough, scaly growths which can precede the development of skin cancer for months to years.
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Accordingly, the best treatment for sun damage is preventing it from occurring in the first place. It is therefore vitally important to wear sunscreen on a daily basis and avoid excessive, unprotected exposure to the sun. This is particularly relevant during the mid-day hours (10am to 4pm), when the sun intensity is the strongest.
Wrinkles (also known as rhytides) are a natural part of aging that occurs when the skin becomes drier, thinner, and less elastic. Certain factors that can contribute to the earlier development of wrinkles include genetics, smoking, and excessive exposure to the sun. Several treatment options are available to help reduce or eliminate the appearance of wrinkles. These include topical retinoid creams, IPL therapy, chemical peels, BOTOX aesthetic, fillers and more. While no procedure can completely eliminate the effects of aging on your skin, customized treatment can be very effective in minimizing the appearance of wrinkles through ongoing treatments.
Age spots, as their name implies, are a common sign of aging. They are also known as brown spots, liver spots, sun freckles and sun spots, and present flat areas of varying sizes that range in color from light brown to black. These lesions tend to appear on parts of the body that are chronically exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, arms, shoulders and tops of the feet. Patients with a history of higher sun exposure tend to develop these lesions with greater frequency.
Age spots can also refer to growths known as seborrheic keratoses, which manifest as crusty brown to black spots that appear waxy and “stuck on” the skin. Developing more often in patients older than 30 years of age, these lesions are not strongly associated with sun exposure, but occur more frequently in individuals with a family history of similar lesions. They can appear anywhere on the body, including the scalp all the way down to the feet.
Age spots, regardless of type, can be effectively reduced or minimized by a customized treatment plan by Dr. Lambert. Most importantly, when age spots are an indicator of chronic sun exposure, it is important to have regular skin exams to screen for the risk of skin cancer.
Nail fungus is an invasive of the nail plate (fingernails or toenails) by a contagious fungal pathogen. This can occur as a result of exposure to a warm, moist environment such as sweaty shoes, shower floors, and chronic exposure of hands to water. These fungal infections usually begin as a yellow or white spot on or under the nail, and develop into thickened, brittle and distorted nails.
Although not usually threatening to overall health, nail fungal infections should be treated immediately as they may become resistant to treatment and are therefore more likely to recur. Treatment options include topical and oral anti-fungal medications. Ultimately, the choice of treatment depends on the severity and duration of infection.
Hair loss is a common condition which may be a consequence of natural aging (men and women), a side effect of a medication, or a manifestation of an underlying medical issue. It can result in varying presentations including total baldness, thinning of the hair, or patchy bald spots. Other parts of the body may also become involved depending on the cause, and hair loss may be temporary or permanent. Specific conditions which can result in hair loss include male or female-pattern baldness, medication-induced hair loss, stressful life events such as surgery or emotional distress, and certain chronic skin disorders, such as eczema or psoriasis.
Treatment for hair loss is customized to the specific cause, and may include topical or systemic treatments. On rare occasions, a scalp biopsy is necessary to determine the exact diagnosis to guide treatment. Most importantly, treatment for hair loss is usually more successful when initiated early, as several forms of hair loss can be irreversible once significant loss has occurred. Dr. Lambert can provide expert evaluation and tailor treatment to help minimize the progression and significant stress associated with this medical condition.
In today’s world, you no longer need to visit a library to find information, take film to a drugstore to view your photos or go to the video store to select a movie. And now you don’t always have to make a visit to my office for a concerning condition.
The use of electronic communications to provide medical advice and treatment remotely is known as telemedicine, and we are excited to announce that our office now offers it through Modernizing Medicine® and their app, modmed Telehealth™. This increasingly popular solution is available for download on your mobile device.
Using this convenient service can benefit you if:
You’re busy and on the go or you can’t easily make it to the office because you’re housebound or live remotely
You have a mild skin issue such as a bite, rash, minor burn or acne
Telemedicine doesn’t replace in-office visits, but it can be an added, effective and expedient way for you to consult with me on occasion, giving you faster diagnosis, treatment and assurance – or a recommendation for face-to-face care. You can easily snap and send photos and other information about your condition via a mobile device to receive a reply from our office.
To learn more about our new telemedicine service and why it can work better for you than any other telemedicine network, please click herefor a complete list of questions and answers, plus instructions on how to use the app.