Get your moles checked!

May is filled with holidays, new spring weather, and more! What many may not know is May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Melanoma is a more serious skin cancer than non-melanoma skin cancers squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. It can spread through your body, affect how long you live, and appear on parts of the body that have little sun exposure.

Those with a personal or family history of melanoma know it is important to get their skin checked regularly. Even first degree relatives since developing melanoma has a genetic component. Full body skin checks at Dermatology Arts can help evaluate spots you can’t see (on your back or between your toes), catch early signs of skin cancers, and even prevent melanoma from spreading to other parts of the body.

Knowing if a spot is concerning can be tricky. Many people have lots of moles, and it can be difficult to determine if any of them are changing. Having someone at home check hard to see places monthly can be helpful. See our post here for a few quick facts about Melanoma and enjoy a short video about checking loved ones’ spots!

Aging-related skin changes

Getting older is no one’s favorite subject. With a little help from this blog post, skin related changes can be a little less daunting.

Sun exposure is one of the leading causes of aging skin. Invisible sun rays damage the skin’s composition resulting in thinner skin, wrinkles, and age spots. Although genetics play a large role, there are still many affordable ways to keep the skin healthier and look younger.

Radiation from the sun causes abnormalities in the skin which can result in skin cancers. When your skin becomes tan or burns from the sun’s UV rays, subtle changes occur which can later cause the skin cancers basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. While the short term change may be a beautiful skin tone, medical treatment and or surgery may be necessary in the long run.

Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen protection from the sun’s harmful effects prevents damage to skin cells and the sunscreen also acts as a moisturizer prolonging a youthful glow. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing SPF 30 on the face, ears, neck, hands, and anywhere else that may be exposed to daily sun. Walking from building to building, through the car window (typically the side windows are not UV protected), and scattered rays on a cloudy day all contribute to aging skin.

Dark spots and wrinkles can also come from sun damage. While these are less harmful than skin cancers, their presence can be unsightly. Modern medicine and a good skin routine can lessen the appearance of aging skin. Moisturizing every day evens out the texture and skin tone, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and prevents dry and cracked skin. Products which contain retinoids also help renew the skin by promoting collagen production, and we can prescribe retinoids much stronger or more effective than ones available over the counter. For darker spots, other medications and treatments such as bleaching creams and cryotherapy lighten the darkened skin to improve symptoms.

Knowing how to care for the skin and when you need to see a physician can be difficult. Be on the lookout for more posts like this to learn a little more about dermatological care.

Rashes & Skin Allergy Testing

If you have ever experienced a red, itchy, or dry patch on your skin, you may have had eczema or another form of dermatitis. Dermatitis is a wide-range term for “inflammation of the skin.” Whereas some disorders that fall in this category can be readily diagnosed and treated, others are more complex and require additional tests.

Eczema is a type of rash that falls under the dermatitis category, and is often interchangeable with the diagnosis “atopic dermatitis.” Symptoms of eczema can be correlated with other medical conditions to form the “atopic triad” including eczema, asthma, and allergies. However, if a rash is unresponsive to initial treatments for eczema, allergy patch testing may be considered to determine if symptoms are linked to a specific chemical or personal care product.

At Bellevue’s Dermatology Arts, we create personal regimens to effectively treat most medical skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis. Our office’s allergy patch testing services are lead by Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner Liz Schuringa, ARNP. Please click dermatologyarts.com/appointments or call (425) 753-2918 to schedule an appointment.

Love is in the air! We really do have the best team at Dermatology Arts!

Dear Patients, I’m not much of a blogger, but I was looking through February’s confidential patient reviews that we routinely receive through our practice management system as part of our quality program. I sent a note to our entire team via email just now, and thought the results so important that I should share them with both current and prospective patients. Read my heartfelt thanks to our team below, and let me share my thanks to our patients for their gracious feedback. Dr. Master

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Dearest team!
Hope you are all well. Just thought I’d share with you on this last day of February while love is still very much in the air that our practice achieved an average review of 4.94 out of five stars over the last month with approximately 100 patients submitting reviews through AMD.  Liz had all 5 star reviews.  Dr. C and I are just behind her!

Way to go everyone!  Mitch and I are working on approaches to get these reviews instead on third party site (Google, Yelp, Facebook).

A heartfelt thanks with great appreciation for the extraordinary efforts and execution on everyone’s parts.  Have I mentioned to any of you that I really like working here?

S.

New publication by Dr. Casey Carlos, MD, PhD regarding Herpes-associated condition

Our very own Dr. Casey Carlos, MD, PhD has recently been published in the peer reviewed medical journal JAMA Dermatology (published by the American Medical Association).

Most of us have heard of herpes simplex virus (HSV) the cause of the common cold sore. However, not many know it can be associated with erythema multiforme (EM). Although herpes virus infection is common, many physicians and patients may not be aware of this rare dermatologic complication. As Dr. Carlos explains in this article, a thorough examination is vital for any diagnosis in order to to accurately diagnose and treat patients with herpes-associated erythema multiforme (HAEM).

Dr. Carlos’ extensive research background and many years of dermatology training have contributed to her excellent patient care through her ability to pinpoint diagnoses and create detailed and personalized treatment regimens. We are delighted by her contributions not only to her patients at the practice, but also to the advancement of medical understanding.

Dermatology Arts' Liz Schuringa ARNP, is now Dermatology-Certified! Congratulations!

We are very excited to announce today that our own Liz Schuringa, ARNP has just become a Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner. Following approximately a decade in primary care, she transitioned to dermatology in 2017. She spent hundreds of hours studying (must have seemed like thousands to her!) and preparing for one of the most comprehensive tests available to Nurse Practitioners. Not only did she pass the exam, word on the street is that she ranks in the top 10% of test takers! Way to go!

Among many specialities within dermatology, Liz has cultivated an interest in acne for teens and adults and particularly adult female acne, and additionally leading our patch testing program for common skin allergens.

Dr. Carlos featured in AAD

This quarter's issue of Directions in Residency by the American Academy of Dermatology features our very own Dr. Carlos!

Outside of Dermatology Arts, Dr. Carlos serves as assistant clinical professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is a member of the Volunteerism Committee and Education and Volunteers Abroad Committee within the American Academy of Dermatology.

Read more about Dr. Carlos' commitment to service and leadership within the AAD here

Samir Master
Congratulations to our Medical Assistants!

We are incredibly excited to announce that two of our medical assistants, Marjorie and Rebecca, have been accepted to the University of Washington School of Medicine! As you all know, our wonderful talented staff bring world class care to our patients everyday. We are so excited that they will continue to pursue their passion for patient care and lead the next generation of physicians!  We find great joy in the many medical assistants from Dermatology Arts who have gone on to pursue advanced degrees as physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants over the years.

Marjorie and Rebecca will begin classes in the Fall of 2018. Please join us in congratulating them the next time you are at our Bellevue office!

Samir Master
Back to the Basics: Acne Q&A

I’ve tried so many products, why won’t any of them work? Over-the-counter acne products are typically first-line treatment for acne. Many of them can irritate your skin, and if your acne isn’t improving it’s time to see a dermatologist. He or she can accurately diagnose and discuss scientifically backed treatments that work for you.

Help your teenager keep up with skin care. With returning to school just around the corner, it can be challenging to squeeze a skin care routine in-between sports workouts or band practice. It is important to keep pores free from dead skin cells and bacteria by washing with a gentle cleanser and moisturizing. If your teen uses an acne medication, it is important to apply regularly for best results. Establishing a morning or evening routine will help to keep skin acne-free!

I’m 20/30/40 years old! Why am I still getting acne? We usually think of teenagers when it comes to acne, but these pesky pimples can affect anyone at any age. They may be similar or different than acne you’re used to from when you were a teenager. Women may also notice cystic acne spots that are hormonal in nature and require treatment that specifically targets this type of acne.

Sunscreen up! The absolute best thing you can do for your skin is to protect it from sun damage by wearing a daily facial lotion with SPF. Many acne-fighting medications can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it is very important to protect it. There are several brands available. Look for a daily lotion with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and labeled as “non-comedogenic” or “won’t cause acne” to keep your skin looking great.

Our dermatologists are well versed in the latest scientifically proven acne treatments. Schedule an appointment here.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Every year the American Academy of Dermatology encourages increased awareness of skin cancer during their SPOT Skin Cancer campaign. This year their campaign highlights the fact that women are nine times more likely than men to notice melanoma (a type of skin cancer) on others.

Skin cancer, including melanoma, is a very treatable condition, especially when detected early. The American Academy of Dermatology wants you to “Check Your Partner. Check Yourself.” See the infographic below for more information on how to detect signs of skin cancer on your partner or click here to print out a PDF copy.

If you see something that you are concerned about, have questions, or need to schedule your annual skin exam, you can call our office to schedule an appointment.

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