Posts tagged #dermatologist
Psoriasis v. Eczema: ENDGAME

Recently, “Rashes & Skin Allergy Testing,” was posted and it reviewed what eczema looks like and how allergy patch testing can be helpful. What many may not know is how psoriasis and eczema are related, yet, are significantly different. Come to Dermatology Arts in Bellevue for help understanding if you have one of these conditions.

Both psoriasis and eczema are red, itchy rashes that can appear as scales or plaques, be improved by topical steroids, and worsen with cold weather. But, what sets the two apart is very clear. Psoriasis, while red and itchy, has distinct borders and the skin is often raised. Eczema rashes have ill-defined borders, making it difficult to know when it starts and stops.

Common places for psoriasis to appear include the elbows, knees, and belly button. It can even cause symptoms affecting the fingernails. Psoriasis rashes result from an autoimmune disorder where an excess of skin builds up and doesn’t shed. Typical treatments can include topical steroids, but in more severe cases systemic medicines may be needed. Psoriasis is also associated with several other conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Among those who have psoriasis, 5% can also experience psoriatic arthritis.  

Eczema, on the other hand, can improve with topical steroids and or several lifestyle changes like taking warm showers, avoiding harsh soaps, etc. Although eczema may show up in the same places as psoriasis, there is less skin buildup and inflammation. The underlying cause is also very  different. Triggers such as environment, bacteria, allergens, and genetics all play a role in severity, onset, and symptom improvement. Related diagnoses include allergies, keratosis pilaris, and asthma.

Neither psoriasis or eczema have a cure, but Dermatology Arts offers many treatment options that can control symptoms and prevent frequent flare ups. It can be difficult to tell the difference between psoriasis and eczema, but with a trained eye and many years of experience dermatologists can successfully diagnose and treat appropriately.

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers

Most people have heard of melanoma skin cancer, but not everyone knows the two types of non-melanoma skin cancer: basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It forms at the bottom of the top layer of skin and grows relatively slowly. Squamous cell carcinoma occurs in the very outer layer of the skin. Less common than basal cell, squamous cell is more likely to grow into the deeper layers of the skin and, though this is uncommon, can spread to other parts of the body.

Basal cell carcinoma presents as pearly “bumps” that are either smooth or rough to the touch. When new spots appear, basal cell skin cancers can itch, bleed, and seem like sores that never heal. If untreated, it can spread to the surrounding skin and permeate into the bone. Thankfully, basal cell can be easily treated by excision, Mohs surgery, a procedure called “curettage and electrodessication,” and even topical medicated creams. Some families have an inherited condition where they can form hundreds of basal cell carcinomas.

Dermatology Arts’ Dr. Master worked with internationally renowned Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome (Gorlin’s Syndrome) researcher Ervin Epstein, MD at the University of California San Francisco in the early 1990s. Their work resulted in a publication which localized a tumor suppressor gene to the long arm of the Chromosome 9.

Various types of squamous cell carcinoma exist. There are keratoacanthomas, in situ, invasive, etc. These skin cancers often appear on the face, ears, neck, and back of the hands where sun exposure is high. Pre-cancerous spots known as actinic keratosis also appear in these areas and can become squamous cell carcinoma. Typically, cryotherapy or medicated creams can improve these spots before they become cancerous. The same treatment methods used for basal cell carcinoma can also treat squamous cell carcinoma.

Non-melanoma skin cancers are generally less harmful than melanoma, but far more common, and still require treatment. One of the best ways to prevent skin cancer is sun protection. Tanned skin, blistering sunburns, and other types of prolonged sun exposure are the main culprits for non-melanoma skin cancers. Wear sun protective clothing, when outside for long periods of time, and reapply sunscreen every hour to keep your skin looking younger and avoid future doctor visits.

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.

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.