Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery
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The largest dermatology practice in America, Advanced Dermatology provides complete clinical and cosmetic skin care. Immediate appointments available at one of our 180+ locations.

Scalp Melanomas: The Less Visible, Yet Deadlier Cancer

The most common type of cancer is skin cancer. Of the different types of skin cancer, melanoma is the deadliest. Even if you regularly check your skin for abnormalities, it's entirely possible to miss the signs of melanoma—especially because it can develop on the scalp. This is one reason why every adult should visit a dermatologist annually for a skin cancer screening.

Risks of Scalp Melanomas

Each time you go outdoors, the top of your head is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Your hair doesn't provide sufficient protection, and neither does cloudy or cold weather. Since most people don't apply sunscreen to their scalp, the top of the head is a prime location for cancer development. And since most people don't regularly see the top of their head, melanoma that develops here can go undetected for a long time. Additionally, some dermatologists think that scalp melanomas can be more aggressive than other melanomas, due to the proximity to the brain and the high concentration of blood vessels in the area.

Signs and Symptoms of Scalp Melanomas

When melanoma develops on the scalp, it looks much the same as melanoma that develops anywhere else. Clinical dermatologists recommend comparing the appearance of an abnormality to the ABCDE guidelines.

  • A: Asymmetry. The abnormality doesn't have a uniform shape.
  • B: Border. It has indistinct or poorly defined borders.
  • C: Color. It isn't one consistent color, but rather has multiple colors.
  • D: Diameter. The area is larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser.
  • E: Evolving. The abnormality grows or otherwise looks different over time.

Detection of Scalp Melanomas

It isn't easy to check your entire body for skin abnormalities, although you should try your best once each month. If possible, ask a family member or close friend to check your scalp and back for you. You can also ask your hair stylist to let you know if he or she notices anything unusual. Lastly, remember to schedule a professional skin exam.

If you've never had a skin cancer screening, or it's been longer than a year since your last appointment, it's time to call a dermatologist. Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery has multiple locations nationwide to connect patients to high-quality care delivered by friendly and knowledgeable clinical dermatologists. Get in touch at (866) 400-3376.

Here's Why Your Cleanser Should Contain Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a compound originally derived from wintergreen leaves and white willow bark. It's a beta hydroxyl acid that's prized by dermatologists for its numerous beneficial properties for skin health and cosmetic improvements. You'll find salicylic acid in cleansers, ointments, patches, creams, and even shampoos. Despite its prevalence, it can be tricky to find a cleanser that contains exactly the right concentration of salicylic acid and the ideal balance of other active ingredients. Consider talking to your dermatologist about professional-grade, salicylic acid-based cleaners.

Exfoliation

Dermatologists classify salicylic acid as a keratolytic medication. These products work by softening the top layer of skin, and causing the old skin cells on top to slough off. Salicylic acid accomplishes this by acting on the desmosomes. These are the connections between skin cells in the top layer of skin. The desmolytic effect also effectively clears pores. Most skin care experts recommend exfoliating the skin two to three times weekly for normal to combination skin, or no more than once weekly for sensitive skin.

Deep Cleansing

Salicylic acid is lipophilic. This is due to its chemical structure. Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)—another common ingredient found in skin care products—is related to salicylic acid. However, with AHA, just one carbon atom separates the acid part from the hydroxyl part. Salicylic acid has two carbon atoms here. This minute difference means that salicylic acid is oil soluble, and can penetrate the pores in the skin. Once it's inside the pores, salicylic acid gets to work unclogging pores for a deep cleaning.

Acne Treatment

Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in acne medications, thanks in part to its lipophilic properties. When this compound penetrates into the pores, it can reduce the production of sebum, or oil. This helps prevent breakouts. Additionally, it acts as an anti-inflammatory, which helps to calm breakouts. Salicylic acid is most effective at treating blackheads and whiteheads because it dissolves the keratin plugs in the pores. It's less effective against cystic acne.

For customized skin care recommendations tailored to your skin type, visit a cosmetic dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. Be sure to check out our expertly designed skin care products online, including cleansers with salicylic acid. A friendly staff member is available to take your call at (866) 400-3376.

Could Botox Offer Long-Term Benefits?

Botox is a cosmetic dermatology treatment that is a popular choice for individuals who want to improve their appearance by temporarily relaxing the muscles that can cause expression lines. However, seeing your dermatologist for this treatment may offer long-term benefits, as well. Continue reading to learn more.

What Botox Does

Botox is an injectable drug that causes temporary paralysis in the treatment area. In cosmetic dermatology, this drug is typically injected into the facial muscles to cause them to relax. When the facial muscles are forced to relax in this way, the patient is unable to contract them, meaning that they are not able to perform facial expressions that cause the skin to fold, such as frowning or raising the eyebrows. Many people choose to receive Botox treatment so that they can have a more youthful-looking appearance right away. Also, more and more individuals are choosing the get Botox in an effort to prevent wrinkles from forming, but there is another potential long-term benefit of this treatment that is worth considering.

What Botox May Do

In a recent study, it was found that Botox may temporarily increase skin elasticity. What do these results have to do with your skin? Well, skin elasticity describes skin's ability to stretch and then return back to the state it was in before being stretched. Skin that has poor elasticity may sag and is more likely to develop wrinkles than skin with good elasticity. Because of this, it stands to reason that Botox may help make skin less likely to develop wrinkles. Considering this and the fact that Botox treatment can help prevent one from making expressions that may promote the formation of wrinkles, anyone who wishes to enjoy younger-looking skin in the future has reason to consider making Botox treatment a regular part of his or her anti-aging skincare routine.

If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of Botox, then call Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery at (866) 400-3376 to book your appointment with a dermatologist in your area.

Spotting Skin Cancer: Tips for Families

Visually inspecting the skin is one of the most important steps when it comes to detecting skin cancer. While it's important to see a dermatologist for skin cancer screenings, you should also keep an eye on your own skin and that of your family. Watch this video for tips on spotting skin cancer.

Men sometimes miss things. In fact, research indicates that women are nine times more likely to spot melanoma on others than men are. Men over age 50 are at a higher risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, so check out the skin of the man in your life for changes or suspicious spots.

To make your appointment for a skin cancer screening with one of the clinical dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, please call (866) 400-3376.

Questions and Answers About Retinol

One common reason why people choose to undergo cosmetic dermatology procedures is to obtain younger-looking skin. In addition to anti-aging procedures, your dermatologist can provide you with products that help promote better-looking skin, many of which contain retinol. Read on for the answers to some common questions about this anti-aging skin care ingredient.

What is retinol?

Many skin care products are formulated using derivatives of vitamin A, called retinoids. Retinol is a pure, highly effective type of retinoid.

What are the benefits of retinol?

When applied to the skin, retinol may help reduce the appearance of fine lines, improve skin tone, and minimize roughness.

How does retinol work?

Retinol helps improve and normalize the appearance of skin in a number of ways—for example, by hindering the breakdown of collagen and encouraging new skin cell growth. Also, retinol can improve skin tone by reducing melanin production and causing older skin cells on the surface of the skin to slough off.

What is the difference between prescription and over-the-counter retinol products?

The skin care products made with retinol or retinoids that you can get a prescription for from your dermatologist are often more potent than retinol-containing products that you can purchase over-the-counter.

What skin issues can retinol address?

Retinol is a common ingredient in anti-aging treatments because it can boost collagen production, reduce the appearance of small wrinkles and age spots, and enhance skin texture. Retinol may also help improve the appearance of pores, thicken the skin, and improve overall skin quality.

Does retinol have any side effects?

Retinol can sometimes cause skin redness and irritation. Also, this skin care ingredient may increase skin sensitivity and the skin's vulnerability to sunburn. Speak with your dermatologist to learn more about the potential side effects of retinol and if products containing this ingredient may be right for you.

Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery offers a selection of cosmetic dermatology products and treatments designed to promote youthful-looking skin. To schedule your visit with one of our dermatologists, please call (866) 400-3376.

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