Are you concerned that a new or changing spot or mole may be cancerous? Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach of North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL, discusses skin cancer types and symptoms.
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, with more than four million cases diagnosed annually, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. The symptoms of this type of skin cancer may not seem very alarming at first. In fact, these types of cancers can look like red pimples. Although pimples usually disappear in about two weeks, the rounded bump remains on your skin if you have basal cell carcinoma.
In addition to pimples, basal cell carcinoma may also appear as an open sore or a pink, red, brown, black or brown spot on your skin. Basal cell carcinoma usually develops on areas of your body that have been exposed to the sun, such as the arms, chest, legs and face. Although the cancer doesn't usually spread, it can invade underlying bones and tissues if it isn't treated promptly.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Exposure to the sun or tanning beds also increases your risk of squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. If you have squamous cell carcinoma, you may notice a firm, red bump on your skin or a patch of red skin that looks flaky or crusty. In some cases, flaky patches can turn into open sores. Cancer can also affect underlying tissues if it isn't diagnosed and treated soon after you notice a change in your skin.
Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, can spread to other areas of your body without prompt treatment. Cancer can change the appearance of a mole or spur the formation of new moles. Warning signs include:
- Border Changes: Borders that look blurred, rough or irregular are a cause for concern.
- Odd Shapes: Melanoma may change the shape of a normally round mole.
- Size: Moles that are larger than a pencil eraser are more likely to become cancerous.
- Unusual Changes: Itching, pain, bleeding, oozing, texture changes or bleeding around a mole are warning signs.
How is skin cancer treated in Chicago?
Treatment of skin cancer involves removing the cancerous growth and any underlying tissues that have been affected by cancer. Although the type of treatment you'll need will depend on the type of cancer and the severity, many patients benefit from skin-sparing Mohs surgery. The surgical procedure uses a layer-by-layer approach to preserve a larger percentage of healthy skin.
Are you concerned about a suspicious spot or mole? Call Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach of North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL, at (773) 763-6000 to schedule an appointment.
Your skin is one of the first things that people notice, so when there's a problem it is almost impossible to hide. A rash is a skin condition that can be particularly annoying, difficult, and embarrassing to manage on a day to day basis. It’s even more distressing when the rash doesn’t go away for a long period of time. There are different types of rashes that can affect your skin—learn about them and seek help for your particular rash at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL.
What Are Skin Rashes?
A rash is some type of inflammation of the skin. It can cause the skin to become red, irritated, flaky, itchy, and sometimes painful. A bad rash can leave a mark or scar on the skin after it clears up. Rashes can show up anywhere on the skin, but are most common on the face or limbs (arms and legs). Some rashes develop spontaneously, while others are triggered by environmental factors.
What Causes Them?
Here are some of the reasons why rashes can develop and spread:
- An allergy to a specific food (like nuts).
- An allergy to a chemical or detergent.
- A bug bite that becomes infected or irritated.
- A condition that has been present since birth or that runs in the family.
Types of Rashes
Here are some of the most common rashes that the dermatologists at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL treat:
- Contact dermatitis (flare-ups from contact with an allergen).
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema, which often affects young children).
- Chronic skin issues like acne, psoriasis, or rosacea.
- Rashes from fungal infections (like ringworm and yeast infections that develop on the skin).
- Rashes due to bacterial infections like staph infections and impetigo.
- Viral skin infections like shingles.
Get Help with Your Rash
Once you identify the exact cause of your rash, you and your dermatologist can treat it properly. Call North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL at (773) 763-6000 today to set a date and time for a skin examination with Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach.
You may have earned your fine lines and wrinkles, but that doesn't mean you have to keep them. Botox injections can help you look more youthful and rested. Our Chicago, IL, dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach of North Branch Dermatology, explains how Botox can improve your appearance.
What do Botox injections do?
Years of frowning, smiling or making other facial expressions eventually results in fine lines and wrinkles. Botox injections minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles by targeting the muscles under your skin. After you receive the injections, the muscles are temporarily paralyzed and can no longer contract. As a result, the skin relaxes and becomes smoother.
Are Botox injections the right choice for me?
Most people can benefit from Botox injections. Botox offers an effective, non-surgical way to treat lines and wrinkles if you're in good health and have shallow facial lines and wrinkles. The treatments can help you look younger if you have:
- The Dreaded Elevens: Do you have two vertical lines between your eyes that deepen you frown or focus on something intently? These parallel lines, which look the number eleven, can make you appear tired or even grumpy. Injecting Botox into the area smooths the lines and gives your appearance a subtle boost.
- Horizontal Forehead Lines: Horizontal lines on your forehead also form as result of making facial expressions. If you're not happy with the appearance of your forehead, Botox injections provide a simple way to smooth out those furrows.
- Crow's Feet: These tiny lines radiate from the corners of your eyes and tend to become more noticeable when you smile. Reducing them is a simple as visiting our Chicago office for a Botox treatment.
- Lines That Extend from the Nose to Mouth: The nasolabial lines on either side of your mouth become more pronounced over the years, which can make you look older. Smoothing them with Botox injections refreshes your appearance.
Are results immediate?
It generally takes about two to four days to see results from your treatment. Botox effects can last three or more months. Scheduling regular follow up visits will help you maintain your results.
Would you like to enhance your appearance with Botox. Call our Chicago, IL, dermatologist, Dr. Fahrenbach of North Branch Dermatology, at (773) 763-6000 to schedule your appointment.
Find out what to be on the lookout for when it comes to change in your skin.
Skin cancer can happen to anyone. If you are someone who has had bad sunburns in the past, if you have a family history of skin cancer or if you have a lot of freckles then you may be concerned about the health of your skin. Our Chicago dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach, is here to tell you what you should be looking out for when it comes to suspicious moles and how to protect your skin.
Here’s what should tip you off that something is wrong with a mole and that you need to visit our Chicago skin doctor right away:
- A mole that bleeds or is red and irritated
- Moles that are larger than a pencil eraser
- Moles that do not have clear, defined borders
- Moles that contain multiple colors
- Moles that are painful or itchy
One of the best rules of thumb for detecting skin cancer is to look at your moles and perform a thorough evaluation. You should do this at least once a month to make sure that if there are any changes that you are able to catch them right away and get the issue checked out before it becomes serious. And, if all else fails, remember your ABCDs…
- A: Asymmetry—Healthy moles will be completely even and symmetrical on all sides
- B: Border—Healthy moles will have a clearly defined and even border
- C: Color—Healthy moles won’t change colors or contain more than one color
- D: Diameter—Healthy moles tend to be rather small while melanoma is often much larger
- E: Elevated—Healthy moles aren’t typically raised
How to Protect Your Skin
One of the best things you can do to protect the health of your skin is to apply sunscreen every day about 20 minutes before going outside. Opt for a sunscreen that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 15 or higher. Make sure that you reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. If you aren’t sure which kind of sunscreen is right for you or you have questions about how to properly apply it then don’t hesitate to ask us. We are here to protect your skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.
If you noticing any changes in your skin that have you concerned then it’s time you turned to North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL to get a full skin cancer evaluation. Don’t ignore the health of your skin. This simple evaluation could just end up saving your life.
A rash is an embarrassing and vexing skin problem that doesn’t always go away on its own. It can happen due to flare-ups related to medical conditions or exposure to certain irritants. If you have a problem with chronic skin rashes, your dermatologist at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach, may recommend a number of treatments to help ease the symptoms.
What Causes Skin Rashes?
A skin rash is an irritation or inflammation of the skin that makes your skin turn red and itchy. Sometimes a rash causes bumps, blisters or ulcers to form on the skin. There are a number of reasons why a rash may develop, which you should talk about with your dermatologist. Eczema and psoriasis are skin diseases that often causes these rashes. Skin allergies are also a culprit—many people are unknowingly allergic to detergents, chemicals and certain plants. Bug bites can also cause rashes to form on the skin. In rare cases, a patient’s rash may be due to a staph infection or a similar bacterial disease.
Treatments for Rashes
The ideal treatment for rashes is a topical ointment that helps relieves the inflammation, redness and itching. Your Chicago dermatologist will prescribe one of the following:
- Hydrocortisone cream (for eczema, dermatitis and similar conditions).
- Clotrimazole, fluconazole or a similar anti-fungal (for rashes related to yeast infections).
- Chlorhexidine, bacitracin or a steroid cream for poison ivy and similar allergic reactions.
- Antibiotic cream or oral medication for bacterial infections.
- Antihistamine medicine for allergic skin reactions.
Rash Prevention Advice
Though it may not be able to prevent every rash, here are a few tips for how to minimize the occurrences:
- See your doctor to identify any allergies that may be behind the appearance of rashes (skin irritants or food allergies) and make lifestyle adjustments as needed.
- Wear sunscreen and bug repellent when exploring outdoors. Avoid touching plants.
- Keep your skin clean and moisturized with a non-irritating lotion.
- Keep your environment (especially places where you sit and sleep) clean and sanitized as much as possible.
Get Help from a Dermatologist
There are some rash cases that can only be treated by a qualified dermatologist. That’s just what you’ll find when you visit North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL. Call 773-763-6000 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach.
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