Do you have a new mole or a long-standing one that suddenly looks different or acts oddly? If so, contact Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach of North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL, for a mole check, for changes in moles may indicate cancer—even deadly malignant melanoma.
What is a mole?
A mole is a slightly raised round or oval area of hyperpigmentation on the skin. While people may acquire moles in their later years, most moles appear by early adulthood, fade over time, or stay unchanged for a lifetime. Although moles can initially appear in clusters, healthy moles do not spread beyond their well-defined borders or multiply in number.
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the most frequently occurring cancer in the United States, reports Healthline. It typically falls into three categories: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.
Sadly, malignant melanoma is deadly when undetected until later stages. Moles can evolve into melanoma, and melanoma can easily be mistaken for a healthy mole. That's why Dr. Fahrenbach recommends people over the age of 40 get yearly skin exams in her Chicago office, including checks of moles.
Your skin doctor in Chicago also advises monthly exams at home, too. Inspect all areas of your skin, including scalp, back and between the toes, looking for areas of change. Enlist the help of a family member for more hidden parts of the body.
To check moles, employ this mnemonic for cancer:
- A is for asymmetry. If you bisect a mole, each side should be equal in size and shape.
- B is for border. A healthy mole has a smooth border with no scallops or notches.
- C means color. Most benign moles are brown to black. Some are even pink or tan. A cancerous mole has variegated color, or the color may change over time.
- D stands for diameter. Benign moles are no larger than a pencil eraser.
- E means evolution. Moles should not grow in size, shape, color, or texture. A mole which begins to itch or bleed must be checked immediately. The American Cancer Society says if a mole begins to look different from other moles you have, see your dermatologist.
Be safe: get your mole checked
Know your skin. If you question the health of a mole or any other area, contact North Branch Dermatology in Chicago for a mole check. Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach and her team will help you and your skin stay healthy. Contact the office for an appointment: (773) 763-6000.
Skin rashes can be alarming, confusing, and extremely annoying. At North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL, your skin doctor, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach, often sees and treats rashes. She will help you sort through your symptoms and get you much-needed relief.
Rashes and other symptoms
Frequently, skin rashes and other symptoms go hand in hand. You may notice reddened skin bumps, raised hives, scaling, oozing, discoloration, itching, and other problems. Their onset may be gradual or sudden, and they may resolve quickly or recur periodically for weeks.
Rashes and what to do about them
The American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology recommends a dermatological examination for rashes which come on suddenly and/or are accompanied by fever, oozing, bleeding, pus or other signs of infection. In her Chicago office, Dr. Fahrenbach will compose a treatment plan based on your rash and other symptoms, your past medical history and whatever is precipitating your rash.
Some rashes are simple allergic reactions to substances in the environment. For instance, contact dermatitis, with its red, raised bumps, often starts with contact with a new laundry soap, family pet or fabric. Other rashes occur due to food ingestion, insect stings, medications, metal, latex, or plants.
Still more rashes originate in auto-immune issues--that is, the body simply breaks out in scales and flakes or other skin eruptions. Psoriasis is a prime example of a rash which remains chronic in nature--that is, coming and going, escalating and subsiding, and never truly resolving.
Finally, rashes occur with acute infection. Athlete's foot, a fungal-based condition of the skin on the feet, causes redness, blistering, and intense itching. Yeast infections thrive in moist, dark places on the skin, such as under the breasts.
Common rash treatments
Some are topical treatments, and others are systemic. For instance, if your rash arises from an infection such as scarlet fever or shingles, Dr. Fahrenbach likely will choose a systemic medication. Rashes coming from allergies may need antihistamines or topical corticosteroids. Eczema may respond well to ultralight therapy or moisturizing creams. Your dermatologist's expertise will guide you on a path to overall wellness and skin which is rash-free, better looking, and has fewer scarring issues.
Love your skin
At North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach and her team treat a wide variety aesthetic and medical dermatology services. Don't hesitate to call the office for a consultation on your rash. We are open Monday through Friday. Phone (773) 763-6000.
How your dermatologist in Chicago, IL, can help if you have skin cancer
If you are someone that spends a lot of time outside, it’s only natural to worry about skin cancer. Here at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL, Dr. Elizabeth N. Fahrenbach offers several effective ways to treat skin cancer and help protect your health.
Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic:
What types of skin cancer are there?
The most common types of skin cancer include squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, both of which are easily treatable. Malignant melanoma is another type of skin cancer, although unlike the others, it can end up being fatal. Fortunately, it is less common.
Who is most at risk for skin cancer?
In general, people with fair skin and blue eyes are more at risk for skin cancer. Additionally, those who spend extended periods of time outdoors or have already had bouts of skin cancer, are at an increased risk of developing the condition
How can I protect myself against skin cancer?
Wearing sunscreen daily is the best way to prevent skin cancer. You should wear an SPF of at least 15 every day, and SPF 30 if you spend a lot of time outdoors. You should also try to stay out of direct sunlight between 10 AM and 4 PM, which is when the ultraviolet rays are the most damaging. Another important way to protect yourself is to check your skin for moles and abnormal areas of skin.
What should I look for when I examine my skin?
You should look for moles that have:
- A diameter greater than 6 millimeters
- An irregular, poorly-defined shape
- Ragged, uneven borders or look asymmetrical
- Bleeding, oozing, or open sores
- Regrown after previous removal
Concerned? Give us a call
To learn more about skin cancer and effective treatments including cryosurgery, excision, Mohs micrographic surgery, and other state-of-the-art treatments, call Dr. Elizabeth N. Fahrenbach at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL, today—our number is (773) 763-6000.
How Botox treatment from your dermatologist in Chicago, IL, can help you look your best
If your face is beginning to show the fine lines and wrinkles common with getting older, it’s time to fight it! You can look younger and better, and the answer is Botox! It’s one of the most popular anti-aging treatments available, and it can rejuvenate your face too! Dr. Elizabeth N. Fahrenbach at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL, offers a wide variety of anti-aging skin treatments, including Botox, to help you look your best.
Fine lines and wrinkles are a common sign of aging skin. As you get older, your skin loses elasticity and moisture. When you laugh, frown, or show other emotions, your skin doesn’t “snap back” the way it did when you were younger. Instead, fine lines and wrinkles begin to form.
Some common problem areas are:
- Crow’s feet, the little lines at the corners of your eyes
- Furrows, the deep lines across your forehead
- Glabella, the lines between your eyebrows
- Marionette lines, the lines coming down at the corners of your mouth
Botox is an injectable material derived from the Botulinum bacteria. It works by temporarily freezing the muscles and nerves around the injection site. After a Botox treatment, your skin looks smooth, rejuvenated, refreshed, and younger! It’s proven safe and effective to give you back your youthful face!
Botox treatments are tolerated well, and you can also ask for numbing spray or cream beforehand if you wish. The amount of injections you need will vary depending on the area being treated. You will notice great results within 2 to 4 days, and you may require maintenance treatments to look your best.
You don’t need to look your age. You can fight lines and wrinkles with Botox! To find out more about this remarkable treatment and other skincare and anti-aging treatments, call Dr. Elizabeth N. Fahrenbach at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL. Call now and look younger and better than ever with Botox!
Find out the best way to manage your acne symptoms and how a dermatologist can help.
If you’ve been struggling to get your acne under control, you may be feeling rather defeated by the whole process. You’ve likely tried a variety of over-the-counter medications but nothing seems to help! Well, don't fret—our Chicago, IL, dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach, is here to help you find out what might be to blame for your acne! Read on to learn more about this skin condition and when it's the right time to visit our office for treatment.
What causes acne?
There are four main factors that can contribute to the formation of acne:
- Clogged hair follicles (due to oil or dead skin cells)
- Excess hormone activity
- Excess oil production
Acne can appear anyone on the body but it most commonly appears on the face, chest, back, or shoulders where oil glands are present.
What are the different types of acne?
Acne can rear its ugly head in many forms and severities. Common types of acne include,
- Whiteheads (the result of clogged pores)
- Blackheads (the result of clogged pores)
- Papules (red bump)
- Pustules (simply referred to as pimples)
- Painful nodules
- Painful cystic lesions
When should I see a dermatologist?
If you have tried a variety of acne treatments and feel like your symptoms aren’t improving, then it’s time to talk to our Chicago skin doctor to find a more effective treatment method. You should also schedule an evaluation if your acne is severe, painful, or affecting your quality of life in general.
How can a dermatologist help me?
First and foremost, we need to figure out what is causing your acne. As we've established, there are four main factors in acne presence, and determining what’s causing your symptoms will help create a more effective treatment plan. For example, those who are dealing with hormone-related acne often respond well to taking certain oral contraceptives/birth control pills that are FDA-approved to treat hormonal acne. Conversely, those dealing with whiteheads and blackheads due to clogged pores may respond well to regular facials to exfoliate the skin/remove dead skin cells, laser treatments to kill acne bacteria, or chemical peels.
We are happy to sit down with you at any time to determine the best course of action for managing your acne!
Give us a call!
If you feel like you are losing the battle against your acne symptoms, then it’s time to turn to the skincare experts at North Branch Dermatology. Call our Chicago office at (773) 763-6000 today!
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