Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Teal Pumpkin Project

Having a child with food allergies can be hard to manage on a daily basis, but can be even harder to cope with come holiday time. With so many treats and goodies at every corner, it would be hard for any child not to want to indulge.  There is a way to make a difference though.  This Halloween season you can take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project.  The Food Allergy Research &Education organization (FARE) is asking families to paint a pumpkin teal as a sign for food allergy families that you have nonfood treats for children.  This can include stickers, glow bracelets, bookmarks, and crayons.  Get creative.

 If you suspect that your child may suffer from food allergies, testing is very simple.  At Florida Skin Center, we can test for a variety of food allergies.  Testing can we done on children older than 2 years of age and results are given within 20 minutes.  Allergy testing is covered under most insurance plans.

Have a safe and spooky Halloween!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Injectables Workshop

Are you interested in treatments that will smooth out wrinkles and provide a natural, youthful look? Are you curious about Botox or Juvederm, but are wary of what the procedure entails? Do you have questions about these injectables? Do you want to see in person what the procedures are like? If so, come join us for our Botox & Fillers Workshop on Thursday, October 27th from 6-8 PM in our Fort Myers location.

The treatments will be explained and demonstrated by our experienced providers on models. This is a great opportunity to have any questions answered. We will also be offering special discounts for attending the workshop: 

    • Purchase 1 vial of Juvederm, receive 1 zone of Botox free*
    • 15% off all products purchased at the workshop*
* Juvederm must be purchased the day of the workshop in order to qualify for the free Botox. Zones of Botox are limited to the forehead, glabella, periocular, upper lip, chest, and neck.
* Procedures purchased during the event must be done by 12/31/16. Promotions and discounts only available to workshop attendees. 15% product discount not applicable to packages.

Please call our office at 239-561-3376 to RSVP for this event. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Importance of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are key tools in medicine - they help advance medical knowledge and patient care. Clinical trials help determine what works and what doesn't work, and help guide allocation of resources into researching what does work. Besides aiding in furthering medical knowledge, participants in clinical trials may gain access to novel treatments before they are widely available.

Clinical trials are led by a principal investigator, who is usually a physician. A principal investigator is often someone with many years of experience and expertise in the subjects being researched. This is beneficial in ensuring that the investigation is valid, with appropriate subjects being recruited for the study, and study protocols being met and followed.

Here at Florida Skin Center, we are active participators in clinical trials. We believe that they are vital in helping discover information regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases or conditions. They are another way we strive to provide you with the best dermatological care.

If you are interested in becoming a participant in one of our clinical trials, please visit these websites: Florida Skin Center or Clinical Study Center.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Ideal Skin Cancer Screening

Why should we have skin cancer screenings?
The statistics for skin cancer are daunting, and speak to the importance of regular skin cancer screenings. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Melanoma rates in the United States have doubled in the past 20 years. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, has a good prognosis if detected early. However, this type of skin cancer can spread quickly to other parts of the body, making it deadly. Quite often, there are no symptoms, and patients are not even aware of the cancerous growth until it is too late. The 5-year survival rate for melanoma that has been detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98%. However, when melanoma is detected in the later stages, the prognosis can be grim. The 5-year survival rate for regional and distant stage melanomas drops to 63% and 17%, respectively. On average, one American dies from melanoma every hour. The most common skin cancers, basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, are highly curable if detected early. These types of skin cancers are usually not life-threatening, but can invade deeper tissues and cause scarring.

If you have no personal or family history of skin cancer, no personal history of dysplastic nevi (abnormal moles) or actinic keratoses (pre-cancers), a skin cancer screening by a qualified dermatology medical professional is recommended yearly. If you have a history of any of the above, a skin cancer screening is recommended more frequently - at least every 6 months. Self-skin-checks at home are recommended monthly, regardless. You should also have an eye exam yearly by an ophthalmologist, as melanoma can also occur in the eye.

Preparing for your skin cancer screening
Do your self-skin-check at home and make note of any new or changing moles, growths, or marks. Make sure to point these out to your healthcare provider at the visit.

Wear clothing that is easy to remove. Try not to wear makeup or anything that can make it more difficult to evaluate the skin. Remove nail polish from the fingernails and toenails. Melanoma can occur under the nails, so these areas should not be overlooked.

The skin cancer screening
At the office, you will be given a gown and asked to undress. Ideally, all clothing, including underwear, should be removed, as well as shoes, makeup and jewelry. All parts of the body will be examined, from head to toe. Your healthcare provider will most likely use a dermascope to aid in examining lesions that need special attention. The dermascope has a magnifying lens and light so that your provider can see pigment patterns and characteristics of the lesion that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Some characteristics of moles that your provider will be evaluating can be summarized in the ABCDEs of melanoma, which is also a good guideline for your self-skin-exams at home.

A     A is for asymmetry - if one half of the mole does not match the other half.
B     B is for borders - if the border is irregular.
C     C is for color - if the color is not uniform, or if the color is very dark.
D     D is for diameter - if the size of the lesion is greater than 6mm (pencil eraser).
E     E is for evolution - if the lesion is changing, especially suddenly.

Other types of lesions that your healthcare provider will be looking for include red or pink growths or patches that can be scaly or bleeding. A growth or patch that started off looking like a pimple or injury but has not healed in the normal expected time is worth testing, to rule out basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Sun protection and sun avoidance can help minimize your risk of skin cancers. It is important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 daily, on sun-exposed areas. It is also important to reapply sunscreen every 1-2 hours. Regular skin cancer screenings by a trained dermatology provider are important to ensure that skin cancers are not overlooked and are treated in a timely fashion should they arise.