If you or a loved one has just been diagnosed with skin cancer, we know that you have questions about what to do next. This is why our dermatologists are always here to provide reliable support and guidance. From the office of our Northeast Philadelphia dermatologists, Dr. Deirdre Wood and Dr. Jennifer LaRusso, read on to learn more about skin cancer and your treatment options.
What are the most common forms of skin cancer?
When most people think about skin cancer, they think about melanoma; however, melanoma isn’t the only type of skin cancer. Two of the most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). BCC typically develops on sun-exposed areas of the skin, while SCC occurs more as a result of lifelong exposure to the sun.
What are the warning signs of skin cancer?
It’s important that you perform a monthly self-exam on your skin to check for any changes to preexisting moles and to look for new ones. Symptoms may vary depending on the type of skin cancer you have.
- A basal cell carcinoma may look more like a shiny or waxy pimple or a sore that won’t go away. Sometimes these areas may also look pale or scar-like.
- Squamous cell carcinoma often present as red, crusty lumps or growths.
- Melanoma is a dark mole that changes in shape, symmetry, color or size. Moles that become painful, itch or bleed may also be melanoma.
How is skin cancer treated?
If our Philadelphia skin doctor has told you that you have non-melanoma skin cancer, you’ll be happy to hear that this variety is highly treatable when caught early. When it comes to treating skin cancer, the goal is to remove the cancerous growth and tissue, which is why surgery is typically the first line of treatment.
The most common type of surgical treatment for skin cancer is Mohs surgery, for this method preserves as much healthy tissue as possible while removing the cancerous growth. Although this method takes longer than other surgeries, it offers the highest cure rates and it’s the most conservative option.
Standard excisions may also be used on small non-melanoma skin cancers, as well as some melanoma growths found on the body. Another procedure known as curettage and electrodessication may also be used to treat basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in their very early stages.
With more advanced skin cancer cases, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation may be necessary when surgery just isn’t enough to effectively treat the cancer.
Give us a call
Whether you want to talk about your skin cancer treatment options or you have questions about any of the other dermatology services we provide here at our Northeast Philadelphia office, don’t hesitate to call Boulevard Dermatology today at (267) 731-1333.
If you've ever had a severe sunburn or spent hours on the beach or in a tanning bed, you may be at risk of developing skin cancer. Hopefully, you'll never develop cancer, but if you do, Dr. Deirdre Wood and Dr. Jennifer LaRusso in Northeast Philadelphia, PA offer several effective skin cancer treatments that can help you safeguard your health.
Treatments for basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas
Many of the same skin cancer treatments are used for both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. They include:
- Topical Medication: The medication is applied to your skin every day for about six weeks and may be recommended if the cancer is limited to the outer layers of your skin. Applying the medication regularly prompts your body to produce a natural chemical that targets and kills cancer cells.
- Cryosurgery: Freezing cancerous skin cells offers a simple way to remove skin cancer in the top layers of skin.
- Curettage and Electrodesiccation: During this surgery, your dermatologist scrapes away cancerous cells, then uses a mild electrical current to stop bleeding from the wound.
- Excisional Surgery: Using a scalpel, your dermatologist removes the cancerous cells, along with a margin of healthy cells.
- Mohs Surgery: During Mohs surgery, your Northeast Philadelphia dermatologist removes skin one layer at a time, then examines each layer under a microscope. When no cancerous cells remain, surgery stops. Mohs surgery reduces scarring and speeds healing time.
Skin doctors use wide excision surgery to remove the tumor and a layer of skin cells surrounding it with a scalpel. Lymph nodes are biopsied to determine if cancer has spread to the nodes. After the surgery, skin grafts may be needed to repair the area treated, depending on the size of the tumor. Mohs surgery can also be used in some situations.
Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapies may be recommended after wide excision or Mohs surgery, but those therapies aren't the only way to kill cancer cells or prevent cancer from spreading. Targeted therapy uses drugs that only attack cancerous cells and don't harm healthy cells, while immunotherapy triggers your body's immune system to find and attack cancer cells.
Are you concerned about a mole or suspicious spot? Dr. Deirdre Wood and Dr. Jennifer LaRusso, Boulevard Dermatology serving Northeast Philadelphia, PA, offer skin cancer exams and a variety of skin cancer treatments. Call them at (267) 731-1333 to schedule your appointment.
Are you sporting a tattoo that you wish never happened? At Boulevard Dermatology in Northeast Philadelphia, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Deirdre Wood, offers safe and effective tattoo removal with the PicoSure laser system. Performed in multiple short treatments over several weeks, this innovative way to remove tattoos produces remarkable results.
In the past, doctors and aestheticians have struggled to remove their patients' unwanted tattoos. Certain ink colors (blue and green) are particularly stubborn, and scarring often resulted.
As with any medical issue, treatment by a fully-qualified physician avoids needless complications such as infection, burns, scars and variations in skin texture. In other words, says the American Academy of Dermatology, tattoo removal is best performed by the professionals.
Enter modern tattoo removal through state-of-the-art laser treatments. Your Northeast Philadelphia dermatologist uses the inventive PicoSure laser. This instrument delivers intense, focused beams of light directly under the skin where tattoo ink resides. The light breaks up the ink into tiny particles which the body itself can eliminate naturally.
Several ten-minute treatments produce amazing--and permanent--results. Patients experience only a mild heat sensation and then return to their daily activities right away. The laser works well on all tattoo colors and on most sites on the body, including the abdomen, upper and lower arms, legs and more.
Besides removing typical tattoos, FDA-cleared the PicoSure laser system also eliminates permanent make-up (such as lip liner). Dr.Wood will perform a skin examination and review your medical history before recommending any laser procedure.
Finally, PicoSure is effective on all skin types. It also treats areas of hyperpigmentation from sun exposure, facial wrinkles and stubborn acne scars. Smooth, evenly pigmented skin is the result.
Come see us
Enjoy clearer, tattoo-free skin from your friends at Boulevard Dermatology in Northeast Philadelphia. Call today for an individualized skin consultation with our professional team. We look forward to helping you meet your aesthetic goals. Phone (267) 731-1333.
5 Cosmetic Procedures That Will Banish Wrinkles
As people age, the natural production of elastin and collagen diminishes, which leads to wrinkles on the skin. Wrinkles are also caused by tobacco use, poor hydration, sun damage, and other factors. Led by Dr. Deirdre Wood and Dr. Jennifer LaRusso, Boulevard Dermatology (located in Philadelphia, PA) offers state-of-the-art skin procedures for the patients they serve. Read on to learn about 5 cosmetic procedures that will banish your wrinkles for good.
1. Chemical peels. If you want to improve your appearance without surgery, chemical peels could be the secret to getting that youthful look. There are a variety of chemical peels available in different strengths. Glycolic acid, lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, or carbonic acids are used, sometimes in varying combinations. Chemical peels improve appearance by using a chemical solution to remove the upper layer of skin. The new replacement skin is less wrinkled in appearance.
2. Microneedling. Microneedling is a treatment that involves repeatedly puncturing the skin with tiny needles. It's also called collagen induction therapy (CIT) and skin needling. Microneedling is used to treat and improve conditions like acne scarring, wrinkles, loose skin, skin texture, brown spots, pore size, pigment issues, and stretch marks. Microneedling stimulates the growth of elastin and collagen, which is the key to new, youthful-looking skin.
3. Microderm. Microdermabrasion, also called Microderm, is an effective means of removing fine lines and wrinkles while giving your face a refreshed, vital look. Microderm uses diamond tips or crystals to exfoliate and remove the superficial layer of dead skin cells. It stimulates the production of collagen, which smoothes out wrinkles. The procedure is painless and non-invasive.
4. BOTOX. BOTOX can improve your appearance and make you look years younger. BOTOX is a medication that is injected into the muscles to improve the appearance of wrinkles, crow's feet, and facial creases. It also removes lines on the forehead, around the mouth, and between the eyebrows. BOTOX injections work by blocking nerves and weakening or paralyzing certain muscles in the body. BOTOX is a minimally invasive treatment that delivers dramatic results.
5. Dermal fillers. Dermal fillers, like Juvederm, Sculptra, and Restylane eliminate wrinkles and fine lines by injecting hyaluronic acid into the face, adding structure and plumpness to the skin. Dermal fillers reduce the appearance of wrinkles by replacing lost collagen due to skin damage or aging. Most fillers will fill hollows, fine lines, and wrinkles in less than 30 minutes, with results that can last from four months to one year.
Kiss those wrinkles goodbye! Call Boulevard Dermatology at 267-731-1333 today to schedule a consultation in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Deidre Wood and Dr. Jennifer LaRusso are available by appointment. Our wrinkle treatments have helped thousands of people enhance their appearance, boosting their confidence and improving their lives. And they will do the same for you. We want you to live your best life!
How your dermatologist in Northeast Philadelphia, PA, can help you have beautiful, clear skin
Psoriasis is a genetic autoimmune disease during which your body causes you to make skin cells abnormally fast, leading to rough, scaly patches on your skin. Psoriasis can be itchy, unpleasant, and unsightly causing the red, scaly patches on your scalp, elbows, knees, and other areas of your body. Certain triggers can make psoriasis worse.
Fortunately, there are effective treatments to get relief and help clear up psoriasis break-outs. Dr. Deirdre Wood at Boulevard Dermatology in Northeast Philadelphia, PA, offers treatments to help give you the clear, beautiful skin you deserve.
Treatment for psoriasis varies, depending on how much of your body is affected. For mild psoriasis, it means that less than 3% of your body is affected. Mild psoriasis treatment from your dermatologist typically includes:
- Over-the-counter or prescription moisturizing creams, shampoos, or bath treatments
- Topical steroid medications to reduce itch and slow skin cell growth
- Light or laser therapy to help eliminate psoriasis patches
You have moderate psoriasis if between 3% and 10% of your body is affected, and severe psoriasis if over 10% of your body is affected. For moderate to severe psoriasis, you need more than just over-the-counter treatments. Professional treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis typically includes:
- Prescription strength oral medications including cyclosporine and methotrexate, which lower production of skin cells and reduce inflammation
- Biologic drugs which help to suppress the immune system; these are reserved for the most severe cases of psoriasis.
- Light therapy using natural sunlight, lasers, or phototherapy to help eliminate psoriasis patches
The itching and burning pain of psoriasis can be uncomfortable, but you don’t have to deal with it alone. Your dermatologist wants to partner with you to achieve the clear, beautiful skin you deserve. Get some help for psoriasis by calling Dr. Deirdre Wood at Boulevard Dermatology in Northeast Philadelphia, PA. Get back to clear skin by calling today!
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.