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What Skin Cancer Looks Like

What Skin Cancer Looks Like

Do You Know What Skin Cancer Looks Like?

Properly identifying marks or growths on your skin is one of the best ways to detect cancer early. Most skin cancer are treatable and often can be cured. If you can catch them in their beginning stages, your dermatologist can formally evaluate.  Knowing what to look for is the key to addressing the cancer quickly. Skin cancer affects millions of people in the United States, particularly those 65 and older who are fair-skinned.

What does skin cancer look like when it starts?

It takes on a variety of forms. It can be rough and scaly. It can be a raised growth with dark bumps. It can be a flat crusty patch of skin. If you notice a new growth or one that is changing, get it checked by a dermatologist.

Here are some tips for early skin cancer detection:

  • When examining the skin and notice your skin is changing in some way, make plans to see your dermatologist of make a Telehealth appointment.
  • Know that skin growths and cancers do not all look the same. In fact, the way they appear can look vastly different. When in doubt, get it checked out.
  • Look for new growths, marks, moles, and sores monthly. Be sure to check the scalp.
  • If your dermatologist has treated you for precancerous growths, know that you are in a higher risk category. Check your skin regularly and have a partner help with areas you cannot see or feel.
  • If you have a family member who has had skin cancer, you are likely at higher risk of developing it. Most skin cancer types are not hereditary. It does make sense that relatives have similar skin types. Therefore, examine your skin monthly.
cancerous mole photo - What Skin Cancer Looks Like

Atypical black mole photo with uneven border- possibly cancerous

melanoma mole photo - What Skin Cancer Looks Like

Close up photo of mole to be tested for skin cancer

 

Common Types of Skin Cancer

Actinic Keratosis: Precancer

These appear as small scaly patches on the skin and form as a result of prolonged sun exposure. While you will see many websites call these growths cancer, actinic keratosis lesions are actually precancerous skin growths. They can develop into squamous cell carcinoma if untreated. Patients that have actinic keratosis (k) have a greater risk of developing cancer and will likely see more AKs as time progresses.

They most often appear on the most commonly exposed areas of the body such as the head, neck or hands. Having a natural defense against the sun helps. Dark-skinned patients, who may identify as black, Hispanic, or Native American, tend to have fewer cases of cancer on the average. There is a scientific reason. Why is it that people with naturally darker skin don’t burn as easily? The answer is this: These darker-skinned people have melanin, which works diligently to absorb the sun’s harmful rays.

One type of actinic keratosis is known as a cutaneous horn that appears as a cone on the skin. It is made of keratin, a protein that is found in fingernails. Adults often see cutaneous horns later in life and are more likely in patients who have been exposed to the sun over time without protection. Squamous cell carcinoma is often present in this type of cancer and is located in the area where the growth connects to the skin.

Appearance

This precancer shows up as dry and flakey and may be red, light brown, white pink or flesh in color. You can sometimes feel these skin growths before you notice them visually as they are rough to the touch. In addition to the hands, neck and face (including ears), they can appear on the forearms, shoulders, or bottom lip (actinic cheilitis).

Treatment

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, 5-10% of these growths transition to squamous cell carcinoma. It is best not to risk foregoing treatment. These growths are good candidates for cryotherapy or cryosurgery. This procedure involves the use of extremely cold temperatures applied directly to the cells using a medical device or cotton swab. The surrounding cells also freeze. This procedure can be performed in your dermatologist’s office often immediately following a skin evaluation.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

This type of cancer is the one most people are familiar with and is the most common according to the American Cancer Society. These types of cancer are also called basal cell cancers and are found on the face or neck area. You may see the cancer appears on the ears or scalp.  This skin cancer along with many other types results from unprotected or insufficiently protected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.  For these cells to develop into cancer, it generally takes years of outdoor sun exposure.

Does tanning bed use decrease the risk of skin cancer compared to sun exposure?

The use of tanning beds can greatly increase risk of developing skin cancer after one session or more. They are considered just as harmful or even more harmful than exposure to the sun for the same period of time.

According to research performed by the American Academy of Dermatology, basal cell cancer risk rises 29% for those who have used a tanning bed or sun lamp. It is important to catch this cancer early and treat it before it grows deeper. The good news is that it usually is a slow growing cancer and tends not to spread to other body parts. It can deepen and penetrate tissue, nerves, or bone, causing additional damage.

Appearance

  • This skin cancer may be raised above the skin and have a pale flesh, pink, or reddish color to it.
  • Other raised types may have bumps on them that are dark blue, of dark brown or even black.
  • When the cancer lays flat across the skin, it can be crusty and seep fluid.

Treatment

Basal cell carcinoma has a high cure rate and is a good candidate for cryotherapy if identified early. In the early stages, the growth resembles more of a light pink or flesh-toned or dark mole that doesn’t heal. It may have shiny pink or red areas that are slightly dry and rough. Once the cancer progresses past the initial stage, your dermatologist will discuss other treatment options, including Mohs micrographic surgery.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

As noted in the precancer section above, squamous cell carcinoma develops from actinic keratosis. This cancer can progress through the skin into other areas by deepening. Just as with basal cell cancer, squamous cell can penetrate into nerves, tissue, and blood vessels and cause damage. This cancer is more likely to develop into deeper tissue than basal cell and may spread to other parts of the body, as well. An enlarged tumor may result. People with fair skin who have faced significant sun exposure and those who have used tanning beds are most often afflicted by this cancer. When fair skinned patients are exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays for long periods of time without proper protection (sunscreen with sufficient SPF and protective clothing) have an increased chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma. As a precursor to developing this skin cancer, patients may notice significant age spots and deep wrinkles, along with skin discoloration. Approximately 20 percent of all skin cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. These cancers show up on similar places on the skin as basal cell, including the face (including lips and ears) and neck areas and hands.  If you can think of any areas of your body that typically receive direct UV rays, that is where this cancer tends to appear. If you have a scar or consistently have sores on your skin, squamous cell carcinoma may form there.

Appearance

  • Warning signs include age spots from the sun and deep wrinkles.
  • It can appear as red dry patches on the skin.
  • It can appear as open sores that bleeds or becomes crusted.
  • It can look more like a wart that can become crusty and bleed.

Treatment

Various treatments exist for this cancer. Mohs surgery is a definite option.

Melanoma

Of all the skin cancers described so far, melanoma is the least common. It does spread and grow at a more rapid rate. This skin cancer has the greatest risk of harm and can be fatal. In fact, they are the cause of most of the deaths from skin cancer. It shows up as a change in the way a mole looks or is growing or a change in a pigmented section of the skin. Moles that are changing in appearance are a reason to visit your dermatologist. Young patients can develop melanoma. The causes are not known yet there is shown to be a higher risk with those who use tanning beds or are exposed to ultraviolet rays without protection. Early detection is the key to curing this cancer.

Appearance

  • It generally shows up on sun-exposed areas such as legs, back, arms, and face.
  • It can appear on unexposed areas of the body such as the palms or soles of the feet.
  • It usually shows up as an abnormal mole. This could be a mole that is large in diameter, changes in color, has irregular borders, keeps changing, or is asymmetrical in shape.

Treatment

Depending which stage the cancer is in will determine the optimal treatment method. Surgery is a commonly used treatment to remove the cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation may also be used.

Prevention

Some of the basics of prevention are to reduce sun exposure, or at a minimum, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. If you know you are going to be in the sun, purchase protective clothing if possible. Also avoid tanning bed, sun lamps, and tanning booths. While they may seem like a safe way to tan without sun exposure, the still expose you to damaging ultraviolet rays that can harm the DNA in your skin’s cells. Indoor tanning can also cause sunspots and wrinkles.

Top 5 Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer

  • Avoid the sun from 10:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. during the summer. These are the times when UV rays are generally most direct and harmful.
  • Wear broad or full-spectrum sunscreen on any exposed body areas.

Does sunscreen expire?
Yes, the effectiveness of sunscreen can decrease over time, especially if stored in extreme heat. Be sure your sunscreen is not expired.
When should I buy new sunscreen?
If it is three years old or older, get new sunscreen.
How much sunscreen should I apply in one use?
Use ample amounts of sunscreen on you and your child. As a general rule, use one ounce of sunscreen for one person per application. To help with a visual, it is the amount with which you could fill a shot glass. Do not use sunscreen powders or sprays as they have been shows to be harmful when inhaled. Go ahead and put the sunscreen on before going out to the pool or beach or picnic. That way you are protected before the sun hits you. Check with your dermatologist for the most effective sunscreen brands. Ingredients matter. If you need to also use insect repellent, buy a separate product for that. Do not combine the two. Try to avoid exposing an infant or newborn to the sun. Ask your skin doctor when it is safe to use sunscreen on a very young child and the best brands to buy once you are safe to start.

  • Wear sunglasses with UV-A and UV-B protection.
  • Protect as much of your skin as possible with protective clothing. Several clothing lines now make sun protective clothing and swimsuits. Ask your dermatologist office for details on whether to locate and purchase this clothing.
  • Buy a wide brimmed hat if you or your child is planning to be out in the sun for an extended time period.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours at a minimum when in the sun for lengthy periods, especially when swimming or spending time in the water. Ask your skin care professional or read the sunscreen label carefully for instructions.

The dermatologists at Sun Coast Skin Solutions are committed to performing full skin examinations, testing, and recommendations. Our dermatologists select the best available treatments for each patient, resulting in the best care and patient results. The focus of our practice is on the prevention and care of skin cancer. Suncoast Skin Solutions is Florida’s “Most Trusted” Dermatology. Each of our locations has a dermatologist on site to evaluate your skin and perform a full comprehensive exam. We take skin cancer seriously and emphasize to patients that early detection is the key to curing or controlling most skin cancers.

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Florida Dermatologist FAQ’s: Actinic Keratosis (AK) Treatment And Prevention

Early detection and prompt treatment can address almost all actinic keratoses (AKs) before they develop into skin cancer

In case a doctor suspects an AK to be a pre-cancer, they may take some tissue for a biopsy by shaving off a portion of the AK with a scalpel or scraping the lesion with a curette (a surgical tool that has a sharp ring-shaped tip). 

Additionally, the physician may use the curette to scrape off the base of the lesion. They will control the bleeding by applying trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or using an electrocautery needle. The patient will need local anesthesia for this procedure.

Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides safe and proven skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, and surrounding locations in Florida.

 

Treatment Options

Various treatment options are available to address actinic keratoses, depending on the age and medical condition of the patient as well as the nature of the growth. These treatment options include the following:

Surgical Procedures

  • Cryosurgery: The doctor applies liquid nitrogen to the actinic keratosis to freeze the tissue. After this, the lesion and adjacent frozen skin may blister or develop a crust and fall off. 
  • Curettage and desiccation: The doctor will shave off or scrape a part of the entire lesion. Then they will apply a chemical agent or heat to stop the bleeding and potentially remove any residual AK cells.
  • Laser surgery: The doctor will utilize a strong light to vaporize the tissue of the AK. 

Topical Treatments

The doctor may prescribe a topical cream, gel, or solution for patients with numerous or widespread actinic keratoses. These can treat both visible and invisible lesions with minimal risk of scarring. This treatment is also called “field therapy” as the topical treatments can address a wide field of skin compared to targeting a single lesion. 

  • 5-fluorouracil (Carac, Efudex, Fluoroplex): A form of topical chemotherapy
  • Chemical peel: These peels are known for reversing signs of photoaging. But chemical peels can also eliminate some superficial AKs on the face, particularly when other techniques have not been effective. This procedure involves the application of trichloroacetic acid and/or similar agents to the face, which causes the superficial layers of skin to slough off. 
  • Diclofenac (Solaraze) and hyaluronic acid: A combination topical therapy.
  • Imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara): This form of topical immunotherapy encourages the immune system to produce interferon, which is a chemical that combats cancerous and precancerous cells.
  • Ingenol mebutate (Picato): This is a fast-acting topical treatment developed from plants. An immunologic mechanism of action has been proposed.

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is very effective on widespread lesions on the face and scalp. This dermatology procedure involves the application of a light-sensitizing topical agent to the lesion. After this, the doctor will use a strong light to activate the topical agent. This helps in the removal of actinic keratoses without any damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. 

Combination Therapy

The treatment of AKs may involve the use of combined treatments for a span of time. The topical medications and PDT may be prescribed alternately every three months, six months, or one year, as adjudged by the doctor at the follow-up skin examination. 

Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, and nearby areas in Florida for advanced and innovative skin care procedures.

SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.

Florida Dermatologist FAQ’s: What Causes Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)?

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

Atopic Dermatitis Eczema Treatment Florida - Florida Dermatologist FAQ's: What Causes Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)?

eczema atopic dermatitis symptom skin texture

The reasons for the occurrence of eczema are not entirely clear. But for most forms of eczema, researchers believe that a combination of genes and a trigger causes the condition.

Individuals with eczema tend to have an over-reactive immune system that responds by creating inflammation when triggered by a substance inside or outside the body.

Research also indicates that some individuals with eczema have a mutation of the gene responsible for producing filaggrin. If there is insufficient filaggrin to create a robust skin barrier, moisture can escape, and viruses, bacteria, and more can enter. Therefore, many individuals with eczema have dry and infection-prone skin.

Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides safe and proven skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, and surrounding locations in Florida.

Eczema Triggers

For people living with eczema, working to keep the symptoms under control is vital to staying healthy and comfortable. Upon trying to identify the potential triggers, it is important to remember that an eczema outbreak can appear sometime after exposure. Due to this time lag, it can be difficult to identify triggers.

It is vital to understand that eczema impacts every person in a different manner. The triggers that affect one person may not be the same as another. The patient may experience the symptoms of eczema at specific times of the year on different body areas.

Some routine things that can trigger an eczema flare or worsen it are as follows:

Dry Skin

Skin can easily become scaly, brittle, rough or tight when it gets excessively dry. This can cause an eczema flare-up.

Irritants

There are daily-use products and even natural substances that can cause the skin the itch and burn, or become red and dry.

These are products that a person could use on their body or in their home, such as laundry detergent, hand, and dish soap, body wash, or disinfectants and surface cleaners. In fact, even some natural liquids, such as fresh juice from vegetables, fruits, or meats, can cause irritation to the skin when touched.

Common eczema irritants include the following:

  • Metals, specifically, nickel
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Household cleaners and soap
  • Fragrances
  • Certain fabrics such as polyester and wool
  • An antibacterial ointment such as bacitracin and neomycin
  • Formaldehyde, which is a component of household disinfectants, some glues, vaccines, and adhesives
  • Isothiazolinones, which is an antibacterial found in personal care items such as baby wipes
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine, which is used to thicken lotions and shampoos
  • Paraphenylene-diamine, which is used in temporary tattoos

Stress

Emotional stress is thought to be a trigger for eczema, but it is not entirely clear why. Stress appears to worsen the eczema symptoms in some people. Others may feel stressed due to their eczema, and this can cause an eczema flare-up.

Climate and Sweating

Many individuals with eczema feel itchy or experience a “prickly heat” sensation when they get too hot or sweat. This can occur when a person exercises or wears too many clothes to bed.

The skin may also get too dry during the cold winter months, causing irritation and an eczema flare-up. Air that is too dry or too humid can also contribute to an eczema flare-up. Taking long hot baths or showers can exacerbate the condition as well.

Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, and nearby areas in Florida for advanced and innovative skin care procedures.

SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County , Brandon, Lutz, Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor and Daytona Beach Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.

Sarasota Dermatology Center

Suncoast Skin Solutions Dermatology Center

Over the years, advancements in dermatology procedures and technology have made it possible to reverse the ill-effects of aging, sun exposure, disease, and genetics. Today, a wide array of treatment options in surgical, medical, and cosmetic skincare are available for people seeking to restore a healthy, more youthful appearance.

But the choice of dermatology practice and treatment provider remains the single most important determinant of success in these procedures.

Patients should cautiously assess the professional background of the dermatologists as well as the track record and reputation of the dermatologic practice in the local area.

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski provides safe and proven skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding locations.

Detailed Skin Examination

suncoast - Sarasota Dermatology CenterSuncoast Skin Solutions is dedicated to providing a detailed skin exam and diagnosis to allow the patient to be in a position to undergo timely and targeted treatment. Patients are assured a thorough skin check and diagnosis whether they visit the practice for a minor aesthetic concern or something as serious as skin cancer.

The dermatologist will discuss the most suitable treatment solutions or combinations, and assist the patient in making the most beneficial decisions for their skin health and appearance.

Innovative and Open-Minded Treatment Approach

In the field of dermatology, research and development is a continuous process. Suncoast Skin Solutions adopts an innovative and open-minded treatment approach to adopting new technologies, techniques, and medical spa procedures.

At the same time, in cases where a traditional treatment approach seems more beneficial, the dermatologic clinic will evaluate it cautiously and recommend it in suitable cases.

Dual Approach to Cosmetic Skin Enhancement

Suncoast Skin also offers non-surgical cosmetic medical spa procedures for longer-lasting and natural-looking rejuvenation outcomes. The dermatologist at the skincare practice recognizes that the aging process and other skin conditions not only create superficial skin damage in the epidermis but also adversely impact the natural production of elastin and collagen fibers in the deeper skin layers.

Therefore, the specialists at the dermatologic practice will recommend a combination of skincare procedures wherever the treatment of both superficial and deeper skin tissue is necessary. This enables them to create more holistic cosmetic results that will last for a longer duration and offer natural-looking effects.

An important part of this process is patient education, and a thorough pre-treatment consultation will provide the patient with an opportunity to assess their treatment options and expected results.

Why Select a Board Certified Dermatologist

For a detailed assessment of the skin, hair, and nails, patients should consult a board-certified dermatologist as many medical conditions manifest through the skin.

Generally, board-certified dermatologists receive three years of comprehensive clinical training, understanding every aspect of the anatomy and function of the skin.

A residency program includes training in medical dermatology, surgical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology, pathology of the skin, and basic science dermatology.

Non-certified doctors in other areas, such as internal medicine, might have undergone a three-month rotation in dermatology to gain a basic understanding of the more common skin concerns. But these rotations do not offer in-depth training in surgical, procedural, and cosmetic dermatology.

Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for advanced and effective skin care procedures.

SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County , Brandon, Lutz, Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor and Daytona Beach Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.

Your Local Sarasota, FL Dermatologist

Dermatology Center in Sarasota, FL 

Various types of skin flaws can impact not only physical appearance but also be damaging to health. Certain skin conditions, such as skin cancers, can be life-threatening and adversely affect the appearance of an individual, it not treated in a timely manner.

Patients should work with a dermatology expert for the treatment of aesthetic skin issues to enhance their health and appearance.

Suncoast Skin Solutions is a state-of-the-art dermatology practice in Central Florida, offering safe, proven, and successful skincare treatments.

logo - Your Local Sarasota, FL DermatologistThe practice places the utmost importance on patient care and has maintained this core value since its establishment. Over time, Suncoast Skin’s patient-first philosophy has resulted in a continuous stream of referrals from physicians, happy patients, and their families.

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski provides safe and proven skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding locations.

Innovative Skin Care Infrastructure

Suncoast Skin Solutions has grown consistently over the years. At present, the practice has 13 locations in and around Central Florida, and it has constantly enhanced its team by adding top tier physicians, doctor assistants, and medical spa staff.

All team members at the skincare practice are trained in the latest techniques in dermatology and cosmetics along with the surgical and non-surgical management of skin cancers.

Patients are guaranteed to receive innovative treatments for most of their skin concerns under one roof. Each patient is offered customized care and attention, regardless of whether they may have a seemingly minor issue such as a skin rash, or a more severe condition, such as psoriasis or rosacea.

The specialists at the dermatology practice will spend time discussing the patient’s diagnosis and treatment solutions, and enable them to make well-considered decisions.

Professional Team of Providers

Suncoast Skin Solutions’ team of skincare providers includes some of the best qualified and highly experienced dermatologists, doctors, and others in the field.

Dr. Ewanowski and his team understand that the best outcomes in any skincare procedure can be accomplished when the doctor individualizes the treatment plan to address the unique health and cosmetic needs of a patient. The practice will never adopt a “cookie-cutter” approach.

Why Select a Board Certified Dermatologist?

A board certified dermatologist refers to a doctor who has successfully undertaken a credited residency in dermatology in the United States and has passed the board certification exam. Doctors receive certification from the American Board of Dermatology to practice dermatology.

A board-certified dermatologist would have undergone many years of training to determine medical conditions that are manifesting through skin, hair, and nails. They also offer treatment for conditions such as acne, rosacea, or psoriasis as well as determine whether a mole is malignant.

In addition, board-certified dermatologists are experts in Botox, laser, fillers, and other non-surgical dermatology cosmetic procedures.

Patients may experience complications, such as permanent scarring from wrong laser settings, and side-effects of dermal fillers, such as skin necrosis, when working with a non-certified ‘expert.’ In fact, a so-called specialist can undertake mistreatment to make a skin condition worse.

Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for advanced and effective skin care procedures.

SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County , Brandon, Lutz, Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor and Daytona Beach Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.

Your Local Palm Harbor, FL Dermatologist

Dermatology Center in Palm Harbor, FL 

logo small 2 - Your Local Palm Harbor, FL DermatologistThe choice of a dermatologist is likely one of the most vital decisions that a patient will make after deciding to seek a skincare consultation. The qualifications and experience of the dermatologist may be the most important factor impacting the final results in any dermatology procedure.

Patients in Lutz, Seminole, Tampa, Brandon, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Brookesville, Winter Haven, The Villages Central Florida, Florida, and neighboring locations have an opportunity to undergo innovative skincare procedures from board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski and his team.

Professional Background

Christopher Ewanowski, M.D., is one of the few fellowship-trained, board-certified dermatologic surgeons in the Bay Area who specialize in laser surgery, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, and reconstructive and cosmetic dermatologic surgery. Dr. Ewanowski is a native of Tampa and received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida.

After receiving his degree in medicine from the University of South Florida, College of Medicine in 2003, Dr. Ewanowski proceeded to complete an internship in plastic and general surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.

He turned his focus on the advanced management of skin conditions, including laser surgery, skin surgery, and reconstructive surgery as a dermatology resident at Georgetown University Hospital.

In 2007, he completed his training at Georgetown and chose to pursue a dermatologic surgery fellowship in the fields of skin oncology and Mohs, reconstructive surgery, and laser. During this time, he was one of only 65 dermatologists globally with this advanced fellowship, which is American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery approved.

During this time, he worked with Pearon Lang M.D. and Joel Cook M.D., two of the most eminent Mohs surgeons in the US. In 2008, backed with this rigorous training and vast experience, Dr. Ewanowski established Suncoast Skin Solutions. He is a specialist in the management of facial skin cancer, laser surgery, and cutting-edge medical spa techniques undertaken using local anesthesia.

Experienced Mohs Surgeon

The committed Dr. Ewanowski is a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, which means that he spent an additional year of his training in perfecting the recognition of challenging histologic variants of cancers under the microscope, tumor extirpation, and refining grafts and flaps to create less visible post-operative scars. His detailed knowledge of the intricate Mohs procedure extends to all aspects of the surgery.

Traditional surgical techniques only examine small samples of the skin margins or edges. However, Dr. Ewanowski examines 100 percent of the margins and bottom of the tissue. He will try to save as much healthy skin as possible while eliminating malignant tissue.

Dr. Ewanowski has undertaken over 20,000 Mohs surgeries, and the chances of recurrence of cancer in the capable hands of a specialist such as Dr. Ewanowski is less than one percent.

Other Key Strengths of Dr. Ewanowski

  • Emphasis on patient education
  • Focus on extensive staff training
  • A detailed approach to every skin exam and diagnosis
  • Customized treatment approach
  • Individualized care and attention to each patient

Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for advanced and effective skin care procedures.

SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County , Brandon, Lutz, Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor and Daytona Beach Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.

Florida Dermatologist FAQ: Cold Urticaria – Welts on Skin Due to Cold Temperature Could be Hives

shutterstock 104296214 300x200 - Florida Dermatologist FAQ: Cold Urticaria – Welts on Skin Due to Cold Temperature Could be HivesThe symptoms of cold urticaria include developing welts or an itchy rash after coming in from cold (especially on exposed skin), swelling of the throat or lips after eating or drinking something frozen, and/or developing an itchy rash or feeling faint after being in cold water. 

People with this medical issue develop hives, or welts on their skin (that usually itch) when exposed to the cold. 

What are the Other Causes of Hives?

An individual may not get hives each time they encounter something cold. Certain people only develop hives by swimming in cold water or when their skin is exposed to cold wind. 

Yet others are particularly sensitive and can develop hives when they enter an air-conditioned building or stand near a freezer in a grocery store.

A majority of people who develop hives from the cold are otherwise healthy. People who develop hives from the cold do not have to necessarily live with the flare-ups. Taking certain precautions may help a person avoid hives. Medicine may be required, as well.

Prior to taking any drugs, it is vital to determine whether a person has cold urticaria.

Cold Urticaria Diagnosis

For people who think they may have cold urticaria, it might be helpful to see a qualified dermatologist. Dermatologists usually diagnose this condition and care for patients who get hives. 

The dermatologist will ask the patient about the symptoms they experience when exposed to cold to understand whether they get hives from cold temperatures. The patient should inform their dermatologist if they develop any of these signs and symptoms when exposed to cold:

  • Welts, at times itchy
  • Swelling and redness on skin exposed to the cold
  • Burning sensation
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Swollen lips or inflammation in the throat

Correlating with this, the dermatologist may also test the skin to understand how it responds to cold. Some individuals are given the ice cube challenge test where the dermatologist places a plastic bag containing an ice cube on the bare skin, typically the forearm. 

Most individuals with cold urticaria develop a welt on their skin after the bag is removed and their skin warms up. It is possible to have cold urticaria even if the patient does not develop a welt from the ice cube challenge test. Therefore, the dermatologist will ask the patient questions and assess their skin. 

Treatment Options

Avoiding the reasons for the development of their hives is enough for many people to live comfortably. 

In case a person has ever had a serious reaction from the cold, such as inflammation in their throat or passing out, the dermatologist will recommend that they always carry an epinephrine pen. In the event of a serious reaction, injecting themselves with an epinephrine pen could save the patient’s life. 

Antihistamine medications help many people with cold urticaria as it can prevent the development of hives as well as symptoms such as itchiness. The dermatologist may prescribe a stronger drug, such as omalizumab if antihistamines are ineffective in preventing hives.  

SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County , Brandon, Lutz, Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor and Daytona Beach Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.

Florida Dermatologist FAQ’s: What is Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)?

shutterstock 116665918 200x300 - Florida Dermatologist FAQ's: What is Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)?Atopic dermatitis or eczema refers to an inflamed skin condition that can impact adults, children, and infants. In the early phase, eczema is characterized by red, blistering skin. It may progress to cause a thickened, scaly, patchy skin that itches. 

The condition usually manifests before the age of three, and a majority of patients will be free of the condition by the age of 25 years. In children, eczema may initiate on the cheeks and extend to the arms and legs.

Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides safe and proven skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, and surrounding locations in Florida.

 

Symptoms

Itchy, dry skin, which can rapidly get red and swollen, is a notable characteristic of eczema. It will typically get infected, and small blisters may develop and ooze fluid or become crusted. Symptoms such as dryness, scratching, itchiness, and swelling may come and go. 

Over time, the patient may develop tough, thickened skin due to a persistent rash. Mild types of eczema will affect only a tiny skin area, while a severe condition may be widespread. 

The body areas where the rashes manifest may be distinct for adults, children, and babies. A dermatologist will undertake a physical examination and review the patient’s medical history to diagnose atopic dermatitis. Certain patients may have to undergo an allergy test to determine the triggers for the rash.

 

Eczema in Infants 

Infantile eczema necessitates the determination of the skin irritation triggers as well as avoiding them. The infant should not be exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures. Prescription drugs may be necessary to treat an infection or improve a rash. The doctor may prescribe oral antihistamines for the patient’s comfort and to decrease nighttime itching.

 

When to Seek Treatment?

In the following cases, the patient should seek professional dermatology treatment for eczema:

  • Itching is leading to irritation or interfering with sleep or other routine activities.
  • Oozing sores, scratch marks, crusting, skin discoloration, or fever accompanying a rash develops on the skin. 
  • Development of painful cracks in the fingers or hands.
  • Inflammation, pain, heat, or redness.
  • Pus discharge.

 

Prevention

A known eczema patient may follow a few precautions to minimize the symptoms of the condition. The delicate skin areas should be routinely moisturized to prevent dryness. 

The patient should also avoid extreme or sudden temperature changes as far as possible. They should also avoid activities that lead to overheating of the body or increase stress levels.

In addition, the patient should avoid fabrics that may irritate the skin. The dermatologist may order allergy tests to identify unknown allergens so that the patient can eliminate them in food and other items as far as possible. Mild or medicated soaps and other cosmetics may be applied on the skin. 

Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, and nearby areas in Florida for advanced and innovative skin care procedures.

SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County , Brandon, Lutz, Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor and Daytona Beach Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.

Florida Dermatologist FAQ’s: Actinic Keratosis (AK) Treatment And Prevention

shutterstock 80403592 300x200 - Florida Dermatologist FAQ's: Actinic Keratosis (AK) Treatment And PreventionEarly detection and prompt treatment can address almost all actinic keratoses (AKs) before they develop into skin cancer

In case a doctor suspects an AK to be a pre-cancer, they may take some tissue for a biopsy by shaving off a portion of the AK with a scalpel or scraping the lesion with a curette (a surgical tool that has a sharp ring-shaped tip). 

Additionally, the physician may use the curette to scrape off the base of the lesion. They will control the bleeding by applying trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or using an electrocautery needle. The patient will need local anesthesia for this procedure.

Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides safe and proven skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, and surrounding locations in Florida.

 

Treatment Options

Various treatment options are available to address actinic keratoses, depending on the age and medical condition of the patient as well as the nature of the growth. These treatment options include the following:

Surgical Procedures

  • Cryosurgery: The doctor applies liquid nitrogen to the actinic keratosis to freeze the tissue. After this, the lesion and adjacent frozen skin may blister or develop a crust and fall off. 
  • Curettage and desiccation: The doctor will shave off or scrape a part of the entire lesion. Then they will apply a chemical agent or heat to stop the bleeding and potentially remove any residual AK cells.
  • Laser surgery: The doctor will utilize a strong light to vaporize the tissue of the AK. 

Topical Treatments

The doctor may prescribe a topical cream, gel, or solution for patients with numerous or widespread actinic keratoses. These can treat both visible and invisible lesions with minimal risk of scarring. This treatment is also called “field therapy” as the topical treatments can address a wide field of skin compared to targeting a single lesion. 

  • 5-fluorouracil (Carac, Efudex, Fluoroplex): A form of topical chemotherapy
  • Chemical peel: These peels are known for reversing signs of photoaging. But chemical peels can also eliminate some superficial AKs on the face, particularly when other techniques have not been effective. This procedure involves the application of trichloroacetic acid and/or similar agents to the face, which causes the superficial layers of skin to slough off. 
  • Diclofenac (Solaraze) and hyaluronic acid: A combination topical therapy.
  • Imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara): This form of topical immunotherapy encourages the immune system to produce interferon, which is a chemical that combats cancerous and precancerous cells.
  • Ingenol mebutate (Picato): This is a fast-acting topical treatment developed from plants. An immunologic mechanism of action has been proposed.

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is very effective on widespread lesions on the face and scalp. This dermatology procedure involves the application of a light-sensitizing topical agent to the lesion. After this, the doctor will use a strong light to activate the topical agent. This helps in the removal of actinic keratoses without any damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. 

Combination Therapy

The treatment of AKs may involve the use of combined treatments for a span of time. The topical medications and PDT may be prescribed alternately every three months, six months, or one year, as adjudged by the doctor at the follow-up skin examination. 

Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, and nearby areas in Florida for advanced and innovative skin care procedures.

SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.

Florida Dermatologist FAQ’s: What Causes Actinic Keratosis (AK)?

AdobeStock 110576056 300x200 - Florida Dermatologist FAQ's: What Causes Actinic Keratosis (AK)?An actinic keratosis (AK), also called solar keratosis, refers to a scaly, crusty growth that occurs due to damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure. At the time of the initial consultation, the dermatologist will explain the various causes of AK to the patient. 

Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides safe and proven skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, and surrounding locations in Florida.

 

Sun Exposure

Almost all actinic keratoses develop due to chronic sun exposure. The skin sustains cumulative damage due to sun exposure. Therefore, even short durations in the sun add to the lifetime total. In fact, even cloudy days are not safe as 70 to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation can pass through the clouds. This harmful radiation can bounce off snow, sand, and other reflective surfaces as well, creating extra exposure. 

Older people and outdoor workers are at a higher risk as the chances of developing one or more AKs increase with the amount of time spent in the sun over the years.

As men tend to spend more time in the sun and use less sun protection in comparison to women, the incidence of actinic keratosis development is higher in men. While some people as young as in their 20s are impacted, AKs are much more common in individuals over the age of 50 years. According to experts, almost everyone over the age of 80 years has AKs. 

The location also makes a difference as the proximity to the equator increases the likelihood of developing this dermatology condition.

 

Other Causes 

The UV radiation emitted by the lamps in a tanning salon can be even more harmful and concentrated than the sun. Therefore, dermatologists warn patients against indoor tanning. The odds of developing AKs increase with tanning under these lamps. 

On occasion, actinic keratoses can also develop due to extensive exposure to X-rays or various industrial chemicals.

 

Who is at Most Risk?

Most vulnerable to sun damage are individuals with fair skin, freckles, blonde or red hair and green, blue, or gray eyes. They have a higher chance of developing AKs if they spend time in the sun and live for long enough. Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, and others with darker complexions are not as prone as Caucasians to develop AKs, but skin cancer can occur in anyone. 

In reality, partially due to later detection, skin cancers in African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage compared to those found in Caucasians.

People who have a weakened immune system due to AIDs, cancer chemotherapy, organ transplantation or other reasons are less capable of fighting off the effects of UV radiation, and more likely to develop AKs. It is also notable that extensive UV exposure itself weakens the immune system, decreasing its ability to repair UV damage. 

 

How to Spot Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic keratoses usually develop on the face, ears, lips, shoulders, neck, back, bald scalp, and back of the hands and forearms. They can range in size from a small spot to an inch in diameter. AKs typically seem like small scaly or crusty bumps or “horns.” The base can be light or dark skin-colored and may have other colors such as red, pink, or tan. 

Patients should routinely examine their skin to look for actinic keratosis lesions. Many AKs have a different appearance. For this reason, patients should consult their doctor promptly if they detect any unusual or changing growth.

Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, and nearby areas in Florida for advanced and innovative skin care procedures.

SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.

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