Welcome to our Patient Education page!
We believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics, which can be found on the side of each page. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you. You may also search this database, entering your term(s) in the search bar provided.
For more comprehensive information on skin conditions please follow these links to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology and American Academy of Dermatology websites both of which maintain excellent databases for patients.
As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.
ASDS Non-Physician Practice of Medicine & Patient Safety Campaign
"Due to the proliferation of spas, salons and walk-in clinics offering cosmetic procedures performed by non-physicians, the ASDS has noted a significant increase in patient complications."
The problem of impaired safety arises from a lax regulatory environment, indiscriminate sales of medical equipment and the absence of adequate dermatologic training among non-physician providers. Arizona, in particular, lags behind other states in regulation and the enforcement of laws involving the non-physician practice of medicine. Frequent complications seen by dermatologists include laser burns, scarring, pigmentary changes, inappropriate treatment, the delayed diagnosis of disease and mis-managment of adverse events.
Patients should be aware of the potential hazards associated with treatments received in medical spas, salons and clinics owned or staffed by non-physicians and, whenever possible, seek the advice and care of board-certified physicians with training in cutaneous medicine and surgery.
Moles are brown or black growths, usually round or oval, that can appear anywhere on the skin. They can be rough or smooth, flat or raised, single or in multiples. They occur when cells that are responsible for skin pigmentation, known as melanocytes, grow in clusters instead of being spread out across the skin. Generally, moles are less than one-quarter inch in size. Most moles appear by the age of 20, although some moles may appear later in life. Most adults have between 10 and 40 moles. Because they last about 50 years, moles may disappear by themselves over time.
Most moles are harmless, but a change in size, shape, color or texture could be indicative of a cancerous growth. Moles that have a higher-than-average chance of becoming cancerous include:
Moles present at birth. The larger their size, the greater the risk for developing into a skin cancer.
Atypical Dysplastic Nevi
Irregularly shaped moles that are larger than average. They often appear to have dark brown centers with light, uneven borders.
Higher frequency of moles
People with 50 or more moles are at a greater risk for developing a skin cancer.
In some cases, abnormal moles may become painful, itchy, scaly or bleed. It's important to keep an eye on your moles so that you can catch any changes early. We recommend doing a visual check of your body monthly, including all areas that don't have sun exposure (such as the scalp, armpits or bottoms of feet).
Use the American Academy of Dermatology's ABCDEs as a guide for assessing whether or not a mole may be becoming cancerous:
Asymmetry: Half the mole does not match the other half in size, shape or color.
Border: The edges of moles are irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined.
Color: The mole is not the same color throughout.
Diameter: The mole is usually greater than 6 millimeters when diagnosed, but may also be smaller.
Evolving: A mole or skin lesion that is different from the rest, or changes in size, shape, or color.
If any of these conditions occur, please make an appointment to see one of our dermatologists right away. The doctor may do a biopsy of the mole to determine if it is or isn't cancerous and/or may surgically remove it.