The most common type of cancer in the U.S. is skin cancer. One in five adults will develop some type of skin cancer during their lives, which underscores the importance of being familiar with the common signs of skin cancer. Being able to recognize the signs enables you to seek treatment. Early diagnosis of any type of cancer improves your prognosis and increases the effectiveness of treatment. At Three Rivers Dermatology, Dr. Damon McClain and Dr. Susannah McClain are your dermatologists for the treatment of skin cancer in Pittsburgh, PA.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are many different types of skin cancer. Two of the most common types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. A third type of skin cancer that many people are familiar with is melanoma. Melanoma is actually the least common type of skin cancer, but can be the most deadly. Sunburns and extensive sun exposure both increase the risk of developing one of these three types of skin cancer. Regular use of tanning beds can increase your risk of developing skin cancer, as well.
Signs of Skin Cancer
There can be many different signs of skin cancer. Depending on the type, the signs might differ. However, any sudden or unexplained change to the skin is a potential concern. If you notice any of the common signs of skin cancer anywhere on your skin, visit a dermatologist to be screened for skin cancer. Some of the comms signs associated with skin cancer include:
- Patches of pink or red scaly lesions
- Unexplained sores that repeatedly re-open after healing
- Changes in the appearance of existing moles
- Sudden bleeding or itching of existing moles
- Waxy and translucent come-shaped growths
- Brown or black streaks under the fingernails or toenails
- Speckled brown spots on the skin
Early detection and treatment of skin cancer is possible when you are able to recognize the common signs and symptoms. For skin cancer screening in Pittsburgh, PA, schedule an exam with Dr. Damon McClain and Dr. Susannah McClain by calling Three Rivers Dermatology at (412) 262-4911.
Acne isn't just unsightly and difficult to hide; it can also pose a threat to your overall health. At Three Rivers Dermatology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we believe in helping our patients achieve beautiful, healthy skin through treatments and education. Dr. Damon McClain and Dr. Susannah McClain are here to define the three forms of acne and explain how we can help you treat it.
Treatments for mild acne
When acne appears as a few scattered blemishes on the surface of your skin, it's usually considered mild. Effective treatment is often dependent on what over-the-counter products work best for you; benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are two common ingredients that reduce oil and clean the pores. Your Pittsburgh dermatologist will examine your skin and talk with you about your medical history to determine the type and strength of products that will help to clear up your skin and prevent breakouts.
Treatments for moderate acne
Breakouts that are more stubborn and widespread than a few blackheads or papules could be diagnosed as moderate acne by your Pittsburgh dermatologist. Inflammation and nodules - painful lumps under the skin - are usually mild or not present. While washing your face is definitely important, OTC products aren't typically effective for treating moderate acne. Instead, you may be prescribed an oral medication in addition to a topical.
Treatments for severe acne
Severe acne is typically extensive, reddened, painful, and may lead to scarring. Working with your Pittsburgh dermatologist is essential to treating severe acne; each patient is different, so a treatment plan will be created for you and must be followed carefully. Often these plans include a combination of oral medication, topical medication, or antibiotics. Avoid picking or squeezing the acne, as it could lead to infection and more scarring.
Several of the acne treatments listed above require regular monitoring from your Pittsburgh dermatologist, so it's important to discuss all your options and goals during your appointment at Three Rivers Dermatology. If you have acne, contact us today for an appointment!
What your skin doctors in Pittsburgh want you to know
Your skin provides an important service protecting your vital organs. Your skin also keeps you looking great, it will function best if you take good care of it. Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to take a lot of time out of your day. A few simple steps can help ensure a lifetime of healthy skin. Your board-certified dermatologists at Three Rivers Dermatology Coraopolis, PA and serving Pittsburgh, PA, Dr. Damon McClain and Dr. Susannah McClain, want to help you take good care of your skin.
Daily care of your skin is easy. Just remember to:
- Clean your skin with mild solutions like Dove or Cetaphil. Avoid harsh chemicals and drying soaps.
- Pat, don’t rub your skin. Leave a small amount of moisture on your skin.
- Toners help to balance the pH of your skin, but they aren’t necessary if your cleanser is already pH balanced. Always use alcohol-free toners.
- Apply a daily moisturizer, preferably one with at least SPF 15 sunscreen.
You need to take extra precautions if you are out in the sun. Remember to:
- Always use sunscreen when you go out. SPF 30 or higher is best if you spend a lot of time outside.
- Wear protective clothing including hats and glasses
- Avoid being in the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM.
You also need to take extra precautions during cold weather. Remember to:
- Apply alcohol-free moisturizer frequently. Creams and ointments are best.
- Don’t remain in a hot bath or shower for long periods because it can dry your skin.
- Don’t forget lip balm when you are outside.
Be sure to include regular visits to your dermatologist, especially if you are prone to moles, discolorations, and other skin issues. Your dermatologists in Pittsburgh treat a wide range of skin problems including acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and other common skin conditions.
Take care of your skin so your skin can take care of you. For more information about skin care or to schedule an appointment, call your dermatologists at Three Rivers Dermatology in Coraopolis, PA and serving Pittsburgh, PA. Be kind to your skin and call today!
If you are concerned about the health of a mole it’s a good time to book a consultation with us.
You just started to swap out your wardrobe in favor of warmer-weather clothes. This can be a fun time to pull out the clothes from last summer and try them on. Of course, as you try on these clothes you may notice a few new moles that have cropped out almost out of the blue. If this is the case, our Pittsburgh, PA and Coraopolis, PA, dermatologists Dr. Damon McClain and Dr. Susannah McClain provide a little insight into when you should have your mole checked.
Moles come in many different shapes, colors and sizes. Some may be raised or flat, dark or light. Most people have a few moles, but they may not notice them. You should be giving yourself a self-exam every couple of months to check for any new moles or changes to the moles you already have. If you are fair-skinned or if your family has a history of skin cancer, you may want to perform a self-examination at least once a month.
Which moles are worth getting checked out?
You should always be on the lookout for any suspicious changes to your moles that could be warning signs of melanoma. If you have any moles that stand out as being rather large then it might be time to see our Pittsburgh, PA, skin doctor. Other issues to look for in your moles include:
- Uneven or poorly defined borders
- Multiple colors or changes in color
- Itching or pain
- Bleeding or scaling
If you are noticing new moles cropping up as an adult, this is also a good time to get a skin cancer screening. Of course, being on the lookout for any changes to the moles you already have is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself against skin cancer. When in doubt, and whether or not your condition warrants a trip to our office, give us a call anyway to see if you should come in. Always monitor your skin’s health and you’ll know when changes crop up that require a checkup.
Skin cancer can happen to anyone. While wearing sunscreen is a great way to protect your skin year-round, it’s still important for everyone to get at least an annual screening. Call Three Rivers Dermatology in Coraopolis, PA and serving Pittsburgh, PA, to schedule your skin cancer screening.
Skin cancer is more common than you might think. Know what signs to look for!
Did you know that more people have had skin cancer over the last three decades than all the other cancers combined? This is a pretty shocking fact (courtesy of the Skin Cancer Foundation), but spending a lot of time in the sun or not wearing sunscreen can not only lead to premature aging but also increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Our Pittsburgh, PA and Coraopolis, PA dermatologists Dr. Damon McClain and Dr. Susannah McClain, want to protect your skin. Here are some warning signs that you will want to have checked out right away.
While melanoma is a more serious form of skin cancer, it’s important to note that squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas are actually the most common types of skin cancer. While both forms of skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body, non-melanoma forms are more likely to appear in areas that receive some sun exposure.
In order to be able to detect changes in your skin, this means that you should be paying attention to spots, moles and lesions so that you know when something has changed. Melanoma is more likely to develop as a completely new growth or can change a preexisting mole.
What does a healthy growth look like?
A healthy, non-cancerous growth will be all one color, symmetrical and small. Moles that don’t change as you get older are typically safe.
How to tell if my mole could be cancerous?
As our Pittsburgh, PA and Coraopolis, PA, skin doctors will remind you, it’s important to know your ABCDE’s:
Asymmetry: a cancerous mole will have an asymmetrical or irregular shape
Border: A cancerous mole will have jagged, poorly defined borders
Color: Suspicious growths will typically contain more than one color
Diameter: Melanoma is often larger than 6 millimeters (or the size of a pencil eraser)
Evolution: A cancerous growth will continue to change color, shape or size over time
If you notice any of these signs then it’s best to play it safe and contact our dermatologists immediately. Three Rivers Dermatology in Coraopolis, PA and serving Pittsburgh, PA is here to address all of your questions, concerns or needs. If you need to schedule a skin cancer screening or if you want to have a suspicious mole checked out, we are here to help anytime. Call our office to schedule your next appointment.
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