Patient Information

Patient Information2019-04-05T11:43:10+00:00

FAQs

As medical specialists, dermatologists go through an extensive training program that involves several years of additional study on top of the education, training and residency required by medical doctors. Dermatologists receive advanced education and training in treatment of skin, nails, hair and mucous membranes, which allows them to effectively treat many skin-related conditions.

Depending on your condition, your initial visit with us could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. After examining the records and information that have been supplied to us, our providers will perform a problem focused or possibly a skin examination, followed by a diagnosis and detailed treatment plan. We encourage you to ask questions, and we will be glad to address any concerns you may have.

The most effective treatment for skin, much like anything else, is prevention. It is important to have a balanced, nutritious diet; to get plenty of exercise; and most importantly, to avoid overexposure to the sun. Sun exposure is responsible for the majority of medical and cosmetic skin conditions, so always be sure to protect yourself by using large-brimmed hats and high-SPF sunscreens when in sunlight.

Dermatology can treat a wide range of conditions affecting the skin, hair and nails, including, but not limited to, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, skin cancer, wrinkles, sun spots, pigmentation problems, warts, rashes, bacterial or fungal skin and nail infections, stretch marks, spider and varicose veins, and sun damage. If you have a skin-related problem, a dermatologist is the best choice for lasting, effective treatment.

As with any medical treatment, costs vary, depending upon the scale and severity of the condition, as well as the treatment method. However, many medical dermatology treatments may be covered under insurance plans.

Potentially yes. To verify this, please make sure to look at your insurance card or insurance policy or contact your insurance directly prior to making an appointment. Different insurance policies vary, so a referral is not always necessary but very important to check. If you would like to schedule a new patient visit, simply call us (860-859-2262) and we will schedule a convenient appointment time for you. We are currently booking new patients 8-12 weeks out. If you have questions on what is covered, you should contact your insurance company directly.

Any sunscreen is better than going without, but some types of sunscreen may protect you better or be more suited to your needs than others. Finding the right sunscreen is partly finding one with the right consistency for your skin type. Those will oily or acne-prone skin may want to go with a less greasy sunscreen, for example. Also, anyone planning to go into deep water or to sweat may want a water-proof or water-resistant formula. But more importantly, it is crucial to get a sunscreen with a high SPF factor to help shield you from ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Retaining moisture is an important aspect of skin care, and can not only help your skin feel soft, but also help it maintain health and vitality. Choosing a moisturizer involves knowing your skin type and specific needs. If you have dry skin, for example, you may want a heavier, oil or petroleum-based moisturizer, and if you have oily, acne-prone skin, look for moisturizers that are water-based, oil-free and labeled “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic”. People with sensitive skin should get hypo-allergenic, perfume-free formulations. And moisturizers with SPF protection are also an excellent choice if you plan to be out in the sun.

First Visit

Please arrive to our office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time, so that you will have time to fill out all necessary office and insurance paperwork. If you would like to come to our office prepared, please go to the patient forms section and download your appropriate paperwork. Depending on your condition or concerns, your initial visit with us could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. We encourage you to ask questions, and we will be glad to address any concerns you may have.

Pre and Post Opt Care

You should always speak to us regarding specific instructions for care to take both before, during and after your dermatologic procedure. Many skin-related procedures are done in our office, with little to no recovery time. Other procedures are more significant, however, and in those cases some general tips may help you minimize your downtime following the procedure.

If your procedure involves surgery, you may drive yourself you to and from your appointment. It is advisable to not smoke or take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for several days preceding the operation. Also, if you expect a recovery time of several days, you will want to have your room prepared, with a comfortable bed and all the materials you will need while recovering, including snacks, necessary prescriptions, lotions or ointments for any incisions, reading materials, and anything else you anticipate needing close at hand.

Follow any instructions we have given you for your post-operation recovery time exactly, and take all of your medication as prescribed. You should avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications, and you should also avoid smoke or second-hand smoke while recovering. Be sure to eat healthy foods rich in vitamins, particularly Vitamin C to help reduce swelling. Above all, patience and rest is vitally important.

A common symptom following many cosmetic surgical procedures is a deep sense of remorse known commonly as post-operative depression. Typically, the person who has undergone surgery feels that the procedure was not worth the recovery period, or that the procedure did not have the desired effect. In many cosmetic cases, the swelling that accompanies the surgery often distorts the operated area and may make it look worse than it was before the procedure, which only worsens the patient’s outlook. This post-operative depression is common and almost always fades as the patient gets through the recovery period, the swelling lessens, and the patient can really see how improved they look. The best remedy for post-operative depression, however, is simply to ensure that you have a realistic set of expectations for your surgery, and to fully understand going into the procedure what to expect while you recover.

Common Skin Problems

Acne is the term used to describe blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, minor lumps or any plugged pores that occur on the face or upper torso. While most major acne problems occur during adolescence, this condition can occur before and after the teenage years. While acne can affect males and females, males tend to have more severe, longer lasting types of the condition and many females will have frequent flare-ups of acne during hormonal shifts (such as their menstrual cycle). Minor acne often results in low self-esteem because it can mar the natural beauty of the facial features. In general, minor acne will come and go on its own, recurring more frequently between the ages of adolescence and tapering off in regularity thereafter. More extreme acne can lead to serious permanent scarring, which is the result of tissue injury. In some cases, acne can continually afflict a person later in life.

Many people are concerned with acne prevention. Medications are available to lessen the severity of outbreaks, and your doctor can recommend changes in habit that may reduce outbreaks. If you do have acne, there are ways to prevent acne scarring. Treating acne inflammation at the onset of the condition will help lessen the severity of the injury to your tissue, which will prevent or decrease scarring. If over-the-counter medication is not working for you, your doctor can prescribe stronger, more intensive medication.

Eczema is sometimes called dermatitis. It is actually a group of skin conditions that can affect you at any age. It is not contagious but can be uncomfortable because it makes the skin hot and itchy. In severe cases, it can even cause bleeding. There are several types of eczema and each type requires different treatment methods. Eczema can occur because of irritation, allergic reaction or hereditary conditions. The most common variety is atopic eczema, which can be treated with steroids to reduce inflammation and creams to relieve the itchiness and dryness. In some cases, light treatments and dietary changes have been shown to help. While there is no cure for eczema, many people grow out of it. In addition, using the proper medications and staying clear of substances that cause eczema to flare up can greatly reduce your discomfort and can lessen the severity of the condition. Only your doctor can correctly diagnose and analyze your condition. It is important to consult with your physician to make sure that you receive the most effective and efficient treatment possible.

A chronic skin and eye condition, rosacea’s symptoms include redness and pimples in the early stages and thickened skin and sometimes an enlarged nose in the advanced stages. People with this condition experience frequent facial flushing, accompanied by swelling or burning. Although doctors are still exploring the cause for this condition, it is clear that the blood vessels in afflicted people dilate far more easily than normal, which stimulates many of the symptoms. When rosacea affects the eyes, people experience dryness, itching, burning sensations and swelling in and around their eyes. Some also complain of light sensitivity and blurred vision. In most cases, outbreaks of rosacea occur around the facial areas. Many doctors believe that heat exposure, strenuous exercise, stress, alcohol consumption and spicy foods may all contribute to increased redness.

Rosacea has no cure, but a variety of treatments are available. Treatments are intended to control outbreaks and they are also intended to improve physical appearance. Antibiotics are generally used to regulate the condition. Laser surgery or electro-surgery options are available for more severe cases.

Psoriasis is a chronic disorder that creates itchy, red marks on the body. These areas form multi-layered “scales” that vary in severity. Psoriasis can occur at any age in both males and females. It is not contagious, though there does seem to be a hereditary connection. It is not a life-threatening condition, and in most cases, people who have mild symptoms may not even know that they have psoriasis. Cuts, scratches, infections and dry skin seem to cause flare-ups. In addition, lack of sun exposure and certain medications may cause psoriasis to flare up. Often, psoriasis affects the same area repeatedly. Elbows, arms, knees and legs are commonly afflicted areas.

Generally, your doctor can diagnose you merely by examining your skin, but he or she may also perform a biopsy if needed. Steroids, oils, sprays, medications, vitamins, light therapy and many other treatments are available. Based on the severity of your condition, your doctor will consult with you to find the treatment that’s best for you. It is important to treat this condition, both to alleviate pain and to help significantly improve your quality of life.

There are three basic forms of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Anyone can be diagnosed with cancer at any age. Doctors link these forms of cancer to overexposure to the sun. Tanning booths can also increase your risk, as can exposure to radiation or high altitude. Because each type of skin cancer has a different look, effect and treatment, it is important to alert your physician if you notice unusual changes in the size and shape of spots, the coloration of your skin or the sensitivity and comfort of your body. Time is of the essence, and when caught early, many forms of skin cancer can be successfully treated.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most prevalent form of skin cancer. It appears as an irregularly shaped blemish or blister that crusts over or bleeds without healing. In some cases, this cancer can cause the lashes of the eyelids to fall out. While this form of cancer is rarely life threatening, failure to treat it in a timely manner can cause serious damage to your tissue and bones.

Squamous cell carcinoma often originates on the face and surrounding areas. It can appear as waxy or shiny patches or as small red or white bumps on the skin. If not treated, it can spread to the internal organs and become a life threatening condition.

Malignant melanoma is by far the deadliest form of skin cancer. This form of cancer generally begins within moles. While it occurs less frequently than the other forms of skin cancer, it is more dangerous because, if not treated quickly, it can spread throughout the entire body, proving fatal.

In situations where the cancer is relatively small, your doctor will surgically excise the cancerous flesh and then reconstruct the area. In more extreme cases, where the cancer is larger or has spread to other areas of the body, measures such as cryosurgery (where the cancer is frozen) or radiation therapy may be recommended. In addition, chemotherapy and Mohs surgery (in which the cancer is taken off in layers) have been successful in eradicating cancerous cells. The important thing is to contact your doctor immediately for a consultation if you feel that you are showing symptoms of any of these conditions. After surgery, it is important to carefully check your skin regularly for recurrences, and you should visit your doctor regularly for routine exams.

For information on Skin Cancer Mohs Surgery visit: skincancermohssurgery.org

Moles are very common and almost everyone has a few or possibly several hundreds. The average person has 10 to 40 moles. People with light or fair skin tend to have more moles. The most important thing to know about moles is that melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, can develop in or near a mole. When performing skin self-exams, look for the ABCDEs of Melanoma Detection.

A stands for ASYMMETRY; one half unlike the other half.

B stands for BORDER; irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.

C stands for COLOR; varied from one area to another; shades of tan, brown, and black; sometimes white, red, or blue.

D stands for DIAMETER; melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller

E stands for EVOLVING; a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

While many people think of a bronzed complexion as “healthier” than a lighter complexion, there is actually no one single factor more responsible for cosmetic and medical skin conditions than sun exposure. Repeated overexposure to the sun without proper protection such as sunscreen can lead to a wide variety of conditions, including uneven pigmentation, lentigines (age spots), solar elastosis (which causes sagging skin and vertical wrinkles), melasma, poikiloderma (reddish-brown pigmentation on the neck or cheeks), solar keratoses, and of course, skin cancer.

Solar lentigines can go by many names, such as “age spots”, “brown spots”, “liver spots” and “sun spots”. Regardless of what you may call them, these spots have one cause: exposure to the sun. Especially for people with light skin, the cells in our skin that causes pigmentation to protect us from the sun, called melanocytes, can be damaged by overexposure to the sun, causing a deposit of the pigment melanin to form, resulting in a solar lentigo. They often form in areas most prone to sun exposure, such as the face, neck, arms, hands, and upper back and chest.

Patient Forms (Acrobat PDF)

To help us with your chart, please download and print the appropriate forms, fill them out and bring them to your appointment.

Skin Care Tips

While some people may be blessed with naturally flawless skin, most of us have to continually work at it. When trying to keep your skin healthy and vibrant, keep some of these helpful tips in mind.

More than anything, remember to avoid sun overexposure. Use wide-brimmed hats and high-SPF sunscreens to protect your skin from the hazards of the sun, which cause a great majority of medical and cosmetic skin problems.

Keep in mind that your skin is an organ, and as such, it needs proper nutrition. Vitamins and anti-oxidants are essential to skin health. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water to properly hydrate your skin.

Don’t smoke. Smoking decreases blood circulation, and introduces a variety of poisons, oxidants and chemicals that harm your skin, as well as your overall health.

Like your other body parts, your skin reacts to your psychological and emotional well-being as much as your physical well-being, so be sure to get plenty of rest each night, and minimize stress as much as possible.

Though it may sound obvious, always remember to keep your skin clean. This means not only washing your face with a gentle cleanser regularly, but little things you may not think about during the day. For example, your hands are one of the oiliest parts of your body – touching your face repeatedly spreads not only those oils, but the dirt that accumulates on your hands as well.

Avoid excessive exfoliation and moisturizing. While moderate exfoliating can clear your skin of old, dead cells, over-exfoliation can acidify and irritate your skin. Likewise, rationed applications of moisturizer are good for skin, but over-moisturizing can clog pores and make your skin oily.

When at all possible, try to keep your skin care regimen consistent. Cosmetic products, lotions and cleansers – even all-natural ones – can have dozens of ingredients, any of which could be potential allergens. Regularly and frequently changing these products out increases your chances of irritating, inflaming or shocking your skin.

ABOUT US

We strive to provide our patients with the most advanced and comprehensive dermatologic care available. With a wide range of medical and cosmetic dermatology procedures delivered by a team of skilled and experienced professionals, our patients can be confident they are receiving the highest standard care available.