Common Cancer Symptoms Ignored

molesJust because something seems minor does not mean you should take it lightly according to a new study. More than half of adults surveyed experienced symptoms of cancer but only two percent believed that cancer was a possible cause. Many people are not paying attention to the warning signs. Routine tests are important, but do not rely on the tests alone for protection. Some cancer is easily treatable and curable when diagnosed early. Here are some symptoms that should be taken seriously.

Lumps & Bumps

Many cancers can be felt through the skin. If you notice any strange lumps or bumps, you should see your doctor immediately.

Cough or Hoarseness

Several types of cancer, including leukemia, laryngeal, lung, or thyroid cancer can cause symptoms that mimic a bad cough or bronchitis. If the problems persists or goes away and comes back again it is definitely a cause for concern.

Weight Loss

If you are shedding pounds without any effort that is a concern and can be an indicator of serious medical problems. According to the American Cancer Society, unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more can be the first sign of cancer. This warning sign is common in those with pancreatic, stomach, lung or esophageal cancers.

Skin Moles

While all moles are not an indicator of melanoma, a new mole or one that has changed should be checked by a dermatologist. A dermatologist will be able to screen for skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of all cancers. Early detection is critical in treating skin cancer.

Bloating

It’s very common to feel bloated after eating or drinking too much. A bloated and painful tummy can indicate something other than cancer but if you consistently feel bloated for more than two weeks, this could be a sign of ovarian cancer.

Get Rid of Sunspots

Sun DamageSolar lentigines also known as sunspots are caused from sun exposure. Sunspots are usually flat brown spots that show up on the parts of the skin that have been exposed to the sun. Once you start getting sunspots on skin, they will eventually darken and increase. A skin care professional can use a variety of procedures to get rid of sunspots on your skin. At Advanced Dermatology you will get the best results when you combine any of these procedures with a comprehensive skin care routine that also helps to fight sunspots.

Microdermabrasion

This treatment is typically performed by aestheticians and is widely available. Microdermabrasion is done using salt crystals, aluminum sand, or diamond surfaced wand. It involves a controlled skin exfoliation with a suctioning off of the dead skin cells. Our offices use the diamond-surfaced wand for best results. During the treatment, dead cells with extra skin pigment are removed from the entire surface.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peel treatments are widely used for different conditions. Depending on the depth of the chemical peel, it can be performed by aestheticians, nurses and/or physicians. Different regions of your skin will respond differently to a chemical peel. The face is more forgiving and resilient when it comes to chemical peels because the skin heals from pores after a peel. The face has more pores than any other parts of the skin. An experienced professional is crucial when doing the peel especially when you have darker skin.

Laser and Light Treatments

Laser and light treatments use wavelengths of light to target something specific in the skin. In our offices we use Intense Pulse Light, Fraxel, and Pixel lasers. Filters are for certain lasers are sometimes used to refine the energy output for the treatment of certain areas. Three to five treatments depending on the severity of the area being treated spread out three to four weeks apart provides optimal results.

Pollution Has Adverse Effects on the Skin

In a recent yearlong study conducted in Beijing, it was found that those who lived in high pollution areas had skin hydration and barrier function that was significantly worse than those in lower pollution areas. This difference occurred regardless of lifestyle choices and skincare routines. Fundamental signs of skin health were altered by the presence of pollution. For those living in cities with high pollution levels this may seem especially troubling as no matter how much you pay attention to protecting the health of your skin it’s still being compromised by your environment.

As always the most important things to remember when trying to maintain the health of your skin on a daily basis are staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen, and cleansing. Since sun damage, pollution, and other environmental factors can prematurely age the skin it may sometimes feel like a losing battle when you start to see wrinkles, spots, and tone changes. Luckily there are a few different treatments that can help diminish the negative effects of exposure to these skin hazards.

Fraxel

Fraxel laser treatments resurface the skin to reveal a glowing and more youthful appearance. Fraxel can diminish sunspots, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and more signs of premature aging. The treatments are not so severe that you can’t return to your daily activities afterwards but at the same time they are strong enough to see significant improvement in the appearance of your skin.
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Thermage CPT

Thermage CPT is a treatment that tightens the skin to reduce wrinkles. The CPT stands for “Comfort Pulse Technology” which means that it was designed with optimal patient comfort in mind. Just like Fraxel, a Thermage treatment has no downtime and is relatively painless. Thermage however is not a treatment to resurface the skin but to rejuvenate it through tightening. Using heat, the treatment tightens and firms the skin reducing the appearance of wrinkles by stimulating new collagen growth.

Combination treatment of Thermage and Fraxel

Combining both Fraxel and Thermage can lead to even better skin rejuvenation and tightening. Click on the image below to see the great results from a combination treatment on the abdomen.
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Dealing with depression? Try some Botox.

Dr. Smart discusses treating depression with Botox

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Positive effects on mood have been seen in patients who’ve had Botox treatment for the glabella frown lines (the area above the nose and between the eyebrows). And a randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled trial recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry adds further evidence to support the use of botox as an adjunctive therapy to treat depression.

In this study a total of 30 patients with high levels of chronic and treatment-resistant depression were enrolled in the study. Patients were randomly assigned to receive a single treatment of Botox or a single treatment of saline (placebo). Six weeks after a single treatment, the Botox group had an average 47.1% reduction in depression symptoms vs. 9.2% in the placebo group.

Why would this work? Our emotions are expressed by facial muscles, which in turn send feedback signals to the brain to reinforce those emotions. Treating facial muscles with botulinum toxin to prevent the facial muscles from expressing a frown or brooding scowl seems to interrupt this cycle.

About Dr. David Smart

Dr. Smart was born in Salt Lake City and grew up climbing and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and must have enjoyed the harsh winters of the upper Midwest so much that he decided to stay in nearby Chicago to complete a residency in dermatology at the University of Illinois Chicago. With a particular interest in laser and cosmetic medicine, as well as general dermatology, Dr. Smart is excited to join the Advanced Dermatology team as the laser and cosmetic fellow.

The Beauty of Belotero

Dr. Smart on combining Belotero with Botox to get rid of pesky wrinkles

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Botox is great, but it doesn’t always take the wrinkles away. Sometimes wrinkles are too deep. And simply relaxing the underlying muscles with Botox, or another neuromodulator like Xeomin or Dysport, is not enough to get rid of them. In these cases, we’ve had great success by combining Botox with filler, specifically Belotero. Belotero leaves an elegant result by filling those pesky wrinkles that remain even after adequate treatment with Botox.

Belotero is a great product when used appropriately. It is a hyaluronic acid filler like Juvederm or Restylane, but it has some important differences. Its formulation makes it well suited for very superficial injections directly into those lines that you just can’t seem to get rid off. Other current hyaluronic acid fillers are ideally placed slightly deeper in the skin, for a better volumizing effect.

If you have fine lines that Botox just doesn’t seem to fix, ask your doctor about Belotero. It might be right for you.

About Dr. David Smart

Dr. Smart was born in Salt Lake City and grew up climbing and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and must have enjoyed the harsh winters of the upper Midwest so much that he decided to stay in nearby Chicago to complete a residency in dermatology at the University of Illinois Chicago. With a particular interest in laser and cosmetic medicine, as well as general dermatology, Dr. Smart is excited to join the Advanced Dermatology team as the laser and cosmetic fellow.