Dermatology is the branch of medicine that treats conditions affecting the skin, scalp, hair, and nails. As the largest organ in the body, over 3000 different diseases may affect the skin. Many times skin changes provide clues to systemic illnesses.
Some of the more common conditions in medical dermatology include:
Medical dermatology also includes treatment for less common conditions like:
Autoimmune connective tissue disorders
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world. Over five million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year; this is more than the number of new cases of prostate, breast, lung, and colon cancer combined. Most skin cancers are associated with ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
What skin cancer looks like depends on the type of skin cancer. The most common types of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, may present as pink or red sores that do not heal. They sometimes itch, hurt, or bleed. Melanoma sometimes appears as a mole with several shades of brown, black, pink, purple, or red. The border may be uneven and it may change in appearance over time.
Some other less common types of skin cancer include: Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Sebaceous Carcinoma, Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP) and, Atypical Fibroxanthoma (AFX).
As with most types of cancer, early diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer leads to optimal outcomes.
Developed by Frederic Mohs in the 1930s, the Mohs surgery technique is the most precise, advanced, and effective treatment for many types of skin cancer. Skin cancer often develops roots extending beyond the visible tumor. The Mohs technique involves surgically removing the visible skin cancer and then examining the edges (deep and lateral) under a microscope. If left over tumor is noted at one of the edges, this specific edge is re-excised and again examined under a microscope. The process is repeated until it is confirmed that all of the skin cancer has been removed.
The cure rate for Mohs surgery is up to 99% at five years. In addition, the technique maximizes the functional and cosmetic outcome following surgery by removing only the smallest amount of normal skin necessary. Furthermore, the Mohs approach is frequently the most cost-effective treatment available.
In most cases, the site of the skin cancer may be repaired immediately following Mohs surgery.