Join us on Friday September 8th in our Natick office for a cosmetic event!
Our offices will be closed on Friday 9/1 and Monday 9/4 in observance of Labor Day.
We will reopen with normal business hours on Tuesday 9/5.
Enjoy the holiday weekend!
Examining one’s own skin, especially with the help of a partner, helps detect skin cancer at an earlier stage than waiting for someone else to find it. Here are the easy steps to performing a self-skin check, with or without a partner.
1. Set a regular schedule: often the first Sunday of the month is an easy way to remember performing a monthly self-skin check. Checking daily may be too soon to detect a changing lesion, and less often one may loose track of the responsibility to keep up with the exams.
2. Get undressed (to the level of comfort if a partner is present, of course). Use mirrors (and sometimes a hand mirror in front of a large panel mirror to check the back).
3. Review growths on your body for anything bleeding, tender, or obviously alarming.
4. Follow the ABCDEs of melanoma detection: Asymmetry, Border (an irregular jagged or meandering border), Color (2 or more shades of brown within a single lesion), Diameter (larger than the eraser on a pencil), and Evolving (a changing lesion)
5. What else to look for: you are looking for something that doesn’t quite “fit in” with the remainder of your skin. The ABCDE criteria are only about 50% sensitive for finding a melanoma, so there are many melanomas out there that don’t have the typical irregular border and multiple hues of brown discoloration. Look for a shade of brown or a shape or texture not present in any of your other moles, for example. Look for something that catches your eye. It sounds strange, but after performing skin exams routinely you will learn what is stable and typical for yourself.
6. Take pictures – high quality, in-focus photographs can be very helpful in following a growth over time. However, if the growth is atypical don’t just watch it – get it checked out first.
-Michael Krathen, M.D.
If you’re going to the beach or you’re heading outside for a day in the sun, the first thing you should do is apply sunscreen. It helps block harmful UV rays that can cause burns, blisters, and even skin cancer. But, should sunscreen be applied to a newborn baby’s skin? New studies suggest that sunblock isn’t safe for infants, and here are the reasons why.
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Our offices will be closed on Monday July 3rd and Tuesday July 4th in observance of Independence Day. We will resume normal office hours on Wednesday July 5th. We hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!
As many of us are aware, acne is very common and presents in various subtypes. Hormonally induced acne, one of the more common subtypes of acne, is, unfortunately, both under-recognized and under-treated.
Generally, hormonally induced acne is characterized by deeper sometimes tender pimples occurring on the jawline, chin, forehead, and trunk of female acne patients. Typically this acne subtype flares reliably in relationship (before, often) to one’s menstrual cycle (but not always). Menstrual cycles may be regular or irregular. Importantly, if one’s menstrual cycles are irregular, in conjunction with acne and hirsutism (excess hair growth), one should consider evaluation by an endocrinologist or gynecologist for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or other disorder.
In my experience I divide hormonally induced acne into the following typical presentations:
1) Teens with significant acne flaring during the week before menstrual cycle
2) Young women (age 20’s-30’s), often with no history of teenage acne, with rather abrupt onset of deeper tender pimples
3) Pregnant women
4) Peri-menopausal acne (sometimes occurring several years before or after menopause as well), women in the 40’s or 50’s with tender deeper pimples generally occurring on the chin, jawline and neck.
Women of all ages who recently (2-3 months prior to onset of acne) switched birth control to include one of the following progesterones: norethindrone, levonorgestrel, etonorgesterel, among others.
Treatment of hormonally induced acne can be a bit of a challenge. Topical treatment generally is insufficient to improve hormonal acne, although mild hormonal acne may be improved by clindamycin, azelaic acid, niacinamide, dapsone or other antimicrobials/anti-inflammatories. Coordinating with one’s primary care physician, dermatologist, pediatrician, and/or gynecologist is crucial, as optimizing the selection of a low-androgenicity oral contraceptive can make a huge difference in the treatment of hormonal acne. The optimal progesterones for hormonal acne include desogestrel, norgestimate, and drospirenone. Lastly, spironolactone, a diuretic often employed in the off-label treatment of hormonal acne, may be used as mono-therapy or in combination with an oral contraceptive.
The final comment to make about hormonally induced acne is regarding the use of isotretinoin. Now, I love isotretinoin as much as the next dermatologist, however one must recognize its limitations as well. Although hormonal acne will improve during an isotretinoin course of therapy, it will generally recur after the treatment has completed. As a result, before female patients commence a course of isotretinoin, it is often sensible to optimize hormonal acne treatment to determine if the isotretinoin course is actually necessary.
If the above sounds like you or someone you care about, know that effective therapies exist and the prognosis is great.
Michael Krathen, MD
“I am very excited to join DermCare in July. Given our shared values of exceptional patient care and service, partnering with DermCare will be a natural fit. My practice will continue to focus on offering the following: 1) data-driven, cutting edge medical dermatological care; 2) straightforward, cost-effective, and cosmetically-sensitive surgical dermatological care; 3) approachable, honest and patient-driven aesthetic dermatological care. It is my privilege to provide such care and I look forward to doing so in the Natick office in the near future.”
We are excited to announce that Dr. Michael Krathen will be joining the Dermcare Physicians & Surgeons team mid-July 2017! Dr. Krathen will be working in our Natick office and specializing in Adult, Pediatric and Aesthetic Dermatology.
Learn more about Dr. Krathen and his areas of specialization here.
Common Botox Myths in Boston, MA
Considering getting Botox but too afraid to take the leap based on the negative things you’ve read? Here are just a few myths to ignore when doing research on Botox:
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While skin care products and various beauty regimens can help your skin look great later in life, it’s important to build a healthy foundation by following a few simple and proactive skin care tips.
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