Moles--they're those flat, oval to circular spots on your skin. Typically brown, or sometimes black in color, most moles live out their lifespan harmlessly. Some moles, however, change, and change can indicate skin cancer. To be sure your skin--and your overall health--stays strong, your dermatologist in Decatur, Dr. Francis Lee, recommends you check your moles once a month at home. For those with a personal or family history of skin cancer, he wants to see you once a year for a check-up at Lee Institute of Skin and Laser.
Why we get moles
Many moles appear at birth (the medical term is congenital nevi), but some appear later, particularly during the teen years and when women are pregnant. Existing moles darken at these times, too. Characteristically, moles are scattered all over the body, but we especially notice those on the face, arms. Skin doctors link mole formation to sun exposure. So whatever parts of the body are most public seem to have the most moles.
When moles change
Usually, long-standing moles do not change much in size, color and shape. However, if you have a mole that begins to hurt, itch or bleed, contact the Lee Institute of Skin and Laser. These alterations could indicate skin cancer, a prevalent, and potentially deadly, malady affecting one in five Americans.
Know your skin well, and check the appearance of moles regularly--again, once a month at home and yearly with your dermatologist in Decatur.
Checking your moles
How can you check your moles and other skin irregularities? Look at your skin after you take a shower. Using a mirror, and if possible, getting your spouse to help, inspect all over your body for changes in the color and texture of your skin. Check between your toes and at the back of your knees and neck (with a mirror if necessary).
The American Academy of Dermatology uses this system for evaluating moles. It's as easy as remembering the first five letters of the alphabet: ABCDE. Note any changes and report them to Dr. Lee.
- A means asymmetry. If you were to draw a line down the center of your mole, each side should be equal.
- B stands for border. It should remain smooth, not notched or ragged.
- C means color. Moles are brown or black. If this changes, or if other colors such as red or white appear, it's a danger sign.
- D is diameter. No mole should be larger than 6 mm or the size of a pencil eraser.
- E means evolving. When a mole changes in color, texture, size or shape, call your dermatologist in Decatur.
Be on guard
Looking at your skin pays big health dividends. If you are concerned about a mole or want a skin check-up, phone the Lee Institute of Skin and Laser for expert care from this board-certified dermatologist and his team:(217) 877-7171.
Find out the best way to get this rather embarrassing condition under control.
Do you go through several shirts in one day? Are you embarrassed to shake someone’s hand because your hands are always soaked? If you’ve been diagnosed with hyperhidrosis (a condition that causes excessive sweating) then these are scenarios that you may experience more often than not. What could be behind this condition and how is it treated? Our Decatur, IL, dermatologist Dr. Francis Lee has the answers.
What constitutes excessive sweating?
Whether you just went to the gym or you are out enjoying a warm summer day, there are certain scenarios in which it’s normal to find yourself sweating. Of course, if you find yourself sweating for no reason, then you could be dealing with a condition known as hyperhidrosis. If you have hyperhidrosis then certain areas of the body like the underarms, head or feet may drip with sweat while the rest of the body remains sweat-free. Those with true hyperhidrosis find that this condition can greatly interfere with their daily lives.
What causes hyperhidrosis?
So, what could be to blame for this condition? Primary hyperhidrosis occurs when excessive sweating is not caused by a medical condition. In this case, overactive sweat glands are typically responsible for this type of excessive sweating. If someone in your family also has this condition then you may be more likely to develop it.
Secondary hyperhidrosis, on the other hand, means that a certain medical condition is responsible. This could be due to diabetes, leukemia, menopause, an anxiety disorder, or certain medications.
When should you visit a dermatologist?
It’s a good time to schedule an appointment with us if you find that your excessive sweating is affecting your life and causing you discomfort and even embarrassment. If you’ve just recently noticed that you have started to sweat more than usual then this is something that you shouldn’t ignore.
If you have questions about hyperhidrosis and your treatment options then don’t hesitate to call Lee Institute of Skin and Laser in Decatur, IL, today.
There are several ways that the sun can affect the skin, both favorable and unfavorable. Dr. Francis C. Lee is a dermatologist at Lee Institute of Skin & Laser in Decatur, IL who is committed to helping patients manage their skin health and how it relates to UV rays. Learn more about sun exposure and the various skin conditions that can develop from either sitting in the sun's rays for too long or from not getting enough sun.
Vitamin D from the Sun
There is one significant benefit that you get from exposure to the sun. The sun's rays help stimulate the production of Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” in your body. You need Vitamin D for overall good health. It has been shown to help everything from your heart health to the strength of your immune system. Vitamin D can also help with depression and mood disorders. However, it’s important to seek sunshine in moderation—especially if you have fair skin or are at risk for certain skin conditions.
Rashes & Rosacea
Sun rash or heat rash can form when you get too much sun. It causes spots on the skin to become red and itchy. Sometimes this type of rash forms when you’re outside in the sun and come in contact with certain plants. The sun is also a trigger for some rosacea flare-ups, which can be managed by your Decatur, IL dermatologist.
Skin Cancer Risks
If you are at high risk for skin cancer, your Decatur, IL dermatologist will warn you of the dangers of prolonged exposure to the sun. The UV rays can stimulate the formation of precancerous cells. Here are some other risk factors:
- Fair skin.
- Presence of moles on the skin.
- Heredity (family history).
- Aged 50 or older.
- Use of tanning beds or living in a hot, sunny area for long periods of time.
Certain skin fungi can grow due to exposure to the sun's rays. A condition called tinea versicolor, also called sun fungus, causes a rash-like overgrowth of yeast on the skin. In other cases, the sun may have antimicrobial healing properties that can help control fungal infections.
Hyperpigmentation is a darkening of the skin in some places—usually on the face. It is caused by an excess of melanin in certain areas and it can worsen when you’re exposed to the sun. The sun stimulates melanin, causing the spots to tan or darken, while the rest of the face is lighter in appearance.
Consult Your Dermatologist
If you are suffering from any of the aforementioned skin conditions, it's important that you see a dermatologist for treatment. Call Lee Institute of Skin & Laser in Decatur, IL today at 217-877-7171 to set up a visit with Dr. Lee.
How Dr. Francis C. Lee, your Decatur, IL dermatologist can help you look your best!
If you don’t like the way your skin looks, chances are there is an aesthetic procedure that can help. Modern advances in dermatology have provided state-of-the-art technology and innovative materials to enhance the way you look. Dr. Francis C. Lee at Lee Institute of Skin and Laser in Decatur, Illinois wants to help you discover aesthetic procedures and what they can do for you.
If you are experiencing fine lines and wrinkles, Neurotoxin injections, which include Botox, Dysport and Xeomin might be the answer you are looking for. Most commonly, these are frown lines and crow's feet have become the standard to which any cosmetic procedure should measure up by using safe neurotoxins. The underlying muscles are relaxed and within seven days, there is a more rested look. These treatments may last up to three months. You should consider Neurotoxin injections to diminish the look of:
- Laugh and smile lines around your nose and mouth
- Frown lines in your forehead
- Lines in between your eyebrows
- Crow’s feet surrounding your eyes
Restylane, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Silk and other hyaluronic acid fillers have proven to be effective and safe in helping patients address common signs of aging. Particularly, these injectables help to replace a naturally made substance, which when injected properly can replace and enhance facial wrinkles, and areas of volume loss. Common areas that may be treated include cheeks, smile lines, lips, and other areas.
Laser Resurfacing Treatment
A laser resurfacing treatment can smooth and revitalize your skin. It works by penetrating the layers of your skin and stimulating your body’s natural healing ability. The light from the laser enhances collagen production which rejuvenates your skin, making it more youthful and smooth. You should consider laser resurfacing to help with:
- Acne scarring or scars from surgery or injuries
- Age spots, uneven skin tone and sun damage
- Early signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles
If you want to have smooth, youthful skin, another beneficial aesthetic treatment you might consider is a chemical peel. This minimally invasive treatment uses a solution containing vitamins, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and other good-for-your-skin ingredients to exfoliate the top layers of your skin. The result is smoother, brighter skin. You should consider a chemical peel to correct:
- Uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation
- Rough, thickened, scaly skin
- Sun damage, age or liver spots
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Acne and acne-related scarring
Microneedling treatment allows for controlled induction of the skin's self-repair mechanism by creating micro- "injuries" in the skin, which triggers new collagen synthesis, yet does not pose the risk of permanent scarring. The result is smoother, firmer and younger-looking skin. Microneedling procedures are performed in a safe and precise manner with the use of a sterile needle head. The procedure is normally completed with 30-60 minutes, depending on the required treatment and anatomical site.
These are just a few of the aesthetic procedures available at Lee Institute of Skin and Laser. For a complete listing of available aesthetic treatments please visit the aesthetic procedures page on the website at http://www.leeskincare.com/aesthetic-procedures.html
If you are ready to start looking younger and better than you ever thought possible, it’s time to call Dr. Francis C. Lee at Lee Institute of Skin and Laser in Decatur, Illinois. Call today!
Discover the wonders of Neurotoxins & Injectable Fillers and how they can improve your appearance.
Age isn’t always kind to our skin. Even if you’ve taken the proper measures to wear sunscreen and stay out of the sun, everything from smiling to frowning to squinting while outside can lead to visible lines and wrinkles on your face. If you want an effective way to get rid of these signs of aging then turn to our Decatur, IL, dermatologist, Dr. Francis C. Lee, for treatment.
What are Neurotoxins?
Chances are pretty good that you’ve seen commercials or read articles on this cosmetic treatment, but it’s important that you actually know what it entails. Neurotoxin injections, which include Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin help with relaxations of active muscles that create dynamic lines and wrinkles. Most commonly, these are frown lines and crow’s feet have become the standard to which any cosmetic procedure should measure up by using safe neurotoxins.
Neurotoxin injections are used to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate-to-severe lines and wrinkles of the face. It’s great for tackling common wrinkles like crow’s feet and frown lines.
Will it look like I had work done?
A lot of patients worry that they will look emotionless or like they’ve had too much work done, but what makes getting neurotoxin injections such as Botox from our trained Decatur skin doctor so great is that you will always get safe and effective cosmetic treatments with natural results. While this treatment will help to smooth out the skin it should never leave you expressionless. Talk to us during your consultation to let us know what kind of results you want to achieve.
Does it hurt?
People hear needles and immediately get nervous. We understand that no one likes needles but the needles are extremely thin. Most patients say they feel no more than a slight pinch when the injections are administered. And if this isn’t enough to calm your nerves, we can apply a topical numbing gel to the areas prior to treating them so that you won’t feel any discomfort during your very short treatment.
How long do results last?
If you don’t see results after immediately leaving our office, don’t fret! The underlying muscles are relaxed and within seven days, there’s a more rested look. These treatments may last up to three months, and if you’re happy with how you look you can opt for follow-up treatments to maintain your appearance.
What are Injectables fillers?
Restylane, Restylane Lyft, Restyland Silk, and other hyaluronic acid filler have proven to be effective and safe in helping patient addressing common signs of aging. Particularly, these injectables help to replace a naturally made substance, which when injected properly can replace and enhance facial wrinkles, and areas of volume loss. Common areas that may be treated include: cheeks, smile lines, lips and other areas.
Neurotoxin injections and injectable fillers could finally give you the results you want. We recommend coming in for a consultation and see our board certified dermatologist to find a solution for your aging concerns. If you are ready to find out if this is the treatment for you then call Dr. Francis C. Lee, your Decatur, IL, dermatologist at (217) 877-7171 today.
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