The skin care specialists at Alexandria Associates In Dermatology treat all skin conditions and all ages and and all skin types. A few of the many common conditions that we treat are listed below. We offer comprehensive dermatologic skin health care, including general, pediatric, geriatric, and surgical dermatology, all under one roof. We look forward to addressing your skin care and skin health needs.
General Dermatology Concerns
A common condition that encompasses blocked pores (blackheads & whiteheads), pustules, and/or nodules occurring on the face, chest. Acne can vary in severity and can respond to over-the-counter treatments, but often requires the need for prescription acne medications. Acne is not life threatening, but may result in scarring. It is important to treat acne early to prevent scarring of the skin. Topical and/or oral medication can be used to improve acne.
Eczema represents inflammation of the skin that can be related to irritants, allergic reactions to substances, or has an unknown source. Most often, the cause of eczema is unknown. Eczema tends to be worse in the winter. The use of a daily moisturizer on the skin is of great importance. Topical anti-inflammatory medications can help control eczema. Sometimes, stronger treatments such as phototherapy or pills may be needed.
Some people have a form of eczema that occurs in childhood known as atopic dermatitis. This form of eczema often has a familial link and can be associated with other conditions such as asthma and seasonal allergies.
Rosacea is often characterized by redness of the face, often associated with broken red blood vessel known as telangiectasia. Acne-like lesions or nodules may also occur along with the redness. Patients often complain of increased redness of the face with certain "triggers" such as sun, stress, spicy foods, caffeine, or alcoholic beverages. Avoidance of these triggers for patients with rosacea is recommended. There are topical and oral medications that can improve rosacea. Laser treatment (for example with the Vbeam Perfecta®) is also helpful, particularly for the redness and telangiectasias.
One of the most common skin conditions, psoriasis is an inflammatory condition of the skin that affects over 2% of the US population. Psoriasis is characterized by pink, scaly areas of skin (often on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but can occur on other parts of the body as well). Occasionally, patients will complain of itchiness associated with their psoriasis. The condition varies in severity, with milder forms responding well to topical medications and more severe forms requiring phototherapy, oral or injectable medications.
Phototherapy, or light therapy, is a treatment that involves the use of artificial ultraviolet (UV) light control certain types of inflammation of the skin. During phototherapy, skin is exposed to an ultraviolet (UV) light source for a set amount of time. Certain skin conditions respond well to phototherapy. Those diseases include psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, and some skin-based lymphomas. Our practice offers phototherapy that can treat the entire body, as well as a device that can localize treatment to the hands and feet.
Full-Body Skin Exams
A full body skin exam is performed to screen for skin cancer. Typically, the doctor looks for any unusual lesions on the skin, such as skin cancer or atypical moles. If a suspicious lesion is detected on examination, a biopsy (skin sample) may be taken for microscopic evaluation.
The most common forms of skin cancer include Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma. Melanoma is the most concerning due to its ability to spread from the skin to other parts of the body fairly quickly. Early detection of a melanoma is critical. Inform your doctor if you notice any moles that are changing in size, symmetry, shape, or color. Also inform your doctor of any spots that bleed easily, fail to heal, or are persistently scaly. A full-body skin exam can be done to look for suspicious lesions.
Mohs micrographic surgery is a method for removal of skin cancer with the preservation of as much surrounding normal tissue as is possible. This type of surgery is very useful for large tumors, tumors with indistinct borders, tumors near vital functions, or cosmetic structures, and tumors which other forms of therapy have failed. Mohs surgery requires specific fellowship training following dermatology residency.
Dr. Rosemarie Liu, provides Mohs surgery services at our office on Friday mornings. She practices at the Skin Cancer Surgery Center in Fairfax, VA during the other days of the week.
To learn more about Mohs surgery, click here
To learn more about Dr. Liu, click here