Due to there only being one dermatologist in the Garden Route I see a substantial amount of dermatology. Most cases are simple cases of sun damage. Solar Keratosis is basically an abnormal thickening of the keratin layer of the skin caused by solar radiation and if left unchecked it can develop in skin cancer. It is easily treatable by either cryotherapy (our cryopen works flawlessly), with Effudix ointment or in mild or disseminated cases with chemical peeling. Obviously suspicious lesions are treated by excision biopsy in the rooms. Less obvious lesions are first biopsied with a punch biopsy and then we proceed to excision if necessary. Basal cell carcinoma occurs commonly on the face, especially the nose. It is a rapidly growing locally destructive skin cancer, but requires no other treatment than wide local excision. Squamous cell skin carcinoma is less prevalent and is also treated with excision using local anaesthetic. It can appear as a lump, an ulcer or a scaly patch on the skin. The dangerous form of skin cancer is malignant melanoma. Be on the look out for the ABCDEs and the Ugly duckling sign: A= Asymmetry – the two halves of a lesion are not similar.
B= Border – uneven borders are a bad sign
C=Colour – a variety of colours is a warning sign.
D=Diameter – 6mm is the cut-off point. Benign lesions are usually smaller.
E= Evolving – When moles change appearance they must be checked out.
Ugly duckling: if a mole looks remarkably different from the other markings in the area be suspicious.
Malignant melanoma must be referred to a specialist dermatologist or surgeon for further treatment.
We also treat teenage acne with a variety of modalities including light therapy, chemical peeling and medication as required in a step wise approach. In severe cases we prescribe Tretinoin based products and monitor our patients carefully. We stock Neostrata’s excellent acne range.