How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?

From the moment you get your tattoo, your immune system works hard to remove it. That’s because it recognizes the ink particles as foreign bodies and tries to break them down. If you have an older tattoo, you have already seen the fading caused by your immune system at work. Laser tattoo removal works by breaking down the ink into tiny particles that your immune system can transport away more quickly and easily. You can think of this as the laser speeding up the process that is already occurring in your body. If you’re considering laser tattoo removal, it can be helpful to dispel some of the myths about it before you begin the treatment process. Here’s what to know about laser tattoo removal with Dr. Baird.

Your Consultation

The first step in tattoo removal is a consultation with Dr. Baird. There are several factors to consider when creating your treatment plan. The color, type, depth of the ink deposits; the age of the tattoo, where the tattoo is on your body, and the color of your skin will all affect the removal process. Your tattoo removal will require several sessions scheduled several weeks apart. Your body will need time to process the ink particles through your immune system, and your skin will need time to heal between each session. Your tattoo will lighten slowly over time after each session. Additionally:

  • Some tattoo colors are easier to remove than others. Black and dark blue are the easiest inks to remove. Purple, white, and pastel inks are the most challenging.
  • Most tattoo removal treatment plans take several months to complete. Larger, more complex tattoos can take a year or more to totally remove.
  • Common side effects of laser tattoo removal include pain, swelling, bleeding, blistering, scabbing, scarring, skin color changes, and infection.

The Procedure

Depending upon the location of the tattoo, you will either sit in a treatment chair or lie on a treatment table. The tattoo area will be numbed with an injection of local anesthesia or with a numbing cream. Once the numbing takes effect, the procedure is ready to begin.

At this point, Dr. Baird will use a specialized laser wand about the same size as a small hairdryer. He will place the opening of the wand against your skin and start the laser procedure. This handpiece administers very fast pulses of laser energy to break up the pigment. You may feel some discomfort depending upon whether your treatment plan includes numbing cream or local anesthesia. The length of each treatment session will depend on how large your tattoo is and the various factors surrounding the pigments.

Aftercare

After each procedure, you will be able to see that the shape of your tattoo is now raised and is a lighter color. This is a normal reaction to the laser treatment. Your tattoo will be covered in antibiotic cream and bandaged. Your aftercare package will include instructions on caring for your removal site. It’s extremely important to follow these instructions so that your skin heals properly and does not form scarring or unwanted pigment. Generally, you can expect your skin to heal fully over the course of a week or more.

Schedule a Consultation

At Farmington Dermatology, we offer leading expertise and state-of-the-art technology to help you achieve your tattoo removal goals. To meet with a board-certified dermatologist and learn more about your options, contact our Farmington office by calling or filling out our online form.

Posted on November 26, 2019 by:

From the moment you get your tattoo, your immune system works hard to remove it. That’s because it recognizes the ink particles as foreign bodies and tries to break them down. If you have an older tattoo, you have already seen the fading caused by your immune system at work. Laser tattoo removal works by

laser tattoo removal farmington hills

How Many Units of Botox do I Need for my Forehead?

Botox® is the leading non-surgical treatment for lines and wrinkles. If you are considering Botox® injections, you may be wondering how much you need to look younger. As an expert in Botox® treatments, Dr. David Baird explains to his patients that several factors need to be considered when deciding how much Botox® to use for a particular patient. Botox® is not a “one size fits all” solution.

Botox® Injection Points

The first aspect of Botox® injections that Dr. Baird explains is the number of injection sites. Botox® works by temporarily reducing muscle contractions that lend to the formation of wrinkles in the forehead and eye area.

  • Horizontal forehead lines
  • Vertical 11 Lines
  • Crow’s feet 

Maximum Amount of Botox® to Treat Forehead Lines

More isn’t always better when it comes to injectable treatments for lines and wrinkles. Using too much of these products can cause unwanted side effects, some of which can be permanent. The drug information for Botox® states that the maximum number of units that should be used for Botox® treatment is:

  • Four units per injection point for horizontal forehead lines
  • Four units per injection site for vertical 11 lines
  • Three units per injection point for crow’s feet

If you are having all three areas treated, the maximum number of units is 84, but this is tailored to the patient’s needs. Younger patients and those with the early onset of wrinkles benefit from smaller dosages. Having more severe wrinkles in the forehead and eye area does not necessarily mean that you need the maximum dosage.

botox results farmington hills

How Much Botox® is Needed for Your Treatment?

The volume of Botox® that is needed for your wrinkle reduction is best determined by a board-certified dermatologist with an in-depth understanding of facial anatomical structures and the efficacy of Botox® injections. Meeting with Dr. Baird for a consultation is the first step. He evaluates your wrinkles and explains how much Botox® is needed to help you look younger.

Learn More About Botox® Injections. Contact Dr. David Baird.

Botox® is a safe treatment proven to work for reducing wrinkles in the upper portion of the face. Treatments are most successful when performed by an experienced practitioner. If you are considering Botox® and would like to learn more about the treatment, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. David Baird.

Posted on November 5, 2019 by:

Botox® is the leading non-surgical treatment for lines and wrinkles. If you are considering Botox® injections, you may be wondering how much you need to look younger. As an expert in Botox® treatments, Dr. David Baird explains to his patients that several factors need to be considered when deciding how much Botox® to use for

botox farmington hills

Can Laser Tattoo Removal Cause Cancer?

Around 30 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo. Getting a tattoo is an extremely popular way to express your appreciation for body art. However, not everyone is satisfied after getting inked. Fortunately, there is an option available to you for getting rid of an unwanted tattoo in the form of laser tattoo removal.

Above all else, it’s important to visit a facility that employs a dermatologist who is skilled at laser tattoo removal. For patients near Farmington, MI and surrounding areas, Farmington Dermatology is a top-notch facility known for impeccable results and patient care. You can have a consultation with Dr. David A. Baird, a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in laser tattoo removal and a number of other areas. Dr. Baird can alleviate your fears and answer all your questions.

How Does Laser Removal Work?

Lasers are able to remove tattoos by breaking up the pigment colors through high-intensity beams of light. However, if you have tattoos with a lot of black pigment, they are more stubborn and are far more difficult to remove.

Prior to scheduling an appointment, you should first have a consultation with the doctor so they can evaluate your tattoos and give you more information as to what to expect during the procedure. You may have to undergo several treatments depending on a variety of factors, including the size and color of your tattoo and your age and skin type. It’s important to note that your skin color and the depth of the pigment can also affect the laser tattoo removal technique used.

What to Expect During a Treatment

You can expect the following during a laser tattoo removal treatment session:

  • You are given a pair of protective eye guards or shields
  • Your skin’s reaction is tested with lasers to determine which is most effective for tattoo removal
  • The technician uses a laser to have pulses of light through the topmost layers of skin where the tattoo pigment lies.

If you have a smaller tattoo, fewer pulses are needed, but more is required if your tattoo is on the large side. Regardless of the size of your ink, however, you need several treatment sessions to completely remove it. The tattoo is lighter with each appointment.

You probably won’t need anesthesia, but you may get an anesthesia cream to apply to the area depending on where your tattoo is situated. After treatment, you can use an icepack to soothe the area, use the antibiotic cream and cover the area with a bandage for protection. Sunscreen or sunblock should be used whenever you go outside as well.

Laser Tattoo Removal and Cancer

Some people have a fear that laser tattoo removal can cause cancer. While the treatment itself cannot lead to cancer, if a person has a suspicious lesion on their skin that they have since covered with a tattoo, getting the treatment can worsen it if it is skin cancer. For that reason, the tattoo should never be treated with lasers.

Contact Farmington Dermatology to get a consultation with Dr. Baird so he can address all of your concerns surrounding laser tattoo removal.

Posted on October 18, 2019 by:

Around 30 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo. Getting a tattoo is an extremely popular way to express your appreciation for body art. However, not everyone is satisfied after getting inked. Fortunately, there is an option available to you for getting rid of an unwanted tattoo in the form of laser tattoo removal.

tattoo removal

Chemical Peels and Acne Scarring: What to Know

Most people experience acne during their teenage years, usually because of hormones. If you still experience acne or have severe acne, you know that acne scarring can be extremely difficult to get rid of, even after you get your acne under control. Although there are plenty of products that promise results, a little professional help can sometimes be the best option. Here’s what to know about your options with chemical peels for acne scarring.

What is a chemical peel?

A peel uses potent formulations of active ingredients to exfoliate the skin. This removes dead and damaged skin cells, revealing a healthy and smooth layer underneath. There are many different solutions that can be used and at different strengths, meaning we can customize your chemical peel to your exact needs.

What are the advantages of chemical peels?

Chemical peels are an excellent option for combatting acne. They can not only reduce the appearance of old acne scars, but it can also prevent new acne from occurring. This is because chemical peels can be performed with solutions that tackle acne-causing bacteria, meaning they can be a great preventative treatment to add to your regular regimen. Additionally, they can come with minimal downtime, depending on the depth of your peel.

How do I prepare for a chemical peel?

It’s important to discuss your goals for your chemical peel with your board-certified dermatologist. You should also discuss any products and active ingredients you use in your regimen to make sure the chemical peel will not negatively interact with them. You may be asked to cease using certain products for a few weeks in advance of your procedure. When you come in for your chemical peel, it can be helpful to wear no makeup or products other than a simple moisturizer.

What should I expect afterward?

Depending on the depth of your peel, you’ll experience some flaking and peeling in the days after your peel. You’ll also have some redness similar to a sunburn. You should avoid sunlight and use a designated sunscreen in the days following. Dr. Baird will make sure you understand when you can safely return to your regular skincare and cosmetic regimen after your peel. It might take a few peels spaced about one month apart for best results, so we’ll create the ideal treatment plan for you during your consultation.

Schedule a Consultation

Dr. Baird is a board-certified dermatologist with years of experience in helping his patients achieve healthy, clear skin. To begin discussing your options for chemical peels and combating acne scarring, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.

Posted on September 17, 2019 by:

Most people experience acne during their teenage years, usually because of hormones. If you still experience acne or have severe acne, you know that acne scarring can be extremely difficult to get rid of, even after you get your acne under control. Although there are plenty of products that promise results, a little professional help

chemical peel farmington hills

Farmington Derm Fights Skin Cancer

The American Academy of Dermatology is encouraging individuals to perform regular self-skin exams for skin cancer because cancers like melanomas are detected by the patient. Unfortunately, skin cancer is very common in the U.S. Melanoma cancer rates have more than doubled and it is increasing. If there is a good report about skin cancer, it is that it’s detectable thus catching it early is a health benefit and a cure is more likely.

Common Skin Cancer Cells

There are three common types of skin cancer:

  1. Squamous cell

Squamous cell skin cancer is most often caused by overexposure to solar rays. It also spreads quickly throughout the body. Squamous skin cancer can appear as follows:

  • hard red nodule
  • scaly flat lesion
  1. Basal cell

Basal cell skin cancer is the most curable form. Per its name, skin cancer starts in the basal cells. This means that it is most evident in the face and areas of the skin that is over-exposed to the sun. It does not spread in the body like a squamous cell, but its presence in the skin is very disruptive to organs and tissues around its existence. Basal cell carcinoma can appear as follows:

  • light waxy bump
  • a flat lesion that is flesh-colored or looks like a brown scar
  • a scabby sore that bleeds then heal and unfortunately returns
  1. Melanoma

Melanoma is very aggressive. It begins in the hardest to reach body area which is in the pigment cells of the skin. It can appear anywhere on the body and it too spreads if not caught quickly. Melanoma can appear as follows:

  • large brown spot with a dark pimple
  • a mole that changes in color, size, texture or that bleeds
  • a small abnormal lesion that appears red, pink, white, blue or blue-black in color
  • a painful lesion that itches or burns
  • dark lesions that appear on the palms, soles, fingertips, toes, mouth, or nose

A Soldier Against Skin Cancer

Unfortunately, yes there are other types of skin cancer. Skin cancer is an ongoing research quest with many physicians like Dr. David A. Baird seeking its demise. Dr. Baird in Farmington, Michigan is a board-certified dermatologist. He has been on the battlefield of fighting skin cancer for over 20 years.

Dr. Baird‘s skin cancer conquest is through detection, diagnosis, treatment, and maintenance. When you are looking for a compassionate physician who patiently answers all your worries, Dr. Baird is a dermatologist who explains the best medical procedures for you.

How Farmington Derm Treats Skin Cancer

In superficial skin cancer cases, Dr. Baird performs a skin biopsy. However, further treatment may be required. Surgical skin cancer options include the following:

  • Curettage/Cryotherapy: Two procedures are accomplished using these procedures. In one instance a surgeon scrapes layers of cancer cells away. The other treatment is subjecting cancerous cells to a hot needle, followed by liquid nitrogen killing the remaining cells.
  • Excisional Skin Surgery: The treatment area will be numbed, and the cancerous tissues and surrounding tissue will be removed with a scalpel.
  • Mohs Surgery: When cancer returns a physician shaves it away in thin layers. This continues until there are no remaining cancer cells.
  • Photodynamic Therapy (PDT): PDT is a type of prescription drug therapy that causes skin cells to become sensitive to light which is what it is exposed too until the cancer cells are destroyed.

Dr. Baird of Farmington Dermatologists says that their goal is close all wounds without compromising a person’s aesthetic appearance. If you suspect you have skin cancer, contact Farmington Dermatology today for a full examination.

Posted on August 8, 2019 by:

The American Academy of Dermatology is encouraging individuals to perform regular self-skin exams for skin cancer because cancers like melanomas are detected by the patient. Unfortunately, skin cancer is very common in the U.S. Melanoma cancer rates have more than doubled and it is increasing. If there is a good report about skin cancer, it

Seven Things to Remember After Botox

If you have decided to receive Botox treatments, you can expect minimal side effects and no downtime, but there are some important tips you will want to follow after you have gotten home. The actual process will vary depending on what area you had work done to, but there are still about seven things that you should do after treatment to ensure you get the best results possible.

1. Avoid Touching the Area

It is very important to keep your hands away from the area that you received your Botox in for 24 hours after your treatment. The injection was administered in a very precise way to achieve the best effect, so touching the area could cause you to move unintended muscles.

2. Avoid Alcohol and Painkillers

Certain over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin, should be avoided after your treatment since they can cause your blood to become thinner, resulting in excess swellings. Alcohol should also be avoided for about 48 hours following your treatment. Only take the painkillers the doctor may or may not prescribe you. If you have any questions about what you can and cannot take, talk to Dr. Baird.

3. Be Careful How You Sleep

Doctors recommend that you avoid sleeping in a horizontal position for at least four hours after the initial Botox injection. This is to allow the Botox to properly settle in your body to give you the desired effect. Your cosmetic provider injected it exactly where it should go to get this look, so you don’t want to lie on the area. Try to sleep on your back for the next couple of days.

4. Avoid Exercise

You may be surprised to hear that you should avoid an active lifestyle, but this is one of those times that you should. Your doctor will advise you to avoid strenuous activity for a few days after a Botox treatment. Most people can return to their regular exercise program after a couple of days, but others choose to wait for a week before exercising again.

5. No Facials or Chemical Peels

Facials and chemical peels, along with other general face treatments, can cause issues with your Botox injection. You should always wait for 24 hours or more to do any type of facial after you have received a Botox injection.

6. Stay Close

You should try to stay as close to the facility where your doctor performed the treatment for at least a few days. Traveling immediately after is not recommended. If you happen to experience an unwanted side effect, you’ll be able to easily meet the doctor to remedy the problem.

7. Wait to Schedule Pictures

It’s an exciting time! You’ve gotten Botox injections and you want to take pictures. However, some patients do experience some bruising around the injection site which may take a couple of days to go away. You should wait to make sure your face is completely healed to make sure you look your best.

Dr. David A. Baird, MD is a board-certified dermatologist who is ready to create a personalized plan that will let your inner beauty shine through. His dermatology practice in Farmington, MI offers patients 20-years of experience when it comes to skin care. Get in touch and set up a free consultation today.

Posted on July 2, 2019 by:

If you have decided to receive Botox treatments, you can expect minimal side effects and no downtime, but there are some important tips you will want to follow after you have gotten home. The actual process will vary depending on what area you had work done to, but there are still about seven things that

Understanding Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

A cancer diagnosis is upsetting news wherever it is found in the body. Although some cancers are more aggressive than others, the nature of cancer is the same. A mutation at the cellular level causes cells to reproduce out of control. In the interior organs, this leads to the growth of tumors. When cancer is found on the skin, it leads to patches of cancerous cells. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. You may not hear as much about these types of skin cancer as melanoma, but it’s just as important to know what they are and how they can affect you. Here’s what to know.

The Difference Between Squamous Cells and Basal Cells

The outer layer of the skin is made up of layers of flat cells known as squamous cells. Your body is constantly growing and shedding these cells as they make their way to the outer layer and die. When your skin is dry and itchy in the winter months, it is because your squamous cells are drying out and flaking away. Squamous cells do not divide; they are instead replaced over time.

Basal cells are deeper in the skin at the lowest level of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). As these round cells divide and multiply, they push up the next layer of cells toward the surface. These cells then flatten out and become squamous cells. Basal cells are separated from the lower levels of the skin by a thin membrane.

Knowing Signs of Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Cancer

Most people have been warned about the dangers of another form of skin cancer called melanoma. This type of cancer is caused by another skin cell in the epidermis, the melanocyte. They know to check themselves for the unusual moles that are its telltale sign.

Basal cell cancers and squamous cell cancers can be more difficult to spot. The signs may just seem like irritated skin or a dry patch. However, the best results for treatment happen when skin cancers are caught before they break through the basement membrane and into lower levels of the skin and bone, so it is important to catch them early. These are two things to look out for.

Actinic Keratosis

These small, reddish spots are commonly found on fair-skinned people in places like the hands, face, and neck that have been damaged by the sun. Although they are not cancerous and can disappear on their own, they can also be a sign of developing cancer. If you think you see these scaly spots on your body, be sure to have a dermatologist like Dr. Baird check them. Sometimes, a procedure or prescribed cream can destroy that section of squamous cells so they cannot become cancerous.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Situ

This condition is also known as Bowen disease. It involves up to half-inch patches of red, scaly skin. Here, the squamous are cancerous but are still in the upper level of the skin. Treatment will be required to remove the diseased cells. Dr. Baird can perform most of the required treatments in our Farmington office.

Differences Between Basal Cancer and Squamous Cell Cancer

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, making up 80% of skin cancer cases. Although it can break through the basement membrane, it is generally a slow-growing cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is more likely to spread throughout the body but is still not as aggressive as other cancers. In addition to sun-damaged areas, squamous cells cancers can develop on scars or other places where the skin has been damaged or irritated.

Early Detection is the Key

The sooner skin cancer is detected, the better the chance for successful treatment. The goal of any skin cancer treatment is to remove the cancerous area before it can spread deeper into the body. If you see any unusual patches on your skin, be sure to call Dr. Baird’s office for an appointment right away. You can schedule a skin cancer screening in Farmington by calling or filling out our online form.

Posted on June 5, 2019 by:

A cancer diagnosis is upsetting news wherever it is found in the body. Although some cancers are more aggressive than others, the nature of cancer is the same. A mutation at the cellular level causes cells to reproduce out of control. In the interior organs, this leads to the growth of tumors. When cancer is

How Can I Prevent Skin Cancer?

If you have a fear of skin cancer or if you’re in situations where you’re outside for long periods of time, there are a few ways that you can protect your skin and your health. Keep in mind that skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States and can impact any gender, any race, and any age. You could be more prone than others for skin cancer if you have a family history of the disease or if you’re a woman under the age of 40. If you have fair skin or light eyes, then you stand a greater risk of developing skin cancer as well.

Checking your moles

It’s extremely important to know what a suspicious mole looks like so you know when you should contact your doctor. The symmetry of the mole is usually abnormal. One side of the mole doesn’t look like the other side, which is often an indication that there are cancer cells present. Skin cancer moles often have irregular edges. The color of the mole isn’t always the same in all areas. The diameter of a cancerous mole is usually larger than 6 mm. Moles that are elevated usually need more attention than those that are flat. If you notice any changes in the size of the mole, then you should seek medical attention to have it tested.

Checking your skin

It’s not always moles on your skin that indicate skin cancer. If you notice a sore or a pimple that doesn’t seem like it wants to heal even after using medications, then it could be a type of skin cancer. You should also pay attention to areas on your skin that have a scaly appearance, especially if those areas have been exposed to the sun for an extended time. A common myth is that you feel you feel your skin burning outside or that you can’t get a sunburn if it’s cloudy. The sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds, and you can get burned even if you don’t feel that your skin is getting hot. If you use tanning beds, you stand a much higher chance of developing skin cancer.

Protecting yourself

If you plan on being outside, then wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. An SPF of about 30 or higher should be used if you have fair skin or if you already have areas on your skin that are of concern. Avoid tanning. Keep the sun from your face and other areas of your body by wearing a large hat. This is an accessory that you want to have on-hand if you plan on being outside in the direct sunlight for longer than five minutes as you want to offer as much protection as possible to your skin along with sunscreen. Staying out of the sun when it’s at its strongest during the day is often the best way to prevent skin cancer.

Schedule a Consultation

With the right steps, you can effectively prevent skin cancer or easily treat it. To schedule a skin cancer screening or talk about how you can protect your skin, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.

 

 

Posted on May 13, 2019 by:

If you have a fear of skin cancer or if you’re in situations where you’re outside for long periods of time, there are a few ways that you can protect your skin and your health. Keep in mind that skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States and

Keeping Your Skin Healthy This Winter

You’ve most likely experienced some dryness during the winter months. That’s because low temperatures and low humidity can take a toll on your skin, and it can be difficult to maintain softness and hydration, especially if you find yourself outside often. If you’re having trouble keeping your skin healthy, here are some steps to take.

Use the right products

Just like your wardrobe, your skincare regimen most likely changes throughout the year. During the winter, it can be highly important to create a regimen of products to address dryness, especially if you’re already prone to it. Be sure to find a moisturizer that works with your skin and doesn’t cause breakouts, but can effectively keep the skin hydrated. It can even be helpful to make use of both emollient (locks in moisture) and humectant (increases water content) formulas at different times of the day. Consistency matters too— look for non-comedogenic moisturizers that are thick, creamy, and ointment-like. These are usually most effective at keeping your skin moisturized.

Make lifestyle changes

Along with taking stock of your products, it’s important to take stock of your lifestyle. Certain factors can contribute to dry skin, like dry air in your living space. Investing in a humidifier for your sleeping area can help your skin retain its moisture over the course of the night, making your products more effective. Additionally, avoiding steaming hot showers (even through it can be tempting if you’ve been outside!) can help to prevent breakdown of your skin’s moisture barriers. Fireplaces, which produce both heat and smoke, can be similarly drying.

Consider professional treatments

If you’re struggling to keep your skin moisturized, then professional skincare treatments can be an effective way to restore the skin and repair damage. Procedures like chemical peels can remove dead or damaged skin cells, revealing a healthy, new layer underneath. This can allow your skin to better absorb products and moisture, keeping it healthier and suppler in the long term. Plus, it can give your skin a nice, rejuvenated glow and address your skin concerns like pigmentation and fine lines at the same time.

Schedule a Consultation

Whatever your struggles to keep your skin healthy and moisturized this winter, Dr. Baird can recommend the right steps and products for your skin. To schedule a consultation and discuss your options, contact our Farmington office by calling or filling out our online form.

Posted on February 11, 2019 by:

You’ve most likely experienced some dryness during the winter months. That’s because low temperatures and low humidity can take a toll on your skin, and it can be difficult to maintain softness and hydration, especially if you find yourself outside often. If you’re having trouble keeping your skin healthy, here are some steps to take.

Skin Cancer Treatment Options

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world and it affects millions in the US alone. Although avoiding sun exposure and tanning beds can help prevent skin cancer, other factors can contribute to your risks. Fortunately, it is easy to diagnose skin cancer even in its earliest stages. The earlier it is detected, the easier it is to cure successfully. This is why it is important to stay educated about the many causes of skin cancer, its development, and ways to prevent it.

Skin cancer diagnosis

When you book a consultation with Dr. Baird in Farmington, MI, for your skin cancer diagnosis, we will patiently listen to you and answer any questions you may have about the condition. There are three common types of skin cancer – Squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Dr. Baird begins your diagnosis with a full body check and examines your skin for any unusual growths or moles. In case a precancerous or cancerous growth are suspected, then a skin biopsy is conducted. Either a shave biopsy or an excision is typically used.

The growth is then examined under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous and the severity of the condition. The size, depth and location of the growth are also studied. These factors allow us to choose the best treatment for your skin cancer.

Treatments for skin cancer

  • Skin biopsy – Superficial skin cancers can be usually removed with the initial skin biopsy itself.
  • Excisional surgery – This is a simple procedure where Dr. Baird will numb the area first before removing the cancerous tissue with a scalpel along with surrounding tissue so that all harmful cells can be removed.
  • Cryotherapy – After removal of the growth, cryotherapy can be used for removing the excess remaining cancer cells. The layers of cancer cells are scraped away and at times, liquid nitrogen is also used for freezing the cells. Since it is less invasive than the traditional surgical procedure, it helps reduce pain, bleeding, as well as recovery time.
  • Mohs surgery – This is a precise surgical technique where thin layers of cancer cells are progressively removed. Each layer is examined under the microscope for cancer cells until only cancer free tissue is remaining. This is an improvement on the excision surgery where a small margin of healthy tissue is also removed with the visible cancer.
  • Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) – Photodynamic therapy is a treatment, which uses special drugs known as photosensitizing agents in addition to light in order to kill cancerous cells. The drug works when activated by certain types of light. Depending on the part of the body being treated, the photosensitizing agent is either put on the skin or into the bloodstream through a vein. In time, the drug is absorbed by the cancer cells and then light is applied to the treatment area. The drug reacts with oxygen in the presence of light forming a chemical which kills the cells.

After a surgical excision, Dr. Baird also performs closure and reconstruction as well. The goal remains to close your wounds without affecting your aesthetic appearance.

If you notice a new or changing mole or growth on your skin, contact our office right away for a proper diagnosis. Most moles are completely harmless, but it’s always best to get a professional opinion from Dr. Baird to determine if treatment is necessary.

Posted on January 31, 2019 by:

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world and it affects millions in the US alone. Although avoiding sun exposure and tanning beds can help prevent skin cancer, other factors can contribute to your risks. Fortunately, it is easy to diagnose skin cancer even in its earliest stages. The earlier it is detected,