Share and Care
Your Kind of Skin Care
While we pride ourselves on providing our patients with quick appointment access and advance scheduling for routine appointments, we also offer flexible appointments with priority scheduling in order to accommodate your urgent and acute medical skin care needs.
Great Lakes Dermatology also participates with most major insurance providers. Please check with your insurance carrier to see if your plan covers the medical dermatology treatments we provide.
With more than 40 million Americans suffering from acne, it's no wonder why it’s the most common skin condition in the United States.
Research by the American Academy of Dermatology indicates that there are four possible causes to acne:
- Increased oil production
- Increased plugging of the oil ducts
- Increased bacteria
- Increased inflammation that results in the prototypical acne lesion
Ways to minimize acne include taking care of your skin by washing it at least once per day, eating a healthy diet, and using over-the-counter skin care products and cosmetics.
Although acne never truly goes away, it can be controlled with proper medical treatment. Treatments include topical ointments, oral medications, or combination treatment plans set by your dermatologist.
Your Kind of Skin Care
Dermatitis is the localized inflammation of the skin. Signs include redness, swelling, heat, flaking, pain and sometimes blistering.
There are two main categories: allergic and irritant.
IRRITANT dermatitis is a direct result of an injury to the skin caused by chemical exposure, and can be further subdivided to the following:
- Acute corrosion: Caused by single exposure to strong acids or alkali’s
- Acute irritation: Caused by single exposure to solvents and NON-corrosive acids and bases.
- Cumulative irritation: The most typical and caused by repeated exposures particularly to surfactants and emulsifiers.
- Phototoxicity: Caused by exposure to irritating chemicals which require UV light for activation.
Because irritant dermatitis is a function of the chemical, it will occur in all individuals exposed to the chemical given the sufficient exposure times and concentrations.
Nonetheless, it should be considered that the skin of some is much more irritable than others. The determinants of hyperirritable skin include age, genetics, environment and concomitant chemical exposure.
ALLERGIC CONTACT DERMATITIS (ACD)
Develops following exposure to chemicals or elements to which the individual has previously become sensitized. It is what is known as a type IV or delayed type hypersensitivity reaction in the skin, and the prevalence varies with the allergen. The individual will develop red, scaling, papular and/or blistering eruption at the site of exposure. Diagnosis is most effectively made by patch testing.
How is Contact Dermatitis Recognized?
Early treatment is key for successful management! Upon onset of symptoms, victims of dermatitis should consult a proper clinician. In the evaluation of contact dermatitis some of the approaches made along with the physical exam will be to identify the conditions of exposure. Information to be gathered will include chemicals in the working environment, environmental conditions, description of processes involved in a day’s work and a thorough patient medical history will be examined.
How Is It Treated?
It may be treated with compresses, medicated wraps, prescription creams or ointments, gentle cleansers, systemic corticosteroids, oral antihistamines, or a combination. In general, people should protect their skin from trauma, irritation and the elements while the dermatitis is active. Only gentle cleansers should be used and fragrance free moisturizing creams and barriers such as petroleum jelly should be used to protect the skin.
How Common Is It?
In the U.S., in 2008, statistics showed that skin disorders compromise more than 35% of all occupationally related diseases. Among all occupational dermatitis, irritant dermatitis accounts for more than 80%.
- Good personal hygiene
- Substitution of a less harmful substance
- Enclosure of the process
- Protective clothing
- Fragrance free barrier creams
- Gentle skin cleansers
Your Kind of Skin Care
ECZEMA / DRY SKIN
Eczema (or "Atopic Dermatitus") characteristically causes itching and burning of the skin and can lead to crusting, scaling, and weeping clear fluid caused by severe scratching.
This condition is associated with allergies, and some research demonstrates that it may be linked to certain food allergies.
Typical treatments include mild cleansers, moisturizers, as well as possible topical steroids or topical immune modulators.
MOLE EVALUATION & REMOVAL
Mole Evaluation & Removal
According to the National Cancer Institute, about one out of every 10 people has at least one unusual mole. Moles are classified as:
- Congenital – a mole you are born with
- Atypical – a mole that is larger than average and irregular in shape
Acquired – moles that appear after birth Dysplastic moles are moles that appear atypical when compared to other moles on the body. Dysplastic moles also tend to be found on other family members. Compared to the general population, people with this type of mole have an increased risk for developing melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer.
Melanoma can develop near or inside a mole. Using the "ABCDE" acronym can help detect a suspicious mole:
- A: Asymmetry – Do both halves of the mole appear equal?
- B: Border – Is the border smooth or jagged?
- C: Color – Is it an even color or multiple colors?
- D: Diameter – Is it greater than 6mm or larger than a pencil eraser?
- E: Evolving – Has the mole changed over time?
Removing moles is necessary if skin cancer is suspected or if a patient finds the mole unattractive. Our providers are well trained in removing these lesions, either by shave excision or full thickness excision. Once the mole has been removed, a biopsy is sent to determine if it is cancerous.
A very common skin disorder, psoriasis is a reddish, scaly rash often located over the surfaces of the elbows, knees, scalp, and around or in the ears, navel, genitals, or buttocks.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own cells. It is mediated by T-lymphocytes. Chronic plaque psoriasis affects approximately 2% of people around the world.
Your Great Lakes Dermatology provider can help even the most severe cases with treatments like topical medications, Light Therapy, Systemic Therapies, and/or Biologic agents.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that affects the middle third of the face with persistent redness across the areas of the face and nose that normally blush, including the forehead, chin, and lower half of the nose. Tiny blood vessels in these areas enlarge and become more visible from beneath the skin, appearing like tiny red lines (or telangiectasias).
Rosacea is usually a chronic condition, and at-home diagnosis and treatment is not recommended as some over-the-counter treatments can worsen this disorder.
Following a full evaluation, your Great Lakes Dermatology provider will suggest the proper treatment, which could include topical treatments, oral antibiotics, or possible laser usage.
Excessive exposure to the sun can cause premature aging, wrinkles, sunburn, and even skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology states that more than 90% of all skin cancers occur on sun exposed skin.
Using sunscreen correctly with an SPF of at least 15, staying out of the sun as much as possible between the hours of 10am and 4pm, and wearing protective clothing and hats are essential to keeping your skin healthy and may reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and also one of the most treatable if discovered early. Melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, can look like an irregular dark brown- or black-shaped mole.
We recommend that you have a skin cancer screening at least once a year or sooner if you detect an abnormal mole that has changed.
SKIN CANCER / MOHS SURGERY
Skin Cancer/Mohs Surgery
The most common form of cancer in the United States is skin cancer. There are three types: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma - skin cancer's most aggressive form.
If not treated early, some forms of skin cancer can spread to other tissues and organs. Treatment depends on the type of cancer and location, but most cancers can easily be removed with several treatments that are tailored to the type of lesion and the individual.
In more severe cases, Mohs micrographic surgery can be performed. Mohs surgery is an advanced treatment procedure with the highest cure rate of all skin cancer treatments—up to 99%, even if all other forms of treatment have previously failed.
Great Lakes Dermatology has two physicians who specialize in Mohs micrographic surgery: Dr. Nanette Liégeois and Dr. John Ratz.
Warts are small, benign skin growths caused by the human papillomavirus (or "HPV") and are commonly found on the hands and feet—although they can occur anywhere on the body.
Most warts can easily be treated with a variety of different procedures, many of which are painless.
Your Great Lakes Dermatology provider can evaluate your condition to recommend the best treatment plan for your individual needs.
MATRIX CO2 FRACTIONAL LASER SERVICES
Matrix CO2 Fractional Laser Services
As a person ages, their collagen production begins to decline which leads to the breakdown of the skin’s underlying support structure. Daily exposure to UV rays and other environmental elements can cause the skin to become discolored and premature wrinkles may emerge. Treatments with the Matrix Fractional CO² laser will enhance the skin’s strength and elasticity. The skin will have a smoother, tighter texture and pigmentation problems will begin to diminish.
A safe, long lasting & effective treatment:
- Skin Texture Irregularities
- Pigmented Lesions
- Fine Lines
- Acne Scars
- Sun Damage
How long will my treatment take?
The Fractional CO2 treatment usually takes less than 30 minutes.
What does the laser treatment feel like?
Treatment sensations vary from person to person. As tiny pulses of energy are delivered into the skin, most patients will experience a warm sharp feeling and an immediate tightening of the skin. Most patients look and feel like they have a mild sunburn for a few days after the treatment. Anesthetic ointments and cooling devices may be used to reduce any discomfort during and after the procedure.
How will I take care of my skin after treatment?
How much does the treatment cost?
HOW TO CHOOSE DERMATOLOGIST?
How To Choose A Dermatologist?
It’s very important for prospective patients to be vigilant in choosing the correct provider.
Without doing proper research, one may find themselves paying out-of-network costs, or with an inexperienced provider.
So how should one go about choosing a provider?
The first step in choosing a provider is to contact your insurance company to see which providers are in-network, and if any referrals are needed.
Upon contacting your insurance company there are general questions that should be asked.
- Are dermatology visits covered under your plan?
- What is your co-pay?
- Does your plan only cover certain visits, for example mole removals, acne, etc.?
It is also important to keep in mind that most cosmetic visits are not covered under insurance plans.
“If in doubt; call your insurance company.”
After finding which providers are within your network, your next step will be choosing the provider that’s right for you.
“Patients should look for a doctor that is either board-eligible or board certified,” said Dr. Steven Armus, a provider with Great Lakes Dermatology.
What is a board-eligible or board certified doctor?
According to Armus, this means they have finished an approved residency training program in the United States.
The following factors are also important when seeking proper medical care, says Armus:
- How much experience does the provider have?
- Would your friends or family recommend their current physician?
- What are the wait times to get an appointment?
- Will the physician accommodate your specific needs by offering weekend or evening appointments?
- Could you be seen by the provider quickly for an acute need?
Finding a provider with great interpersonal skills is also very important.
There is an old saying, “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t know the subject well enough.” – Albert Einstein.
One should look for a provider that cannot only explain the condition easily, but also the available treatment options.
“Treating the patient should be a collaborative effort between the doctor and the patient to get the right treatment,” Dr. Armus said.
Dr. Armus said, in addition to working with the patient’s age and current medical history, the physician needs to be able to articulate the best course of action.
“At the end of the day, the physician works for the patient and not vice-versa,” Dr. Armus said.
Patients should choose a physician that can make a connection with the patient, and understand their individuals needs and how they choose to interact with one-another.
“One of the number one reasons people don’t respond to treatment is non-compliance,” Dr. Armus said. “Patients should look for physicians that can speak to the patient in a way that is best understood by the patient.”
When this is done, Dr. Armus said, patients will most likely get far-better results.
It is also important for patients to be more vigilant when choosing a specialist, like a dermatologist, versus a primary care physician.
“Dermatologists have the most advanced knowledge and experience with treating skin conditions for patients of all ages,” Dr. Armus said.
Dermatologists undergo advance training. After a one year internship, dermatologists complete a three year residency program, where they are exposed to many facts of dermatology – from pediatric to geriatric skin conditions.
“To many family practitioners, a somewhat common dermatologic problem may prove to be difficult and complex to treat,” Dr. Armus said. “However, to a dermatologist, they may have seen and treated this condition hundreds of thousands of times over.”
To see a dermatology practitioner at Great Lakes Dermatology, for any skin condition, call (800) 227-5135.