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Cynthia Golomb, MD | Dermatology Boutique

Board Certification

Don’t forget your head!

· Skin Cancer · Comments Off on Don’t forget your head!

shutterstock_56111731When you’re checking yourself for new moles or growths, the one place on your body that is difficult to check is your scalp. Unfortunately melanomas on the scalp are more deadly than on other locations of the body.  This could be due to a number of factors including the number of blood vessels in the scalp, proximity to the brain and the often delayed diagnosis when the melanoma is hidden by hair.

A thorough skin exam by a board certified dermatologist is so important to locate hard to find skin cancers.  In addition, on an ongoing basis, you can ask your hair care professional to let you know if he or she sees anything unusual on your scalp during your haircuts.  Melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer because of how quickly it spreads in your body.

Symptoms and the appearance of a cancerous lesion can vary widely and sometimes they are not obvious. It could be painful or sensitive to the touch, but not necessarily.  It might bleed.  And it could be just about any color or a combination of colors:  brown, black, white, red and even blue.  It could be raised or flat. Look carefully because these spots can be very small.

A recurring theme I’ve seen in my career is even when a primary care physician refers a patient to a dermatologist due to a scalp lesion or any other suspicious spot, the patient delays a few months in making the appointment and by that time the skin cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

Board Certification – Why it’s so important

· Board Certification · Comments Off on Board Certification – Why it’s so important

Does a doctor have to be board certified to practice medicine? No.  But as a patient you want someone who stays up-to-date with the latest developments, medicines and treatments in her specialty.  For any physician, board certification means your doctor has gone above and beyond the many years of education by passing the exams given by her specialty’s governing body.  In the case of dermatology, board certification is granted the American Board of Dermatology after the requirements, including additional training, are met.  The board exam demonstrates a physician’s knowledge of advances in medicine in her specialty.  See this Forbes article on patronizing only board certified dermatologists.

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