Medical Dermatology

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Acne

Acne is often complicated by scars, blemishes, dark spots, etc. These long-lasting scars, spots and textural changes can be equally or even more distressing than the acne bumps themselves. Dr. Steele Johnson considers a treatment plan to be incomplete without treating the blemishes, dark spots and scarring. We have many options for minimizing the scars, discoloration and blemishes that can be left over by acne. Some options include chemical peels (which will help even skin tone and remove excess pigment deposited as an acne bump heals), lasers (which help remove pigment and even skin texture with resurfacing), and creams (which can help keep skin tone even). It is of the utmost importance to us at Steele Dermatology that our treatments are both safe and effective for your skin type and color. You can be confident that we will only offer treatments that are safe for you.

Alopecia and Hair Loss

No two people’s hair loss is the same. There are numerous types of alopecia, some are commonly known and some are more rare. With the various types of alopecia, some treatments may be very appropriate for patient, but not for another. Since most over-the-counter products are made with little consideration of the cause of one’s hair loss, unfortunately they are rarely effective and can leave patients very disappointed. Treatments include oral vitamin supplementation, injections, laser stimulation or hair transplantation or some combination.

Discoloration, Melasma

Skin discoloration, including melasma, sun spots, and blemishes, are some of the most common complaints that Dr. Steele Johnson sees, especially in both women and men for whom the splotchy brown areas on the face can be frustrating and upsetting. All of these conditions disrupt the appearance of smooth and even skin tone, which can make you look older and your skin more weathered.

Dr. Steele Johnson is skilled with all of the treatment options for tackling discoloration and uneven skin tone. Lasers, chemical peels, and medical grade skin creams work well for the patients at Steele Dermatology, often working in combination to give a more even, youthful and radiant skin tone.

Earlobe Repair

When your earring hole goes long…you can get a split earlobe or slit-like hole in the earlobe from the weight of earrings or from trauma, like an earring getting snagged or pulled. Sometimes it is split all the way through such that the hole cannot be used at all. Otherwise, it can just be a long slit that can still hold an earring, although it doesn’t usually hold an earring in place well and small earrings can even slip through big slits. Dr. Steele Johnson can easily surgically repair the earlobe such that it can be re-pierced 6 weeks later. She will clean and numb the ear with local anesthetic and surgically cut fresh edges of skin on each side of the slit, then re-approximate the skin and close with stitches. You will be unable to wear earrings for the 6 weeks while it takes the closure to heal. You may have one or both earlobes done at the same time. This is a very satisfying procedure for patients, being able to wear earrings once again!

Eczema and Psoriasis

Eczema and psoriasis are both chronic inflammatory diseases of the skin that affect millions of people. At Steele Dermatology we understand how these skin conditions can make you feel itchy and uncomfortable, but also, can be embarrassing when others can see the signs of your skin disease. The good news is that Dr. Steele Johnson can keep your skin disease well controlled such that your skin remains clear with appropriate medications.

Read Dr. Steele Johnson’s discussion of the important points about psoriasis

Moles

Moles are seen on every skin type and almost everyone has at least a few moles, but some have hundreds. The biggest concern for a mole is that it is cancerous (melanoma) or pre-cancerous (dysplastic or atypical). For this reason, Dr. Steele Johnson recommends all adults getting a skin exam at least once yearly. Dr. Steele Johnson is very thorough in her skin/mole exams to make sure that she sees everything that you may not and addresses any and everything that is new, concerning or about which you have questions.

Dr. Steele Johnson takes steps to make sure that you get the most complete exam and follow up possible. When one has many, many moles, we may take pictures of your moles so that we can use the pictures as a reference for future visits to monitor for changes. Also, Dr. Steele Johnson uses a dermatoscope, a specialized tool, to be able to examine moles for features that may suggest that it is atypical of even skin cancer. These steps distinguish Dr. Steele Johnson in her thoroughness in evaluating your skin and your moles.

When Dr. Steele Johnson identifies a mole that is suspicious for skin cancer (melanoma) or appears to be at least atypical, she will biopsy the lesion. A biopsy consists of taking a portion of the lesion (or all of the lesion that is visible to the eye) to send to the lab/pathologist for further evaluation and diagnosis. The type and size of the biopsy depends on the type of lesion and what the pathologist requires for diagnosis. Dr. Steele Johnson may also do biopsies to diagnose a rash or gather more information in diagnosing hair loss/alopecia. Biopsies begin with identifying and cleaning the area, as well as taking a photo for documentation, and then numbing the spot with local anesthetic. Once numbed, a sample of the skin is removed, taking as minimal tissue possible to reduce potential for scarring; although diagnosis is the priority, so a sufficient amount of tissue is taken to ensure that the procedure is useful.Biopsy sites are bandaged and detailed wound care instructions are given to the patient so that you know what to expect and how to best take care of your wound. Results are delivered as soon as they are received then a plan of action is discussed based on the biopsy results.

If you have risk factors for skin cancer (family or personal history of skin cancer, sun exposure, or fair skin type), you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Steele Johnson to ensure the health of your skin.

Pediatric Dermatology

Dr. Steele Johnson sees children routinely and treats everything from acne, to warts, birthmarks etc. Children take a little extra care in that they can be shy about the doctor altogether, even though they usually aren’t getting shots or other treatments that they may consider traumatic at the dermatologist.

When it comes to mole exams, Dr. Steele Johnson recommends parents bring in their children for skin evaluations when they start to get moles, this is typical around 10 for most kids and sometimes earlier for children that may develop more moles over time and with a family history of melanoma or atypical moles.

Otherwise, kids tend to get tinea capitis (ringworm on the scalp), staph infections, warts, and molluscum because they are due to infection of some sort. Children are still developing their immunity so they are prone to many superficial skin infections that should be treated. They also tend to pass infections back and forth with other kids at school, during sports or with siblings or family members.

Of course, eczema tends to affect kids and can be managed with a good skincare regimen recommended by Dr. Steele Johnson. They generally grow out of it over time, as they do with many other pediatric conditions.

While kids usually present with the same few conditions, there are also some rare rashes and lesions that occur in children. Dr. Steele Johnson has expert experience in diagnosis and treatment of even the most rare pediatric conditions.

Rashes

“Rash” is a very general term that refers to any sort of skin outbreak that isn’t otherwise specified, but includes allergic rashes, poison ivy, medication reactions, and rare skin conditions, etc. It is best to seek care from a dermatologist specifically, if possible, concerning any outbreak on the skin. Dr. Steele Johnson is an expert in the treatment of skin, so she has experience with rashes from the common to even the most rare and knows how to treat them quickly and safely.

If there is any question what the exact diagnosis may be, a biopsy could be required which is usually done at the time of your visit. It allows a more thorough examination by a pathologist that can often make a better diagnosis by looking at a sample of your skin under the microscope.

Even if a skin biopsy is required, Dr. Steele Johnson can skillfully, effectively and quickly treat the rash to make you feel more comfortable (especially if it is itchy or tender) and also, to heal any unsightly areas on the skin. Dr. Steele Johnson will educate you on the cause of your rash, what can be done to avoid outbreaks, and develop a long-term treatment plan, if necessary.

Rosacea

The full name of rosacea is acne rosacea. It is an adult form of acne that usually doesn’t start to affect people until their 20s, or more commonly, in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Those who have rosacea may or may not have ever had the more typical type of acne (acne vulgaris). Although we often think of rosacea in very fair skinned people, it can affect people of all skin types. Rosacea consists of different signs and symptoms that may affect patients to varying degrees. Since Rosacea is always front and center on the face and can be quite dramatic in appearance, we know how much it can bother you and can make you self-conscious about your appearance. Dr. Steele Johnson will help identify your individual symptoms of rosacea and create a treatment plan that is most appropriate.

Rosacea can really vary from mild to severe based on the your specific symptoms. Treatments for rosacea are patient-specific given and may include topical creams, oral medications/pills, laser treatment and camouflaging makeup. It is often a combination of treatments that works best, while a prescription cream may be good for minimizing pimples, you may require a laser to treat redness and broken blood vessels. At Steele Dermatology, you can be confident that we will find the combination of skin care therapies that works best for you.

Scars and Keloids

Everyone has scars, unfortunately. We have them from accidents, cuts and scrapes, surgeries, burns, etc. There are good scars, which are nearly invisible (ones that are perfectly flat, minimal in size, and close to your normal skin color and texture) and bad scars (ones that are raised or sunken, darker, lighter or more red-pink than your skin color, or stretched open wide). Keloids are especially bad scars that tend to be very thick, puffy and larger than the original wound. Dr. Steele Johnson understands that scars can often draw unwanted attention and detract from one’s appearance. At Steele Dermatology, we have developed unique treatment options to dramatically improve the look of your scars, with the goal to make them practically invisible. Visit our Scar Treatment Center for more information about techniques for treating your scars.

Dr. Steele Johnson has been successful in treating some of the most challenging scars, i.e. those that have been previously treated without success, on areas of the body with lots of tension, or that have come back after previous treatment. No scar is too difficult—it can always be better, and usually it can be awesome! Making scars go away can require some persistence and patience, however patients are pleased with the end results that they otherwise would have been unable to achieve. Given the specific characteristics of your scar and your history, we will develop a comprehensive plan to make sure your scar is managed with the most advanced treatment options that just aren’t available with all doctors. Dr. Steele Johnson operates with the goal of making people notice you, not your scar with long-term results and happy patients.

Skin Cancer and Pre-Cancer

When you have had a biopsy and the result is a skin cancer, Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), or Melanoma (connect to descriptions otherwise discussed). Dr. Steele Johnson will discuss the treatment options with you. If the lesion is invasive (not superficial) then surgery is usually the only legitimate option to make sure that all traces of the lesion are removed. A skin cancer surgery (or that for an atypical/dysplastic mole) is not very much different than a biopsy in preparation, however, you do usually have stitches at the conclusion of the procedure. The lesion is first identified, cleaned and numbed then the lesion is excised with a “safety” margin around the area to make sure the whole lesion is removed. You will have deep stitches that dissolve and some on top which may or may not dissolve depending on the location and your lifestyle. You will be given detailed wound care instructions and asked to follow up to make sure your site is healing well. Your lesion will be sent back to the lab to make sure there is no trace of the original lesion remaining.In some cases, your skin cancer would be better treated by a specialist that performs Mohs surgery. This is usually for skin cancers on the face or scalp, particularly large or aggressive lesions, or those that have been previously treated and recurred.

In any case, Dr. Steele Johnson will choose, with you, the most appropriate treatment regimen. In some superficial cancers, this may even include a topical chemotherapy type of cream which spares patients a procedure and usually leads to an excellent cosmetic result.

Skin cancer is one of the most serious of all skin conditions that should be diagnosed and treated by a well trained Board Certified Dermatologist like Dr. Steele Johnson. There are actually many types of skin cancer that Dr. Steele Johnson is familiar with diagnosing and treating, but the most common types are Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Melanoma. Additionally, pre-cancerous actinic keratoses are common and should be treated.

At Steele Dermatology we will thoroughly examine your skin to make sure that there are not any lesions that are suspicious for skin cancer with advanced diagnostic tools. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, you will be advised of the most up to date treatment options and your skin cancer will be handled quickly to ensure your skin is cancer free.

If you have risk factors for skin cancer (family or personal history of skin cancer, sun exposure, or fair skin type), you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Steele Johnson to ensure the health of your skin.

Schedule Your Appointment

Book your appointment at our Alpharetta office. If you prefer, give us a call at (770) 464-6000. Visit our Contact page for location map and hours.