My Blog
By Robert C. Griffith, MD
August 21, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Approximately 9,500 people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Whether you are at an increased risk or not, it’s important to provide your skin with the best safety precautions against the harmful rays of the sun. Read on to learn more about skin cancer, how to protect yourself from developing it, and when it's best to contact your dermatologists at Griffith Dermatology in Knoxville, TN, for treatment.

What are the different kinds of skin cancer?

When people think of skin cancer they often think of melanoma, which is the deadliest form of the condition; however, there are other types of the disease, as well. These types include,

  • Basal cell carcinoma (the most common form)
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Merkel cell carcinoma (very rare)
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma
  • Lymphoma of the skin

What are skin cancer's warning signs and symptoms?

Most of the time, skin cancer appears as a rather unremarkable lesion, sore, or spot. However, if this spot doesn’t heal, or if it scabs over only to cotinually itch and bleed, then you should visit one of the skin doctors here at our Knoxville office. Additionally, when it comes to spotting cancerous moles, it’s always important to know your ABCDEs:

  • A for asymmetry: Healthy moles are completely symmetry while cancerous moles are usually asymmetrical.
  • B for border: A healthy mole will have a smooth, clearly defined border while a cancerous growth will often have a jagged, irregular, or poorly defined border.
  • C for color: A healthy mole will stay one color over time while a cancerous mole may turn multiple shades or contain dark spots.
  • D for diameter: It could be melanoma if the growth or mole is larger than a pencil eraser.
  • E for evolving: A healthy mole will look the same over time, while a cancerous mole may change shape, size, texture or color.

What are some ways to prevent skin cancer?

The best way to protect yourself against harmful UV rays is to avoid tanning beds and to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day (even on cloudy days). Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes prior to going outside and reapply after swimming or if you’ve been sweating.

Also, you should wear protective clothes (including sunglasses) and avoid being outside for long periods of time between the hours of 10am-4pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

Concerned? Give us a call!

Whether you just recently noticed a suspicious mole or it's just time for your annual evaluation, call Griffith Dermatology in Knoxville, TN, today at (865) 588-1361 to book your next appointment.

By Robert C. Griffith, MD
July 17, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Rosacea  

If the skin on your face becomes red, irritated, and patchy for no particular reason, and the symptoms don’t go away no matter what you try, you might have a case of rosacea. This is a common skin disorder that affects 415 million people around the world according to statistics published by the National Rosacea Society. Learn how a dermatologist at Griffith Dermatology in Knoxville, TN can help you manage and control rosacea symptoms.

What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is an inflammation of the skin on the face that causes red patches, severe blushing, acne-like marks, and pustules. The rash can spread to the chest and back as well. It is most common in patients who have light skin. Doctors and experts are unclear about what specifically causes rosacea, but theories include genetic predisposition, blood vessel abnormalities, allergies, and diet. Sometimes rosacea cases are related to an abnormal amount of a microscopic mite on the skin, or bacteria (H. pylori) that can affect the blood vessels.

Rosacea Treatment Options
Although rosacea doesn’t have a well-defined cure, there are treatments that can help minimize symptoms and keep them under control. Talk to your Knoxville, TN dermatologist about these possible solutions:

- Medications, applied topically or taken orally.
- Laser treatments and photorejuvenation.
- Steroid eye drops when the eyes are irritated.
- Dietary change recommendations.

Tips for Managing Your Rosacea Symptoms
Rosacea is a chronic condition that can cause embarrassment and stress when you worry about your facial appearance. Here are a few tips for how to manage your symptoms:

- Keep your face clean and moisturized. Be gentle with your skin and use dermatologist-recommended products.
- Avoid spicy foods and keep a food journal to determine if flare-ups are related to an allergy.
- Use sunscreen and avoid too much exposure to the sun’s rays.

Get Help with Your Rosacea Symptoms
It’s time to get help from a dermatologist with your rosacea symptoms so that you can regain confidence in the appearance of your skin. Call (865) 588-1361 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Robert Griffith, Sr. or Dr. Robert Griffith, Jr. at Griffith Dermatology in Knoxville, TN.

By Robert C. Griffith, MD
February 05, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: moles  

Do you have a mole that looks a little different these days? Changes in moles can be a sign of melanoma, a type of skin cancer that affects more than 175,000 people in the U.S. every year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Your Knoxville, TN, dermatologists, Drs. Robert C. Griffith and Robert D. Griffith, help you protect your health with skin cancer screenings and treatments. Read below to learn if you should be concerned about your mole!

 

What Changes Warrant a Trip to the Skin Doctor?

Schedule an appointment with your Knoxville dermatologist if you notice any of these changes in your mole:

  • Unusual Shape or Borders: Is your mole no longer round? A change in shape can be a sign of cancer. A mole's borders should be well-defined, so if any are blurry, rough, or irregular, it's a good idea to make time for a skin cancer exam. Moles that have suddenly become higher are also a cause for concern.
  • Changing Colors: Moles normally remain the same color during your entire life. Black, red, or other colors could be a sign of cancerous or atypical cells. See the dermatologist even if your mole eventually changes back to its previous shade.
  • Texture: Healthy moles are usually smooth. Bumpy, dry, or flaky moles need to be examined.
  • Discomfort: Moles that have become painful or occasionally ooze clear fluids or bleed may also be cancerous. Itching may seem harmless, but if it occurs frequently, it may be a sign of melanoma.
  • Skin Changes: The skin around your mole may become swollen or red if you have melanoma.
  • New Moles: A new mole doesn't necessarily mean that you have melanoma, but it's unusual to develop new moles after age 20.

It's also important to pay attention to the size of your moles. Moles larger than a pencil eraser are more likely to become cancerous.

How Is Melanoma Diagnosed and Treated?

If your dermatologist thinks that the mole is suspicious, he'll remove it and send it to a laboratory for testing. You may need additional surgery to remove cancerous cells that have invaded your skin if you're diagnosed with melanoma and might also need radiation treatment, chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

Don't ignore changes in your moles. Call your Knoxville, TN, dermatologists today at (865) 588-1361 to schedule an appointment.

By Robert C. Griffith, MD
December 10, 2018
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Do you ignore changes in your skin texture and pigmentation? You shouldn't—skin cancer often masquerades as something you believe toSkin Cancer be simple aging. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that more skin malignancies are diagnosed in the US than all other kinds of cancers put together. In response to this pervasiveness, your Knoxville dermatologist, Dr. Robert Griffith, wants you to know the causes, symptoms, and treatments of this potential killer and what you can do to protect yourself.

The origins of skin cancer

The three best-known skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma) find their origins in sun exposure and indoor tanning. Additionally, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the risk for skin malignancies is cumulative, meaning that the longer you live, the more UV rays you absorb on exposed areas of the body such as the face, neck, arms, back, and shoulders—this increases your likelihood of developing the condition. So, while age is not a true risk factor, the passage of time certainly is.

Symptoms of skin cancer

Your Knoxville dermatologist recommends that patients receive annual skin examinations starting at age 40. Dr. Griffith's highly trained eye can pick up on signs of skin problems, including cancers, more quickly than any layperson can.

That being said, adults should carefully look at their own skin at least once a month, looking for these signs:

  • Waxy lumps or bumps
  • Scaly patches which itch, ooze or bleed
  • Persistent crusty areas
  • Moles which change

In fact, Dr. Griffith advises that you check moles, freckles, and other areas of hyper-pigmentation according to this easy mnemonic, the ABCDEs of moles:

  • A is for asymmetry. If a mole becomes larger on one side, get it checked.
  • B stands for borders. They should remain smooth, not scalloped or notched.
  • C stands for color. A brown or tan color should be uniform throughout the spot. If color changes over time or is varied, this may indicate malignant melanoma
  • D means diameter. Benign spots are no larger than a pencil top eraser, or 6 millimeters.
  • E stands for evolving. Noncancerous moles do not change, while cancerous ones morph in shape, size, texture, and color.

Treatments for skin cancers

Skin cancers are more treatable when detected in their earliest stages, so, prevention is the best treatment:

  • Cover up in the midday sun
  • Use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen, and reapply every two hours or after getting out of the pool or sweating
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses
  • Avoid the sun, if possible, during the hours of 10 am and 2 pm when the sun's rays are most direct

While most non-invasive skin cancers respond well to surgery, cautery, freezing, radiation, and chemotherapy, melanoma is stubborn, silent, and always requires prompt and aggressive treatment. Your skin doctor will formulate a treatment plan based on your specific cancer and overall health.

Learn more

The old adage, "Forewarned is forearmed," is so true where skin cancer is concerned. To learn more and to arrange a routine skin check with dermatologist Dr. Robert Griffith, contact our Knoxville office at (865) 588-1361.

By Robert C. Griffith, MD
October 22, 2018
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Rash   Eczema   Itchy Skin  

Itchy, unsightly rashes can cause adults and children considerable discomfort and embarrassment. If you're experiencing a disruption in the skin surface any where on your body, please contact your dermatologist in Knoxville, TN Dr. Robert Griffith. He'll give you the straight facts on your skin rash and help you treat it and prevent recurrences.

Skin RashWhat is a rash?

Common sense tells you when you have a skin rash. You just know that your skin does not look or feel normal. Lesions of various colors, shapes and textures appear, and often itching, redness and inflammation accompany them.

While causes of rashes vary, most are not cancerous. Rather these dermatological disruptions usually are self-limiting and highly treatable by your dermatologist in Knoxville. When a rash causes great discomfort or lasts more than a week or so, you should see Dr. Griffith for a visual examination and review of your symptoms and medical history.

Common skin rashes

Dr. Griffith encounters a wide variety of skin rashes in his dermatology practice in Knoxville. Some of the most frequent are:

  • Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, scaly, orange patches of irritated skin which can itch intensely, blister and ooze. This rash erupts and escalates when the individual contacts an allergen or something he or she seems sensitive to--things such as detergents, cosmetics, fragrances, chlorine, latex, certain fabrics and more. Steroidal creams and antihistamines relieve the symptoms, and the doctor advises avoiding known triggers.
  • Ringworm is a raised, round lesion with a defined red border. It is caused by the same fungus which generates jock itch and athlete's foot and responds well to anti-fungal medications.
  • Cutaneous lupus expresses as a large, red, butterfly-shaped rash across the bridge of the nose and cheeks. Autoimmune in nature, cutaneous lupus cannot be cured but can be managed with the help of your dermatologist.
  • Pityriasis rosea is caused by a virus. Sufferers exhibit raised, flat lesions which are not contagious. The American Academy of Dermatology says this rash is self-limiting, and while it needs identification, it should resolve by itself.

Do you have a rash?

Be sure you take care of your skin consistently with daily washing and thorough drying. Moisturize every day, and use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen in the warm weather.

If you develop a rash, please contact Dr. Robert Griffith and his team right away for an appointment. Call us at (865) 588-1361.





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