Dr. Hitchins recommends monthly skin checks that you do at home, as well as annual in-office exams that allow her to screen for skin cancer and the other effects brought on by the summer sun.
With early diagnosis and treatment, she can help you prevent the spread of cancer and even reverse the visible signs of sun damage on your skin.
What to expect during your routine skin check
As part of your annual post-summer skin exam, Dr. Hitchins spends time reviewing your medical history and asking about any concerns or unusual symptoms you have. It’s important that you bring any new spots or discoloration to her attention.
In the event she identifies possible signs of skin cancer, Dr. Hitchins may do a biopsy, removing a sample of your skin for further testing. If you test positive for skin cancer, she customizes a plan to treat it.
If you have skin abnormalities that aren’t cancerous, Dr. Hitchins continues to monitor your skin through additional checkups
Treatment options for sun damage
As an experienced dermatologist, Dr. Hitchins specializes in a variety of treatments to address sun-damaged skin. She can address a number of skin conditions that result from exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun including:
If you receive a diagnosis of skin cancer, you may need surgery to remove the cancerous cells and prevent them from spreading. Several surgical options are available in-office, including cryosurgery that uses freezing technology that kills cancer cells, laser surgery that uses heat to treat cancer, and Mohs micrographic surgery. This technique removes layers of skin in precise amounts until no cancerous tissue remains.
Dr. Hitchins also offers topical and injectable medications and radiation to destroy skin cancer cells. She continues to work with you on changes you should make to avoid a recurrence of cancer, such as wearing a high-quality sunscreen any time you’re outdoors and limiting your time in the sun.
The sun can cause brown spots and other areas of hyperpigmentation to form on your skin. These issues can make you look older than you are and decrease your self-satisfaction with your skin’s appearance.
Dr. Hitchins offers microdermabrasion, an exfoliating technique that uses crystals to gently remove dead cells on the surface of your skin. This treatment quickly rejuvenates your skin, improving its texture and brightness.
Wrinkles and lines
The sun can prematurely age your skin and trigger the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines around your face. Wrinkles, lines, and creases can make you look older and affect the texture of your skin.
Dr. Hitchins offers microneedling treatments to address wrinkles and lines. She uses the unique SkinPen® to create micro-wounds in your skin. These wounds stimulate your body to produce new collagen, an essential protein needed for healthy skin. Your body also increases blood circulation to disinfect the wounds and remove debris that clog your pores.
As new collagen forms, your skin becomes plumper and wrinkles and lines smooth away. Your skin begins tighter and thicker and your results keep improving in the weeks after your treatment.
Dr. Hitchins can also use the SkinPen on any area of your body routinely exposed to the sun. In addition to your face, you can treat the skin on your neck and hands to reverse the side effects of sun damage.
If it’s been longer than a year since your last skin check or if you have concerns about changes in your skin, call Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston or request an appointment through the online booking system today.