How do I know if I have skin cancer?

There are essentially 3 types of skin cancer:

Basal Cell Carcinoma: this often presents with a small amount of bleeding and the lesion itself is slow growing and has a pink, pearly look to it.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: this often arises in a pre-cancerous lesion i.e. Solar Keratosis, in other words one has a rough spot on a sun exposed area and then the patient develops a warty-type growth at the sight of the sunspot. This wart-type growth may grow quite rapidly.

Malignant Melanoma: this is when a mole becomes cancerous and is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Unfortunately, in the earliest stages of this type of skin cancer, it often gives no symptoms at all. The earliest changes are that of an existing mole that becomes darker, larger or changes in shape or else one develops a new mole that one has never had before. Most melanomas are greater than 7mm in size and have an irregular edge and have a darker colour. Unfortunately, for every rule there is an exception and some melanomas may be pink i.e. amelanotic and may be smaller than 7mm in size. By the time a melanoma becomes ulcerated or starts bleeding, it is unfortunately often in an advanced stage. That is the reason why regular mole checks are a good idea in people with a fairer skin, who have had a lot of sun exposure.

Does fatty food cause acne in teenagers?

No, fatty food does not cause acne in teenagers – the causes of acne are generally hereditary as well as hormonal. It has however been shown that teenagers who have a high intake of dairy products have a higher incidence of acne. Therefore I recommend a healthy, balanced diet with enough exercise and sleep i.e. a healthy lifestyle.

Is the ingestion of food a common cause of Atopic Eczema?

No, in a small percentage of infants with Atopic Eczema, the ingestion of various foods such as dairy products and egg may aggravate the eczema but as the child grows older, this becomes less important. The essential cause of Atopic Eczema is a genetic pre-disposition with loss of barrier function of the skin.

Are all skin types suitable for chemical peels?

Generally patients with a fairer, sun-damaged skin will get better results with chemical peels. In patients with a darker, more olive skin type, one has to proceed more cautiously because deeper peels can produce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation if caution is not exercised. It is therefore essential that the patient has a consultation with Dr Webster before the treatment so he can assess if they are suitable candidates for a chemical peel.

How much does it cost to have a chemical peel?

This will depend on the number of peels suggested by Dr Webster when he assesses you at the pre-treatment consultation.

Are all patients suitable for laser treatment?

Generally patients with a fairer skin will respond better to all forms of laser – this will obviously depend upon the reason for the laser treatment in the beginning but as a general rule, patients with a lighter, fairer skin tend to respond better to laser treatment. It is therefore essential that the patient has a consultation with Dr Webster before the treatment so he can assess if they are suitable candidates for laser treatments.

How much do laser treatments cost?

This will depend on the number of laser treatments suggested by Dr Webster when he assesses you at the pre-treatment consultation and also the number of laser pulses required for each treatment.

Are Botox® injections suitable for all types of wrinkles?

No, Botox® works best where there are dynamic wrinkles, in other words, where one’s facial muscles are overactive and producing lines. This would include the frown lines between the eyebrows, crow’s feet around the eyes and the forehead wrinkles. The Botox® injections temporarily relaxes these muscles thus softening the wrinkles. Botox® injections do not work as well for the deeper lines around the mouth and injecting a filler for these lines is often a better option.

Botox® is the most powerful neurotoxin known to man. If Botox® is given by an experienced doctor and at exactly the right dosage and the right anatomical site, it is generally very safe.. Like any medical procedure, there are always risks associated with it e.g. temporary bruising at the injection site.

How long does each Botox® injection last?

On average the effects of the Botox® injections last for about 4 months.