Nathan Trookman MD - Colorado Springs
Dermatological conditions are visible to patients as are the improvements with treatment, which is my favorite part of practicing Dermatology. Since this is an external experience, people can see when there is an issue and how they are responding to treatment. Together both the patient and the doctor can watch recovery take place. Within my practice, I specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. The ability to cure a form of cancer can be one of the most fulfilling experiences for a physician. Today, using some of the advances made in the last few years, we can cure more dermatological conditions than ever. However, it is the advances in early detection and the growing awareness of skin cancers as well as their causes that has made the biggest impact in the field.
Our environment and our actions are affecting our skin. Changing ozone layers expose us to greater amounts of ultraviolet light, a leading cause of skin cancer. Tanning beds and unprotected sun exposure have contributed to a growing skin cancer epidemic where we now predict that 50% of Americans will get skin cancer within their lifetime. Most of the cancerous dermatological conditions I see are either basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma. I treat these with approaches such as Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), which utilizes photochemical reactions on the targeted cells. In other cases, Mohs’ surgery is required and allows me to use a precise technique to remove the cancerous tumors.
With regular exams and screenings, we can catch these cancers early and are approaching a cure rate of 100% for these types of dermatological conditions. However, Melanoma, a rare form of skin cancer, is on the rise and can be life-threatening. As we are advancing in treatment, we are also progressing in prevention. Improved sunscreens that are easier to apply and more effective in blocking the dangerous ultraviolet rays, as well as future advances such as tanning pills that will darken our skin and keep people from tanning beds, can stop this epidemic and reverse the tide.
Regardless of our ability to prevent and cure, the patients themselves play a major role in successful outcomes. I recommend that individuals check moles and dark spots monthly. If there are any changes to the size, shape or color, you should check with your primary care provider or a Dermatologist who can determine if further investigation is warranted.
The practice of Dermatology itself is also changing. As professionals, we are expanding the services we offer our patients to include areas of cosmetic improvement as well as strictly clinical dermatological conditions. We are developing new ways to rejuvenate the skin and reverse the signs of aging. It’s a fun time to get old. In my practice I can eliminate pre-cancerous sun spots and skin damage, along with the common effects of time on the skin, using easier and less expensive techniques such as lasers and Botox fills as opposed to costly and invasive plastic surgery. As a trained physician, I have the skills, training and specialization to safely and effectively help my patients identify and utilize the best techniques to accomplish their skin care goals.