Frequently Asked Questions
+ What is a dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in treating conditions of the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes (such as inside the mouth, nose and eyelids) for patients of all ages. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different diseases. Skin cancer, eczema, acne and psoriasis are among some of the most common conditions Dr. Fieleke treats.
Beyond his medical dermatology training, Dr. Fieleke has also completed an additional year of fellowship training in Mohs Micrographic Surgery, a procedure offering the highest cure rate of any treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer. This surgical outpatient procedure minimizes the removal of surrounding healthy skin, which leaves the smallest wound or scar possible.
In addition to medical and surgical treatments of the skin, Dr. Fieleke also offers aesthetic treatments from a perspective of whole-body wellness. The Cornerstone Dermatology team is happy to consult with you on procedures and treatments to help you feel your most confident.
+ Why should I see a board-certified dermatologist?
A board-certified dermatologist has completed extensive training to specialize in treating conditions of the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes. Board-certified dermatologists have completed: an undergraduate degree, a four-year medical degree (MD or DO), a one-year internship and at least three years of specialized dermatology residency training.
In addition, a board-certified dermatologist is licensed by the state to practice medicine and has passed board exams given by the American Board of Dermatology.
Dr. Fieleke meets all these qualifications, is licensed in the state of Missouri and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. He has also completed a year-long fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery.
+ How often should I see a dermatologist?
The American Academy of Dermatology encourages everyone to perform skin self-exams to check for signs of skin cancer and get a skin exam from a doctor. Your dermatologist can make individual recommendations as to how often a person needs these exams based on risk factors, including skin type, history of sun exposure and family history.
Patients with a history of melanoma should have a full-body exam by a board-certified dermatologist at least annually and perform regular self-exams to check for new and changing moles.
+ Do I need a referral from another provider to see a dermatologist?
Usually not, but this will depend on your insurance. Please contact your insurance provider before making an appointment if you are unsure.
+ How do I know if a suspicious spot needs to be checked?
If you notice a spot that is different from others, or that changes, itches or bleeds, you should make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.
+ Which sunscreen do you recommend?
Dr. Fieleke recommends the type of sunscreen that will fit your lifestyle – meaning one that will be easy for you to use and re-apply very consistently. When you’re looking for a sunscreen, be sure to choose one that is:
- Broad-spectrum, meaning that it protects the skin from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, both of which can cause cancer.
- SPF 45 or higher It’s also very important to use the correct amount! A sunscreen’s protection factor is based upon a person using one ounce of sunscreen, which is considered to be the amount needed to cover all exposed areas of the body. What does an ounce look like? Enough to fill a shot glass.
+ I’m going on vacation soon, is it safe for me to get a base tan?
No. There is no such thing as a ‘healthy’ suntan. Any change in your natural skin color is a sign of potential skin damage. People should not use tanning beds or sun lamps, which are sources of artificial UV radiation that may cause skin cancer. Using tanning beds before the age of 35 can increase your risk of melanoma by 75 percent, and that risk increases with each use.
Self-tanning lotions are a safe alternative, however most do not contain sunscreen and thus do not offer sun protection. Be sure to wear sunscreen as well.
+ What are some ways I can protect myself from the sun?
For your lifetime skin health, it’s worth it to attempt incorporate these sun-safety practices into your daily routine:
- If possible, schedule outdoor activities to avoid peak sun intensity hours between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are strongest and can be most damaging to the skin. Use even greater caution when near water or the snow, since these reflect and intensify the sun’s rays, increasing your chances of sunburn.
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 45 or higher. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside so it has time to take effect before you go outside. Reapply at a minimum of every two hours, even on cloudy days, and especially after swimming or sweating. No sunscreen is truly waterproof.
- Wear sun protective hats, clothing and glasses.
- Seek shade. Find a tree, umbrella or other shade structure when you’re planning to be outside.
Still have more questions?