Dr. Michelle Levender graduated summa cum laude as a Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a minor in studio art and biology. She earned her Doctor of Medicine in 2008 from the University of Maryland, where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. She then went on to complete two years of residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, during which time she delivered over 400 babies and performed countless surgeries.
Despite a wonderful experience, she made the difficult decision to leave obstetrics and gynecology behind to pursue her passion for dermatology. She was granted a competitive one-year clinical research fellowship at the Center for Dermatology Research at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Michelle Levender went on to complete a rigorous residency program in dermatology at Columbia University in New York City. She then pursued fellowship training in Mohs and reconstructive surgery and laser and cosmetic dermatology, at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Michelle Levender has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles and several textbook chapters and has presented at meetings around the world. She is board certified in dermatology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and of the American College of Mohs Surgery and is a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Dr. Michelle Levender specializes in both dermatologic and Mohs surgery, including the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, the surgical management of skin lesions and the treatment and revision of scars, as well as in cosmetic dermatology including laser treatments, botulinum toxin injections (Botox, Xeomin, Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Voluma, Restylane, Belotero, Sculptra) and Kybella for treatment of submental fullness (double chin).
Dr. Michelle Levender grew up in Columbia, Maryland, and is delighted to be back in her hometown and serving her community. Dr. Michelle Levender cares for patients at U.S. Dermatology Partners in Rockville, Silver Spring, and Annapolis Maryland.
Basal Cell Carcinoma, also known as basalioma or basal cell cancer, is the most common type of skin cancer and carries the least amount of risk, though it still requires attention. If caught and treated early, basal cell carcinomas are not likely to be life-threatening, but they do have the potential to cause disfigurement of the skin tissue.
Almost one million new cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year in the U.S., and up to 30% of Caucasians may develop basal cell carcinomas in their lifetime.
Skin cancer is considered low risk when the affected cells remain clustered in a single group. Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are rarely life-threatening. Though it is unlikely to spread to other parts of your body, if left untreated, basal cell carcinoma can move into nearby bone or other tissue.
Basal cell carcinoma typically begins as a small, shiny bump on the face, although it can occur on any part of the body.
Melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers, only accounts for about 4 percent of all skin cancer cases, but causes about 79 percent of skin cancer deaths.
Melanoma is a cancer of the skin that begins in the melanocytes, which are the cells that produce the pigment melanin. It is the leading cause of cancer death in women 25 to 30 years old and the second leading cause of cancer death in women 30 to 35 years old.
In some cases, melanoma occurs in melanocytes throughout the body, even if those parts have never been exposed to the sun.
Mohs surgery offers the highest cure rates for all non-melanoma skin cancers. For certain cases of the most common types of skin cancer — squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma — the cure rate can be as high as 99 percent.
Mohs surgery is a highly specialized surgical technique used to treat non-melanoma skin cancers in which the surgeon removes all of the visible cancer, plus a small margin of the surrounding healthy tissue and examines it to ensure that all cancer cells have been removed at the time of surgery.
During Mohs micrographic surgery — named after Dr. Frederic Mohs, who first performed it in the 1930s — cancer is removed from the skin layer by layer until all cancerous cells have been removed. This type of surgery is most commonly used for cancers that have a high risk of re-occurrence. This technique allows for complete removal of the skin cancer while minimizing the removal of surrounding healthy skin.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. with more than 3.5 million cases diagnosed each year.
Skin cancer is the result of uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells that takes place when skin cells suffer DNA damage and then mutate, causing them to multiply rapidly and form malignant (cancerous) tumors. Most skin cancers develop on the visible outer layer of the skin (the epidermis), particularly on sun-exposed areas such as the face, head, hands, arms and legs. They are usually easy to detect with a skin examination, which increases the chances of early diagnosis.
There are different types of skin cancer, each named for the type of skin cell from which they originate. The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. Almost one million new cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Most skin cancers fall into one of three categories:
There are often warning signs that cancer is developing. The most common are pre-cancerous lesions called actinic keratoses that often develop on sun-exposed areas. These tumors replace normal surrounding tissue and generally do not spread to other areas.
Skin cancer is considered low risk when the affected cells remain clustered in a single group. Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are rarely life-threatening.
Skin cancer is considered a high risk when cells have invaded surrounding tissues. The third most common skin cancer, malignant melanoma, can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
If skin cancer is detected before it has spread to surrounding tissues, the chances of a complete recovery and cure are excellent. High-risk forms of cancer like melanoma require more aggressive treatments.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is a common form of skin cancer that develops in the squamous cells that make up the outer layer of the skin. Although it is usually not life-threatening, it can be aggressive in some cases.
If left untreated, squamous cell carcinoma can grow large or spread to other parts of your body, causing serious complications.
Cysts are pockets of tissue (sacs) that may become filled with pus, fluids, skin cells, and even air.
They are fairly common on the skin and can appear anywhere on the body. Cysts may feel like a pea under the surface of the skin, but without removal, they can grow significantly larger over time. In most cases, cysts are not painful, and they grow slowly. There are different types of cysts as we’ll discuss in the next section, and the vast majority of these skin growths are benign (not cancerous). Not all cysts will require treatment, but it is vitally important to have any lump under the skin evaluated and diagnosed by a board-certified dermatologist because some soft tissue malignancies (growths that are cancerous) can present like a cyst. Before recommending removal or other cyst treatments, your dermatologist will examine the growth to determine whether it is likely to cause you pain, become infected, or otherwise lead to skin health issues.
Keloids are raised, red scars created by excessive healing of skin wounds, such as burns, cuts and acne. They are the result of an overproduction of collagen as the skin tries to repair itself. Keloids also can occur after piercings, tattoos or surgery and often times are itchy and painful. They can grow for years and sometimes show up three months or longer after the injury occurred.
Laser rosacea therapy is a way to treat a rosacea complexion. One of the most common and effective treatments is the pulsed dye laser (PDL), which targets visible blood vessels and can reduce redness and flushing by destroying the lining of the inflamed blood vessels.
A lipoma is a common, non-cancerous, soft tissue growth just below the skin made up of fat cells. Though most lipomas are not a cause for concern, if the growth becomes too large, it may become painful.
Atypical moles, also known as dysplastic nevi, are unusual-looking benign (noncancerous) moles.
A dysplastic mole is one that, when viewed on a cellular level, has features unlike those of a healthy, benign mole. A benign mole will have a regular pattern of coloration and pigment, even borders, symmetry, and a tan or pink color. Dysplastic moles can be asymmetric, have indistinct borders, or contain multiple colors or very dark pigment.
Dysplastic moles are often spotted as the “ugly duckling” on a patient’s skin. Any departure from the typical mole a person’s skin makes may be dysplastic. They can appear anywhere on the body, but in most cases are found on the back, chest, buttocks, breasts, or scalp.
We all want healthy, beautiful skin. But scars, a natural part of the healing process, leave a lasting mark and cause some people to struggle with the negative impact on the appearance of their skin and in some cases, limitations in function or other concerns. If you’re unhappy with the appearance, texture, or health of your skin after an injury, surgery, or other damage that leads to scarring, the U.S. Dermatology Partners team can offer treatment to improve the appearance of scarring.
Belotero Balance, often called simply Belotero, is the brand name of an injectable dermal filler that helps smooth lines and wrinkles in the face. It is made from hyaluronic acid, a natural element found in skin that binds to water, which makes it effective for minimizing facial folds and wrinkles. It is most often used in people with moderate to severe lines, and it works quickly to remove facial wrinkles.
Botox, the commercial brand name for botulinum toxin (BTX), is an injectable cosmetic dermatology treatment that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face.
Unlike injectable wrinkle fillers, which work by filling a crease in your skin with another substance, Botox actually relaxes targeted muscles to reduce the look of lines in the face. This results in smoother skin with a more youthful appearance.
Each Botox injection relaxes key facial areas by temporarily paralyzing specific muscles. This temporarily removes wrinkles and improves the look of laugh and frown lines, skin bands on the neck, crow’s feet, forehead creases and more.
Although it was originally developed to treat eye muscle disorders, Botox has become popular cosmetically and this is now its primary use. In fact, Botox injections are now the most common cosmetic treatment in the U.S., with 6.3 million procedures done in 2013. Because Botox inhibits the release of certain neurotransmitters, it is also sometimes used to treat chronic migraines.
Looking to improve and recover your skin’s youthful appearance?
As we age, our skin naturally loses collagen and elasticity. At the same time, repetitive movements and expressions can create facial wrinkles. In addition to comprehensive medical procedures, dermatologists also provide a wide range of minimally-invasive, low impact treatments designed to address a number of aesthetic desires to help you look and feel your best.
While many conditions from unwanted hair and tattoos to wrinkles and rosacea may not be physically harmful, they can be uncomfortable and even cause emotional distress. Cosmetic dermatology offers a wide range of cosmetic surgery and non-surgical services focused on giving you the results you want without the pain, worry, and downtime.
Dermal Fillers (also known as facial injections, as well as many brand names) include a variety of products that are injected into the skin to replace lost volume, enhance lips, reduce wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin overall.
There are many brand-name facial injections available including Juvederm, Restylane, and Sculptra. These injections use fillers such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, and calcium hydroxyapatite and can be helpful in combating early signs of aging.
Dysport is a prescription injection used for the temporary improvement in severe frown lines between the eyebrows. As the muscles relax and prevent contractions, wrinkles in and around the brow and frown area will disappear.
Dysport, also known as Reloxin, is made from a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum; it is the same neurotoxin used in BOTOX Cosmetic.
Juvederm is a group of injectable dermal filler gels made from hyaluronic acid and used to correct for moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds or to provide contour. Different types of Juvederm are:
Kybella is an injected treatment that targets fat stores below the chin (double chin). It is one of the best available, non-surgical treatments for double chin, and the knowledgeable dermatologists at U.S. Dermatology Partners are proud to offer this minimally invasive cosmetic dermatology option for our patients who are interested in improving the appearance of their jaw and facial structure without undergoing unnecessarily invasive surgical interventions. If you’re interested in learning more about Kybella, please take a few moments to fill out our appointment request form to schedule a consultation. One of our team members at the office nearest you will be in touch to discuss the details of your visit.
Laser treatments work by using specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue, which can positively affect pigment, blood vessels, hair follicles and moisture in the skin. The result is improved skin tone and texture, as well as the tightening of loose skin.
Lasers can also be tuned to very specific frequencies to perform different tasks and can even be used in surgery to allow doctors to work on a very precise area with less pain, swelling and scarring than traditional surgery.
Cosmetically, lasers can be used for skin resurfacing and to treat such things as acne, wrinkles, rosacea and more.
Latisse is a product designed to help grow eyelashes and has been on the market since earning FDA approval in December 2008. It is designed to help grow longer, lusher eyelashes and is available only by prescription.
Radiesse is an injectable dermal filler used to plump the skin. In addition to adding volume, it is also designed to spark the growth of your own natural collagen over time. It also is used to restore volume in the back of hands and can be used as an alternative to implant surgery in the nose, cheeks or chin.
Restylane is an injectable dermal filler gel made from hyaluronic acid to produce volume and fullness in the skin. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles and can also create fullness in the lips.
Sculptra is an FDA-approved synthetic injectable used to correct shallow to deep facial wrinkles and folds. It is also a collagen stimulator that helps revitalize your body’s own collagen production.
Tumescent liposuction is a type of liposuction that uses a large amount of fluid injected into fatty tissue layers to improve the safety and effectiveness of the treatment. It is the most common form of liposuction performed today.