Q: Which insurance policies do you accept?

A: If you subscribe to these plans, we will collect your copayment and/or co-insurance for covered services at the time of your visit and bill your plan for the balance. Non-covered and cosmetic services are not discounted and must be paid in full at the time of service.

  • Aetna
  • Aetna Medicare
  • BlueCross BlueShield, including NC State Employees' BCBS
  • Blue Medicare PPO
  • CIGNA HealthCare of North Carolina/Great West
  • MAMSI/Optimum Choice
  • Medicare (Standard-red, white & blue card)
  • MedCost Network
  • United Healthcare of North Carolina

Q: Can I be seen at Andrus & Associates if I do not have health insurance or my insurance plan is not on your list of plans?

A: We welcome Private Pay Patients, defined as patients who are uninsured or are insured by plans to which we do not file claims. We discount your charges by 30% if paid in full at the time of service. Payment arrangements can be made if the charges exceed $100. We will supply claim information if you wish to file a claim.

Q: Is a tanning bed safe?

A: 1 million people each day tan in a salon in the United States. The United States Department of Health & Human Services and the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer panel have declared ultraviolet light from sources such as tanning beds to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing). A review of seven studies has found a 75% increase in the risk of melanoma in those who had been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning before the age of 35. We believe indoor tanning to be a risky behavior tantamount to smoking tobacco and driving without a seat belt.

Q: Don't I need sun exposure for Vitamin D?

A: Vitamin D is critical for healthy bones and is available in dietary sources. Further research is needed to determine the appropriate amount of vitamin D required for overall good health. A daily dose of 1000 IU of vitamin D for at-risk groups has been discussed in the current U.S. Dept. of Agriculture dietary guidelines. Adults who regularly and properly practice photo protection may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency and may consider taking a daily supplement of 1000 IU of vitamin D. Using the present day vitamin D controversy as an excuse to seek out more ultraviolet light exposure is foolhardy.

Q: What are hives?

A: Hives are an outbreak of red bumps or patches called wheals on the skin. These bumps appear suddenly anywhere on the body and are usually accompanied with an intense itch. Individual wheals last less than 24 hours, but occasionally new wheals continue to appear. Their size may vary from mosquito-bite sized to much larger "giant" sized.

Q: What causes hives?

A: Hives are produced by the presence of histamine and are brought on by a trigger, often unidentifiable. The trigger reaction may be drugs, food or physical stimuli. Next to "insect bites", the most common identifiable trigger is an allergic reaction to drugs, especially the penicillin family. Foods that often cause hives/allergic reaction include peanuts, nuts, shellfish, eggs, wheat, soy and milk. If the trigger is unidentifiable the hives are considered idiopathic. Allergy antibodies cause histamine to be released into the skin. This causes the blood vessels to dilate (pink color) and fluid to escape from blood vessels (raised up bump). People with hives release too much histamine when it is not needed.

Q: What is Psoriasis?

A: Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease characterized by areas of round pink plaques covered with large, built up, polygonal silvery scales. These plaques are often found on elbows, legs (especially the knees), scalp, lower back, face, palms and soles of the feet. The nails may develop irregularities, pits or thicken above the built up skin. Joints may be affected.

Q: What causes Psoriasis?

A: The exact cause is unknown. At least 6 genes have been identified which make a person prone to get the disease. The epidermis makes itself too fast, not only in the inflammations but also in normal appearing skin. Inflammation plays a role, and that inflammation appears to be under the control of an activated white blood cell called a T-lymphocyte. Just why the inflammation appears is usually unknown, but there are triggers such as certain drugs and infections. Psoriasis may appear in an area after traumas of various sorts.

Q: What is Eczema?

A: Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common disorder that causes the skin to become dry, itchy and inflamed. Eczema is often described as the "itch that rashes", because patients scratch, which causes a rash. Repeated scratching inflames the area and a vicious cycle begins. If patients don't scratch, no rash will develop.

Q: What causes Eczema?

A: The exact cause of eczema isn't known. However, scientists believe it is a genetic disorder involving the immune system and influenced by environmental factors. Individuals are more likely to develop the condition if one or both parents have eczema or an allergic condition, such as asthma or hay fever.

Q: What is Acne?

A: Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin disease associated with increased activity of the sebaceous (oil-secreting) glands. Acne occurs when sebaceous glands are clogged, leading to the formation of open comedones (black heads), closed comedones (white heads), pustules, pimples and cysts.

Q: Who and why does someone get Acne?

A: Acne typically occurs near the onset of puberty as androgen hormone production influences the sebaceous glands in both males and females. Although acne affects both sexes almost equally, young men experience severe, longer lasting types of acne more often. Young women are prone to episodic flares of acne related to their menstrual cycle. The frequency of acne peaks during the teenage years, however, it may persist into the late twenties and early thirties or later. Adults may develop acne for the first time.

Q: What is Rosacea?

A: Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin disease characterized by flushing and redness, appearing especially in the central areas of the face. Pimples and pustules may appear. Other areas such as chin, forehead and ears may be involved. Your physician, usually a dermatologist, can make a definitive diagnosis of rosacea.

Q: What causes Rosacea?

A: The exact cause is unknown. It can begin with the tendency to blush easily or become flushed as though you appear to have a fever. In most patients, this redness persists longer than normal.

Q: Where can I learn more about dermatological disease?

A: Learn more online at the American Academy of Dermatology Website.

Q: What are the doctors reading?

A: The Dermatology Times is an informative trade journal that offers information on current topics in dermatology.