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Only one attorney in the State of Iowa receives this award each year.

On 11/5/20, the Iowa Association for Justice (f/k/a the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association) named Russ Hixson, of Hixson & Brown, the Outstanding Member Award recipient for 2020.

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Understanding commonly misdiagnosed skin conditions

When people in Iowa go to seek treatment for skin conditions, they often want to find relief from unpleasant or painful symptoms. In other cases, they may be concerned about a more serious problem like skin cancer. Others might not recognize the cause of their skin issues and could dismiss them out of hand if they see only a small blemish, rash or pink spot. While misdiagnoses by the patient are to be expected, it can be even more troublesome when physicians also do not understand common skin conditions.

Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that might appear to be a small blemish. Approximately 20 percent of all Americans will have one basal cell skin cancer during their lifetimes, and it often begins as a spot that initially looks like acne. While dermatologists often advise people to return if their blemishes change quickly, grow or bleed, some may send people home. As a result, an easily treatable cancer could grow and spread with more serious repercussions.

While a failure to diagnose cancer may be the most severe concern, other skin conditions are also frequently mistaken. Rosacea, a chronic skin condition, is often mistaken for acne. Unfortunately, acne medications prescribed by dermatologists may often actually aggravate rosacea. In other cases, eczema, a condition in which the skin develops small cracks and a dry, scaly appearance, is often confused with a fungal infection. People may apply antifungal treatment to the rash but find little relief.

A misdiagnosis can lead to serious health problems, especially when a progressive disease like cancer is allowed to grow without treatment. Someone who has been injured as a result of a physician error can consult with a medical malpractice attorney about their options to move forward and pursue compensation for their damages.

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