A thorough skin exam by a board-certified dermatologist can catch any early signs of skin cancer and begin treatment before serious problems arise. Many patients choose to do this annually or semi-annually, particularly if their family has a history of skin cancer.
Understanding Skin Cancer
At Trueskin Dermatology and Surgery, we can examine your skin to look for any skin cancer, then perform a skin biopsy (sampling) to diagnose the cancer under the microscope at a pathology lab. Dr. Harrison also uses dermoscopy, a handheld tool, to highly magnify your skin spots during your visit to find skin cancer in its earliest stages.
Many patients come to Trueskin annually or semi-annually for a thorough skin examination of their moles to see that no mole is changing to melanoma. Also, we encourage our patients to perform self skin exams of all their skin monthly in the privacy of their home. A mole suspicious for melanoma can be black, gray, white or blue, or be a mixture of colors. It may be peculiarly shaped, looking different than other moles on your body. A melanoma can occur on both sun exposed and sun protected skin, so be certain to check all of your skin.
Skin cancer is common, occurring more frequently nationally than all other cancers combined. Skin cancer is visible on your skin, so it can be detected and treated early, while small and contained in the skin.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) skin cancers are bumps that won’t heal, usually in sun exposed areas. They can peel, itch or bleed or be completely asymptomatic.
Trueskin Dermatology recommends daily coverage with a sunblock containing zinc oxide. Zinc oxide blocks both tanning rays (UVA rays) and burning rays (UVB rays). The SPF sunscreen rating only tells you how well the sunscreen blocks burning rays (UVB), not tanning rays (UVA). Both UVB and UVA cause skin cancer, so it is important to use zinc oxide sunblock that blocks UVB and UVA. Zinc oxide is now micronized (smaller size) so it soaks in quickly and is not noticeable. Zinc oxide sunblocks come in lotions, creams, sprays and waterproof versions.
Schedule Your Skin Cancer Exam Today
Skin cancer is often very treatable—but only if it’s diagnosed early by an experienced doctor. Contact us today to book your appointment with a board-certified dermatologist.