Posts for tag: skin cancer
Know how to spot the early signs of skin cancer.
While we know that finding out that you have skin cancer can be rather scary, it’s comforting to know that skin cancer is actually relatively easy to spot because it’s often someplace where you can see it; however, skin cancer can develop anywhere, even areas that get little sun exposure. This is why it’s important to perform regular skin exams, so when a problem does arise you can turn to our Charleston, SC, dermatologist Dr. Joseph Myers, Jr. right away.
Here’s what to lookout for:
- Moles that change shape, size, or color
- Moles or any new growths that suddenly appear
- A sore that doesn’t heal
- A brown or black mark under a nail
- A growth that itches, bleeds, or scabs over
While melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, when detected early it can be treated. If you are dealing with any changes in your skin it’s important to play it safe and visit your Charleston, SC, skin doctor. And even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms or changes in your skin it’s important to see your dermatologist once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening.
It’s important to know that even if you have skin cancer you may still feel completely fine. Not everyone with cancer feels ill. Sometimes the only tip-off that someone has skin cancer is a suspicious mole or growth.
What are the risk factors for skin cancer?
There are several factors that can increase your risk for developing melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. These factors include:
- A family history of skin cancer
- Fair skin and light features (e.g. blonde hair; blue eyes)
- Having had a sunburn in the past
- Having a large number of moles
- UV exposure
- Radiation exposure
- Psoriasis treatment
If you have a family history of skin cancer it’s particularly important that you see a dermatologist every year and that you continue to examine your own skin once a month so that you are able to detect problems sooner.
When was the last time you got a full-body skin cancer screening? If you’ve never had one or if it’s been more than a year then it’s time to call Magnolia Dermatology in Charleston, SC, to schedule your next preventive skincare checkups. It could just end up saving your life.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer among adults in the U.S, with about one out of every five adult Americans developing some form of it each year. Early detection of skin cancer offers the best prognosis for overcoming it, which is why it is so important to regularly check your skin for unusual changes and visit a dermatologist annually for a skin cancer screening. At Magnolia Dermatology in Charleston, SC, Dr. Joseph Myers is your dermatologist for skin cancer screenings and treatment.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are many different types of skin cancer. Two of the most common types to affect adult Americans are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Both types can develop due to chronic exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Another type of skin cancer is melanoma, which is actually the least common form but also the most deadly. In fact, it causes more deaths than any other type of skin cancer. Melanoma tends to be most prevalent among young adults in their mid to late twenties and develops as a result of extensive exposure to the sun or tanning beds.
Signs of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer signs can vary slightly among the different types of skin cancer. In general, though, any type of change in the skin is a potential skin cancer warning. Accordingly, anyone who observes a warning sign or change in the appearance of the skin should visit a dermatologist office such as Magnolia Dermatology. There, a dermatologist can perform a biopsy to determine if cancer cells are present. Some of the common signs of skin cancer include:
- Changes in the appearance of existing moles
- Sudden bleeding or itching of existing moles
- Speckled brown spots on the skin
- Patches of red or pink scaly lesions
- Waxy and translucent come-shaped growths
- Black or brown streaks under the nails
Skin Cancer Treatment Options
Several options are available for treating skin cancer, with each particular treatment being chosen on a basis of the type of skin cancer affecting a patient. At Magnolia Dermatology's Charleston office, skin cancer treatment options include:
- Mohs micrographic surgery — This method involves mapping the affected skin tissue in order to minimize the removal of healthy skin tissue.
- Radiation therapy — This method involves using radiation to target the affected area and kill cancer cells.
- Surgical excision — This method involves surgically removing a tumor from the skin.
- Cryosurgery — This is a method revolving around the action of freezing off a tumor using liquid nitrogen.
- Curettage and desiccation — This method involves scraping out a tumor, then applying an electric current to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.
- Prescription medicated creams — This option involves applying a cream to the skin to help stimulate the body’s immune system to target the cancer cells.
Concerned? Call our Charleston Office Today!
See a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening if you observe any of the common signs of skin cancer. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Myers, call Magnolia Dermatology at (843) 769-2100.
It’s important that you know when it’s time to turn to a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening.
Whether you are fair-skinned, a parent has been diagnosed with skin cancer or you spent a lot of time in the sun as a child, there are many factors that can increase your chances of developing skin cancer over the course of your lifetime. Our Charleston, SC, dermatologist Dr. Joseph Myers, Jr. is here to provide you with some guidelines on what to look out for when it comes to the health of your skin and when you should come in for a consultation.
A good rule of thumb is to get a skin cancer screening at least once a year, especially if you have any risk factors. You should also take the time to thoroughly inspect your skin and moles about every month. Knowing your skin is crucial to being able to pinpoint any changes as soon as possible.
What are some warning signs of skin cancer?
It’s important to call our Charleston, SC, skin doctor for an evaluation if you notice any of these changes to one or more moles (better known as your ABCDEs):
Asymmetry: You should be able to draw an imaginary line down the center of a healthy mole and the sides should be equal in size and shape. Uneven and asymmetrical sides could be early signs of melanoma.
Border: If the border of the mole is poorly defined, jagged or looks a bit abnormal this could also be a sign of melanoma. Healthy moles should have a clear, distinct border.
Color: While moles come in many shades of black, brown and tan, if you notice the mole changing color or developing more than one color then it’s time to have it looked at.
Diameter: The size of the mole also matters. While healthy moles can also be a bit larger at times, it’s far more common for them to be smaller than a pencil eraser. Moles that are larger than your other moles should be checked out.
Evolving: Moles should stay constant in appearance. If you notice any new moles or changes to any moles then it’s best to have it looked at. If moles begin to scab, itch, bleed or hurt, this could also be a warning sign.
No matter whether you want to schedule a routine skin cancer screening or you are noticing suspicious changes in your skin, the expert skin care team at Magnolia Dermatology in Charleston, SC, are here to meet your needs. Call our office today.
Find out how you can protect your skin from cancer and when to visit us for a screening.
The minute the sun comes out and the weather is nice, people flock outside to bask in the sun and soak up a little vitamin D; however, how many people do you think actually put on sunscreen before going outside? Better yet, how many people do you think bring sunscreen with them to reapply it? Chances are—not a lot of people. If you want to truly protect your skin from cancer, our Charleston, SC, dermatologist Dr. Joseph Myers, Jr., weighs in on what you should be doing.
Find Some Shade: While the purpose may be to go outside and enjoy the sun, you can still do that while also seeking refuge under a beach umbrella or a restaurant awning to protect your skin. And if you are concerned about getting enough vitamin D, you really don’t need to spend much time soaking up the sun’s rays to get what you need.
Wear Tightly Woven Clothes: If you are looking for clothes that will protect you from the sun then you’ll want to look for tightly woven materials. A good way to tell how protective your clothing is to hold it up and see how much light shines through.
Sport a Hat: Whether you are gardening or just going for a jaunt around the neighborhood it’s a good idea to wear a hat before you go outside. A wide-brimmed hat is the best choice because it will be able to protect your face, ears and neck from the sun’s rays.
Don’t Forget Sunscreen: Wearing sunscreen is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against skin cancer. Look for a sunscreen that will provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 15 or higher. Remember to reapply every two hours, or immediately after sweating or swimming.
What Does Skin Cancer Look Like?
It’s a good idea to schedule a skin cancer screening with our Charleston, SC, skin doctor at least once a year, even if you don’t notice any changes to your skin. Of course, be sure to examine your skin from head to toe regularly and look for moles that are asymmetrical, contain multiple colors, have undefined borders or are larger than the eraser end of a pencil. If you notice any of these changes, it’s time to visit us right away.
Magnolia Dermatology in Charleston, SC, is dedicated to the health of your skin. Whether you are concerned about skin cancer or you just want to schedule a routine visit, we are here to assist you with whatever you need.