What You Need to Know About Skin Cancers and How to Protect Yourself
The C-word scares everyone and with so many different cancers there’s plenty to be wary of. However, as the saying goes – knowledge is power – so being educated on what skin cancers look like and what to do to protect yourself are key factors in steering clear of fear and worry.
At Green Dermatology and Cosmetic Center in Deerfield Beach, we are experts in the field of skin cancer prevention and treatment. We are here to help you and share our knowledge with all our patients.
Let’s discuss a few vital ways to stay informed on how to protect yourself from skin cancer.
First let’s establish what skin cancer is. It is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells that happens when radiation from sunlight or tanning beds damages the cell’s DNA. This results in a mutation, causing cells to multiply quickly and form tumors.
Now, how often should you check your skin?
The Cancer Council recommends you check your skin for moles and abnormal growths every 3 months. Plus it also suggests you visit a dermatologist once a year for a full examination. You should also always be looking out for any irregularities on your skin, like moles that change quickly in shape and/or color.
How to check for skin cancer?
There are several things to look out for like the border and shape of the mole. If it’s irregular or asymmetrical, get it checked out. Also check out the color of the mole – if it’s uneven or has a different color like pink, blue or grey – these may be indications of possible cancer. And if it changes color or shape, definitely visit our office.
What are the types of skin cancer?
Knowing the different ways skin cancer can present itself is very important. Some cancer manifests in a mole while others can just look like a patch of dry skin. Here are the most common types to keep in mind.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and develops in a mole or appears as a new dark spot.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and occurs after years of sun or indoor tanning. It resembles a pearl white bump.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type, but it looks like red firm bumps. It usually forms on skin that has had the most sun exposure like ears, neck and arms.
Actinic Keratoses usually occurs in people with light skin and usually develops after years of sun exposure. It looks like dry scaly patches or spots.
When should I visit Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center for a skin check?
If you are regular with your 3-month self-examinations and you notice a mole or new bump that is off, it’s never too early to call. We rather you be overly cautious than wait until the skin cancer has worsened or spread.
Green Dermatology and Cosmetic Center is the ideal dermatologist in Boca and throughout South Florida to help you with all of your skin needs. We specialize in everything from skin cancer prevention to skin cancer surgery and mole removal. Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact us today and together let’s be certain that you are cancer free!