How Often Should You Be Seen for Skin Cancer Prevention?
It is important to have annual skin cancer prevention checks with your dermatologist for early detection and to stop the spread. A dermatologist at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can perform skin checks as well as provide treatment options if necessary. They can detect early signs of skin cancer and help you prevent it from spreading before it takes a turn for the worse.
What to Know About Skin Cancer Prevention
Why You Need Annual Skin Cancer Checks
Skin cancer can be deadly if it is not detected early enough. It spreads quickly, but early detection can allow for future prevention as well as quick treatments to stop the spread. Although you should be performing regular skin checks, a dermatologist should be seen annually to perform an even more thorough check. If skin cancer runs in your family, a dermatologist should be seen more often, as you are more susceptible to getting skin cancer.
There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. BCC is the most common form of skin cancer that appears on the top layer of the skin in the basal cells. When looking for signs of BCC, you will notice shiny, translucent bumps that do not heal or an elevated growth. They will appear on skin that is most often exposed to the sun. SCC is found on the upper layer of the skin in the form of crusted or scaly inflamed bumps or patches of skin. It can appear on any area of the skin. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer because of how quickly it can spread. Typically, with melanoma, you will notice a change in a mole or that a new mole has appeared. If you notice any of these signs, a dermatologist should be seen immediately to provide treatment options.
Skin Cancer Prevention Tips and Treatment
The best form of skin cancer prevention is to always wear sunscreen. Wearing SPF 30 or higher daily will make sure your skin is always protected against the sun. If you are going to be in direct sunlight for long periods of time or have fair skin, a higher SPF should be worn and reapplied every few hours. Although sunscreen helps to prevent skin cancer, you can still be a victim of it.
It is important to always check your skin for signs of BCC, SCC, or melanoma and see a dermatologist yearly for them to check your skin as well. If they find signs of skin cancer, they can treat it through Mohs Micrographic Surgery or surgical excision. Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an efficient and effective way to remove as little affected skin tissue as possible. The dermatologist scrapes out the affected area and tests it for skin cancer. They repeat this process until there is no more skin cancer. It is a quick and relatively painless procedure.
Excisions can include a shave, scissor, or surgical excision. A shave excision is when the dermatologist will remove the skin cancer growth with a small blade. A scissor excision is used for raised skin lesions; the skin is pulled up and snipped with scissors. Lastly, a surgical excision is for deep lesions in the skin. The treatment method used depends on the type of skin cancer you have and the severity.
Don’t wait until it is too late to have an annual skin check by a dermatologist. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, complete this form to get in touch with a dermatologist at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute. We will help provide peace of mind as we perform your annual skin check.