Blog Talk: Integrated Dermatology
Posts for: September, 2015
It’s important to always be checking your skin for potential signs of skin cancer.
It’s estimated that about one in five Americans will actually develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. As you can see, skin cancer is fairly common, so it’s important to know what to look for so you can see your West Palm Beach dermatologists Dr. Barry Kuttner, Dr. Kathleen Herne and Dr. Heather Houck right away. Here are some helpful hints for determining whether a suspicious spot could be skin cancer.
Basal cell carcinoma can appear as:
- Raised red patches
- Flat pale or yellow spots that look similar to a scar
- Open sores that won’t heal (they may ooze or crust over)
- Small pink or red shiny bumps
- Pink growths with an indented center and raised edges
Squamous cell carcinomas can appear as:
- Rough, scaly red patches (these patches might bleed or crust over)
- Raised lumps or growths with a lower center
- Growths that look similar to warts
- Open sores that don’t heal or that come back (they may also ooze or crust)
Both of these common forms of skin cancer may show up first as a flat area and only produce minor skin changes, so it’s important to examine your skin thoroughly and often so that you can detect these changes early. Plus, it’s important to see your West Palm Beach dermatologist each year for skin cancer screenings.
Melanoma is a life-threatening form of skin cancer that you also need to detect right away. When it comes to pinpointing whether a growth is melanoma, it’s important to follow the ABCDE rule:
“A” for asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark is different from the other side.
“B” for border: The edges of a growth are ragged or irregular.
“C” for color: The growth isn’t one uniformed color and may contain different shades of brown or black or spots of pink, blue or white.
“D” for diameter: While melanoma can also be small, growths larger than 6 millimeters across (the size of a pencil eraser) need to be checked for melanoma.
“E” for evolving: Melanoma is often changing, whether in color, shape or size.
If you notice any changes in your skin then it’s time you saw your West Palm Beach dermatologist right away. The sooner we diagnose skin cancer the better the prognosis and treatment plan. Turn to Integrated Dermatology of West Palm Beach & of the Palm Beaches for all your skin care needs.
Find out how this simple procedure can effectively treatment certain kinds of skin cancer.
Skin cancer can be a scary diagnosis for many of our patients, but it doesn’t have to be. With advancements in medical technology and procedures it’s now easier than ever to quickly detect skin cancer and get down to treating it. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with one of the two most common forms of skin cancers—basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)—find out how your Boynton Beach dermatologists Dr. Barry Kuttner, Dr. Kathleen Herne and Dr. Heather Houck can safely and properly treat your condition with mohs surgery.
What is mohs surgery?
This surgical treatment is one of the most popular and most effective ways to treat both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. This technique makes it easier for your Boynton Beach dermatologists to remove all cancer cells while also sparing as much healthy tissue as possible.
What should I expect from my mohs surgery?
This surgery is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. Your Boynton Beach dermatologists will excise horizontal sections of tissue from the tumor and examine it under a microscope to look for cancer cells. We will continue to remove small sections of tissue and examine them under a microscope until skin cancer is no longer found in the tissue sample. By only removing tissue where cancer is present we are able to preserve more healthy skin tissue through this procedure.
Just be prepared to be in our office for several hours or even all day to complete this surgery. Every patient’s surgery time will vary depending on the size of the skin cancer.
What is the success rate for mohs surgery?
This surgical technique offers a 98 percent success rate when it comes to treating certain types of skin cancer. These rates are higher than other excision procedures.
What is the recovery process like?
Since this procedure is more conservative when it comes to removing tissue, the recovery period is fairly easy. As with any surgery you’ll want to take some time to rest immediately after. You will also need to come back for a follow-up within a week or so to have stitches removed.
Pain and discomfort is usually minor and often goes away quickly. Your Boynton Beach dermatologists will let you know if pain medications are recommended after your treatment.
Don’t let a skin cancer diagnosis scare you. Take charge by turning to mohs surgery to give you the results you want. Call your Boynton Beach dermatologists at Integrated Dermatology of West Palm Beach & of the Palm Beaches today.