Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid getting the dreaded and potentially life-threatening C word for the skin: skin cancer. In addition to a yearly skin exam at CLIENT NAME, we recommended seeking shade when available when outdoors, wearing sun protective clothing including a wide-brimmed hat and UV blocking sunglasses, wearing a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of an SPF 30 or higher that protects from UVA and UVB rays and reapplying every 2 hours, avoiding tanning beds, and performing regular skin self-exams to monitor any changes in moles or additional marks, bumps or color changes to the skin.

The skin is made up of many different types of cells. Skin cancer develops when cells grow and multiply in a disorderly fashion. New skin cells form when cells grow old and die off or become damaged. When this process goes awry, a rapid growth of cells occurs; some of the collection of cells could be benign or noncancerous and some may be cancerous, in which case the cancerous cells could spread to nearby tissue or organs if not detected early. The good news is that nearly all skin cancers can be treated and cured if found early so be sure to schedule an annual exam.

Are there different types of skin cancer? The 3 most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer accounting for nearly 80% of cases. Research indicates that prolonged sun exposure, longer life span and early detection methods account for the higher rate of basal cell carcinoma diagnosis. Basal cell is found in the outer layer of skin known as the epidermis. Signs include a flesh-colored, round growth, a pearl-like bump, a pink-colored patch of skin and a bleeding or scabbing scab that heals but returns. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the flat cells of the epidermis and can present as a firm, red bump, a flat lesion with a crusted surface or a sore that heals and eventually reopens. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer that can develop in an existing mole or present as a new dark spot on the skin.

Skin cancer can develop anywhere but most often affects areas exposed to the sun such as the face, arms, legs and back. For more information on how to prevent skin cancer, visit our website at WEBSITE. To schedule your skin screening with THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology, fill out our request form online or give our office a call at 602-867-7546.