Skin cancer screening
Unless you are an avid skier or outdoorsman, this time of year, the average person gives very thought to the correlation between sunlight exposure and skin cancer. If you think about it, this is the perfect time of year to visit a reputable Charlotte dermatologist for a skin check. In fact, you should have your skin checked by a dermatologist at least once a year. You should also make periodic self-exams because no one is more familiar with your skin than you are, and you will most likely be the first to recognized something new or unusual.
Skin cancer awareness
We can be lured into a false sense of security because most of us understand that early detection of skin cancer is usually treated quite successfully. When people ignore the early signs of a change in pigmentation or size of a skin mole or some other anomaly, they take the risk of allowing the growth of something as serious as melanoma. Melanoma is a serious skin cancer. Once it spreads to other places in your body, it is called metastatic, or you may also hear your dermatologist refer to it as stage IV melanoma. Melanoma often spreads to:
- Tissues under the skin
- Your lymph nodes
- The lungs
- The liver
- The brain
Unfortunately, in most cases it cannot be cured. If it has become advanced, or stage IV, special treatments and support can help you live longer and more comfortably.
Decrease your risk of skin cancer
People who are active and who spend a considerable amount of time swimming, biking, fishing, skiing, and running, should take special precautions to avoid overexposure to the ultra-violet rays of the sun. Consider the following suggestions and preventative measures that can help decrease your risk of developing skin cancer:
- Try to avoid exposure to the sun during peak hours of the day (11am – 4pm)
- Be aware that UV exposure is greater at higher altitudes, therefore you need greater protection.
- When outdoors, cover up with sleeves, always wear a hat, and wear UV blocking sunglasses.
- Wear broad spectrum sunscreen. Ask your dermatologist for the recommended SPF for your specific needs.
- Reapply sunscreen every couple of hours, and immediately after swimming or sweating.
- Examine your skin at least once a month for new or changing moles.
- See a dermatologist at least once a year for regular skin checks.
We hope you will develop the understanding of how important it is to be proactive about any anomalies that you notice with your skin. If you have any moles, they should be reasonably asymmetrical. See your dermatologist if the borders of the mole are uneven. Generally, moles are fairly uniform in color. Be sure to report any mole that presents with different colors or different shades of the same color. Have your dermatologist look at any moles that have a diameter that is larger than that of a pencil eraser. Although it is normal for moles to change as we age, pay close attention to any changes in the size, shape, or elevation. See a doctor or dermatologist if you develop symptoms such as itching or bleeding in a mole.
Charlotte dermatologist for skin cancer treatment
Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte can provide safe and caring treatment in a professional environment. Dr. Nixon and Dr. Haught are board certified dermatologists whose dedication, experience, and knowledge will provide the best possible treatment for your skin, hair, and cosmetic concerns.
Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte also offers medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology; including removal of skin cancer. They provide a full range of cosmetic offerings such as skin tightening, fat reduction, chemical peels, Botox treatments, microdermabrasion, and more. They provide treatment for both adult and pediatric patients. Call their office today for a complementary consultation to determine your specific needs.