The three most common forms of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. When detected in the early stage, these skin cancers can be surgically excised. Although basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinomas rarely metastasize, melanoma can spread and is deadly. It is recommended that every person have a yearly skin examination by a dermatologist. People of all skin types can develop skin cancer. Those with darker skin types are more likely to develop skin cancers on non-sun exposed areas such as the foot, hand, nails, and scalp. If you notice new and changing lesions on the skin, then you should have those lesions evaluated by a board certified dermatologist. At Skin Oasis Dermatology, we specialize in performing skin cancer screening with the use of a dermatoscope. This handheld device increases the detection of melanoma while minimizing the need to biopsy normal moles.
It is recommended that a self skin examination be performed monthly. Listed below are characteristics of concern when evaluating your moles. The most important factor of concern is change. If you notice a change in a skin lesion, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. ABCD Rules for detecting melanoma include:
• Asymmetry - the mole is not a mirror image of itself
• Borders - irregular and jagged rather than smooth and rounded
• Color - the lesion has multiple colors
• Diameter - the lesion size is larger than a pencil eraser
Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
• The sun is the most common cause of skin cancer. It is recommended that you reduce direct
sun exposure between the hours of 10 am to 4 pm when the rays of the sun are the strongest.
• Sunscreen should be worn daily when going outside regardless of the season. For daily wear,
sunscreen should be applied to the face, neck, v of the neck, and ears. With increased direct
sun exposure, such as when at the park and beach, sunscreen should applied at least 30
minutes before going outside and then be reapplied every 2 hours when outside. After getting
out of water and toweling off, sunscreen should be reapplied. SPF 30 is recommended daily.
Avoid tanning salons as exposure has been reported to increase the chance of developing skin
cancer by 70%.