Skin cancer is one of the most common yet quite dangerous cancers found in Americans. Unlike other diseases or conditions, which are relatively easy to spot with a sudden feeling of pain or discomfort, skin cancer is much harder to diagnose yourself.
It is often mistaken to be a harmless spot or mole. That is why it is crucial to stay aware of all skin cancer symptoms and if you start noticing any, visit a doctor right away. Thankfully, there are various options available when it comes to skin cancer treatment, so you need not worry about it too much. We’ll briefly describe some of those treatments below.
Depending on the type of skin cancer, its location, its growth, and other similar factors, your doctor could recommend a range of skin cancer treatments. Here are some of them.
Just because you have numerous options for skin cancer treatment does not mean that you should simply let go of all precautions. As they say, prevention is better than cure, and this could not be truer in this case.
Whether you’ve had skin cancer in the past or not, whether it’s in your family history or not, or regardless of any other contributing factor to skin cancer, you should always take the appropriate preventative measures on your own.
So now that you know about skin cancer treatment, it’s time to learn about skin cancer prevention, which is even more crucial.
The sun is one of the leading causes of skin cancer and can do a lot of damage in as little as 15 minutes. Therefore, you should avoid going out in direct sun as much as possible. If you must go out for any reason, try avoiding the peak hours from 10 am to 4 pm as that is when the UV rays from the sun are the strongest and most deadly. Finally, if you can’t avoid going out specifically during those times, make sure you are properly covered and protected.
One way to protect yourself from the sun is by using sunscreen. These can help prevent the UV rays from penetrating too deep into your skin, thereby limiting their damage. When choosing a sunscreen, make sure it has a high SPF, especially if you tend to burn easily.
Moreover, the sunscreen should have a broad spectrum to protect you from UVA as well as UVB rays. Apply the sunscreen generously on your face as well as all parts of the body that will be exposed to the skin. Apply the sunscreen at least 15 minutes before heading out in the sun and keep reapplying every two hours.
If you plan to stay outdoor for a longer time, consider wearing full sleeves and long clothing that properly covers all parts of your body. You can choose a light material that will help you stay cool as well as protect you from the sun. Moreover, along with the clothes, wear shades to protect your eyes and a wide-brim hat to properly shade your face from the UV rays.
We all love a nice tan but getting one through indoor tanning beds can be quite dangerous. These machines also use UV lights that can be harmful to your skin and lead to higher chances of developing skin cancer symptoms.
The strongest tool in your arsenal for a fight against skin cancer is knowledge. Therefore, make sure you read about all the skin cancer symptoms, types of skin cancers, causes, and other contributing factors.
Whether it’s skin cancer treatment or skin cancer prevention, it all starts with you. Your doctor won’t be able to treat you till you go to them, and you won’t be able to prevent skin cancer till you learn about all the different ways.
The good news is that you are headed in the right direction, considering that you’re here reading this blog. If you notice any skin cancer symptoms on your body, visit your doctor right away.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and despite what many people might believe, it serves an important function in maintaining a healthy body. It might not be pumping blood or sending signals to the rest of your body, but it does play a huge role in protecting you.
That said, just as you would spend time finding and choosing the right doctor for any heart or stomach-related concerns, you need to find the right dermatologist to effectively address all your skin-related concerns as well. Here are seven tips for choosing the right dermatologist for yourself.
Since the whole idea is to find a dermatologist that is right for you, you need to start by assessing your own needs. Why exactly are you looking to consult a dermatologist? Your precise skin concerns or needs could fall into three categories: medical, surgical, and cosmetic.
While all three are meant to improve the appearance of the skin, they tackle different skin concerns. Not all dermatologists will be experienced or skilled in providing all three types of dermatology services.
Certain dermatologists specialize in only medical dermatology, while some excel at providing cosmetic dermatology services. Medical dermatology usually caters to skin concerns such as cystic acne or rosacea. Surgical dermatology usually covers the removal of tumors or melanoma.
Cosmetic dermatology covers skin treatments, like Botox and face sculpting, that aim to reverse signs of aging or make aesthetic changes in the face. Once you know what your needs are and where they fall, you can significantly shorten the list of potential dermatologists for you.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a dermatologist is the color of your skin. Sometimes, people with certain skin colors deal with skin problems that are unique to them. Therefore, it makes sense to go to a dermatologist that deals with or is well experienced in treating people of that color.
In addition to that, even if it’s just a general skin concern, like hyperpigmentation, or something common, like Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), it is still important to consult a dermatologist who knows their way around different skin colors and types as these differences can lead to different treatments as well.
When you are searching for ‘best doctors to remove skin cancer near me’, make sure to check their credentials. By doing so, they can know for sure if they have basic information about dermatology and if they have gone through extensive training and experience to gain valuable skills meant for treating various skin concerns.
Therefore, check the board certification of any dermatologist you are considering. This even lets you know if the dermatologist has had any malpractice cases before or of any other disciplinary history.
Along with their board certification, another thing that greatly attests to a dermatologist’s skills and expertise is their previous patients’ reviews. Go through what other people have to say about that dermatologist and their services.
Look for reviews that reveal information about the dermatologist and highlight any additional features such as their welcoming office, after-hours care, or hidden fees. However, don’t trust the reviews completely. It’s always good to take them with a grain of salt.
Besides that, referrals are also an excellent starting point if you can’t find any good dermatologists on your own. Ask your primary care doctor or even friends and family for dermatologist referrals.
Experience also speaks volumes about a dermatologist’s skills and expertise. Between a dermatologist who has been practicing for just two years and one who has been in the field for more than 20 years, you would definitely find yourself trusting the latter more.
This is because there are certain things and knowledge that you pick up only over the course of time. Moreover, don’t just look at their overall experience; you must also but consider their experience within their specialty or with the specific skin concern you have.
Another factor that can help you narrow down your choices is your insurance coverage. Most medical insurance policies don’t cover all types of skin and dermatology treatments. Therefore, after assessing your needs, you should check with your coverage provider if that service is covered under your insurance.
If not, you might have to compare your options based on how much you can pay yourself. Most insurance policies cover basic treatments, like acne treatment as well as skin cancer screenings, but they might not cover cosmetic dermatology services.
Going to a dermatologist is not like signing a lifelong contract that you can’t ever break. Sometimes, it takes a few wrong turns to eventually find the right dermatologist. Therefore, if you do go for a first appointment, evaluate your experience afterward.
How attentive were they? How did they make you feel about your skin? Was their clinic welcoming? Did they give you ample time? If you find yourself not satisfied with their level of care, you can cancel the next appointment and begin your search again.
While a simple pimple may not seem serious enough to warrant all that effort to find the right dermatologist, there are other skin concerns that do. For instance, certain types of skin cancers can be quite dangerous and need to be treated right away.
Rather than panicking at the last moment and frantically searching for the ‘best doctors to remove skin cancer near me,’ we suggest using these tips for choosing the right dermatologist right now and scheduling a visit with an experienced and certified dermatologist right away.
There are a few things more torturous than sitting through a session of waxing or shaving your legs every morning to get rid of your body hair. If you’re sick and tired of these painful and short-lived hair removal methods, then we recommend a new method— laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal is a method that is gaining a lot of traction these days. It’s effective, painless, and has long-lasting results. Now before you start searching for ‘laser hair removal near me’, there are a few things you need to know.
Here’s everything you need to know about laser hair removal.
Unlike waxing or tweezing, where you pull the hair out by the follicle, or shaving, which cuts the hair by the skin, laser hair removal targets the very hair follicle itself. It involves using a laser that emits highly concentrated pulses of light on the area with unwanted hair.
The hair follicles contain pigment or melanin that absorbs this light. The light energy then turns into heat, which damages hair follicles, inhibiting, or delaying their ability to produce hair again. While it’s a pretty simple and straightforward process, it does carry some risks.
If not done correctly, it can cause burns and hyperpigmentation. So, your best bet is to go for certified and experienced dermatologists who know what they’re doing. Rather than searching for ‘laser hair removal near me’ and choosing the first option that pops up, do a bit of research on the dermatologist or their practice.
Besides that, laser light may look cool, but it can be dangerous as well. So, you should avoid getting extensive laser hair removal sessions at a time. The laser can also be extremely harmful to the eyes, so remember to protect them with adequate eye protection.
Again, unlike waxing and shaving, which is pretty must the same across people of different colors and hair types, laser treatments can vary for different people. Since the laser actually targets the pigment of the hair follicle, people who have very light-colored hair or dark skin can find the usual laser treatments to be ineffective at times.
That’s why for people who have fairer skin, dermatologists tend to use laser lights with a shorter wavelength, while darker-skinned people can benefit more from longer wavelength lasers.
Furthermore, some lasers do tend to have some cooling mechanism that can burn darker-skinned people, so make sure your doctor is using the right kind of laser treatment according to your skin and hair type.
How long a session takes depends on the area you’re targeting. For instance, laser hair removal on the lips might not take more than ten minutes. However, when covering a larger area, such as the legs, it could take up to a couple of hours.
This is because laser hair removal is quite a precise process. It targets around a quarter of an inch of skin at a time and burns all the hair follicles. That’s why the time each session takes depends on the area being covered. Besides that, the entire treatment itself can last about six months or four to six sessions.
One of the most important questions when it comes to laser hair removal is whether it is painless. The answer is that it is, and it isn’t. Of course, if you compare it to the pain from waxing or the razor burns from shaving, laser hair removal is somewhat painless.
However, it is not entirely painless. You will feel some discomfort when the laser zaps your follicles. The good part is that most dermatologists use some cooling spray or mist to counter that discomfort, and overall, the experience is not too painful.
The key to seeing good results from laser hair removal is consistency. You might not notice any jaw-dropping results after the first session, but if you keep at it, you will eventually see a significant drop in the growth of your hair. At the very least, you will need three sessions to see any remarkable results.
Laser hair removal is definitely expensive. The larger the area, the more it costs to treat it with laser, and when you multiply it by the number of sessions, it can cost a lot. However, you need to think of laser hair removal as an investment. It might cost you a lot right now but think of all the money you would save by not going for waxing sessions, buying razors or shaving creams, etc., in the future.
A laser hair removal session also requires some preparation beforehand. Here’s what you need to know:
While it is entirely okay to let your natural body hair grow, if you are the type of person who prefers smooth and hairless skin, laser hair removal is an excellent option.
Moreover, now that you know everything you need to know about laser hair removal, making the decision shouldn’t be too hard. Just remember to prepare for the session beforehand and consult an experienced dermatologist for ‘laser hair removal near me’.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer found in the United States. Skin cancer is always hard to spot because it can start off as an innocent birthmark or mole. However, depending on the type of skin cancer it is, it can quickly spread to other body parts and organs. That’s why it is so important to catch any signs of it early on when there are still high chances of successful treatment.
Now, as much as we wish it were possible, it’s not quite feasible to rush over to your dermatologist every time you notice a new spot, mole, or even freckle on your body. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of skin cancer symptoms so that you always know how to spot skin cancer.
Before we actually get into discussing how to spot skin cancer, it’s important to know the different types of it. This is because different types of skin cancer result in different skin cancer symptoms.
More importantly, certain types of skin cancer are more dangerous than the rest, and that’s why if you notice any such signs, you will need to rush to your dermatologist right away. There are three main types of skin cancer that account for more than 99% of the cases. These are:
Affecting more than four million people each year, BCC is a common type of skin cancer. It is named after the cells where it begins, and in this case, it’s the basal cells. This type of cancer usually develops on those parts of your body that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, arms, neck, back, etc. However, this doesn’t mean that BCC can’t develop in other areas that never see sunlight.
Less common but more serious than BCC, SCC also develops in the keratinocyte cells. Additionally, similar to BCC, this type of skin cancer also often develops on sun-exposed areas but is not entirely limited there.
This is the most serious type of skin cancer, which you need to be aware of. What makes this so dangerous is that this cancer grows in the same cells that produce moles on your body. That’s why people often confuse signs of melanoma with being a harmless mole and nothing more.
Skin cancer symptoms are often confused with other innocuous marks on your body, and that is what makes it so dangerous. However, if you happen to have a history of skin cancer or it runs in your family, you need to be extra conscious and aware of its signs.
Here are some skin cancer symptoms you should look out for according to the types of skin cancer:
If you have BCC, you may notice a pearly or waxy bump on the sun-exposed area of your body. It could be raised or flat and can appear to be flesh-like or a brown scar-like lesion.
Sometimes, it can also manifest in the form of bleeding, scabbing, or open sore that won’t heal or would heal but keep coming back again and again. Another common symptom of BCC is a raised reddish patch that is always itchy. BCC can also appear as a pinkish growth with a lower center area and raised edges with blood vessels spreading out.
When checking for SCC, the skin cancer symptoms might appear as scaly or rough red patches, which might also bleed or crust. You might notice raised lumps or abnormal growth with raised edges and low centers. In addition to that, similar to BCC, you might notice open sores that may be crusted or oozing and don’t heal, or heal but come back.
Melanoma can develop anywhere on the skin, whether it is exposed to the sun or not. Although, sun exposure can affect the chances of melanoma. In women, melanoma usually develops on the lower part of the legs, and in men, it occurs on the face or trunk. This type of cancer can develop on normal skin or in moles already present on the body.
When it comes to spotting skin cancer symptoms for melanoma, you have to remember the ABCDE rule:
Skin cancer can appear differently on everyone’s skin. Therefore, even if you don’t spot any skin cancer symptoms mentioned above, you shouldn’t consider yourself entirely safe. There are other symptoms as well, which you need to keep in mind.
Now that you know about the different types of skin cancers, their symptoms, and how to spot skin cancer, make sure you keep a close eye on any new developments on your body at all times.
Do a thorough checkup of your body every time you get out of the shower, making sure to check your back, under your legs, and all areas that are exposed to the sun. Ask your partner to check any hard-to-see places. Most importantly, if you notice any dangerous or suspicious spots, make sure you get them checked right away.
Looking beautiful and youthful in all walks of life sounds desirable. However, it comes at a price – thousands and thousands of dollars to be precise. Getting under the knife is not unusual nowadays. In fact, it is encouraged in some parts of the world.
In the States, plastic surgery has been a trend for the last few years. Popular culture and reality television celebrities have majorly contributed to this trend. When asked about their beauty secrets, they have often lied about getting any surgery and pushed the narrative of being ‘natural.’
Perhaps they were telling the truth! The revolutionary dermatology injectables are, in some way, reducing the need for permanent surgery.
Injectable treatments offer temporary facelifts, neck lifts, and more by injecting neurotoxins and fillers into the skin. These treatments help you avoid the recovery time that comes after surgery. The effects of these treatments last about 4-5 months.
According to the US FDA, neurotoxins and fillers have been categorized as prescription medication and medical devices respectively. They are to be sold and handled only by licensed healthcare providers.
These substances are expensive, and unprofessional and unlicensed injectors conducting unethical cosmetic surgeries often illegally source and use them. This can have dire consequences. It is best to avoid them.
With further developments in technology, we have reached another feat. Skin Injectables at home, exactly what the world wants, right? Cheap and convenient DIY fillers.
Skin Injectables allow you to inject fillers and neurotoxins into your skin without the supervision of an expensive doctor.
Doesn’t that sound dangerous? Well, it is extremely hazardous. When injecting yourself with chemicals without the supervision of a profession, you expose yourself to all kinds of dangers.
According to this study, neurotoxins, and filler, although generally safe, can cause vision loss, soft-tissue necrosis, embolization, and anaphylaxis, that too when administered by a licensed professional. When performed by an unqualified individual, it can even lead to death.
Self injectables have been categorized as highly dangerous and should not be used without a professional. Unfortunately, its usage has become popular due to many YouTube tutorials and various other online forums. Many young folks fall prey to this kind of false information.
The pressure of looking perfect and young all the time has led to these unethical inventions and its usage. “Some of the most common complications from unregulated cosmetic products include infection, scars, and swelling, while more severe cases can involve long-term paralysis, Bell’s palsy, blindness, and stroke,” says Dr. Galimberti.
“The problem is two-fold: you’ve got products that can’t be trusted, and you’ve got people injecting them without adequate medical training and experience. To protect your health, you should never get injections in a non-medical setting, such as a party or someone’s home.”
You might want to look like your idols but is it worth risking your life? If you are adamant about using fillers then we suggest that you try the best skincare injectables and treatments at your disposal. It is highly recommended that you seek the help of a board-certified physician.
At the end of the day, it is your body and your choice. What’s important is that you should be aware of all the possible options to choose from, and be wary of the consequences of using skin injectables at home.
Primary care physicians catch many early skin cancer growths as they examine patients most often.
Once a mole or other growth on the skin is identified as possibly cancerous, it should be looked at by an expert. Most primary care physicians or general practitioners will refer their patients to a dermatologist from that point.
Advanced cancers are often treated by surgeons or oncologists.
For squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers and melanoma, the doctors can include the following:
Surgical oncologists – diagnose and remove cancer through surgery
Medical oncologists – perform chemotherapy, hormonal therapies, and others
Radiation oncologists – perform radiotherapy for cancer treatment
*For melanoma, many patients seek out Mohs Fellowship Surgeons with specialized training in performing this treatment with precision and leaving the majority of the surrounding area untouched.
Skin cancer treatment options are vast and vary by the type of skin cancer and stage of cancer.
Here are some options approved by the American Cancer Society:
There are many different types of surgery performed. Usually they can be done in a dermatologist’s office. Depending on the spread or risk of spread, the surgeon may recommend radiation or chemotherapy as additional treatment measures.
Excision – Cancer is removed with a surgical knife. A scar will likely remain.
Curettage and electrodesiccation – This surgery involves scraping the skin and using a special needle to get rid of any remaining cancer cells.
Lymph node – Lymph nodes are removed and biopsied.
Cryotherapy- Cancer is frozen with liquid nitrogen.
Photodynamic therapy – Procedure is used for actinic keratoses primarily.
Immunotherapy – Treatment boosts the body’s immune system.
Be informed. Discuss all treatment options with your dermatologist and learn about the details of each including risks and expected outcomes.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends an annual screening for adults be performed by a dermatologist.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with skin cancer or has questions about moles or other growths on the skin, ask your dermatologist or primary care physician if you suspect you or a family member may have skin cancer. A full body skin exam is the best option for a thorough review of your skin’s condition. This exam should be performed by a Board-certified dermatologist. At Suncoast Skin Solutions, Florida’s Most Trusted Dermatology, we not only have Board-Certified dermatologists, we also have several Mohs fellows who have received advance training and experience with the procedure. Each of our dermatology site locations is accepting new appointments and can perform a thorough skin evaluation. Please call for details.
Why does it matter if certain skin disorders are prevalent in people with diabetes?
The reason it matters is that your dermatologist may be able to help you or a family member get a diabetes test to determine if you have diabetes that is undiagnosed or pre-diabetes. Catching diabetes early can help you identify a treatment plan early to control it and prevent serious resulting damage to organs and lower mortality rates.
A 2016 an international study found certain skin conditions to be present in 51% or more of those diagnosed with diabetes.
If you are diagnosed with one of the conditions above by your dermatologist, a glucose test for diabetes may be recommended.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with one of the skin conditions listed here, ask your dermatologist or primary care physician whether a diabetes test is warranted at this time. If you are concerned about symptoms appearing on your skin, make an appointment with one of our Board-certified dermatologists at Suncoast Skin Solutions, Florida’s Most Trusted Dermatology. Each of our dermatology site locations is accepting new appointments and can perform a thorough skin evaluation. Please call for details.
— de Macedo GMC, Nunes S, Barreto T. Skin disorders in diabetes mellitus: an epidemiology and physiopathology review. Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome. 2016;8: Article Number 63 doi: 10.1186/s13098-016-0176-y
Lupus is an autoimmune disease with an extensive list of symptoms. The disease commonly affects the skin with rashes, inflammation, or lesions, and often increases sensitivity to sunlight and harmful ultraviolet rays. It can affect other tissues and organs including the nervous system, kidneys and lungs.
From a dermatology perspective the following are skin problems associated with Lupus:
Skin Lesions – Several types can result from different types and different stages of the disease.
Changes to Fingernails or Toenails – Nails may show redness or red spots, irritation and swelling below the cuticle or other areas.
Sunlight Sensitivity – The skin may be prone to sunburn and extremely sensitive to UV light, resulting in risk of sunburn or rashes. Dermatologists recommend staying out of the sun and wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 70 for lupus patients.
Flare-ups on Scalp – Hair loss may result. The hair loss may be reversed following the flare-up.
Rashes and Skin Irritation – A wide variety of skin conditions and irritations may result. They usually present themselves on the parts of the body exposed to the sun, such as the face and neck area, or arms and legs. The butterfly rash across the face is common in lupus patients.
How is Lupus treated?
Lupus is often treated with a medication known as Hydroxychloroquine, an immune-suppressive drug that is also used to treat malaria. When COVID-19 first came on the scene, it was often prescribed for patients, reducing the supply for those afflicted by lupus. Since then, the FDA has warned against its use in fighting COVID-19, which was good news for Lupus patients.
For skin problems, dermatologists often will treat the symptom with ointment or salves and medications.
While treatment is paramount in controlling lupus, there are factors within the patient’s control to reduce outbreaks.
How to Manage Lupus Skin Effects
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with lupus and are experiencing rashes, lesions or other skin conditions related to the disease, make an appointment with a dermatologist at Suncoast Skin Solutions, Florida’s Most Trusted Dermatology. Each of our office locations has a dermatologist on site to evaluate your skin and perform an exam. Please call for details.
Skin tags are usually caused by friction of the surrounding area in adults. They are actually benign tumors that cause little to no harm. Children rarely have skin tags. They appear as small cylindrical shapes of soft skin, often in the same color as the rest of your skin or somewhat brown in color. When they first form, they appear as a tiny circular growth. They can expand with a maximum size of 2 inches in length and look more like a stem of skin.
Where are skin tags most commonly found?
Skin tags are located in the following areas:
Underneath breasts on men or women
On the back
Under the folds of skin in bottom or stomach area
Why should you have skin tags removed?
Having skin tags removed is an optional cosmetic procedure. Dermatology patients have them removed because they don’t like the way they look on the body. Skin tags can also cause jewelry or clothing to catch on the skin and pull the tag causing discomfort, pain, and sometimes bleeding, if it actually tears. Some patients have tags removed to help them with being able to shave armpit and facial areas. Working around skin tags with a razor is a challenge. When one is cut with a razor excessive bleeding may occur, as may infection. Tag removal may not be covered by insurance. Insurance carriers are more likely to cover the cost of removal in situations where the patient is experiencing bleeding, pain, or irritation.
Should I remove my skin tags at home?
No. While there are many home remedies you may find on the web, the safest and best solution is to see a dermatologist. Many dermatologists offer Telehealth appointments where patients can easily show the doctor the tags on the skin and make a subsequent appointment for removal.
How are skin tags removed by a dermatologist?
Dermatologists often use one of the following methods of removal:
Does it hurt?
Yes, the surgical removal of the tag can be painful. That is why the physician numbs the area prior to the procedure. In the event the tag starts bleeding, the doctor will likely apply a medication and then a bandage and pressure.
All methods offered by your dermatologist can be discussed during the Telehealth or office examination and evaluation.
If you have skin tags you would like to discuss with a dermatologist in Florida, call Suncoast Skin Solutions, Florida’s Most Trusted Dermatology. Each of our office locations has a dermatologist on site to evaluate your skin and perform an exam. Please call our dermatology locator for more information or to schedule an appointment at 813.321.1786.