Finding new or unusual looking moles and pigmentation on your skin is frightening, but before you panic, contact Lower Highlands Dermatology in Denver. There, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Catherine Carretero and nurse practitioner Maggie Catalano can diagnose, prevent, and treat skin cancer. If you have a spot you’re concerned over or are at high risk for developing skin cancer, don’t wait to be seen. Call the office today to schedule your initial consultation or book online.
Skin cancer comes in many forms, but most cases fit into three types:
Basal cell carcinoma is a mild form of cancer that typically forms on areas of the body that regularly encounter sunlight, such as the face and neck. In most cases, basal cell carcinoma manifests as pearly or waxy bumps or flat, brown lesions.
Squamous cell carcinoma often impacts people with darker skin, especially on sun-exposed areas like your face, ears, and hands. Typical characteristics of squamous cell carcinoma include firm, red nodules or flat lesions with scaly, crusty surfaces.
Melanoma, a fatal form of skin cancer, often develops on the face or trunk, or in women, on the lower legs. Skin affected with melanoma often appears as brown spots with dark specks, moles that bleed or change in size or color, or small lesions with irregular borders that appear red, white, or blue.
If you want to protect yourself from skin cancer, you should limit your skin’s exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. To do so, regularly wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more and seek the shade, mainly between 10 am and 4 pm. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours or after swimming.
When you know you’re going to be in the sun, wear a wide-brim hat and UV-protective clothing. Once a month, do a full body examination looking for any signs of skin cancer, including dark pigmentation and changes in moles and freckles. A dermatologist should examine any mole that has an irregular color or border.
The type of skin cancer you have determines your treatment. After a thorough skin exam and possible skin biopsy, your dermatologist dictates the best course of treatment. The type of cancer, size of the tumor, and the patient’s general health all influence the decision.
In many cases, tumor removal may be a sufficient form of treatment, along with regular monitoring. In other cases, you may need a more aggressive approach.
If you think you may be at risk for skin cancer, don’t wait to contact Lower Highlands Dermatology. Call the office today or schedule your consultation online.