Posts for tag: skin cancer

By Shady Grove Dermatology
July 01, 2021
Category: Skin Care
Tags: skin cancer   Sunscreen  

There are steps you can take to protect you and your loved ones from skin cancer.

This year alone, around 106,110 new melanoma cases with be diagnosed here in the US. Melanoma prevalence is on the rise, and the goal of our Rockville, MD, dermatologists is to protect you from both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. After all, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Here are some tips to follow to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

This is probably the most important tip to follow: Always practice good sun safety, and this doesn’t just mean during the summer months. After all, UV rays are powerful and potentially harmful all year long, even on snowy and rainy days. Since the sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10 am-4 pm, it’s best to avoid extended periods of sun exposure during these times. If you must be outside,

  • Wear sunscreen every day (more on that, below!)
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Wear protective clothing with tightly woven fabrics
  • Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to protect the ears, face and neck

Wear Sunscreen

Again, sunscreen isn’t just something that you need to put on once in a blue moon (or on that summer vacation); it’s something that you need to apply each and every day. UV rays are strong enough to penetrate through the windows of your car and clouds on rainy days, which can lead to some serious sun damage over time. Here are some tips on proper sunscreen use,

  • Look for a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum and protects against both UVA and UVB rays
  • Make sure that you use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15
  • Apply sunscreen every day about 30 minutes before going outside. Make sure to reapply every two hours (or immediately after, if you are swimming or sweating).

Say “No” to Tanning Beds

At this point, we hope that most people know the dangers of a tanning bed, but just in case you need a little refresher: Tanning beds not only cause significant skin damage, but they can also greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer. In fact, just one season can increase your risk for developing melanoma by 20%.

Skin Cancer Warning Signs

It’s important to know what to look for. The ABCDEs can certainly help people remember the warning signs of melanoma. Of course, a simple rule of thumb is, if any mole changes color, shape or size it’s a good idea to have our Rockville, MD, dermatologist take a look. You should also turn to us if: you develop a new mole, or you have a growth or mole that bleeds, crusts over, hurts or resembles a scar.

Here at Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, we’ve made it our mission to protect our patients from skin cancer. Whether you’re noticing changes in a mole or you simply want to schedule a routine skin cancer screening, we are here for you. Call us today at (240) 246-7417 to schedule an appointment.

By Shady Grove Dermatology
March 04, 2021
Category: Skin Care
Tags: skin cancer  

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and will affect one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their life according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Thankfully, if caught early, skin cancers are generally curable. If you are affected by skin cancer, your dermatologists at Shady Grove Dermatology, LLC in Rockville, MD, are here to help. Continue reading to learn how to prevent skin cancer as well as what signs to look for to determine if you need to talk to your dermatologist.

How to Prevent Skin Cancer

One of the biggest rules that most people are taught at a young age is to always wear sunscreen when going outside, which is an important tip to follow. It’s extremely important to wear sunscreen not only during the summer but year-round. People underestimate the strength of the winter sun, but it’s still important to protect your skin even when it may not feel like the sun is doing much. You should be wearing at least SPF 15 to get the full benefits of sunscreen.

In addition to wearing sunscreen, it’s important to:

  • Avoid the sun during the peak hours of 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a sun hat or clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Avoid tanning beds.
  • Check your skin regularly and be on the lookout for any irregularities.

Signs of Skin Cancer

Your dermatologist in Rockville, MD, will do the final diagnosing, but it’s important that you do regular check-ups at home. Skin cancer usually develops on any area of the skin that has been exposed to UV rays, such as the scalp, face, neck, chest, arms, or legs.

Signs to keep an eye out for are:

  • A bleeding or scabbing sore that continuously returns.
  • A firm, red nodule.
  • A mole that changes in size, color, or bleeds.
  • A small lesion with an irregular border.
  • A large brown spot with dark speckles.

Call Your Dermatologist Today

If you are concerned that you may have any of the symptoms of skin cancer, it’s important that you call your dermatologist at Shady Grove Dermatology, LLC in Rockville, MD, at (240) 246-7417 today!

By Shady Grove Dermatology
July 24, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: moles   skin cancer  

You may have moles that differ in appearance throughout your body but they are generally nothing to worry about. However, there are occasions where a mole might be a sign that you are at risk for developing skin cancer, or already have skin cancer and not even know it.

In this light, if you spot a suspicious mole or growth anywhere on your body, you can visit us here at Shady Grove Dermatology, LLC in Rockville MD so one of our dermatologists can determine whether or not you should be worried.

Are You at Risk for Developing Skin Cancer?

Most Rockville moles, as mentioned above, are often benign or noncancerous. That being said, they could likewise be warning signs of the most serious type, yet the least common, form of skin cancer—melanoma. Risk factors typically involve:

  • 35 to 75 years of age
  • Blonde or red hair
  • Light skin
  • Light-colored eyes
  • Severe sun damage
  • Skin cancer in the family
  • Consistent use of tanning beds

What Your Moles Can Tell You

A thorough skin examination by your Rockville moles dermatologist is the most surefire way to determine whether or not you have skin cancer. The reason for this is that it could be difficult to detect the signs of skin cancer, as they’re usually subtle during its earliest stages. The following are signs you should look out for:

  • Any changes and differences in your moles. Melanoma may commonly appear like normal moles. But they could be distinguished and identified by certain characteristics with the use of the “ABCDE” method, as recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation:
  • Asymmetry: The halves of the mole or lesion are unequal.
  • Border: The borders or edges of the mole are unclear and irregular in shape. Benign moles, on the other hand, have smoother and more even edges.
  • Color: Melanoma may have various shades of brown, black, or tan. As it develops, colors like white, blue, or red may likewise surface.
  • Diameter: A normal mole’s diameter should not exceed six millimeters.
  • Evolving: Changes in a mole or moles and unusual patches of skin that suddenly appear should be professionally checked out.
  • Changes in your fingernails or toenails. Skin cancer could also develop in those areas. They may look like dark spots or marks under your nails.
  • Prevalent pimples or sores. Skin cancer can occasionally appear like a red or pink bump similar to a pimple, although this bump does not go away. Other skin cancers can cause or look like ulcers and sores that don’t seem to heal.
  • Scaly patches. Likewise known as actinic keratosis, this kind of patches is a common skin cancer warning sign.
  • Persistent itchiness, tenderness, or pain. Do not ignore these sensations, most especially if the area of the surrounding skin changes in appearance.
  • The difference in the surface of the mole, which could include scaliness, bleeding, or the emergence of a bump or lump.

For Concerns or Questions About Suspicious Moles, Reach Out to Us

Dial (240) 246-7417 to arrange a skin exam with one of our dermatologists here at Shady Grove Dermatology, LLC in Rockville MD.

By Shady Grove Dermatology
July 07, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: skin cancer  

Skin cancer affects more millions of Americans every year and people who have had skin cancer have a higher risk of developing new skin cancer, which is why regular self-examination and visiting your Rockville dermatologist at Shady Grove Dermatology is imperative.

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells and consist of three different types: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma: This is the most common form of skin cancer and is found in the deepest layer of the epidermis when a person is overexposed to UVB radiation. This type of skin cancer damages the body's natural repair system and metastasize (spread) slowly. Symptoms include: raised pink or pearly white bump with visible blood vessels, pigmented bumps that look like moles, sores that won't heal, and flat scaly scar with a waxy appearance. People at risk have fair skin, usually more sun exposure, older than 50, and are exposed to ultraviolet radiation (tanning beds). Diagnosis requires a biopsy and treatment methods include: Cryosurgery, Curettage and Desiccation, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, Prescription Medicated Creams, Radiation Therapy and Surgical Excision.
     
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This is found in the upper layer of the epidermis and looks like fish scales under a microscope. Squamous cell carcinoma develops on the scalp, face, ears and hands, but can also be found in the mouth or on genitalia. People at higher risk are usually fair-skinned, middle-aged and elderly people who have been exposed to the sun. You need a biopsy to test the dry scaly lesions to confirm it's cancer and treatment options are the same as the treatment options for basal cell carcinoma.
     
  • Melanoma: This is the least common type of skin cancer, but the most virulent in the bottom layer of the epidermis and affects younger people in their 20's. Melanoma appears as dark brown or black spots on the skin that spread rapidly to internal organs because of overexposure to the sun and family history. A biopsy confirms the illness and treatments include surgical removal, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Preventative Measures

As previously mentioned, you need to visit your Rockville dermatologist on a regular basis and complete a skin self-examination. Look for the following:

  • Large brown spots with darker speckles
  • Dark lesions
  • Translucent pearly and dome-shaped growths
  • Moles that grow, itch or bleed
  • Brown or black streaks under the nails
  • Sores that don't heal
  • Clusters of pink or red slow-growing scaly lesions

Skin cancer prevention also includes avoiding the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m; covering arms and legs with clothing; wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and using sunscreens year-round with an SPF of 15 or greater.

Need to contact your dermatologist?

If you are concerned about your risk for skin cancer, you should contact Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, at (240) 246-7417 to schedule your next appointment.

By Shady Grove Dermatology
July 23, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: skin cancer  

Skin cancer is the most prevalent malignancy in the United States. Fortunately, it's highly treatable when detected early. At Shady Grove Skin_CancerDermatology, five board-certified dermatologists and their team arm patients with pertinent information about skin cancer. It's just part of the outstanding comprehensive care this Rockville medical practice offers.

 

FAQs about skin cancer

How common is skin cancer in Rockville and across the United States?

A full 20 percent of American adults will develop some type of skin cancer in their lifetimes, says the Skin Cancer Foundation.

 

What is the most common skin cancer?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most frequently occurring skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma ranks second. Both affect the epidermis, or top layer, of the skin.

 

Why is application of sun screen important?

Sun screen lotions provide excellent protection against the harmful UV rays of the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends SPF 15 or higher used liberally on exposed areas of the skin, particularly during the peak sun exposure between 10 am to 4 pm. Ultraviolet radiation is a key player in skin cancer and aging.

 

What are skin self-examinations?

They are monthly visual inspections of your entire skin surface. Done in the privacy of your own home, self-exams look at any and all spots, freckles, and moles. You look for changes in their shape, size, borders, texture, and color. In general, your dermatologist should check any sore which does not heal in two weeks and continues to itch, bleed, or ooze. So, if something seems suspicious, get to Shady Grove Dermatology right away for expert diagnosis.

 

What is a biopsy?

Your physician takes a tissue sample from a suspect lesion in order to examine it for cancer cells. A biopsy also tells the doctor how advanced the disease is.

 

How is skin cancer treated?

Much depends on the type, location, and stage of the cancer. Surgical excision at the doctor's office is common. Cryosurgery (freezing), radiation, and drug therapies prove effective, and innovative MOHS surgery, performed at Shady Grove Dermatology, removes and analyzes lesions layer by layer, removing spots completely and sparing healthy tissue.

 

What's so bad about indoor tanning?

Indoor tanning exposes the skin to intense ultra-violet light, a definite cancer-causing agent, reports the US Department of Health and Human Services. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that annually, almost half a million new cases of skin cancer in the US are attributable to indoor tanning.

 

Learn all you can

Education about skin cancer empowers you to live a long, healthy life. Your dermatologists at Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, excel in skin cancer care, as well as scores of other medical and aesthetic services. Call today for your skin examination at (240) 246-7417.



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