Specialists in Dermatology PLLC
Dermatologists located in Tucson, AZ & Green Valley, AZ
Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, can be scary. Let the highly skilled professionals at Specialists in Dermatology PLLC in Tucson, Arizona, help you with diagnosis and treatment. If melanomas are recognized and treated early, they’re almost always curable. Book your appointment by calling one of our convenient locations today to schedule a comprehensive exam.
Melanoma Q & A
What is a melanoma?
Melanoma is a dangerous form of skin cancer that results from mutated skin cells on the top layer of your skin, called the dermis. When skin is damaged by light from the sun or ultraviolet light from tanning beds, your skin cells can start growing abnormally. Melanomas can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). In addition to melanomas, other forms of skin cancer called carcinomas appear as moles or freckles. Discussing your concerns with your provider at Specialists in Dermatology about any abnormal skin areas can increase your chances of early diagnosis and treatment.
How to recognize melanomas?
Some melanomas look like moles or start out as moles. Knowing your body and watching for changes in a mole can alert you to possible melanomas. Some warning signs of moles with melanoma include itchiness or bleeding. An easy way to detect possible melanomas or carcinomas is using the ABCDE method to check:
- Asymmetry — one side of mole doesn’t match the other
- Borders — irregular edges on mole
- Color — not uniform throughout entire mole
- Diameter — mole larger than usual
- Evolution — changes in size, shape, or color
If you’ve noticed any changes in existing moles or new moles that seem odd, schedule a professional exam at Specialists in Dermatology.
How are melanomas treated?
Melanomas need surgical removal. The team at Specialists in Dermatology recommends cutting the skin cells from the top layer of skin with Mohs surgery, which is considered an outpatient procedure. If performed by a trained dermatologist, your melanoma surgery should result in minimal scarring and cancer-free skin.
Mohs surgery removes the cancerous cells of the melanoma and any remaining cells below the skin’s surface. The procedure is also used in removing carcinomas, including squamous cell and basal cell. Recovery after your procedure includes wound care and follow-up appointments.
How are melanomas prevented?
To prevent melanomas, you should embrace a healthy skin care routine that includes using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Avoiding exposure to direct sunlight from 10am-4pm and tanning beds is especially important. Find shade whenever you’re outside and reapply sunscreen when needed.
Recurrence of skin cancer is highly likely once you’re diagnosed, so prevention is key to staying healthy.
Self-care and inspection along with professional exams help keep your skin as healthy as possible. The dedicated and specially trained doctors at Specialists in Dermatology can help you recognize and treat melanomas as soon as possible. Call today to book an appointment.