Dermatology is the medical specialty that deals with the care and treatment of the skin, hair, and nails. A dermatologist is a medically qualified physician who specialises in the treatment of skin, hair, and nail disorders, as well as skin cancers. Many dermatologists have additional education, such as Mohs surgery preparation for skin cancer care. Find more information West Dermatology – La Jolla/UTC
One out of every five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point during their lives. Many skin cancers can be cured if detected and treated early, with a cure rate of up to 99 percent. Melanoma, for example, can spread to the lymph nodes and other organs of the body if it is not diagnosed and treated early enough, and it can be fatal. If you are at high risk for skin cancer, it is important to take your skin seriously and see a dermatologist on a regular basis.
Is it necessary for me to see a dermatologist? Consider seeing a dermatologist for an initial examination if you have never been tested. Future visits would be determined by risk factors such as age, sun damage, and previous skin cancers. People who are at high risk for skin cancer should see a dermatologist at least once a year, and more often if they notice any changes in their skin.
Who is at a higher risk of developing skin cancer? Skin cancer is more likely in people who have been overexposed to the sun (sunburned), particularly as children. Fair skin, light coloured hair (blonde or red), blue or green eyes, and a family history of skin cancer are all known to be at a greater risk than others. Excessive tanning salon or radiation exposure, immune suppression or organ donation, and exposure to certain chemicals may all raise a person’s risk of skin cancer.
What if I have one or more of the high-risk factors?
It’s crucial to see a dermatologist to get a baseline of your skin’s health and to get any moles, spots, tumours, or skin growths evaluated by the dermatologist. Skin cancer may be detected by new skin growths or spots. It’s also worth noting that moles and spots that you’ve had for a long time can alter and grow cancerous cells at any time. As a result, it’s important to have a professional perform a full body skin check to see if you have any suspicious or concerning areas that need to be investigated further. In between doctor visits, the dermatologist will advise you on self-examinations. Self-examination empowers you to be your own early warning advocate and allows you to keep your dermatologist aware of any changes that could indicate the presence of cancerous cells.
During a self-examination, what am I looking for?
Even if you don’t have any of the high risk factors, you can conduct daily self-examinations of your skin for signs of improvement. Make a list of your favourite places and check in with yourself once a month. It’s difficult to notice improvements if you try to check yourself every day, and you’ll drive yourself insane! Raw or scaly areas, particularly red or brown flat scaly areas; any existing mole or spot that is growing or changing; a bleeding, crusty, or painful lesion that does not heal after two weeks or heals and returns; a hard flat or sunken growth; a pearl-shaped lump; and any new suspicious growth are all signs to look for. If you notice any of these symptoms, you can see a dermatologist right away.