Posts for category: Skin Care
A change in a mole could be a sign of skin cancer. If you notice these changes in any of your moles, be sure to schedule an appointment with your Melbourne, FL, dermatologists Dr. Ruben Moreno, Dr. Frank Lee or Dr. Betsy Cooduvalli. Florida Dermatology Associates has offices in Cocoa Beach, Palm Beach, Suntree, Titusville, and Port St. John.
A growing or large mole
A change in the size of a mole could be a sign of skin cancer. If you've noticed that one of your moles has gotten bigger, let your Melbourne, FL, dermatologist know as soon as possible. Moles that are larger than a pencil eraser should also be examined. During your appointment, your skin doctor will remove the mole and send it to a laboratory for analysis.
Changing colors could also be a sign of cancer. Your entire mole may look darker or could turn red, blue, black, or white. Sometimes, color changes only affect part of the mole.
These changes in the appearance of a mole could also mean that you have skin cancer:
- Irregular or blurred edges
- A mole that's not perfectly round
- Bumpy surface
- Asymmetry (one side of the mole may be bigger or have a different shape than the other)
- Pain or bleeding
- Oozing, crusty or flaky moles
- Swelling or redness around the mole
- The appearance of a new mole when you're an adult
Treatment for cancerous moles
A change in a mole doesn't necessarily mean that you have skin cancer. In fact, the changes could be perfectly harmless. If your mole is cancerous, you'll need to have surgery to make sure that all of the skin cancer cells are removed. Moh's surgery, a type of less invasive skin cancer surgery, may be used to reduce scarring and preserve healthy skin. Chemotherapy or radiation may also be needed.
Are you worried about a mole? Your Melbourne, FL, area skin doctors, Dr. Moreno, Dr. Lee, and Dr. Cooduvalli of Florida Dermatology Associates can determine if the changes are caused by skin cancer. Call (321) 768-1600 to make an appointment at the Cocoa, Titusville, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach office, or (321) 264-6266 to schedule a visit at the Port St. John office.
Who doesn't think about skin cancer these days? After all, about 9,500 Americans receive the diagnosis every day, says the CDC. At Florida Dermatology Associates in Melbourne, FL, your dermatologists, Dr. Frank Lee and Dr. Ruben Antenor Moreno, help patients with the identification and treatment of skin cancer and promote life-saving prevention.
Kinds of skin cancer
People of all ages and walks of life may experience skin cancer. The CDC reports that 20 percent of Americans will develop this condition by age 70.
There are three basic types of skin cancer. They can heal well when detected and treated early by your Melbourne dermatologist. Types include:
- Basal cell carcinoma, the most frequently-occurring kind
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Malignant melanoma, deadly because of its rapid spread to other body organs
Malignant melanoma is directly linked to sun exposure, states the Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin type (fair to dark) really doesn't protect anyone from harmful UV radiation. So, people must take intentional steps to protect their skin and to track changes in texture and color, particularly regarding moles, small circumscribed areas of increased pigmentation.
Preventing skin cancer
Dr. Moreno and Dr. Lee recommend these skin cancer preventives:
- Wear SPF 30 or higher sunscreen. Apply liberally to all exposed areas. Reapply after two hours or if you are sweating excessively. Make sure to treat your ears.
- Stay in the shade or indoors during peak sun times--10 am to 4 pm.
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat and long sleeves in the sun.
- Avoid artificial tanning.
- Examine your skin once a month after the age of 40. Look for changes in color and texture. Come to Florida Dermatology Associates once a year for a full-body skin examination.
- Use the ABCDE method of checking your moles.
Here's how the ABCDE tool works:
A means asymmetry. If you divided a mole in half, each side should be the same size and shape.
B means border. Healthy moles have smooth borders with no scallops or notches.
C means color. It should be even throughout the surface of the mole. Differing shades may indicate cancerous changes.
D equals diameter. A noncancerous mole is no larger than a pencil top eraser.
E is evolving. Itching, growth, lumps or bleeding are definite danger signs.
Be aware, and be safe
At Florida Dermatology Associates in Melbourne, Dr. Moreno and Dr. Lee help patients understand the dangers of skin cancer. For an exam and more tips on prevention and detection, contact one of our five convenient locations in Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay, Port St. John, Suntree and Titusville. Call (321) 768-1600.