Skin cancer is more common than you might think. Know what signs to look for!
Did you know that more people have had skin cancer over the last three decades than all the other cancers combined? This is a pretty shocking fact (courtesy of the Skin Cancer Foundation), but spending a lot of time in the sun or not wearing sunscreen can not only lead to premature aging but also increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Our Pittsburgh, PA and Coraopolis, PA dermatologists Dr. Damon McClain and Dr. Susannah McClain, want to protect your skin. Here are some warning signs that you will want to have checked out right away.
While melanoma is a more serious form of skin cancer, it’s important to note that squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas are actually the most common types of skin cancer. While both forms of skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body, non-melanoma forms are more likely to appear in areas that receive some sun exposure.
In order to be able to detect changes in your skin, this means that you should be paying attention to spots, moles and lesions so that you know when something has changed. Melanoma is more likely to develop as a completely new growth or can change a preexisting mole.
What does a healthy growth look like?
A healthy, non-cancerous growth will be all one color, symmetrical and small. Moles that don’t change as you get older are typically safe.
How to tell if my mole could be cancerous?
As our Pittsburgh, PA and Coraopolis, PA, skin doctors will remind you, it’s important to know your ABCDE’s:
Asymmetry: a cancerous mole will have an asymmetrical or irregular shape
Border: A cancerous mole will have jagged, poorly defined borders
Color: Suspicious growths will typically contain more than one color
Diameter: Melanoma is often larger than 6 millimeters (or the size of a pencil eraser)
Evolution: A cancerous growth will continue to change color, shape or size over time
If you notice any of these signs then it’s best to play it safe and contact our dermatologists immediately. Three Rivers Dermatology in Coraopolis, PA and serving Pittsburgh, PA is here to address all of your questions, concerns or needs. If you need to schedule a skin cancer screening or if you want to have a suspicious mole checked out, we are here to help anytime. Call our office to schedule your next appointment.
Have you given up on your skin? When nothing you do improves your acne, it's easy to lose hope. Dr. Damon McClain and Dr. Susannah McClain, your Pittsburgh, PA and Coraopolis, PA dermatologists at Three Rivers Dermatology, explain how they can help you manage this condition.
Managing acne at home
Acne occurs when your pores become clogged with oils and dead skin cells. Bacteria in the pores causes them to become inflamed and red. Preventing blockages is a simple way to reduce breakouts. You can prevent or reduce blocked pores by:
- Washing your face daily with a mild cleanser
- Pulling your hair away from your face and washing it often. Oils from your hair can collect on your skin, making acne worse. If your hair tends to be oily, it's a good idea to wash it every day.
- Choosing makeup, sunscreen and moisturizers that are oil free.
Over-the-counter acne medications such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can kill bacteria on your skin, reduce blockages and promote rapid skin turnover. Additionally, adapalene gel just became available over the counter and is a very mild form of Retin A which can be used nightly. If home care doesn't help your acne, your dermatologist can offer several stronger medications available only by prescription, such as antibiotics (both oral and in cream form) and retinoids. When acne is severe and doesn't respond to these treatments, other options may be recommended.
Are you tired of living with acne? Dermatological treatments can help you finally get rid of your pimples. Call Drs. Damon and Susannah McClain, your Pittsburgh, PA and Coraopolis, PA dermatologists at Three Rivers Dermatology, at (412) 262-4911 to schedule an appointment.
Skin cancer is one the most common of all cancer types, which occurs when malignant cells are found in the outer layers of your skin. More than 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the United States. Although the incidence of skin cancer continues to rise, most cases could be prevented by limiting the skin's exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Skin cancers fall into two major categories: melanoma and non-melanoma.
- Basal cell carcinoma is rarely fatal and most commonly appears after the age of 40 in the form of lesions on the head or neck area, which may increase in size or bleed easily.
- Squamous cell carcinoma generally develops in people over 50 with sun-damaged skin. This is the most common form of non-melanoma cancer. These growths appear as flat and red, becoming raised, scaly patches.
- Melanoma is the most severe form of skin cancer, often occurring on the back in men and the legs in women. Risk increases with age, and the average age of detection is between 45-50 years old. It usually appears as a dark flat or raised area on the skin, and is often irregular in shape. Left untreated, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body.
First step: prevention
The good news is that with early detection and treatment, non-melanoma cancers can be cured in over 99% of the cases, and melanoma is readily detectable and usually curable if treated early.
To start protecting your skin, limit sun exposure by seeking shade and always wearing sunscreen, even during the winter months. When possible, wear hats and sunglasses to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. UV exposure is one of the biggest contributors to skin cancer, which includes tanning booths. People with fair skin, several moles or freckles, or a family history of skin cancer are also at an increased risk for developing skin cancers.
Early detection and self-exams can save your life
Many types of skin cancer grow slowly, while some melanomas can appear very quickly. Detected in its early stages, skin cancer is very treatable. Use a mirror to examine unreachable parts of your body or ask a family member or friend to assist you. Check your moles regularly for any changes in appearance or sensitivity.
Skin cancer may be one of the most common types of cancer, but it is also one of the most preventable and curable. Take steps now to protect your skin, and visit your dermatologist for regular exams and to have any unusual findings checked.
Welcome to Our Blog!
Three Rivers Dermatology would like to welcome you to our blog. Here you will find informative and useful postings about dermatology care and our practice.
At Three Rivers Dermatology we believe that educated patients are better prepared to make decisions regarding their skin health and wellbeing. Our blog was designed to provide you with valuable skin health care information, the latest dermatology developments and skin care advice from our dedicated team.
Three Rivers Dermatology hopes you find our blog to be a great resource for keeping up to date with proper skin care and treatments.
We welcome all comments and questions.
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