Facial Plastic Surgery, Ear, Nose and Throat

Facial Plastic Surgery

including Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Injectables, Chemical and Laser Peels, IPL, and Cosmetic Dermatology

Otolaryngology

including Ear, Nose, Sinus, Throat, Voice, Snoring and Sleep Apnea, Thyroid and Parathyroid, and Skin Cancer

How Do I Check For Skin Cancer Signs?

Skin cancers and premalignant skin lesions appear in more ways than one. Irregular or enlarging moles are certainly the most important skin changes to look for, as melanoma is by far the worst type of skin cancer. But basal cell carcinoma is actually the most common, most preventable, and most treatable skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma presents as a slowly growing, pearly papule (bump) on the skin. Over time, this type of skin lesion frequently develops a chronic central erosion (open sore) that intermittently bleeds and/or scabs over. Excess sun exposure, resulting in ultraviolet radiation damage to the skin, eventually leads to the formation of basal cell carcinomas.

A similar, but more aggressive, type of skin cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma also presents as a non-healing, sometimes rapidly enlarging, skin wound, often with a ‘rolled’ pearly border. This type of skin cancer has a higher rate of invasive spread, or metastasis, to the lymph nodes and adjacent areas, compared with basal cell carcinoma.

Both basal and squamous cell carcinomas are treatable with destructive modalities (liquid nitrogen or CO2 laser), surgical excision, or radiation therapy.

Prevention of basal and squamous cell carcinomas starts with sun precautions, including wearing SPF 30 sunscreen and avoiding prolonged sun exposure (such as tanning).

Early treatment of premalignant lesions, such as actinic keratoses, which present as persistent rough, irregular, or eroded areas of the skin, is the next step. Chemical peels and CO2 laser resurfacing are actually excellent ways both to cosmetically and functionally rejuvenate the skin.

For any skin irregularity, when in doubt, have it checked out!

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