Posts for tag: skin cancer
Knowing the early warning signs of skin cancer could just save your life.
No matter whether you are directly at risk for developing skin cancer or not, it’s important that you keep an eye on your moles so that you know right away if they start changing. Our dermatologists in both Pasadena and Southeast Houston want patients to take an active and vested interest in their skin health, for performing regular self-exams every month is one of the best ways to detect skin cancer in its earlies stages. Read on to learn more!
Here’s what to look for when it comes to early signs of skin cancer
It’s time to remember your ABCDEs when it comes to looking out for suspicious moles that could be trying to tell you that something is wrong. In order to catch these issues early on, it’s important that you are performing skin exams on yourself every month.
When we talk about remembering your ABCDEs, we are talking about the criteria you should use to make sure that any moles or growths are fine and healthy. The ABCDEs stand for,
- Asymmetry: A healthy mole will be the same size, shape, and color on both sides.
- Border: Healthy moles have clearly defined and smooth borders.
- Color: A healthy mole should only be a single color; it should never contain multiple colors.
- Diameter: Suspicious moles are often larger than 6mm, or the size of a pencil eraser.
- Evolving: Healthy miles shouldn’t change over the years. They should stay the same in regards to color, shape, or size.
Other warning signs to look out for include,
- A lesion or growth that doesn’t heal
- A mole that bleeds, scabs over or itches
- Swelling or redness around the mole
If you are noticing any changes in your moles, it’s important that you call either our Pasadena or Southeast Houston skin doctors in order to schedule a skin cancer screening as soon as possible. Even if you haven't observed anything too concerning in your skin, it’s still important to turn to a medical professional every year for an evaluation.
Call us today!
When was the last time you had a skin cancer screening? If you’ve never had one or if it’s been over a year, it’s the perfect time to call Southeast Dermatology in Pasadena or Southeast Houston, TX, to schedule your next screening. Phone (281) 991-5944 for Pasadena, or (281) 481-0033 for Southeast Houston
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It is also one of the easiest to diagnose and treat in the early stages if patients are educated about what to look for. Read below to gain an understanding of how a dermatologist at Southeast Dermatology in Houston and Pasadena, TX, can treat a case of skin cancer and how the skin condition can be avoided in the future.
Skin Cancer Causes and Risk Factors
The most common cause of skin cancer is too much exposure to the sun, which is why patients in sunny locales must be particularly aware of the risks. According to statistics published by the Skin Cancer Foundation, about 90 percent of nonmelanoma cases are caused by UV rays from the sun. Other risk factors include:
- Pale skin that burns, freckles, or reddens easily
- A personal or family history of skin cancer
- Having a lot of moles
- Continued use of skin tanning equipment
Skin Cancer Treatment Options
It’s important to be screened for skin cancer when you have concerning spots or marks on the skin, or if you are at a higher risk for the disease. This allows you to avoid having to undergo more aggressive and invasive treatments. In its early stages, skin cancer can often be treated by having your Houston and Pasadena dermatologist remove the mole or mark that contains cancerous cells through surgical excision. A technologically advanced procedure called Mohs micrographic surgery ensures that all traces of the disease are eliminated. Cryosurgery, which is the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze off abnormal cells, may also be an option. In difficult cases, radiation therapy and other more aggressive treatments may be needed.
Skin Safety Tips
Take precautions to make sure your skin is protected throughout the year. Follow these simple skin safety tips:
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF that’s recommended by your dermatologist
- Cover up the skin as much as possible when in direct sunlight, and use beach umbrellas when enjoying the beach
- Wear large glasses and large-brimmed hats when outdoors
- Time outdoor adventures for before 10 am or after 4 pm
Let a Dermatologist Check Your Skin
The sooner skin cancer is identified and diagnosed, the better the chance for a successful and minimally invasive treatment. Call (281) 481-0033 or (281) 991-5944 today to schedule an appointment at Southeast Dermatology in Houston or Pasadena, TX.
Skin cancer signs may not seem alarming initially. Unfortunately, if you ignore changes in your skin, you may put your health at risk. The dermatologists at Southeast Dermatology regularly diagnose and treat skin cancer in their Houston and Pasadena, TX, offices.
Can I ignore that spot?
Pimples, insect bites, rashes and other minor skin conditions are often, but not always, responsible for spots on your skin. If a new spot doesn't begin to fade after a few weeks, or you notice a change in a mole, it's time to schedule an appointment with your Pasadena or Southeast Houston skin doctor. If you do happen to have skin cancer, you may notice these changes:
- A Never-Ending Pimple: Red, pimple-like bumps can form on your skin if you have squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma. The bumps usually develop on areas of your body that receive regular sun exposure. Most pimples only last about two or three weeks. If your "pimple" hasn't gone away in that time, it may actually be a type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma can also appear as brown, black or pink bumps on your skin.
- Flaky Skin Patches: Dry skin isn't the only cause of flaky skin. An area of reddened skin that appears flaky or crusty may be a sign of squamous cell cancer.
- Open Sores That Don't Heal: Non-healing sores may occur if you have either squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma.
- Mole Changes: Changes in moles can be a sign of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. If you have melanoma, your mole may change color, bleed, hurt or itch. A round mole may suddenly become irregular in shape, or you may notice that borders of the mole look rough or uneven. Reddened skin or swelling around the mole, texture changes, or a dry, flaky appearance may also be signs that something's not quite right with your mole.
Prompt treatment of skin cancer can help you protect your health. If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, schedule an appointment with the dermatologists at Southeast Dermatology by calling (281) 991-5944 for the Pasadena, TX office or (281) 481-0033 for the Houston, TX office.
Are you prepared to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun this year? Sun exposure not only causes age spots and wrinkles but also increases your risk of developing skin cancer. The dermatologists at Southeast Dermatology in Pasadena and Southeast Houston, TX, share a few tips that will help you enjoy the summer weather safely.
The easiest way to avoid burns and sun damage is to wear clothing that completely covers your arms, legs, abdomen, and back. Many manufacturers offer summer fashions made with fabrics that are lightweight and breathable. Top off your outfit with a hat. Hats shield your face from the sun, prevent burns on the top of your head and reduce your cataract risk.
Slather on the sunscreen
Applying sunscreen to exposed skin is a simple, easy way to reduce your exposure to damaging ultraviolet light on hot days in Pasadena and Southeast Houston. The best products offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to reapply the product throughout the day, especially if you've been sweating or swimming. Consider the sun protection factor (SPF) when you buy sunscreen. SPF 30 sunscreen blocks 93 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of the rays, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Make sunscreen use a daily habit. Even if you don't experience burns, your skin can still be damaged by the sun. When you wear sunscreen every day, you'll reduce your skin cancer risk.
Find a shady spot
Although shady areas don't completely block the sun's rays, they do offer important protection. Avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun will help you protect your skin. At the beach, set up your chair under a tree, or buy an umbrella or beach canopy. Going for a walk? Take your stroll on the shady side of the street.
Protect your eyes
Skin cancer can affect your eyelids and your eyes. Wearing sunglasses that provide UVB and UVA protection will lower your risk of skin cancer and cataracts. Buy a few pairs if you tend to misplace your shades.
See your dermatologist
Call us if you develop spots or lumps on your skin that don't go way or notice that a mole has changed color, shape or size or has begun to bleed. If you do have skin cancer, prompt treatment is essential.
Are you worried that you may have skin cancer, or would you like to improve the appearance of your skin? Call the dermatologists at Southeast Dermatology at (281) 991-5944 to schedule an appointment in the Pasadena, TX, office or (281) 481-0033 to make an appointment at the Southeast Houston office.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, affecting over 3.3 million Americans--sometimes more than once in a lifetime. Prevention and early detection are the best ways to ensure that your skin stays cancer-free, and treatment is frequently successful when cancer is caught early. Below are some ways you can care for your skin throughout your daily life to keep it looking and feeling healthy. Learn more about skin cancer from your dermatologist in Pasadena and Houston, TX.
Apply appropriate sunscreen. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 for everyday use, and at least 30 for prolonged outdoor activities. Even if you aren't outside long enough to burn, repeated sun exposure still affects your skin health.
Wear protective clothing and gear. Pay special attention to protecting your face, neck, and arms--the areas that are most frequently exposed to the sun. Wide-brimmed hats, UV-blocking glasses, and lightweight long sleeves will further protect you on those hot summer days.
Don’t let yourself burn. The jury is still out on exactly how much a single sunburn affects your risk of skin cancer, but evidence suggests that one bad burn as a child increases your risk of skin cancer as an adult by 50%. Don't skimp on protecting yourself when you're going to be out in the sun for a while.
Use mirrors to check your skin at home. Every month or so, use a full-length mirror along with a hand mirror or two to check over every inch of your skin. Don’t forget to check behind your ears, under your arms, your buttocks and back, and under every fold of skin.
Avoid tanning beds. Tanning beds expose your skin to two harmful types of rays: UVA and UVB. Tanning before the age of 35 increases your risk of melanoma (the deadliest skin cancer) by 59%, and the risk increases with each use even if you never burn. People seek out tanning beds to give them a "healthy glow", but there's nothing healthy about the damage to your skin signified by that tan.
Relax in the shade. Whenever possible, find a shady spot to relax when you’re spending time outside. Keep using sunscreen and protective clothing anyway, since your skin is still exposed to ultraviolet rays. However, staying out of the direct sunlight will prevent the most intense exposure.
Visit your dermatologist. All the above tactics dramatically reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, but the most thorough prevention is to get checked by a dermatologist on an annual basis. Their job is to notice the small things that you might not see, and it could mean the difference between life and death.
Skin Cancer Screening in Pasadena and Houston, TX
As the most common type of cancer, skin cancer claims thousands of lives each year. But with early detection and timely treatment, it doesn't have to. For a skin cancer screening in Pasadena and Houston, TX, request your appointment at Southeast Dermatology or call today.