Skin Cancer Treatment in Rockville, Maryland
Skin cancer is highly treatable with early diagnosis. Schedule your annual skin examination at Montgomery Dermatology today or contact us anytime you notice anything unusual with your skin.
The Different Types of Skin Cancer
Also known as solar keratosis, actinic keratosis (AK) is a rough, scaly patch on your skin due to years of sun exposure. Typically appearing in older adults, actinic keratosis usually takes years to develop and is considered to be precancerous because untreated it can advance to squamous cell carcinoma. It’s most commonly found on areas of skin typically exposed to the sun– face, lips, ears, back of your hands, forearms, scalp or neck.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of skin cancer. They are abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions that arise in the skin’s basal cells, which line the skin’s deepest layer. BCC often look like open sores, red patches, shiny bumps or scars. Basal cell carcinoma occurs most often on areas of the skin that are overly exposed to the sun. BCC can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow, but are typically not subject to spreading beyond their site of origin.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer. They are abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions that arise in the skin’s squamous cells, which compose most of the skin’s upper layers. SCC usually looks like scaly patches, open sores, or elevated growths. Untreated, SCC can grow large or spread to other parts of your body, causing serious complications or even death.
Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma
Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL) is a rare form of skin cancer. It most often develops over many years and is caused by T-Cells in the skin growing in an uncontrolled way. There are a wide range of symptoms including rash-like patches in the earliest stages and then lumps and swollen lymph nodes evolve later. The causes of CTCL are unknown and like other cancers, it is not infectious.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma develops in the cells that produce melanin, the exact cause is not clear, but mutations are triggered that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. Limiting your exposure to UV radiation can help reduce your risk of melanoma.
What to Look For on Your Skin:
Check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer including:
- Mole that is changing or a mole that looks different from your others
- Dome-shaped growth
- Scaly patch
- Non-healing sore or sore that heals and returns
- Brown or black streak under a nail
Keep in mind other signs of skin cancer including skin that differs from other skin, changes the way it looks, or a skin area that itches or bleeds.
In addition, it’s a good idea to have someone else check your skin areas that are hard for you to see, such as your back and scalp, monthly. Call to schedule an appointment anytime you notice anything unusual happening with your skin. We have immediate care appointments available. Also, schedule an annual skin examination. Use your birth date as a reminder that it’s time to schedule your annual examination.
Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
Avoiding the sun and using sun protection daily is important for all types of skin, not just fair skin.
- Stay indoors or seek shade during peak sun hours between 10am and 2pm.
- Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that protects the skin against both UVA and UVB rays and that has an SPF of at least 30 all year (not just in the summer).
- Reapply sunblock often and use a generous amount.
- Cover your skin with sun protective fabric and a hat.
- Protect your eyes when outdoors with sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Beware of light reflected off sand, snow and water.
- Get enough vitamin D through diet or supplementation if needed.
- Don’t go to tanning booths. Use self-tanner lotion or spray tans instead.