Skin Cancer

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Actinic Keratosis is a precancerous lesion, of the outer layer of skin that is caused by long term exposure to sunlight. Sunlight exposure alters the skin cells and causes areas of the skin to become scaly, rough, discolored and sometimes tender to the touch. Actinic Keratosis is usually found on the face, lips, ears, neck, scalp, forearms and backs of hands. People with fair skin and light colored hair and eyes are at greatest risk of developing Actinic Keratosis.
Actinic Keratosis is non-life threatening if it is diagnosed and treated in the early stages. If left untreated it can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. 
Once the dermatologist has determined you have an Actinic Keratosis lesion she will discuss treatment options. Options include cryosurgery, topical chemotherapy creams, photodynamic therapy, chemical peels and laser resurfacing therapy.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It occurs most frequently on sun exposed areas of the body. This cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body, however it will damage surrounding tissue so early detection and treatments are needed.
Most basal cell carcinoma is caused by excess sun exposure, especially in people with fair skin and light hair. Warning signs that may indicate that you have basal cell carcinoma are an open sore, a reddish patch, a growth with an elevated border and a bump or nodule and a scar-like area. 
If basal cell carcinoma is suspected, a biopsy of your skin will be taken and sent to a lab. If it comes back positive, we will discuss several treatment options with you, including prescription creams, electrodesiccation and curettage (scrape and burn), excision, and for some lesions, Mohs Surgery.
Sun avoidance is the best way to protect you from basal cell carcinoma. If you are outside wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and protective clothing.
Squamous cell carcinoma is a cancer of the outer layer of skin and mucous membranes and occurs most often in areas exposed to the sun. If untreated, squamous cell carcinoma may penetrate and destroy underlying tissue. In rare cases this type of cancer can spread to other organs of the body.
Overexposure to the sun is the leading cause of squamous cell carcinoma especially in people with fair skin and light hair. If you see a scaly red patch, elevated growth with a central depression, wart-like growth, nodules and open sores contact McKay Dermatology and we can diagnose the lesion. If cancer is detected, we will discuss the best treatment options for your individual needs. 
Limit your exposure to sunlight and always wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and protective clothing when you venture outside.
Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer. Lesions may appear, anywhere on the body, as a dark brown, black or multi-colored growth with irregular borders that can become crusted and bleed. It is important that monthly body inspections are made because melanoma can appear without warning and it can spread to other organs. Detecting melanoma early can be lifesaving.
If melanoma does occur, we will discuss treatment options with you. Treatment options for melanoma include surgical excision, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. 


Overexposure to sunlight is the leading cause of melanoma. Limit your exposure to sunlight and wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and protective clothing.
Atypical Mole this type of mole is usually a benign mole that may resemble melanoma. The majority of these moles will not become malignant however; researchers have discovered that atypical moles are more likely, than other types of moles, to develop into skin cancer. Because of this moles should be checked regularly by your doctor
You have a higher risk of getting melanoma if you have: 
■  4 or more atypical moles
■  Already had a melanoma
■  A first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child ) who had melanoma Your dermatologist may call an atypical mole a dysplastic (dis-plas-tic) nevus. Atypical moles are often:
■  Larger than an eraser on the end of a pencil
■  Have an odd shape (not round)
■  Show more than 1 color — mixes of tan, brown, red, and pink
Atypical moles can appear anywhere on the body. They often appear on the trunk. And they may appear on the scalp, head, and neck. Atypical moles rarely appear on the face.

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