Incidences of skin cancer are on the rise. With tanning booths and sought after beached-tan bodies year round, skin is in danger. As the largest organ of the body, it is also the protector, shielding you from the sun’s UV rays, wind, pollution, and many other elements. If you’re fair-skinned you should be extra cautious: an estimated 40 to 50 percent of those with light skinned will develop at least one form of skin cancer by the time they’re 65 years old.
The most common types of skin cancer are melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma. Skin cancer can begin as a benign (non-cancerous) abnormality on the skin. If you start to see small, scaly patches on your skin, most commonly occurring on the head, neck or hands, you should schedule a consultation with New York Dermatologist Dr. Cameron Rokhsar. On your own it is difficult to tell if a particular abnormal patch of skin will change over time and become cancerous.
Different types of skin cancer are as follows:
- Actinic keratoses- Appears as a scaly skin abnormality that may scratch off but will grow back on continually sun exposed skin.
- Actinic Cheilitis- Also known as farmer’s lip, actinic cheilitis is a precancerous sign that appears in scaly or rough patches on the lower lip. This may evolve into squamous cell carcinoma if goes untreated.
- Cutaneous Horns- They appear as funnel-shaped growths that extend upward. This is a hard growth that can vary greatly in size, but on average grows to be a few millimeters in length.
- Moles– Few moles become cancerous. It is a benign growth of melanocytes that appear brown, tan pink, or the same color as the skin. It has a smooth surface and is the size of a pencil eraser. A mole, or nevus may change into an irregular shape over time.
- Dysplastic Nevi– Atypical moles are not cancerous but then can turn into skin cancer. These are similar in size to regular moles but appear in a more irregular shape and may be flat, raised, smooth or rough and typically pink, red, tan or brown.
As a fellowship-trained dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon, Dr. Rokhsar is an expert in treating melanoma and other cancers. Mohs surgery is a specialized surgical technique that involves removing skin cancer layer-by-layer to examine the skin beneath. Scarring is minimized using Dr. Rokhsar’s wide range of laser treatments to choose from, along with his extensive knowledge and experience in using the lasers.