Getting the Most Out of Your Dermatologist Visit


We are a team of dermatologists and skin care professionals who want to give our patients and the general public access to the most up-to-date, accurate information available. This blog is a place where we can discuss the latest research, trends, and techniques in the field of dermatology. We will also provide you with helpful tips to keep your skin healthy and beautiful!

In addition to publishing our own posts, we hope that you will join the conversation by posting comments, questions, or other feedback. Our goal is to create a community where people can share their experiences, opinions, and advice about skin health. We look forward to hearing from you!

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or a substitute for professional care. If you have any concerns about your skin health or have questions about a specific condition you should consult your dermatologist or other qualified healthcare provider.

Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that begins in the squamous cells. These are the thin, flat cells that make up the surface of the skin. Squamous cell carcinomas usually appear on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, ears, neck, lips and backs of the hands. They can also form on the genital area.

Squamous cell carcinoma is highly curable when found early. For this reason, it’s important to visit your dermatologist regularly.

Not all skin cancers are created equal. In fact, there are several different types of skin cancer and many different factors that can increase your risk of developing them. Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the more common types.

Cancer occurs when a group of cells in the body start to grow abnormally and uncontrollably. When this happens on the surface of the skin, it’s called skin cancer. Skin cancer forms in the outermost layer of the skin – the epidermis.

The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type and is often caused by overexposure to harmful UV rays from sunlight or tanning beds. Basal cell carcinoma is easily treatable but squamous cell carcinoma can be a little more complicated if left untreated because it’s known to metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body.

Squamous cell carcinomas can vary in appearance but are often characterized by scaly red patches, open sores, or warts. They can appear anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on areas that get frequent sun exposure such as your face, neck, ears and back of hands.

A skin biopsy is a procedure in which a small piece of your skin is removed and sent to a lab for testing. There are several different types of skin biopsies. The procedure you need depends on the type of growth or condition you have. Your dermatologist will discuss the type of biopsy you need with you during your office visit.

A shave biopsy is done to remove a flat lesion, such as a mole, wart, or something that looks like a scaly patch of skin. The area is cleansed using an antiseptic solution and numbed with local anesthesia. A small razor blade is passed over the surface of the lesion to shave off the top layers of skin cells. One or two stitches are used to close the wound if it’s large.

An excisional biopsy involves cutting out all or part of an abnormal growth. It may be done to diagnose certain types of skin cancer (such as melanoma), particularly when other tests aren’t conclusive. The area is numbed using local anesthesia and cleansed using an antiseptic solution. The doctor cuts out the entire growth along with some surrounding normal skin, which helps ensure that all the cancerous cells are removed. Stitches are then used to close the wound.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. SCCs are also referred to as epidermoid carcinomas.

SCCs are usually found on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the face, neck, lips and backs of the hands.

Most commonly, SCCs begin as firm red nodules or open sores that will not heal. They often crust or bleed, and can grow quickly over a period of weeks or months. It is important to have your dermatologist evaluate any skin changes immediately. If not treated quickly, some may become large and disfiguring.

The risk for squamous cell carcinoma is also increased in people with a suppressed immune system due to HIV/AIDS or organ transplant patients taking immunosupressive medications.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer. It often develops on sun-exposed areas like the face, ears, neck, lips and back of the hands. SCCs can also occur in scars or chronic skin sores elsewhere on the body. SCCs usually appear as firm red nodules or flat lesions with scaly, crusted surfaces. If untreated, they may ulcerate and metastasize. Treatments for SCC include surgery, radiation therapy and topical chemotherapy.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer, accounting for about 85% of all skin cancers in the United States. BCCs often develop on sun-exposed areas like the face, ears and neck. They frequently look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps or scars. BCCs rarely metastasize but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow. While BCCs are treatable if caught early enough, a recurrence rate of 20%-30% has been reported. Treatments for BCC include surgery (Mohs micrographic surgery), radiation therapy and topical chemotherapy

The good news is that most skin cancers are curable if found early. This is the reason for annual full body skin exams by both a primary care physician and a dermatologist. Self-examination of the skin is also important, and can be performed once or twice a year. The ABCDE’s (see below) can be used as a guide for self-examination.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with over 1 million new cases reported annually. Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of skin color. However, fair-skinned patients tend to have a higher risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The three main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are often grouped together as nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC).


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