Skin Cancer, Precancer, and Sun Damage

We specialize in skin cancer surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment at Georgia Skin Specialists in Atlanta. Early detection and treatment are the best way to ensure a better outcome when it comes to skin cancer. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common skin cancer types that we help patients to overcome.

Examples of Abnormal and Cancerous Growths

cancer abnormal moles

Abnormal Moles

Most people have moles, and most moles are non-cancerous in nature. Abnormal moles, or “atypical moles,” are often asymmetric, have multiple colors, irregular borders, and undergo changes in size and/or appearance over time. Atypical moles are not cancerous, but having them can predispose a person to developing melanomas. Anyone with a mole can schedule an appointment at our office with a board-certified skin cancer dermatologist, to determine whether their moles are normal or abnormal, and whether any moles should be monitored or removed. Most moles can be removed in a simple in-office procedure that leaves minimal scarring. If your doctor suspects that a mole is cancerous, it can be removed and then tested for further analysis.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinomas are the most common type of skin cancer and actually the most common type of cancer of any organ. Basal cell carcinomas occur due to UV-induced cancerous changes to the skin over time and mostly appear on areas that have had extensive sun exposure. While they rarely metastasize, basal cell carcinomas continue to grow and can invade surrounding tissues and are best treated early and completely.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This type of skin cancer is most frequently caused by the sun, and usually manifests in parts of the body that are most exposed to the sun. In its early stages, it can appear as red, scaly or bleeding patches of skin. If caught early, squamous cell carcinoma is easily treated. Squamous cell carcinoma can be aggressive and if untreated may cause significant health problems including metastatic disease.

Melanoma

Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer. It is a cancer of the body’s pigment producing cells, melanocytes, and can occur in a preexisting mole or present as a new pigmented lesion on the skin. The most common type of melanoma is related to blistering sun burns and intense, intermittent sun exposure. However, melanoma can occur in areas including the bottoms of the feet or the genitalia that are not typically exposed to the sun. When caught early, melanoma is easily treatable with surgical excision. 

Actinic Keratoses

Actinic keratoses are common skin growths on sun exposed areas of the skin. Approximately 1-10% of actinic keratoses progress to squamous cell carcinomas. It is important to diagnose and treat actinic keratoses to prevent the development of skin cancer. They typically present as subtle persistent pink rough patches. 

Solar Lentigos

Solar lentigos are basically very large freckles. They are a dark discoloration on the skin and affect light-skinned people the most. They are completely non-cancerous in nature. We have several cosmetic treatment options available for people who want to reduce the appearance of their solar lentigos.
cancer melasma

Melasma

Melasma is a skin blemish, usually on the face, which begins when a woman becomes pregnant or starts taking birth control pills. It’s a non-cancerous discoloration on the face which is sometimes called, “the mask of pregnancy.” In many light-complected women, melasma side effects will diminish in a few months after their baby is delivered. However, if the condition continues, patients can come see us for treatment options to reduce the appearance of these skin blemishes.
cancer removal

Skin Cancer Removal

Most types of skin cancer are highly treatable when detected early. Our dermatologists can do whole-body scans to determine the presence of cancerous cells in the body. If a patient’s skin cells are biopsied and are determined to be cancerous, it then becomes a matter of treatment methods that the doctor will deploy. Skin cancer removal procedures can include electrodessication and curettage, surgical removal, cryosurgery, and topical chemotherapy treatments.

Call Us for a Skin Cancer Exam

One of our experienced board-certified dermatologists at Georgia Skin Specialists can perform a thorough exam and diagnosis to determine whether a growth or discoloration needs immediate treatment. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors today, or click below to book online.