Skin cancer is more common than any other type of cancer in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although changes in moles are an obvious sign of a potential problem, other possible skin cancer signs are more subtle. Regular skin cancer exams are often credited with detecting skin cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. Dr. Scott Bennion and Dr. Matthew Green of Central Wyoming Skin Clinic offer skin cancer screenings in their Casper, Laramie, and Gillette, WY, offices.
Home skin cancer exams
Performing monthly self-exams can help you spot signs of potential skin cancers. If you notice any of these issues, schedule an appointment with your Casper, Laramie, or Gillette dermatologist for a skin cancer exam:
- Mole Changes: Look for moles that have changed color, ooze, itch or no longer have smooth, regular borders. New moles should be investigated, as should moles that are larger than a pencil eraser.
- Bumps and Pimples: Squamous or basal cell carcinomas can sometimes be confused with pimples or insect bites. Although pimples or bites usually go away within a few weeks, red bumps caused by skin cancer don't.
- Colored Spots and Sores: Skin color changes may be a sign of skin cancer. Your skin may turn black, pink, red, or brown as a result of a skin cancer. Open sores that never seem to heal should also be examined.
- Flaky Skin: Areas of flaky skin that never go away, no matter how much moisturizer you use, are also a cause for concern.
Professional skin exams
Yearly skin exams by a dermatologist are important, even if you perform self-exams. Your dermatologist has seen countless cases of skin cancer and can identify spots that you may have missed during your own examinations. Although skin cancer screenings are beneficial for everyone, they're particularly important if you've had one or more bad sunburns, work or play in the sun frequently, sunbathe or use tanning beds.
Should your dermatologist notice any suspicious spots, they will be biopsied to ensure that they aren't cancerous. If cancer is detected, your skin doctor can offer a variety of treatments to protect your health, including skin-sparing Mohs micrographic surgery.
Skin cancer exams offer a simple way to protect your health. Call Dr. Bennion and Dr. Green of Central Wyoming Skin Clinic at (307) 234-0003 to schedule an appointment in the Casper, Laramie, or Gillette, WY, offices.