Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting adults in the U.S. In fact, one out of every five adults will develop a form of skin cancer at some point during their lives. Seeing a dermatologist or skin doctor regularly for skin cancer screenings helps with early detection, which can give you an improved prognosis if skin cancer ever develops. At Central Wyoming Skin Clinic, Dr. Scott Bennion and Dr. Matthew Green are your Casper, WY, skin doctors for the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Types and Causes
Two common types of skin cancer affecting adults in the U.S. are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The least common type of skin cancer is melanoma, but it is responsible for more deaths than any other type of skin cancer. Early detection of melanoma and other types of skin cancer can increase the effectiveness of treatment and dramatically improve a patient’s long-term prognosis. Common causes of melanoma and many other types of skin cancer include extensive sun exposure, severe sunburns, and using tanning beds.
Signs of Skin Cancer
Unusual changes to the skin can be signs of possible skin cancer. See your Casper, WY, skin doctor or dermatologist right away if you notice any unusual changes to your skin. Additionally, scheduling skin cancer screenings regularly allow the doctor to monitor your skin for any changes. Some signs of skin cancer include:
- Speckled brown spots on the skin
- Patches of red or pink scaly lesions
- Changes in the appearance of existing moles
- Sudden bleeding or itching of existing moles
- Waxy and translucent come-shaped growths
- Black or brown streaks under the fingernails or toenails
- Unexplained sores that repeatedly re-open after healing
Skin Cancer Treatments
Many effective options are available for treating different types of skin cancer. A Casper, WY, skin doctor can recommend an appropriate treatment option for each patient’s specific type and stage of skin cancer. Treatments for skin cancer include:
- Surgical excision — Surgical removal of the tumor from the skin.
- Cryosurgery — Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze off the tumor.
- Radiation therapy — Radiation is targeted at the affected area to kill cancer skills.
- Curettage and desiccation — Scraping out the tumor and applying an electric current to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Mohs micrographic surgery — Mapping of the affected skin tissue to minimize the removal of healthy skin tissue.
- Prescription medicated creams — Applied topically to the skin to help stimulate the body’s immune system to target the cancer cells.
See a skin doctor if you have developed any unusual changes in your skin. If skin cancer is present, the doctor can develop an individualized treatment plan for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bennion or Dr. Green, your Casper, WY, skin doctors, contact Central Wyoming Skin Clinic at (307) 234-0003.
There are a number of skin conditions and outbreaks that require medical intervention and treatment by a dermatologist. Symptoms like rashes, acne, skin discolorations and spots can either result from a primary skin problem like clogged pores or rosacea, or due to an underlying medical problem like an allergic reaction or other health condition. Dr. Scott Bennion and Dr. Matthew Green, the skin doctors at Central Wyoming Skin Clinic, offer dermatology and skincare services in Casper, WY.
Dermatology Services in in Casper, WY
Some of the most common skin diseases and conditions include:
- Hives and allergic reactions
- Contact dermatitis
- Actinic keratosis
- Skin cancer
- Keratosis pilaris
Signs and Symptoms that You Should Discuss with a Skin Doctor
Common skin problems like acne and eczema range in severity from mild to severe. The occasional acne outbreak or eczema flare up may not necessarily require treatment, or the symptoms can be treated conservatively and tend to clear up on their own depending on your situation. But chronic or severe skin problems can cause scarring and other symptoms, so you should see a dermatologist if you notice any changes to your skin, especially with moles, which can be a sign of skin cancer.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms that you need to see a skin doctor include:
- Chronic/severe acne
- Hair loss
- Cold sores
- Skin growths or changes to existing moles
- Skin lesions
- Spots and discolorations
- Signs of premature aging
- Nail abnormalities
- Excessive sweating
- Thinning eyelashes
- Sores or cuts that don't heal
- Signs of infection
Find a Skin Doctor
For more information about our dermatology and skin clinic services, contact Central Wyoming Skin Clinic today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bennion or Dr. Green by calling (307) 234-0003. We have offices serving the Casper, Laramie, and Gillette, WY, areas.
What is Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery is a specialized, highly effective technique for removing skin cancers. It was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic Mohs at the University of Wisconsin and is now practiced throughout the world. Mohs surgery differs from other skin cancer treatments in that it permits the immediate and complete microscopic examination of the removed cancer tissue so that all roots and extensions of the cancer can be eliminated. Mohs surgery has the highest reported cure rate of all treatments for skin cancer.
While Mohs surgery is an effective option, treating all skin cancers with Mohs surgery is not necessary. Mohs surgery is reserved for skin cancers that grow back after previous treatment, cancers that are at high risk of reoccurring, or cancers that are located in cosmetic areas where preservation of the maximum amount of normal skin is important.
How is Mohs surgery done?
1. The skin is numbed using local anesthetic. The visible cancer is removed with a thin layer of additional tissue. This takes only a few minutes.
2. The specimen is color coded to distinguish top from bottom and left from right. A technician freezes the tissue and removes very thin slices from the entire edge and undersurface. These slices are placed on microscope slides and stained for examination under a microscope. This is the most time consuming part of the procedure, often requiring an hour or more to complete.
3. Dr. Bennion then carefully examines these slides under the microscope. This allows examination of the entire surgical margin of the removed tissue. That is, the entire undersurface and the complete edge of the specimen is examined. All microscopic roots of the cancer can thus be precisely identified and pinpointed.
Why remove skin cancer with Mohs surgery?
Some skin cancers are deceptively large-far bigger under the skin than they appear to be from the surface. These cancers may have "roots" in the skin or along blood vessels, nerves, or cartilage. Also, skin cancers that recur after previous treatments may send out extensions deep under the scar tissue that has formed. Mohs surgery is specifically designed to remove these cancers by tracking and removing these cancerous "roots."
Recently there has been a surge of anti-screen rants on the internet. Multiple websites suggest that sunscreens can cause cancer, affect your hormonal balance and even kill coral reefs. Here are some facts:
Broad spectrum sunscreens prevent premature skin aging and cancer caused by the ultraviolet rays (UVR) of the sun. There are literally hundreds of scientific studies demonstrating the protective effects of sunscreens.
There are many studies suggesting that UV sunscreens are very safe but the ultimate test of safety for any product is the widespread use without ill effects in the general population. When drugs and medical products safety studies are evaluated by the FDA, there typically are thousands of study test subjects. Even though the drugs are determined “safe” by the FDA, the ultimate test of the drug occurs when it is released to the public and tens of thousands of patients start using it. Only then can doctors determine the real safety of a drug. The safety of sunscreens is a case in point. Sun screens have been used by millions of individuals over decades without evidence of their use causing any serious problems such as cancer or other diseases.
Recently Hawaii has banned oxybenzone, a very effective sun screen component, because of lab studies demonstrating it is toxic to coral and may cause “coral bleaching." Recent studies of the actual concentrations of this sunscreen in beaches where it is used demonstrate very low concentrations incapable of causing coral damage.
Learn more about our laser hair removal system in Casper, WY, and how it works.
Are you tired of constantly having to shave or schedule another waxing appointment? If so, then you may be wondering whether or not laser hair removal may be able to finally give you the permanent and smoother results you want. Our Casper, WY, cosmetic dermatologists Dr. Scott Bennion and Dr. Matthew Green and our DNP Dr. Brandon Bennion are pleased to offer laser hair removal. Find out more about this popular cosmetic treatment.
What areas of the body can laser hair removal treat?
Laser hair removal is safe to use on just about anywhere on the body. The most popular treatment areas tend to be:
- Bikini area
- Upper lip
How many hair removal sessions will I need?
This will depend on the thickness and the amount of hair that we have to treat. In most cases, patients will need anywhere from 5 to 10 sessions performed over the course of several weeks in order to get the best results. Since hair grows cyclically, it’s important to give it time for hair to grow out between treatments so that the laser is able to target and permanently destroy more hair follicles.
Is laser hair removal painful?
As the laser is passed over the area you may feel a sensation similar to a rubbing band being snapped against the skin. This is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment; therefore, discomfort is minimal and well tolerated by patients. Some say that waxing is far more uncomfortable than laser hair removal.
Is laser hair removal different from electrolysis?
There are some differences between electrolysis and getting laser hair removal. For one, electrolysis takes much longer because it focuses on treating only one hair at a time, while laser hair removal can target multiple hair follicles at once. Treatment sessions can range from 10-20 minutes for smaller areas like the upper lip, chin, or underarms to one hour for larger areas like the back or legs.
Do you want to enjoy permanently smoother skin? If so, then it’s time to call Central Wyoming Skin Clinic in Casper, WY, to let us know that you are interested in getting laser hair removal treatment. We’d be happy to schedule your next appointment.
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