With early detection, the survival rate for melanoma — the most dangerous type of skin cancer — is 99%. At Dorset Street Dermatology, in South Burlington, Vermont, the team of medical dermatology specialists, including Mitchell Schwartz, MD, Wendy Shedd, PA-C, and Kara Rozendaal, PA-C, offers skin cancer diagnosis and treatment with a patient-first approach. Book an appointment online or call the office today.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common kind of skin cancer. It usually develops on the face, neck, and other areas that get a lot of sun. It's usually flesh-colored and may be shiny with a center indention. It's easy to mistake basal cell carcinoma for an acne blemish or a skin-toned mole.
Basal cell carcinoma usually grows slowly and rarely spreads. While not fatal, basal cell carcinoma can become serious if you don't treat it early. If it continues to grow, it moves inward, damaging nerves, blood vessels, and other tissue — even bone.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common kind of skin cancer. It affects the cells near the skin surface. Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma develops in areas with lots of sun exposure.
Squamous cell carcinoma can look like a scaly, rough patch of skin, a non-healing sore, an age spot, a raised round blemish, or a hornlike growth. It's usually red or pink but can be any color from white to dark. Just as with basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma can grow deep into your skin to cause serious damage.
While not a form of cancer itself, actinic keratosis is a precancerous growth that can turn into squamous cell carcinoma if untreated. Actinic keratosis usually looks like a rough and scaly patch of skin.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Like other forms of cancer, it's most common in areas that see a lot of sun. But, melanoma can even grow on the bottom of your feet or in other areas that see very little sun.
Melanoma can look like a mole, dark spot, cyst, or other growth. Any skin growth that's asymmetrical, has irregular borders, has multiple colors, is bigger than a pencil eraser, or is rapidly changing requires assessment. With early diagnosis, treating melanoma is easy.
Avoiding sun damage — including indoor tanning — is important for skin cancer prevention. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) daily, with SPF 30 or higher for extended time outdoors. The Dorset Street Dermatology team can recommend medical-grade sun protection from Skinceuticals® and Obagi®.
You can avoid skin infections, skin ulcers, and other serious skin cancer complications by doing regular skin checks at home. Schedule a skin cancer screening at Dorset Street Dermatology if you observe any changes in your skin.
If the team discovers actinic keratosis during a skin exam, they can perform photodynamic therapy in the office, an FDA-approved procedure to destroy the unhealthy cells and prevent them from progressing to skin cancer.
If you have skin cancer, the team can perform in-office procedures to remove the growth and promote healthy skin regrowth.
Book your skin screening by calling Dorset Street Dermatology or clicking the online scheduler now.