Medical Dermatology

Skin Cancers

Skin Cancers

Skin cancer screening saves lives. At DermCare we offer a full skin check to new patients and remind patients to get an annual skin check, especially if there is a high risk for skin cancer.

Those with fairer skin who tend to burn easily have the highest risk of skin cancer. However, anyone of any skin color could get a skin cancer.

Some Risk Factors

  • Use of tanning beds
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Living in sunny or high altitude climates
  • Prior skin cancer or precancers
  • History of blistering sunburns
  • Extensive number of moles
  • History of atypical moles
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • History of radiation exposure
  • Certain genetic conditions
  • Weakened immune system

Skin cancer screening involves a total body skin exam, including the mouth, scalp, hands, feet, genital and perianal skin.  Even though most skin cancer occurs in sun-exposed areas, this is not always the case, and some of the higher risk skin cancers may develop in areas that patients may not notice or easily see. In addition to looking at and palpating the skin, at DermCare we use dermoscopy, a hand-held device that helps us magnify and pick out certain features of various moles and other growths. This helps us identify which skin lesions might need a biopsy or might need to be followed over time versus those that are benign (harmless). We also offer photo-surveillance, where we measure and photograph a mole or lesion to see whether it changes over time.

For more information on skin cancer and skin cancer surveillance, we recommend the following websites as quality resources: