What is Skin Screening?
A skin screening, also known as a skin exam, is a visual exam of the skin that is performed by a dermatologist such as Dr. Beach. During this screening, she will check your skin for moles, birthmarks, or other marks that may be unusual in size, shape, color, or texture, and help rule out signs of skin cancer. You will be given an assessment of your skin and your moles, and information on a preferred interval to get your skin re-screened. Individuals who have certain risk factors for skin cancer include those who spend a significant amount of time outdoors in the sun, either through their occupations or through their leisure activities. Others with a pale skin tone, red or blonde hair, skin that freckles or burns easily, a history of sunburns, a large number of moles, or a family history of skin cancer, may also benefit from skin assessment.
Who is a Good Candidate for Skin Screening?
All ages of people can benefit from skin screenings.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with skin cancer can benefit from skin cancer treatment. The best way to determine if you can benefit from this service is to discuss your skin with your family doctor or nurse practitioner to identify any concerns you may have or changes you have noticed. You may also contact our office to learn how to schedule a consultation at DermAtelier on Avenue with Dr. Beach.
Skin examination with Dermoscopy
For this form of analysis, Dr. Beach uses a tool that contains polarized light with microscopy to determine the ultrastructures, pigment networks, and vascular patterns of your nevus. Analysis of these features can be helpful in determining regular mole features and more concerning mole patterns that require further investigation.
If you are screening yourself at home before a dermatology visit, be sure to check for signs of skin cancer. An easy way to remember which signs to look for is to think of “ABCDE”, which stands for:
Asymmetry: A mole with an odd shape, or with a half that does not match the other half.
Border: The border of the mole is irregular or jagged.
Colour: The colour of the mole is uneven or the mole is multiple colours.
Diameter: The mole is larger in size than 6 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a pencil eraser.
Evolution: The mole has changed in color, shape, or size over time.
While none of these factors are always important or a sign of skin cancer, they are a starting point from which to identify moles or skin lesions that can then be checked at DermAtelier on Avenue.
Skin Cancer Treatment Options
When it comes to treating skin cancer, there are a variety of treatment options to choose from. Dr. Beach will work with you to determine which treatment option works best to treat your form of skin cancer. These options include:
Some early skin cancers can be destroyed with cryosurgery. This involves freezing the cancer with liquid nitrogen. The dead tissue will then slough away when it thaws.
Curettage and Electrodesiccation
Dr. Beach will remove the surface of the skin cancer using a scraping instrument called a curette. An electric needle will then be used to sear and destroy the base of the cancer. This procedure may be performed on skin cancer at the arms or legs or torso depending on its size and characteristics.
This form of treatment can be used on all types of skin cancer. Dr. Beach will cut out the cancerous tissue and a surrounding area of healthy skin to ensure all cancer cells are removed.
When appropriate, you will be deemed a candidate for this procedure. Mohs Surgery is performed in the hospital for basal cell or squamous cell cancer by removing thin layers of skin. Dermatologist colleagues will examine each layer under a microscope until all abnormal cells are removed.
What to Expect After Skin Cancer Treatment?
When test results show that skin cancer cells are fully removed during skin cancer treatment, no further immediate treatment action is required. We do, however, recommend that you take the following steps to protect your skin from the sun:
- Avoid using tanning beds.
- Wear sunscreen year-round with SPF 30+.
- Avoid spending time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shaded areas (awnings, umbrellas) when outdoors.
- Wear protective clothing including sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses when spending time in the sun.
- Purchase UPF 50+ (UV Protective Fabric of sufficient rating 50+) to protect the skin when outdoors.
Contact Us Today
If you are interested in learning more about skin screening at DermAtelier on Avenue, contact us today! We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have, as well as help you to schedule your consultation.