It’s important to schedule an annual appointment with your local Fort Worth, TX dermatologist to look for any signs of skin cancer or other conditions that can affect your health. If you don’t currently schedule an annual exam, it’s never too late to start. At Compassion Dermatology, our dermatologists are always accepting new patients and looking out for the health of your skin!
According to the CDC, about 4.3 million Americans receive treatment for basal and squamous cells, which indicate melanoma, or skin cancer. However, if you don’t schedule and show up for dermatology appointments, you might not find out until cancer has become more advanced and harder to treat.
At Compassion Dermatology, we highly encourage our patients to come in at least once a year for an all-over skin check. You can also perform monthly skin checks that may lead to an early diagnosis if you do notice something wrong. If you have a history of sunburns, tanning or skin cancer, you may want to visit the dermatologist more often and perform skin self-checks frequently.
Learning More About Annual Skin Checks
Your family doctor may perform a skin check during your annual checkup. However, they don’t have the expertise and experience of a board-certified dermatologist. That’s why it’s essential to visit a specialist if you or your doctor notices any abnormalities. Using a special light, one of our specialists will view your skin, paying special attention to your back and other areas difficult for you to see. They will assess any abnormal moles and other markings to determine whether it’s likely to signify skin cancer.
What Are the Signs of Skin Cancer?
Basal and squamous cells often appear as scaly patches or red nodules. Depending on the type of skin cancer, these patches may bleed easily or ooze. Often, basal cell carcinoma looks like skin lesions, or they may appear as a brown scar. In contrast, squamous cell carcinomas typically form lumps with rough textures. Unlike a rash or other skin condition, these symptoms won’t go away without treatment.
Melanomas often look like strange moles. Use the acronym ABCDE to evaluate whether you may have melanoma:
- Asymmetry: They aren’t perfectly round.
- Borders: Look for uneven borders.
- Color: Look for mottled colors such as blue, red and black.
- Diameter: Look for moles that exceed the circumference of a pencil eraser.
- Evolving: Melanomas get bigger, change color and change shape.
See Something Suspicious? See Your Dermatologist Right Away
As soon as you notice something, such as a changing mole, new mole or weird skin growth, make an appointment at Compassion Dermatology in Fort Worth, TX. Your dermatologist will examine the area of concern and take a biopsy, if necessary, to determine whether it has precancerous or cancerous cells.
If you do have a cancerous growth, we offer numerous ways to remove it, including surgery or cryotherapy. We will always recommend the least traumatic treatment method for the surrounding skin cells.
Can I Prevent Skin Cancer?
Some people have a higher risk of cancer due to genetics, environment or lifestyle. You can do your part to help prevent the development of skin cancer. By reducing your exposure to harmful rays, you can protect your skin. To do this, wear sunscreen with at least SPF-30 on the labeling. Reapply sunscreen every two hours after sweating profusely or swimming. Additionally, if you have light skin, you might want to avoid direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day, which is in the late morning or early afternoon.
Many people associate tanned skin with a healthy, outdoor lifestyle. However, it’s often a sign of sun damage that can leave your skin vulnerable to skin cancer and other skin conditions. So, if you want a sun-kissed glow, choose a safe cosmetic alternative.
There are several things that you can do to protect your skin between visits to the dermatologist:
- Moisturize. Moisturizing keeps your skin hydrated and is an important part of daily skin care. By keeping your skin moisturized, you can often diminish fine lines that make you look older. Keeping your skin hydrated also can help protect it against certain skin conditions and diseases. It’s particularly important to use a high-quality lotion to condition your skin during the dry winter and summer months.
- Wearing Sunscreen. While we have already mentioned sunscreen, it’s important to note that UV rays have been linked to skin cancer. However, many types of melanomas and carcinomas are preventable. Using a sunscreen with SPF 30 blocks out nearly all (97%) of these harmful rays.
- Protect Your Face. Your face is the most distinguishable part of your body. It’s often the first thing that people notice about you. For healthy, glowing skin, consult with one of our dermatologists.
Ask us for additional tips to address your specific concerns.
Where To Get Top Dermatology Care in Fort Worth, TX
Many people only request a check-up when something is wrong. However, it’s important to schedule regular appointments for the health of your skin. That’s particularly true if you want your skin to look and feel good at any age. Dermatological care is vital to numerous conditions and can help you receive an early diagnosis for skin cancer.
So, don’t forget to schedule your annual appointment and perform self-checks to detect skin cancer as early as possible. Our dermatologists check your hair, nails and skin, searching for any clues to dozens of health concerns.
Contact Compassion Dermatology today to schedule your annual visit or find out how glowing skin can improve your overall appearance and well-being. Are you a new patient? No worries! Call (817) 380-5911 to make an appointment or find out more about our skin care services.