Skin Cancer Treatments in Ocean Springs, MS

Skin cancer, no matter how minor the case, can become a costly health problem. The dermatologists from Garrott Dermatology in Ocean Springs, Biloxi, and Pascagoula, Mississippi can develop a skin cancer treatment for you. Equipped with the latest technology, our board-certified dermatologists will develop an effective skin cancer or dermatological treatment for the best results. We specialize in skin cancer diagnosis and treatment.
 
We have the experience and training to discern suspicious lesions that require a biopsy. Based on the pathology results, if a malignancy is found, we offer the appropriate surgical treatment or determine the best course of treatment for the patient's unique situation.
 
 
Doctor examining melanoma - Dermatological services in Ocean Spring, MS
 

Types of Skin Cancer

Skin cancers fall into two major categories: melanoma and nonmelanoma

Melanoma can start in heavily pigmented tissue, such as a mole or birthmark, as well as in normally pigmented skin. It commonly appears first on extremities, chest or back, although it can occasionally arise on the palm of the hand; on the sole of the foot; under a fingernail or toenail; in the mucus linings of the mouth, vagina, or anus and even in the eye. Melanoma is a potentially aggressive, life-threatening cancer. It is usually curable if it is treated early. It progresses faster than other types of skin cancer and can spread beyond the skin to affect numerous parts of the body, including the bones or brain. Once this occurs, melanoma becomes very difficult to treat and is incurable.

Nonmelanomas are rarely life-threatening. These include basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. They progress slowly, seldom spread beyond the skin, are detected easily and usually are curable. In addition to the two listed above, there are a few rare nonmelanomas, such as Kaposi's sarcoma, a potentially life-threatening disease characterized by purple growths and associated with a suppressed immune system and almost always seen in patients with AIDS or the elderly.

Actinic Keratoses is a noncancerous skin growth that may become cancerous. These are crusty, reddish lesions that may scratch off but grow back on sun-exposed skin.
 
 
 

Moles

Moles are dark growths composed of pigment cells on the skin that typically form because of a genetic pre-disposition to get them and because of sun exposure. Many moles are not a medical threat; however, some lesions may represent a risk for melanoma skin cancer. These higher risk moles have an irregular shape, have dark or light discoloration and will change and should be evaluated to make sure they are not cancer prone. If the decision is made to remove and analyze a mole, techniques are used to minimize scarring and achieve the best cosmetic result.

Types of Moles

Congenital nevi are moles that appear at birth. They occur in about 1% of all people and may be more likely to develop into melanoma (cancer). A mole or freckle should be checked if it has a diameter of more than a pencil eraser or any characteristics of the ABCDEs of melanoma.
 
Skin examination of moles - Dermatological services in Ocean Spring, MS
 
  • Asymmetry — one half doesn't match the other half
  • Border irregularity — the edges are ragged, notched or blurred
  • Color — the pigmentation is not uniform; shades of tan, brown, and black are present; dashes of red, white and blue add to the mottled appearance; changes in color distribution, especially the spread of color from the edge of a mole into the surrounding skin, also are an early sign of melanoma
  • Diameter — the mole or skin growth is larger than 6 mm (0.2 in.), or about the size of a pencil eraser; any growth of a mole should be of concern
  • Evolution — there is a change in the size, shape, symptoms (such as itching or tenderness), surface (especially bleeding) or color of a mole

Dysplastic Nevi are moles that are irregular in shape and larger than average (larger than a pencil eraser). They tend to have uneven color with dark brown centers and lighter, uneven edges. Any changes in a mole should be checked by one of our dermatologist to evaluate for skin cancer.

How Do I Know if a Mole Is Cancer?

The vast majority of moles are not dangerous, however, if you have moles and notice one that looks different in size, color or shape, you should get it checked. Additionally, if any of your moles begin to bleed, ooze, itch or become tender or painful, have it checked.

Remember, if a mole does not change over time, there is little reason to be concerned. If you see any signs of change in an existing mole, if you have a new mole, or if you want a mole to be removed for cosmetic reasons, call us.

What Happens if you are diagnosed with Melanoma?

Melanoma develops when normal pigment-producing skin cells become abnormal, begin to grow uncontrollably and start to invade surrounding tissues. Usually only one melanoma develops at a time and can begin in an existing mole or other skin growth, but can also can start in unmarked skin.

When melanoma is found early, it can often be cured by surgery, but once melanoma spreads, it is harder to cure.
 
 
 
Basal-cell carcinoma - Dermatological services in Ocean Spring, MS
 

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, and appears frequently on the head, neck, and hands as a small, fleshy bump, nodule or red patch. Other parts of the body may be affected as well. Basal cell carcinomas are frequently found in fair-skinned people, and rarely occur in dark skin.

They usually do not grow quickly. It can take many months or years for one to grow to a diameter of one-half inch. Untreated, the caner often will begin to bleed, crust over, heal and repeat the cycle. They can extend below the skin to the bone and nerves, causing considerable local damage.
 
 
 

Tips to Help Prevent Skin Damage

Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply it to all areas of the skin exposed to the sun, including your lips. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially on sunny days or when swimming. Wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

When it comes to skin care, you and your family deserve the best. That's why Garrott Dermatology is committed to treating skin conditions of every kind. Visit one of our Mississippi -based teams today to schedule your evaluation and receive a diagnosis.
 
Woman applying sunblock lotion - Dermatological services in Ocean Spring, MS