Skin cancer is a disease that causes the skin cells to mutate and grow at an abnormal, uncontrollable rate. There are several different types of this cancer, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common cancer in the United States. Our dermatologists at Zel Skin & Laser Specialists provide treatment for basal cell carcinoma at our Minneapolis office.
If you receive a basal cell carcinoma diagnosis, you are not alone. Millions of people are diagnosed with the disease every year. BCC usually appears where the body is exposed to the sun, most commonly on the face—and especially on the nose. It also often appears on the head, neck, or the backs of hands, but can develop anywhere on the body. Though basal cell carcinoma grows slowly, early treatment is essential because it can expand and penetrate deeply to destroy tissue and even bone beneath. BCC can sometimes become aggressive and life-threatening when untreated, but when found early, it can almost always be cured.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources such as tanning beds is the primary cause of BCC. This is because UV rays cause DNA damage in the basal cells found in the lower part of the epidermis.
The risk of developing skin cancer increases significantly after age 50. Those with fair or freckled skin, blond or red hair, or blue, green, or hazel eyes are more prone to developing basal cell carcinoma. People with blood relatives affected by basal cell carcinoma are also more at risk, as are those who have taken immunosuppressant drugs to treat diseases such as arthritis, HIV, and lymphoma, or who have been treated with radiation therapy.
Basal cell carcinoma doesn’t look the same on every patient. Examine your skin all over your body and see a dermatologist if you observe any of the following signs:
- Elevated, bump-like growths that are often pink, cream, or the color of the surrounding skin, but may be brown or black, or with areas of brown or black that have small, visible blood vessels. These growths may bleed and ooze easily or scab over.
- An eczema-like patch that is shiny pink or red.
- A lesion that is black, blue, or brown, possibly with dark spots, with a raised, surrounding, skin-colored border.
- A scar-like growth the color of surrounding skin or pale white to yellow with blurred edges and a waxy feel.
- Open sores or acne-like lesions that won’t heal and that bleed or ooze easily, itch, are crusty with a sunken center, and have blood vessels inside or surrounding the area.
Your dermatologist will take a skin biopsy by removing all or part of the growth in question, then examine it under a microscope or send it to a laboratory for further analysis.
Basal cell carcinoma treatment methods include:
- Curettage and electrodessication: The growth is scraped away, and an electric needle is used to kill cancer cells and control bleeding. The affected area is numbed beforehand.
- Excision: The affected area is numbed and the basal cell carcinoma and some healthy skin around it is cut away.
- Freezing: Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and kill cancer cells.
- Medicated creams: Patients apply medicated cream at home.
- Mohs surgery: This specialized surgery has the highest cure rate for difficult-to-treat basal cell cancers, combining precision surgical excision with minute scrutinization of tissue, layer by layer.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT): A photosensitizer cream is followed by an incubation time and application of blue light that kills the cancer cells.
- Radiation: Radiation therapy is used to kill cancer cells that cannot be cut out. Around 15 to 30 radiation treatments may be needed.
Your skin is too important to leave to chance. Zel Skin & Laser Specialists has participated in 100 clinical studies and seen more than 30,000 patients. Unlike many skin care clinics, we conduct our own internal research to ensure the basal cell carcinoma treatments we provide have been scientifically proven to improve the health of your skin.
We also offer mole checks and removal, actinic keratoses treatments to address lesions considered to be “pre-cancer,” and treatment for two other forms of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.
Brian brings a unique combination of medical science, clinical expertise, integrity and compassion to his patients. He provides the latest technology available in the field of dermatology but with a personalized touch for each patient. He is highly respected by his colleagues throughout the country for his expertise and sincerity.
Everyone I have met at Zel is amazing!
It is rare to find a dermatologist who is as knowledgeable about the many facets of clinical and cosmetic dermatology as Dr. Zelickson. Because of his knowledge and honesty, doctors worldwide know they can depend on his assessment of new therapies, procedures and medical devices. This, in turn, has made him a much sought–after speaker for the plethora of professional medical society meetings and engagements that we have throughout the year. I am honored to know Dr. Zelickson and consider him a friend to the profession.
Dr. Brian Zelickson was one of our initial Thermage investigators and helped us understand the mechanisms of non–invasive skin tightening. He is a renowned expert on how collagen can affect skin tightening and wrinkle reduction.
Dr. Brian Zelickson is one of this country’s leading laser experts. Not only is he unparalleled as a laser surgeon, it is not an exaggeration to state that his superb research helps determine the future of dermatologic laser surgery.
Dr. Zelickson is a highly regarded skin/light expert in our industry. When Candela looks for both medical and scientific advice for new laser applications, we often turn to him for his counsel. The input he provides us always starts with patient safety and satisfaction. We feel fortunate to be able to tap into Brian as an independent resource. The patients who are treated with Candela devices are often the beneficiaries of Brian’s input to us.
Most patients prefer seeing a doctor who is known for a particular specialty or procedure, but all patients want to see the doctor who invented the procedure or therapy. Dr. Brian Zelickson is one of the most respected physicians in the field of cosmetic dermatology and aesthetic medicine. He has lectured around the world and is one of the most sought–after speakers for all major meetings in dermatology.
I would rate Dr. Zelickson's clinic 10 stars!
We have felt honored to have Dr. Brian Zelickson, a world–renowned dermatologist who is distinguished as a high–quality care physician, serving as the investigator evaluating Syneron non–invasive skin tightening technology
I trained with Dr. Zelickson at Mayo Clinic, and I found him to be a very bright and creative dermatologist and scientist. Later, he was our best advisor when we set up our clinic in the Basque Country in Spain. I call him the ‘paparazzi of dermatology.’ His contribution to our speciality is probably among the best of this century.
Tuve la suerte de conocer al Dr. Brian Zelickson en Minneapolis hace muchos anos y desde entonces acudo regularmente a compartir sus conocimientos. Es un científico honrado, brillante, creativo e innovador. Nunca deja de sorprenderte agradablemente.
Dr. Zelickson is a very well–respected dermatologist, not only in the U.S., but also in Europe. He is famous for being the author of relevant dermatological studies published in many prestigious medical journals and for the improvements he’s made on minimally invasive cosmetic procedures that are being used by dermatologists all over the world.
Our view from Europe of Dr. Brian Zelickson is that he is one of the leading four or five U.S. laser dermatologists. His research contributions, his superb lectures and his expert knowledge of laser skin surgery make him a valued friend, colleague and guest.
Dr. Brian Zelickson is one of the world’s leaders in cutaneous laser surgery. He has performed groundbreaking research over the past decade, advancing the field as well as expertly providing the most up–to–date laser treatments for his patients.
Brian Zelickson is a world–renowned laser expert who helps develop the lasers and treatment parameters used by the rest of the world. He is where others turn to learn the latest techniques in laser surgery. If you want the best treatment available, delivering the best results in the safest environment available, there is no need to look anywhere else.
I have met many laser experts in my 20 years of teaching, lecturing and running a busy practice. There is no one who I respect more than Brian. If I have a clinical question or research idea, Brian is one of the few individuals I call, as I know I can count on his intellect, integrity and common sense.
Dr. Zelickson is one of America’s most knowledgeable laser experts. He has done pioneering work with many of the laser and light–based technologies developed in the world over the last 10 years. He is a giant in the field.
Dr. Zelickson is one of the world’s leaders in the field of lasers for the treatment of the skin. His many years experience in treating thousands of patients with lasers and other medical devices makes him one of the most sought–after doctors in this field. Innovation and caring are his trademarks.