Melanoma Removal

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Early detection is essential to successful melanoma treatment. If not detected early, melanoma can spread rapidly and become difficult to treat. Melanoma is most commonly found on skin exposed to ultraviolet light, but it can form anywhere on the body, including the scalp, genitals, palms, soles of the feet, and under a nail. Areas not exposed to sunlight are more common sites for melanoma in people with darker skin tones. The first indication of melanoma is often a change in an existing mole or new, pigmented skin growth.

Causes:  Though anyone can develop melanoma, the risk increases with physical factors such as excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds or living in a sunny location or at high elevation. Biological factors include having more than 50 moles on the body, large moles, or moles with irregular borders; a history of even just one severe sunburn; fair or freckled skin, skin that does not tan, blond or red hair, or light-colored eyes; a blood relative who has had melanoma; a history of cancer; or a weakened immune system.

Symptoms: See a dermatologist as soon as possible if you notice a mole growing asymmetrically, a change in mole’s color, size, or borders; a spot on the skin that is becoming elevated, changing, darkening, bleeding, itching, or painful; a streak under a fingernail or toenail; or a slowly growing scar-like patch of skin.

Treatment: A dermatologist will take a skin biopsy and examine it under a microscope or send it to a laboratory for more analysis. Biopsies may involve removing an entire mole or suspicious area along with a bit of normal-looking skin, removing just part of a mole or suspicious area, or removing only the most irregular part of a large mole or growth. A sentinel lymph node biopsy, x-rays, blood work, and a CT scan may also be done to determine if a melanoma has spread. Treatment depends on the depth of the melanoma and whether the melanoma has spread to near lymph nodes or beyond.

Melanoma in early stages may be completely eliminated with the skin taken for a biopsy. Sometimes a dermatologist will perform an in-office excision to remove all cancer cells and a margin of normal-looking skin around them. The skin is numbed before the procedure. Mohs surgery may also be done to remove early-stage melanoma.

Melanomas that have grown deeper into the skin or have spread may be treated with chemotherapy (medicine that kills cancerous and some normal cells), immunotherapy (to assist the patient’s immune system in destroying the cancer), a lymphadenectomy (removal of affected lymph nodes), radiation therapy (to kill cancerous and some normal cells), and targeted therapy (drugs that reduce the cancer temporarily).

Best in Class Skin Care

Your skin is too important to leave to chance. Zel has participated in 100 clinical studies and seen more than 30,000 patients. And, unlike most skin care clinics, we conduct our own research internally to ensure the treatments we provide have been scientifically proven to improve the health of your skin.

 

Contact Zel Skin today to schedule your consultation.

*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.