Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer. It is highly curable if treated early. While generally not life-threatening, it can spread and cause complications if not treated. It often appears on skin that has had sun exposure over many years, including all parts of the head, neck, backs of the hands and lower legs, though it can appear anywhere on the body, including the lips, inside the mouth, and genitals.
Causes: Ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds are the primary cause, especially with a history of sunburn. Those with fair or freckled skin, blond or red hair, or blue, green, or hazel eyes are more prone to developing SCC. People with a history of skin cancer, a weakened immune system, and some types of human papillomavirus (HPV) are also more susceptible. Some SCCs stem from actinic keratoses. Smoking and exposure to cancer-causing chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, and arsenic are also risk factors.
Symptoms: See a dermatologist if you observe any of the following on your skin:
- Hard bump or lump that may have a crust and may bleed
- Hard crusted “horn” that grows very rapidly
- Lesion that bleeds easily
- Slowly growing reddish scaly patch
- Sore or ulcer that doesn’t heal, or returns after healing
Treatment: Your dermatologist will take a skin biopsy by removing all or part of the lesion and examining it under a microscope or sending it to a laboratory for more analysis. The doctor will determine the best method of treatment based on how deeply the SCC has grown and how far it has spread. 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 SCC and some healthy skin around it is cut away.
- Freezing: Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and kill cancer cells.
- Laser therapy: Light beams are used to vaporize growths on the surface of the skin.
- Medicated or chemotherapy creams: Patients apply medicated cream at home.
- Mohs surgery: This specialized surgery has a very high success rate.
- 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 removed in other ways. Fifteen to thirty radiation treatments may be needed.
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.
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.