Our main goal in caring for sun-damaged skin is preventing the development of cancers. Naturally, protection from exposure is important, including hats, long-sleeve clothing, and sunscreen. But equally important is to have a skin examination at least once a year, or more often if you’ve already had a skin cancer. Pre-cancers (actinic keratosis) continually develop on sun-damaged skin, and should be removed to reduce the chances of skin cancer. There are several ways to easily remove pre-cancers, and also approaches to reduce the growth of new lesions over time. Skin cancers themselves (including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma), often start as subtle changes on your skin which can be identified during a skin examination.
An estimated 40% to 50% of fair-skinned people who live to be 65 will develop at least one skin cancer. The good news is there are many effective treatments for eliminating skin cancer. Some early forms of skin cancer may be treated non-surgically using liquid nitrogen cryotherapy (freezing), light-based treatments (Photodynamic Therapy), and topical creams. In other cases, surgical removal is used to eliminate skin cancers, by excision or by performing Mohs micrographic surgery. At the South Florida Skin center, we are proud of our longstanding record of providing excellent surgical results and high cure rates.