Several skin cancer treatments available to patients near Ashburn
No matter where you live, skin cancer is a concern that requires daily consideration. While there are times during the day at which sun exposure can actually be good for you, encouraging the body’s natural production of the feel good chemical serotonin, it is also vital that the skin be protected during peak hours.
One of the aspects of dermatologic care is helping our patients avoid the need for skin cancer treatments. In our offices near Ashburn, we discuss the importance of sunscreen use and perform thorough skin cancer screenings while demonstrating for patients how these exams may be performed at home.
The dark side of the sun
Yes, some degree of sun exposure is vital to the production of vitamin D. This vitamin is essential and cannot be absorbed or encouraged through dietary choices. It is exposure to sunlight that synthesizes the production of this important vitamin, linked to optimal cognitive function and lowered risk of certain types of cancer. Sun exposure, however, can also be very damaging.
Damage from UV exposure occurs from the inside out. At first, other than a noticeable burn, you do not see the effects of excessive sun exposure. In time, the effects of the sun appear in the form of brown spots or splotches and broken blood vessels. Skin may also become saggy as elastin is lost. As concerning as these cosmetic consequences can be, they are no match for the extreme hazard of sun exposure, skin cancer. The term “UV exposure” also applies to tanning beds.
When to see the doctor
A professional evaluation at Dermatology Associates of Northern Virginia, Inc. should be scheduled if changes are noticed in an existing mole or if a new spot on the skin appears. Other symptoms of abnormality include bleeding or itching in an existing or new mole. Self-examinations as well as professional skin cancer screenings are an important part of maintaining healthy skin. To further assess an abnormality, one of our skilled physicians may recommend taking a small sample, or biopsy, for examination under a microscope. If skin cancer is detected, treatment is planned according to a number of factors.
Treatments for skin cancers may involve:
- Freezing, called cryosurgery
- Excision, or surgically removing the lesion using local anesthetic
- Application of topical chemotherapy
- Laser treatment to activate medication against cancer cells
We are happy to schedule you for a professional skin cancer screening with our friendly staff. Call us in Sterling or Centreville today.
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