Skin cancer screening, acne, rashes and eczema

Dr. Michael J. Brown, MD accepts most major health insurances: Aetna PPO, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO, Cigna PPO, United PPO and Medicare for the skin cancer screening, skin cancer diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers including plastic and reconstructive surgery in Ashburn, Virginia.

Dermatology

What is dermatology? It refers to studying the body’s largest organ: the skin. It also refers to studying the diseases that can affect the skin. Many of the treatments offered at the Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery & Dermatology focus on the skin.  Dr. Brown has practiced skin cancer screening and skin care treatments since the 1990′s. Within the practice, a physician’s assistant who has been trained in dermatology conducts most of the routine skin cancer screening and skin disease services.

There are many types of skin issues that require assistance to manage. Skin disease issues include acne, rashes, dry skin, eczema, skin cancer, and many more. Getting medical care for your skin can help to ensure that your skin stays healthy. It can ensure any problems get attention, and that steps are taken to prevent future issues. Trained healthcare providers can play a key role in ensuring skin health. This is especially important in finding skin cancer early.

They can also help to ensure that the look of skin is refined. The look of the skin is closely tied to self esteem. For this reason alone, changes in the look of the skin can have effects beyond the condition being treated.

Common types of skin cancer

Detecting Skin Cancer

Skin cancer rates have been on the rise in recent years, especially in areas where long-term sun exposure was common.

Perhaps one of the most important roles of a dermatologist is to screen for skin cancer. Watching the skin for changes is one of the best ways to find early signs of skin cancer. You can have an annual – or even bi-annual for those at high risk – cancer screening. Early detection is key.

All too often as children of the 1900’s, the importance of skin protection as a child was under appreciated and over looked. As these generations are aging the incidence of skin cancers has been increasing. In certain sun belt areas of the World, Melanoma skin cancer rates are rising at alarming frequency.

Any part of the skin that seems abnormal should be reviewed more closely. The dermatologist can assess any lesions, moles, or abnormal skin colorations. This is the first step. If something looks like it might be cancerous, then a biopsy can be taken. The biopsy is the step that confirms or denies whether cancer exists.

Skin changes associated with Melanoma
 

So the primary result of a skin cancer screening is to biopsy suspicious looking skin lesions. Very few cancers are definitively diagnosed by simply looking at it. There are characteristics which allow for strong suspicion and probable diagnosis but truly a biopsy will be required, and then plastic surgery excision of the skin cancer is warranted.

Melanoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma

If skin cancer is suspected, a biopsy should be done right away. This is because some types of cancer can spread (metastasize) to other areas. When this happens, the cancer can become deadly. Melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma are two examples of cancers that spread in this way.

Stages of invasive skin cancers, i.e. Melanoma

Stages of invasive skin cancers, i.e. Melanoma

Melanoma is not the most common form of skin cancer, but it causes more deaths than any other form. To diagnose it, one must know the signs. Dermatologists are trained to look for the signs. They can tell apart a mole from a spot that may be cancer. This is key because early detection increases the chances of curing it. Once melanoma spreads, it is much tougher to treat and it is more likely to be fatal.

Squamous cell carcinoma, on the other hand, is a very common form of skin cancer. (It is the second most common, behind basal cell carcinoma). Squamous cells are what the upper layer of the skin is made of. Cancer found on the head or neck are most often squamous cell carcinoma.

Cancer screenings and biopsies are the first steps to finding skin cancer early. If found, removal of all cancer cells can be your best bet to reduce the chance of the cancer spreading. Dermatologists play a key role in this process. They can check the skin for any areas of concern. They can ensure that biopsies are taken when it is called for. If needed, Dr. Brown can then remove any cancerous cells and get the skin back to health.

The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery & Dermatology works with patients on screenings, biopsies, diagnosis, and treatments. In fact, Dr. Brown himself undergoes skin cancer screenings and has had skin cancer removed. The team here can evaluate, diagnose, treat, and restore the skin. We can provide plastic and reconstructive surgery as well. (The Loudoun Center also refers patients to a Moh’s-trained dermatologist. They can provide help for removing some tumors. Moh’s surgery is a specialty within dermatology. It focuses on removing skin cancer and uses specific techniques.)