"I need to have this looked at. And I want it gone. This isn't me."
At Meadows Surgical Arts, these are words we hear from our patients all the time. They're talking about skin lesions... small growths on the skin that include moles, warts, skin tags, cysts, and areas of skin cancer. Many times, these skin lesions are benign and do not pose any risk to your health; removing them would be merely cosmetic. In other cases, though, these lesions may be bothersome, contagious, or pose significant health risks. You will want a skin check to be sure.
The first step is yours. It is recommended that you do a monthly head-to-toe skin check for any new or changing lesions that may be cancerous or pre-cancerous. If it's new, if it's changed, if it's itching or bleeding, or if it's a sore that doesn't heal, you will want to see Dr. Meadows to have him check it out. If in doubt, come in anyway... it's better to be safe than sorry!
What's the worst offender? Melanoma. It is absolutely vital to catch melanoma in its early stages... so vital, that physicians have developed two strategies for you to identify skin lesions that need to be checked out:
The ABCDE's - check your moles! If they are Asymmetrical, have uneven Borders, show a variety of Colors within the same mole, have a Diameter larger than a pencil eraser, or are Evolving or changing in any way, you will want to make an appointment to have them checked out.
The Ugly Duckling Sign - some invasive melanoma lesions may not exhibit the signs of the ABCDE's, so take a look at the lesion in the context of its surrounding area. Birthmarks or moles tend to be similar to other marks or moles around them. The Ugly Duckling is one that looks different... it just doesn't look like it belongs due to color, size, or pattern. If you see something that just looks off, or is a bit of an outlier all on its own, please give us a call and have Dr. Meadows take a look.
What if it's not cancerous? Sometimes, we have lesions such as moles or skin tags that bother us cosmetically, and while they are not a health risk, we may feel more comfortable if we had them removed. We want you to feel confident in your own skin... we can help you do that with a simple skin lesion removal, performed in our office under local anesthesia.
Dr. Meadows performing skin lesion removal on a teenage patient.
After that, remember that an ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure! Sun damage to your skin is preventable. Wear sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) to filter out harmful UV rays... your skin will thank you! We carry a range of fantastic sunscreens that will keep your skin protected and moisturized... check them out here.
Stay informed, stay connected: