Basal cell carcinomas are non-melanoma skin cancers. They can appear as pearly telangiectatic moles typically found on the face, neck, trunk, or shins. We typically describe basal cells as pearly, telangiectatic lesions. Basal cells can also ulcerate in the center and appear like sores. Basal cell carcinomas only invade the first layer of your skin called the epidermis.
There are multiple treatments available for basal cell carcinomas. To determine if a mole is a basal cell carcinoma, we first must take a shave biopsy of the lesion to send to a pathologist. This is the main step in the diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma. After results have been confirmed by a dermatology pathologist, we will bring you back in to determine the best course of action for treatment. Some of these options include excision, imiquimod lotion, curettage (where we scrape away the cancerous area and burn it with cautery), and some do require Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery is a specialized procedure that patients may need to receive after the diagnosis of basal cell carcinomas and upon meeting certain criteria. Mohs is done by a specialized Mohs surgeon and patients get the entire cancerous lesion removed that day in the office.
It is very important to have yearly skin checks as we age in order to catch potentially cancerous moles early. Here at Moksha Derm in Cincinnati we want to provide you with the best care possible in order to detect potentially cancerous moles early on. Please come and see us for a routine skin exam.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a type of skin cancer that invades further into your skin than basal cell carcinomas. A precursor for SCC is actinic keratosis. Actinic Keratosis looks like dry, thick, scaly skin that occurs on sun exposed areas like the face and arms. These can be treated early on to prevent them from developing into SCC.
The way you treat actinic keratosis is through freezing them with liquid nitrogen, application of 5FU cream, imiquimod cream, or picato gel. SCC is treated with excision or Mohs surgery as well, and a patient may require chemoprevention in severe cases. SCC are more common in patients who have received a transplant. Additional testing may be needed if a patient is diagnosed with a SCC, such as a CT scan to evaluate for potential spread.
If you notice any of these thick, scaly lesions on your body please schedule an appointment to come and see us at Moksha Derm in Cincinnati so we can treat you early before they can become cancerous. If you notice any abnormal moles anywhere on your body, especially ones that have come on suddenly and grown quickly, it is important to get those evaluated and diagnosed. Yearly skin exams are so important for everyone. Schedule your yearly skin exam with us at Moksha Derm today!