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Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer as it can typically grow and spread quickly. It develops from melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment) when they start to grow at an uncontrollable rate.
CoolSculpting® employs a process known as Cryolipolysis. (“Cryo” = cold + “lipo” = fat cells + “lysis” = cell death and removal.) During treatment, stubborn fat deposits are subjected to controlled cooling.
The controlled cooling safely penetrates the skin. Subcutaneous fat cells begin to freeze. This ruptures the cell’s membrane. The ruptured fat cells are flagged for apoptosis –cell death and removal.
Over the passage of several weeks, the body’s immune system gathers the demolished fat cells. Frozen fat cells ultimately exit the body as waste. These fat cells cannot return or be replaced.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer as it can typically grow and spread quickly. It develops from melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment) when they start to grow at an uncontrollable rate. The cancer has already started when these cells are in rapid growth.
Melanoma is less common than other types of skin cancer, but it’s far more dangerous if it’s not detected and treated early since it can spread to other areas of the body quickly.
In recent years, the risk has seemed to increase in younger adults under 40. It’s important for everyone to know the warning signs to look for and to continue getting routine skin exams with your dermatologist to ensure early detection of any abnormalities is possible.
Skin cells usually develop in a controlled way with healthy new cells being produced and pushing the older cells towards the skin’s surface where they die and eventually flake off naturally. When melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) are damaged or abnormal, they continue producing rapidly and eventually form a mass of cancerous cells.
The exact cause of why DNA becomes damaged in these cells and how it leads to melanoma is unclear to researchers, though it is known what can increase your risk for it. It could likely be a combination of unknown genetic and environmental factors. We do know that exposure to UV radiation through sunlight and tanning beds is the leading cause of risk, but it doesn’t explain all cases.
Though the exact cause of melanoma is largely unclear, there has been enough research that shows what factors could increase your risk of developing it. Some of these include:
Prevention and early detection are both key. Some routines that can help you lessen the risk of melanoma include:
The melanoma spots can develop anywhere on the body, but like other types of skin cancer, they typically form in areas that are most exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, and back.
The first noticeable sign of melanoma is either a change in an existing mole or a newly developed growth-like spot shown on the skin. Not all melanoma begins with a mole, so it’s important to take note of any type of unusual new spots on your skin. At times, melanoma can start on completely normal-looking skin.
Normal moles generally have the same color all over and have a distinct, defined border that separates the mole from the skin around it. They are also usually round or oval and relatively small in size.
When examining your skin and trying to spot any potential abnormalities, it can be helpful to remember to use the ABCDE rule.
If one or more of your skin lesions or moles fall under these categories, it’s important you visit your dermatologist immediately:
In more rare cases, melanomas can also form in more hidden areas that don’t see much sunlight such as the eye, mouth, nail bed, or genitals. Those with darker skin tones are at a higher risk for melanomas in hidden areas.
You should seek a medical skin examination if you notice any unusual changes to your skin– such as a new mole, change to an existing mole, or any type of unexplained skin lesion. If you are performing skin checks on yourself regularly, you should be able to notice if any unusual spots have shown up. Keeping up with your yearly or bi-yearly skin exam with your dermatologist is very important when it comes to early detection.
If your dermatologist notices any unusual moles or spots during your physical exam, it may be recommended to take a biopsy of the spot to determine what the diagnosis is. The type of biopsy procedure will depend on your unique situation.
Receiving a melanoma diagnosis quickly if you have it is important. After a diagnosis, your medical team will determine what stage the cancer is by:
There are many different treatment approaches to melanoma if it has already spread past the skin, but it depends on the size and stage of the cancer and your overall physical health. Some options include:
Our team at DermExperts can support you with proper testing, diagnosis, and treatment and are committed to providing a comfortable patient experience when potentially dealing with any type of skin cancer.
Angelo Ayar, MD is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in surgical, cosmetic and medical dermatology. His dermatology residency training was completed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI – one of the top dermatology training programs in the nation!
Dr. Ayar’s extensive training also includes a research fellowship in skin cancer at the University of Michigan. His research focused on the basic science of all skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and merkel cell carcinoma. Today, Dr. Ayar’s research has been presented world wide.
Dr. Ayar puts his extensive training to work for patients, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer as well as aesthetic procedures such as CoolSculpting and injectables. Dr. Ayar’s warm, caring, expertise and keen aesthetic eye have helped renew and refresh skin, transform bodies, and improve the lives of thousands of people.
At Dermatology Experts, our priority is to deliver quality dermatology care to informed patients in a comfortable and convenient setting.
When you have needs for dermatological care, you need to turn to a doctor who listens and responds. At Dermatology Experts, you benefit from a dedicated team of trained professionals who give you the individualized attention you deserve.
Dermatology Experts believes that informed patients are better prepared to make decisions regarding their health and well-being. That is why we’ve included information on this web site covering topics associated with dermatology.
The best care in the world doesn’t mean anything if you can’t access it. At Dermatology Experts, we strive to make our Tamarac office as efficient and convenient as possible.