Melanoma is one of the most serious forms of skin cancer that dermatologist in Houston, TX see. Although it has many causes ranging from genetics to environmental, it is commonly caused by over exposure to UV rays. Melanoma can affect any sex, race, or age. Unfortunately, melanoma is being diagnosed in younger individuals, and this has been directly linked to tanning bed exposure. In fact, tanning bed use increases the chance of getting melanoma by 75%. Symptoms of melanoma may include a new growth or a noticeable change in a mole. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a dermatologist after performing a skin biopsy. Treatment can range from surgery to radiation to chemotherapy.
Prevention is key when it comes to any type of skin cancer, and this is particularly important with melanoma. Best practices include limiting UV exposure, daily SPF 30 sunscreen use, and wearing photoprotective clothing and hats. It is also key to stop any tanning bed use and apply a self-tanner instead. It is further important to be aware of what is on our skin and keep a lookout for any new or changing moles. If you have a history of melanoma, it is important to get a full skin exam every 3 to 6 months. If in doubt, have Dr. Papasakelariou check it out!