Don’t delay. Get your mole check now.
May is Melanoma Awareness Month. May 4th is Melanoma Monday. It is a month where we will be sharing stories and awareness of this deadly disease. The Melanoma Research Foundation has a campaign called #GetNaked . You simply get naked in front of the mirror and do a self skin exam. They are encouraging everyone to share. By sharing the link of this post, the image will show up in your share.
Dr. Mejia will be on WPBF25 News on Monday to speak about melanoma. So if you are local in the Palm Beach area, stay tuned in the news.
If you are on Twitter, on Monday, May 4th the non-profit, Aim At Melanoma will be having a Twitter chat at 8PM EST. All you have to do is follow the hashtag #melanomamonday all day and especially at 8PM where they will be discussing the Melanoma Tissue Bank.
— AIM at Melanoma (@AIMatMelanoma) May 1, 2015
We also compiled some stories and resources from the hashtag #melanomaawarenessmonth from Twitter and Instagram below.
Most importantly, Dr. Mejia’s number one priority is to wear your sunblock. He compiled the ABCDE’s of Melanoma so you know what to watch for.
A friend of Dr Mejia’s in Dallas shares her melanoma story. Her daughter was brushing her hair one day and found a spot in her scalp thinking it was hair dye. Her mother had her take a picture of it and went to the dermatologist the next day who immediately did a biopsy and was then diagnosed with melanoma.
Dr Mejia urges everyone to know the ABCD’s of melanoma symptoms so you are educated ahead of time in case of an unforseeable situation just like what happened to Lynn. Her hairdresser had seen that spot for five years and didn’t think it was anything abnormal.
In this video, Dr. Mejia explains the symptoms of melanoma and the brochure above gives you a good visual so you know how to spot.
Melanoma nail beds are a rare type of skin cancer that can often go misdiagnosed in those who keep nails covered in polish. As our practice takes a hair to toe approach, we recommend removing polish prior to your annual skin check for the best evaluation and prevention of skin cancer.
They are typically diagnosed later in life (ages 40-70) and can be easily mistaken for nail bed trauma, bruising under the nail, or nail fungus. Such nail abnormalities should be watched closely to ensure a melanoma does not get missed.
Melanoma nail beds tend to be thicker when diagnosed when compared with other melanomas, making treatment more in depth. The Skin Cancer Foundation has developed the CUBE acronym to help know what to look for and when to go see a specialist:
B-Bleeding under the nail/ Beefy red tissue
D-Delay in healing beyond 2 months
Let us know if you have any questions about the health of your nails.
Skin cancer self treatment options are becoming more accessible online and the unsuspecting patient’s purchasing them have no idea how hazardous it really can be instead of beneficial.
Dr. Adam Friedman, Director of Dermatological Research at Einstein College of Medicine in NY, explains it best:
- Now there is evidence that some of the treatment products found online may be helpful if used purposefully, safely and in the right way.
- But when people find these treatments over the Internet and don’t know what they’re getting or what they’re doing, it can be very dangerous.
- Medicine is not about throwing a dart at a dartboard and hoping for the best,” he said. “Because while you may end up treating a cancer, you may also end up burning a hole through your face.
Solar Keratosis also known as Actinic Keratosis are precancerous cells that have a possibility of developing into Squamous Carcinoma.
It is important to keep an eye on any symptoms and take care of these is because over time you are taking prevention from developing another skin caner. At Jupiter Dermatology we have a plethora of preventative therapy with various different treatments in an effort to reduce the amount of precancerous skin cells that exist on the face, arms, chest, back and other multiple areas they can be found.
The treatments for Solar Keratosis or Actinic Keratosis to help reduce the precancerous cells are some of the following:
- Blue Light
- Photo Dynamic Therapy (Explained in detail in this blog post)
- Creams available at Jupiter Dermatology
- Chemical Peels
Dr. Mejia tells his patients to think of their skin as a car engine. Many people do treatment once and think it will be enough. However if you want to keep your car in good condition, you must check the oil often times throughout the year. The same applies to your skin, depending on your history and the procedures you have done. You and your dermatologist have to decide how many times it is necessary to check your skin. It may be only once a year or it may have to be four times a year, but it is in your best interest to have your skin as a top priority.
To prevent the progression of Solar Keratosis into Squamous cell carcinoma, at Jupiter Dermatology we advocate preventative and aggressive treatments in order to reduce that risk so hopefully you do not need to have surgery in the future.