Skin cancer may be caused by a wide range of things. It may result from overexposure to direct sunlight, exposure to caustic chemicals, genetic predispositions to certain types of cancer, and repeated exposure to environmental hazards or chemicals. Skin cancer also may mutate from moles and lesions when abnormalities occur in the skin's DNA. Each person’s risk for developing skin cancer varies, and a person with family predisposition has a much higher risk of skin cancer than someone who has no history or genetic connection. Dr. Weinman recommends his patients know their family medical history to determine their potential risk for skin cancer.
Depending on the severity of your skin cancer, Dr. Weinman suggests varying treatments. Dr. Weinman may use cryotherapy or laser technology, or he may excise the cancerous tissues through surgical procedures that cut away the tissues. He removes tissues around the cancerous cells to ensure that all of the cancer cells are retrieved. Excising an area of cancerous tissue takes time and considerable care, and certain procedures involve removing the cancerous tissues in layers and checking each layer for abnormal cells. When no more abnormal cells appear, Dr. Weinman removes 2 or 3 more layers to ensure he removes all the cancer.
Sun damage holds a direct link to skin cancer. Over exposure to the ultraviolet rays damages the skin at a cellular level, since ultraviolet rays contain free radicals that cause the cells to change abnormally. As the cells mutate, the changes can be so dramatic that they become destructive. While certain levels of exposure may result in wrinkles, skin discolorations, or blemishes, sunburns and years of tanning devastatingly affect skin cells. To protect against the damage caused by exposure to direct sunlight, Dr. Weinman recommends using moisturizers with SPF 30 or more and avoiding the sun from 10am-2pm when the sun’s rays are harshest.