The skin is an incredible organ. It is your first line of defense against disease, protects your other organs, warms you up and cools you down, and sends messages about how healthy you are inside. Dermatologists are expert medical doctors and skin surgeons with the unique skills and experience to offer the best care for the organ that cares for you.
Dermatologists have extensive training, going to school for 12 years or more to learn to diagnose and treat more than 3,000 diseases of the skin, hair, and nails as well as cosmetic concerns. Patients see dermatologists for issues that are much more than skin deep. Problems with their skin can harm patients’ sense of self-worth, create discomfort that can make everyday activities difficult, and, in some instances, threaten lives.
A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions involving the skin, hair, and nails. A dermatologist can identify and treat more than 3,000 conditions. These conditions include eczema, psoriasis, and skin cancer, among many others.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with millions of cases diagnosed each year. It’s also one of the most preventable cancers and highly treatable when found early. A dermatologists’ expertise can help you prevent and find skin cancer, along with information to help you make informed-treatment decisions.
Cosmetic treatments may look easy to perform, but having one done safely requires in-depth medical knowledge of the skin and what lies beneath. Our Board-certified dermatologists and our Registered Nurse have this medical knowledge, which means a lower risk of complications.
Completed medical school and then three to four years of advanced medical training in treating diseases of the skin, hair, and nails
Passed rigorous exams in dermatology
Made a commitment to keep up on the latest advances in dermatology
When you see the letters FAAD by a dermatologist’s name, you know you’re seeing a doctor who:
Is board certified
Has the most rigorous medical education and training in dermatology
Keeps up with medical advancements
Is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that can show up on the skin in many ways. Also known as BCC, this skin cancer tends to grow slowly and can be mistaken for a harmless pimple, scar, or sore.
Most people who develop this skin cancer have fair skin that they seldom protected with sunscreen or sun-protective clothing. Before they developed skin cancer, they often noticed signs of sun damage on their skin, such as age spots, patches of discolored skin, and deep wrinkles.
You have a greater risk of developing this skin cancer if you’ve seldom protected your skin from the sun throughout your life or used tanning beds.
Female dermatologist examining male patient’s skin with dermascope, carefully looking at a mole for signs of skin cancer
Although BCC is most common in people who have fair skin, people of all colors get this skin cancer.
For most people, BCC is not life-threatening. It tends to grow slowly. It seldom spreads to another part of the body. Even so, treatment is important.
When found early, this skin cancer is highly treatable. An early BCC can often be removed during an appointment with your dermatologist.
Given time to grow, this skin cancer can grow deep, injuring nerves, blood vessels, and anything else in its path. As the cancer cells pile up and form a large tumor, the cancer can reach into the bone beneath. This can change the way you look, and for some people the change may be disfiguring.
Squamous cells are found throughout the human body. These cells line organs, such as the lungs, throat, and thyroid. We also have squamous cells in our skin.
The job of squamous cells is to protect what lies beneath. In our skin, these cells sit near the surface, protecting the tissue beneath.
Anywhere we have squamous cells, we can develop a type of cancer called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
In the skin, this cancer is usually not life-threatening. It tends to grow slowly, but it can grow deep. When the cancer grows deep, it can injure nerves, blood vessels, and anything else in its path. As the cancer cells pile up, a large tumor can form.
Most people who develop this skin cancer have fair skin that they seldom protected with sunscreen or sun-protective clothing. Before developing this skin cancer, they tend to notice signs of sun damage on their skin, such as age spots, patches of discolored skin, and deep wrinkles.
While anyone can develop this skin cancer, you have a greater risk if you live with a transplanted organ, use(d) tanning beds, or have fair skin that you seldom protected from the sun.
Another sign of sun-damaged skin is having one or more pre-cancerous growths on your skin called actinic keratoses (AKs). Some AKs progress, turning into squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin.
Although SCC is most common in people who have fair skin, people of all colors get this skin cancer. In people who have skin of color, SCC tends to develop in areas that get little or no sun, such as the mouth, genitals, or anus. It’s believed that the cause of the skin cancer in these areas may be an injury or human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Whether the cause is sunlight, tanning beds, injury, or an HPV infection, this skin cancer can show up on the skin in various ways, such as a non-healing sore or patch of rough skin.
A type of skin cancer, melanoma is often called the “most serious skin cancer” because it can spread from the skin to other parts of the body.
If you find a spot or growth on your skin that you think could be a melanoma, don’t delay making an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist. When caught early, melanoma is highly treatable.
Dermatologists use tools, such as a dermatoscope, to help them get a close look at a suspicious spot.
When you see a board-certified dermatologist, your dermatologist will:
Examine your skin carefully
Ask questions about your health, medications, and symptoms
Want to know if melanoma runs in your family
If any spot on your skin looks like skin cancer, your dermatologist will first numb the area and then remove all (or part) of it. This can be done during an office visit and is called a skin biopsy. This is a simple procedure, which a dermatologist can quickly, safely, and easily perform.
Having a skin biopsy is the only way to know for sure whether you have skin cancer.
The tissue that your dermatologist removes will be sent to a lab, where a doctor, such as a dermatopathologist, will examine it under a high-powered microscope. The doctor is looking for cancer cells.
What this doctor sees while looking at your tissue will be explained in the pathology report, including whether cancer cells were seen. If melanoma cells are seen, the report will include many important details, including:
The type of melanoma
How deeply the melanoma tumor has grown into the skin
How quickly the melanoma cells are growing and dividing
If it’s possible to tell the stage of the melanoma, the report will include this information.
Monday – Thursday 7:00am – 5:00pm
Friday 8:00am – 3:00pm
202 Fieldale Rd, Mebane, NC 27302
Phone: (919) 304-5900
Fax: (919) 304-5901
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