Though melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, it's the most dangerous. It's aggressive and if not diagnosed early, it can be fatal. An annual skin examination can help prevent the development of this cancer and is especially important if you or your family have a history of melanoma. During your yearly appointment at OneSkin Dermatology, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rachel Day can be on the lookout for unusual or changing moles and make sure your skin is healthy. Usually, melanomas present as a new or existing mole that looks irregular or changes. Moles that become very dark or black, have irregular borders, get bigger, bleed, or itch can be signs of melanoma.
Melanomas form when melanocytes (pigmented cells located in the epidermis) become malignant. This can happen when skin cells are damaged by exposure to the sun or ultraviolet light. This exposure can damage cells at the DNA level, causing them to mutate or multiply quickly, becoming a growth and creating melanoma. It's possible to be genetically predisposed to melanoma, too, and those who are can be especially vulnerable to DNA damage from sun exposure. Most melanomas are visible, which means it's extremely important to get yearly skin exams. You can help prevent the development of melanomas by learning to perform regular mole checks and self-examinations. Call OneSkin Dermatology today to find out how to schedule a skin exam or to get more information on melanoma.
"I was so nervous and self conscious about going to the dermatologist for the first time and both Dr. Day and her staff were amazing! Dr. Day was super kind and easy going and professional which made the visit a wonderful experience. I love how thorough she is and how she takes time to explain information to you to make sure you understand. Highly recommend her for your dermatologic needs!"- H.R. / Google / Jun 26, 2020
"I cannot speak too highly of Dr. Day and her staff at OneSkin Dermatology. Everyone there is friendly, courteous, and helpful. I have been seeing Dr. Day for my annual checkup for several years and have been impressed with her thoroughness and professionalism. On an occasion when I needed minor surgery, she performed the procedure so quickly and deftly that she was done before I knew she had started. I also admire the confidence and determination she has shown to leave the big corporate healthcare world and start her own practice. In the past, I had tried several dermatologists before seeing Dr. Day. I am confident she is the finest dermatologist in this area."- D.N. / Google / Jul 03, 2020
"Dr day is absolutely wonderful I went in crying my skin was so terrible she got me right in and spent 45 min with me all the staff were incredibly nice and went above and beyond. My skin has started to clear already from severe rosacea which no one else diagnosed. She is compassionate and goes above and beyond my skin started to look less red and smoother within 2 days def have a ways to go but she does not try to sell you expensive washes or creams she is truly there for her patients. I cannot say enough about the team they have there so polite and understanding not like a reg doctors office very relaxed environment and she really takes her time to explain everything to you. If you haven’t been and need to see a wonderful dermatologist def go to her!!"- S.H. / Google / Jun 30, 2020
"Dr. Day is AMAZING!!! I had a baby in November and my skin took a huge toll. Acne flared up and I didn’t know what to do anymore. So I broke down and made an appointment with OneSkin Dermotology. When I first met Dr. Day I was excited, when you see a young doctor you think of new medicine and new treatments. So I was really looking forward to see what my treatment plan would be. Not to mention, the office is BEAUTIFUL and relaxing! She made a wonderful plan for my skin and recommended drug store products that work just as good as the expensive ones! So far we are about a month and a half in and my skin is night and day difference and I am so pleased! We still have some work to do, but it looks amazing! Thank you to Dr. Day and her wonderful and kind team! 100% recommend! Worth the money, but honestly the price is totally affordable!"- C.S. / Google / Mar 06, 2020
"Dr. Day is wonderful - thorough, personable, and she took her time with my visit. The office is beautiful and staff is friendly. I highly recommend it!"- C.M. / Google / Feb 28, 2020
Those at Risk
Melanomas can affect anyone and are generally caused by exposure to the sun and your genetics. If you have a family history of melanoma, especially in a primary relative, such as a parent, child, or sibling, you have an increased risk of developing this malignancy. You also have an increased risk of melanoma if you have:
- Lots of moles on your skin
- Tanned in a tanning bed
- Several large moles
- A history of multiple or severe sunburns
- Blue, green, or gray eyes
- Light-colored or red hair
- Excessive sun exposure (even without a sunburn)
It's important to understand which moles on your skin are at risk of becoming melanoma. Generally, moles at risk are atypical. A melanoma may form if the mole looks "different" than other moles on your skin. Atypical moles can be dark or black, appear suddenly or change, or they may have an irregular border. These moles can usually be removed. It's important to receive ongoing mole checks to help identify and eliminate any potential problems.
Melanoma Presenting Symptoms
It can be hard to spot malignant lesions if you haven't been trained to do so. That's one of the reasons it's so important to get regular skin cancer screenings from a trained, board-certified dermatologist, like Dr. Day. At OneSkin Dermatology, we use the ABCDE rule to help our patients learn how to identify the symptoms of melanoma. Here are the elements to watch for that may indicate a spot on your skin is concerning:
- A: Asymmetrical mole (a mole that is not round or oval, or has one side that is bigger than the other)
- B: Borders on the mole (malignant mole typically lack a smooth, clear border)
- C: Color (malignant moles will be either dark or present with several colors throughout the mole)
- D: Diameter (a mole bigger than a pencil eraser may be a sign of malignancy — benign moles stay small)
- E: Evolving (moles that change or grow may be a sign of existing cancer cells)
It's possible for benign moles and freckles to present with some of these signs, but it's best to have all concerning spots examined by a dermatologist.
Melanoma Treatment Options
Dr. Rachel Day, Chambersburg, PA area board-certified dermatologist, specializes in screening and treating patients for skin cancer. She can determine the best treatment for you based on the melanoma's type, stage, and location. At OneSkin Dermatology, Dr. Day will partner with you to identify the appropriate treatment for any concerning or malignant areas on your skin, which usually includes excision with a standard margin. If necessary, Dr. Day will work with cancer specialists to assist with your treatment. Some cases of melanoma may require more diagnostic testing, like a PET or CT scan, lymph node biopsy, or blood work.
Plan Your Service
Schedule a skin check
Because melanoma is one of the most aggressive types of cancer, OneSkin Dermatology is dedicated to educating patients about its development. In a skin cancer screening with Dr. Day, your skin will be examined in order to diagnose and treat concerning spots and lesions as early as possible. Dr. Day will teach you the best methods to use to prevent melanoma from developing, like appropriate sun protection for your skin and what to watch for in your moles. If you've recently noticed changes in your moles or other skin lesions, call OneSkin Dermatology today to book an appointment at our Chambersburg, PA office.