Skin Cancer Specialist

Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago

Dermatology located in River North, Chicago, IL

It’s estimated that more than 9,500 Americans receive a skin cancer diagnosis each day. Skin cancer is a serious disease, but with early intervention and treatment, it’s possible to prevent it from getting worse. At Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago, the team of expert dermatologists treats skin cancer in people of all ages. If you’re concerned about your risk, book an appointment at the office in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, by calling or requesting one online today.

Skin Cancer Q&A

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is a chronic disease that causes your skin cells to divide and multiply uncontrollably. The team at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago treats several types of skin cancer, including:

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma affects the squamous cells. It’s characterized by a red nodule that’s scaly or crusty. Often, squamous cell carcinoma occurs on the hands, neck, and face. 

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma affects the basal cells. It typically occurs in areas of your body exposed to the sun, like your arms, hands, neck, and face.

Melanoma

Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. It can occur anywhere on your skin and spreads quickly. Unlike the other types of skin cancer, melanoma often forms on areas of the skin that don’t receive regular sunlight.

When should I visit a dermatologist about skin cancer?

Make an appointment with the team at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago if you experience any noticeable skin changes that worry you. That’s especially true if you have an unusually shaped mole that grows rapidly, itches, or bleeds. 

Not all skin problems are a sign of cancer, but it’s good to get them checked out just to be safe. 

Who is at risk of skin cancer?

Anyone can develop skin cancer, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Having fair skin
  • A history of sunburns
  • Living in a sunny climate or at high altitudes
  • Moles
  • Precancerous skin lesions
  • A family history of skin cancer

You’re also more likely to experience skin cancer if your job exposes you to certain chemicals, like arsenic. 

How is skin cancer diagnosed?

To diagnose skin cancer, your Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago provider reviews your health history and asks about your symptoms, including when they started and if any activities like scratching or picking at the lesion makes them worse. 

Next, your provider examines your skin from head to toe to identify any areas of concern. 

If your provider discovers any abnormal moles or lesions, they might order a skin biopsy to determine if it’s cancerous. During a biopsy, your provider removes a small piece of tissue and sends it to a laboratory for additional testing.

How is skin cancer treated?

Treatment of skin cancer depends on a variety of factors, including your age, the type of cancer, and the size of the lesion. The team at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago might recommend:

  • Freezing (cryotherapy)
  • Excisional surgery
  • Mohs surgery
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Photodynamic therapy

The goal of treatment is to prevent the cancer from spreading and restore your skin to a healthy, vibrant condition.

If you’re concerned about your risk of skin cancer, make an appointment with the team at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago. Call the office or use the online booking tool today.