Skin Cancer Specialist

Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston

Dermatologists located in Cypress, TX

Skin cancer afflicts more than one in five Americans during their lifetime, making it more common than any other type of cancer. Lisa Hitchins, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston in Cypress, Texas, encourages you to get regular skin-cancer screenings so that she can identify, treat, and cure any skin cancers in their earliest stages. If you and your family live in the Cypress or Houston area, contact the warm and supportive Dermatology Center staff today for a skin cancer screening.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What causes skin cancer?

Skin is your largest organ and the only organ you have that’s directly exposed to external environmental stressors, including sunlight. The ultraviolet rays in sunlight and tanning beds also damage the DNA in your skin cells.  

If your body can't repair the damage, the wounded cells start to divide uncontrollably, forming lesions and tumors.

What are the types of skin cancer?

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. About four million cases of BCC are diagnosed in the United States each year. Signs that you may have BCC include:

  • Small, pearly nodule
  • Pinkish patch
  • Sore that doesn’t heal
  • Yellow, waxy scar

Lesions from BCC tend to appear on sun-exposed areas, such as your face, ears, scalp, neck, and trunk.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the next most common form, with approximately one million diagnosed cases in the U.S. each year. Signs that you may have SCC include:

  • Sores or tumors around body openings
  • Crusty areas on the skin
  • Scaly patches

SCC lesions tend to appear on sun-exposed areas of your body.

Melanoma is much rarer than BCC or SCC but can be deadly. Melanoma is aggressive, fast-growing, and metastasizes to other parts of your body.

Melanoma lesions can arise anywhere on your skin. You should immediately contact Dr. HItchins if you notice any moles that look asymmetrical, jagged, multi-colored, large, or are changing or growing in any way.

Less common forms of skin cancers include Merkel cell carcinoma, skin lymphoma, and Kaposi sarcoma.

How can I prevent skin cancer?

The best way to prevent skin cancer is to stay out of the sun, particularly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You should also use broad-spectrum sunscreen daily and wear long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses when outdoors.  

Dr. Hitchins recommends self-examining your entire body once a month for suspicious moles. Contact her immediately if you notice anything unusual, and be sure to schedule a skin cancer screening at least once a year.

How do dermatologists treat skin cancer?

If Dr. Hitchins diagnoses you with skin cancer, she tailors treatments to the type and severity of your cancer. Options may include:

  • Topical medications
  • Interferon injections
  • Curettage and desiccation
  • Surgical excision
  • Radiation
  • Laser surgery
  • Cryosurgery
  • Mohs micrographic surgery

Don’t guess with skin cancer: Get your moles evaluated by Dr. Hutchins today by calling the supportive and compassionate staff at Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston or booking an appointment online.