Page 10 - Scene Magazine June 2022 4706
P. 10

  Health Scene
BY DRS. KAREN BUCKLEY & KYLE VER STEEG II Bronson Plastic Surgery Specialists
     Summer is right around the corner. Now is the time to reacquaint yourself with safety measures that will help protect your skin from the summer sun. Even though we are exposed to sun year around, exposure to UV rays is higher during the summer months.
Additionally, if you develop new moles, make sure to keep an eye on them and discuss them with your doctor at your next scheduled appointment.
In warm weather, larger portions of your body are uncovered and exposed to direct sunlight. Even a mild sunburn can increase chances for the development of skin cancer.
Noting changes to your moles is eas- iest if you examine your skin regularly. Once a month is best. Here are some tips on how to check for moles.
• Check yourself from head to toe and
The following examples are simple ways to protect yourself from the inten- sity of the summer sun:
• Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least
• Use a mirror to get a better view. • Always note the location of your
30 whenever you go outside. Make sure to apply liberally and reapply often, especially if you’re sweating or go in the water.
any changes.
Don’t let the worry over a poten-
tial scar keep you from having a mole checked or removed. A plastic surgeon can often remove cancerous or suspected cancerous growths with minimal dis- ruption to one’s appearance. While any cut to the skin can leave a scar, a plastic surgeon has been specially trained to minimize scarring while ensuring that the cancerous growth is fully removed.
• Wear protective clothing and hats. Consider rash guard clothing that not only protects against rashes, but also affords extra protection from the rays of the sun.
Moles can last for years. Some moles may not change, while others can change in size or color. Moles can even slowly disappear. But, trying to wait out a mole is never a good idea. Moles can actually last for up to 50 years! If you notice any changes or see anything that causes you to worry, make an appointment to see your doctor.
• Sunglasses protect both your eyes and the delicate skin around your eyes.
You should be especially diligent about examining your skin and having a yearly exam if you have any of the following conditions:
Plastic surgeons provide a broad spectrum of care to resolve issues over the entire body. Whether cosmetic, med- ical, or reconstructive reasons, plastic surgeons are a crucial part of the health- care team and can make a difference in a person’s overall quality of life.
• Make sure to identify areas of shade where you can take cover to avoid long periods of exposure to direct sunlight.
• • •
Fair skin
Prone to developing moles
Have a family or personal history of skin cancer
No matter how safe you try to be in the sun, most people show signs of sun exposure over time. It is important to be vigilant about changes to your skin and any moles you may have.
There are three common types of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell skin cancer and melanoma.
Dr. Karen Buckley is a plastic sur- geon at Bronson Plastic Surgery Special- ists. She sees patients in Kalamazoo and Portage.
First, it is important to note that almost everyone has moles and that most moles are non-cancerous. A normal mole does not need to be removed. However, if any of the following changes occur with an existing mole, make an appoint- ment and address the issue immediately. • Change in size or shape. If a mole
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It most frequently develops after years of sun exposure in fair-skinned people, but people of color can also get basal cell carcinoma. It can easily be cured by removal if detected early. If undiagnosed and treated, basal cell carcinoma can grow deep into the nerves and bones.
Dr. Kyle Ver Steeg is a plastic surgeon at Bronson Plastic Surgery Spe- cialists. He sees patients in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, and Portage.
goes from a round to an irregular shape.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the
For more information about the services and procedures available from a plastic surgeon, or to schedule a consult, contact the office at (269) 372-3000 or fill out the form online at bronsonhealth. com/plasticsurgery.
Keep Skin Safety Top of Mind This Summer
• Change in color. If a mole becomes darker or multi-colored.
second most common type of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinomas can appear as a firm bump, scaly patch or a sore that does not heal. Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinomas can grow deep into the skin if left undiagnosed.
• Change in texture. If a mole starts to raise up or becomes scaly.
• A mole that becomes itchy, painful or tender.
Melanoma is the most worrisome type of skin cancer. It can occur in an existing mole or suddenly appear on the skin. Melanoma is especially danger- ous because it can advance quickly and spread to other areas of your body. Early diagnosis and treatment for melanoma is crucial. If left untreated and it spreads,
it cannot be cured strictly by remov-
al. Melanoma that has spread is more challenging to treat, even with other measures beyond surgery.
• A mole that starts to bleed.
especially in hidden areas including between fingers and toes, the back of your legs and your scalp.
It is common for patients to come into our office wanting their mole removed strictly for cosmetic reasons. Upon ex- amination, we sometimes find it neces- sary to order a biopsy to find out if the mole is cancerous. It is always better to be safe, rather than sorry.
moles, their size, and appearance.
• If you have checked before, look for

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