Page 3 - Senior Times South Central Michigan June 2022 - 29-06
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Senior Times - June 2022 Page 3
By: Drs. Karen Buckley and Kyle Ver Steeg II, Bronson Plastic Surgery Specialists
  Summer is right around the corner. Now is the time to reacquaint yourself with safety mea- sures 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.
• Change in texture. If a mole starts to raise up or becomes scaly.
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.
In warm weather, larger portions of your body are uncovered and exposed to direct sun- light. Even a mild sunburn can increase chances for the development of skin cancer.
Additionally, if you develop new moles, make sure to keep an eye on them and discuss them with your doctor at your next scheduled appoint- ment.
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 dangerous 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 removal. Melanoma that has spread is more challenging to treat, even with other measures beyond surgery.
The following examples are simple ways to protect yourself from the intensity of the sum- mer sun:
• Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
Noting changes to your moles is easiest 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 especially
whenever you go outside. Make sure to apply liberally and reapply often, especially if you’re sweating or go in the water.
in hidden areas including between fingers and
• 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.
toes, the back of your legs, and your scalp.
• Use a mirror to get a better view.
• Always note the location of your moles, their
It is common for patients to come into our office wanting their mole removed strictly for cosmetic reasons. Upon examination, we some- times find it necessary to order a biopsy to find out if the mole is cancerous. It is always better to be safe, rather than sorry.
• Sunglasses protect both your eyes and the deli- cate skin around your eyes.
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.
Don’t let the worry over a potential scar keep you from having a mole checked or removed.
A plastic surgeon can often remove cancerous
or suspected cancerous growths with minimal disruption 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.
• Make sure to identify areas of shade where you can take cover to avoid long periods of expo- sure to direct sunlight.
• A mole that becomes itchy, painful, or tender. • A mole that starts to bleed.
size, and appearance.
• If you have checked before, look for any
 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 have.
You should be especially diligent about exam- ining your skin and having a yearly exam if you have fair skin, are prone to developing moles, or a family or personal history of skin cancer.
Plastic surgeons provide a broad spectrum
of care to resolve issues over the entire body. Whether cosmetic, medical, or reconstructive reasons, plastic surgeons are a crucial part of the healthcare team and can make a difference in a person’s overall quality of life.
 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 appointment and address the issue immediately. • Change in size or shape. If a mole goes from a
There are three common types of skin cancer: 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 carcino- ma. It can easily be cured by removal if detected early. If undiagnosed and treated, basal cell car- cinoma can grow deep into the nerves and bones.
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 bronson-
round to an irregular shape.
• Change in color. If a mole becomes darker or
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most
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