Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers seen by dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Though it can have many causes, ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is the most common. Your cumulative amount of time spent in the sun plays a role, with occupations such as farmers, construction workers, and lifeguards having a higher risk. Skin color is another major factor to in determining one’s risk for skin cancer. The lighter your skin, the more likely you are to develop skin cancer. Genetics and family history of skin cancer are also risk factors.

Patients may be referred by their primary care physicians to have suspicious spots on their skin carefully evaluated by a dermatologist. The dermatologist may choose to perform a biopsy to obtain a diagnosis. Plastic surgeons can perform these same biopsies, with some having the ability to evaluate these skin findings in their office. Depending on the type of skin cancer, the plastic surgeon can operate to remove the cancer completely.

Dr. Ravi has proven to be proficient and capable of delivering awesome results! His staff is courteous and provides 100% client satisfaction. I look better and feel great.

SHEILA A. // RECONSTRUCTION AFTER SKIN CANCER REMOVAL

There are three main types of skin cancers, ranked in order from most common to least common: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the least aggressive type of skin cancer, melanoma is the most aggressive type, and squamous cell carcinoma is somewhere in the middle. Melanoma is quite dangerous; unlike basal cell carcinoma, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis. Once this happens, it can be life threatening. Therefore, early detection is key.

If patients are the slightest bit concerned about a skin finding, they should seek evaluation by a plastic surgeon to perform a biopsy, if necessary. Certain characteristics of the skin lesion can be useful to determine if something is at risk of being cancer, known as the “A, B, C, D”s of skin cancer. A is for Asymmetry, which simply means if you place an imaginary line through the center, do both halves appear the same? B is for Border. Are the outer edges of the lesion jagged or smooth? Smooth borders have a higher risk of being benign, while irregular or jagged borders have a higher risk of being malignant or cancerous.

C is for Color. If the spot appears to have several hues, it is more likely to be cancerous, while benign lesions tend to be one uniform color. D is for Diameter of the lesion. Usually any spot larger than 6 mm in diameter should definitely be looked at by a plastic surgeon as the risk of cancer starts to increase with larger-sized lesions.

Our Houston office uses mohs surgery to remove the two most common cancers: Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Mohs surgery is quickly becoming the preferred treatment for various forms of skin cancer due to its ability to spare as much healthy tissue as possible while removing cancerous cells. Dr. Ravi is pleased to provide mohs surgery for our Houston patients.

If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to call our office to set up a consultation with our board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Ravi.

Questions to Ask

  • Are there any spots on your skin that bleed easily?
  • Do you have a family history of skin cancer?
  • Do any of the skin spots appear to be 6mm (1/4 inch) or bigger?
  • Do you have dark spots or lesions on your skin that have a hard time healing properly?
  • Has there been any recent color changes to any spots on your skin?
  • Has there been any recent increases in the size of any spots on your skin?
  • Do you currently spend a significant amount of time outside in the sun, or have you in the past?