Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is caused by an abnormal growth of skin cells and usually develops on skin that is often exposed to the sun. There are three main types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. We understand that getting checked for skin cancer or being diagnosed with skin cancer can be stressful and scary. However, you must see a dermatologist if you notice any suspicious-looking marks on your body. Dr. Erwin is highly skilled in detecting and treating all forms of skin cancer, so you can be sure you are in good hands! At our office, we offer treatments for the following:

In order to prevent skin cancer, it’s important to stay informed about it and know what to look for. The best way to learn more is by meeting with your board-certified dermatologist who can assess your unique medical history and risk level for skin cancer.

Here are some common FAQs about skin cancer and its treatment.

Skin Cancer FAQs

Can a dermatologist tell if you have skin cancer?

Dermatologists are trained to diagnose skin cancer and can often tell just by looking at your skin if you have skin cancer.

Can you have skin cancer for years and not know?


Do you see an oncologist for skin cancer?

People with skin cancer are usually diagnosed by their dermatologist and only see an oncologist if they have advanced skin cancer or if their cancer spreads.

Does skin cancer show up in blood work?


Should skin cancer be removed?


Where is skin cancer most commonly found on the body?

Skin cancer is most commonly found on the face although it can occur anywhere - including areas the sun does not reach.

Can laser remove skin cancer?

Laser is not the preferred method for treating skin cancer.

How do doctors check for skin cancer?

If we suspect a skin cancer, we will usually perform a skin biopsy where we anesthetize with skin and take a small sample. It is fast and not very painful.

How long after sunburn does skin cancer develop?

Skin cancers usually develop years after a history of sunburns.

Is there a difference between skin cancer and melanoma?

Non-melanoma skin cancers include basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Melanomas are a different kind of skin cancer.

At what age does skin cancer typically occur?

Skin cancer can occur at any age, but is most typically seen in those over 30 years old.

Can a dry patch of skin be cancer?

Yes. Certain types of skin cancer look red and scaly.

Can a skin cancer look like a pimple?

Yes. If you have a pimple that lasts for month, you need to have a skin examination. It could be a basal cell carcinoma.

Can you spread skin cancer by picking it?


How common is non melanoma skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S.. 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour. (From the Skin Cancer Foundation)

How is skin cancer prevented?

Sun avoidance is the best way to avoid skin cancer. Sun protective clothing, hats and sunscreen are the best strategies.

What happens if skin cancer goes undetected?

If untreated, skin cancer can go to other parts of your body and cause other problems.

Can skin cancer kill you?

Certain types of skin cancer can be deadly if left untreated.

Can skin cancer show up suddenly?

Yes, certain squamous cell carcinomas and some melanoma skin cancers can show up suddenly and without warning.

Does skin cancer hurt to the touch?

Not usually.

How fast does skin cancer spread?

It depends on the skin cancer.

Is Skin Cancer slow growing?

Some skin cancers grow slowly and others pop up over a few weeks.

Why is skin cancer prevention important?

Prevention is important to avoid scars and other procedures that become necessary if skin cancer is ignored for a long period of time.