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Skin Cancer Signs & Diagnosis

Learning how to recognize the signs of skin cancer can help you determine when you should seek the professional opinion of a dermatologist specializing in skin cancer. As discussed in the following sections, signs vary, depending on the skin cancer type. Although the majority of skin growths are not skin cancers, only a specialist can make a definitive diagnosis.

A board-certified dermatologist in Florida and skin cancer specialist, Dr. Alysa Herman is one of an elite few who have completed an American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS) fellowship in Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery. Because Dr. Herman limits her practice specifically to surgical dermatology and Mohs surgery, which is the most effective treatment for most types of skin cancer, she has the skills and experience to achieve an optimal outcome for her skin cancer patients.

Request a consultation online today, or call (305) 444-4979 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Herman.

Meet Dr. Alysa Herman

If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, you need a physician who is exceptionally qualified, experienced and compassionate. Dr. Herman is renowned among physicians and patients for her credentials and her dedication to patient care.

Request a consultation

If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, you need a physician who is exceptionally qualified, experienced and compassionate. Dr. Herman is renowned among physicians and patients for her credentials and her dedication to patient care.

Request Your Consultation

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer in people with light skin. Although less common, it does occur in people with darker skin types.

  • Areas of skin to check: Basal cell carcinoma typically occurs on the areas of skin that receive the most sun exposure, such as the face, ears, neck, arms, and hands.
  • Signs to look for: The American College of Mohs Surgery describes basal cell carcinoma as resembling a blemish that won't heal or a shiny, pearly bump that does not go away. It may bleed if minor trauma occurs to that area. Alternatively, basal cell carcinoma may look like a rough, reddened patch.

Testimonials

  • Janet Blanco-Pastor — 5 Stars

    ABSOLUTELY a wonderful staff and Doctor. Always very accommodating. You are seen at your appointment time, not 2 hour later. Very considerate of your time and always available to answer any question. Dr. Herman is a very down to earth, beautiful young professional. She is a rare find in today's world. She really cares about her patients. Will not go anywhere else from now on for my MOH's.

  • Metta MacMillan-Hughes — 5 Stars

    I have found Dr. Alysa Herman to be extremely professional, a perfectionist when it comes to her surgery and her patient care is excellent. I have 100% confidence and satisfaction in this MOHs surgeon and would highly recommend her.

  • Susana Mateu — 5 Stars

    Excellent Dr. and staff, i went to Dr. Herman for mohs surgery and for other concerns about my skin due to abnormal results they were able to walk with me through the process and answer all my questions and concerns. I highly recommend them for mohs surgeries, skin concerns and 2nd opinions.

  • Daniela B. — 5 Stars

    I took my mom here for a mole removal surgery. The building has a parking garage and plenty of (pay to park app) spaces on the street. Once you walk in, you sign in and head up to the 7th floor. Dr Herman has a beautiful office with modern decor, and ample space. The staff is bilingual in English/Spanish, they are beyond helpful. The secretaries are on top of everything, they were working non stop the whole time were there. Her PAs are very professional and have such sweet bedside manner.

    My mom had her mole removed in less than an hour. The doctor was very thorough, explained the procedure and how to take care of it. Mom felt no pain, and had to be back to take stitches off in one week. We had no problem scheduling her for an early appt in 7days..

  • M A. — 5 Stars

    Came in for a consultation and walked out doing a procedure. That is how comfortable Dr. Herman and her staff made us feel. Dr Herman was very professional and took her time explaining everything thoroughly. Office is clean, modern and beautiful. Highly recommend her!

  • Paul C. — 5 Stars

    My surgical procedure went very well. Dr Herman made me feel at ease and relaxed.

  • Robin in Coral Gables, FL — 5 stars

    I was diagnosed with a Kerancanthenoma. Scary stuff. I then tried to find a surgeon for Mohs surgery to remove it. I found Dr. Herman. She was great. Her office is very nice, staff very helpful and Dr. Herman was great. She even gave me her cell number if I wanted to talk to her. Great results. If you need Mohs surgery, Dr. Herman is the greatest.

  • Martin Garcia Elias in Homestead, FL — 5 Stars

    excellent service; excellent professional doctor

  • Janet Blanco-Pastor in Miami, FL — 5 Stars

    Dr. Herman and her staff are wonderful. She is a true professional and you can tell she likes was she does and cares. They speak with you not talk at you which is important when you dealing with positive results. She puts you a ease. Her staff is awesome. They are ALL respectfull of your time. If your appointment is at 10am, you are seen at 10 am not bounced around through different rooms. Highly, highly recommend.

Squamous Cell Cancer

Although those with light skin, hair, and eyes are at the highest risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma, all individuals with chronic sun exposure are at risk. In contrast to basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma can spread into the lymph nodes and internal organs.

  • Areas of skin to check: Squamous cell carcinoma generally occurs on the face, ears, lips, scalp, hands, and lower legs.
  • Signs to look for: Squamous cell carcinoma typically looks like a red, crusted bump or rough, scaly patch, and the American College of Mohs Surgery reports that it sometimes is mistaken for a patch of dry skin or a wart.

Melanoma

Although less common, melanoma is one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer. About two-thirds of melanomas appear on a previously normal area of skin, while the other third occur in already existing moles.

  • Areas of skin to check: Melanoma typically appears on women's lower legs, and on men's backs, chests, or abdomens. However, it can develop on any area of the body.
  • Signs to look for: Often developing in an existing mole or appearing to be a new mole, melanomas typically are brown to black lesions that, according to the American College of Mohs Surgery website, have uneven borders, colors or surfaces. When they appear on sun-damaged skin such as the face, melanomas may look like a brown patch or unevenly colored freckle.

Skin Cancer Diagnosis

Early detection and treatment improve the likelihood for an optimal outcome. To help you promptly detect any of the signs described here, follow these guidelines:

  • Examine your skin each month, scrutinizing the areas noted for suspicious skin changes.
  • Become familiar with the existing scars, spots, freckles, and moles on your skin, so that you can easily notice any changes.
  • Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist specializing in skin cancer, such as Dr. Herman, immediately if you do detect any significant changes.

At your appointment, Dr. Herman will examine your skin carefully. She will ask you about your symptoms, when you first detected the change in your skin, and your typical exposure to the sun. If you have a suspicious growth, she will then perform a skin biopsy. Dr. Herman will then send the tissue to a lab to be evaluated by a dermatopathologist for a diagnosis.

If the pathology report confirms skin cancer, Dr. Herman will discuss with you appropriate options for skin cancer treatments at her Florida practice.

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