At our offices in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, Robert A. Sarro, M.D., offers you the latest treatments, newest technologies and most effective products to provide you with a complete range of surgical dermatology services for adult and pediatric skin conditions.
Surgical treatments for skin cancer include:
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery - This technique, employed for certain types of skin cancer, preserves the greatest amount of healthy tissue and has a very high cure rate for select cancers.
- Excisional Surgery - Physician cuts out the entire growth along with a surrounding border of normal skin as a safety margin.
- Electrodesiccation and Curettage - Physician scrapes off the cancerous growth with a circular scalpel known as a curette. An electric needle destroys the residual tumor and controls bleeding.
- Cryosurgery - Precancerous or cancerous tissue is destroyed by freezing with liquid nitrogen.
Actinic Keratoses (AKs) are scaly or crusty growths caused by damage from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. They can appear on any sun-exposed area; they are especially prevalent on the scalp, face, and hands. They are usually red in color but can be tan, pink or flesh-colored. If left untreated, AKs can advance to squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer.
It's estimated that more than 58 million Americans have AKs. The closer to the equator that you live, the more likely it is that you will have these lesions. In Florida, we are exposed to the sun's rays much more than most other locations in America. That's why, if you see any changes in your skin you need to make an appointment to see Dr. Sarro.
Treatments for AKs include cryosurgery, photodynamic therapy (PDT), chemical peeling, and topical chemotherapeutic agents.
A skin tag is a small flap of tissue that hangs off the skin by a connecting stalk. Skin tags are not dangerous. They are usually found on the neck, armpits, under the breasts, or in the groin area. Skin tags appear most often in women, especially with weight gain, and in elderly people. Skin tags usually don't cause any pain; however, they can become irritated through physical contact with clothing or jewelry. Dr. Sarro can remove a skin tag by cutting it off with a scalpel or scissors, with cryosurgery (freezing it off), or with electrosurgery (burning it off with an electric current).
Cyst (frequently referred to as a sebaceous cyst) is a small closed sac that contains fluid or solid material. It usually is a non-tender, small lump beneath the skin. Sebaceous cysts most often arise from swollen hair follicles. Skin trauma can also induce a cyst to form. A sac of cells is created into which a protein called keratin is secreted. Cysts are usually found on the face, neck, and trunk. They are usually slow-growing, painless, freely movable lumps beneath the skin. Occasionally, however, a cyst will become inflamed and tender. Dr. Sarro can reduce the size of a cyst by the injection of a steroid medication, or completely remove it via excisional surgery.
Moles, also known as nevi, are growths on the skin that are usually brown or black. They may be normal or abnormal. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. It's normal to have between 10-40 moles by adulthood. Moles occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. These cells are called melanocytes, and they make the pigment that gives skin its natural color. Moles may normally darken after exposure to the sun, during the teen years, and during pregnancy.
Dysplastic nevi are abnormal moles that can become melanomas. The mere presence of dysplastic nevi can increase a person's chance of having melanoma elsewhere on the skin. Any changes in a mole should be checked by Dr. Sarro to evaluate for skin cancer.
If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately by Dr. Sarro since it could be dysplastic or a melanoma.
- Asymmetry. One half of the mole does not match the other half.
- Border. The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
- Color. The color of the mole is not the same throughout or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.
- Diameter. The diameter of a mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
- Evolution. The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
If Dr. Sarro believes a mole needs to be evaluated further, he will first take a small tissue sample of the mole to examine thin sections of the tissue under a microscope (a biopsy). This is a simple procedure. If the mole is found to be dysplastic or a melanoma, Dr. Sarro will perform additional treatment to completely remove the lesion.
Freckles are harmless brown spots usually found on the face and arms. Freckles are extremely common and are not a health threat. They are more often seen in the summer, especially among lighter-skinned people and people with light or red hair. Causes of freckles include a genetic predisposition and exposure to the sun. As with many skin conditions, it's best to avoid the sun as much as possible, and use a sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher to avoid further freckling. This is especially important because people who freckle easily (for example, lighter-skinned people) are more likely to develop skin cancer.
If you are bothered by the cosmetic appearance of your freckles, Dr. Sarro can provide you with different treatment options including topical medications, chemical peels, and laser therapy.